Of Moons and Serpents


It’s lunar, it’s serpentine, it’s grandly thaumaturgical. Cover design by yours truly.

Via Top Shelf:

Splendid news for boys and girls, and guaranteed salvation for humanity! Messrs. Steve and Alan Moore, current proprietors of the celebrated Moon & Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels (sorcery by appointment since circa 150 AD) are presently engaged in producing a clear and practical grimoire of the occult sciences that offers endless necromantic fun for all the family. Exquisitely illuminated by a host of adepts including Kevin O’Neill, Melinda Gebbie, John Coulthart, José Villarrubia and other stellar talents (to be named shortly), this marvelous and unprecedented tome promises to provide all that the reader could conceivably need in order to commence a fulfilling new career as a diabolist.

Its contents include profusely illustrated instructional essays upon this ancient sect’s theories of magic, notably the key dissertation “Adventures in Thinking” which gives reliable advice as to how entry into the world of magic may be readily achieved. Further to this, a number of “Rainy Day” activity pages present lively and entertaining things-to-do once the magical state has been attained, including such popular pastimes as divination, etheric travel and the conjuring of a colourful multitude of sprits, deities, dead people and infernal entities from the pit, all of whom are sure to become your new best friends.

Also contained within this extravagant compendium of thaumaturgic lore is a history of magic from the last ice-age to the present day, told in a series of easy-to-absorb pictorial biographies of fifty great enchanters and complemented by a variety of picture stories depicting events ranging from the Paleolithic origins of art, magic, language and consciousness to the rib-tickling comedy exploits of Moon & Serpent founder Alexander the False Prophet (“He’s fun, he’s fake, he’s got a talking snake!”).

In addition to these manifold delights, the adventurous reader will also discover a series of helpful travel guides to mind-wrenching alien dimensions that are within comfortable walking distance, as well as profiles of the many quaint local inhabitants that one might bump into at these exotic resorts. A full range of entertainments will be provided, encompassing such diverse novelties and pursuits as a lavishly decorated decadent pulp tale of occult adventure recounted in the serial form, a full set of this sinister and deathless cult’s never-before-seen Tarot cards, a fold-out Kabalistic board game in which the first player to achieve enlightenment wins providing he or she doesn’t make a big deal about it, and even a pop-up Theatre of Marvels that serves as both a Renaissance memory theatre and a handy portable shrine for today’s multi-tasking magician on the move.

Completing this almost unimaginable treasure-trove are a matching pair of lengthy theses revealing the ultimate meaning of both the Moon and the Serpent in a manner that makes transparent the much obscured secret of magic, happiness, sex, creativity and the known Universe, while at the same time explaining why these lunar and ophidian symbols feature so prominently in the order’s peculiar name. (Manufacturer’s disclaimer: this edition does not, however, reveal why the titular cabal of magicians consider themselves to be either grand or Egyptian. Let the buyer beware.)

A colossal and audacious publishing triumph of three hundred and twenty pages, beautifully produced in the finest tradition of educational literature for young people, The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic will transform your lives, your reality, and any spare lead that you happen to have laying around into the purest and most radiant gold.

A 320-Page Super-Deluxe Hardcover, co-written by Alan Moore and Steve Moore, and illustrated by various luminaries from the comic book field.

Cover design by John Coulthart.

ISBN 978-1-60309-001-8

13 thoughts on “Of Moons and Serpents”

  1. Will it really be 2009 before it comes out or is Chris Staros just hedging his bets in case all the artwork and publication takes longer than expected and he doesn’t want to put out a ridiculously early release date like they did with League Vol. 3?

  2. Will it really be 2009 before it comes out

    This is the first I’d heard of that date. Knowing how it is for smaller companies, who usually have to ration their resources, I’d guess they’re making room for things like the release of Lost Girls in other countries. And there’s going to be a lot of people involved with this book so it makes sense to give it time to get finished.

    “colourful multitude of sprites”.

    I noticed that but sprits is an Old English word that’s the origin of sprite. I think Alan said he wrote that blurb so it may be that he’s referring to.

  3. PS Superproofreader strikes again

    Paragraph 2 second last line

    “colourful multitude of sprits”

    should be

    “colourful multitude of sprites”.

    Do you guys need a proofreader to help with typos?


  4. so I’ve learnt a new word derivation now.
    If you put “sprit” into dictionary.com you just get

    a small pole or spar crossing a fore-and-aft sail diagonally from the mast to the upper aftermost corner, serving to extend the sail.

    [Origin: bef. 900; ME spret, OE spréot; c. D, G Spriet; akin to sprout

    You have to actually put in “sprite” to get

    [Origin: 1250?1300; ME sprit

  5. whoops list the final bit of that last post which should have been

    [Origin: 1250?1300; ME sprit

  6. Sorry meant to comment on your cover too.

    Loved the colour and all those stars and the lettering with the two sets of double O’s with circles in the middle. Makes them look a bit like eyes. The kid holding the magician’s wand sized caduceus and the tarot card looks a bit as if he was a 3D avatar of Tintin in one of those computer games I’ve never played. I like how he has his sleeves rolled up. “Watch Rocky. Nothing up my sleeve”

    A local evening college is running evening classes in my area. The last line on the Tarot course description reads
    “No material nor cards by Alistar [sic] Crowley are permitted.” which I thought was hilarious.


  7. Alan asked for something that looked a bit like an old children’s annual, since that’s the direction the contents are taking. Fun and inviting not gothic and scary like much modern occultism. You can’t see at small size but the border design is made of tiny moons and serpents. The boy was based on an old magazine illustration; Alan had also asked for some sort of period figure as the focus.

    Stars can be pentagrams, of course. And they happen to be a feature of anything to do with stage conjuring and what people today think of magic. Most people don’t realise that playing cards are derived from Tarot cards and the stage magician’s wand has a far older significance. A circle with a dot in the centre is the occult symbol for the sun, which was one reason for choosing the font.

    “No material nor cards by Alistar [sic] Crowley are permitted.”

    Yes, some Tarot people frown at the way AC messed with the symbolism.

  8. I was just thinking about a friend telling me about a “Tarot club” near us that had a similar addendum to their advertisement a few years ago. Perhaps it was the same one.

    Messed with the symbolism indeed! After using the Thoth Tarot the Rider-Waite and Marseilles Tarot seem like bland husks. I was actually horrified by how dull the whole matter seemed the last time I handled a Waite deck. I gave mine away.

    I’ve always thought that, whatever else you may think of the man and his work, that Crowley and Harris’ deck is a great offering to the world of magic and art. I guess even at my most conciliatory I am a damn fool and wrong.

    Sorry to post a few years late on this post, I certainly didn’t want to miss out on the discussion surrounding this wondrous project.

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