One of Twitter’s favourite alternative historians has been tasked with visualising the ongoing clusterfuck that is Brexit in a story that might just be one of the oddest commissions of 2019 to date: Coldwar Steve’s work adorns the front cover of this week’s issue of Time.
For the unfamiliar and uninitiated, McFadden’s Cold War is an ongoing Twitter project by collagist Christoper Spencer. Initially charting the adventures of Eastenders actor Steve McFadden’s imagined dalliances with the heavy hitters of everyone’s favourite late-20th century heavyweight geopolitical rumble, you’re now more likely to see Steve alongside Donald Trump and Danny Dyer than Ronald Reagan or Mikhail Gorbachev.
Those surreal montages have seen Spencer amass a huge virtual following, even opening the doors to exhibitions of his work in actual real life galleries. In March of this year, Spencer’s first book, The Festival of Brexit was published by Thames & Hudson.
With backing like that, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Spencer’s been tapped up by Time, but still: it really is quite odd to see Phil Mitchell on the front cover of one of the most esteemed magazines around.
Spencer’s work accompanies a pair of Brexit-related investigations. Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown has turned in an essay titled ‘How Britain Went Bonkers’ while novelist Jonathan Coe takes a look at ‘The Brexit Fiasco’.
You can pick up the latest issue of Time from all reputable newsagents right now. If you’re chained to your desk, or don’t fancy the idea of using your lunch break to step into the nearest branch of WHSmith, you can watch an ITV profile of the man behind the Coldwar Steve account below.