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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Hip Gnostics and more Moore

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Coincidence abounds: on Wednesday I was following a few referral URLs to see who’d been linking here and was led to a Lexic.us page about hermaphrodites which in turn had me looking again at the wonderful Borghese Hermaphroditus in the Louvre. Thursday’s postal delivery brought issue 1 of The Gnostic which prominently features the Louvre sculpture on its cover. Inside there’s my portrait of William Burroughs illustrating a piece about Burroughs’s Gnostic identification by Sven Davisson. (I linked to another essay on the same theme in 2007.) The Gnostic is an excellent publication which, the Alan Moore interview aside, I’ve only skimmed through so far. Alan’s piece is very enlightening since the discussion stays fixed around religion, science and the occult and includes the most thorough extrapolation I’ve seen to date of his long work in progress, Jerusalem. There’s also a transcript of part of his William Blake piece from 2001, Angel Passage. If you want to know more I suggest you order a copy ($12 / £8 / €9) from Bardic Press.

Coincidence further abounds as this arrived just as Pádraig Ó Méalóid publicly announced his discovery of the long-lost and unpublished third issue of Alan Moore’s Big Numbers. This was Alan’s self-published “real life” comic series from 1989 which got off to a great start then fatally collapsed when artist Bill Sienkiewicz, then his replacement, Al Columbia, both dropped out of the project. It’s one of the great lost projects of contemporary comics and seeing the third issue sustaining the quality of the first two is deeply frustrating.

The last piece of Moore news concerns The Mindscape of Alan Moore once again which is now available to buy through iTunes. $9.99 will only get you the feature-length documentary, however. If you buy the double-disc DVD you also get my groovy interface design and an extra disc of interviews with major comic artists.

Update: Alan Moore has certainly ruled the week in this household with the delivery on Friday of The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore, a new edition of George Khoury’s book-length autobiographical interview with Alan, and an essential purchase for anyone with more than a cursory interest in Alan’s life and work. The book features copious artwork examples by many Moore collaborators including my CD designs and the cover for the forthcoming Moon & Serpent Bumper Book of Magic.

Previously on { feuilleton }
William Burroughs: Gnostic visionary

 


 

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {comics}, {occult}, {religion}, {science}, {sculpture}, {work}.

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6 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Bill Ectric

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    I don’t even know where to begin. I love everything about this post.

    Sometimes I think coincidence is mystical, other times I think it’s the subconscoius path I take by following my own bliss, and then I realize – it’s both!

    For I was born in June
    and soared through valiant summers
    In slow-motion leaps & bounds;
    The big, happy sun ball rolled
    up, down & around me
    Like the science teacher’s shiny mobile.

    My Gemini twin
    Had lustrous hair that bounced
    with each sea-saw lift and dive.
    Far as could be from winter,
    She held my hand when, one time,
    A bee sting introduced us to horror.

  2. #2 posted by John

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    Thanks Bill. Don’t know what it is about Alan Moore but this happens a lot around him. I updated the post since yet another Moore interview book turned up today!

  3. #3 posted by Andrew

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    Thanks for that, John. It’s easiest for readers (and for me) to purchase The Gnostic via the major online sellers.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1906834024/thegospeoftho-20
    http://www.amazon.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1906834024/

    Interesting to here that Alan attracts coincidences–I think that’s quite possible. Can you give any other examples?

  4. #4 posted by John

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    Hi Andrew, and thank you for the book.

    Lots of coincidences, great and small, although I only remember the more interesting ones. Such as:

    • My first published work being for Hawkwind in 1982 and that work being advertised in an issue of Sounds which was running one of Alan’s comic strips at the time; Alan interviewed Hawkwind for the paper shortly before that.

    • One of my pieces of Hawk-art from that period was an eye of Horus which was later used as a logo by Cleopatra Records in Los Angeles. Alan’s first Moon and Serpent CD (with David J and Tim Perkins) was released on Cleopatra in 1996 with my eye of Horus printed on the back.

    • Alan’s first published work was an ad piece for an underground mag, Cyclops, a magazine which also ran artwork by my colleague at Savoy Books, Dave Britton. Alan told me he used to have a picture of Dave’s on his bedroom wall.

    • Meeting Alan three years running on November 5th (a significant date in the Moore calendar via V for Vendetta) in the early Nineties, once in London then twice in Northampton.

    • Leah Moore coming to Manchester university and living for a while within walking distance of me which meant I was able to meet Leah, Melinda and Alan one evening in a local pub.

    • Strangest of all, working on the drawing I referred to here which illustrates a story of Alan’s featuring a room infested by insects. Whilst in the middle of drawing my bathroom suffered a dramatic infestation of spawning honeybees one warm afternoon. Quite alarming at the time and very bizarre.

  5. #5 posted by Bill Ectric

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    William Burroughs spoke of “the monumental fraud of cause and effect.” Steve Aylett posits “commands materialize from thin air where someone’s mouth happens to be.” What is my point? I don’t know. Perhaps the intersecting point of two seemingly unrelated paths, either leading toward or away from that Druid-bearded Alan Moore.

    Indeed.

  6. #6 posted by John

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    I’m usually cautious about assigning too much significance to events given the human brain’s fondness for pattern recognition. But ya know…a swarm of bees in the bathroom. That was strange.

 


 

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