Nick Cave: Mercy On Me
By Reinhard Kleist
Translated by Michael Waaler
Paperback, 280 pp, £14.99
Musician, novelist, poet, actor: Nick Cave is a Renaissance man. His wide-ranging artistic output, always uncompromising, hypnotic and intense, is defined by an extraordinary gift for storytelling.
Employing a cast of characters drawn from Cave's music and writing, Reinhard Kleist's graphic novel, Nick Cave: Mercy On Me, paints an expressive and enthralling portrait of a formidable artist and influencer. Kleist captures Cave's childhood in Australia; his early years fronting The Birthday Party; the sublime highs of his success with The Bad Seeds; and the struggles he encountered along the way to self-expression. Nick Cave: Mercy on Me, like Cave's songs, is by turns electrifying, sentimental, morbid and comic, but always engrossing.
Reinhard Kleist was born in 1970 near Cologne. After graduating from the School of Graphic Art and Design in Münster, he moved to Berlin, where he has lived and worked as a freelance comics artist and illustrator ever since. Kleist's books have been translated into many languages and have received several prizes. His graphic novel Johnny Cash: I See A Darkness won both Eisner and Harvey Awards, as well as receiving the Max und Moritz Prize for Best German-language Comic. With The Boxer, Kleist became the first cartoonist to receive the German Youth Literature Award. An Olympic Dream was serialised in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung before being published, with some revisions, as a graphic novel.
"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, 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."— Nick Cave
"Among many highlights are a full-page portrait of the teenage Nick sullenly determined to escape bourgeois conformity, and a superb evocation of the shock-haired exile typing his gothic novel in a Berlin garret just big enough to accommodate his wasted body, piles of papers, some booze and a gun. Kleist does equal justice to the older Cave – thin-haired, wrinkle-browed and strangely dignified."— The Guardian