Comic, Miles Davitt (editor), 38 Pages, milesdavitt.bigcartel.com, $15 (NZD)
Delightful Garden, edited by Miles Davitt, is an anthology consisting of 19 pieces inspired by Hieronymous Bosch’s delirious triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”
The range of work in Delightful Garden spans from the cartoonish to the deeply abstract. Each artist is given a two-page spread and makes full use of their canvas, be that with scant line drawings, or through lush and colourful reinterpretations of figures from Bosch’s original tapestry. The number of lines drawn in Harrison Wyrick’s pages, which open Delightful Garden, could almost be counted on your hands, while pieces like Fergus Nm’s invite rotating the zine 90 degrees like navigating a road map. Elsewhere, Liam Coppedge’s pointillist spread bewilders with the amount of work involved.
Josh Taylor’s interpretation of the iconic “Tree Man” from the painting wows with its rough expressiveness. Likewise, the pieces from Angelica Blevins and Ceridwen Lorelei boast an impressive amount of colour and liveliness, really nailing it with their approximation of Bosch’s rich vibrancy. Kate Dunn’s piece, “Garden of Jennifer Coolidge,” in which images of the actress are laid about the actual painting, doesn’t tickle me especially, but it’s a nice bit of levity.
If I must nitpick, the table of contents in Delightful Garden is a little lacking. The pages aren’t numbered or consistent. I ultimately found it easier to consult Davitt’s Instagram for attribution as to who was who contributed which. Regardless, Delightful Garden is a heavenly sight. Prior to this, I hadn’t been exposed to any of these artists, and it’s a rare treat to have an anthology give you so many artists to go and learn more about.
Note: As one of our 2022 Zine Awards finalists, Delightful Garden is available on the Broken Pencil Zine Store!