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The Black Veil

Francis Lowe and the Gotham Fool

8 June 14 words: James Walker
Artist Francis Lowe discusses the techniques involved in creating a comic addressing mental illness

The Gotham Fool (1156 – 2014) is a character with roots in an old story that the Norman King John (who ruled England between 1156 and 1216) intended to travel through the Nottinghamshire village of Gotham to hunt. He expected the locals to not only build the public highway but to pay for it as well. Instead of doing as they were told they feigned insanity, as it was seen as contagious at the time. This included endeavouring to drown an eel in a pool of water; dragging carts upon the roof of a large barn, to shade the wood from the sun; tumbling their cheeses down a hill, that they might find their way to Nottingham for sale; and perhaps most famously, building a fence around a hedge so a cuckoo couldn't escape.
In the above video artist Francis Lowe discusses his collaboration with writer Adrian Reynolds for Dawn of the Unread and the techniques he used with panels and illustration to reflect the themes of mental illness explored in their chapter the Gotham Fool. 
Dawn of the Unread is available as a free download on the 8th of each month. It is an idea by James Walker to support libraries and encourage reading about local history. 

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