Tag Archives: graphic novel

A Little World Made Cunningly

A Little World Made Cunningly by Scott David Finch, a 2013 paperback graphic novel, with an afterword by Steven L Davies discussing Gnostic interpretation and parallels, is part of the collection at the Reading Room courtesy of the author.

Scott David Finch A Little World Made Cunningly

“At the beginning of this dreamlike graphic novel, a young woman’s sleep is disturbed by a mysterious voice calling in the night. She follows the sound into a forest grove where she is inspired to weave a dress of leaves. As she adorns her garment with one last leaf, it breaks and falls away, ruining her creation. She collapses in frustration only to awaken as some other tiny self on the surface of that torn leaf. She begins to explore her microscopic new world under the moonlight, unaware that a frightened, hungry creature, Samael, is growing on the darkened underside of this leaf world.

Scott David Finch’s A Little World Made Cunningly is a story about creativity built on the ancient template of the Creation Story.

Drawing upon images from esoteric Christianity, the syntax of postmodernism, and Saturday morning cartoons, Finch’s work demonstrates an interest in the arcane strata below and beyond ordinary waking consciousness. He often employs several parallel lines of metaphor at once in a dense, layered visual language.

After more than twenty years of making large brightly colored paintings derived from photographic imagery, during a creative block 2010, images of a woman weaving leaves into a dress around her own body began to unfold in his mind’s eye. This narrative impelled him to devote the next year to writing and drawing A Little World Made Cunningly.” — back cover

Scott David Finch A Little World Made Cunningly detail

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

A Little World Made Cunningly

A Little World Made Cunningly by Scott David Finch, is a graphic novel that may be of interest.

Scott David Finch A Little World Made Cunningly

“At the beginning of this dreamlike graphic novel, a young woman’s sleep is disturbed by a mysterious voice calling in the night. She follows the sound into a forest grove where she is inspired to weave a dress of leaves. As she adorns her garment with one last leaf, it breaks and falls away, ruining her creation. She collapses in frustration only to awaken as some other tiny self on the surface of that torn leaf. She begins to explore her microscopic new world under the moonlight, unaware that a frightened, hungry creature, Samael, is growing on the darkened underside of this leaf world. Scott David Finch’s A Little World Made Cunningly is a story about creativity built on the ancient template of the Creation Story.

Drawing upon images from esoteric Christianity, the syntax of postmodernism, and Saturday morning cartoons, Finch’s work demonstrates an interest in the arcane strata below and beyond ordinary waking consciousness. He often employs several parallel lines of metaphor at once in a dense, layered visual language. After more than twenty years of making large brightly colored paintings derived from photographic imagery, during a creative block 2010, images of a woman weaving leaves into a dress around her own body began to unfold in his mind’s eye. This narrative impelled him to devote the next year to writing and drawing A Little World Made Cunningly.” [via]

Clockworks

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Locke & Key Volume 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez:

Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's Clockworks

 

Clockworks is the penultimate collection of the Locke & Key comics series, and in this volume, there is a very full account of the multiple backstories progressively hinted at in the earlier parts of the series. The final confrontation to which the whole narrative has been building is effectively put on hold, while the Locke children (the ones that aren’t possessed by horrible demons) use a newly-discovered key to travel in time — well, eavesdrop in time is really more like it — and find out the centuries-old history of the keys and the events of their father’s generation.

The book is great, with no flagging of the amazingly high quality of the story and art that have come before. There is a two-page spread of looking into the head of a possessed Dodge Caravaggio that was such an amazing image, it repaid the entire story to that point all by itself. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Before The Incal

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Before The Incal Classic Collection by Alexandro Jodorowsky, illustrated by Zoran Janjetov:

Alexandro Jodorowsky and Zoran Janjetov's Before The Incal

 

This volume collects the full-length prequel series that provides background for the classic Jodo/Moebius Incal books. The stories are all set on the planet Earth 2014, and they center on the young John Difool, particularly the vicissitudes of his romance with an aristo girl Luz and his progress from gutter rat to revolutionary to detective.

Jodorowsky’s storytelling is as fun as ever, although these are heavy on the social satire, and they don’t dive as deeply into the mythic strata that dominate The Incal. The sixth and last of the parts of Before the Incal is a little frenetic, making connections and tying up loose ends in order to maintain the continuity between this arc and that one. Even so, it seems like an incipient galactic revolution got lost somewhere between the two books.

Janjetov’s art is terrific. According to the Lambiek Comiclopedia, Janjetov first worked with Jodorowsky and Jean “Moebius” Giraud as a colorist on some issues of the original Incal series, and he had the express blessing of Moebius to continue the work with Jodo. In Before the Incal, he mostly emulates Moebius’s style from the earlier material, but he occasionally experiments (quite successfully) with integrating the more highly-rendered style that he would later use in other Incal-related books (Metabarons and Technopriests). [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Templar

Templar is a graphic novel by Jordan Mechner (of Prince of Persia fame), illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alexander Puvilland.

Jordan Mechner's Templar

Over on Boing Boing, you can check out a review by Cory Doctorow at “Templar: historical caper graphic novel from Prince of Persia creator” and gander through some pages at “Templar: new 480-page graphic novel about the Knights Templar [excerpt]

“Martin is one of a handful of Templar Knights to escape when the king of France and the pope conspire to destroy the noble order. The king aims to frame the Templars for heresy, execute all of them, and make off with their legendary treasure. That’s the plan, anyway, but Martin and several other surviving knights mount a counter-campaign to regain the lost treasure of the Knights Templar.

With gorgeous illustrations by LeUyen Pham and Alexander Puvilland and lush coloring from Hilary Sycamore, this 480-page, full-color, hardcover graphic novel by Jordan Mechner is itself a treasure.”

Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste

Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste by Martin Hayes, illustrated by R H Stewart, is a new graphic novel which may be of interest. Richard Kaczynski provides an foreword to this book.

Martin Hayes and R H Stewart's Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste

“‘… deftly weaves together the spiritual and the mundane, truth and rumour, into what is ultimately a human story about one of the most ambitious people ever to live … a work to savour and return to.’ — from the foreword by Richard Kaczynski author of Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley.

Know then the life and times of England’s most infamous son. Occultist, artist, poet, prophet, record-setting mountaineer, drug and free-love pioneer, spy, scholar, and legendary bad-egg. Summoner of demons and loser of friends. An explorer of many realms who conversed with gods and angels but ended his days labelled ‘The Wickedest Man in the World.’ Aleister Crowley. A foolish genius. A much maligned history. A wanderer of the waste.”

Counting to None

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Invisibles Vol. 5: Counting to None by Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez:

Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez's Counting to None from Vertigo

 

I’m reading these reprint collections of Grant Morrison’s Invisibles comic in sequential order, and this is definitely the one that I have enjoyed the best so far. I don’t know if it’s because of the intrinsic merits of its own story, or whether it’s simply that I’ve now read enough of the prior material to feel properly oriented in the story’s world. Each of the main characters from the original Invisibles cell of the first series has now had some significant backstory narrative, and a time-travel plot provides some new perspectives on familiar characters.

This volume collects the individual issues making up three titled arcs: “Time Machine Go,” “Sensitive Criminals,” and “Amerian Death Camp.” Written and published in the late 1990s, these stories seem to accept the identification of Vernor Vinge’s technological singularity with the end of the Mayan long count calendrical cycle in 2012 — an idea later popularized by Daniel Pinchbeck, among others, but which may have been original with Morrison here, as far as I can tell. Still, that feature reduces the immediacy of the narrative when reading it in 2013. Ragged Robin, the witch from the future who is the current leader of the Invisibles, mentions other contra-factual events from the first decade of the 21st century, with similar effects.

Up to his usual tricks, Morrison provides some startling intimations of presque vu and psychedelia-through-language. Many of the motifs in this segment of The Invisibles also feature in his later, more contained and incisive work The Filth. Phil Jimenez does an effective job of depicting key disorientations without entirely losing the reader, and manages to keep the violence as realistic as possible in the context. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

A Starr is Born

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Starr the Slayer: A Starr is Born by Daniel Way, Richard Corben and Jose Villarrubia:

Daniel Way, Richard Corben and Jose Villarrubia's Starr the Slayer: A Starr is Born from Marvel

 

This graphic novel collects the first four issues of Daniel Way’s 2009 reboot of Roy Thomas’s 1970 Conan knockoff Starr the Slayer. The 21st-century version is an “adult” fantasy title from Marvel Comics’ “Max” imprint. Richard Corben furnishes the art in his inimitable style. The story is very suited to Corben’s work; it is a profanity-riddled barbarian-boy-makes-good adventure, with the narration provided in rhyming doggerel throughout by a ludicrous minstrel. Complication is provided by a hack pulp writer “Len Carson” (Thomas’ creation), who is supposed to have invented the barbarian and his world, becoming enslaved by a fictional villain he created; thus the evil sorcerer Trull effectively has the demiurge as his thrall. This metaficitonal opus is sort of what you might get if a drunken 19-year-old D&D player tried to write James Branch Cabell’s The Cream of the Jest.

This slender volume is a fast read, full of disgusting violence, nudity, and general hilarity. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

The Cartoon Utopia

The Cartoon Utopia [also] by Ron Regé, Jr [also] is a graphic novel in which “beings from the future attempt to raise the consciousness of those in the present.”

Ron Rege's Cartoon Utopia from Fantagraphics

 

“In The Cartoon Utopia, ‘Utopians’ of the future world are attempting to send messages through consciousness, outside of the constricts of time as we understand it. They live in a world of advanced collective consciousness and want to help us understand how to achieve what they have accomplished. They get together to perform this task in a way that evolved out of our current system of consuming information and entertainment. In other words, the opposite of television. Instead, these messages appear in the form of art, music and storytelling.” [via]

 

 

 

Alan Moore joins the Occupy Comic project

Recently I posted about Occupy Comics: Art + Stories Inspired by Occupy Wall Street. There’s only about 40 hours left to get in on the project, but here’s something that may make this project even more interesting:

“Nearly 30 years after publishing V for Vendetta, writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd are throwing their support behind the global Occupy movement that’s drawn inspiration from their comic’s anti-totalitarian philosophy and iconography.

Moore will contribute a long-form prose piece, possibly with illustrations, to the Occupy Comics project. His writing work will explore the Occupy movement’s principles, corporate control of the comics industry and the superhero paradigm itself.

Lloyd signed onto the growing Occupy Comics project last week, as did Madman’s Mike Allred and American Splendor’s Dean Haspiel. Occupy Comics will eventually sell single-issue comic books and a hardcover compilation, but an innovative arrangement with Kickstarter means that funds raised through pledges of support can be channeled directly to Occupy Wall Street’s populist ranks now.

‘It’s fair to say that Alan Moore and David Lloyd are unofficial godfathers of the current protest movement,’ said Halo-8 founder and Occupy Comics organizer Matt Pizzolo in an e-mail to Wired.com. ‘It’s really amazing to see two creatives whose work was inspiring to street protesters join a creative project that is inspired by the street protesters. It’s a pretty virtuous cycle.'” [via]

See also occupycomics.com and Alan Moore and Will Contribute to Occupy Comics Anthology