Imagine your in England. Imagine your driving through the beautiful country side and you come upon a strange town. Imagine that this strange town has people, places, signs and things stuck in the 1970’s. Imagine you ask directions to a restaurant and the guy who points the way is missing a hand and leg. Imagine you walk into this restaurant where the cashier behind the counter has clown make up. Imagine that you order a soda, you drink the whole thing and feel funny. Imagine you end up ground up in between two buns and then you’ll know what it is like to peruse “Discovering Scarfolk, For Tourists and Other Trespassers” by Richard Littler.
Richard Littler is a graphic designer and started making joke cards for family friends parodying those old Penguin book covers, he posted them on his blog and got a huge response. I first stumbled on his work on tumblr and the art work looked so authentic I thought that they were actual book covers. When I went looking for the books themselves so I could add more to my weirdo book collection, “Scarfolk” came up and then I had a treasure trove of satirical book covers, ads and public service announcements to devour.
The book is like one of those hardbound tourist guides, Littler’s artwork is throughout the book, what ties this book together is a father who goes looking for his twin sons when they go missing in Scarfolk. In Scarfolk everything is assbackwards, and time doesn’t pass there either, the whole town is stuck in the 1970’s. Littler also wrote scripts for movies, he merged his artwork with his story telling abilities to hilarious result.
Some of the humor will be lost on people who aren’t from Britain. There is a lot of cultural humor and the British Dry wit, but despite that the book had me in stitches. It is satire sharpened to very fine point, one can see his lampooning of the surveillance state and people too stuck in the past to move forward. At times it becomes nightmarish, the father in desperation not being able to get answers about his kid from people that seem bat shit crazy from the mayor (which is the author) on down to the local garbage collector, it becomes so surreal and dark you bust up laughing.
He is still producing stuff. He has a youtube channel with Scarfolk ads and music on it, he has a blog which I will link to, and he has another book “The Scarfolk Annual” which I have and will review sometime. Artists who create noise and harness it into a world of their own are my favorite people, they make life worth living. “Discovering Scarfolk” gets two severed thumbs up from me, old boy.
Richard isn’t the only artist to do this, there is a lot of artists that are lampooning retro book cover art but they aren’t as funny as Richard is. I love just picking up the book and randomly selecting a section, and it normally puts a smile on my face that something like this exists.
So do you wanna go to Scarfolk?! Do you really REALLY want to go? Do you want to be chased by stapler demons? Given a ticket for keeping your eyes open and wasting “electricity”? Do you wanna probably end up as some person’s plastic sheet covered furniture? Then the way to get there is here:
Richard Littler’s blog: https://scarfolk.blogspot.com/
Where to get the book: https://www.amazon.com/Discovering-Scarfolk-Richard-Littler/dp/0091958482
Hate fucking youtube but Richard’s videos are too good to pass up: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1t7KxXy44QC5qC1R0h53Mg