Two Things to Read, Maybe


Thursday, October 21, 2010

1. Our own Dan Nadel interviewed Dan Clowes at APE last weekend (armed with questions brainstormed by the CC staff), and from all reports, it went very well. During the conversation, Clowes handicapped the greats (Capp vs Fisher, Swan vs Boring, Cracked vs Mad, etc.), described meeting Al Jaffee and Steve Ditko, and analyzed advice once given to him by Robert Crumb. You can read about it all here, and if the a/v version is ever made available, we will let you know.

2. If you are following along with the CCCBC discussion of Neonomicon (and how could you not be?), a rare Alan Moore essay has come to light that may help illuminate some of the thematic material in that series. If you remember issue 2, when shopping at the Whispers in Darkness store, Agent Brears purchases a copy of The Magical Revival by Kenneth Grant, and later describes the author to her partner Lamper:

This Grant guy, he’s this serious magician who’s still alive in England. He knew Aleister Crowley. … Yeah, well, him, Grant, people like that, they’re serious about all the occult stuff. They treat it like it’s real, you know? Like it’s a science. And Grant, he believed Lovecraft’s whole mythology was genuine in some way. … I just want to see how anybody could actually believe in this stuff.

Anyway, in 2002, Moore used the occasion of a then-fairly-recent Kenneth Grant book to write a fairly lengthy essay on the man and his work, “Beyond our Ken”, which touches on such issues as Lovecraft’s influence, both on literature and “modern magic systems,” magic’s interchangeability with art (“the greater part of magical activity lies in simply writing about it”), and the dividing line between belief and reality. All of these topics obviously come to fruit in various ways within Neonomicon, so those readers not entirely turned off by this kind of arcane subject matter may want to download issue 14 of the occult magazine KAOS, which is available here, and read it.

[via, indirectly]

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4 Responses to “Two Things to Read, Maybe”
  1. Lane Milburn says:

    I’m interested in Clowes’ remark that comics history is “disappointing” and “spotty”. Maybe a provocatively un-Comics Comics statement?
    As interested as I am in learning about the comics of the past I never felt like a part of some tradition or continuity. I wonder if maybe the contemporary discourse on past and present comics hasn’t overlooked the intuitive simplicity of the panel-text balloon-picture formula? We all learn to use the “form” very young, and isn’t everyone who draws a comic just pulling it out of his/her ass?

  2. Jeet Heer says:

    The panel discussion that Clowes mentions where Hogarth browbeats everybody (he basically said that Crumb, Clowes, the Hernandez Bros., Bagge and Fleener have nothing to offer but nihilism) can be found in The Comics Journal #149. Clowes actually had a good response to Hogarth (something to the effect that I wouldn’t be spending 60 hours a week drawing comics if I was just a nihilist). Worth checking out!

    Also, it’s clear that Peggy Burns’ critique of the plaid shirt look has not yet sunk in.

    • Dan Nadel says:

      Peggy and Tom will never succeed in eradicating the plaid. It is rad. Dan C.’s remark about comics history is right on the money and should be heard in its context, which will be possible at about 5 am tomorrow when the audio posts. Yee haw!

      • T. Hodler says:

        Audio already? Wow is this site a well-oiled machine. I wonder if we should stop pouring oil on it & do any other kinds of maintenance?

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