Why Are Comics So Often Magick?

An excellent article in The Secret Sun blog “Comics are Magick: Daddy and the Pie” reports upon the association between magick* and comic books:

“Daddy and the Pie,” an alien encounter story from 1975 written by the late Bill DuBay (himself a student of the Kabbalah) and drawn by the late Alex Toth (himself an art god) […] is sublime in so many ways but is remarkable in that it serves as a classic initiation narrative and leaves off at a point before the narrator reaches his ascension to occult mastery, which is obliquely- and ominously- referred to in the final paragraph.

The story in question deals with an alien encounter, which has been given a distinctly occult edge to it. It is to be found, reprinted in full, at The Secret Sun.

Alan Moore (Watchmen, Promethea and V for Vendetta), Pat Mills (Judge Dredd, Slaine, ABC Warriors) and Grant Morrison (The Invisibles, Superman, Batman) are three of the main notable comic book writers who have revealed in interviews that they use magick as part of their lives. There has long been an interesting association between the two disciplines. I’ve often wondered why it is that ‘sequential art’ and magick make for such good bedfellows and would welcome your thoughts in the comments section.

Meanwhile fans of Alan Moore await his next release, The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic, which Top Shelf productions describes as:

a clear and practical grimoire of the occult sciences that offers endless necromantic fun for all the family.

The book is likely to be a breath of fresh air to the UK’s occult scene. It is co-authored by another influencial comic book writer,  Steve Moore. Despite sharing the same last name the two are not related. Steve cut his teeth at the influencial British comic 2000AD while pioneering their short story format with Tharg’s Future Shocks. Alan’s interest in the occult is often attributed in interviews to the influence of his friend Steve.

NM

*Magick with a “k” to distinguish it from the more popular stage magic practised by the likes of David Blaine, David Copperfield and Uri Geller.

, , , , , , ,

  • Mathmagician

    Its the hyper sigil. Very beautiful way to cast magick. But there are other ways that are geared towards the ones like me who are inapt at illustrating. Casting without a sigil at all is the ultimate method IMO but takes practice to really be able to focus the imagination. I am also trying a binary text incoder, to incode the intent and then recode the code again into binary. Computer programs are created like that from scratch so I am thinking, why not magick? 

    001100000011000100110001001100000011000100110001001100000011000100110000001100000011000100110000001100000011000000110000001100000011000000110001001100010011000100110000001100010011000100110001001100000011000000110001001100000011000000110000001100000011000000110000001100010011000100110001001100000011000100110000001100000011000000110000001100010011000000110000001100000011000000110000001100000011000100110001001100000011000000110001001100000011000000110000001100000011000100110000001100000011000000110000001100000011000000110001001100010011000000110000001100000011000100110000001100000011000000110001001100000011000000110000001100000011000000110000001100010011000100110000001100010011000100110000001100000011000000110000001100010011000000110000001100000011000000110000001100000011000100110001001100000011000100110001001100010011000000110000001100000011000100110000001100000011000000110000001100000011000000110001001100010011000100110000001100000011000100110001

    • Biocykle

      The gentlemen in question are all writers, not illustrators. It’s all in the script.

    • Biocykle

      The gentlemen in question are all writers, not illustrators. It’s all in the script.

      • Mathmagician

        But without the drawings derived from the scripts, its not a complete sigil. 

      • Mathmagician

        But without the drawings derived from the scripts, its not a complete sigil. 

        • Horus Freak

          I disagree, as a writer when writing I see the situation clearly in my minds eye, the deeper into it I get the more I see instead of write. You do not need to draw a sigil to make it complete, if your belief is that it is incomplete when drawn you will have the result of it being so. Instead if you dare make your own rules in the game of magick, you’ll find everything works.

        • Horus Freak

          I disagree, as a writer when writing I see the situation clearly in my minds eye, the deeper into it I get the more I see instead of write. You do not need to draw a sigil to make it complete, if your belief is that it is incomplete when drawn you will have the result of it being so. Instead if you dare make your own rules in the game of magick, you’ll find everything works.

          • Mathmagician

            In a sense you are right, when it comes to the big picture everything does work but we are talking about comics here. A comic without its illustration is just a short story. Everything does work but I feel that the more people believe in one method the more power it has behind it. If you are just writing than its not a sigil, its another form of casting. The subconscious mind works with images, archetypes,  not words. languages and their limitations are a kind of a block, thus a sigil is drawn to present intent to the subconscious mind without the need of limited words. Simple sigils are drawn by taking certain letters out of the written intent  drawing a picture with them to reach the subconscious with the image, not the words which it does not respond to. Kind of the first thing I learned when it comes to magick thats why its easier to say words in your mind than to visualize a complete visual. I find that with just  writing I lose concentration on what I was thinking in the previous parts of the text but with a simplified sigil I focus on one image that includes all that I intent to do all in one, to the exclusion of everything else floating in my brain. Everything does work but you need to make a specific system for yourself at each given time. Magick is supposed to be simple, the source, you should be able to do it with a stick and sandy soil or with just your mind. More complicated systems are the result of the initial casting with a simplified one.  And magick is not for the passive and lazy, cast the intent and go try to achieve it, its about animating events, the power to animate oneself is already a given. I also advice divination before casting anything to make sure its really safe as end results can be surprising to say the least. The magick of today is the science of tomorrow when its fully crystalized in the physical. Lastly with magick, instead of asking god to give you the power to accept the things you cant change, you got to ask god for the power to discern the things you want to change and the things you dont really want to change as magick rewrites the whole script. Everything is more complex than me and you will ever come close to grasping, so if what you are doing is working, great!!!! But I was talking about this specific method, not every method. Like I love steak but I do not love every cut some are too hard. umm steak.

          • Mathmagician

             If you are seeing everything as images before you write it down, thats a gift and seems like your subconscious is just telling you whats going to happen instead of the other way around. In reality everything flows through us we do nothing. So maybe you are experiencing things in the correct order and that is a wonderful thing. If you try drawing a sigil you will find that it works as well, but if it aint broken dont go a fixing it. all the best.

          • Mathmagician

             If you are seeing everything as images before you write it down, thats a gift and seems like your subconscious is just telling you whats going to happen instead of the other way around. In reality everything flows through us we do nothing. So maybe you are experiencing things in the correct order and that is a wonderful thing. If you try drawing a sigil you will find that it works as well, but if it aint broken dont go a fixing it. all the best.

          • 789

             I make my own rules and even I don’t follow them!!! Seems like this is your motto

          • 789

             I make my own rules and even I don’t follow them!!! Seems like this is your motto

    • emperorreagan

      That’s a really good idea.

      I have never been satisfied with the way my graphic sigils look.  But if you encode your intent in binary, you can let your gaze go and find a pattern within it to concentrate on.  I think I could be much happier with that end aesthetic result, if it works.

      • Mathmagician

         got to try it. you can even try to draw those macro images with it where they use characters to draw a more complex graphic. i just started experimenting  a few months ago with this method. I find that magick starts working when i charge it then totally forget about it and with this method if i cast a bunch at once I have no idea what they are after a few days but with sigils I never forget unless I never look at them ever again. I also drop these 1’s and 0’s and my sigils on 4chans boards to make them gaze at it for me. suckers

      • Mathmagician

         got to try it. you can even try to draw those macro images with it where they use characters to draw a more complex graphic. i just started experimenting  a few months ago with this method. I find that magick starts working when i charge it then totally forget about it and with this method if i cast a bunch at once I have no idea what they are after a few days but with sigils I never forget unless I never look at them ever again. I also drop these 1’s and 0’s and my sigils on 4chans boards to make them gaze at it for me. suckers

  • http://twitter.com/Wyrdmaven Gregory Lannom

    The easy answer is comics are hieroglyphics.  The word means basically “sacred symbols.”  The Egyptians and such realized that symbols were excellent as they used images to convey meaning and that “reading” that language as a visual narrative had power.  The Spiritual Incompetence of the Western World can sorta be tracked from when we began to use words mainly and the use of symbols was considered “primitive.”

    Since superhero comics are the Western World’s new mythology, then using sequential art combining images and words, (both are symbols by the way…any word is a magic word created by using abstract symbols that have no meaning beyond our concensus belief in their meaning.  Tell someone to “stop” doing something and see their reaction…congrats, you’re a practicising magician) makes perfect sense.

    (A side note…since Atheists are agin abstract belief in something, I expect them to agree any day now to stop using letters, numbers and words and also spoken language…because letters and numbers and spoken language mean nothing beyond our arbitrary belief in their meaning.  Also of course letters do not appear in nature, they are made by us and they only exist because people belief in them.  To make this even more of a profound concept…numbers do not appear in nature…yet we find that there is a mathematical order to the cosmos.)

    Since comics are also STILL considered a fringe artform, then the people producing them and the readers of them are more open to these sort of concepts and often approach the subject of magick with a more objective and serious bent, at least they tend to not be fundamental in their worldview.  Not so for the “New Age” actual books that market to the muddle-headed Wiccans and such who think magical practice is like playing Dungeons and Dragons (but for realz).

    But since magick is best worked using abstractions and symbols and “mumbo jumbo,” comics is an excellent medium for the work because the work resonates on conscious and subconscious levels at the same time, the way that teevee advertising is calculatingly designed to manipulate the viewer…except magick manipulates (insert everything here).

    fiat lux

  • Ted Heistman

    I think Philip K Dick’s writings were often hyper sigils, but I agree that the drawings in comics might make them more powerful.

    R. Crumb ended up banging all the women he drew in the same kinky way. Not that there couldn’t be a more noble cause, but it is a clear display of sympathetic magic.

  • Ted Heistman

    I think Philip K Dick’s writings were often hyper sigils, but I agree that the drawings in comics might make them more powerful.

    R. Crumb ended up banging all the women he drew in the same kinky way. Not that there couldn’t be a more noble cause, but it is a clear display of sympathetic magic.

    • Mathmagician

       Writing is powerful, but I find that masterful writing is more of the result of magick to me, instead of magick itself. The concept of magick I grasp, finding effective ways to focus my mind to make it work is what I truly ask for. I was initiated by coming across the methods of
      Austin Osman Spare and I feel I am a little bias and geared towards his methods as I find them very appealing.

  • That itch

    The Editorial “The Book of lies” by Disinfomation inc, shows many proven methods of casting Magick. Buy it its worth it. http://www.amazon.com/Book-Lies-Disinformation-Magick-Occult/dp/097139427X
    I am not affiliated to disinfo but I approve this message

  • That itch

    The Editorial “The Book of lies” by Disinfomation inc, shows many proven methods of casting Magick. Buy it its worth it. http://www.amazon.com/Book-Lies-Disinformation-Magick-Occult/dp/097139427X
    I am not affiliated to disinfo but I approve this message

21
More in Alan Moore, Bill DuBay, Chris Knowles, Comics, Grant Morrison, Magick, the occult
In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966 – 1989

Occult memoirs are uncommon, interesting ones even moreso.  With In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966 – 1989 (Ibis Press, 2012), author James Wasserman has...

Close