German graphic designer and comic artist Reinhard Kleist has created a graphic biography of Nick Cave, published by SelfMadeHero. The book, titled Nick Cave: Mercy On Me draws elements from the musician’s life story as well as his music and writing, much like previous books focused on Johnny Cash I See in Darkness and Somali athlete Samia Yusef Omar An Olympic Dream.
Nick Cave gave Reinhard biographical information and creative advice for the book, and comments on the final result that Reinhard has “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”. He adds: “Closer to the truth than any biography, that’s for sure! But for the record, I never killed Elisa Day.”
In typical graphic novel style, the publication features dramatic hand-drawn imagery in panel comic format, starring Nick Cave and characters from his songs, all in black-and-white. It covers the musician’s childhood in Australia, his time fronting The Birthday Party, his time with The Bad Seeds and his battle with heroin.