September 6, 2012



Tyranny of the Muse Issue 1 is the first in the series adapting Eddie Wright's novella Broken Bulbs. The premise of the story is that there's this washed up writer who meets his muse and is able to write again. The twist on this trope in Tyranny of the Muse, though, is that the writer's muse inspires him by “injecting seeds of inspiration directly into his brain through a festering wound”.

It's all kinds of nasty.

There is a filth to this book, reminiscent of a William S. Burroughs story or a David Cronenberg film (or a David Cronenberg film of a WilliamS. Burroughs story), and the narrative is fractured and plaintive. There is so much to push a reader away in these fifty some pages, yet I found myself propelled through, unable to put the book down.

This is a story of an inspiration junky, hooked on what Rob Brezny calls Acute Fluency, where the creator is fully immersed in a trance of inspiration to the point where time itself loses relevancy. Any creative person who has ever found him or herself in this state knows it for what it is and knows it potency. It is an endorphin high. It's Barton Fink dancing at the USO yelling, “I am a creator!” And it's addictive.

So is Tyranny of the Muse. What Wright and Balmer have done here is akin to genius. They turn creativity into destruction, the muse into the dealer, and provide, perhaps, a cautionary tale to artists who feel bereft of inspiration. The art and the words in this book combine perfectly to get you all strung out and keep you reading. This is a thick book, dense with all that filth that overwhelms you when you just can't find the words or colors or moves or your fix. Then you score, only to find yourself at the end of the high wanting more and more and more.

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