Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Lucid Hallucinations of Trevor Von Eeden

You find wisdom in 
the strangest places

Well, it's that time of year again- Slave to the Gods mode.
Plenty of hot coffee and too many sunrises peeking in through the window. But strangely enough I keep having this hallucination- it's actually like the original "Secret Sun" dream. It will be well past midnight and I will swear that the Sun is out.

It serves to remind me that I haven't really changed since I was very young- I've only refined the formula. My obsessions are frighteningly the same. I justify all of this by telling myself I was born at just the right time and was paying very close attention to pop culture just as it was rediscovering its esoteric roots. Luckily that just happens to be true.

I've had a very odd notion as well- I've realized that this kind of blogging is really a variation on comics- using words and pictures to tell a story. In this case the story is the hidden and/or unconscious content of our pop culture. And what the various bloggers choose to say about it or what they choose to focus on is a kind of autobiography- here is my truth, tell me yours.

Then I had an even odder notion- maybe this kind of thing would work in an actual comics format- or variant thereof.

There's an artist named Trevor Von Eeden who's early 80s work blew a hole in the back of my head that still hasn't healed. Trevor was a child prodigy and began his career at DC when he was 16 years old. But he combined his prodigious drawing skills with a hallucinatory vision for a series of superhero stories that culminated in a shortlived fever-dream of a series called Thriller and then seemed to disappear.

Now, before I wrote Our Gods Wear Spandex I spent a lot of time working on a graphic novel that dealt with mind control, child abuse, posthumanism and the military-intelligence complex that I could never quite get to gel. I haven't exactly given up on it, but it's certainly on a back burner.

But one thing I was determined to do was recreate Trevor Von Eeden's mind-bending storytelling approach from those old stories I've read to death. Of course when I was working on the comic I didn't quite understand the centrality of hallucination to all of the mysteries that inform this blog, or the fact that hallucination may well be the catalyst for our primeval and subsequent neurological evolution. If Terence McKenna is correct, that is.

Now, blogging is great and all- but it still hasn't replaced publishing if you want to be taken seriously. But if I were to do a book based on the concepts discussed here, I couldn't really get away with using all of the screenshots if I put the book on the market.

But so much of all of this is visual, right? So what do I do then? Well, luckily I know how to draw. And that's where my trouble starts. A Synchromystic graphic novel? Why not? I'm a sucker for punishment.

Fortunately, my schedule prohibits even thinking about it right now, and I do have a new prose book coming out in November that I am totally committed to. But if words and pictures are good enough for Mike Mignola- or Carl Jung, for that matter- who am I to quibble?

Postscript: Trevor Von Eeden had fallen out of sight for some time before reappearing on a comics blog for an interview. When asked what he'd been working on he mentioned a graphic novel based on- what else?- Egyptian mythology. Here's his Isis and Osiris....

... and his Horus defeating Set. As far as I know it still hasn't surfaced yet, but you know I'm buying it when it does. Bonus factoid: Von Eeden had drawn some issues of The Night Stalker comic, which was based on Chris Carter's favorite TV show.

Everything is always struggling towards convergence.

UPDATE: Trevor Von Eeden on the Egypt book:
"I'm doing some preliminary drawings for a story for Yumy Odom, founder of the East Coast Black Age of Comics (ECBACC) and First World Komix, about the very first Hero ever -- who predates even the oldest recorded civilization, Ancient Egypt, since it belongs to their mythology.
"The character, Heru, is the first time that the concept of a 'hero' was ever created by man. The word hero is itself derived from the name Heru. The Catholic concepts of Resurrection, The Holy Ghost, God The Father, the Son of God, and Satan are all derived from the original tale of Heru. More popularly known as the Egyptian God, Horus.
"In the story, Ausar (Osiris) and Auset (Isis) are lovers. Ausar's brother Set An (Set), kills him out of jealousy -- and cuts his body into 14 pieces, scattering them all over Egypt. Ausar reassembles the pieces, and using magic spells, resurrects her dead lover. They have a child, named Heru (Horus), who grows up to kill Set. The thing about Heru that I absolutely LOVE is that he's not only the Falcon God -- he's also the God of 'Wisdom in Action' -- which means that after every fight, he grows smarter! Can you imagine that concept in a hero?
"A hero that grows smarter--not stronger, or meaner, or even greener--but smarter! Where has THIS concept been, all my life!?
"Oh yeah, that's right--buried in the Sands of Time, somewhere back in Ancient Egypt."