Brian Blomerth is a skilled author and illustrator of amazing comics. Read this blog post to learn about Blomerth’s mushroom-inspired books as well as the Book Challenge for our listeners!
- Valentina Wasson's influence on Gordon and ultimately catalyzing their trek to Mexico shaped our culture today
- Brian's workflow as an illustrator and the finer things he considers for creating
- How Brian conducted research for an underrepresented story
- Hidden gems to look for in Brian Blomerth’s Mycelium Wassonii
Meeting Brian Blomerth
“[Blomerth’s book has] the most beautiful illustrations. [It’s a] quick read, but so jam-packed with information both visually and intellectually. [It] was such an honor to read and bring him on the show.”
— Lera Niemackl
Today’s guest is an artist, which is very rare for the Mushroom Revival podcast.
Brian Blomerth is an illustrator and author of super cool entheogen-inspired books. He is very skilled at “conveying emotion and… [using] simple line drawings” to create his amazing works. His books are trippy, easy to read, yet filled with details from all the dense research he puts into his comics.
In this blog post, we’ll briefly cover two of Blomerth’s comics based on influential mycology couples. Check out the Podcast Show Notes to find out where you can get the books. Then, in the end, we have the Mushroom Revival’s Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day Mycologist Book Challenge where you can win any Mushroom Revival product for free — see the details below!
About Brian Blomerth’s Mycelium Wassonii
“It might seem that by now we had exhausted the erotic imagery of the fungal world, wherein fire, mucus, noses, candles, and mushrooms dance together in a throbbing surrealist fandango, the whole obscene performance conducted inside the uterine envelope of the primeval gamba. But not so. We have yet to speak of truffles.”
— MUSHROOMS RUSSIA AND HISTORY by BY VALENTINA PAVLOVNA WASSON AND R.GORDON WASSON (4)
In his latest comic book, Brian Blomerth’s Mycelium Wassonii, Blomerth writes and illustrates a story about Gordon and Valentino Wasson. So, the Wasson’s are a couple that spent many years making moves in the mycology field. Blomerth put a lot of time into researching their pioneering journey. The couple’s influential roles involved bringing mushroom culture, mushroom foraging, and psilocybin to the West.
Specifically, the book explores the couple’s journey in Huautla de Jiménez, Mexico. There they met Maria Sabina, “a Mazatec curandera, shaman, and poet” as well as other curanderas (9). Well, Sabina conducted psilocybin mushroom ceremonies called veladas. After the couple’s experiences, they brought psychedelic mushrooms back to the United States. This ultimately began mushroom culture in the country.
Blomerth covers their beautiful story in the captivating pages of his comic book, Brian Blomerth’s Mycelium Wassonii. He tells a lot of the crazy stories that Gordon and Valentino Wasson went through traveling to Mexico, returning to the States, and more. As you can see in the sample page picture above, the book is eclectic and wonderfully made. Plus, there are 226 pages!
“Comics are like cartooning… [You take] a story that you feel is important and make it as simple as possible and convey the information as simply as possible.”
— Brian Blomerth
Bicycle Day by Brian Blomerth
Next, his first book, Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day, is also about a psychedelic pioneering couple. He tells about Albert Hofmann’s Bicycle Day experience as well as the role his wife, Anita Hofmann, played in supporting him through it. Note that “Bicycle Day” is the first day that acid was taken by Albert Hoffman. In essence, the comic covers a part of his life when Albert had a panic attack on LSD and his wife had to rescue him.
Moreover, Dennis McKenna, a legendary ethnopharmacologist, wrote the foreword to the book. To learn more about McKenna, check out the Mushroom Revival Podcast show, “Psychedelic Symbiosis with Dennis McKenna.”
At the time of creating the comic, McKenna suggested that Blomerth write a book about the Wasson couple. Blomerth took the words of wisdom and completed Brian Blomerth’s Mycelium Wassonii which was first mentioned above. The artist has an amazing drive! Overall, Blomerth’s work shadows amazing influencers in mycology in-depth with a unique niche focus on couples in the psychedelic field.
For even more comics created by Blomerth, check out his website — www.brianblomerth.com. What’s more, Blomerth’s website is such a colorful place. You’ll find titles such as “The Small Dog Other” and “The Book of Worzil” which also display his artistic style of dog people characters among other books. Definitely listen to the podcast to learn more about why he draws dog characters and where he gets inspiration. Moreover, you can shop rad merchandise such as trippy apparel on his site too.
Mushroom Revival’s Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day Mycologist Book Challenge
Lastly, Mushroom Revival decided to create a Mycologist Book Challenge with a Blomerth comic!
Here’s the challenge: After purchasing a copy of Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day, inoculate it on the special dot spot that’s located on the last page, then get a mushroom to fruit.
Listen to the podcast starting at 19:58 for more information on where the spot is.
If you get a mushroom to fruit — take a picture and post it on Instagram. Remember to tag @mushroomrevival and @pupsintrouble. Then you’ll get any free Mushroom Revival product you want!
In the end, we encourage you to listen to the podcast to learn more about Brian Blomerth and his work. To support Brian Blomerth’s work, visit the first three links listed below in the Podcast Show Notes. His books make excellent gifts for mycophiles, mycologists, or anyone interested in wonderfully illustrated and simply knowledgeable comics. Mush love!
Podcast Show Notes & Works Cited
- Buy: Brian Blomerth’s Mycelium Wassonii by Brian Blomerth: https://shop.mexicansummer.com/product/brian-blomerth-mycelium-wassonii/
- Buy: Bicycle Day by Brian Blomerth. https://www.printedmatter.org/catalog/53650/
- Brian's Website: https://www.brianblomerth.com/
- PDF Book: MUSHROOMS RUSSIA AND HISTORY BY VALENTINA PAVLOVNA WASSON AND R.GORDON WASSON. https://www.newalexandria.org/archive/MUSHROOMS+RUSSIA+AND+HISTORY+Volume+1.pdf
- Buy: MUSHROOMS RUSSIA AND HISTORY BY VALENTINA PAVLOVNA WASSON AND R.GORDON WASSON. https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/8683958-mushrooms-russia-and-history
- Book: Sacred Mushroom Seeker: Tributes to R. Gordon Wasson by Thomas J. Riedlinger (editor) and Terence McKenna. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/224897.Sacred_Mushroom_Seeker
- Harper’s Magazine Article: “Blood Spore.” https://harpers.org/archive/2013/07/blood-spore/
- Revival Podcast: "Psychedelic Symbiosis with Dennis McKenna." https://www.mushroomrevival.com/blogs/podcast/psychedelic-symbiosis-with-dennis-mckenna?_pos=1&_sid=7f309bd2e&_ss=r
Maria Sabina: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar%C3%ADa_Sabina