|Cover art for The Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred #4 by Shaky Kane|
There's a story behind this cover. Although we have completed issues 1, 2 and 6 of the new Bulletproof Coffin series and have covers, some script and outlines for 3 and 5, we were stumped for issue 4. Each of these books is a standalone story...kind of... and there were a lot of stories we still wanted to tell, so in the end we came to a decision to do all of them...kind of...
For reasons I can't go into here, The Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred will have a guest editor - none other than the sometime collaborator with Kane and Hine, Destroyovski! Painter, cartoonist, poet, film-maker, propagandist and performance artist, Destroyovski was a friend of many of the great innovative artists of the last half of the 20th Century - Stan Brakhage, Allen Ginsberg, Joe Orton and Kenneth Williams among others. Above all, his relationship with Brion Gysin and William Buroughs had a huge influence on Kane and Hine. After they met, Kane and Hine became fascinated by Gysin's 'cut-up' technique of non-linear narrative. Encouraged by Destroyovski, Kane and Hine produced a body of work previously unseen, and since disowned by Kane.
Destroyovski has been petitioning us for some time to resurrect some of this work, but both Shaky and myself have resisted on the grounds that its experimental nature makes it commercial suicide.
However, a couple of Sundays back, I was heading to the supermarket, when an inexplicable urge led me to take a detour in the direction of My Back Pages.
Imagine my surprise when, a little later, I was reading the review section of The Observer, and spotted an article: 'From the archive: 22nd November 1964' - a review of The Naked Lunch.
Coincidence enough, you might imagine, but take a gander at the photograph:
The author, cigarette hanging from his lips, is reaching for the matchbook to light up. This photograph was taken mere seconds before the one on the back of the paperback edition of Junkie! I felt a chill hand clutch at my heart. It was as if Bill Burroughs was reaching across the years to tell me something.
Within hours I was in touch with Destroyovski. We had to do the cut-up issue! Persuading Shaky was another matter. Suffice it to say that Destroyovski is in possession of certain materials pertaining to a weekend in Tangier that Shaky would prefer never sees the light of day. After a tantalizing piece in this weekends British Press, Shaky finally knuckled under and began working on the artwork you see at the head of this page.
Commercial suicide it may be, but when has that stopped us before?