Anyone who saw my Wombat Friday picture last week will know that I ordered a rather special comic last week...
I met the author, Ulrik, through Facebook recently and learned of his brilliant artwork. A Muse's Burden was published a couple of weeks ago and is described by Ulrik as 'a graphic poem'. It concerns Jane Morris and weight of being an icon. She crosses time to inspire artists, and she exists to provide a living idea, a spark of brilliance for the men who need her, who love her.
Ulrik's comic is funny, beautiful, and incredibly touching. It makes you wonder about which Jane you think of, how much of her you take into yourself and what she must have thought about all the attention and adoration.
I also enjoyed the pages written by Margje Bijl, who you may remember from my post about her work. She explains how Jane is eternal, how through Jane, Margje expresses a specific art of mirrored consciousness, which also emphasises how contemporary Jane the Muse is.
The comic concludes with some of Ulrik's sketches and he explains his art and how he interprets the Pre-Raphaelite story, that famous love triangle, through his art. My favourite of all his pictures has to be of Jane leading a miniature Rossetti and William Morris on leads, it is brilliant. The touch where the tiny Rossetti is holding back Morris is glorious. Having read Jane's letters I think Ulrik catches that little glint in her eye, the self-depreciation coupled with an unknowable depth that is both the woman and the muse.
Jane Morris has become a multiple person; she is the girl from Oxford who swopped the stable for a red brick palace of love, she is the object of adoration with a tilted chin and the giant goddess with a direct stare. She is both herself and the reflection in her admirers eyes, and Ulrik has gone some way to explain and enjoy all of this.
I love his work and I'm sure you will too. To order 'A Muse's Burden' visit Windmill Comics if you live in Europe or the UK. Otherwise, contact either the Publishers (via the website) or Ulrik(via Facebook).