50 years after his death, supporters promote Wilhelm Reich’s work

“It was 50 years ago that physician-scientist Wilhelm Reich, best known for his discovery of a purported cosmic life force associated with sexual orgasm, died in federal prison, his books burned and his equipment destroyed by the government.

Ridiculed at the time, the European-born psychiatrist is today largely forgotten and his work on what he called orgone energy remains outside the scientific mainstream. But a small number of scientists and other believers are working to advance his studies — and resurrect his reputation. “Personally, I think it’s going to be a long time before all of his work is understood and recognized,” said Reich’s granddaughter, Renata Reich Moise, a nurse-midwife and artist in the coastal town of Hancock.

Also this month, archives comprised of nearly 300 boxes of Reich’s unpublished papers that were placed in storage at the Countway Library at Harvard Medical School will become available to researchers for the first time. Before going to prison, Reich directed in his will that the scientific papers, journals and diaries only be opened 50 years after his death. He also specified that his laboratory at the 175-acre site he dubbed Orgonon that overlooks Rangeley Lake be converted to a museum.”

link- Boston.com

Black Earth Institute

For all you writers, poets, and artists out there.

“Black Earth Institute is a progressive think-tank dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society.

Until recent times, art expressed grander values than commerce and celebrity. Delphic oracle, Celtic bard, African griot, aboriginal orator: all used word and movement, color and craft, to bring wisdom from the spiritual realm to their communities.

In the great tradition of Blake, Yeats, Neruda, Rimbaud, HD, Hurston, Zitkala Sha, Rumi and Ramprasad, Black Earth Institute supports the artist as prophet and visionary, creating a society attuned to earth’s rhythms and the rights of all people.”

Black Earth Institute

Hipsters worship Mayan saint of vice

maximon alter

A Kansas City, Missouri, artist well-known for his political public performances, Ford flew 24 members of his entourage to New York last weekend to participate in Maximon, a “public audience” with the aforementioned deity. Also known as Hermano San Simon, the spirit is traditionally maintained throughout the year with offerings of tobacco, liquor, music, flowers, and incense, and is said to serve as a redemptive or protective source for the prostitutes and gang members of Guatemala. (He’s also said to symbolize male sexual power-his darker aspects lead devotees to carefully guard his visage from public view for fear that his sexuality may run rampant. Um, bring it!) Participants in Friday night’s Williamsburg show-the first here after years of the celebration in KC-were instructed to bring evidence of their vices: These gifts to Maximon supposedly “guaranteed redemption for the artists and musicians of New York.” I brought vodka. Also: receipts from Anthropologie.

Full Story: Village Voice.

(via Robot Wisdom).

Wikipedia entry for Maximon.

The Life and Strange Death of Seth Fisher

Seth Fisher Vertigo Pop Tokyo issue one cover

Ben Morse writes:

Tokyo, Japan-the cultural and fiscal hub of one of the world’s most elegant and sophisticated societies. It’s the last place one would expect to find a naked man roaming the streets.

But Seth Fisher is out for a midnight stroll.

‘Seth was trying to overcome his fear of being naked in public,’ relates Langdon Foss, college roommate and longtime friend of the Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big In Japan artist. ‘He would draw all his scripts and then go out and walk around the neighborhood naked. His wife would lock him out, she was so mad. For somebody to do that in Japan, well, he might as well have eaten a baby or something.’

Full Story: Wizard: The Life and Strange Death of Seth Fisher

See also: Meanwhile interview with Seth Fisher

Interview with Invader artist Ian McEwan


James Curcio interviews artist Ian McEwan (aka Popjellyfish).

So yeah, I recommend studying Tarot imagery to artists to better inform their art. Especially illustration, and I’m only beginning to play with this, but I can depict emotional states more vividly when I associate a related card to it. Say, even in a generic superhero story, a villain’s plot is foiled. He has an EPIC FAIL moment, where he’s enthralled in the feeling that all is lost. If I want to depict that moment, I’d keep in mind the ten of swords, which Crowley also called ‘Ruin’. And for the hero who just saved the day, probably major 19: The Sun, Resplendant triumph and joy.

Full Story: Alterati (includes download of first issue of Invader).

Third ear open

stelarc third ear

Earlier this year, Stelarc finally found a medical doctor willing to implant a cell-cultivated ear beneath the skin on the artist’s forearm.


Stelarc is apparently planning to go through a few more surgeries to give it more definition.

“He’s also going to implant a mic inside the ear that will connect to a bluetooth transmitter, so the ear can broadcast audio from the internet wirelessly,” explains former BB guestblogger and sometimes Stelarc collaborator Karen Marcelo. “That Stelarc, always got something up his sleeve! He likes to say that too. ”

Full Story: Boing Boing.

(Thanks Natasha!)

Foolish People: Ten Towers, Tower One: Danny Chaoflux

From John Harrigan:

Ten Towers is an audio recording of Ten Magical people reading prose written especially for them by myself.

These people have been chosen because they are highly respected by the community they are a part of.

The Ten Towers is also a snap shot and attempt to comprise a state of the union address from the world of Occulture and Magic. This project is also my way of saying thank you to the people I care about. Giving something of myself in the creation of a piece of prose that will always belong to that person and that person alone. I do this because of how the magickal community has supported the work of FoolishPeople.

All Towers will also have access to the entire recording and everyone who works on the project and will be able to print and sell copies via CD. Any money made from the CD this way can be kept by the Tower who has printed and sold any CD’s. Towers can print as many cd’s as they like individually and then sell them. Each person designing the look and design, so as to create a modern day magical artifact. A limited edition specific to that Magical person, whomever they may be.

I have no idea how many of these recordings will get turned into artifacts until after the project is completed.

Tower number one is Danny Chaoflux. Danny Chaoflux is a Persian artist living in Portland OR, and the
founder of Portland Occulture. Hir main interests are crossdressing, dream travel, and ancient mysticism.

Download the mp3.

Demian5 Stripped: An Interview with When I Am King Creator Demian5

When I Am King, the online comic by Swiss artist Demian5, follows a sexually deviant camel and the recently de-pantsed king of Egypt on a quest to find love and trousers. The story is told entirely through pictures and symbols — without a word of text. It’s a wild ride through a desert that includes weird sex, hallucinogenic drugs and dangerous bees.

“About ninety-five percent of [When I am King] I made up as I went along,” Demian5 says. “Some scenes, like the one where the ‘camel’ smokes the cigarette, were in my head before I even started drawing WIAK.”

WIAK reads like a textbook example from Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics. The whole comic was created and published electronically — Demian didn’t take any notes or do any sketches on paper. He used mostly Adobe programs Photoshop, Illustrator and ImageReady to draw the comic and create animation. He freed himself of the restrictions imposed by printed page dimensions and used the web’s “infinite canvas” to convey a sense of space. The reader mostly scrolls left to right, following the characters activity along the landscape, but in a few scenes the reader scrolls down, following falling characters. Animation is used to highlight emotions and convey a sense of motion rather than as a storytelling tool. In fact, WIAK deals more with emotions and experimentation than plot. The story in WIAK is only background — what’s really important is what the characters are feeling and how it’s expressed to the audience.

Demian’s new project, Square Stories, is published weekly in the print version of Zurich Express and will also be published online in America. Demian says he finds Square Stories confining “mostly because of its small, weekly-one-gag form. I’m still trying to find the perfect way to do them. Contrary to WIAK it will also contain words sooner or later, and as it is published in a very widespread official newspaper it is aimed at a larger, more average audience. It is also forbidden for me to offend real people and to offend religious feelings.” He adds, “I wonder if I will ever have trouble with that.”

Although the strips look much like Demian’s other work, hiring Demian to work for a mainstream newspaper is like hiring David Lynch to take over Peanuts. WIAK features a camel performing sexual favors for humans. But Demian, a self-described “poorly disciplined vegetarian” defends his work saying “I don’t want anyone to do anything with animals, just be friends with them. There is also a symbolic aspect to the sodomy parts of WIAK. It is not sodomy because the creatures in WIAK are neither really human nor are they real animals — they all have about the same amount of intelligence, and they don’t really exist. They’re just symbols. Glyphs.” (“I wasn’t planning to do so much symbolism when I started WIAK,” he admits.) He adds, “It’s not about animal rights, though I think we should care about them.”

When Demian5 began serializing the comic on his site in 2000 it was an immediate hit, even without much advertising. “I submitted my link to some search engines and I contacted a few other comic creators like Scott McCloud to find out what they think about my work,” he says. By the time the series reached its conclusion Demian was being mentioned alongside comics legends like Jim Woodring and Chris Ware, and has since been favorably reviewed in Wired and Spin. According to Demian’s “complicated system of counters” nearly 50,000 people have read his comic so far.

Despite the popularity and critical success of his comic, Demian is still not able to live off it. PayPal donations and merchandise sales help him out, but they’re not paying his rent yet. Demian admits he would be content working a day job and continuing to post his comics online if he had a job he enjoyed. “Somehow I like the spirit of free online comics, because money is always a threat for artistic freedom and for diversity. But then, I want to earn a living with something I like to do. Like everyone. So I wouldn’t say no to a virtual dollar. Or to a virtual euro.”

In the meantime Demian continues to freelance in the advertising business and receives part of his income from Square Stories. He describes himself as a normal and boring person who spends his time thinking deep thoughts. Amongst other things he has been enjoying the online comics Pay Your Reality Tax and Nichtlustig. Demian’s influences for his surreal comics range from artists Woodring and Ware to the Great Gianna Sisters and Wipe Out 2097 videogames to the music of Radiohead (WIAK is named after a line in the Radiohead song “Paranoid Android”) to anime to his training as a graphic designer.

Demian is currently working on a new online comic, as time permits, which contains “no dialogue, nice creatures, big emotions.” He says “The style will be a bit more organic and the perspective a bit deeper than in WIAK, but it will be less colorful than Square Stories. It will also contain another form of storytelling, still without words, but… You’ll see.”

(Originally published at Shift Online September, 2002)

Alan Moore: Comic Book Genius Turned Magician

Alan Moore is the author of such acclaimed works as The Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and is a magician to boot.

Initially Moore worked as both a writer and an artist on a detective strip called “Roscoe Moscow,” but he decided he was a poor artist and decided to focus on writing. From there he went on to work for 2000 AD and Dr. Who Weekly (as many British comic authors did…) and eventually began working on the anthology Warrior.

It was here that Moore created two of his most seminal works: Marvelman (later called Mircleman) and V for Vendetta. The former would be reprinted and continued by Eclipse, the latter would be reprinted by DC (it is now part of the Vertigo imprint).

Moore was then hired by DC to write Saga of Swamp Thing beginning with issue 20. Moore continued working for DC and produced Batman: Killing Joke and most notably, The Watchmen.

The Watchmen was a politically savvy and realistic portrayal of a super hero universe. Along with Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons revolutionized comicsand paved the way for future mature readers series (such as The Sandman, The Crow, Preacher and many more).

However, disputes over the royalties of the Watchmen caused Moore to leave DC and vow never to work for them again. He then began his own company, Mad Love Publishing. Under this imprint he published two issues of Big Numbers. Around this time he also began two series for Tundra’s anthology Taboo: “From Hell” and “Lost Girls.” From Hell continued as a graphic novel series published by Eddie Cambell Comics.

Moore began working with rogue publishers Image Comics in 1993 and where he created 1963 which was cancelled due to low sales. Moore also wrote Wild CATs and a large amount of Spawn related material, including WildCATs/Spawn

Moore then began his relationship with Rob Liefeld and his Image off-shoot company Maximum Press (later Awesome Comics) where he worked on Supreme, Warchild, Judgement Day and other titles before Awesome comics went bankrupt.

After Awesome went under, Jim Lee’s Image off-shoot company, Wildstorm Productions (now an imprint of, ironiccally, DC Comics) offered Moore his own imprint. Moore accepted and America’s Best Comics was born. Moore has continued to write a number of books under his own imprint as well as other titles under the Wildstorm banner.

Alan Moore Fan site good starting point.

Twilight of the Super Heroes a rejected series proposal to DC by Moore

D.R. and Quinch scan page tribute to Moore and Alan Davis’ 2000 AD stories. Includes scans of an entire segment.

Alan Moore @ comicon.com lots of info and a small collection of works. Includes some performance art stuff.

Italian page a page dedicated to Alan Moore’s music, in Italian

Salon Books: From Hell an excellent article on Moore’s From Hell

V for Vendetta Shrine V for Vendetta fan site

Alan Moore interview an interview from Another Universe

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen review

Watching the Detectives illustrated annotations.

1963 annotations

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen annotations

Ralf Hildebrandt home page Watchmen annotations

The Annotated Watchmen more Watchmen annotations.

V for Vendetta annotations

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