Following on from yesterday’s post, it seemed appropriate to remind readers of Exile In The Margin‘s other major title: Black Water. This is the one that started it all, a twisted tale of psychosexual madness in the shadowy edgelands of modern Britain that was over ten years in the making. Look at that cover. It says everything you need to know. Dark, dark, dark, and then darker still. The text by Martin Jones was honed like an assassin’s blade over years of psychic turmoil, all centered around a very specific location that required extensive field work by the both of us. Gradually I was drawn into the black vortex of the story, understanding that it required a similarly manic level of detail in the artwork if I was to do the thing justice:

I have been to this place, and walked its paths. I can see how it would seep into a mind prepared for such an intrusion. To some it might look like a nice place to walk on a weekend and do some bird watching, but Martin saw it differently, and the results are against nature writing of the most pitiless. Imagine, if you will, D.H. Lawrence raised in Thatcher’s Britain, or John Healy writing symbolist poetry, or Patrick McGrath’s Spider meets The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water. Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

The book was fully illustrated and designed by me, with every aspect a carefully considered part of the whole, from the full-page illustrations to the smaller drawings, to the found imagery – it was all meticulously planned and pored over, with several images taken out as they weren’t serving the text. The end result is something where nothing needs to be added and nothing needs to be removed – it’s perfect as it is, in all its dark glory. Published in a limited edition of 100, the print job is outstanding, with the blank inks so richly obsidian that they seem to suck in all the available light, plunging the reader even further into the void. It even smells good. There will be no TV adaptation of this, because no-one would be insane enough to try. It joins the ranks of a select few ‘cult’ books that can never be reduced to a screen interpretation, and once all the copies are gone, that’s it. There will be no more.

I produced several ‘black water’ abstract paintings, one for each order of the book, and a few are still available. Order your copy HERE from Exile In The Margins and, while you’re at it, order a copy of my first novel Daddy Witch. Support independent publishing, stick it to Jeff Bezos, and hurl yourself over the psychic precipice all at the same time. You know you want to.

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