Cold War Steve has been acclaimed as the Brexit Bruegel and a modern-day Hogarth or Gillray. His Twitter feed, McFadden’s Cold War, has become a cult phenomenon, with over 120,000 followers (and counting). This book contains the prime cuts of his elaborate, satirical photo collages from his Twitter feed, with further exclusive, unseen new work.
Begun as a personal reprieve from an often-bleak political climate, Cold War Steve – Christopher Spencer in real life – started collaging images of longstanding Eastender Steve McFadden (aka Phil Mitchell) into Cold War-era scenarios, using a £3 smartphone app while commuting. As Brexit Britain begins to take shape his output has taken an increasingly surreal, satirical turn – in what some are calling “furious absurdism” – creating dystopian, absurdly funny Brexit-era landscapes populated with a rotating cast of political, cultural or otherwise newsworthy (or not) figures, and ever-present Fray Bentos pies. A pitch-perfect marriage of internet meme culture and the political lampoon, Cold War Steve satirises our increasingly incongruous-seeming popular-political culture with quintessentially British humour.
In a time when the UK’s exit from the EU looms large, Cold War Steve offers us a satirical escape from a world that seems to have slipped its moorings from reality.
Martin Rowson’s cartoons appear regularly in The Guardian where he has been commenting on Brexit for several years. He has also worked for The Times, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Mirror, The Spectator and the Morning Star, as well as many other publications. He won the Cartoon Art Trust’s Political Cartoonist of the Year Award in 2000 and 2004, the Political Cartoon Society’s Cartoon of the Year in 2003 and 2007 and was their Cartoonist of the Year in 2010. Martin discussed his latest book, The Pen is Mightier than the Word, at The Wanstead Tap in 2018.
Praise for The Festival of Brexit:
“Exemplifies an angry new movement… the new furious absurdism” – The Economist.
“Online therapy for those beaten down by political despair.” – The Guardian.
“A modern Hogarth or Gillray… He’s newsy and angry. It’s what Brits do best. Don’t engage with these people’s arguments because they don’t have any. Just flay them alive with humour, sarcasm and art.” – Jon Savage.
“No one has caught the mood of Brexit Britain as acutely as Cold War Steve.” – The Art Newspaper.