Sunday, November 29, 2009

Immanence of Myth - anthology - progress update

It's been a little while since I posted to this blog - there have been holidays, and a week or so of my life was pretty well consumed by Dragon Age. (FTC disclosure: BioWare didn't pay me to plug their game. And I'm kind of sore about it, to be frank.) My laptop died, which further has cut down on my workflow as there are certain tasks I like to do when I'm not pinned down to my desktop, and blog posts are one of them.

However, a replacement laptop is on its way, I beat Dragon Age, and Thanksgiving is over, so I'll soon be out of excuses at least until Christmas. (Web design work notwithstanding.)

I'm presently fine tuning my introduction for Immanence of Myth, which I feel continues to approach readiness for editorial by half. (Following Zeno's paradox, it'll never actually arrive, but at some point as a writer you throw up your hands and say "good enough!"). After that I have four or so other pieces to continue working on, so... "Eye Of The Tiger" and all that.

I am also beginning several interviews for the anthology with artists that I feel do work that is mythic, touches on myth, etc. Right now these include Laurie Lipton, John Harrigan, David Mack, and several others. I have decided that I will be running these on Alterati when they are finished so you can get some sneak peeks. If you would like to do a written interview with me and think you qualify - or we've talked and you fell through the cracks, please drop me an email.

I will also be posting here soon about the status of Immanence of Myth submissions. The first deadline I set is almost here. December 10th. From the look of it the first part of the book should be fully booked, (especially if I receive all the pending submissions that I know about), but I don't have enough instances of personal mythology. So I'm going to take some time fleshing out exactly what I mean by "personal mythology," and create an extended deadline for people who want to work on pieces for that section of the book.

This is from the intro rough draft, and will hopefully begin to explain what I mean:

We will be exploring this subject from many angles, through articles, essays, and interviews from a variety of people actively engaged in mythic work and research. Though I've done gone through an editorial process with contributing authors, and editorial involves some amount of re-writing, I've attempted to preserve their ideology rather than make sure that everything coheres into a single system. As you will quickly discover, that approach would be entirely contrary to our very position. 
    As this exploration proceeds, we will move from a distant and rather abstract view of myth as an existential dimension to increasingly specific instances of personal myth. Much as with the experience of a painting, at twenty feet, ten feet, five feet, and close up, our experience may be completely different. It may seem that the painting even changes forms, as you'd see with an impressionist like Monet. This issue of scale or granularity is one that I'll deal with more in this introduction. The methodology and format will also shift to match our ongoing change of perspective. Keep this shifting of scale in mind as you read through this book, as it should provide a frame of reference. I devised this approach in an attempt to deal with many issues that arise when dealing with something so abstract as mythology. This is doubly true as in many ways we are attempting to completely re-consider the subject.
    So at the outset let me say this: let's propose that everything we know about myth is wrong, or at least, subject to re-interpretation. Mythology is itself a myth. Admittedly, this is putting the cart before the horse, but it is the only way that we can resurrect what so many seem to consider dead.  

More soon! Stay tuned.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Exhuming the Corpse - Immanence and Myth

Just a fragment of a piece I'm working on right now of Mr. VI's (for the Immanence of Myth anthology),

"Where can we begin a genuine discussion of immanence in myth? Do we engage the tools of analysis on the dissection table of academia? Or perhaps it is best not dealt with in sterile light, being rather an arcane synthesis, a syncretism.

If myth is something long dead, a corpse exhumed with philosophical disinterest, then please consider this work an attempt at necromancy. But if myth is considered something dangerous; full of falsities, dead ends and mazes luring the unwary into a fugue of superstition, then consider it a whispered pass-phrase into another world: the world beyond the wallpaper. A world that recognizes the real is in the effect rendered, rather than in the thing symbolized. Conflicting fictions drive Holy wars. How is a history born of spilled blood unreal? How is it meaningless, even if all the Gods are just shadows cast on the wall by finger puppets? Myth is not dead, nor is it false; it is living, and misunderstood."

I'm liking where this project is headed already. Still a month left for open submissions. (Specific exceptions will be made.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Myth Images - Prints

I've made a number of my pieces available as prints through Deviant Art for people who don't live in the immediate area. I looked at the cost of photo paper, ink, shipping, and of course time, and it just didn't make sense to set up sales for people outside my immediate area without using a third party.

These are priced for fairly minimal profit. My material goal with these to be honest is to break even with it on materials for local printing (my time, and the time of people I've worked with, isn't even factored into that consideration.)

The real goal is to get some art in your workspaces or living rooms. So order one. :)

(Photo prints are the cheaper option, art prints are far more expensive. The photo prints are archival quality.)

bacchante #2

bacchante #2
Originally uploaded by agent139
One of the pieces I worked on tonight. The original photo is from a shoot from way back in 2001.

This is about 8 hours of post-production work in. I think it just needs some minor touches at this point though for all I know I could wake up tomorrow, look at it, and wonder WTF.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Krampus and Nyssa (comic)

I recently completed a comic script for a first issue I plan to produce in 2010 2012. I've kept this mostly under my hat - it'd ruin the story to share the script with everyone, and this one takes a much more sparse approach than some of my past work anyhow. The story will be told as much with picture as word, if not more so. No spoilers, I want to tell the story the way it is meant to be told.

But I did want to talk a little about some of the inspiration for this story. Maybe it'll help to continue to show what I'm talking about in terms of how myth informs art- especially when you get around to actually checking out the comic, if you do.

My first thought with this script was that I wanted to tell a dark Christmas tale. I wrote it around Halloween, and it seemed that doing something moody for Halloween was just too damned easy. But I didn't want to use any of the Santa Claus cliches, nor did I want to participate in that Hallmark figure. Christmas has a darker past, and Saturnalia has a certain warm fuzzy place in my heart (especially after several absinthe saturnalia parties...) However, the Saturnalia festival is too similar to the Dioysian festivals of the Greeks, in many ways they serve the same cultural function, and I'm already doing enough with that in the Fallen Nation material. So where to start?

As you may or may not be aware, Saint Nicholas was originally said to be accompanied by an Incubus. This in itself is a bit peculiar- an Incubus is a male Succubus, though in many cases it is said these beings can change gender, and are one and the same. What an odd consort for a gift giving saint! It gets stranger. This being, called the Krampus, is said to torment young boys and girls, beating them with a switch, chase them, and otherwise terrify them half to death. He is generally personified with a long, almost snake-like tongue, black, white, or red skin and fur, and a face that isn't even fit for radio.

Even more interesting, there is a day, December 5th, which is commemorated in some places by the "running of Krampus," when men dress up as this horrific creature, and run around whacking children and maidens alike. I'd like to mention that the possible sexual overtones in the latter case are fully evident in more recent (1950s- ) Krampus art. So yeah, one day a year, Uncle Bobby or whatever dresses up like the devil and beats girls with a switch.

At the same time, I had been playing around with a story about a loner that works at a video rental store, and who makes up fantasies about the store goers- and who eventually becomes obsessed with one particular girl. These two blended together nicely, I think. I won't ruin the story for you with any spoilers, but this is where the story began.

I hope you check it out when it finally becomes available.

Update: See Mythos Media. This appears in the illustrated collection Words of Traitors, and Nyssa #1 to be published December 2012!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Lilith The First Eve

This is a concept piece done between myself and Daniele Serra. It's for a movie that is still in pre-production. Available in print form for now on Deviant Art.

About Lilith:

Lilith has two faces: that of the stealer (and devourer) of babies, and the seducer of men. The former is a myth that arises for women, the other is how this energy interacts with man. This is focusing on the latter. Originally, Lilith was not one but a fairly terrifying legion of Sumerian and even pre-Sumerian desert/air demons that eventually got codified into this new form, especially by the Jews.

There's a fair amount of Jungian analysis on the symbol in "Lilith the First Eve" by Siegmund Hurwitz.

All that said, I've always had a thing for red heads. So it's been a naturally appealing image for me to explore.


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