I’ve supported lots of Kickstarter type projects, but this one might be the most important one yet. It’s not through Kickstarter, but through a UK site that is similar (and you can place bids from the US, as well) called indiegogo.com. It works the same way Kickstarter does, but let’s not worry about that for a second, let’s just spread the word about this book.
There is a man named Al Davison, who is a remarkable comic book artist. He’s worked on things like Doctor Who, Hellblazer, and House Of Mystery, among other things. He’s a terrific artist, I love his work.
There’s more to the story. Al was born with a severe case of Spina Bifida. It’s caused a life of physical problems for him, including paralysis, and he is confined to a wheelchair. He survived twenty-one operations by the time he was eight years old. His father tried to murder him five times. This was his life.
Now, here is where Al is more kickass than anyone you know.
Not only has he become a tremendous and respected comic book artist, Al has, wheelchair and all, become a first degree black belt in Karate and a fifth degree black sash in gung fu. He makes films. He has a lovely wife and does the convention circuit in the UK, doing sketches and teaching drawing. Just a tremendous gentleman in all ways.
When Al heard about Batgirl’s new status quo, he offered to help explain martial arts for the movement disabled, and what Barbara would experience as she regained her mobility. Both his scholarly and personal notes on this subject are a big part of what is coming up in that book, as he had experienced some of those exact issues, of muscle memory and center of gravity.
At the convention in London, he showed me a book he is working on that I want to see published more than almost any such project I have ever come across. The book is called the Alchemist’s Easel.
I can barely describe what this book is like, but I’ll try.
In 1988, Al woke up completely blind. I can only imagine what an experience that must have been for an artist. Not only was he blind, he found he was losing his visual sense, he forgot what his family and friends looked like, even simple shapes started to elude him.
This happened twice that year, for a period of three months, each time. This book is a beautiful, disturbing, powerful, and heart-rending chronicle of that experience, that not only tells Al’s story, but makes you FEEL like you experienced it as well. It includes art he drew while blind, and new art to encapsulate those troubling times in his life.
I will just say this, I have never experienced a portfolio of someone’s book that affected me so strongly. In the middle of a busy convention, with people all around and me behind schedule, I couldn’t stop looking at it. It’s nightmarish and moving and inspiring. It feels like the pages are reaching up to grab you. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen.
I want this book to be published. YOU want this book to be published. It’s something special, you will want it in your home.
I’m not as articulate about this as Al himself. But please, go take a look.
Here’s his auction…the amount he is trying to raise is very modest indeed, just $3500. For as little as fifteen dollars, you can get an original inked sketch.
Please go look. I think this is a book that needs to be printed. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen in the genre.
For more about Al’s studio, including some gorgeous art, check out this site:
This is a very, very special project. I desperately want to see it succeed. So please take a look and consider bidding on one of the many wonderful perks (which are priced ridiculously inexpensively). This is a project you will be proud to support.