Hunt Emerson (born 1952) is a cartoonist living and working in Birmingham, England. He was closely involved with the Birmingham Arts Lab of the mid-to-late 1970s, and with the British underground comics scene of the 1970s and 1980s. His many comic strips and graphic novels are well known and have been translated into numerous languages.
His earliest strips in the 1970s appeared in such British small press comics as Graphixus, Moon Comix, Yikes, Animal Bite Comix, No Ducks, Phobos, Streetcomix, Free Comix, Warrior and Fish. A trip to the U.S. put him in touch with Rip Off Press who published his Thunderdogs, comic book for the underground market; while Don and Maggie Thompson included him in their mini-comic series, for which he created Calculus Cat, and he later contributed to their Eclipse Monthly magazine. Emerson art also appeared in the U.S. underground Commies From Mars. Dogman, and Large Cow Comix (a five issue series with separate subtitles) were all Emerson work cover to cover, and highly sought-after by collectors now, but it was Knockabout, a British comic book-sized and later album-sized anthology that featured some of Emerson's best strips, including the characters Alan Rabbit, Calculus Cat, Max Zillion and Alto Ego, Pusspuss, Momo and Fuzi, Charlie Chirp, plus the bizarre one-shot tales "Cakes And Bricks" "The Dentist" and "Mouth City". The latter two stories spawned a series called Citymouth, and later a collected volume. Squarebound books written by others, such as You Are Maggie Thatcher, and Hard To Swallow showcased Emerson strips and illustrations throughout.
In Outrageous Tales From the Old Testament he tackled a version of Leviticus written by Alan Moore, and in The Seven Deadly Sins, depicted "Envy". For the DC Comics imprint Factoid Books, in the 1990s, he did biographical comics on everything from Erich von Stroheim to Prince Charles and Princess Diana. These appeared in the Big Book Of... series. For dozens of issues of the British underground Brain Damage, he created "Arsover Tit".
The Emerson graphic novels Lady Chatterley's Lover, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Casanova's Last Stand and other adaptations of classic novels and tales have been successfully sold in numerous countries, and translated into several different languages.
For over 30 years Hunt Emerson's strips and illustrations have graced the pages of Fortean Times, a magazine of occult and unexplained phenomena, while his pornographically humorous Firkin The Cat (written by Tym Manley) has appeared in hundreds of Fiesta magazines.
He has been acclaimed as one of the 75 European Masters of Cartooning of the 20th Century by the Centre Nationale de la Bande Dessinee et de l'Image, and has won many other international awards.
At the moment he is drawing Ratz for The Beano, a strip about mean rats in a sewer. In 2002-2007, he drew Little Plum for that comic. In March 2009, after great work on both of the strips, he was picked as the artist for The Beano's revival of Fred's Bed. However, this version was viewed weird-looking by some people, and it has to be said the strip lost some of its humour and originality. This could be the reason why he left the strip in November, leaving Tom Paterson to become the artist.
- Hunt Emerson at Lambiek.net
- Long interview with Hunt Emerson
- Interview with Futureal Studio
- Hunt Emerson's official website
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