Preview of video for Heresy’s musical adaptation of “Prufrock” featuring images from my comic

Heresy is a New York-based progressive rock band that has been playing together since the 70s. A few months ago they released Prufrock, their first album since 1989, which includes a 16-song suite setting to music “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot. Now they are preparing an epic, 40-plus-minutes-long video to accompany the whole thing, containing numerous illustrations taken from my comics adaptation of the poem.

I just love what they have done with my drawings in this preview video, which accompanies the final song of the suite. It’s uncanny to me how the simple “wave” effect (starting at 1:55) really brings the drawings to life in a new way.

For more information on Heresy and on purchasing the Prufrock album, click here: http://www.heresy.rocks/

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White on Black Sketch #2 “Thinking of You” (Shuidiao Getou) – a poem by Su Shi

In honour of tonight’s full moon, a white-gouache-on-black-paper sketch inspired by a poem by the 11th-century Chinese poet Su Shi (also known as Su Tungpo). The poem is set to the traditional Chinese melody “Shuidiao Getou” (“thinking of you”). You can read an English translation of the full poem here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuidiao_Getou My drawing illustrates the following passage:

I’d like to ride the wind to fly home.
Yet I fear the crystal and jade mansions [of the Palace of the Moon]
are much too high and cold for me.
Dancing with my moonlit shadow,
It does not seem like the human world.

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White on Black Sketch #1

Fantasy landscape painted in white opaque watercolour on black paper. The composition and perspective are a little wonky because I started painting directly on the blank page (or rather black void), inventing the scene as I went along.

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Massacre at Saint-Joachim

Throughout their siege of Quebec City in the summer of 1759, the British went about systematically raiding and destroying the French settlements both upriver and downriver from the capital of New France. During one such raid on the village of Saint-Joachim on August 23, a detachment of British light infantry, American Rangers and Scottish Highlanders clashed with a group of French-Canadian habitants led by their parish priest, the 52-year-old Abbé Philippe-René Robinau de Portneuf. There are contradictory reports on what happened next, but it appears that a group of habitants, including Abbé Portneuf, were made prisoner by the British and then murdered and scalped. The number of victims is unclear, but a monument in Saint-Joachim commemorates seven dead, in addition to Portneuf. The monument also provides the ages of four of them: 48, 61, 64 and 69 years. Presumably their younger neighbours had been posted to the defense of the city of Quebec.

These pencil illustrations of the events of August 23 are extracted from the first draft of my ongoing graphic novel project recounting the siege of Quebec City and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.saintjoachim12saintjoachim23saintjoachim33

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Leonard Cohen in The Tower of Song

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Translation of a Montreal song from 1709

jean-bergerBack in 2012, I created a comic based on the lyrics of a song written in 1709 by the Montreal painter, money forger, and jailbird Jean Berger (1681-?). Jean Berger was suspected of being involved in the beating of Saint-Olive, the town apothecary, and of providing the two accused assailants with clubs and disguises. Contrary to what is affirmed in this song, which Berger wrote to mock the judicial authorities for their handling of the case, the two assailants were eventually discovered and put in prison, while Berger was condemned to be pilloried in the town square for the very act of penning the defamatory ditty. However, Berger managed to break out of his jail cell before the sentence could be carried out, and he escaped to the English colonies to the south. As for the two assailants, they also made their escape from the town’s evidently very porous prison, and slipped town in a peasant’s cart while disguised as women.

The comic appeared in a show of art inspired by Berger that was held at Concordia University’s FOFA Gallery. It is being republished today in the newsletter of Winning Writers, an online resource for poets and writers, along with my English translation of the poem, which appears below. This translation was made very quickly, and there are a few archaic French words whose meaning I had to take a guess at, but it should at least elucidate the meaning of my illustration for English readers.

Jean Berger’s Song

Gather round, young and old,
People of Ville-Marie [Montreal],
We shall now recite
This pretty song
Which we have written in this tone
The better to entertain you.

On St. Matthias’ Day,
The unfortunate Saint-Olive,
While passing in front of the hospital, ran into
Two unknown ruffians
Each of whom, with his club,
Set him dancing very much in spite of himself.

At each blow he received
This monstrous fellow
Cried out, “Messieurs, spare me
For it is very cold
And I beg your pardon,
Messieurs, have mercy on me.” Continue reading

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Interview with Arjun Chaudhuri for Teksto.in

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Teksto.in is a new online news, information, and entertainment magazine published weekly out of Assam, India. Today’s issue features an online interview that I gave to Arjun Chaudhuri, a Teksto.in patron and an Assistant Professor of English at Gurucharan College, Silchar.

You can read the interview here:

http://www.teksto.in/article-a-week-with-julian-peters.php

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