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Review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: An Art Book

The second collaboration between the award-winning graphic artist and the music icon


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: An Art book is the second collaboration between the band and the award-winning graphic novelist Reinhard Kleist. Their first, Nick Cave: Mercy on Me, is an unconventional biography, his journey to become the novelist, poet, and actor he is today through expressive portraits rather than extended prose. Nick Cave himself called it “a complex, chilling and completely bizarre journey into Cave World.”

This second entry delves into the band’s live performances, writing and recording. Each turn of the page brings more visual delights in a kaleidoscopic fashion, with the spectrum of colours evoking memories and emotions of his songs and concerts.

The range of artistic style causes the book to be enchanting from the first page to the last from brush pen sketches to full-colour portraits, to re-imaginings of the band’s songs in comic book fashion. The last of those is perhaps what sets this book apart from other art books with the songs ‘Deanna’, ‘The Good Son’, and ‘Stagger Lee’ depicted, all set in a gorgeous imaginative world.

This LP-sized art book is a beautifully designed and produced portrait of Nick Cave’s wide-ranging career that would appeal to those with interests in graphic novels, music and Nick Cave specifically. The graphic designer behind the book, Reinhard Kleist has also created other books similar to this including artists such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds go on tour later this year and will be performing in London on Sunday 3rd June.