Book Club / Using Magic All Your Life

Promethea 1Promethea: Book 1
Written by Alan Moore
Art by J. H. Williams III

 

 

 

 


JOEL
Barbican Comic Forum
00000000 / Kraken

I like Alan Moore because he makes me think.

🤔

What does that mean?

Here’s an idea: maybe thinking is being digressive. Starting off from a certain point and then spinning away into the unknown – into something new…

Which I guess is what Promethea is all about. Or part of it anyway.

Seems like nowadays the point of things is to know exactly what you’re going to get before it starts. Totally get that I could be reading way too much into this but did you guys see the thing with the Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack? Like: originally they had the very cool Jóhann Jóhannsson doing the score (he did Denis Villeneuve’s last film Arrival and you know: just between you and me – I thought the soundtrack was the best part of that whole movie…). Anyway – he was down to do the music for the new Blade Runner film until – oops: he was let go and replaced with Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch with the only reason from Denis Villeneuve (so far) given as: “I needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis.”

I mean: hmmmm. Maybe I’m wrong? Maybe BR 2049 is like a crazy new sci-fi masterpiece – but I’m going to guess it’s not. And extrapolating from that “I needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis” quote I’m going to guess it’s yet another slice of “ooooh remember this? / remember this? / remember this?” nostalgia machine (would give you some examples here – but come on: you’re not dumb – pick your own examples)

But yeah: that’s what most people want. That’s what most people like. That’s what most people want to experience.

Not just the nostalgia thing – but the knowing what you’re gong to get thing. Neon sci-fi. Harrison Ford. And something close to Vangelis.

No digressions.

There’s a part of me that thinks that’s how most people’s minds work. You know: the comfortable. The stable. The known. Stick with the facts.

I think I’ve already admitted this in the past: but I started reading Alan Moore comics from quite a young age. He got his teeth into my mind when I was super impressionable. His thinking infected my thinking. Which I guess is why I always end up agreeing with everything he says or at least why it makes so much sense to me…

When I finished uni I got a job working in a mental health hospital library and had so much time to just mess around aimlessly on the internet… There used to be a website called something like Alan Moore Interviews that erm well – collected every single interview that Alan Moore ever did. And I spent a very cool month clicking every single link – because yeah – just in case you don’t know: Alan Moore is very good at doing interviews and taking a simple question and taking it for a walk around the houses, through the park and back again… “Did you know?” *tugs beard* “This reminds me of…” *tugs beard* “There’s an interesting story…” *tugs beard* etc

I read this article yesterday: Do Better: Sexual Violence in SFF. I mean you can go and read it yourself but it seems like the main gist is that sci-fi writers should try to do better than relying on scenes of sexual violence against women to shock or provoke or whatever. Because you know: it’s bad for all the reasons you already know…

But (oops) that’s not how I read it / understood it: instead I think it’s better to build it up as an argument against cliché: and as a positive affirmation of – well: if we want to do better and if we’re fed up of seeing the same old stories being retold and retold then we need to demand more from our stories / entertainment… And part of me thinks that comics like Promethea can help us do things like that – while the other part of me realises that (oops again) I’m playing with fire by mentioning sexual violence in the same space as Alan Moore (sorry).

Oops. Too much? Maybe we should go back to something closer to Vangelis…

Promethea is a very cool comic book. It doesn’t do what you expect. It moves. It changes. It digresses.

Art by J. H. Williams III. Words by Alan Moore.

What do you think?


TARI
Barbican Comic Forum

My first reaction after finishing Promethea was probably this:

Awe

I don’t remember why I picked it up at the time. Maybe the art appealed to me, but i certainly wasn’t any sort of Alan Moore super fan. I knew who he was but I had only ever attempted to read Watchmen prior to this, and I had seen a couple of the movie adaptations of his works, which I usually liked. Watchmen was my first midnight IMAX movie, and I liked it a lot despite being kinda different in spirit to the book. V for Vendetta was really interesting too. But I didn’t know much about Moore when I watched it so I was watching it more for the Wachowski sisters content after the Matrix (I guess they were the Wachowski brothers at the time).

Since then I’ve read a little of his Swamp Thing, I read V for Vendetta, finished Watchmen, and more recently read through the entirely of Miracleman in almost one sitting. So it’s probably time to admit that I am kinda a super fan of Alan Moore after all.

I think I resisted it it because I don’t really feel like praising individuals I don’t know personally for there work, cos it starts to sound like worship. And I’m saying every like of what he’s written is gold, but in terms of the ideas that he explores in his comics, I hadn’t come across another comic book creator/writer who delves into these ideas so vividly.

At university I was surrounded by arty types and found that I my long-held interest mythology and the occult paired really well with my growing interested in psychology and philosophy, and since it coincided with my growing interested in comics at the time, Promethea really encapsulated everything I was looking for at the time.

I guess I haven’t specifically mentioned anything about the book yet. Dunno if this is supposed to be a collective book review, but I’ll mention that I do love the art and J.H. Williams is not only my favourite (comic book) artist, but I think he’s the best due to his versatile art style and understanding of panel layouts that go beyond any other comic book I’ve ever read.

I would need to re-read the book to remember all of the plot details, but I remember the experience of reading it was like a gradually building exploration of some of the ideas and concepts I mentioned above. And it was refreshing to see the the POV character didn’t fall in to the familiar tropes of male lead fantasy stories that I was used to because it meant I couldn’t expect things to unfold how they usually do in some other things I read.

But I’ll finish for now and say this book justified and bolstered my interest in comic books and superheroes even though it isn’t traditionally what you would classify as a superhero comic book.

And I saw Blade Runner 2049. It’s getting a lot of his praise. Technically and visually it’s deserved for sure. But when that first film came out it wasn’t well received, because it wasn’t made for mainstream sensibilities I suppose. You need to be in to hard science fiction and noir and filmmaking to appreciate it. This new film is the same. Honestly don’t expect most people to like it. I know critics are praising it, but a part of me things it’s just cos they want to seem sophisticated. It deserves multiple viewing and discussion and dissection to really appreciate I think. Which is fine. Films and comics aren’t meant to be disposable pieces of media you watch once and forget about. It needs to linger and needs to be probed. Promethea maybe would have a similar effect on people.

Anyway those are my initial thoughts.


JOEL
Barbican Comic Forum
00000000 / Kraken

Do you believe in magic?

Like: my secret plan was for us to do all five books of Promethea in the same way we did all 10 of Sandman and all 6 of Scott Pilgrim. I’m not sure that every series is a good fit for that type of long-term analysis (a lot of books start off with one thing and then just keep doing that one thing with few minor variations…). But yeah one of the things I love about Promethea is how it twists and turns and reshapes itself as it goes along… (Which is actually something I think it shares with Lost now that I think about it…).

But well: as so far it seems like it’s just me and Tari it looks like this is my only chance to get my thoughts down about this lovely lovely book…. (Unless of course we have a last minute rush over these last few days… Fingers crossed!).

Small spoiler alert: as it goes along Promethea gets into the idea of magic quite a lot. Magical systems and maps of how the world fits together. It’s all very cool stuff and everytime I read it – it kinda blows my mind a little. Giving me this intoxicating sense of everything making sense and everything fitting together… It’s like going down a wiki-hole only instead of things getting wider it feels like everything coming together: do you know what I mean? (Like: maybe that’s something that’s achievable in real life or maybe it’s a trick that you only get with fiction or reading? I don’t know…)

When you’re a kid the idea of magic is something that you have to go out of. I mean: it’s all very cute and stuff when you’re seven years old or whatever and you believe that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden but if you’re still thinking the same thing when you’re an adult then something has gone seriously wrong – no?

I don’t know if this is Alan Moore’s influence (I mean – it obviously is) but the lately I’ve been coming back to the idea of the magic. And maybe I’m even becoming a believer again – maybe not so much with the fairies at the bottom of the garden: but more the way that comics, music, writing, films etc do their stuff…

At the risk of sounding like a crazy person: I guess it first started to hit me when as part of doing Outreach work I was going to a bunch of local schools and trying my best to extol books and reading and etc to halls full of sullen teenagers. Like: I was pretty enthusiastic for most of the time I was talking – but I got most excited when I got to the bit about how books are literally magic. You know: you take these 26 symbols and sprinkle in a few bit of punctuation and numbers and then in certain select orders and combinations you’ll have people and places appear inside your head: making you laugh and cry – get excited, feel things and experience all these things which are beyond the limits of your own mind and body (this would probably be the bit where I make a “mind blown” gesture).

 

Promethea

 

Being in a band I feel the same kind of magical thing: there’s just the four of us in a room with a bunch of music equipment – but if we write a song so that it’s just right: it changes the space around me. It changes how I feel and the shape and speed of my brain in ways that I can’t describe – I mean: we have us humans generally manage to do a pretty good job of labeling the way and using science to build all these theories about how the world fits together: and most of the time we can do it – but where’s the scientific explanation about how this chord makes me feel this way? How that lyric makes me want to cry? And what would the explanation even look like? Although shoot – is that me just using the idea of “magic” as a synonym for “things we can’t explain”? Altho I hope it’s more than just that – I mean: science is best for understanding the Objective world that is fixed and repeatable and ordered: while life inside our heads is the opposite of that: it’s fluid and ever-changing and chaotic – Subjective. And it’s not that there needs to be a hierarchy with one above the other – they’re symbiotic: both of them intertwined.

And speaking of intertwining: there’s comics which just be the best case of magic there is. Words and pictures. There’s nothing you can’t do – right?

More and more I’ve got into the idea that comics and films and books and music are spells and that if they’re good and if you want them to work properly then you need to experience them in the right condition: so that they can do their work properly and effect you to their fullest extent. I mean: I struggle a lot trying my best not to be “that guy” but I am “that guy” that likes to watch movies with all the lights off and the sound turned all the way up and I will give you a dirty look if you take out your phone and etc etc. But you know: it’s a ritual. It’s a spell. It’s opening your mind into another state and if there’s distractions and interference: then it doesn’t work as well.

And comics? Well yeah comics – I mean: I wonder how much of a ritual people have when it comes to reading comics. Like: at the Barbican Comic Forum on Thursday we talked about the difference between reading just one issue of something versus binge reading several volumes at one time and how with the second option you become completely immersed: where the comic takes over and you lose yourself in it which yeah – is it’s own kind of thing you know? Altered brain chemistry and all the rest of it.

I believe it’s magic.


AL
No Complications
Twitter

Can’t argue with any of that.

I think it’s fair to say that Promethea contains absolutely everything that you need to know about magic, but… Well, it depends on how you read it. It’s one of those if it has to be explained then you’ll never understand things. Also, it’s unique to everyone, so one person’s experiences will be totally different to everyone else’s, even though they’re identical. Embrace the contradictions, to quote The KLF.

One of the things I really love about Promethea is that it’s not even really a comic, it just appears that way.

It’s also worth keeping Promethea in the context of its time. This is the America’s Best Comics version of ‘Wonder Woman’, in the same way that Tom Strong is Superman, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are the X-Men, Top 10’s the Avengers and so on. No wonder DC/Warners troll Moore every opportunity they get* – although I doubt they understand why they’re doing it, or even *know* they are – because the ABC line could very well have wiped them out. In my reality that certainly happened.

ABC – the building blocks that kick off the alphabet, don’t forget – was Moore’s vision of how to make – let’s say ‘mainstream’, for want of a better word – comics worth reading again. DC – which moves *backwards* you’ll notice – are simply too powerfully connected to the prevailing narrative, along with all the other publications that Moore was, essentially, apologising for putting us through by accident. He was close, but I think aimed too wide, hence the lack of cigar. Well, if writing *every* issue of five ongoing series at the same time whilst starting his longest-ever running series, breaking an unacknowledged omission open with Tom Strong, blowing minds by using Tomorrow Stories to play with narrative techniques, and producing a comprehensive (and illustrated) user’s manual to magic counts as a falure.** Maybe it does to someone not boycotting the work of everyone connected with Before Watchmen, if not DC in its entirety.

I think I’ve said everything about superheroes and superhero comics that I need to, elsewhere, so I’m not going to start stirring further here. Also, there’s no point in talking too much about the magical aspects of Promethea, because I’d only be repeating what’s already been said far better in the preceding posts.

Rest assured though, Promethea is an absolutely astonishing piece of work. One of Moore’s best.

Y’see, even though it’s more accomplished in showing what comics are capable of than Watchmen, Promethea isn’t really a comic. And if I have to explain, then you’ll never understand. (It says here.)

*Am I *really* the only person who spotted the “Funk you, Hippy” moment in Suicide Squad? I mean, it’s not subtle.**And it’ll have to do until The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic eventually escapes, I guess.

LOL. Wow. That “ABC” / “DC” thing literally just made me do a “that’s amazing!” Thanks Al.

At the risk of sounding like a complete dolt tho I would love a fuller explanation of “Promethea isn’t really a comic.” (Help explain and help me understand!)

Like: is it because it’s not really doing it’s wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m style “telling a story” or whatever (I can imagine quite a few people complaining that Promethea “doesn’t really tell a story” altho well: I think that’s probably just because their definition of story is a little narrower than mine: even if I see where they’re coming from…).

I mean because actually I would go to the opposite and say that I think Promethea is one of the most comic-y comics I’ve ever read. Like: with Alan Moore and J H Williams III combined it’s basically pretty much non-stop: LOOK AT ALL THE COOL SHIT COMICS CAN DO! WEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! I bet there’s even a few bits where Scott “Understanding” Comics was like: “Oh wow. I didn’t realise that comics can do that.”

Also: yes! A Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic shout-out! I kinda meant to mention that in what I wrote before but it got away from me…

Because yeah: here’s the thing. I mean: I get that books and music and art and all the rest of it are magic and stuff. Totally on board and totally agree. What I don’t get is what are the extra steps to become a proper fully fledged magician and communicating with beings from other planes of existence (like wot Alan Moore does). Or wait (ha! This is just striking me as I write this down): is it just a matter of pushing yourself further and further: like – once you start telling a story about doing those things / once you start doing those things – that’s the point where it becomes true?

Dang – maybe I should just call myself a magician and then see what happens?

The stories we tell about ourselves are the ones that come true yeah?


AL
No Complications
Twitter

Hey, thanks!

I only realised the DC thing when I was typing it!

You’re right, of course, Promethea’s a comic through and through. And, *how* gorgeous is it? Wow.

I think the best thing to do is start with the pentacle, sword, cup and wand. You’ll need those later.

Here’s how I did it.* Get yourself a pack of tarot cards, a brand new notebook and a pen, then re-read issue 12 and follow the descriptions of the major arcana writing notes. Draw your own Tree of Life – I copied the Kenneth Grant one – and make notes on that.

Then – and I highly recommend this – read up on what Robert Anton Wilson said about Chapel Perilous. Y’see, Crowley was right when he said, “The only difference between myself and a madman is that I am not mad.”

Don’t go half-cocked though. Remember that you can’t unlearn something and tread carefully when you’ve decided for sure you’re going to go down the left-hand path (cue ominous chords), because people get lost.

You’ve been using magic all your life – everyone has – but it’s hidden, hence ‘occult’.

I really can’t stress how important understanding what Chapel Perilous is though. I don’t think using magic is really possible until you do, and it’s not something that can be taken lightly. It’s also something I can’t help you with.

Oh – and I’ve a suspicion you’ll like this – read more books!*

Any help?
*Oddly enough, I think I’ve got my own guide to magic coming out next month, but even though disguised as essays about Doctor Who, comics and popular culture, it’d be greasy and inappropriate to promote it here, so I’ll shush.**Because why shouldn’t it be fun too?


AMANDA
Barbican Comic Forum

Joel said: “I would go to the opposite and say that I think Promethea is one of the most comic-y comics I’ve ever read.”

And I’d go maybe one step further: it’s a meta comic. A comic about comics. So is ‘Understanding Comics’, to use a well-known example, but in a different way. That’s more about the building blocks of comics and how they work together—the functional stuff. Promethea can maybe be read as being about the magical, transformative stuff. A comic about the magic of comics, if you want to be cheesy about it.

There’s an obvious argument that visual nature of comics lends itself especially well to being a gateway to different worlds and ideas for readers, especially ones like this where the art regularly shatters convention and invents new ways of using the medium. Some other internet person makes an interesting point:

Scott McCloud argued–and demonstrated visually–that comics are “more than” simply hybrid texts, that their juxtaposition of pictorial image and word creates a kind of “magic and mystery” (66). For McCloud, it’s precisely the reader’s rather mysterious experience of movement in a comic, or what he calls the mystical “dance of the seen and the unseen”–the process of connecting word to image within individual comic panels, and making causal connections between panels–that leads to narrative closure and thus to readerly comprehension. Crossing the “gutter,” the space between each panel, is a magical practice, one that readers learn to do with comics. This is why McCloud states that “something strange and wonderful happens in this blank ribbon of paper”: because the spaces between units of visual and textual meaning in a comic force readers to fill in their own blanks. Comics and graphic narratives, then, uniquely require their readers to actively participate in meaning construction, in the learned craft of reading both what is visibly presented in each panel, and what is invisible. As McCloud writes, “No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well” (92).

I think the story also hints at the magic and transformative effect for creators when they put themselves into their characters. I’m skipping ahead a bit (but not spoiling anything) by pointing to the start of Volume 2, when Sophie meets Bill. He explains how each creator infused their Promethea with different personalities—his was the ‘nicest’—and shows how Promethea’s appearance is affected by the creator’s imagination (his embodiment of Promethea (or hers of him?) is female).

Bill

Which makes me wonder about creators working on DC/Marvel titles with well-established characters (and fans who aren’t exactly known for accepting change): Elseworlds and Ultimate Marvel and the like aside, how much room is there for creators to put themselves into the characters, to bend their established personality traits or break from tradition?

(Also, in a story about magic, what’s the significance of the science-heroes and science-villains, as opposed to plain old ‘super’ ones?)


AL
No Complications
Twitter

Nothing to add to that, other than that the ‘science’ rather than ‘super’ thing was to help ground Top 10, Tom Strong and Promethea as being set in the same extended universe. I’m sure it wasn’t a cheeky way of Alan Moore pointed out that superheroes are so limited in dimensions that you can just change a word to move something obviously meant to be something else into the sphere where the readers get it, but lawyers can’t touch it. See The Question/Rorschach and so on.


JOEL
Barbican Comic Forum
00000000 / Kraken

If we’re talking about how much or how little creators put themselves into the characters then the question that was bouncing around my mind reading Book 1 was: how much of Alan Moore did he put into Jack Faust?

I mean: one hand I don’t think there’s much of a resemblance at all: because well – from what I’ve experienced of him I think Alan Moore is a very sound and safe cool smart dude (I am very much a fan): but you know – seeing how he’s pretty well known for being a magician it seems significant that Jack Faust is a representative of you know – his type or whatever (and that’s not even getting into the stuff that happens in – is it Book 2? – but hell: maybe that’s something we could talk about when we get to it? (I think I’ve changing my mind about doing the whole set of Promethea books – I think we should do it… Because well yeah: there’s so much to talk about)).

Also something we’ve barely touched upon (again maybe something for next time?): but I’m wondering how Promethea would hold up to a feminist reading? I mean: to me it all seems positive good right? Strong well-developed female characters doing cool stuff etc etc. Like: this is the gold standard for how things should be – no?


AL
No Complications
Twitter

Personally, I think that there’s exactly the same amount of Alan Moore in Jack Faust as there is in Sophie Bangs, the Painted Doll and Weeping Gorilla and any reading deeper than that is risky.

And, yeah, there’s lots of different readings can be applied. Only one per reader though. (Free gift not available overseas.)


DAVE
Twitter / Improvised Comics

Al, I agree with you that it’s risky – kind of bad manners – to make that sort of connection, but you’ve also given a safe answer there. 🙂

Given that the whole book is so risk-taking, and inviting of risk on behalf of the readers, I’m going to jump down the rabbit hole that Joel offered. (And take responsibility for doing so, I’m not asking anyone else to come with me unless they feel a bit wild in this moment too.)

Joel, it’s one of the first questions I had when I read the Jack Faust character, both his appearance in the public library (IIRC?), and in the “Sex, Stars and Serpents” issue (is that still part of book 1? long time since I read it). He’s a well-realised depiction of a sort of masculine magic that both recognises that it has genuine mastery over the world, but also how little it really controls the wilder, more potent feminine principle. At times he descends into a toxic, resentful mode (e.g. some snarky reference to the caduceus), at times he is smooth and in control, at times a bit pathetic in his bedsit with empty pizza boxes on the floor. And then, when she does reveal her real nature to him in the serpents issue, there’s a moment where he’s silenced temporarily by awe (does a tear roll down his cheek too? I recall it being a rare moment of real vulnerability when he drops the incessant talk)

Toxic masculinity and sexual violence are recurring elements in Moore’s work, for sure. I don’t doubt that there’s something quite personal being worked out here in his writing, and on a different level than, say, the part of himself that he puts into characters like Weeping Gorilla or Sophie Bangs. Sometimes these toxic men have been rather more one-dimensional. The Robert Howard-like wizard character in the section with the reptile people, for example, is less nuanced, a simpler portrait of a man who has created this sex-fantasy heroine and realises that he does not control her, she taps into some deeper essence that he can’t reach, without letting go of something he’s not willing to let go of. And the poet who creates and impregnates the romantic dream lady is likewise a simpler portrait of a man who has contact with the imaginative realm but not the earth, and is ultimately faced with the fact that he was trying to control and contain something that’s bigger than he was.

In a lot of Moore’s work, I find the sexual violence a bit of a drag, and rather heavy-handed, to be honest. But with Jack Faust’s character, particularly when supported and contrasted by the other toxic men in the story, it feels like he’s delivered a nuanced performance, and has brought up a mirror from his own depths in which I can gaze, uncomfortably, at my own reflection, and, as Al says, take what I see from it, one interpretation per reader. It’s asking me questions about myself that I don’t think I’ll like the answer to. Challenging me to look past the fear, because maybe the answer’s not so scary as I think it might be. That’s good art, that can do that.

Like I said, long time since I read it, so this really is a critique of my memory of Promethea! Hoping all the characters I described above were in this book, not misremembered from somewhere else… And, in case Faust turns out to be really awful later on, I only read the first 12 issues or so.

Hitting send now, before rationality kicks in…


AL
No Complications
Twitter

I’m going to have to bow out here, gang – life’s getting the way. But, it would be rude for me to leave without asking Dave if he’s read this, because I think it addresses the issue of the author’s voice: Last Alan Moore Interview?

And I can’t head out without thanking Joel for being such a gracious host, I hope you’ll have me back when I’ve managed to clear this blockage. Parting gifts then, absolutely everything that you need to know is not only in Promethea, but here too: https://glycon.livejournal.com/13888.html I’m sure everyone’s already read it, but it’s really worth another look.

Failing that, I can only finish by saying that the advice John Constantine gave to Alan Moore is the key.

Thanks for having me, I’ve had a fantastic time.

Be seeing you


DAVE
Twitter / Improvised Comics

I’ve read the “last interview” link that Al No posted. Crikey. Mr. Moore pulls no punches, does he? In his most reasonable, kindly voice, he sincerely hopes that one of his critics is simply emotionally stunted and socially maladjusted rather than making vile things up because he’s existentially challenged by Moore’s dismissal of the superhero genre. Top marks for literary pugilism, but it doesn’t feel like a reasoned rebuttal, to be honest. It feels very defensive. It doesn’t persuade me to change what I said earlier.

I absolutely do take his point that he’s also presented some very positive depictions of sexuality in his work too (the swamp thing issue, and the serpents issue of Promethea, as I remember them, are both very good in engaging with the full emotional and spiritual side of sexuality, and going beyond depictions of naked bodies in which the reader can only exist as voyeur). Subjectively, thinking across all his stuff that I have read, the dark-and-violent outweighs the positive depictions by a fair margin.

And I’d say too that he introduced so many new things to mainstream comics in the late eighties – ideas, techniques, aspirations – it’s a shame that the mainstream comics industry largely chose to ape the sex and violence (largely without any meaningful depth or insight, which Moore manages _some_ of the time when addressing the topic) and didn’t get to grips with any of his other innovations.

’nuff said, from me.


JOEL
Barbican Comic Forum
00000000 / Kraken

I read the Alan Moore Fossil Angels thing that Al posted (thanks dude!). Was very cool and full of so many lovely little thoughts and ideas (“What this place could do with is a good insurance fire.”)…

It did get me worried tho because there was a part of me that found the whole thing very familiar and I don’t know if I read it a long time back and don’t remember (very possible: like I’ve said and will say again: I am a confirmed and life-long fan of Mr Moore and consider him a righteous dude) or: oops – the scarier second option – I’ve read so much of his stuff that I’ve just internalised all of his ideas. He’s super-imprinted his mind over my own and shaped all the major passageways of my brain so that every thought I can possibly have we all end up in an place he’s already picked out for me.

No escape.

Am very tempted to follow Al’s advice and read what Robert Anton Wilson said about Chapel Perilous and do the stuff with the tarot cards and Issue 12 (maybe I’ll do it when we do book 2 altho – wait: isn’t there a thing about how you’re not supposed to buy tarot cards but rather they have to be given to you? Or did I make that up?).

Reading the Fossil Angels thing just made me even more confused about the difference between Art and Magic tho. I mean the whole essay is basically Alan putting all of his might into showing how interlinked they are it just left me befuddled still as to why they’re not just both the same thing? The same light shining through in different ways…

Oh and oops: forget to say before: I really love Amanda’s thing about Promethea being “a meta-comic.” That’s such a lovely insight and I bet if you mentioned it to Mr Moore himself he’s scratch his beard a little and nod his head in approval. And kinda gets to something about why I always want my comics to be “comicy” ad my films to be “filmy” and my books to be “booky” – like: the more something plays with the limits of what it is / stretches the potential of what it can do – the more I want to do myself: the more possibilities I can feel myself contain. While you know: most of our media products out there (and the ones I’ve bitched about in this here Book Club) are the opposite of that: they’re a collapsing of possibilities. And instead of making myself feel more vibrant – they make me feel more washed out and grey. Which I guess is it’s own form of magic – only used for evil instead of good.

 

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