Al Davison: A.K.A. The Astral Gypsy is creating an exhibition for a live audience, to support the completion of his new graphic novel memoir Muscle Memory, via crowd-funding platform Patreon.
Founded in May 2013 and based in San Francisco, California, Patreon was created to enable fans to support and engage with the artists and creators they love. Empowering a new generation of creators, Patreon is bringing patronage back to the 21st century. A sort of subscription service for art lovers, Patreon is now one of the largest crowd funding platforms in the world.
This live event is designed to generate more patrons for Davison’s project. Painting live, Davison will also be telling stories of his life while the audience can bid for each work in a simultaneous live auction.
“Muscle Memory is a celebration of my survival, not only of severe Spina-Bifida,” says Al Davison, “but also a daily regime of physical child abuse by my father including five murder attempts by the time I was five years old.”
Davison’s first memoir, The Spiral Cage, catalogued his experiences growing up in the north-east of England and dealt with the prejudices towards his disability that he encountered. Volume Two focuses on his surviving abuse at the hands of his father, and how he developed an approach to life to cope with this and the violence he has encountered throughout his life.
Muscle Memory almost never got off the ground. Davison’s on-going health problems, and the need to take on commercial graphic novel work to survive, saw the book on hold for almost ten years. Then author and friend Neil Gaiman pointed him in the direction of Patreon, a crowd funding platform with a difference. Rather than funding specific short term projects like Kickstarter, Patreon goes back to the traditional idea of a patron of the arts, where patrons support the ongoing creative process itself, with no deadlines.
• Urban Coffee Co at Fargo Village, Coventry is hosting the live event Muscle Memory: The Instant Retrospective exhibition, on Saturday, 11th April from 5.30pm till 8.00pm. The completed exhibition will run for four weeks.
• Check out Al’s Patreon page here: www.patreon.com/astralgypsy
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.