Coldwar Steve designs Big Issue cover

Chris Spencer, better known as Coldwar Steve, has designed an exclusive cover for The Big Issue and spoken to the magazine about becoming the unlikely chronicler of the Brexit saga.

Coldwar Steve designs Big Issue cover
Paul McNamee: “He was the perfect – the only – man to create this week’s cover.”

Spencer said: “It started early 2016 before the vote. The very early ones were just Phil Mitchell [Steve McFadden] in Cold War scenarios… Then Brexit happened. There was that first moment when the votes came in from Sunderland and it became apparent what was going to happen. I was devastated. Since then I’ve channelled that desperation into the images rather than ranting about it on Twitter.”

He continued: “I haven’t heard directly from anyone who’s in the pictures. Nick Knowles blocked me, but other than that they seem to have been quite pleased I think. Les Dennis was thrilled. He was in an old 70s Soviet plane with Trump and Danny Dyer, who’s got a huge parsnip. He tweeted the pic and said “How cool is this?”.

On the cover, he said: “… (an) abandoned caravan is something that I use quite a lot, especially with it falling in the river. It’s obviously a metaphor for Brexit. It’s a pretty obvious one, but it’s got Chris Grayling bumbling his way out of there and the usual suspect poking their heads up. Boris Johnson is running off the other way with his tatty flag. Farage is amphibian anyway, so it’s ideal that he’s part in water. Merkel is looking at her watch wondering what the f**k they’ve all been doing, this is as far as you’ve got in three years. Jacob Rees-Mogg is just refusing to take responsibility for anything, just wandering off into the woods. Nick Knowles is just soaking all up, oozing his charisma.”

Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue, said: “Nothing is resolved. And nothing looks like being resolved soon. We’re sitting, it feels like, somewhere between absurdity and the abyss. Trying to find anything new to say is a fool’s errand. And yet Coldwar Steve has somehow, in his funny, bleak, pillorying pieces, summed up the times we’re in. He was the perfect – the only – man to create this week’s cover. We’re delighted he agreed to create his first ever magazine cover as a cover for The Big Issue.”

The Big Issue, the magazine sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is available to buy from 25th March across the UK for £2.50.

Cold War Steve presents… The Festival of Brexit is out now (Thames& Hudson, £12.95.