In his debut graphic novel, Bicycle Day, Brooklyn illustrator Brian Blomerth takes us on a mind-bending journey recounting the events of 19 April 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 world's first-ever acid trip.
Combining the extraordinary true story of the discovery of LSD with the artist's own whimsically gritty and timeless comic style, the book offers a charming Technicolor adventure filled with painstakingly researched tidbits of information and the artist's signature hybrid dog and human characters narrating every page. Blomerth even teases references to diary entries from Hofmann, his colleagues, and family—which are accurate down to the chemist's lunches and preference for milk.
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.
In Bicycle Day, Blomerth guides us through the story of Hofmann's discovery, winding through time, with locations incorporating almost recognisable 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 children's books and illustrators like Richard Scarry and Carl Barks. Blomerth is fascinated by Scarry and Barks' imagined foreign lands, as illustrated in their children's books, that offer overly idyllic and strange locations. Through his illustrations, Blomerth considers these worlds of children's books and their link not only to the development of the psyche but its expansion as well.
Published by Anthology Editions, Brian Blomerth's Bicycle Day will be released in June.