Normal History Vol. 730: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 40-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Pirates. Nope, not really my thing. Perhaps that’s what makes this book so intriguing. It’s a sneak attack into territory I’d written off as outlaw dealings on the high seas replete with eye patches and peg legs.

Revealing interpersonal dynamics within well-integrated social constructs is a compelling way to study humanism. One could examine the lives of circus acrobats, street-food vendors in Thailand or, indeed, touring bands playing regional circuits of small venues in the 1990s. In the case of pirates, David Lester’s new graphic novel, Under The Banner Of King Death: Pirates Of The Atlantic, illuminates the radical nature of sailors who banded together to address injustices. I had no idea things were not as black and white as they seem.

“His Own Madness” from The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006) (download):