Swimini Purpose: Life in Pictures - Artist's Proof Edition - Inscribed



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"The Collected Works of Brendan McCarthy" "Artist's Proof Edition 2004" and "Not For Sale." It is reported that 100 copies were printed. This copy was given to a fellow British artist working in comics and film and inscribed to him: "Trevor, Best wishes Brendan McCarthy 04"

A Swimini Purpose "With compliments" bookmark is laid in.

A slightly altered "Artist's limited edition" of 500 copies was subsequently published in 2005.

In 2018, McCarthy called this the best collection of his comic art.

The 2000 AD Review by Richard Elson:

As we wander through this beautiful, pitiful life slowly suffocating beneath the weight of our own indifference, McCarthy sees beyond. He inhales the essence of experience and when he exhales, his breath is tinged with fire. Dear people, we are in the envious position of being witness to a body of work that is without equal. Nobody, anywhere, not now, not ever, does it quite like Brendan McCarthy.

Every page of Swimini Purpose, McCarthy's recently released illustrated biography, is a surrealist sermon. There is a suggestion of a career overview in the way the book is structured, but Swimini Purpose is about more than just chronology, the precious secrets of existence peer out at you from the light flecked eyes of these drawings. McCarthy delivers the tactile texture of the half dream. A hidden world between here and there, now and then. A world poised, half glimpsed, between sleep and waking.

McCarthy is one of (at most) a handful of people of genuine vision to have passed through the sphere of comics in the past fifty years. Whilst it is unfortunate that our own medium could not contain him for long, we should not feel too bitter, it is clear from his meandering career that no other medium could. And his more recent TV, video and film work has yet to deliver an undiluted McCarthy masterpiece to equal his comics career highs: Strange Days, Paradax and Rogan Gosh. Still, his continued productivity in TV and cinema can only lead us to hope that eventually some insightful producer will have the courage to give McCarthy the opportunity to unleash his powerful vision, unfettered. I can only assume that a worldwide epiphany will ensue.

Frustratingly, too many of the fascinating projects presented in the pages of Swimini Purpose have never reached our screens or comic book shelves and McCarthy is never scared to show us his failures. Like all great artists, he knows that if he is to reach the peaks he needs to have no fear of falling from a great height. I should imagine that there was a lot of personal sacrifice and pain behind the attainment of such rarefied heights of creativity. Little of that is alluded to in the intermittent text pieces that McCarthy supplies to illuminate the work on show. Informative though these authorial interludes are, they are kept to a minimum. The art is allowed as much room as it needs to speak directly to its audience. And when it speaks, it whispers a wicked, fairy-tale promise.

We all have moments in life: vivid, electric moments of unusual clarity. Times when the world is talking directly to us and, for a fleeting moment, we understand it. They are the stuff that our sweetest memories are made of. These moments of peak experience may be few and far between in reality, but I promise that you will encounter more than a few of them within the pages of this great book. With scant respect for any existing deities McCarthy has reconstructed the world in his own image. A relentlessly improbable world. A place where the questions are so interesting that answers seem distant and irrelevant.

A word of warning: McCarthy's work is so overwhelmingly bloody good that it has the unintended side effect of making the viewer feel deeply inadequate. Having said that, if you can tear yourself away from the miraculous visions within its pages, your everyday life will be a richer experience for having undergone a tour of McCarthy's world. We are made of the stuff of stars and he never lets us forget it. And although we are all made of the same stuff, we are all unique. Brendan just happens to be a little more unique than the rest of us.

At present, there are only 500 copies of Swimini purpose out there. Do your soul a favour and get one of them. This is as near as most of us will ever come to seeing the world through the eyes of a genius. Thank you, sir.


Brendan McCarthy

Condition & Attributes

Near Fine (very light wear to corners and edges, spine unbroken and tight, interior Fine)
Reported print run of 100 copies



Publishing Information

Brendan McCarthy

Physical Description

10.25 inches
6.75 inches
approx. 240 pages
color illustrations
color wraps