Skip to main content

The Incantations of Daniel Johnston

March 6, 2017

A most unconventional biography for a most unconventional musician. Cursing ensues.

Some people think Scott McClanahan is a punk. Some people think he doesn't have chops—that he's a sort of country version of Bret Easton Ellis. If The Incantations of Daniel Johnston is any indication, he does, in fact, have chops. Incantations is a comic book biography of the titular singer songwriter. Johnston's life was chaotic and unconventional. He struggled a lot with mental illness. McClanahan is an unconventional author. So much so that this book is literally a spell to be cast on you if you read it. McClanahan equals warlock which is to say nothing of Ricardo Cavolo's art. Every page is a maximalist psychedelic Day of the Dead. Whoever decided writers should be listed first on comics was stupid. I wrote about the writer of this comic before writing about the artist so I guess that means... well, never mind. Even if you are not a fan Johnston's music, which I am not, The Incantations of Daniel Johnston will break your heart and weird you out. Serious chops.



Bryan is a librarian at Nashville Public Library. Bryan enjoys board games, bikes, and free software. His only star is Trek.