It’s an interesting time for popular culture and the occult. Although the weird and the supernatural have always played a part in pop fiction from as far back as the first novels, the wide dissemination of mass media in the last century or so has grown and mutated such tales drastically. Magically-tinged fantasies of all kinds have been enjoyed by literally billions of people. Occulture is now part of the mainstream, and this has had a feedback effect. Continue reading
Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods, directed by Patrick Meaney
Halo 8, 80 minutes, 2010
I suspect there are only a few kinds of people who’ll be interested in the documentary Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods – either serious documentary fans, devoted comic-book readers, or magical practitioners. Each of them will come away from this film quite happy.
Director Patrick Meaney largely works with a familiar pattern for this kind of celebrity documentary – one of mostly stepping back and letting the interviews (and, of course, editing) tell the story. There are several attempts to visually represent the psychedelic elements of the tale created by cinematographer Jordan Rennert, though the results are far less annoying than is often the case in such films! The perspective is mostly one which aims at the comic-reading audience, introducing them fairly gently to the core of occult thought that permeates his work. Continue reading
Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes, by Christopher Knowles, illustrated by Joseph Michael Lisner
Weiser Books, 1578634067, 233 pp. (incl. bibliography and index), 2007
Much of the early praise makes reference to Joseph Campbell and this influence is indeed clear. Our Gods Wear Spandex takes a look at classical mythology (ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman in particular) and draws comparisons between comic characters and themes, starting with the earliest comics and moving right through to contemporary comics.
Observing the genealogy of myths, Knowles writes: Continue reading