Apr 20, 2014

Alan Moore on... real life and fiction

Expert from Mythmakers and Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction, edited by Margaret Killjoy, published in 2009 by AK Press.

I think that stories are probably more than just useful; they are probably vital. I think that if you actually examine the relationship between real life and fiction, you’ll find that we most often predicate our real lives upon fictions that we have applied from somewhere. From our earliest days in the caves I’m certain we have, when assembling our own personalities, tried to borrow qualities - perhaps from real people that we admire, but as often as not from some completely mythical person, some god or some hero, some character from a storybook. Whether this is a good idea or not, this tends to be what we do. The way that we talk, the way that we act, the way that we behave, we’re probably taking our example from some fiction or prototype. Even if it’s a real person who’s inspiring us, it may be that they were partly inspired by fictional examples. And given that, it is quite easy to see that in a sense, our entire lives - individually or as a culture - are a kind of narrative. [Alan Moore]

Apr 17, 2014

Watchmen by Luigi Siniscalchi

Art by Luigi Siniscalchi.
From Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman tribute-book (2003, Abiogenesis Press, page 156).

Above, you can admire an amazing illustration featuring some key characters from Watchmen by Italian comic book artist LUIGI SINISCALCHI.
Illustration posted on this blog with Siniscalchi's permission.
For more information about the artist, visit his blog: here.

Apr 16, 2014

The Extraordinary Gentlemen by John Picacio

Art by John Picacio.
Above, you can admire the amazing wraparound cover illustration realized by acclaimed illustrator JOHN PICACIO for HEROES & MONSTERS: The Unofficial Companion to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book (by Jess Nevins, MonkeyBrain Books, 2003).

Picacio also realized the cover for A BLAZING WORLD: THE UNOFFICIAL COMPANION TO THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, VOL. II (by Jess Nevins, MonkeyBrain Books, 2004).

Apr 15, 2014

Captain Nemo by Stephane Roux

Art by Stephane Roux.
Above a great Captain Nemo portrait by French comic book artist Stephane Roux.

More about Stephane Roux at his site: here.

Apr 11, 2014

Victorian pornography vs. contemporary pornography

Excerpt from Moore's Murder & Prostitution in 19th Century London contained in A Steampunk’s Guide to Sex published by Combustion Books in 2012. 

Another thing that I enjoy about Victorian pornography is that it is very different from contemporary pornography. In contemporary pornography, all of the women are conveniently bisexual and all of the men are relentlessly heterosexual. Because that’s the way that modern men like it. That wasn’t true in Victorian pornography. All of the characters seem to be sexually ambivalent. There was not a male heterosexual template that was being used in the same way that there is today. It was a lot more fluid. Considering what a hidebound society Victorian society actually was, in its dream life, it was a lot more of a fluid proposition. Sexual identities could flow and change. [Alan Moore]

by Professor Calamity, Alan Moore, Luna Celeste, & others (2012, Combustion Books)
contains three articles by Moore:
Gay New York (pp. 19-21)
Lost Girls & Pornography (pp. 37-42)
Murder & Prostitution in 19th Century London (pp. 63-68)

Apr 7, 2014

if you happen to be a cat...

Excerpt from Maxwell The Magic Cat Vol. I afterward.

If you find it to be totally lacking in charm or humour then I should perhaps point out that many of the jokes were designed so that they're only funny if you happen to be a cat. So, just because you personally find the book unreadable, please don't give up. Try sticking it in the bottom of your cat's litter tray for the beloved beast to peruse during the quiet and intensely personal moments it spends in that location.
I honestly think you'll be surprised by the results.
 
Alan Moore (Big in Northampton), 1986

Apr 6, 2014

International Biographic and the quotable Moore

Alan Moore: Biographic book: Italian (on the left) and Spanish edition (on the right).
Last year I worked on the Italian edition of Alan Moore: Biographic, which included Moore's graphic biography written and "assembled" by Gary Spencer Millidge in occasion of Moore's 60th birthday, an updated version of the one realized by Millidge in 2003 for the Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman tribute book.
The original version was digitally released by Sequential in 2013 whereas the Italian printed book was published at the beginning of 2014 by 001 Edizioni which also realized a Spanish edition
Both books included 60 Moore's quotes selected by me from several interviews and pieces he did over the course of his career. The quotes were also included in Infinity N.5, downloadable for free in pdf format here.

In the following you can read the 60 Moore's quotes matched with the links to their original sources. Enjoy!
[1] That’s characterization the Marvel way. They’re neurotic. They worry a lot. If they haven’t got anything wrong with them like that, something physically wrong will do— perhaps a bad leg or dodgy kidneys, or something like that. To Marvel, that’s characterization.
(1983, from Hellfire fanzine)

[2] The only difference with Adrian Veidt is that he didn’t do it in some far-off country full of yellow people; he did it in the middle of New York. That’s why Americans were so shocked by the ending, because it’s unthinkable. All right, maybe some people do have to die to make the world safe, but not Americans! That’s too great a price.
(1987, from Christian Lehmann’s blog)

[3] I didn't want to give one person a black hat and one person a white hat. It's obvious where my prejudices lie, but I wouldn't be a very good writer if everything in my writing reflected my prejudice.
(1987, from Christian Lehmann’s blog)

[4] Some people think that the future will be exactly the same as today, but with smaller radios and bigger cars. Other people think that there isn't going to be a future, just a mushroom cloud. So, in either instance, on one hand, if the future's the same as today, why prepare for it?
(1987, from Christian Lehmann’s blog)

[5] My understanding is that when Watchmen is finished and DC have not used the characters for a year, they’re ours.
(1987, from The Comics Journal #116)

[6] If people did start, say, for example, treating women more accurately and realistically in their comics, and if those comics were well enough crafted to be superior comics then I would hope that through a process of Darwinian natural selection that there would gradually be less and less sexist material appearing in comics because they would be perceived by the readers as being more and more dated, more and more offensive. That form of pressure I have no qualms against bringing upon people because it seems to me to be perfectly fair and equitable. And there’s no guarantee that I’ll succeed in it. Any other sort of pressure, I really don’t go along with.
(1987, from The Comics Journal #118)

[7] it’s Larry Gordon and Joel Silver who want to do [a Watchmen movie]. I spoke to Joel Silver on the phone, and he seemed like a real nice bloke. He was saying that he wants me to write the screenplay, starting next year maybe, and he also said, “Can you do it panel by panel like the comic book?” which I don’t think will be possible because that would make a real crap movie. It was written to be a comic, not a movie, and they’re not interchangeable, but the fact that he wants it done like that speaks volumes to me. They’re not going to give Rorschach a friendly waggy-tailed dog. Although that might be a good idea, mightn’t it? [Laughter.]
(1987, from The Comics Journal #118)

[8] I’d say Burroughs is one of my main influences. Not the cut-up stuff, but his thinking about the way that the word and the image are used to control, and their possible more subversive effect. I’m surprised Burroughs didn’t do more comic strips himself. To the best of my knowledge he’s only done one, for a magazine called Cyclops, a British underground magazine that came out in 1969. It only lasted four issues; Burroughs and - I believe - an artist called Malcolm MacNeill did a strip called The Unspeakable Mr.Hart. I always thought that comics would be a perfect medium for Burroughs. With Watchmen I was trying to put some of his ideas into practice; the idea of repeated symbols that would become laden with meaning. You could almost play them like music. You’d have these things like musical themes that would occur throughout the work.
(1988, from Strange Things Are Happening vol. 1, no. 2)

[9] The relationship between films and comics has been overemphasised to a degree. If you understand cinematic techniques then you’ll be able to write better, more gripping comics than someone who doesn’t, but if cinematic technique is seen as the be all and end all of what comics can aspire to, then at the very best comics are always going to be a poor relation to the cinema. What I’d like to explore is the areas that comics succeed in where no other media is capable of operating. With a comic you can stare at the page for as long as you want and check back to see if this line of dialogue really does echo something four pages earlier, whether this picture is really the same as that one, and wonder if there is some connection there.
(1988, from Strange Things Are Happening vol. 1, no. 2)

[10] All the great comics are yet to be written, all the masterpieces, all the Citizen Kane and stuff. It's really exciting but very nerve-racking because you have to build the ground in front of you. Also, there's a charm and innocence which has gone from comics and a lot of that is my fault, I feel bad about that. There's a lot of very cynical and nasty comic books being done now which have taken their cues from me. On the other hand comic books are starting to break into all sorts of areas, anything can be done with them. Like in 'From Hell' which I'm doing at the moment with Eddie Campbell, that's an historical piece that's based around the Jack the Ripper murders; an historical investigation of all the different threads of events and myth that led from the Whitechapel killings. [...] I've done 150 pages already and I haven't got to the first murder, I've just been building up the characters. It's really facinating to actually try to use comics as an historical tool because although I'm only doing it as fiction, there's a great application there. It could be a tremendous teaching medium.
(1991, from Ptolemaic Terrascope N. 8)

[11] Eventually you’ll use everything. You usually put them in some kind of code unless you’re doing a straightforward biography. There’s things I did like ‘A Small Killing’. The central event in that was a boy burying some bugs in a bottle. I did that when I was 8 or 9 and it haunted me. In ‘Big Numbers’ the writer was me, not exactly, but there was enough experience. I borrowed voraciously from my friends lives, sometimes that can feel a bit dodgy. These people, they’re your friends and they’ll pour out details of their lives and part of your brain is this cold vampiric thing writing it all down to use later. I can’t help it I’m a writer. I’m getting closer and closer to actually writing about myself. The next thing I do will have a significant autobiographical slant to it. As I get older I’m less worried about revealing myself and looking a prat. It gets to a point where you feel comfortable about being a prat when you do that.
(1996, Eclectic Electric) 

[12] Usually [collaborating with an artist] is like sex, if it’s good it’s brilliant and if it’s bad it’s awful. But generally I have had pretty good sex with my co-creators, it’s the union of two minds. If I’ve got any real outstanding talent in comics, it is my talent of getting on well with my collaborators and respecting them. Very often it’s seeing things that they are capable of, which they themselves are incapable of seeing. ‘V for Vendetta’ was a perfect moment for me and David Lloyd, we’ve never done anything like that since, it’s just me and Dave. With ‘Watchmen’, Dave Gibbons and I have never done anything like that since, and neither have I. All these things are the perfect expression of my energies meeting the energies of another artist. It’s better than sex, you don’t have to wonder about avoiding the wet patch afterwards.
(1996, Eclectic Electric)

[13] The plight of Henry Jekyll is resonant as a metaphor for the whole of Victorian society where virtue was never lauded so loudly in public nor vice practiced so excessively in private. You can almost see in that novel the exact point where the mass Victorian mind became uneasily aware of its own shadow: Hyde as Jekyll's shadow; Jack as Gull's; Wilde's panther-snacks as the shadow of society's own corseted sitting-room asexuality.
(1997, from Cerebus N. 217)

[14] Truth is a well-known pathological liar. It invariably turns out to be Fiction wearing a fancy frock. Self-proclaimed Fiction, on the other hand, is entirely honest. You can tell this, because it comes right out and says, "I'm a Liar," right there on the dust jacket. 
(1997, from Cerebus N. 219)

[15] it's stunning. You look at [Jack Kirby] westerns, Boys' Ranch, the romance stuff; that's the sort of thing which I've always tried to emulate. I've always liked to think that I could have as much breadth and versatility in my work as Kirby did—obviously in a different way because I'm a writer and he was an artist/writer. Yeah, I've always admired that in him. I think more people should. If you're going to take something from Kirby, don't take just his style; take his sense of adventure, take his willingness to explore other forms and take a few chances.
(2000, from Jack Kirby Collector #30)

[16] V for Vendetta is very smart, it perhaps doesn't have the sort of multi-layered, crystalline brilliance as something like Watchmen but I think it's got more passion. I think it's got more heart, more emotion in it. That said, there both works that I'm very proud of. Watchmen was at the time about as far as I could imagine taking the mainstream superhero comic. It seemed to take it to some place that was so completely off the map. (2000, Blather.net)

[17] When I started off, I was all technique, I was obsessed with technique, and I would approach every part of that technique meticulously, trying to think about it, how it might fit together, how it might be changed or modified, what effect you might be able to get by sort of twisting this a degree to the left, this a degree to the right.
These days I tend to find that I kind of improvise with a lot of confidence, and find that the material is often much better, much fresher.
(2002, The Craft, Engine Comics website)

[18] Synasthesia is a great literary tool. You'll be able to come up with perfect metaphors that are really striking and strange, because they maybe jump from one sense to another – try describing a smell in musical terms.
(2002, The Craft, Engine Comics website)

[19] Magic and language are practically the same thing, they would at least have been regarded as such in our distant past. I think it is wisest and safest to treat them as if they are the same thing. This stuff that you are dealing with – words, language, writing – this is dangerous, it is magical, treat it as if it was radioactive. Don't doubt that for a moment.
(2002, The Craft, Engine Comics website)

[20] I believe that to a certain extent we are creatures of our environment, I think that our environment reflects us and I think that we come to reflect our environment. Now, if you are living in a squalid tower block, if you are living in a shit heap, eventually you’ll probably come to the conclusion - at least subconsciously - that you are shit. If you are living in a rattrap, you’ll think you’re probably a rat, and you’ll probably modify your behaviour accordingly. Now, me, I live in a terraced house in Northampton which has got stars all over the ceiling, strange idols, stained glass: it looks pretty mad but it also… it looks a little bit like a temple. Now if you’re living in a temple you’ll perhaps get the idea after a while that you’re some sort of [laughter] of divinity, or high priest or something, which might be delusional, but it feels a lot better than thinking you’re a rat.
(2002, from Alan Moore: biografia, testi, fotografie)

[21] I also think that I can make for a pretty good case for Northampton being the absolute centre of the universe, but I think that probably anybody could about anywhere that happened to be dear to them if they were prepared to do the work… you know, wherever you are standing is the centre of the Universe [laughter]. If you are prepared to do the work you can probably come up with a very convincing case for that. Yes, I accept that Northampton is just another ordinary British town, no different from any other. At the same time, to me is a magical place that is very much historically, and in almost every other respect, the exact centre of England, if not the centre of the Universe.
(2002, from Alan Moore: biografia, testi, fotografie)

[22] Amongst my own work, The Killing Joke where Batman versus The Joker. Yeah, there's loads of emotion layered on there. It's quite clever. The plot works, on a material level. But it's not about anything, it's not about anything of human importance, it's about Batman and The Joker and you're never gonna meet anybody like Batman and The Joker. It's of no use to you as a human being. It's one of the works – there's some very good things about it, but it's lacking something, and it's lacking soul.
(2002, The Craft, Engine Comics website)

[23] When the artist has read your script, liked it and then done an art job that has gone beyond your script, then a kind of benign and lovely gauntlet's been thrown down, and it's a kind of impetus to make your next script really knock the artist out, and then they match that, and so on. It's a good way of amping up the creative energy on a project.
(2002, The Craft, Engine Comics website)

[24] I’d like people to actually think about, what does heroism mean? What is power? What are super-powers? Does Stephen Hawking have a super-power? I mean, he would seem to me upon the available evidence to be much smarter than, say, Superman or Brainiac 5. He completely outstrips every comicbook genius. And he’s even in a wheelchair, so he could join the X-Men or the Doom Patrol, or any of those kind of— differently-abled friendly super outfits.
(2003, from The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore)

[25] What I wanted to do with Supreme was to try and give some of that sense of wonder, some of that pure imaginative jolt that I’d experienced when I was first reading comics. I wanted to try and give that to the contemporary readership so they could get an idea of what it had felt like. The kind of buzz that those wonderfully inventive old stories and comics had provided.
(2003, from The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore)

[26] There is a treatment worked out for Big Numbers as a twelve-part television show. That might never get made, or at some point in the future, it might. I think that is the only way that Big Numbers is ever going to reach any kind of conclusion.
(2003, from The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore)

[27] You should always have some ultimate goal that is absolutely impossible to fulfill, otherwise you might find that you’ve fulfilled most of your goals and end up a bit directionless. So, yeah, I’ve still got plenty of goals, plenty of things that I haven’t done, that I probably never will get do, but the striving is three-quarters of the fun, literally.
(2003, from The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore)

[28] I think that if you can learn how to write a five-page story, and if you can learn how to write a lot of different fivepage stories until you’ve really got the hang of the five- or sixpage story, then whatever you’re asked to do in your later career, whether it’s a 24-page book or a 12-issue series or a 600-page graphic novel, you’ll have the basic craft and the basic notions of structure already in place. It’s the best way to learn.
(2003, from The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore)

[29] I don’t have a car. I’m a pedestrian and I’m probably dangerous at that. The thought of me in a lump of hurtling metal wouldn’t be any good for anyone. My mind wanders quite a lot. I can kind of walk for six blocks and have no memory for anything during those blocks. That’s fine if you are walking but if I was in a moving vehicle I think it would be dangerous. I’m quite happy with walking or public transport or perhaps someone would give me a lift. I’m very much out of step with the 20th Century in most ways. No Internet, no mobile phone, no car, no passport, no nothing really. I have a wonderful time of it. Can you imagine how many penis extension adverts I’ve missed? I don’t have to shave every morning or go to the barber so I’ve got all this extra time to spend in the endless delight of being me.
(2004, Suicidegirls.com)

[30] Connection is very useful; intelligence does not depend on the amount of neurons we have in our brains, it depends on the amount of connections they can make between them. So this suggests that having a multitude of information stored somewhere in your memory is not necessarily a great deal of use; you need to be able to connect this information into some sort of usable palette. I think my work tries to achieve that. It’s a reflection of the immense complexity of the times we’re living in. I think that complexity is one of the major issues of the 20th and 21st centuries. If you look at our environmental and political problems, what is underlying each is simply the increased complexity of our times. We have much more information, and therefore we are much more complex as individuals and as a society. And that complexity is mounting because our levels of information are mounting.
(2004, Salon.com)

[31] Quitting my day job and starting my life as a writer was a tremendous risk, it was a fool’s leap, a shot in the dark. But anything of any value in our lives whether that be a career, a work of art, a relationship, will always start with such a leap. And in order to be able to make it, you have to put aside the fear of failing and the desire of succeeding. You have to do these things completely purely without fear, without desire. Because things that we do without lust or result, are the purest actions that we shall ever take.
(2005, from The Mindscape of Alan Moore documentary)

[32] I’d never signed up to be a celebrity and I came to the realisation that it was nothing that I was very comfortable with. I realised celebrities are a kind of industry, there a kind of a crop.  Media moguls like Rupert Murdoch or people who run the big networks, they need a constant stream of celebrities to fill column space in their magazines, to fill time upon their TV shows and because celebrities tend to burn out quickly you have to constantly create new ones. And I really didn’t feel I wanted to be part of that process and so withdrew to the relative obscurity of Northampton.
(2005, from The Mindscape of Alan Moore documentary)

[33] My thoughts upon pornography tend to revolve around the fact that while few of us are zombies, detectives, cowboys or spacemen, there are an infinite number of books that are recounting the stories of those lifestyles. However, all of us have some sort of feelings or opinions about sex. And yet the only art form which in any way is able to discuss sex or depict sex is this grubby despised under-the-counter art form which has absolutely no standards. This was what Lost Girls was intended as a remedy for. That there is no reason why a horny piece of literature that is purely about sex could not be as beautiful, as meaningful and have as absorbing characters as any other piece of fiction.
(2005, from The Mindscape of Alan Moore documentary)

[34] The imagination is like a muscle, and I think that in a lot of people that muscle tends to atrophy, so that they don't really use their imagination, they're not really encouraged to use their imagination, everything is served up for them prepackaged. They never have to create anything for themselves.
Whereas from my earliest years, my favorite plaything was my imagination. And I really do think that that was what propelled me along the course that lead me to the point where I am today. I think that it's always been there in my life, that urge towards creation, towards fantasy, towards using the imagination.

(2005, from Alan Moore spells it out)

[35] In Hollywood you're going to have the producers and the backers putting in their ... well, I don't want to dignify them by calling them ideas, but ... having their input, shall we say.
(2007, Mtv.com)

[36] I have a theory, which has not let me down so far, that there is an inverse relationship between imagination and money. Because the more money and technology that is available to [create] a work, the less imagination there will be in it.
(2007, Mtv.com)

[37] Robert Crumb is someone I have got unreserved admiration for, although I don’t’ know if he is classed along with the glamour artists. I don’t know if he would be classed in quite the same category, but his stuff I can engage with: it seems human to me, whereas in a lot the more glamour-oriented artists there’s a coldness, a certain inhumanity, or at least in my perception. Not to take anything on their abilities, it’s just something about the atmosphere of the scripts or the presentation of the people in them. It kind of leaves me a bit cold.
(2008, from Scuola di Fumetto N. 60)

[38] [Cthulhu]'s got tentacles for a face, admittedly – but he has got arms and legs. A head, a torso. Whereas Azathoth is a kind of eternal nuclear explosion or something, just a seething nuclear chaos. Yog-Sottoth  is the cooling chaos. The thing that you glimpse at the centre of the dark. These are not human figures at all. So why is Cthulhu – if he is the boss monster – why is he humanoid? This is one of the questions we answer in the course of Neonomicon.
(2010, Theskinny.co.uk)

[39] What we really need is fresh ideas but I think that the current publishing set-up is actually adverse to new ideas because they’re unpredictable. You don’t know which way they’re going to go.
(2011, Honestpublishing.com)

[40] I’ve managed to support myself for a long time by writing. But that has been full-time writing for all of those years. Either I was good or I was lucky, or some combination of both. It’s worked out for me, but I know for a lot of other writers it’s been nowhere near as rewarding. These are writers who are every bit as good as I was but I guess it’s being in the wrong place at the wrong time, something like that.
(2011, Honestpublishing.com)

[41] [The Occupy movement] is a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it. I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favour of it.
(2011, Honestpublishing.com)

[42] I would suggest beheading the bankers, but while it would be very satisfying and would cheer us up, it probably wouldn’t do anything practical to alter the situation. Behead the currency. Change the currency, why not? It would disempower all the people who had bought into that currency but it would pretty much empower the rest of us, the other ninety-nine percent.
(2011, Honestpublishing.com)

[43] Whatever you’re trying to do, don’t go to the most obvious place. If you’ve always dreamed of having a story in 2000 AD, probably best if you learn your chops somewhere a bit less well-known, a bit off the beaten track. Then you can hone your talents.
(2011, Honestpublishing.com)

[44] It’s a very lonely process writing a book without a collaborator when you’ve been used to having that back-and-forth, but there is something very pure about it as well and, again, you’ve got responsibility for everything.
(2011, Honestpublishing.com)

[45] It's not pathological. I accept that things change and that the future of reading might be in the form of a Kindle or an iPad, but somehow I tend to think that the book is perfectly adapted. It's like a shark; sharks haven't evolved in millions of years because they don't need to. They're really really good at being sharks I think the same is true of a book.
(2011, Newstatesman.com)

[46] I find myself in the possibly unique position of being a kind of snake-worshipping occultist that rationalists for some obscure reason feel comfortable about.
(2011, Bigissuescotland.com)

[47] [1969] was a period in which the underground meant several different things. And there was an overlap between the psychedelic pop underground and the actual underworld in the criminals who were very flattered to have celebrities amongst their retinue. And of course through the pop and hippie connection you've got a connection to occultism. Whether that be Robert Plant and Jimmy Page having their flirtation with Aleister Crowley and occultism or the various occult posturings that a number of pop performers made back then. So 1969 was in a Venn diagram of crime, pop music and occultism. There is a very nice overlap in 1969 that made it a useful period for the purposes of our developing occult plot line that we had commenced in the [League] 1910 volume.
(2011, Theguardian.com)

[48] It is an absolute pleasure to work with Kevin. He is one of the finest and most distinctive comic book artists this country has ever turned out. Also, he is the only one of my mainstream collaborators who is from a similar background to myself and who has ever taken my side in any of my bust-ups with the comic companies. This is why Kevin is the only person that I'm still working with.
(2011, Theguardian.com)

[49] In fact, looked at in that light, the concept of a hero does become quite a dangerous one. When you remember that Hitler was the hero of the German people, they elected him as their Chancellor because he was trying to embody a kind of heroic German myth. He was playing to all of those tendencies in his audience.
(2012, Unwinnable.com)

[50] The reason why Watchmen was such an extraordinary book during its time--was that it was constructed upon literary lines. It had a beginning, it had a middle, and it had an end. It wasn't constructed as an endless soap opera that would run until everybody ran out of interest in it. It was deliberately meant to show what comics could do if you applied some of those quite ordinary literary values to them.
(2012, Seraphemera.org)

[51] The attitude now is that it's just toys in the toy box, isn't it?  You get to play with your favorite toys from the DC or Marvel toy box.  Yeah, I don't want to do that anymore. Those toys were pried out of the fingers of dead men, and were pried from their families and their children. That's just wrong. 
Everybody in the industry knows it's wrong and for some reason, nobody says anything about it.
(2012, Seraphemera.org)

[52] These days I find I‘m tending more to view the historical process as less of a palimpsest and more of an accumulated shape or structure such as might result from the application of contemporary 3D printing technology.
(2012, from Paraphilia magazine)

[53] Magic, for me, is on one level simply the richest, most personally useful and most rewarding worldview that I have yet to come across, and that seems truer and more vital to me today than it did eighteen years ago. If you‘re looking for a worldview that is non-restrictive, intellectually satisfying, and conducive to happiness and balance if not actual ecstasy, then in my opinion magic is still your only man.
(2012, from Paraphilia magazine)

[54] Whether they are heroes, villains, males, females, inhuman monsters, or demigods; in order to make them credible, you have to put yourself into their mindset and into their life. It’s very much like method acting, and once you’ve done that, the dialogue is easy. So, in that sense they’re all favourites. I remember reading, or at least trying to read, a French review of Watchmen, back in the early days, which seemed to come to the conclusion, that I was some kind of composite of Dr Manhattan, and of Ozymandias.
(2012, from Leftlion N. 48)

[55] Competitive sports are one of the few things in culture that don’t seem to derive from Shamans. Most of the art and most of the actual consciousness in society - is almost certainly derived from Shamanic roots. With sport, I can only assume that it was when the hunters wanted to show off.
(2012, from Leftlion N. 48)

[56] If time is an illusion, then all movement and change are also illusions. So the only thing that gives us the illusion of movement and change and events and time is the fact that our consciousness is moving through this mass along the time axis.
(2013, Believermag.com)

[57] If gods and entities are conceptual creatures, which I believe they are self-evidently, then the concept of a god is a god.
(2013, Believermag.com)

[58] To me, [superheroes] represented a wellspring of the imagination. Superman had a dog in a cape! He had a city in a bottle! It was wonderful stuff for a seven-year-old boy to think about. But I suspect that a lot of superheroes now are basically about the unfair fight. You know: people wouldn’t bully me if I could turn into the Hulk.
(2013, The Stool Pigeon)

[59] I take magic mushrooms. The first time I combined them with a rudimentary magical ritual… well, that was the eye-opener. I suddenly realised that the combination made the magic work and made the drug much, much stronger and more profound. And since then I’ve only taken mushrooms in ritual circumstances. There just doesn’t seem to be any point in doing it otherwise.
(2013, The Stool Pigeon)

[60] Most of the elements in Fashion Beast have since become a lot more recognisable apart from the nuclear winter and we are probably working on that. The background of war and environmental collapse is probably a lot more like our world at the moment than 1985.
(2013, Northampton Herald & Post)

Apr 3, 2014

Warriors from the past

Art by Nick Neocleous.
Above, from Nick Neocleous’ cover to 1983’s Speakeasy N. 35: Marvelman, V For Vendetta, Madman, The Bojeffries, Laser Eraser, Pressutton, Zirk & Father Shandor, all from the pages of Warrior.