Tom Neely: Birds of Death
A Graphic Novel on Walls
(And the Ass Saw the Angel)
September 1 – October 21, 2017
And the crows
they still wing
only closer now
closer to me.
These sly corbies
are birds of death.
They’ve shadowed me
all mah life.
– Nick Cave
Tom Neely is an artist living in Los Angeles. He is best known for the cult-hit indie comic book Henry & Glenn Forever, which he created with his artist collective The Igloo Tornado. He has a BFA in Art/Education from the University of Tulsa, and an MFA in painting from the Art Institute, San Francisco.
Neely’s art has been featured in galleries in California and New York, in magazines, literary journals and on album covers for bands like Isis, Melvins, Groovie Ghoulies and Green Day. His debut graphic novel, The Blot, earned him an Ignatz Award and made it onto several of the industry’s Best of 2007 lists as well as The Comics Journal’s Best Graphic Novels of the decade.
Neely created artwork for three stories in the Roger Langridge scripted Popeye series for IDW, as well as a handful of comics for Phineas and Ferb Magazine. He authored the Melvins comic book Your Disease Spread Quick and a collection of comic strip poems called Brilliantly Ham-Fisted, before completing his second graphic novel The Wolf.
The story of Henry & Glenn continues in the collected Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever, including over 50 artists curated by Neely and is currently selling out everywhere. He recently wrapped up the 11 issue cult-hit Image Comics mini-series, The Humans, as artist and co-creator with writer Keenan Marshall Keller.
Birds of Death is an adaptation of And the Ass Saw the Angel by musician and multi-media artist Nick Cave. Tom Neely was approached to produce a graphic novel based on the author’s acclaimed debut novel, which was planned for release in coordination with The Bad Seeds current tour and the tenth anniversary of the unexpurgated edition of the book. The project was aborted when the artist discovered that the rights to the property were not properly secured, and therefore his adaptation was unauthorized. In it’s 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.
As the project was never published, this exhibition is the the first and last presentation of the work.
The pages are hung in the proper publication order.
Neely is currently working on his next graphic novel, The Devil.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Blot – 10 Year Anniversary
Tom Neely’s first graphic novel was published in July of 2007. In this first full length novel, Neely blended his love of surrealism and fine artists such as Rene Magritte and Philip Guston with his appreciation for early comic strips of the 1930s-40s like Popeye and Krazy Kat, to tell a story that plays out like silent movie of Buster Keaton having an existentialist nightmare! The critically acclaimed book went on to earn the artist the prestigious indie comics Ignatz Award for “Promising New Talent” and landed on The Comics Journal’s “Best Graphic Novels of the Decade ’00 to ‘09.” It launched Neely’s career in comics and he continues to blaze new trails in the medium today and beyond. Ten years after the release of the book, this is the first time the artwork has been exhibited in a gallery and available for purchase.
All 190 pages of the book (including those not on display) are available for sale for $900 each. Double page spreads are $1600 each. We’ve got just under 20 on display in the current show, and the rest are available for viewing upon request and appointment.
Contact gallery director Matt Kennedy for more info: (323)547-3227 or email@example.com