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.
Thanks to all who’ve made Daddy Witch the best-selling title from Exile In The Margins. And thanks to all who’ve taken the time to give their responses to the book. The best one can be summarised as “dark, but playful” which I won’t be having etched on my tombstone, but do gratefully accept as as an indication of artistic success. A few copies are still available so hesitate no longer.
In the meantime, I am writing my second novel, which I hope to publish in 2022. I’m also working on a short comic strip, another heavily-illustrated book for Exile In The Margins to be published in 2022, and a suite of new paintings for yet another book project. It never stops, because while life is short, art is long.
Thanks to all who’ve responded so positively and enthusiastically to my first published novel Daddy Witch, the story of the greatest band you’ve never heard. There’s still a few copies left that come with a free piece of original art by yours truly, so hesitate no longer and come to Daddy HERE.
Daddy Witch is my first published novel. 140 pages. Pocket paperback, fully designed by the author. The first copies ordered come with original postcard art, inspired by the band’s aesthetic.
This is the final cover design I made for my fictional band Daddy Witch. Back in the day I would have bought a record like this just for the cover alone. I think back to those early covers for bands like The Cure or Dead Kennedys, and recall how we all thought ‘if they sound anything like how this looks, I’m already sold.’ Album covers used to matter, almost as much as the record itself. Alas, like so many things, that’s all gone now. We live in impoverished times.
Daddy Witch is my first published novel. 140 pages. Pocket paperback, fully designed by yours truly. Initial orders come with a free piece of my artwork, inspired by the band’s aesthetic. It’s a limited print run and copies are selling fast, so don’t hesitate.
Another design for my fictional band Daddy Witch. Its so easy to imagine seeing this hanging in the window at Jumbo Records in Leeds, circa 1981. The greatest band you’ve never heard.
This is my first published novel. 140 pages. Pocket paperback, fully designed by yours truly. Initial orders come with a free piece of my artwork, inspired by the band’s aesthetic.
Obviously, once I got started with these designs for my imaginary band Daddy Witch I just could not stop. I found the designs really helped with the writing, as it made them seem more “real” in my imagination. More real than many an actual band you might have heard, if truth be told.
This is the design for what would have been the first single from my fictional band Daddy Witch. In an alternate universe it’s a recognised classic on a par with The Cure’s ‘A Forest’ or Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’.
This flyer design is referenced in my novel Daddy Witch, available now from Exile In The Margins. Those of a certain age will recognise the significance of the date chosen, which is the band’s first proper gig in front of a live audience. From such humble origins legends are often born. Find out what happens by reading the book, which is my first published novel. 140 pages. Pocket paperback, fully designed by yours truly. The first orders come with free artwork, postcard-sized original paintings, each inspired by the band’s aesthetic.