Tuesday 30 April 2019

Last call for Please Hold (May 2019 edition.)

Hi, Everybody!

Friend to the Blog, and the guy who founded the Romulan/Rodian dating service: Steve Peters has another Kickstarter going. (I have a joke in one panel.)

Speaking of the Kickstarters, Greg Hyland is Kickstartering the second volume of the Monster Atlas, and it's gonna have Gerhard art like the first volume. It's gonna look a little something like this. Less than two hours left...

Hope everybody ordered their Jaka's Story remaster...

The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99.

The Auction for the Green Dante/Green Virgil cover is still at $1277.00 US Dollars from: 高伯乐 (Gao BoLe). If you want in on this action, just comment on this post, or e-mail momentofcerebus@gmail.com


Image by Birdsong
Last call!

I'm getting ready to fax Dave the agenda for this month's Please Hold For Dave Sim.

So if you got a burning question, now's the time to ask...

Next Time: Hobbs.

Monday 29 April 2019

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag: T. Casey Brennan checks in again...

Hi, Everybody!

Friend to the Blog, and the guy who founded the Romulan/Rodian dating service: Steve Peters has another Kickstarter going. (I have a joke in one panel.)

Speaking of the Kickstarters, Greg Hyland is Kickstartering the second volume of the Monster Atlas, and it's gonna have Gerhard art like the first volume. It's gonna look a little something like this. Twenty-nine twenty-nine hours to go...

Hope everybody ordered their Jaka's Story remaster...

The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99.

The Auction for the Green Dante/Green Virgil cover is still at $1277.00 US Dollars from: 高伯乐 (Gao BoLe). If you want in on this action, just comment on this post, or e-mail momentofcerebus@gmail.com

Speaking of momentofcerebus@gmail.com our ol' buddy T. Casey Brennan sent in the following and asked me to run it:

T. Casey's face is on the shirt...

Copyright 2019  by T. Casey Brennan

      Within, there lurked the memory.
      But this was 1970. This was T. Casey Brennan at age22, on a bus bound for Ann Arbor, fledgling comic book writer for the Warren Publishing Company titles, CREEPY, EERIE, and VAMPIRELLA, hell-bent on making his presence known to Ann Arbor's now infamous campus left.
      This was 1970: it would be a Tetragrammatonic 26 years before I would write the legend of CONJURELLA, posted on the Internet initially by Anathema Research of Austin, Texas in 1996, then picked up repeatedly and posted and reposted, with and without authorization, by a wide variety of Netizens, intent on linking it to their own respective interests and causes. Twenty-six years before CONJURELLA would link our family to the JFK assassination as our alleged cousin, Howard Leslie Brennan, with his testimony before the Warren Commission, never could.
      This was 1970: I hated the Vietnam war, hated the draft, loved the peace movement, loved the peace demonstrators and the love-ins, loved the beads and the beards and the flower children. But I feared the psychedelic drugs, and I feared the Communists; maybe, just maybe, I even feared the "Communist conspiracy" I had been told so much about, since boyhood. This was 1970: it had been a scant three years since I had resigned, after a little over a year, from the Port Huron, Michigan chapter of the John Birch Society (I had a membership card; was it Chapter 308?—I don't remember anymore), headed by local right-wing dentist, E. James Shay. I had joined in late 1965, at the invitation of Thaddeus B. Vance, who, like my late father, sat on the St. Clair County Board of Education. My parents were William James Brennan and paperback book author Alice Brennan, both Michigan school board officials and tax opponents. My late mother had begun this process when, in the early 1950s, she took the position of Secretary (and CEO) of the Swamp School District, Kenockee Township School District #4, one of the last K-8, kindergarten through eighth grade, school districts in the state. Soon, my late father had a similar position of authority on the St. Clair County Board of Education, and the two of them set off hand in hand to keep property taxes down, and the one-room little red schoolhouses open for as long as the voters would put up with it. Inevitably, they attracted the attention of the 1950s ultra-right in that regard, and soon we were all deluged with pamphlets from prolific McCarthyites coast to coast.
      I had begun school in kindergarten at Swamp School in September of 1953, at age 5. But, I suppose, partly because I could already read and write, and partly because my mother was her boss, my teacher, Miss Nolan, advanced me at once to the first grade, still at the age of 5. Hence, I entered high school at the tender age of 13. The Swamp School was a one-room building on a gravel road, technically in Emmett, Michigan. Traditionally, our high-school students, after graduating from the eighth grade, attended school in neighboring Yale, Michigan. But by the time 1961 had rolled around, and I had graduated grade school, the Yale high school district was demanding that we annex before they would take our high school students. For that, the Swamp School would be closed, taxes would go sky high, and our children would henceforth attend grade school in Yale. My parents would have none of it, and clearly, they were in a political position to make deals. So, deals they made. It was arranged that a local farm couple, Jim and Mary O'Neill, would drive the handful of high-school students that the Swamp School produced each year, north on M-19, through Yale, to Peck High School in Sanilac County, later to become infamous as the home of convicted Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh.
      Before long, the 13 year old high schooler version of T. Casey Brennan was developing his own independent personality and interests, sort of, and those interests included comic book collecting, and disseminating right-wing propaganda for the host of ultraconservative groups which had expressed support for my parents positions as property tax foes.
      So my pile of special things included pamphlets from the John Birch Society (as headed by Robert Welch), the Cinema Educational Guild (by Myron Fagan, who claimed credit for providing the Dies Committee with the names of Hollywood Communists, though popular history would later, inaccurately, assign this role to Senator Joe McCarthy, who only investigated alleged Communists in government, not Hollywood), the Conservative Society of America (from Kent and Phoebe Courtney), the Christian Crusade (from Billy James Hargis, smeared in the 1980s as a homosexual lover to some of his followers, though inexplicably, I am told he has no recollection that these charges were ever made against him), the 20th Century Reformation Hour (from Carl McIntyre, who, much to my chagrin, became an establishment-sanctioned spokesman for the pro-Vietnam hawks during the Nixon Administration), and the Christian Anticommunism Crusade (from Dr. Fred G. Schwartz, whose New Orleans office shared a building with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee)...with early prototypes of comic book fanzines such as ALTER-EGO, THE COMIC READER, THE KOMIX, and THE ROCKET'S BLAST-COMICOLLECTOR.
      Still, I had resisted actual membership in these right-wing groups until my graduation from Peck High School in 1965. Then, in the fall of that year, at the invitation of St. Clair County Board of Education member Thaddeus B. Vance, I attended an introductory meeting of the Birchers at something called The Round Building, on Pine Grove Avenue, in Port Huron, Michigan. A man named Robert Lowry, who held the office of Coordinator with the John Birch Society, briefed us on our responsibilities as Birchers-to-be. I joined, and stayed until 1967. And it was with this background, I proceeded, at the invitation of Larry B., of 30 Hayden Hall, East Quad Residential College, to meet with him, his cronies, and the now semi-famous Naomi Schechter, Ph.d, now, in the year 2000, with the activist group, PSYCHOLOGISTS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. In thirty years, I would set down the plans for an unauthorized article on Naomi. But not yet.
      This was 1970.
      I had met Larry B. in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, shortly after my twenty-second birthday, at a campground, with my parents. Actually, my dad had met him first. My dad had attended school at the University of Michigan in the 1920s, but never graduated. Though he had no sympathy for the campus left, he had, I suppose, a sense of nostalgia about Ann Arbor, as most ex-Ann Arborites do.
      Larry B. had introduced himself to my dad as an Ann Arborite, and that, to my dad, had been sufficient to offset the stigma of the campus activism which Larry advocated. Larry told stories of Baba Ram Das, the White Panther Party, the Students for a Democratic Society, and one of his teachers, Naomi Schechter, closely associated, he said, with the campus left, and then working on her Ph.d thesis. And he invited me to come to Ann Arbor, to stay in East Quad.
      So this was 1970: this was T. Casey Brennan, now on a bus bound for Ann Arbor, intent on imposing his invited, but unwanted, presence on Ann Arbor's campus left. 
       The day before I left, I had watched the movie WOODSTOCK, at Port Huron's Family Theater on Military Street. I was prepared. These campus left guys were great, I decided.
      I had taken the bus from Port Huron to Detroit, and changed buses in Detroit for Ann Arbor. I have a beard now, anathema in my ancestral home of Avoca, Michigan, and I am glad to be in Detroit, where I won't be hassled for having it. From the bus, I flash the peace sign to a black cab driver. He returns it. I'm part of the movement, man.
      Larry B. has advised me to disembark at the Michigan Union, a scheduled stop of the Greyhound on which I ride. Had I seen the Greyhound Station on Huron Street first, with it's standard clientele of drunks and beggars, I may have received a different impression of Ann Arbor. I was later to work at the Huron Street Greyhound station, from November 1973 till March 1974, when I moved here, as had been my intent, even then. The Greyhound Station had been managed, in those days, by Red Simpson. He had two sons, John and George. George, they said, had disappeared for about a year, and returned, with a sex change operation, as "Gail" Simpson. The bus drivers had been mortified, always referring to Gail as "He...she...it" in the course of a conversation.
      But this is 1970: I am not to see the Greyhound station yet, nor will I actually move to Ann Arbor for another three years. Just before the Michigan Union bus stop, I see Larry B. walking on the street. I wave to him, but he does not see me. So I proceed, on his direction, through Ann Arbor's tumultuous diag of 1970, bound for East Quad. The "Tent City" protest, in which protesters pitched pup tents on the diag, is in full swing. Soon, police will sweep it away, on the advice that a hepatitis carrier has spread disease throughout the community.
      I arrive at 30 Hayden Hall, East Quadrangle Residential College, but Larry is not there. Soon he arrives, beaming. He is, he says, delighted that I have accepted his invitation.
      His letters have told me much about the now semi-famous Naomi Schechter. A Jewish girl whose parents, he said, were both registered Communists; an activist, a psychology teacher, highly intelligent, but with severe acne. Some years later, she will undergo facial surgery to correct the problem.
      He had made it clear in his letters that she wanted to meet me. I had envisioned a romance. Boys will be boys. I had envisioned myself, T. Casey Brennan, fledgling comic book writer for CREEPY and EERIE, with my own Joan Baez, whose parents were both registered Communists, leading the campus leftists to victory over the supporters of the Vietnam war, and my very recent, former friends, the John Birch Society. But that was not to be. Some time between August of 1970, when Larry B. had invited me to East Quad at the Upper Peninsula campground, and October 1970, when I actually made the journey, Larry had relayed the bad news: Naomi had taken on a live-in lover at her home on Ellsworth Road in Ypsilanti, where I was to stay, briefly, intermittently, with my stays at 30 Hayden Hall, East Quad. Larry described him as "a silk-screener named Joe". Joe had an Italian surname; I don't remember it. He was, as I recall, one of the early directors of Ozone House, a still existing Ann Arbor group which supplies teen-age runaways with food, clothing, and anti-drug pamphlets. Joe alleged that his uncle had been murdered by the Mafia. Larry alleged that Joe was one of the biggest drug dealers in Washtenaw County, but, he said, just marijuana and hashish.
      Despite all that, Larry B., and his room-mate, Dave, determined that my stay at East Quad should include my first experience with that staple diet of campus demonstrators, marijuana.
      So, that night at East Quad, I smoked marijuana for the first time.
      I smoke some that night, and the following morning, then wander around the campus area of South University, determined that I have now incurred permanent brain damage from it. In addition to my comic scripts for CREEPY and EERIE, I have also written some short stories for a magazine called LISTEN, edited by Francis A. Soper and Twyla Schlotthauer. My checks say Narcotics Education, Inc., but it is really a vehicle of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Washington, D.C. They are anti-drug, anti-cigarettes, anti-meat-eating, anti-everything. Later, in the mid-1970s, when I am living at Xanadu Co-op on 1811 Washtenaw, marijuana salesmen will call them and tell them that I have been "caught" smoking marijuana (which they have sold me), as part of an on-going attempt by the campus left to sabotage my career. Undaunted, I write a pro-vegetarian story called "I Love Meat", a satire more derived from my VAMPIRELLA stories than anything else (see Warren Publishing's VAMPIRELLA magazines #s 5, 17-21, and 109, and Harris Comics VAMPIRELLA OF DRAKULON #1-3, reprinted in 1996, and the trade paperback, VAMPIRELLA: TRANSCENDING TIME & SPACE, co-authored with Steve Englehart). It's about a literal meat-vampire, a meat-addict: Soper rejects it, but it ends up published in 1977 issues of VEGETARIAN TIMES and a short-lived HIGH TIMES imitator called FLASH (no relation to the DC comic of the same name), in the latter case, accompanied by an illustration from legendary underground comic artist, Robert Williams. A quote from the story, beginning "Poor animals..." has now been picked up by vegetarian activists on the Internet world-wide...astute Net-searchers will find it posted widely on the Net and Usenet, listing me with the greatest philosophers of history. What's more, Soper later forgave me for being "caught" by the Xanadu marijuana peddlers, and published my publicity stunt essays about being an award winning comic book writer wanting to take smoking out of comic books in his early 1980s companion to LISTEN, a newsletter called SMOKE SIGNALS: the result being that the articles were entered into CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - SENATE, Sept. 28, 1982, Vol. 128, No. 131, page S12435, and commented upon in the U.N. World Health Organization magazine from Geneva, WORLD HEALTH, October 1983, page 30, and January-February 1986, page 9, issues; and THAT culminating in a Proclamation, dated December 22, 1989, carrying the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas, and the signatures of then-Governor Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State, designating January 1990 as T. CASEY BRENNAN MONTH in the State of Arkansas. All because of my association with Francis A. Soper, whom I then believed.
      So I sit with a girl I just met, by a campus building in Ann Arbor, the second day of my trip, and tell her she must never smoke marijuana. It causes permanent brain damage, I tell her. Amusedly, she agrees, and promises. I go on to say, I may contact LISTEN magazine, and see if they can arrange some kind of speaking tour. Or, maybe, I'm thinking, the John Birchers, but I don't tell her that.
      That part is secret, must be, cannot be told in my quest to woo the campus left of Ann Arbor.
      Soon, we meet Naomi and Joe. I am to stay there for a few days, as per our agreement. The house is on Ellsworth Road, Ypsilanti.
      Joe produces two forms of hashish, Pakistani and Nepalese, he says. Naomi says they are afraid to smoke the Nepalese hashish: "It's too intense," she says. Later, Joe takes me to his silk screen shop, which he owns. I think it's called The Silk Screen Shop. He tells me that the form of printing called silk-screening produces, not just t-shirts with cartoons on them, but also the illustrations that graced 1970-style pin-ball machines.
      Naomi is then working on her Ph.d. thesis. She gives me a battery of tests, for practice, she says, including the standard Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test, as well as something she has invented, using the Rider deck of Tarot cards, as designed by Arthur Edward Waite, much preferred by hippies of that era. Interestingly, in a classic anachronism, the early 1970s television program KUNG FU, starring David Carradine as a pseudo-Chinese Shaolin priest, used the Rider deck in an episode set in the 1860s, wielded by his guest-star father, one-time Dracula portrayer, John Carradine, in spite of the fact that the Rider deck was not produced until the 1920s.
      I ask Naomi about the police, "the pligs, myan", as we called them then.
      "They don't come out here unless we call them," she says.
      I take Naomi's tests, then smoke the Nepalese hash that she has recommended against. I have a dream about a world covered with green foliage, with men with green helmets walking about in it, then go outside, thinking I am going to throw up. Joe comes out, offering sympathy, but in a moment, I am okay.
      I take a ride with Naomi in her jalopy. As we pull out of driveways, I watch, repeatedly, for oncoming traffic. Naomi spots me doing this, and curses me.
      "I thought men were supposed to help girls drive!" I say.
      "Well," Naomi says, "You've been improperly trained."
      I meet Naomi's friends.
      One is a man named Tom. He says he owns a health food something-or-other on Liberty Street. He has fluffy curly hair, but no mustache or beard. Joe has a mustache.
      One day, we wake up and Tom is annoyed by buzzing flies sticking to the fly paper in Naomi's living room. He applies his lit cigarette lighter.
      "Better that they die that way, than slowly," Tom says.
      Another is a traveller from England, a man with his long hair in a bun, like the old ladies I had known in my boyhood in Avoca, Michigan.
      He tries to be friendly, but I see him as one of those members of the Communist conspiracy the John Birchers have told me about. He tells me of his efforts to organize the cockneys in England, but, he says, he is thwarted. He says they admire the upper-class English accent.
      Naomi takes me aside later and says: "We don't know what he does. He may kill people."
      Another is a pretty girl who brings a box of slides, which she presents to me and Joe. She says, "There is a picture of me in there..."
      She giggles.
      "Well," she says, "I don't know..." Then she giggles some more.
      She leaves. Joe and I light joints, and set to work, examining the box of a thousand slides, one by one, looking for the implied nude picture of the girl who has just left. One by one, we examine each boring vacation slide, shake our heads, and move on. It just isn't there. We have been tricked.
      I meet Larry B.'s friends.
      Larry takes me to the Halfway Inn, in East Quad. He points out a student with a picture of a clenched fist on the back of his denim jacket.
      Larry B. says, "Casey, you see that guy? He was arrested at a demonstration for throwing a rock at a cop. And he didn't do it!"
      Larry also points out an East Quad drug dealer called Strike.
      "Strike's a prick," says Larry B., "Strike works directly under Joe."
      Later, Strike, a student with longish hair, a beard, and a furtive look, tells me in a hallway: "Everybody here is out to get me."
      And, through Strike, I have had my first glimpse of the apolitical vendettas of Ann Arbor's campus left, so intent on victimizing their own.
      Later, Naomi tells me she may not complete her Ph.d thesis. I embark on a campaign of persuasion, conceiving various approaches for talking her into it. It will be, she says, if she finishes it, a treatise on the Tarot cards and psychology. Following repeated phone calls along this line, I finally conceive of this:
      "Maybe girls shouldn't have Ph.d's," I say.
      "That does it," she says, "I'm going to do it."
      And she did. And now she is a semi-famous activist with Psychologists for Social Responsibility, following in the footsteps of her registered Communist parents; her friend Larry B. (and his hero, Baba Ram Das); her friend Tom, who sold health food and burned flies with his lighter; her friend with his hair in bun who may have killed people; and her boyfriend Joe, who ran a silk-screen shop and Ozone House, and whose uncle was killed by the Mafia.
      This was the memory that lurked within:
      Before Naomi, Joe, and Larry B. giving me marijuana and hashish in 1970, there had been J.H. Earnshaw giving me LSD in the late 1950s. We had met him through David Ferrie, who died during the Garrison investigation. Menacingly, Earnshaw had claimed association with the CIA's illegal MK-ULTRA experimentation program, begun in 1953, and investigated by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, before a Senate Committee, in 1977. My dad's interests had included not merely school taxes and right-wing politics, but also hypnosis, which was Earnshaw's specialty. Earnshaw, an Osteopathic physician in Port Hope, Michigan, reportedly died in 1984, though he continued to be listed in the American Osteopathic Association Yearbook long after that. On November 22, 1963, Earnshaw and David Ferrie kidnapped me from the Yale, Michigan airport, with the assistance of my late father, and forced me to initiate the firing from the Texas School Book Depository Building in Dallas. That was what I wrote about in "Conjurella". Lee was innocent. I was not.
      And this was the last memory of Naomi, not the LAST memory, but the memory that lingered, the way the memory of my single shot in Dallas, before I collapsed, before David Ferrie assumed command of the weapon and resumed firing, could not.
      Naomi shows me a crystal by her window, that creates flickering lights and colors. It hangs by the couch on which I sleep; I do not sleep with her, the presence of Joe has seen to that. But in the morning on that day, whatever day it was, Naomi comes to awaken me.
      She stands over me in the flickering light of the crystal, as the effect of the Nepalese hash lingers on in my unaccustomed brain.
      I watch as she tosses her head, leans from side to side, and strikes poses in the window light of morning.
      In my fear of Nepalese hashish and Communist conspirators, in my apprehension of the vendetta against Strike, and the man with his hair in a bun, and Joe whose uncle was killed by the Mafia, and her Communist parents, I have almost forgotten how pretty she is. But now, her long curly hair glistens in the morning light, in the light of the crystal, and she fans it out like a veil, as she weaves and tosses.
      "NAOMI!" I say, with awe. And I need say no more. She knows.
      "That will last a long time," she says.
      And it did.
             The End

I'm getting ready for the next Please Hold For Dave Sim, so if you got a question for Dave, SOUND OFF!
And finally, Steve asked the other day about the romance comic in the picture of my Postcard from Hell?, it's a postcard from my friend the Comic Book Man. He sends me a lot of postcards. 

A lot.

That's not including his Christmas cards...

Next Time: Goat milk?

Sunday 28 April 2019

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part fifty-one

Hi, Everybody!

So, two things:

1, the bizness:
There's a Indiegogo live if you missed the Kickstarter for the birthday card.

The remastered Volume 1, digitally for $9.99.

No word on the postcard Kickstarter, or a Star code for the remastered Jaka's Story, but I'll add 'em to the list when I get 'em!
2, I ran out of pages from issue 289/290 to run in front of Dave's Genesis Question commentaries. Dave suggested I use Jewish, Christian or Muslim religious images. But then, Superman's Frenemy: David Birdsong sent in a bunch of (so far) unused Cerebus in Hell? images and now I'ma gonna run them. So:
image by Doré, Sim & Birdsong
16 January 15

Hi Troy & Mia!

Mr. Ross then cites Psalms 98:2-3:

The YHWH hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he [KJV: openly showed; alternative translation: revealed] in the sight of the heathen.

He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Coincidentally, my Torah reading this morning was Deuteronomy 2 to 11which consists of Moshe's best summing up of "Our [that is, the Hebrew people's] story thus far…" preparatory to their passing over Jordan -- without him -- into the promised land, conveying what are, presumably, the YHWH's own most accurate sentiments as dictated to him.  Which are a good deal more qualified than David's sentiments as expressed in Psalm 98. 

Of particular (particular to me, anyway) note:

Deuteronomy 9:5-7:  Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thy heart dost thou go to possess their land: But for the wickedness of these nations, the YHWH thy god doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the YHWH swear unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Understand therefore, that the YHWH thy god giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou a stiff-necked people.

Remember, forget not, how thou provokedst the YHWH thy god to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the YHWH.

This definitely seems to me to point in the direction of the YHWH's consistently and generally avowed low opinion of men:  The people of the land are wicked and the Hebrew people are rebellious and stiff-necked.  I find it impossible, personally, to rationalize this with David's assertion: "his [the YHWH's] righteousness hath he openly showed/revealed in the sight of the heathen.  He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel." 

The YHWH seems to me to be pretty explicit on the point:  the Hebrew people aren't being rewarded with the promised land, the inhabitants of the land are being punished by having it taken away:  "And he shall deliver their kings into thy hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them." (Deuteronomy 7:24)

Of particular note, I think, is Dt. 6:22 as part of the instruction that is supposed to be conveyed between generations of the Jewish peoples, what "thou shalt say unto thy son" about the Exodus out of Egypt:

And the YHWH showed signs and wonders great and evil upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh and upon all his household before our eyes

The KJV translators shy away from this -- translating it as "great and sore"  -- but there it is in the margin:  "Hebr.: evil".  This is, specifically, what Moshe is instructed to say ABOUT the actions of the YHWH BY the YHWH.

Addressing  Psalm 98:2-3 particularly seems to me to present the problem inherent in psalms generally (the problem that I see, anyway) when you examine what's left:

O sing unto the YHWH a new song, for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory.

On the one hand, it's a "song of praise" so it's easy to give it a pass based strictly on apparent motivation.  How can you fault someone for praising God (given that everyone besides me thinks that YHWH and God are the same being)?

 "Who love to be praised for what they have not done" -- a Koranic phrase -- comes to mind. 

If the YHWH was showing "signs and wonders great and evil upon Egypt" and is then doing the same thing to the goyim in the promised land, all while seeing the Hebrew people as being "stiff necked" and "rebellious",  it's hard to see where "his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory".  Which is the problem I always have with commentaries, which is what I see the Psalms as being.  Songs of praise that David wrote that, to me, don't reflect the sense of Scripture itself and -- to me, consequently -- muddy, rather than clarify, that sense.

David's further observations...

Make a joyful noise unto the YHWH, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice and sing praise. 

Sing unto the YHWH with the harp: with the harp and the voice of a Psalm.

With trumpets and sound of cornet: make a joyful noise before the YHWH the King.

 …seem to me to illustrate the extent of the problem.  What David, it seems to me, is counselling is to erect a facade of noise, song, harp, voice, trumpets and cornets between man and God's scripture and, consequently, between man and God. As a musical individual this, apparently, seems wise to him.

Self-excitement and self-incitement by musical means into a rapturous state seem to me an unhealthy motive and an unhealthy program, theologically speaking.  Sheer narcissism.  David is, himself, a King as he's composing this material so it's hard not to infer that he is viewing himself as a "co-King" with the YHWH and praising himself -- and urging the Hebrew people, his citizens, to praise him and arouse themselves into a rapturous state matching his own -- even as he's praising the YHWH.

[It's worth noting, I think, that The Koran is a recitation of God's Word which -- at the time of its sending down -- was frequently mistaken for poetry of the Epic Poem sort by those who wanted to disparage it.  But if you listen to Koranic recitations today, they're very musical.  Far more like songs than like recitations.  I read somewhere that almost all recordings of the Koran are made in Egypt and are always quasi-musical in this way.  I'm listening to it right now.  I would prefer, personally, to have a NON-musical Koran to listen to for the reasons cited above.  I think you have to be very cautious about incorporating music and musicality into worship of God. Although I don't think most religious people are at all cautious about that.]

Of course, God appears to take a much wider and broader view:   

Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof: the world and they that dwell therein.

Water being God's chosen medium, He appears here to incorporate Himself into David's psalm, suggesting that the roar of the sea is, in itself, a species of Divine music -- the sea's means by which it praises God, its own "joyful noise".  "The fullness thereof" seeming to suggest further depths to that music inaudible to men but serving their part in the same purpose. 

And then incorporating the world -- the YHWH -- into that same construct and appearing to suggest, by juxtaposition, that "they that dwell therein" (mankind IN the world) as being analogous to and bearing the same relationship TO the sea's roar of the "fullness thereof" OF the sea's roar.  The "joyful noise within the joyful noise".  

Let the floods clap [interpolated: their] hands: let the hills be joyful together

suggests that music is inherent in all forms of Reality and is just part of God's creation -- while having, as I read it, a certain arch quality in expression:  which I infer is God's way of saying "There really isn't any need to TELL the floods to clap hands or (by inference) to TELL the hills to be 'joyful together.  It was a given that they would do so when I created them and when I created their progenitors before they existed in their present form.  And THEIR progenitors and THEIR progenitors back before the earth existed in its present form, all the way back to the Big Bang…"

"…BUT, in the spirit of what David AND the YHWH are engaged in here, by all means, 'Let the floods clap hands: let the hills be joyful together.'"

But following this with the larger idea at issue:

Before the YHWH, for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

"Before the YHWH" in the sense of "in front of/before the YHWH" but also I think in reference to "prior to the YHWH" before "the YHWH's own progenitors" in a cosmological sense, the stellar body -- our sun -- from which the YHWH came out in the form of an undifferentiated mass, and the stellar bodies from which our sun itself came out in the form of an undifferentiated mass. 

The point isn't, I infer, praise, per se.  Musical or otherwise.  The point is judgement, righteousness and equity as the "end points" and inherent purpose of enactment.  Presumably,  David was musically praising the YHWH to a fare-thee-well even as he was lusting after Bathsheba, committing adultery with her and then plotting her husband's death to cover for the resulting pregnancy.  

What the YHWH has done, is doing and will do is of greater importance than from where the YHWH came and how the YHWH got here.  Likewise with David and all of God's creations.  

Next week: God willing Psalm 104


Next Time: Ya know what they say, "April Posts bring May Posts..."

Saturday 27 April 2019

Cerebus in Hell? Postcard #1! (AND ORIGINAL ART FOR SALE!!! (Okay, for auction. Whatever...))

Hi, Everybody!

As I said yesterday, my Cerebus in Hell? Postcard #1 arrived in the mail:

As you can see, I noticed something wrong right away...
It showed up like this, I didn't start to open it...
So, funny story: I paid for a "BEAT TO HELL?" one and a "DON'T DAMAGE MY @#$%ING POSTCARD" one, but I got two "DON'T DAMAGE MY @#$%ING POSTCARD" postcards in one bag and board.
Back when this first started, I asked whether we could get our regular Kickstarter numbers, the answer was "eh...NO". But my regular Kickstarter number is 37, and I got postcards #35 and 36. Funny...
Original Comic Art:Panel Pages, Dave Sim Cerebus #17 Story Page 14 Original Art(Aardvark-Vanaheim, 1980)....
Look what Heritage has got.
Original Comic Art:Panel Pages, Dave Sim Cerebus #25 Story Page 12 Original Art(Aardvark-Vanaheim, 1981)....
This one too...
Also and: Friend to the Blog, and Stormtrooping Red Shirt: Steve Peters has another Kickstarter going. (I have a joke in one panel.)

Next Time: It's Sunday. So, the usual.

Friday 26 April 2019

Inking "Green Dante Green Virgil" (Dave's Weekly Update #284)

Hi, Everybody!

Heeeeeere's Dave: 

Problems viewing this video? Watch directly on YouTube...

The Auction for this little beauty is still at (drumroll) $1277.00 US Dollars from: 高伯乐 (Gao BoLe)!

The Jaka's Story remaster has a Starcode!  APR191258 First month orders will be signed and numbered! Dave will be signing the ENTIRE print run of the book. Also, there's a "contest" to select the image for the bookplate Dave's gonna be signing.

Greg Hyland is Kickstartering the second volume of the Monster Atlas, and it's gonna have Gerhard art like the first volume. It's gonna look a little something like this. Four days left...

The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99.

Next Time: Speaking of Postcard #1, I got mine yesterday, and will post pictures tomorrow *YES!!!* (Easy post...)

Thursday 25 April 2019

Jaka's Story final text changes-- Nit-pickers ASSEMBLE!


Hello all!

We are currently wrapping up the Jaka's Story files in preparation for our upcoming print date! (You can still order the signed and numbered edition of the book through your local comic shop. But hurry! The ordering period closes today). As it's such a text-heavy book, the text has been completely set from scratch, using scans of the pages, optical character recognition, and an awful lot of typesetting, proofreading, and hair-pulling.

But we're almost there! Want to help us drag the book across the finish line? Have a lot of opinions about the tiniest details of the written word, and all of those squiggles that sometimes accompany them?

Well, we're here for you!
Below you'll find a list of proposed changes still on the table. These would be changes to the text as it appeared in the original printings. Below each excerpt is who suggested the change (myself, Eddie Khanna, or Jeff Seiler), and sometimes the rationale provided.

Thoughts on any of these? Please let us know ASAP in the comments!

All the best,

page 76. "There was no telling how long the child had been so-engaged; no way to determine the extent of the irreparable damage done."
SMR asks—hyphen or no hyphen here?

Pg 117-- "For their route was carrying them past the playground; a place Nurse had scrupulously avoided since the “scandalous adventuring”

SMR requests semi-colon changed to a comma.

p 18 -- "shriveled" vs "shrivelled" (American versus UK usage)

p 12 (and about six other locations in the book)-- "T'Capmin" vs "T'capmin"
Eddie says: Not sure if it's "T'Capmin" or "T'capmin." At first I thought it should be "T'Capmin" but the majority use is "T'capmin" and only in the beginning is "T'Capmin" used, (also in READS it's "T'capmin") so in hindsight, I assume 'T'Capmin" on page 12 is the incorrect form.”

p 120-- "Still, each morning as she waited for Nurse, Jaka pulled and pushed, attempted to rattle, attempted to coax, attempted to dislodge, however temporarily, however marginally, that brass lever inset with sculpted leaves and flourishes."
Original has "pedal" instead of "lever" but Jeff Seiler suggested the substitution.

p 259 "swiveling" versus "swivelling" (American versus UK usage)

p 334 SHE GAZED at the nearly transparent, cream-coloured silk of Astoria’s gown; as she regarded its tasteful simplicity so charmingly unencumbered; except by a single, pale, yellow topaz on a fine chain at her throat; Jaka felt herself sweltering beneath layer upon layer of gaudy trappings as if she were some tapestry salesman’s dray horse lugging his merchandise from market-place to market-place.
Eddie suggests changing semi-colons to commas.

several weeks, Jaka felt her world had been rent asunder by the raven-haired
interloper. Each day (it seemed) brought fresh directives from Astoria’s newly-
inaugurated Department of Women’s Affairs (on pink, onion-skin stationery; each communiqué like a knife in the young girl’s heart).
SMR suggests changing the semi-colon to a comma.

A series of increasingly terse messages were exchanged with the Department over a three-day period: the frequency of messenger comings-and-goings scandalising the general neighbourhood of Jaka’s suite of rooms; until a final communication advised that messenger services were now to be deducted from each individual’s clothing allowance.
Eddie suggests "suite of rooms;" changes to "suite of rooms,"

p423-- As he worked; his hands tucking and pinning, plucking and rolling, shaving and trimming, the carpet around him adorned by those instruments of his trade; he launched into a lengthy and lively monologue alternately extolling and deprecating the tonsorial attributes of Palnu’s Great Ladies.
EK suggests changing semicolons to commas

p 433 "Each of the attendants, in his turn, stepped forward: holding forth for the approval of the florid gentleman a camisole of almost unearthly beauty; sheer stockings and fine, delicate garters interwoven with bright metal; exotic body-wraps and fastenings; several heavy, lace crinolines and petticoats. "
SMR thinks the first colon should be a comma and the rest remain as-is.

P 454 Her hair hung before her face, blocking much of the diffuse light which streamed through a porthole above her. In a very few minutes, her few, random thoughts had fled and she heard and smelled and tasted and saw and felt nothing as Blackness; terrible, calm, resolute, eternal; claimed her for its own, once more.
Eddie suggests replacing semi-colons with commas.

Page 125 balloon 10 Jeff wants to add two commas to the balloon. "Women, dear boy, are unfathomable"