There’s a comforting sense of continuity in Cold War Steve’s latest book, A Prat’s Progress.
Amid the uncertainty of Brexit, where “do or die” deadlines get moved at the drop of a hat and deceptive propaganda is readily lapped up by the press, it can be quite calming to know that come what may, Vladimir Putin is probably topless on the next page.
The usual cast has been assembled for Christopher Spencer’s latest release, with Sam Allardyce, Kim Jong-un, Piers Morgan taking leading roles across 128 typically bizarre illustrations.
A twisted, dystopian veneer
After amassing some 200,000 followers on Twitter the handle @Coldwar_Steve has become to Brexit what L. S. Lowry was to the industrial revolution, depicting a gloomy outlook albeit with a twisted, dystopian veneer.
His pitch-perfect marriage of Internet meme culture and the political lampoon allows him to satirize our increasingly incongruous-seeming popular-political culture with quintessentially British humour.
The Winter of Discontent
In Cold War Steve Presents … A Prat’s Progress, we see the artistic influences behind some of his work.
Hogarth’s ‘Anatomy Lesson’ and ‘Netherlandish Proverbs’ by Pieter Bruegel the Elder are placed alongside collages decrying the state of the high street and the empty chasm of the House of Commons.
In the Winter of Discontent, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove all find themselves amidst the piles of amassing rubbish, while few people will be able to forget the Prime Minister playing tennis with a joint of gammon.
Following appearances at Glastonbury in June 2019 and a design that appeared on the cover of Time Magazine Spencer has become somewhat of a Brexit icon of the social media age, and rightly so.
Giving exasperated Brits a much needed escape from a world that seems to have slipped its moorings from reality, he provides comfort in his comically curious illustrations that summarise the current mood better than most serious accounts ever could.
Released 24 October 2019, £12.95