Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Off on a weeks holiday so no more updates till July 8th.
Recently started taking piano lessons again for the first time in years. I need the discipline of a weekly lesson to keep me practising and now that my two girls are growing up enough (2 & 3 1/2 years) it should be a bit easier to find the time to practice.
Starting off with some Czerny exercises and also want to learn the preludes to Bach's Well Tempered Clavier.
An update about Jess Nevins' Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana.
550,000 words. ISBN 1-932265-08-2.
Coming from MonkeyBrain Books, September 2005.
Straight from the Horses' mouth.
Discovered the Comics Scholarship Annotated Bibliographies webpage a few days ago. What a great resource. For instance using it (I forget how exactly now) I managed to refind the TIME comix article on Promethea from 2002 that I'd lost
Pow! Biff! Enlightenment!
The author seems to Andrew D. Arnold seems to put out something every couple of weeks or so. See his archive
Listening to Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells:
Grand Piano...Reed & Pipe Organ...Glockenspiel...Bass Guitar...Double Speed Guitar...two slightly distorted guitars...mandolin...spanish guitar and introducing acoustic guitar...plus
Vivian Stanshall (1973)
John Cleese (2003)
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
JH Williams III Interview
Promethea's illustrator JH Williams III finally found the time to answer some interview questions I sent him a while ago.
The proper interview can be found here
and just the text is here
Listening to Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville
I've lost my home to your thieves
They bully the stereo and drink
They leave suspicious things in the sink
I'm asking, will you, Mary, please
Temper my hatred with peace
Weave my disgust into fame
And watch how fast they run to the flame
Monday, June 28, 2004
Happy Birthday Melvyn Kaminsky
The stage version of The Producers recently opened in Australia and when he was out here promoting it he did a nice interview with Andrew Denton.
Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die
- Mel Brooks
Friday, June 25, 2004
Finally managed to finish reading Latter Days which took quite a while what with all of Cerebus' commentary on the book of Genesis in such small print. Quite enjoyed all the illustrations of Woody Allen in famous scenes from Fellini and Bergman films. One of the new books acquired by the library where I work recently is Peter Bondanella's The Films of Frederico Fellini which has the picture Dave based the elephant illustrations on on page 417.
The same publishing firm that put out How to Read Superhero Comics and Why has put out a book called Dr. Seuss: American Icon which my library just got recently.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Notes on Technical Vocabularies
Some notes about Alan Moore & Steve Moore Publication
A quote from a friend
the title of "Technical Vocabularies" is a quote from "a passage in Theophile Gautier's biographical piece about Baudelaire where he defines the 'Decadent style'..." (the 19th century Decadent writers being a shared interest of Steve Moore and Alan Moore) "... one sentence of which refers to its use of "technical vocabularies..." And the poems themselves are written in four traditional forms: pantoum, sonnet, sestina and villanelle (ie "four different techniques of using vocabulary")...
Adapted from the Alan Moore group at Yahoo.
On the front cover is
Games for May
Games for May on the cover is probably a reference to Syd Barrett's
See Emily Play song but might also have something to do with the fact that it's copyrighted Mayday, 2004.
Games for May -Space Age relaxation for the climax of Spring
David Hume quotes
The Oxford Latin Dictionary, 1976, has "somnium -(noun)1. a dream, vision 2.
An idle hope or imagining, fantasy, delusion, day-dream"
Cassell's New Latin-English, English-Latin Dictionary, 5th ed, 1977 gives
"somnium - (n.) a dream, Literally: in a dream; Metaphorically: a fancy,
day-dream; foolishness, nonsense" (!)
Perhaps reflecting not just the "24 hour" aspect of the project but also the
spirit of spontaneity behind it?
On the inside front cover, it's copyrighted "Alan Moore & Steve Moore, Mayday, 2004".
"Private edition: 26 signed & lettered copies.
Public edition: 75 signed & numbered copies".
My copy is Public Edition #70 of 75 copies.
As usual Alan signs himself A Moore but Steve signs his full name.
The booklet is 8 pages plus cover and there are 4 total poems, two by each of the authors. The first is by Alan Moore, titled
"Where I hid the Gold on Honey Island"
and it is 1 1/2 pages long. The second one is by Steve Moore, titled
and is 1 page.
The third is by Alan titled
and is 2 1/2 pages long; the last is by Steve titled "AEAEA" (the first two "AE's" are set as a dipthong) and it is 1 1/2 pages long. Nothing on the back cover.
All in all, I liked the piece. Both of the authors were able to turn phrases in a way that made the imagery vivid. I don't recognize the stuctures to any of the poems (no surprise there, since I'm no poetry expert). They seem rather free-form, though there is a distinct rhythym to each that makes them flow well.
The first poem by Alan Moore,
"Where I hid the Gold on Honey Island",
is a love poem. He uses imagery of treasure, ferns and "Sheets in
relief map continents of pleasure" to describe making love with his partner.
The second one by Steve Moore, titled "Petals", is also a love poem but more somber in its tone, as he recalls a lost love.
The third, by Alan and titled "Gatecrashers", is the one I found most interesting. He describes events in everyday life as something mundane and distant, and is able to evoke a feeling of real ennui with lines like "condemned to serve my time, with people I don't know in rented rooms". He sums it up with his last lines:
"Life's dead-end street is but a painted set.
We fall through doors to unsuspected rooms,
Resume our anecdotes, are done with time"
The first lines of Steve Moore's "AEAEA":
"I'd take a galley to the far, far west,
If I could but escape this world of care"
seem to be about the relief of death and going to a more pleasant
place. Both this poem and Alan's Gatecrashers include references to metaphysics that remind me of the Ideaspace Alan speaks of in so many of his interviews.
Thomas Lautwein pointed out that
"Aiaia or Aeaea is the island of Circe the witch in
Homer, Odyssy chant 10."
which is appopriate at the poem deals with Circe and Ulysses.
I also couldn't help noticing a kind of theme to the booklet. The
first two poems are about love, the second two suggest death. It kind of relates to the cover illustration of a woman, love, and the snake- thing who symbolically "sloughs off the mortal coil" when it sheds its skin. (But I could reading more into it than is intended).
Greg "fourinone2002" (who's hoping he hasn't gone past the bounds of legitimate usage by including so many lines from the poems).
It's mostly free-form, but both of Steve Moore's poems have some
rhyming verses and there is a definite, structured rhythym which is sometimes repetitive (I'm not sure if that disqualifies it from being considered blank verse or not).
>Also made me think of his snake-god, Glycon. The >face looks sort of human/dragon-like? <
I'm sure that the snake was referring to Glycon in some way. After
all, the authors are the only two members of "The Moon and Serpent
Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels".
> How does the title, "Technical Vocabularies" relate to the contents btw? I thought it might refer to the sort of "technical" words and phrases a magician might use as part of a ritual or spell - "magic words" sort of?
I think magic "spells" or something is what the title is referring
too, considering that both of the authors share that interest and
that Alan has spoken of those things in interviews and proposed
projects like "A Grammar".
It's funny though, I was expecting this piece to be full of
references to the occult and mysticism, but it's really not. There
are some allusions, but for the most part instead of poems
reminiscent of Blake and Yeats this piece seems more akin to Whitman or the Beats.
Blank verse would be iambic pentameter without end rhymes like
Shakespeare's plays and Milton's Paradise Lost. Free verse is verse
without a regular metrical pattern like Whitman and the Beats,
although good free verse usually has a nice rhythm, and if it's Alan
Moore, I'm sure it's good.
Quoting myself this time
It came in a nice plastic cover along with TOP SHELF TALES Free Comic Book Day 32 pgs dated July 3 2004.
Aubrey Beardsley seems like the inspiration for Alan's drawing on the
8 pgs. of text with the back cover left blank. 3 nice identical flower
images at the ends of poems on pgs. 2, 6 & 8.
"Monet light" and "Damp Rousseau ferns and moss" are referred to in the first poem.
The first poem consists of 5 verses with each verse repeating 2 lines
from the previous one. If you assign a letter to each line then it
scans as follows
So that the 2nd line of verse 1 becomes the 1st line of verse 2 and
the 4th line of verse 1 becomes the 3 line of verse 2 and so on for
all 5 verses with the first line of verse 1 also being the 2nd line of
Joe Camhi notes
"In both poems, Alan Moore is using traditional forms, but he is
varying them a bit.
Based on the pattern of the repetition of lines, the first poem is
close to a Pantoum. According to Lewis Turco's book The New Book of
Forms, it is a Malayan form. In English, it is usually accentual
syllabic. It can have any number of stanzas. However, Alan varies
the form. In a traditional Pantoum,within each quatrain, every other line rhymes. Also,
a traditional Pantoum is ended by either repeating lines 1 and 3 in
the final quatrain in reversed order, or by forming a couplet with
lines 1 and 3 in reversed order.
Alan's 2nd poem
[John]"Coltrane and cocaine" are referred to in this poem
6 1/2 verses long. Verses 1-6 are 6 lines long, verse 7 is 3 lines long
The last word of each line
In verse one assigning letters to each word
A = time
B = rooms
C = set
D = doors
E = fall
F = street
Only these 6 words are used as the last word of each line
VERSE 7 (or 6 1/2)
Looks like Alan set himself a technical exercise in constructing this
Joe Camhi again
The second poem is a very popular French form called a Sestina, but
Alan also varies that form. Below is the traditional order for the
repetition of words. The last triplet is called the envoy, and each
line should contain two of the repeated words in the order shown
with the first word inside the line, and the second word at the end
of the line. Also, the traditional English Sestina has an accentual
syllabic meter (usually iambic), and the lines can be any length,
but traditionally all the lines are the same length (for example,
iambic pentameter). According to Turco, the traditional form is
based on the numerological sequence 615243, the significance of
which has been lost since the Middle Ages. Perhaps Alan has a
mystical numerological reason for breaking with the traditional
order, or perhaps he just felt like it. ;-)
The classical form:
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
The New Adventures of Jesus
Forgot to mention that when I went to see Harvey Pekar do a talk at the Sydney Writers Festival a while ago he recommended The New Adventures of Jesus by Frank Stack or to use his pseudonym Foolbert Sturgeon.
Denis Kitchen bio
Ditto for Graphic Classics
He also recommened Jules Feiffer.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Just became the one thousand one hundred and fifty fourth person to sign the Please reissue Vivian Stanshall's MEN OPENING UMBRELLAS AHEAD, Warner Brothers! Petition
Having recently read pg. 114 of June 2004 Uncut magazine and having listened to Teddy Boys Don't Knit recently purchased & having fond memories of Trevor Howard in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End how could I not sign it.
Just bought The Rule of Four today. It uses a book called the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili for its' plot. We've got a copy of the English Translation finally published 500 years later in the library where I work
Sunday, June 20, 2004
which reminded my of an alliterative story I tried to write years ago:
but I gave up before I got very far.
At night after the girls and wife went to bed stayed up watching dePalma's Scarface on free to air TV whilst reading Cerebus Latter Days.
Interesting to try and remember all the minor small seconds of cuts in the film (mostly violence there was no problem with broadcasting the swearing).
Even though I'm not a big 3 Stooges fan reading about Koshie's stroke and the gradual deaths of the other stooges still brought tears to my eyes. Now that's great writing and illustrating.
I always feel sad when many years pass in a story and characters/friends you've started to really like start dying off.
I've never read Spawn or Preacher but the Cerebus parodies were still fun to catch up on.
Michael Palin sent a Message from Beyond the Grave to all who subscribe to his Palinstravels website
my wife, who is getting better and better at ignoring me, and our three
cats who say and do very little during the day-time, I was able to sit
undisturbed in my room, watching spring turn to summer in the gardens
of Gospel Oak and tap out a rough and ready account of 3,000 miles of
His Himalayas TV series should be out in October and he's also planning to tour Australia again too.
Friday, June 18, 2004
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years
Today is Paul McCartney's 62nd birthday. Tomorrow my youngest daughters' 2nd birthday. Only two more years and then
Many years from now
My copy of Cerebus Latter Days arrived. Wow.
More later have to go now.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
100 years ago today James Joyce met his future wife Nora Barnacle. When his father was told her surname he remarked
To commemorate the day he set the entire plot of Ulysses as taking place on this day.
Last night I read the Ithica chapter which is my favourite.
Happy Bloomsday everyone.
Technical Vocabularies has already sold out. I wonder which number I got?
Added Foreign Language Editions to Promethea Guide Book Updates
Here's the first review I could find for The Mindscape of Alan Moore
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Alex's Cerebus Page
The Great Promethea Re-read is now set to begin in a few weeks.
I found out about this at Neil Gaiman's website
The 2nd biggest man in comics : The Alan Moore Interview.
Great interview with Antonio Banderas on Andrew Denton's Enough Rope last night.
Listening to: Elvis Costello's Cruel Smile.
Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
Charlie Chaplin wrote the music
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Just found out about a new rare Alan Moore publication called
Technical Vocabularies from Top Shelf.
A 24-hour mini of poetic verse by Alan Moore and Steve Moore. Alan Moore's first mini, signed and numbered by both and limited to 75 copies. With a cover drawn by Alan Moore. This is a rare gem that won't be around for long. A Top Shelf website exclusive.
I've put in an order already. The international Air Mail postage was almost as much as the cost of the book itself. At long last I'll be getting a singed Alan Moore book that's numbered below #100.
Reagan outlived him by 20 years.
My copy of Cerebus Zero arrived the other day. The first thing I've got with Dave Sim's signature. Like-a-looks was hilarious and Dave mentions that Exodus was inspired by the statesroom scene in A Night at the Opera but also the hiding in a barrel on board a ship comes from the beginning of Monkey Business where all 4 Marx Bros. are in barrells of KIPPERED HERRING singing 'Sweet Adeline'
Listening to: Roger Waters Amused to Death
I saw a U.S. Marine in a pile of debris
Que sera sera
Is that your new Ferrari car?
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
G & T
Just found out about a big screen biopic of Monty Python's Graham Chapman to be entitled Gin and Tonic.
Wonder if Douglas Adams based his Captain of the "B" Ark in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy partly on Graham.
One's never alone with a rubber duck you know.
Gin and tonics all round
The open call for the new Monty Python biopic went
pretty much as expected in New York at the weekend. A
few hundred would-be cast members stood in line in the
rain on 42nd Street. The actors were outnumbered by
"We've had colonels, pepper pots, lumberjacks, silly
walkers, men in lingerie and a very nice midget in
full armour," says the director, David Eric Brenner.
"One man came as Jesus. When I told him there's no
role for Jesus, he said: 'That's all right; I forgive
you, my son.' "
Today is Nancy Sinatra's birthday
These boots were made for walking....
Latest update about Promethea from JHW3:
the format decided on for issue 32 is strictly to do something fun and puzzle like which will make more sense when you it. it will definitely be unlike anything else done before. from what i have recently found out, the special limited edition poster version will most likely be available after the stapled comic version. and the company is still not sure if they will be able do the folded poster version. if they can it will probably be offered at the same time as the stapled version. so there should be 2 to 3 versions coming and possibly multiple solictations for them. we'll see i guess. anyway all the more to drive you guys crazy with, eh?
fun and games!
there has been some talk of doing absolute editions. if we are going to do that it will have to be sometime after the final 5th volume collection comes out. also if we do them i'm hoping we will be able to do them in a way to make them very different from the other collections. lots of new designing and new art and fixing things that i am absolutely bothered by. truely remastering them to my satisfaction.
Monday, June 07, 2004
Fond memories of an old TV series called Spitting Image where
He just missed out on the 60th anniversary of D-Day with which local TV has been flooded yesterday. One thing I learnt was that for the first 48 hours after landing the instructions for the allies were "No Prisoners". Echoes of Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia and Lou Reed's Take No Prisoners live album.
About half way through listening to Tori Amos' Tales of a Librarian collection when I dropped my portable CD player and now it don't work
Working in a library as I do how could I resist a CD compilation where the songs are classified according the Dewey Decimal Classification System.
- Tori Amos
Jesus died for someones sins but not mine
- Patti Smith
Might try and get into female singer-songwriters in the near future.
Found a copy of Eric Shanowers Age of Bronze Book 1: A Thousand Ships in one of my regular comic book stores.
Also finally got Rick Veitch's Greyshirt Indigo Sunset.
Lots of reading to catch up on.
Today is Tom Jones birthday. My wife must be celebrating.
When I listened to the Voice from the Vault on Angela Catterns program on the radio this morning I thought it might have been John Cale but it turned out to be Tom. At least I got the nationality right. They're both Welshmen.
If you're into chess here is a webpage full of chess graphics and if you ever wanted to know what Humphrey Bogart was like as a chess player here are 4 of his games.
Added Skeleton Outline to my PGB Updates page
Friday, June 04, 2004
- Chico Marx about Harpo in
A Night at the Opera
Had insomnia last night between midnight and about 3am so I stayed up listening to Neil Innes' Recycled Vinyl Blues, Tubular Bells and Beethovens Chamber Pieces whilst making notes from Cavendish's Man, Myth and Magic and reading entires on Blake, Bosch and Breughel.
Today is Olympic Torch Relay day in Sydney as the kick-off for this years Olympics.
Two great sites I learnt about recently:
The Absolute Elsewhere:
Fantastic, Visionary, and Esoteric Literature in the 1960s and 1970s by R. T. Gault and
The 50 Greatest Rock and Roll Albums of All time
and the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys is now available on DVD. It's called La Jetee
More revelations from JHW about Promethea #32:
todd and i are working on issue 32 right now. we are both designing on this one with me handling the art chores. i'm not what the schedule will be for it due to the different formats. hopefully it will be available in all of its various formats at the same time. be prepared for a very unusual reading experience thats for sure.
Added Acknowledgements to Promethea Guide Book Updates Page
Listening to: U2 - Achtung Baby!
Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have yo come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
And if you've found a reason to live on an not to die you are a lucky man -
Found a great Malcolm McDowell webpage
Just took the Which Monty Python character are you quiz and got
I'm French! Why do think I have this outrageous
accent, you silly king-a?!
What Monty Python Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
serves me right for ticking "insane" for what word best describes you.
Suzi Quatro's birthday today.
Dancing around with my two little girls to the radio this morning "Down in Devil Gate Drive."
Ain't life fun.
I can't believe JH Williams III isn't included in the Comiclopedia. Will have to correct that error.
Some great revelations from JH about Promethea #32
issue 32 will be 32 pages long. and, if production works out, will also be a stapled printed comic-read sort of like a comic-but also be an unfolding double sided poster and a limited double sided poster with some sort of special printing involved in its production.
Also about the front covers of #30 - #32
the word "sun" on the cover was intentional. this represents the sun card which is why we used the word and the image together. which will be much more apparent when the next 2 issues come out, 31 being "aeon" and 32 being "universe"
Thanks to Philip Graves for posting my Promethea Questionairre at Millarworld.
All in all I only got 4 replies so far
Now to clear up some of my backlog of old email as my mailbox is 87% full at the moment
Please delete messages you no longer need -- especially larger messages -- if you don't, you may be prevented from sending and receiving mail. Once messages are deleted, they are no longer counted toward your storage quota.
Saw a great sign the other day:
Back in 5 minutes
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Decided to keep a seperate glob to post any updates on the Promethea Guide Book I'm writing.
Appropriately enough it's called
You can even Post Comments to it if you want.
I got the idea from Rudy Rucker who did the same thing when he was writing a recent novel called As Above, So Below. His exhaustive notes to this process can be found in Brueghel Notes
Last chance to win a copy of Big Numbers #1 by answering my Promethea Questionnaire ends today.
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Also Collen McCullough's birthday. Mostly known as the author of The Thorn Birds whose TV adaptation she apparently despises but her best work is supposed to be her Masters of Rome series. Quoting from this webpage
Masters of Rome Series:
This incredible series spans the final years of the Roman republic from the rise of Sulla, Rome's first dictator, to the consulship of Caesar. Who knows where it will end. I wish Ms. McCullough at least a hundred more years of productivity. She has truly captured the essence of ancient Rome!
Think I'll try to annotate Snakes & Ladders by Alan Moore both the comic book done by Eddie Campbell and the CD done with Tim Perkins with cover design by John Coulthart.
Making a list of publication details for Cerebus phonebooks:
- Cerebus (August 1987) 9-546 pgs.
- High Society (June 1986) 9-512 pgs.
- Church & State I (June 1987) 11-592 pgs.
- Church & State II (July 1988)595-1220 pgs.
- Jaka's Story (October 1990) 11-486 pgs.
- Melmoth (October 1991) 9-248 pgs.
- Flight (March 1993) 9-246 pgs.
- Women (April 1994) 7-247 pgs.
- Reads (April 1995) 7-247 pgs.
- Minds (June 1996) 7-286 pgs.
- Guys (September 1997) 7-408 pgs.
- Rick's Story (November 1998) 7-246 pgs.
- Going Home (March 2000) 8-386 pgs.
- Form & Void (May 2001) 387-753 pgs.
- Latter Days (still awaiting my copy)
- The Last Day (still awaiting my copy)
Read an obituary of American stand-up comic Alan King the other day.
At a Royal command performance when he was being introduced to Queen Elizabeth II and she asked him
"How do you do Mr. King?"
his reply was
"How do you do Mrs. Queen"