In a sad example of morbid coincidence, as the world is still reeling from the passing of musical legend David Bowie, a new illustrated short story inspired by him is set to surface from the creative mind of comic legend Neil Gaiman with art by Final Fantasy’s Yoshitaka Amano. The story, entitled ‘The Thin White Duke’ named after one of Bowie’s many musical alter egos, was partially crafted for a Japanese magazine called ‘V’, but the finished product will be included in Gaiman’s soon to be released collection of short stories, ‘Trigger Warning’.
As Gaiman explained:
“It was written in two parts. I finished it for this book, but the first part was with artist Yoshitaka Amano, who was commissioned to do pictures for a magazine called V. His images were Bowie and (Bowie’s wife, the model) Iman as sci-fi characters. Then I was asked to write a story, so it became about Bowie and Iman in this future New York.”
Gaiman had previously requested that the depiction of Lucifer in his ‘The Sandman’ comic book be drawn to look like Bowie. And Gaiman and Amano had previously collaborated on ‘The Sandman: The Dream Hunters’ story.
It should be noted that Amano only illustrated the first part of ‘The Thin White Duke’ which was already published in ‘V’. Gaiman completed the rest of the story for ‘Trigger Warning’ without accompanying artwork.
“I never met David Bowie. After a while it almost became a game: I only had one hero left, and it was him. The nearest I came to it was meaning to send him a copy of Trigger Warning, with this story in it, and an apologetic note.
“It’s unabashedly fan fiction.”
Following are some examples of Amano’s artwork from the story:
Bowie transcended the musical genre. His art influenced visual arts, film and clearly comics as well. His music, spawned from the psychedelic 60s, embraced the science fiction and fantasy genres and clearly those efforts were appreciated by fellow creators who returned the favor by paying homage to him.
Sadly, Bowie will never receive that personalized copy of ‘Trigger Warning’. But Bowie fans can enjoy this heartfelt tribute from Gaiman and Amano on Gaiman’s website here.