Tuesday, April 21, 2015


1. Some lucky duck has just read the first issue of Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows' upcoming H.P. Lovecraft-inspired, 12-part graphic novel comic series titled Providence, and apparently it's fucking genius. The preview (somewhat) begins:
It must just be the zeitgeist of the time, but what Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows have done with Providence is the unprecedented creation of what could almost be considered a “sandbox” world in a comic, one with a radical degree of agency, or at least the appearance of agency, for their characters. All of this could simply be the impression that the comic gives off, but if it’s purely the effect it has on the reader, that’s quite an achievement. A “sandbox” world, as gamers will know, is a world in which the player can continue to create. The game developers have constructed it in such a way that the player helps construct the game too. ... I can think of several reasons why Providence gives this impression to the reader and several reasons why this is a really important development for comics. The effect of all this on you, the reader, however, will be both eerie and exhilarating and may well give you a feeling of stepping outside the medium of comics that you feel you know so well. Or perhaps further inside? That’s probably up for interpretation.
Well hot goddamn. Go ahead and read the rest of it... THEN move on to today's second suggested reading option...

2. This article here, you see, is a short interview with Alan Moore, and is considered by its authors to be kind of like a "sequel article" to the preview, above. In part, to the eternal delight of this unrepentant fanboy, Moore declares his goals and intentions with Providence quite clearly:
I think that very little of my work is suitable for children. It is not written for children. It is written for adults. Some of it is, perhaps, more innocuous than other material. ... This one, Providence, is pure Lovecraft. This one is more grown up and more intense than any treatment I have done of Lovecraft that I have done before. I would say that it is probably more extreme, in its way, than Neonomicon*, which did not set out to be extreme. As with Providence, I simply set out to follow Lovecraft’s ideas to what I see as their logical, dramatic conclusion. It is not my intent to shock or offend, I simply don’t care that much. That probably sounds awful, but I don’t write my work thinking about a reader who is likely to be offended, particularly a reader who has evidently picked up my work by a grotesque mistake. Let me just say again: Providence is really, really horrible, and it’s really disturbing, it’s really frightening, and it’s meant for grown-ups. Even if you do accidentally find it in some child’s corner of your library, I’d advise you to take it to the main desk and ask that it be re-allocated. But that’s pretty much as much as I can say about the matter.
Allow me to react with a simple "Yeeeessss..." And to let you know that, aside from Moore's always interesting interview answers, there are also a great deal of beautiful "alternate" cover artworks at the link for you to oggle as you scratch out the calendar days until this monster of a title is finally unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Considering Moore's professed lifestyle and inclinations... we may well have cause for genuine alarm at the prospect!

*Neonomicon is brilliant and incredibly disturbing (and, I suppose, rightly controversial, with its scenes of monster rape... although it doesn't even come close to what the Japanese produce!).

3. For the fifth time, today's DDD Suggested Reading List includes four selections from the Open University and BBC Radio 4's introductory level general philosophy course entitled The History of Ideas. I hope you're enjoying these videos as much as I did when first seeing them!


"Noam Chomsky on Language Acquisition"

"The Idea of Cultural Transmission"

"Karl Marx on Alienation"

"John Locke on Personal Identity"

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