Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Alan Moore, superheroes and the occult

Watchmen, and possible parallel universe

Few can deny comic book writer Alan Moore, has altered the shape of comic books (much to his chagrin), and now it is common to see a 'superhero' film aimed at adults or tackling adult themes.  His work is primarily focused on the comic book medium, and after finding himself in legal hassles over the idea of league of extraordinary of gentlemen where a 'hollywood' producer claimed Moore stole his idea for a film, Moore swore off all things cinema and hollywood (it's not uncommon for him to remove his name from any cinema adaption of his works).  Primarily, Moore focuses on his work in the comic book medium.

writer and occultist Alan Moore
Moore also is into the occult and lists himself as a ceremonial magician and uses these techniques in his writings.  Primarily he believes in the concept of 'idea space' whereas the concept of characters and interaction give birth to the writings of the writer, ie, there are now parallel worlds where the watchmen exist and V for Vendetta is not a comic book universe, rather a real universe.  Somewhat controversial, it still can hold up when the discussion turns to the esoteric aspects of M theory, string theory, and the parallel universes concept of quantum mechanics.  It also brings up the old quote...is the dream dreaming of us, or are we dreaming the dream?
Marvel man reworked by Moore as 'Miracleman'

Moore continues his work in comic books.  His first real work to get notice was his work on Miracle Man (A retelling of a captain marvel retread in England called Marvel man but renamed to avoid copyright issues with Marvel comics).  Moore brought human agony and pathos to the superhero mythos and brought a sympathetic light to the archvillian.  He would continue these themes in the killing Joke, and the watershed moment in comics, the watchmen.

Moore, along with Frank Miller and others in the fields of comic books(Jim Shooter, Mike Grell, and Denny O'Neil among many many others), brought a maturity to the comic book field and it changed it forever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Judy Garland and Mary Marvel

'Dark Mary Marvel' is now seen by cosplay artists

Mary Marvel was the first female spin off a male comic book superhero (Captain Marvel), and Mary Marvel predated Supergirl by at least a decade.  She is the long lost sister of Billy Batson, and when she utters the word Shazam...she is given powers from the wizard Shazam, although her heroes are different from Billy Batson.

Mary Marvel was introduced in Fawcett comics

Mary's design and personality was created by artist Marc Swayze.  He dramatically embued Mary Marvel's design and personality upon American actress Judy Garland.

Judy Garland in a still from the wizard of Oz

Over time, Mary's origin, powers, and costume have changed, but the core idea of a woman powered by magic is still a popular one.  Mary along with Supergirl, Power girl, and Wonder Woman is a staple with cosplay artists, and comic book conventions worldwide.  Alan Moore's legendary 'missing series' twilight of the superheroes, put some carnal twists with the pure character of Mary Marvel and the house of thunder ..in a nutshell, the idea that heroes would make up two great houses...the house of thunder with captain marvel, and the house of Steel with Superman and Marvel leading to a great conflict (echoes of it can be seen in DC's Kingdom come.

Mary has been in several animated efforts, but with the success of superheroes at the box office, it is only a matter of time before a live action film is made.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

President Nixon, terrorism, and the soothsayer

President Nixon, terrorism, and the soothsayer

President Nixon who believed in psychic Jeane Dixon
 In this post 9/11 world, many don't realize that most of the nation's infrastructure to antiterrorism had its origin with President Nixon and the soothsayer, celebrity psychic Jeane Dixon.  At that point in her career, Dixon had made several psychic claims that had come to pass (notably the assassination of President Kennedy).   Dixon was well known, and was a consultant to several presidents.

astrologer and psychic Jeane Dixon

In 1949, she predicted Nixon would become president, most scoffed at the idea, but it came to pass that Nixon had indeed become the president of the United States.  Some of her predictions did not pan out, but some of them actually came true to her predictions.  It was this sometimes positive result, that some in power secretly consulted her.  Dixon was a cause of chagrin to the Reagan administration since Nancy Reagan would openly consult Dixon about the travel plans for President Reagan.  Some allege the famous nuclear treaty with Russia was signed on a day that Dixon said would work for President Reagan.

President Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan

Recent information has come out that then president Nixon actually took her vision of a terrorism attack seriously, and from her prediction Nixon established the first nation anti terrorism committee.  Nixon had a comfortable relationship with Dixon, and he nicknamed her the soothsayer and would listen to her input on a number of the events of the day.

After the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich olympic games, she had predicted a terrorist attack would happen in the united states, and Nixon over the protests of Henry Kissinger created the first 'counterterrorism committee'.  The attack never happened, but the first meetings of how to deal with such an event first happened in the white house under President Nixon.

It a strange fact, that the counter terrorism efforts of the United States would be created in response to a prophetic dream vision of washington seer Jeane Dixon.

For more about this story click here...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Batman and the media hysteria

Michael Keaton as Batman (1989)

Few characters evoke such primal reactions as Batman.  Created from violence, Bruce Wayne dedicates his life to fighting crime.  His adversaries are a rolling register of  flamboyant criminals that are carnival mirrors of the madness lurking in the human soul.  I love the cosplay culture, but there is a darker world where some lose track of reality.  You could argue about that point with any pop culture aspect, and I still remember the frantic mania of people convinced my time at roleplaying games would led to madness, and craziness from alleged backward music on those judas priest tapes.  For the record, I had a blast role playing, and the hysteria involving dungeons and dragons along metal music was just smoke and hot air,  Hysteria is the shortcut sometimes when it comes to cosplay, comics, and other pop culture items.  The media will create a slot if one doesn't exist and now that roleplaying games and metal music are now passe, it is now time for the media to demonize comics, cosplay, and other aspects of that world.

Mark Wayne Williams as 'Batman'..click on picture for story

Recently, there is the story of a man dressing up as Batman and being arrested for his own protection.  Mark Wayne Williams, a lifelong comic book fan, decided he was the batman and would fight crime.  Despite his best efforts, Mark Wayne Williams was at best a nuisance for law enforcement to a potential hazard for himself and others.

Williams unmasked before his arrest

This man is convinced he is batman to the point of trying to interact with crime scenes.  He is obviously suffering from some mental health issues, but because he is submerged in the identity of batman. For all intents and purposes..he is Batman in his mind.

the Joker played by the late Heath Ledger

Several crimes were committed with people claiming to be the 'Joker' which in the batman universe, is the agent of chaos and madness lurking in the dark. Most recently was the terrible tragedy in Aurora.  Did the comic book universe cause this?  No, but in this age of sound bite answers, the quick method is demonize the comic book universe as the reason for an unspeakable act that has no connection to humanity or reason.

The best answer I heard was at a recent comic con, the person said to effect 'there's hundreds of guys here dressed up as the joker and none of them shot up the place'

Madness is madness, and it wears no face despite whatever costume the media thinks it wears.

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