Tag Archives | Comics

The Pop Culture Edition – What Had Happened Was Ep. 27

What Had Happened Was Logo

by Susan M Omand, Omand Original, All Rights Reserved

From ModernMythology:

What Had Happened Was is a grumpyhawk collective podcast co-hosted by grumpyhawk (that would be me) and Benjamin Combs. In this “week-in-review style” show, we cover and comment on stories with a tech, science, weird, or strange sort of angle. Visit grumpyhawk.com to see and hear more from the collective. 

Hello people of the internet! Today grumpyhawk and Benjamin Combs are talking about China collecting body parts from prisoners and how that will now be optional, Snowden denies giving sensitive information to the Guardian, Arkansas bill limiting body modification goes to the State House of Representatives, Time Warner Cable offering antennae to their customers as a way to alleviate the CBS situation, Marvel to bring superhero-themed road show to the US next year, and Ben Affleck as the new Batman. All on today’s episode, The pop culture edition.

Show Notes:

  1. China says it will stop harvesting organs from prisoners
  2. Snowden denies being source of The Independent’s “NSA leak” story exposing UK base
  3. Senate Passes Bill That Bans Certain Tattoos, Body Markings
  4. Time Warner Cable offers free antennas, Best Buy credit to customers caught in CBS blackout
  5. Marvel to bring superhero-themed road show to the US next year
  6. Ben Affleck is the next Batman

 GHCstitcher Subscribe via RSS, or download the episode directly.Read the rest

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Kenneth Smith: Cultural Critic of the Modern Era

Kenneth SmithIn 1988 artist and philosophy professor Kenneth Smith began writing a philosophy column called Dramas of the Mind in The Comics Journal. Smith’s column ran there intermittently for the next twenty years. Smith wrote about philosophical issues as they relate to modern civilization, covering ethics, violence, sex, education, science, art, etc. Smith wrote powerful analysis of contemporary manias and delusions in a blazing, take-no-prisoners style. His insights into the modern age are penetrating and worthy of the great cultural critics and essayists of the past, in the traditions of Chomsky, Mencken, Bloom, Orwell, Bertrand Russell, Edward Said, Vidal, Žižek, etc. Certainly his is a voice that deserves greater exposure.

This information page gives an overview of Kenneth Smith, links to many resources, and posts scans of his classic run of TCJ columns. The scans contain his most essential writing, but there is a Tumblr blog and a Gaim library that provide quotes from longer pieces.… Read the rest

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Alan Moore and Psychogeography

Picture: Karen Karnak (CC)

Picture: Karen Karnak (CC)

Alan Moore interviews are always worth reading. Here he discusses psychogeography as it applies to various of his works.

via Reasons I Do Not Dance:

What exactly, in your not unlimited understanding, is Psychogeography?

In its simplest form I understand psychogeography to be a straightforward acknowledgement that we, as human beings, embed aspects of our psyche…memories, associations, myth and folklore…in the landscape that surrounds us. On a deeper level, given that we do not have direct awareness of an objective reality but, rather, only have awareness of our own perceptions, it would seem to me that psychogeography is possibly the only kind of geography that we can actually inhabit.

What books and writers ignited your interest in psychogeography?

The author that first introduced me to the subject was the person I regard as being its contemporary master, namely Iain Sinclair, with his early work Lud Heat.

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‘The Activity’ Comic Reveals Secrets of US Army’s Intelligence Support Activity Unit

Have you ever heard of the US Army’s Intelligence Support Activity unit? Not many people have, and there’s not much written about it. Surprisingly one of the best sources is in a comic, as reported by ABC News:

In a dark corner of American special operations there exists, alongside the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s Osama bin Laden-killing SEAL Team Six, a small unit of Army spies known as the Intelligence Support Activity.

Created more than 30 years ago, the ISA has had its hand in almost every high-profile American special operation around the world in recent history, and countless others, according to published reports and special operations veterans with firsthand knowledge of the group.

And though relatively little is known about the secret unit — the military still refuses to acknowledge its existence — a new, colorful picture of the group has emerged through, of all things, a comic book.

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In Memorandum: Free Chasing The Wish comic

 Produced in close collaboration with the late Dave Szulborski, the comic tied together his previous, massively successful ARG Chasing The Wish, with an ARG that was running simultaneously with the comics production and release called Catching The Wish.

Dave was posthumously named the World’s Most Prolific ARG Producer by Guinness World Records 2012 Gamer’s Edition. We at Modern Mythology are happy to share this comic with you, free, in memory of Dave’s creativity.

FULL BOOK 1 (PDF)
FULL BOOK 1 COVERS (PDF)

Chasing The Wish comic credits:

Written by: Jason Stackhouse with James Curcio. Based on the ARG by Dave Szulborski. Art: P. Emerson Williams, Jessika Kaos, James Curcio.

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An Intro to Farm Shares and Community Sponsored Agriculture

Comics artist Colleen Doran writes a quick and breezy intro to the world of farm shares and farm credit programs. Establishing trustworthy ways to get fresh, healthy, non-GMO food is going to become increasingly important. Doran gives an overview of what’s available and links to get started.

via A Distant Soil:

In almost every major metropolitan area, and most rural areas, you will find farm shares or CSA’s, “Community Sponsored Agriculture”.

A CSA is, basically, a food subscription service.

Depending on the program (and they vary widely between suppliers,) the CSA will supply weekly, biweekly, or monthly food subscriptions for a flat annual fee which will cover the farming season, usually around half the year. If you live in California where the season is long, you can get a year-round subscription.

The farm will provide you with a prescribed amount of food per drop based on whatever is in season.

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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.… Read the rest

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Batman and Shamanism

BatmanSascha Idakaar gives us an unusual perspective on Batman over at Modern Mythology:

The mask is an idea, a symbol, we could look at from a million angles. It is, even at first glance, our double, a close relative of the mirror — but it is something other than the mirror. The mirror shows us our double. A mask creates a second double atop us. It transforms rather than reveals.

At the same time, a lot of psych pop lit has been written about Batman. But I’d like to use Batman as the pop culture model of the role of the mask.

Who is Batman, really?

Is is a story about how an emotionally disturbed, very rich young adult deals with psychological trauma that he cannot let go of. Some ideas, some emotions, are things that we hold onto, and they are done with us the moment we are done with them.

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Grant Morrison: “Gayness is Built into Batman”

BatmanInteresting takes on Grant Morrison’s own creations and the mainstream mythology he has worked in this interview in Playboy:

Grant Morrison is the leading writer of superhero comic books in this universe—and possibly some others. At DC Comics he rebooted Justice League of America into a best-seller. At Marvel he did the same for X-Men. When his magnum opus, The Invisibles—a series about voodoo, time travel and the Marquis de Sade—was in danger of being canceled, he mobilized his fans in an unusual way: He exhorted them to participate in a worldwide magic spell by masturbating on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, he held a “wankathon.” It worked—or at least sales of The Invisibles improved.

If Morrison’s personal history includes magic, wild experiments with consciousness-tweaking substances and reported alien visitations, why does he keep writing about square-jawed guys with capes? “We’re running out of visions of the future except dystopias,” Morrison says.

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The Book Of Revelation In ‘The Graphic Canon’

Graphic Canon[disinfo ed.’s note: Russ Kick, the first disinformation author has, gasp, written not one but three books for another publisher (it’s okay, we like them), the first of which is coming out on May 22nd: The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons. Russ and Seven Stories Press have kindly given us a sneak preview.]

The final book of the New Testament, and thus the Christian Bible as a whole, the Book of Revelation just might be the strangest work in the entire literary canon. Populated by the Whore of Babylon, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Beast, a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, locusts with human faces, a seven-headed dragon, a false prophet, Satan, angels blowing trumpets of destruction, and other bizarre characters, this series of four visions has been interpreted as a literal guide to the fiery, blood-soaked end of the world as we know it and the establishment of Christ’s 1,000-year kingdom on Earth, as a coded guide to spiritual development, and as an intense mushroom trip.… Read the rest

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