Wednesday, September 21, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different...

My history with Ancient Astronaut Theory is by no means a straight path. Being a child of the 70s who devoured whatever weirdo pop culture he could get his mitts on (sci-fi paperback and magazine covers were to me what the Christian icons were to Byzantium), I couldn't avoid AAT since it was everywhere. Especially in comics, with Jack Kirby's various AAT ruminations, Tragg and the Sky-Gods, and so on and so forth.

It was all over the UFO mags I pored over at the newsstand but could rarely afford. The Reaganism and the religious right put a stop to all of it and sent popcult AAT to the Saturday morning TV ghetto.

I picked it up again during my UFO phase, starting around '88 and lasting up until the first season of The X-Files, when I didn't need to go searching used book stores to get a decent fix, it was on my idiot box every Friday night at 9 (well, more or less). Which is not to forget Sightings, which I watched religiously.

But my big obsession throughout the 90s and beyond was esoterica, secret societies, conspiracies, that kind of thing. That all sort of culminated in Our Gods Wear Spandex, as I realized that nearly everything I was reading about in Gnosis or Paranoia had already been explored in the comics I read in the 70s.

AAT reared its head again during the mid-90s, since it was such a central part of books like The Gods of Eden and Rule By Secrecy as well as some of the more wild stuff on USENET and the like, all of which stemmed from the Sitchin material.

But there was something missing for me-- there were pieces of the puzzle I couldn't find and didn't know where to look for them. So not long after this mini-comic was completed I kind of walked away from AAT. So much so that when The X-Files dived into the AAT lagoon in late '99 I already saw it as something in my past.

This blog documents the process in which I began to re-process the AAT exegesis, although staying removed from it (like here) began to realize it was encoded in the symbolism I was obsessing over (like here) and finally where I kind of put all the pieces together, at least the ones I had at my disposal (like here).

This mini-comic (which I only sent to a small circle of friends) documents a time (early 1997) when I was trying to make sense of the theory using my old technique of explaining something to someone else in order to explain it to myself.

It was drawn at a time when I was too busy with advertising and toy packaging to do any comics work but wanted to stay familiar with the tools (crowquill, brush). I still had designs of doing comic work, not realizing that by exploring these kinds of ideas I had already divorced myself entirely from what fandom had become (as opposed to the hippie/weirdo fandom of my childhood).

I was also obsessed with the work of Larry Gonick at the time and the influence is pretty obvious (and would surely horrify him, which I now relish the thought of). There's also more than a little Crumb here as well, since he was a huge influence on the comic-format letters I used to send friends in the days before you could waste all your time with meaningless nonsense on the Internet.

With all that being said, here's the mini in its entirety. Click to enlarge. My chicken scratch lettering is indecipherable otherwise.