Comic Review: The Poet and the Flea Vol 1

Writer and illustrator G. E. Gallas has released the collected Volume 1 of The Poet and the Flea, a dramatic reimagining of events in the life of William Blake. The […]

Writer and illustrator G. E. Gallas has released the collected Volume 1 of The Poet and the Flea, a dramatic reimagining of events in the life of William Blake.

The story is about the poet/painter William Blake, and is set in England in 1790. William, distraught at his brother Robert’s death, is grieving. William’s wife, Catherine tries to comfort him, to no avail. And there’s the visitation by The Ghost of a Flea. But this is no ordinary “ghost of a flea”, rather this ghost is intent on meddling in William’s life!

In a recent Fanboy Factor interview conducted with G. E. Gallas by Anthony Andjujar Jr, (https://fanboyfactor.com/2022/05/g-e-gallas-the-poet-and-the-flea-q-a/), Gallas describes how she was inspired by a William Blake painting of the same name. Gallas also conducted a lot of research into Blake, to ensure accuracy of setting and historical context.

It’s a fascinating read. Gallas hand draws her story and adds letters and black and white halftone to the line art. It’s an appropriate manner of presenting the story, and allows the reader to imagine themselves travelling back in time to the late 1700s. The panels are large and filled with characters in full period dress, residing in accurately described surroundings. Dialogue is delivered in big word balloons, with flowing script and expressively gestured hand lettering.

I enjoyed the dramatic developments, the mysterious and ominous tone that Gallas has achieved in these chapters. There is such a feeling of melancholy, but it’s mixed with hints of inspired madness, obsession and drama. Visualize the Christmas classic story, A Christmas Carol, where author Charles Dickens writes about Scrooge being visited by his late business partner. Spooky, atmospheric and transfixing to today’s audience. 

You can purchase the 95 page pdf of Volume 1 from Gallas’s website (https://www.gegallas.com/p/the-poet-and-the-flea-vol-1-digital/) for $10, or a paperback copy for $20. Or visit her Tapas page (https://tapas.io/series/ThePoetandtheFlea/info) or Patreon page to sign up (https://www.patreon.com/gegallas)

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!