Happy Birthday To LSD: "Brian Blomerth's Bicycle Day" Will Feature A Foreword by Dennis McKenna
Brooklyn-based illustrator and cartoonist Brian Blomerth will release his first graphic novel, Brian Blomerths Bicycle Day, this June. Renowned for combining classic underground art styles with irreverent witty visuals, Blomerth has developed a cult following for his zines, comics, band posters and album covers. This new book, published by Anthology Editions, will be released with a foreword from the American ethnopharmacologist and author Dennis McKenna.
Brian Blomerths Bicycle Day is the artists most ambitious work to date: a historical account of the events of April 19, 1943, when Swiss "mystic chemist" Albert Hofmann intentionally ingested an experimental dose of the new compound known as ‘lysergic acid diethylamide and embarked on the worlds first ever acid trip. Combining the extraordinary true story of the discovery of LSD with the artists own whimsically gritty and timeless comic style, the book offers a charming, Technicolor adventure filled with painstakingly-researched tidbits of information, and the artists signature dog/human hybrid characters narrating every page. Blomerth even teases references to diary entries from the mystic chemist, his colleagues, and family—which are accurate down to Hofmanns lunches and preference for milk.
Blomerth guides viewers through the story of Hofmanns discovery, winding through time, with locations incorporating almost recognizable Disney-like characters in collage, digital overlays and hand-drawn pen on paper. His work is evocative of manga artist Suihō Tagawa, drawing inspiration from half-forgotten childrens books and illustrators like Richard Scarry and Carl Barks. Blomerth is fascinated by Scarry and Barks imagined foreign lands, as illustrated in their childrens books, that offer overly idyllic and strange locations. Through his illustrations, Blomerth considers these worlds of childrens books and their link not only to the development of the psyche, but its expansion as well.
Brian Blomerths Bicycle Day has 200 pages of pen on paper illustration with digital coloration, neon Pantones, and spot coloring. Recalling the feel of a vintage paperback, the book is arranged into simplistic spreads with limited dialogue panels—per Blomerth, it as much an "experimental childrens book" as it is a graphic novel. Published by Anthology Editions, Brian Blomerths Bicycle Day is slated for release June 25, 2019. Launch events currently anticipated in New York.
Brian Blomerth is an illustrator, cartoonist and musician based in Brooklyn. His previous publications—released via Anthology Editions, Tan & Loose, and through his own Pupsintrouble Press—include the zines Xaks Wax, iPhone 64: A Users Guide, and Hypermaze. A veteran of the underground music and arts scene whose work has graced numerous album covers, Blomerth also produces comics which appear weekly in Vice and Merry Jane.
Dennis McKenna (Introduction) is a renowned ethnopharmacologist and author. Since the 1970s, he has been a leading thinker on and advocate for the study and responsible use of psychedelics. Along with his brother Terence, McKenna co-authored 1975s The Invisible Landscape, perhaps the seminal text on hallucinogenic drugs. A founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute and an advisor and lecturer for numerous other scientific organizations, McKenna has been an authoritative voice on plant hallucinogens for more than four decades. His most recent book The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss, a memoir of his journeys with his late brother, was published in 2012. He lives in British Columbia.