Reinhard Kleist, the German graphic designer and cartoonist with an extraordinary ability to tell stories, set about reliving the creative life of Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave.
“Musician, novelist, poet, actor: Nick Cave is a Renaissance man,” the book’s synopsis reads. “His wide-ranging artistic output—always uncompromising, hypnotic, and intense—is defined by an extraordinary gift for storytelling,” it proceeds.
In Nick Cave: Mercy on Me, Reinhard Kleist employs a cast of characters drawn from Cave’s music and writing to tell the story of a formidable artist and influencer.
The artist, Kleist, was determined to paint what he described as “an expressive and enthralling portrait of Cave” which includes the singer’s childhood in Australia, his early years fronting The Birthday Party, the success with The Bad Seeds, and “the crippling lows of his battle with heroin.”
Cave himself has been drawn to the work of Kleist, saying that “Reinhard Kleist, master graphic novelist, and myth-maker has – yet again – blown apart the conventions of the graphic novel by concocting a terrifying conflation of Cave songs,” he said about the book.
“Biographical half-truths and complete fabulations and creating a complex, chilling and completely bizarre journey into Cave World. Closer to the truth than any biography, that’s for sure! But for the record, I never killed Elisa Day,” he added.
Here, we take a little look inside the book: