John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) was one of the greatest writers of the 19th century. He wrote dozens of brilliant and sometimes quite strange books on almost every subject under the sun - mountains and rocks, waves and clouds, snakes and birds. Above all, he wrote about art and architecture, and wrote about them in ways which astonished people. They used to say that reading Ruskin made you feel as if you had been blind, and could suddenly see. His writings on art made him world-famous, and his fans looked up to him as if he were a kind of prophet.
The final years of his life were spent at Brantwood, his big house on the shore of Lake Coniston in the English Lake District - one of the loveliest spots in the world. Brantwood today is the home of the Ruskin Foundation, who commissioned me in 2004 to produce a series of comics about some aspects of Ruskin's work, with the idea of bringing it to the notice of young people today. My collaborator in these comics is Kevin Jackson, writer, broadcaster, conversationalist and expert on almost everything. Working with Howard Hull and Emma Bartlet of the Ruskin Foundation, we've published two Ruskin Comics so far: How To Be Rich (2005), and How To See (2008). The third, provisionally titled How To Work, will appear...eventually. Our intention is to publish number 3 together with the first two as a book, for general sale.
The first two Ruskin Comics were funded for distribution in the North West region of England only, to schools, prisons, and community projects, so the comics have not been on general sale. I have a stock of How To See and a limited number of How To Be Rich for sale in the Largecow Shop.
May 25th, 2008
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