Pete Loved in conversation with David Eastaugh.
Pete Loveday is a British underground cartoonist. He drew many comics charting the adventures of hippie character Russell including Big Bang Comics, Big Trip Travel Agency, Plain Rapper Comix printed by AK Press.
He draws like Robert Crumb or Gilbert Shelton with lots of cross-hatching. Big Bang Comics is Britain's most successful underground comics. Recurring themes in the comics are drugs, Rock festivals, environmentalism etc. Plain Rapper Comix #2 is Loveday's pamphlet in comic book form on a history of hemp and why it would be beneficial for the environment to replace tree paper with hemp paper and he practices what he preaches by being the first publication in modern times to be printed on such paper. The Russell comics were reprinted in book form Russell, The Saga of a peaceful man published by John Brown Publishing.
Russell reappeared in the Big Trip Travel Agency series published by AK Press (6 volumes); which are a series of short stand alone cartoons and also a serialised longer story. Issue 2 featured The Levellers. After Big Trip 5 (1999) Russell's story was to be continued in Volume 6, which it seemed would never appear. Then in 2012, to many fan's delight, AKPress made Big Trip 6 available through their website and through a mainstream Internet retailer where some reviews of Loveday's classic comics can also be read.
He used to have a stall at Glastonbury Festival, selling his comics and other items and now, after a gap of more than a decade, has a stall at the Secret Garden Party and Beautiful Days, both festivals for which he produces artwork.
Although he has had some problems with his eyesight these are finally being resolved, and have never really prevented him from producing a wide range of artwork, ranging from advertising posters (including some unlikely billboard art for Nike) through greetings cards, postcards, CD and record sleeve designs, book illustrations to flyers and T-shirt designs.
Loveday attributes his black sense of humour to having spent the 1969 Summer of Love disembowelling chickens in a poultry processing factory, a traumatic experience which left him with a morbid fear of death.
He lives in Devon with his wife Kate.