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Monday, May 31, 2004

Finally first rough draft of annotations to Promethea #30 are now online. Finished first rough version of PGB Character Index up to Issue #30.
For anyone who thinks Madonna might have any significance to Promethea and Alan Moore
viz a viz
QUOTE
i agree that Alan has not made even the vaguest reference to Madonna.
but even if alan despises her i don't see how he could argue the fact she clearly manifests & personifies nearly every female archetype (from babylonian ho to virgin Maria) on a popular culture level.
(matriarch, mother of reinvention, like a virgin, material (mother mater/matter) girl, papa don't preach i'm keeping the christ child, sex book, human nature, ray of light, frozen video, kabbala, lourdes, etc. etc.)
do i think she's an apocalyptic figure? no. i'm merely stating the fact that she personifies a wide spectrum of alan's vision of the female archetype. alan's dream girl (how many levels is that valid on?).

ENDQUOTE

Answer to that last question To me none.


here's a quote from a friend of Alans:

The only time Alan has mentioned Madonna to me was when he said he and Melinda were thinking of asking her to do the introduction to Lost Girls. I think that was a whim at the time, plus Madonna has lost much of her super famous status since then.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Just got my signed copy of Mirror of Love
#103/500
to accompany my copies of Voice of the Fire 115/500 and From Hell Book One The Compleat Scripts #480 of 1000
a beautiful book in many respects. Sized to make the most of Jose
Villarubia's great photos. 40 in all or 39 if you don't count the
completely black page to accompany the text:
"The showers, they say,
held bodies piled
as if the strong and desperate
had climbed on lovers' backs
to flee the gas,
betraying at the last
our love,
the thing we thought
they couldn't take.

Can you imagine?

Can you?"

My favourite photographs would be the ones on pgs 17, 33, 43, 51 and
65 but there's many good ones of Christian statues, blood on snow,
faces with blood, Stonewall, etc etc
4 Appendices include
Who's who
Poems quoted in the text by Sappho, Michaelangelo, Emily Dickinson,
Walt Whitman and Wilfred Owen
Suggested readings
and What was Clause 28?
A coffee table book in the best sense of that description.
Though I'm not sure what the TV image of the Pope on pg 31 is in
reference to. Probably something to do with condemnation of gays by
the Roman Catholic Church.
Nice dedication by Alan
to anyone who loves, a kiss, with tongues and everything


Great to receive this in the same week as Promethea #30 as Jose
contributed greatly to both the book and the latest issue of
Promethea.
Already got some feedback from JH Williams about points I made about #30 at the Wildstorm Promethea Message Board
glad you noticed those little "mistakes" on pages 22 and 23. it was my subtle way of showing how things might change from the actual script to the final printed version. sometimes i need to change an angle or something like that to better suit the composition of the page from panel to panel. also showing how something changes from a work in progress to the finished product.
not showing all of bush's face was an editorial thing. i'm not quite sure what the problem is with that especially since he is never mentioned by name in this issue.
and yes jose's colors are absolutely brilliant. he did all of the morphing painted photo looking pages with me over my fullly rendered black and white digital pencil/painted panels. what i did was try to make the black and white images be as real looking as possible within the time frame i had to work with and then he digitally added color to them and some subtle FX. so pretty much everything that you see in the colored printed version was there in the black and white version, all of the tones and everything. a tremendous amount of work. jeromy's tidbits in this were really very nice as well. i'm very pleased with the result and it looks even better in the next issue.



Can't wait 'till #31 comes out now.

The cosmic worms go in, the cosmic worms go out
Put in orders for Cerebus Zero, #15 Latter Days, #16 The Last Day (signed) as well as one years subscription for Following Cerebus. Also ordered a copy of Jess Nevins A Blazing World.
There goes my budget.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Everything Must Go!


is the title of Promethea #30 which I should be picking up today finally.

Listening to:
Richard Thompson

There's nothing at the end of the rainbow
There's nothing to grow up for anymore


Cheery soul isn't he? A collection of his best bootlegs is called Doom and Gloom from the Tomb
:-)
also listening to:
Tim Buckley

Should I stand amid the breakers?
Should I lie with Death my bride


Now that's more like it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Yesterday was Gandalf's birthday.

Jess Nevins' A Blazing World: The Unoffricial Companion to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol II is now available for pre-order. Shipping in August.

Gary Spencer Millidge has released the news that his Alan Moore biographic is being reprinted in the French magazine Bang #5.

This French translation is the first time the strip has appeared in full colour and at a hugely increased page size of over 31 x 23 cm.

Last night read Lovecraft's The Outsider.

"I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in
this century and among those who are still men"

Wonder if Colin Wilson got the idea for the title of
his book after reading it.
Next up is Herbert West - Reanimator.
LOvecraft is also on the cover of the latest Fortean Times Issue #184.

Great episode of the Sopranos last night.
I hadn't realized that it was Peter Bogdonavich as the psychiatrists' psychiartrist until I read the credits at the end. I thought his face looked familiar. Interesting that
Robert Loggia didn't end up getting whacked but was
set up to end up back in prison.
Wonder what the story is with copyright when they show clips from films like Citizen Kane, Prince of Tides and in this one Frida.
Principal at the school recommending Tony's wife read Madame Bovary.
:-)

And today is the official release day for Promethea #30. Hooray.
But unfortunately there's been a delay in comics shipments to Australia so now I have to wait until tomorrow to get a copy.
:-(

Character Index completed up to Issue #27.

A quote from Roger Lewis' The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
From pg 375 about The Magic Christian.
"Cleese as an obsequious salesman at Sotheby's, was
more convincingly upper-class than the star - whose Guy Grand is meant to be a loopy aristocrat, and who comes across unfortunately as a bit of an arriviste.
When Sir Guy says he wants only the nose from a Rembrandt, and takes a pair of scissors to the canvas, Cleese's whimpers of pain at the cultural devastation, mingling with his sobs of joy when pocketing the bribe, create a new noise: the strangulated cry of Basil Fawlty, swallowing his principles; or of Archie
Leach, in A Fish Called Wanda, taking a microsecond to clear his throat before opting for Jamie Lee-Curtis and crime rather than toffee-nosed Patricia Hodge and the sedentary life of a High Court barrister. Cleese perform an Englisman's neuroses comically as Mason [in Lolita] did tragically.)"


Listening to: Lou Reed's The Raven

These are the stories of Edgar Allen Poe
Not exactly the boy next door.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Happy Birthday Robert Zimmerman



His Bobness turns 63 today. When I told my wife I couldn't believe that Tom Jones is older than Bob Dylan. If John Lennon were still alive he would have been 64 this year too.

Will you still need me
Will you still feed me


Looking forward to the Sydney Film Festival this year.
They're doing an Antonioni retrospective and I hope to
see Geoffrey Rush in The Life and Death of Peter
Sellers
which was a TV movie overseas.


Picked up a copy of Vampirella Magazine #1 Sep. 2003
which has a nice interview with Alan about Voice of
the Fire
on it that helps to explain a lot of things
about it.
I read chapter one and about half of chapter two and
all of the last chapter when I borrowed the original
TPB
from a library over a year ago but still haven't
got around to reading my Top Shelf copy yet except for the severed head chapter.
Even though I did manage to read all of chap 1 so long
ago I didn't necessarily understand most of it.
When you've already read all of Finnegan's Wake in
your 20's as you went to bed to cure your insomnia
(you get some great dreams if its the last thing you
read before you fall asleep) Chapter 1 isn't so
intimidating although I couldn't get through Russell
Hobban
's Riddley Walker when I tried to read it many
years ago.
Now that I've read Alan's explanation in Vampirella I
should be able to understand the book a bit better.

Listening to Bob Dylan (of course)


Tweedle-dee Dum said to Tweedle-dee Dee
"Your presence is obnoxious to me."
They're like babies sittin' on a woman's knee
Tweedle-dee Dum and Tweedle-dee Dee"

"...As great as you are a man,
You'll never be greater than yourself."
I told her I didn't really care
High water everywhere


Friday, May 21, 2004

Saw Harvey Pekar last night at the Sydney Writers Festival being interviewed along with Michael Leunig.


The first question she asked was about superheroes and
specifically the early scene in the film where a young
Harvey goes trick of treating on Halloween and he's
the only one dressed in normal clothes while the other
kids are Batman or Spiderman, etc. She asked him if
that was accurate about his childhood and Harvey said
that if he did go trick or treating it was in his
ordinary clothes or maybe once or twice with a sheet
over him and two eyes holes as a ghost (reminds me of
Linus in Peanuts) but he said that the only inaccurate
bit was where they kid Harvey threw the candy into
the gutter. He said he was always too cheap to do
something like that.
At the end in the questions from the audience someone asked him Why did you come to the
Sydney Writer's Festival?
A: My wife likes to travel and I got a free trip to
Australia.

All I could think to ask
him as he was signing my copy of American Splendor was
Did he contact Alan to do the one page story (see
Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore pg 161) or did Alan contact him.
His reply was
"He wanted to work with me"

Also bought a copy of A Life of Jung by Ronald Hayman at less than half price. He's already done biographies of Proust, Sartre, Kafka, Brecht, Nietzsche, De Sade, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard Tennessee Williams and Thomas Mann. Talk about prolific.


Listening to Marianne Faithfull's Broken English

We shall form a circle
Raise our hands and chant
Let the great one know
What it is we want

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Last Day


Cerebus fans now have a chance to buy the very last Book #16 The Last Day.
I think I'll order the Limited Autographed edition along with Cerebus Zero and Following Cerebus

I might save the Cerebus Companions till later.

Just got my copy of the first Cerebus Book yesterday. The art is a lot cruder but the enthusiasm and sheer joy of someone selfpublishing for the first time and doing what they love shines through. Also it's quite hilarious even if like me you're not overly familiar with Conan the Barbarian, Prince Valiant, etc.

Great About the Author note at the end:

Dave Sim was born in Hamilton, Ontario and moved to Kitchener at the age of two to rejoin his family. Since that time he has engaged in a number of unsavory practices including marriage and strip chess.


Just realized there's a great search facility at Neil Gaiman's website so that for instance you can check for where Neil makes a reference to Alan Moore or Cerebus on his journal which he seems to update just about every day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Penultimate Promethea

Promethea #31 Cover has just appeared on the net.
It has an Art Nouveau feel to it, although I don't think any artist is attributed. Ten stars on either side of the picture.
A beautiful looking red headed Promethea making the sign of silence above 5 bluish ghost figures rising out of their graves. Not sure exactly who they all are. The female one could be either Stacia or Trish but I'm not too sure about the 4 males. One looks a bit like Andy Warhol, another one could be Charlton Sennett, maybe Steve Shelley and the one in the background is probably a WWI soldier.

What do you do the day after the world ends? This is it, the end of the story — the one that answers all the questions! And whatever you do, do not miss issue #32!

and the release date is August 24th.

When I told John Coulthart about it he pointed out that
The
circular motif is just the kind of thing you get from Alphonse Mucha,
as is the waving hair. The trees look rather like Austin Osman Spare's
artwork.



Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Synchronicity


How's this for Jungian synchronicity.
Woke up early this morning read a chapter of Cavendish
The Black Arts pgs 147-156 then read The Annotated
Wizard of Oz Chapter XII and the note on pg. 212 read
"As Richard Cavendish reported in The Black Arts (New
York: GP Putnam's Sons. 1967, p. 130) incantations
generally have no meaning (even though they may derive
from meaningful rituals, as in "hocus-pocus" from a
line in the Latin mass, Hoc est corpus meum); their
importance lies in the fact that they sound
impressive."

then at work this morning just as I was reading Jess
Nevins
Blogrolling entry about League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen

I collected an item for a client and it was
The Days of My Life: An Autobiography by H. Rider
Haggard
(1926) Vols 1 and 2

Happy 48th Birthday to Dave Sim
He's ony 6 years older than me and he's already completed the longest running single author/illustrator self-published comic in history. Here's his famous Misogynistic writings and here's Tangents.


Eric Shanower got the present I sent him to thank him for giving me the Little Margie Script. It was Norman Lindsay's The Magic Pudding.

Monday, May 17, 2004

The Mindscape of Alan Moore


Finally the Internet Movie Database now contains Mindscape of Alan Moore although Shadowsnake Films still isn't attributed and the link to smoky man's interview with Dez vYlenz still has to be added and John Coulthart's great poster for the film isn't shown.
If anyone has any extra information about the film add it to the Message Board

If anyone in the UK is reading this then it's screening at the Institute of Contemporary Arts for 3 days in early June. Go and see it and tell the rest of us who don't live in the UK what it's like.

Now completed up to Issue #26 of the Promethea Character Index.


Nice answers to my Questionairre from Origami
Eroom,

As surveys go, your questions are a bit on the dry side. If I not being too presumptious, here are some different questions you might what to consider.

What appeals to you most in Promethea, the superhero stuff, the spiritual stuff, or the literary or historical stuff?

Has Promethea kept your interest? Is it as compelling now as it was when the story started? If your intest has waned, when was that?

How does this measure up to other comics you've read? Are there similar works you'd like to share with the rest of the class?

Has reading Promethea promnpted you to read up on magic, Alister Crowley or the Kaballah? Has it prompted you to meet up with Madonna for a yoga class and a soy latte?

Should I stop now, before I collapse into a complete puddle of smarty-pants incoherence?


Maybe I should send those questions out instead of my original questionnaire or see entry for May 7th at this glob
:-)
My answers were
What appeals to you most in Promethea, the superhero stuff, the spiritual stuff, or the literary or historical stuff?
A: for me first the spiritual stuff, then the literary historical stuff. The superhero stuff the least. The only superhero comics I've read are the ones Alan Moore has written

Has Promethea kept your interest? Is it as compelling now as it was when the story started? If your intest has waned, when was that?
A: Yes. I only started reading around the time Issue #18 came out. The order I read it in was Book 2, Book 1, Book 3 and book 4 so I don't really know how compelling the story was when it started. I started reading it from Issue #7 before I read Issue #1.
My interest hasn't waned although it has varied according to my mood

How does this measure up to other comics you've read? Are there similar works you'd like to share with the rest of the class?
A: It measures up pretty good compared to Cerebus, Carl Bark's Uncle Scrooge, Tintin and Asterix which are the only other comics I've really read properly except for Alan Moore ones. Oh and Also Gary Spencer Millidge's Strangehaven first two books, Sandman (all ten books), Dark Knight Returns and Bryan Talbot's Heart of Empire and Ghostworld. Those are the only other comics I've read recently. As you can see I don't go in much for superhero comics.
;-)
other comic books that remind people of Promethea

# The Invisibles by Grant Morrison
# The Adventures of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot
# Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
# Heart of Empire by Bryan Talbot
# Lady Death... Gallery
# Tarot - witch of the black rose by Jim Balent

Has reading Promethea promnpted you to read up on magic, Alister Crowley or the Kaballah?
A: Yes, although in my case it's more a re-read. I first read up on magic, Crowley and the Kabbalah about 20 years ago now but reading Promethea has prompted me to get more interested in those 3 topics again after not bothering with them for a long time.



Reading this article about Austin Osman Spare's bookplates at Fulgur has made me interested in the Art of Ex Libris

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Daughters of the Famous

The other day I took a very large scanning order at work for Thomas Kenneally's daughter. For people outside Australia Thomas Keneally is the author of Schindler's Ark the basis for Spielberg's Schindler's List. In the same library we've helped Peter Weir's daughter do some research which wound up on screen in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

I wonder how many other daughters of famous writers/film directors etc. help do research for their fathers?

Just to read something lighter than I'm used to lately I'm starting on the Annotated Wizard of Oz. I've never read Wizard of Oz before so it should be fun.

The Essential Kabbalah is easy to read but takes a long time to digest properly.


Having fun asking questions at the Cerebus Group at Yahoo

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

32

Today at work served someone wearing a T-shirt with 32 on it but he was too young and looked nothing like Jack Faust.
Started reading Daniel C. Matt's The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism. It's a lot shorter than all the other books I've started recently.
Finished reading Books 2 through 14 of Dave Sim's Cerebus.
Character Index in PGB just about completed up to Issue #24.

Last night on TV The Sopranos Season 5: Episode 2 Steve Buscemi joins the cast. Tony realized someone was betraying him after he's asked him if he was losing weight but it took him a while to realize. Longish silent excerpts from Citizen Kane. First on the list of the AFI's 100 best movies of all time that the wives/girlfirends are watching. The old joke about Rosebud was repeated. They missed #2 Casablanca because Tony stole back his home theatre system. Next on the list is The Godfather.



Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Second time I've handed out a 666 book request slip.
At the library where I work the slip numbers go from 001 to 999.
Should I be worried?

Monday, May 10, 2004

Nice to see that Shadowsnake Films have finally updated their webpage althought mostly so far it just consists of information about The Mindscape of Alan Moore film.
Finished reading Cerebus Book #13 Going Home (including the notes at the end) also the comic book part of #14 Form and Void but still have to read the notes on this one (up to pg 696 of 757 pgs).
This means I should be able to stick to my plan of updating my PGB Character Index. I've just about finished it up to Issue #18 and hope to do #19 to #25 by the end of this week which leaves me #26 to #29 to have done by the time #30 comes out on the 26th of May.
I'm also reading the Black Arts by Cavendish and have just started browsing through Montaigne's Essays. So lots of reading for me.

Also had enough Dymocks book vouchers on me to purchase a very reduced price copy of Richard Eyre and Nicholas Wright's Changing Stages: A view of British Theatre in the Twentieth Century.

Got an invite to a housewarming the other day. Nice little note with it
Thank you for not mentioning the Australian or US government beyond brief cathartic outbursts

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Started reading Richard Cavendish's The Black Arts aka The Magical Arts.
At the library where I work I took book request slip #666 on the same day.
Second reply to my questionnaire already received.
Keep 'em coming people.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Questionnaire


Yesterday I posted the following questionnaire to various places.

In my preparation for trying to write my Promethea Guide Book (or PGB
as I refer to it now) I'm hoping for some feedback from other readers
and fans of the book.
Here is a questionnaire for my research. Please provide answers by the
week after Issue #30 comes out.
As an incentive to answer whoever provides the best answers gets a
copy of Big Numbers #1.

Questionnaire

1) Are you male or female?
2) If you could ask Alan Moore and JH Williams one or two questions
about Promethea what would they be?
3) Ditto for any of the following:
a) Editor: Scott Dunbier
b) Inker: Mick Gray
c) Colorist: Jeromy Cox
d) Letterer: Todd Klein
e) Digital Artist: Jose Villarubia
f) Charles Vess (Charlton Sennett story pgs 8-15 in Issue #4)

4) Who is your favourite/least favourite character in Promethea and
why?
5) What is your favourte/least favourite storyline in Promethea and
why?(Choose one issue if you like)
6) Which is your favourite cover and why?

Already received one reply. How prompt is that. Unfortunately he misread the last questions as COLOR instead of COVER.

If the place where I got Big Numbers #1 from still has copies left I might make it the best 3 answers get a copy of it.
Put in an order for Cerebus Zero and Book 1 there today.

:-)


Found heaps of information about Hypatia of Alexandria. The date of her martyrdom is 415 CE. How does that compare with 411 AD in Promethea #1?

Jess Nevins got a great quote from Alan for the introduction to his forthcoming annotations to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 2 Book A Blazing World:

"You know, I felt sure that The New Travellers' Almanac would finish him off. God knows, it finished off my copy of Manuel and Gaudalupi’s Dictionary of Imaginary Places, and near enough finished me, so why should Jess Nevins be exempt? Maybe the proximity of Pepperland with Argentina, or the oblique nod to Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves would do it: he’d fail to catch the reference and his head would explode in a shower of green sparks and seafood."


Two guests at the forthcoming Sydney Writers Festival are Alain de Botton and Harvey Pekar. I hope to catch at least one talk by each of them in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

A Fool's Mate


Don't know if anyone has noticed this or mentioned it somewhere else already but when Seutonis Po defeats Cerebus in the giant chess game he does so with a 4 move variation of the Fools Mate. Moves by White are
1) P-K4
2) B-B4
3) Q-B3
4) QxP checkmate

Two of the shortest games of chess ever played were both with Bobby Fischer. Once as white in the 2nd 1972 World Championship game against Spassky when he didn't show up and lost by default and another when he was black and his opponent showed up at a tournament game looked at the board and toppled his king over as his first move. Here are some more interesting chess records.

Just discovered Man Myth and Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion and the Unknown edited by Richard Cavendish. I'm using the 1985 12 volume edition now but the library where I work also hold the later 1997 21 volume edition.
If only I'd know about this when I first started my Promethea annotations things would have been a whole lot easier.
Already in the first volume under Baal there is an illustration of him with 3 heads (cat, man and toad) just as he appears in Promethea and it's taken from de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal.


Listening to: John Lennon

We all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun



Tuesday, May 04, 2004

"I hate a dirty joke I do
unless it's told by someone who
knows how to tell it"
- Groucho Marx

Q: What came first: the chicken or the egg?
A: The rooster came first.
- Dave Sim's Cerebus Book 11: Guys, I forget the page reference.

A list of real people who appear in Cerebus. I'm sure there's plenty more I'm not aware of yet.
Groucho Marx
Chico Marx
Mick Jagger
Keith Richards
Oscar Wilde
George Harrison
Ringo Starr
Marty Feldman (as seen in Young Frankenstein)
Margaret Thatcher
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ernest Hemingway
The 3 Stooges
Dave Sim (author/illustrator)
Eddie Campbell
Alan Moore (Going Home Book 13 pgs. 151-158)

Trying to do a search for Alan Moore on Australian only sites I came across this

Alan Moore In Scarborough
In a pub in Scarborough last night, I saw a man who
looked like Alan Moore. I'm pretty sure he wasn't Alan
Moore, but he let me get a good idea of what the
comics gods of Southampton would look like dancing
badly to rhythm'n'blues...

on The Angriest Blog entry for May 2nd.
to which a friend of Alan's replied:
with the hair and beard Alan must have more doubles than Saddam
Hussein.

and he also added the travel writer Alan Moorehead

What I was really looking for was a World War II painter named Alan Moore who I saw on TV last week

And just to prove
The ubiquity of the name Alan Moore


here are 3 more Alan Moores just from Australia:

One - most boring

Two - Navy News story

Three - an entertainer

Having finished Guys I'm now looking forward to what Dave Sim does with F Scott Fitzgerald in Going Home (#13) and Ernest Hemingway in Form and Void (#14)

Listening to REM
"It's been a bad day, please don't take a picture"


Also looking forward to:
The Sopranos Season 5 which starts tonight.

Plan of Action for the PGB at the moment is:

I: Character index finish up to Issue #29 by the time
#30 comes out at the end of this month then ask
people for corrections additions and suggestions.
II: Complete the bibliography
III: Write an essay/chapter about all the covers including short biographies of all the arists acknowledged.

Feedback from Alan Moore via a friend of his:

I spoke to Alan very briefly. He says he's pleased you're going to all this effort but reckoned you were reading too much into some of the story
(looking for references that aren't there) while missing some other points;
I forget the actual reference but he mentioned something in the opening sequence of issue 1; apologies for not making a note of the details.
Steve Moore has looked over your notes apparently and his view was
that you could do with reading more about the history of magic, something I think you know already. So the summation seems to be that's it's on the right track but needs some work and/or development.


So it's off to research the History of Magic for me now starting with Richard Cavendish's A History of Magic

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