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|The Outlandish Art of Mahlon Blaine||One-Eyed Visionary|
|Mahlon’s Blaine’s Blooming Bally Bloody Book by Roland Trenary
I asked the publisher about the overlap or lack of overlap in the 100+ pictures by Blaine which appear in this latest book about the artist, whose career actually peaked around 1925-30, but who went on to do countless highly erotic pieces as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs novels right into the 1960s! Like Rockwell Kent and similar outspoken and eccentric artists, he went his own way and never looked back…
All this said, the real meat here is the novel itself, a part-fact, part-imagined look at the career of this amazing illustrator. I finished reading this just recently. It was fun and I enjoyed it (things can sit around my place waiting for me to finish reading them for years, so this is a good reflection on the contents).
This “unauthorized autobiography” based on Blaine’s notes, was written by Trenary, who owns the finest collection of Blaine original art and published work in private hands. This new book includes over 100 Blaine illustrations, over half of which were previously unpublished.
But…how much is fabrication, how much fact? I’m not sure quite how to describe this…was there any manuscript or autobiographical notes at all, or is this all based on facts that Trenary has made into stories, as Mahlon himself might have done? For instance, did Blaine really introduce Steinbeck to Woody Guthrie, and Woody to Dylan? Here is Trenary’s answer to my question: