Julian Davies’ sixth and most unusual novel, is a contemporary social satire closely based on Aldous Huxley’s first novel (from 1921), Crome Yellow. This playful response to another book is startlingly furthered by the text being surrounded by almost 400 drawings by Phil Day, whose hand-made books are collected by many state and university libraries, including The National Library of Australia. In this lively collaboration between words and pictures, the illustrations form a closely related parallel visual text that weave around and interact with the unfolding story. Set in multi-millionaire Mitchell Rimbush’s bush retreat, where artists and writers on the make gather with their wealthy admirers, conversation is the one constant prerequisite.
“Crow Mellow is a rare hybrid – not a ‘graphic novel’, but a truly collaborative composition between a novelist, Julian Davies, and a visual artist, Phil Day. Together they represent their mutual vision of the integrity of a society and its cultural forms being undermined by the pressures of advanced capitalism. This rare collaborative book is a welcome addition in Australian publishing: an alternative to the standard fare of home-grown social realism and imported postmodern imitation.” John Clanchy
Julian Davies’ previous novels have been shortlisted for many prizes: Revival House for the National Book Council Fiction Award and the Commonwealth Writers Best First Book, among others, The Beholder for the NSW Premiers Fiction Award, and The Boy for the Victorian Premiers Fiction Award. The Boy has been translated into French, Dutch and Turkish.
Phil Day has for over twenty years collaborated with other artists and writers making hand-made books. In 2011 he founded Mountain Browns Press in Melbourne, an umbrella under which he writes, illustrates and binds his own books.