From Monsterism to the Mabinogion — limited edition comics kick start historic summer

Friday 24 July 2015

Cadw has released 9,000 limited edition comics and announced a series of pop-up events to mark the start of its summer campaign.

Picture of the 'Pack your Imagination' launch

'Pack your Imagination' campaign launch

Cadw commissioned Cardiff-born artist Pete Fowler, famous for his Monsterism toys and work with Welsh rock band, the Super Furry Animals, to bring traditional tales associated with two of its castles to life as colourful comics.

The free comics, based on the story of Gwenllian, the Welsh warrior princess and the Mabinogion’s tragic tale about about Branwen ferch Llŷr, will be available for visitors at Kidwelly Castle and Harlech Castle, respectively. The comics are also available to download on this website for those that cannot make it to the sites.

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.

It’s all part of our continued ‘Pack your Imagination’ campaign, aimed at encouraging families to see Wales’s historic sites as they’ve never seen them before.

To support the campaign, we have developed a bucket-and-spade list of essential family activities and created a series of fun pop-up events, from building sandcastles at real castles, bouncing on inflatable fortresses and constructing replicas of sites at Lego and Minecraft workshops. There will also be giant games such as Jenga and Snakes and Ladders at a selection of sites.

Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “This campaign is focussed on inspiring people to look at our historic sites in a new light, with the aim of encouraging even more families to explore Wales’s past.

“Pete Fowler’s work appeals to all age groups. Children will appreciate the vibrant colours and simple storytelling, while adults will enjoy the work of an instantly recognisable comic artist who has worked with some of Wales’s best-loved bands. I hope it inspires people to uncover further fascinating stories.
“Children love castles and we hope families have fun making lasting memories at one of our many events or pop-up activities this summer.”

Speaking about his approach to the project, artist Pete Fowler said: "It's a real honour to be involved in this project for Cadw as I've been interested in myths and legends that surround these sites for some time and being a Welshman it's part of my country's history and identity.

“I really enjoyed losing myself in the stories that relate to the sites and found inspiration to draw and illustrate the stories.

“I hope this project does the same for other people and visitors to the castles, bringing the stories to life and understanding the history behind some of these famous buildings.

“I particularly love the idea of people colouring in the sheets and finding out for themselves some of the wonderful and fearsome characters from centuries ago.”

As part of the campaign, we have launched a competition for families to create their own comic strip detailing their summer adventure. The winning entry will be turned into a Pete Fowler original.

For more information on the comics and the other fun events that are taking place at our sites over the summer, visit our Pack your Imagination section on our website