Beneath the Panels #3: Nameless and the Tree of Life

Nameless02Way I see it, everything’s been fucked up since 2001 anyway. Since the towers came down – since the pylons fell on Trump 18 and Malkuth was gathered up into Yesod.”

Thee Comic Column #120: Re-reading Alan Moore’s Promethea

sophie 5 largeIf you have by chance encountered the new column I recently began to post here on Joup you’ll know that Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s new series Nameless has reawakened an old passion in me. The column, Beneath the Panels, is an attempt to investigate the Occult underpinnings of Nameless, and it’s really got me on my toes. Reading it you will no doubt see me illustrate how, when dealing with the Occult, it is very easy to get lost amid the hundreds of invisible wires that run between scores of disparate concepts and even seemingly conflicting ideologies. Many of these ideas end up connecting in ways that are not always obvious or even intuitive, however, getting to that point takes quite a bit of work! This is because contrary to what conventional wisdom would have you believe, the Occult is at its best a tributary of science; Magick is not sleight of hand or elaborate stage antics but an attempt to craft a unified theory of everything. This is why both in modern and medieval times Occult study draws from every world view possible – the early alchemists were as much scientists as philosophers, and the Chaos Magicians of the 80s and 90s were as influenced by Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Mathematics as they were by Austin Osman Spare or *ahem* Aleister Crowley. In diving back into this type of research – which I had taken a hiatus from for almost ten years – I found that there was no better place to go for a streamlined cram session than Alan Moore and JH Williams III’s Promethea, a comic book that not only features appearances by pretty much everybody and everything I’ve just gone on about above, but that for all intensive purposes is a primer on Magickal study and Occult theology.

The Joup Friday Album: The Chameleons – Strange Times

chameleons-strange_timesHoly cow, where has this record been all my life?

To me, one of the greatest joys in all the world is when I find an album someone gave me at some point in the past that, for whatever reason, initially escaped my attention. I always tell people when they try to turn me on to new things, I get to everything eventually. Sometimes its a day, sometimes a month, some times five years. But I do get to it. The Chameleon’s 1986 record Strange Times is a perfect example of one that has remained just off my radar for longer than most, only to appear out of the blue recently and smack me upside the head with a newfound frenzied appreciation.

Thee Comic Column #110: Wytches

WYTCHES-Cover-1-Final-7cd41I will admit that when I first heard about Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches my interest was tinged with a small swathe of trepidation. I don’t mean to sound like a dick, but after recently re-reading Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake I wasn’t too hot on the idea of jumping on a new series by Snyder. This is because, in The Wake‘s case, I love the set-up, LOVE the art (Sean Murphy can do no wrong in my book) and love the characters, love the story and the way it’s two stories that tell one bigger story. What I didn’t necessarily love however was the ending. Honestly, it left me a bit flat. Of course it’s true that the journey is just as important as the destination, but I just don’t know if the ending to The Wake does the rest of the story – and oh what a story – any justice. That more than anything else may be what bothers me about the book and had me a little trepidatious about starting out on a new path with Mr. Snyder at the helm.

Thee Comic Column #69: Drinking With Comics @ The Comic Bug

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 7.14.49 PMRecently my good friend Joe.Baxter and I began discussing the prospects of starting up a video podcast that could act as a sort of companion to this column. We wanted something that dealt with comics but also something that didn’t play up the nerd angle that often finds its way into such enterprises. Comics have come a long way, they’re not just for kids and Comic Book Guy anymore, eh? We wanted something that didn’t propagate the “basement dweller” stereotype but instead captured the social aspects of being a modern fan of comic culture. You know, something that was more akin to the vibe you get when you’re at a party with friends, drinking beer, feeling good and talking passionately about why everyone should be reading Rachel Rising or just what the chances actually are that the next Crow movie will be a shot-for-shot interpretation of the original graphic novel. Because of the passion a lot of the people I talk comics with bring to the table during these conversations – especially after a couple of cold ones – I thought if we got something going, the magic would work itself into the conversation and translate on screen. The only problem seemed to be coordinating schedules and finding the right people to take part in this undertaking. Then a few weeks ago I  made my weekly trip into Manhattan Beach, CA’s The Comic Bug, picked up the stuff in my pull list, browsed the shelves and then spent the most pleasurable part of the visit talking with co-owner Mike Wellman about what books he recommended, our mutual man-love of Rick Remender (mine thanks to Mike!) and the music of Mike Patton. Suddenly it hit me – why not do the podcast at The Comic Bug and ask Mike to co-host? In my head it was the perfect idea. And you know, this past Monday we shot the Giant-Sized First Issue and it turned out – I think – FANTASTIC!!!

Thee Comic Column #62: The X-Mas Buying Guide

image courtesy of image courtesy of classes.It.unt.edu

I’m sick this week so I thought I’d take this opportunity of diminished stamina to do as I did last year and pen a quick little buying guide for the comic book fan in your life. Keep in mind there’s plenty of other GREAT comic-related stuff out there, these are just a quick handful of what I would recommend. Also, as with last year I figured it would help if I broke these suggestions down for the various stages of comic-book fan, from beginner to the more sophisticated. I define these various stages of addiction as follows:

Thee Comic Column #42 – The House on the Borderland

 

image courtesy of http://www.containsmoderateperil.com/

1 of 212

Translate