The Mindscape of Alan Moore

The Mindscape of
Alan Moore
 
(2 disc DVD)
Shadowsnake Films, 2003

 

Iconoclastic magician, writer, and performer Alan Moore is the sort of artist whom Kierkegaard had in mind when he declared, “When you label me, you negate me.” Moore has a higher profile among comic geeks than among witches and magick folks, but this beautifully packaged DVD set from Shadowsnake Films may help in addressing that imbalance. (If you haven’t read Moore’s Promethea yet, get thee to a book store, and pick up one of the most informative and entertaining works on the history of Western magic you’ll find in print.)

The aim of Mindscape is to bring us into the alchemical space of the artist. Vylenz wisely makes Moore’s expressive face the center of the film, surrounding him with images of London and Northampton, and surreal-ist imagery, and the occasional brief vignette from his stories or art from his comics. What guides the shape of the narrative are the images of the Thoth tarot deck.

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Our Gods Wear Spandex


©2012 Joseph Michael Linsner
 

Our Gods Wear Spandex:
The Cult of the Superhero
Excerpted from the book by Christopher Knowles
Illustrations by Joseph Michael Linsner


Dawn of the Gods

Every culture has had its superheroes. In early times, when strength and courage meant the difference between life and death, the strongest and bravest were held in the highest esteem. It’s only natural, therefore, that they would encourage the telling of stories to extol their prowess and record their exploits. The most exciting and creative of these stories were passed down from generation to generation, and carried to other cultures through migration. With each retelling, these stories became more fantastical. From these original tales of superheroes came the first stories of the gods.

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William Moulton Marston

William Moulton Marston
Kinky Daddy of Wonder Woman
by Kohinoor Setora

The next one hundred years will see the beginning of an American matriarchy — a nation of Amazons in the psychological rather than physical sense. Women have twice the emotional development, the ability for love than man has… as they develop as much ability for worldly success as they already have for love, they will clearly come to rule business and the nation. — William Moulton Marston1

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The Heretic’s Daughter

The Heretic’s Daughter
by Kathleen Kent
Hachette, 2008

Puritans believed they were a people convenanted with God. Charged by Him to secure a fortress in the wilderness….

There in those remote places [of Massachusetts Bay Colony] they were to bend the course of the world to God’s plan. I say now, What arrogance. The Town Fathers believed they were saints, predestined by the Almighty to ….

The holy purpose, like autumn brush fires, would swell and burn mightily through Salem Village and neighboring towns, committing scores of families … to dust. And beneath it all was greed and the smallpox and the constant raids of Indians, dismantling people’s reason, eating at the foundation of trust and goodwill … even our belief in God. It was a terrible time when charity and mercy and plain good sense were all thrown into the fire of zealotry… (p. xi).

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Ink

Ink  
Directed, Written & Produced
by Jamin Winans
 
Double Edge Films, 2009

 

Hollywood almost always butchers fantasy. Enthralled by big names and CGI, most producers drown wonder in cacophony. For years, filmmaker Jamin Winans tried to interest studios in his modest phantasia, Ink. Frustrated, he decided to make it himself, and that frustration paid off in a masterpiece.

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Beauty, Blood and Peter Pan

Hook & Jill coverHook & Jill
ANDREA JONES, REGINETTA PRESS, 2009

Peter Pan is a dick.

Despite green-stockinged Disney confections, Sandy Dennis on strings, and the creepy conceits of stunted man-children, “the Pan” (as he’s called by his nemesis Captain Hook) is a reckless homicidal sociopath whose behavior can generously be described as callous. Like so many of our most durable pop-cultural creations (Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Alice in Wonderland), Peter Pan arose from things unspoken in proper Victorian society, yet speaks eloquently a century or so after his creator’s death. And one of the reasons behind Pan’s eloquence is that “adventure” is an inherently selfish — yet irrepressibly essential — pursuit.

For Pan’s creator J.M. Barrie, adventure was a boy’s game. His “Wendy Darling” was a pale stand-in for feminine propriety, a mommy figure bracketed by the primal allure of Tiger Lily and the bitchiness of Tinker Bell. It was boys, not girls, who had adventures in Barrie’s Neverland… and yet, it’s the real-life girls who have gravitated (so to speak) toward Barrie’s creation in recent years. From the teen-cusp sensuality of P. J. Hogan’s film Peter Pan (2003) to S.J. Tucker’s “Wendy Trilogy” song-cycle and its spin-off fan club, The Lost Girls Pirate Academy (2004 and onward), Wendy has stepped center-stage. These adaptations have turned the Tale of the Boy Who Never Grew Up into female rites-of-passage.

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