Bloke’s Progress by Hunt Emerson & Kevin Jackson


John Ruskin, (1819 – 1900) was an art critic – possibly the greatest in any language. Yet his concerns were by no means confined to art. He was a sharp-eyed observer of nature, he had a fascination with architecture and he developed strong ideas about work, wealth and money. He was what we would now call a “holistic” thinker. Thinking holistically obliged Ruskin to examine the society in which he lived. The conclusions he reached made him many admirers (and some enemies). He had impressive fans, including Leo Tolstoy and Marcel Proust. He inspired all sorts of reformers and idealistic politicians, including Gandhi, who said that reading Ruskin on a train one night changed his life. Ruskin was more than just a best-selling writer: lots of people regarded him as a kind of guru or latter-day prophet.

Darren Bloke is an ordinary, hard-working stiff until a lottery win changes – and ruins – his life. He squanders his windfall and loses everything but his beloved dog, Skittle. Then he is visited by the spirit of Ruskin, who shows him the true meaning of Wealth – not how to acquire it, but what is the right way for an honest human to deal with it. Further visits from Ruskin’s spirit take him on a journey into Perception – how to look at the world through a more creative filter, and finally, he learns from Ruskin the true value of Work, and how it can enrich his life above and beyond a pay-packet. Darren discovers the meaning of Ruskin’s favourite saying – There is no wealth but Life.

This strange comic book is part satire, part economic and philosophical treatise, part love story, part political argument, part psychedelic craziness, and always funny. And, in Skittle, Bloke’s Progress has one of the most loveable dogs in comics!

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