I came upon Henry Darger via Grayson Perry, who mentioned him in his final Reith lecture. Darger was an “outsider artist” – a janitor who lived in a one-roomed apartment in Chicago, and who wrote (amongst other things) a 15,000 page novel, rather marvelously called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. To illustrate the story he created hundreds of illustrations composed of collage, tracings, and painting.
More of images of Darger’s art can be found here.
A documentary on his life. (Quite long – 80 mins, and I found the little girl narrator’s voice a little irritating after a while, but it is worth a watch).
About the novel.