Pete Fowler, the artist famous for his Monsterism toys and work with the Super Furry Animals, is launching a series of free comics bringing tales about two Welsh castles to life.
Cardiff born Fowler, a freelance illustrator, musician, and “monster creator” is inspired by animals, music, folklore, myths, psychedelia and super nature. He has also worked on a number of other projects in the UK and Japan, such as television advertisements (Kia Picanto), as well as having art exhibitions in the UK and abroad. Fowler works in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, animation, printmaking and sculpture.
Fowler is also one half of the cosmic deckshoegaze Seahawks who have released extensively on vinyl, CD and download since 2010 and have remixed a variety of bands as well as regularly DJing.
The majority of Fowler’s art is made in a postmodern cartoon style and often revolves around a central narrative and features a recurring set of characters. The “monsters” Fowler creates all reside on “Monsterism Island”. Fowler invents extensive back-stories for his characters; each has its own specific traits and levels of “monsterism”. Fowler is most known for his designer toys of his characters, which he himself manufactures with his own company.
His new comics focus on the story of Gwenllian, the Welsh warrior princess, and the Mabinogion’s tragic tale about Branwen ferch Llŷr have been given the comic strip treatment from the Cardiff-born artist.
A total of 9,000 limited edition comics are being released with the Gwenllian tale available for visitors to Kidwelly Castle and the Branwen story available to those visiting Harlech Castle. They are also free to download from the website of Cadw, which commissioned Fowler for the project.
To accompany the comics Fowler has designed five colouring sheets based around other key figures in Welsh history including Owain Glyndŵr, The Lord Rhys, Gilbert de Clare, William Burges and Llywelyn ap Iorwerth.
Branwen ferch Llŷr
Branwen, daughter of Llŷr, is a legendary tale from medieval Welsh literature and the second of the four branches of the Mabinogi.
Gwenllian was the daughter of Gruffudd ap Cynan (1055–1137).