Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Interview on Secret Transmissions

Jeff Wolfe's must-read interview blog Secret Transmissions has a new interview with yours truly up. Riffing on the upcoming tenth anniversary of Our Gods Wear Spandex, we delve into a range of topics weaving in an out of the text including Alan Moore, Jack Kirby, the Apocalypse, the Grail Romances, the Golem myth, Transhumanism, the persistence of ancient pagan archetypes, the curious power of Sumerian mythology, pseudo-occultism and much more. 

I also give a glimmer as to the plans for my next wave of longform work...

It goes something like this...

Was mythology something you were formally introduced to in an academic setting or did you discover it through the wellspring of religion or entertainment media? 

Both, actually. Myth got its hooks in me from a very early age, as early as I can remember. I was drowning in it with comic books and other media and really tuned into it when we studied it in school. It was taught in eighth grade at a private school I attended for a year, as part of the literature and languages curriculum. 

But at the same time I was very much aware of myth through comics, which in Jack Kirby's wake were more myth-conscious than they'd ever been. One of my favorite comics was a Thor Treasury Edition which basically retold the entire Journey to the Underworld narrative, only with Hercules and Thor. Comics didn't concern themselves much with textual accuracy.

Was there a foundational text in your young life that laid the groundwork for your broad knowledge of mythological history?

I don't know if I have a broad knowledge of mythology. It's actually pretty narrow and concerns itself with those myths that interlock with occult and secret society traditions. I actually think you get better results by narrowing your focus in this regard because you can find a myth to bolster any argument or theory you care to make. 

It's one of the reasons I believe monotheism took hold in the ancient world, because syncretism had made religion- and bear in mind we're talking about religion in this context- as easy to follow as the DC Universe in the mid-80s.

 I mean, by the time of say Third-Century Rome you just had a thousand gods to keep track and then times as many correspondences and rites and myths to sort out. You can almost see monotheism as an ancient Crisis on Infinite Earths, an attempt to reboot the continuity.

But in answer to your question, Edith Hamilton's Mythology was the one. The classic hardcover with the Steele Savage artwork.

What was it about the 1970’s that the pop culture ended up so jammed packed with occult symbolism and mythic correspondence? 

That's easy: hippies. Plus, drugs. They opened all kinds of strange doors that had been left closed since the Victorian Era. Ultimately, the occult and myth and UFOs and the rest of it made your trips more interesting by feeding your head with symbol and sigil and all the rest of the neuro-activators.

The hippies that came into comics had a few years of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll under their belts and dragged in all the weird crap that hippies of the time were into with them when they went to work in comics. There was an express train that took off from the head shops and occult bookshops of Greenwich Village and went straight to the editorial offices of the big publishers.