Artist Al Davison, best known for his work on comics like The Unwritten, Hellblazer and The Spiral Cage, has set up a Patreon campaign this week to support his new project. Called ‘Muscle Memory’, this story is a follow-up to the autobiographical The Spiral Cage, the book which first made his name. You may have seen the project mentioned on Twitter, as he has been extensively promoting it and sharing it with fellow creators. As of today, he has only had two backers. Let’s change that.


A frequent presence at conventions over the years, Davison has been a ubiquitous and engaging presence for comics in the United Kingdom and abroad. The Spiral Cage was one of his first pieces of work, in which he wrote and drew his experiences of growing up with Spina-Bifida, a birth condition which he says was expected to kill him – and yet decades later, after over twenty-five years of making comics, he’s still going.

Having made a name for himself on a series of one-off issues of Vertigo projects like Hellblazer, House of Mystery, The Unwritten and others, he’s spent most of his time working under the alias ‘The Astral Gypsy’. Last year he released ‘The Alchemist’s Easel’, billed as being a guide to drawing the unconscious.


Muscle Memory has been a long-awaited follow up from Davison, as he talks in further depth on his life and childhood – looking at his childhood attempts to deal with disability, as well as accounts of abuse he received from his father.

I want to make it clear that this is not a story of victimization, but a story of survival and of winning against the odds. Their will inevitably be distressing scenes throughout the series, but it is also an optimistic and often funny look at my life, because that’s how I am.

One of the great talents of comics, Davison deserves as much support as the industry can offer. Please go take a look at his Patreon today.


  1. Either I am a bit confused about this system, or a backer would give a minimum of $1 per page – which comes down to $400 for the completed work, which is rather a lot of money, and not as easy a decision for people to take as a Kickstarter campaign.
    That said, Davison’s previous book (The Alchemist’s Easel) ran on Indigogo, and had severe difficulties reaching its goal. We’d hoped that it would be easily funded, as Spiral Cage is an impressive work, but apparently the name “Davison” doesn’t get the punters in like the name “Gaiman” does, while I doubt whether Neilmanda really needed Kickstarter to fund their tour of art&whimsy (but there’s sour grapes; let’s go back to Al)…
    We’re now trying to follow back the track of the Alchemist’s Easel project, as we didn’t get anything at all for the $30 that was taken out of our PayPal account (we should really look into that!)… I think that too many people have had bad experiences with crowd sourcing, and are getting turned off it.

  2. Your concern about total costs is addressed in the blurb for the project on Patreon:

    “Even though this is a pay by page/picture campaign, fear not! you can ‘cap’ your monthly total, just in case I go crazy and start producing 10 pages a week. ”

    Hope that helps

    (no connection to the project, just passin’ through)

  3. Everyone who contributed to the Indigogo campaign, should have recieved a copy of the Hardback book, or if you paid for the tpb which wasn’t funded, artwork to the value of your contribution, those that contacted us saying they didn’t receive their package, were sent it out again, if you don’t let us know, we don’t know you didn’t get it, ‘Remco, contact me on [email protected], and we will sort something out.

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