LA-based artist Tom Neely was halfway through adapting Nick Cave’s first book, And the Ass Saw the Angel, into a graphic novel when the project had to be abandoned due to issues with securing the rights to the IP.
So what do you do with a year’s worth of hard work and creative expression that’s lost its legs? You give it new ones.
Check out Tom Neely’s hauntingly stark comic adaption of Nick Cave’s first novel, which was abandoned a year into its creation.
All throughout September, Gallery 30 South in Los Angeles presented the works from the abandoned project in an exhibition called Tom Neely: Birds of Death – A Graphic Novel on Walls.
A statement explains what happened with the project:
“The project was aborted when the artist discovered that the rights to the property were not properly secured, and therefore his adaptation was unauthorised. In its current state, these illustrations represent nearly a year of creative process; lacking any accompanying text allows an abstract interpretation of not just Cave’s prose, but of Neely’s disappointment in the circumstances surrounding the project.”
Despite being essentially incomplete, the illustrations wonderfully capture the darkness that seeps throughout And the Ass Saw the Angel, which was written by Cave while he was living in a loft space in Berlin during the mid-late 80s.
Neely is known for his indie comic Henry & Glenn Forever, which imagined punk heroes Henry Rollings (Black Flag) and Glenn Danzig (the Misfits) as a gay couple, plus magazine illustrations, and album covers for bands like Melvins and Green Day.
Check out the Birds of Death series below.