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William Blake Comic Book: A Memorable Fancy

Hiya fellows! I have that Friday Feeling again and maybe you do too, huh? Do ya huh?

At the moment a man is fixing the air conditioning unit in the other room, and my monastic silence is interrupted and punctuated by the sound of a cordless drill, but I'm pleased to bring you a special treat over the next few weeks! This comic book is based on William Blake's story "A Memorable Fancy", which is an interlude from his larger work entitled The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

This is a strange work of Mr. Blake's, but then all his works are strange. When I read it, I really liked the visuals it gave me, and I tried to capture them in this comic.

  • Interesting anecdote about this comic: Occasionally, I share my comics with my friends. I shared this particular comic with two different women, and both of them read it, and both of them gave me the comic back. They told me they didn't understand it.

I thought that was strange behavior on their part. Usually when I give people comics they keep them (or chuck them out, and don't tell me they threw it out, or whatever). I know I am not the greatest artist in the world, and so I guess that maybe these two women thought this comic this was so crappy and disturbing they decided they would rather not keep this comic in their house and instead give it back to the weirdo who gave it to them. (but why not just throw it out?)

I tried explaining the comic to them but I realized that a lot of understanding this comic depends on having read other works of William Blake. I mean, trying to verbally explain to someone who'd never before read William Blake his particular view of Aristotle and his Analytics, that taxed my verbal faculties.

As someone else put it, (and put it better than I could) Blake had a scorn for the rationalistic attitude of the mind. There is a lot of stuff Blake scholars have to say about his work and I probably got a lot of stuff wrong. All I can say is, what Blake wanted to convey was in his words and in his images. The rest is imagination.

So that's why there's a gorilla on the front cover causing havoc. Blake thought reason was antithetical to how an artist should live.

Sit back and enjoy the ride, fellows! See you next week!

Comic transcript

On the cover of the comic, The words "William Blake, MASTER OF ACTION" appears in German Bold Italic, the font that appeared in DJ Towa Tei's 1997 album Sound Museum.

A gorilla throws a lamppost around. The word "Reason" appears on the primate's chest.

William Blake stands in the foreground, pointing at the ape. He says "This beast's rampage ends here!"

In the first page of the comic book, William Blake is sitting against a tree, drawing or writing in a book. He looks up as a radiance appears next to him.

It is an angel in the shape of a beautiful woman. She floats, defying physics, and spreads her wings in a threat display. She says "O pitiable foolish young man! O Horrible! O dreadful state!"

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