The Poet and The Flea
Writer/Artist: G.E. Gallas
You know what's nice? When people like to share there work. G.E. Gallas presented me with a sample of her comic which will soon be available for backing on Kickstarter and it gave me a lot of thinking to do. William Blake was an extreme, sexually ambiguous, religiously rejecting poet/painter... suffice it to say, an interesting fellow. This here title gave you the chance to take a look at a unique experience in his life, and in my case provided me with some research to do. I found myself educated by looking up this gentleman! But this isn't about me, let's took about this book.
Blake lives a life that revolves around his wife and his art, the latter moreso than the former. He is also tortured, feeling that there is something approaching, though he isn't entirely sure what that something is. In the world outside of his home, an evil is washing over the area, and when it finds him it forces him to confront what he, as a person, always wished to avoid... personal corruption.
This story takes the form, when broken down, of a historical fiction. Gallas has a fundamental understanding of Blake and his poems, choosing to insert them into the story in ways that link him to the approaching evil but also helping the reader understand him as a person. Stressing the importance of personality but also the struggle between being an artist and reality, Blake is shown as a man of extreme talent and intense vision as he confronts the villain known as "the Flea". Gallas has an intriguing approach to having a true literary icon face the darkness of corruption and self doubt, with dialogue that gives a certain elegance to the interactions.
Gallas's art is home grown and exhibits a confidence, as she puts her spin on a real life character in his younger days. Introducing us to the ideas and dreams of this character shows an ability to illustrate cosmos and fantasy, as well as producing a worthy adversary of the artistic mind which is flamboyantly intimidating but nonetheless sinister. As the included images show, this comic is a greyscale sketch style, with lavishly drawn human figures and a sensitivity to fashion and culture of the times (1790). The backgrounds all use shading in a sparing yet effectual way, while the gothic architecture meshes well with the character models.
If you are a fan of historical fiction, Victorian fiction, and the late great poet/artist William Blake, then check this bad boy out. The Poet and the Flea is a close, cerebral look at an intriguing character through the pen of a creator who clearly knows what she's talking about. This graphic novel comes out... when it's funded! The Kickstarter goes live on October 1st, throw a couple bucks it's way and help bring this vision to life!