Dawn offers its mechanical chorus. If I peel off the bark of the night it reveals a stark, blank-eyed whiteness.
Nothing is apparent of the frenzy within.
There was a crucial dream. It came when my life was at a junction, at University. I had nurtured a childhood fantasy: to be a writer; more specifically, of comics.
Yet, since then, the world's sicknesses had been displayed to me. Dismayed, I thought I ought to lend my life to healing them.
Torn by the thorns of this dilemma I took myself away, to Paris. I sought answers in its galleries.
In one, I witnessed, as if in another universe, a film of Max Ernst's surrealist collage novel, Une Semaine de Bonté.
I am not sure whether this is the version I saw, but the Schoenberg soundtrack is entirely appropriate (thanks, Helen). Originally published as a book, it can be argued that this is an early example of a graphic novel, and has influenced later comics writers, for example Grant Morrison, in particular his Doom Patrol, as best exemplified by the story The Painting That Ate Paris.
Nothing could have seemed more shocking and disturbing. I was an intruder in another reality, feeling as one transported to ours from a foreign culture might feel.
I fell under its spell. Its alien logic, after a while, became as normal.
That night, under canvas on the hard ground of the Bois de Boulogne, I returned to my origin nation.
There, in a dust bowl, I met a famine-shrunken African boy:
...wrapped in torn pages from Strange Tales 118.
This was the first Marvel comic I ever read, as potent as a first cigarette.
I woke, convinced that the message conveyed was that: if I were to write comics, then, should one child's life be changed for the better from reading one of my stories, it would be worth my while.
Eight years later I found myself writing for Marvel comics.
|Taken from a recent issue of SFX magazine, containing an article on Captain Britain, including my stint on the title.|
Nowadays I find myself writing prosaic tips for combating climate change.
Yet nightly, I still bathe in the radiation from hidden worlds.
|Max Ernst's Europe After The Rain|
I plan to lose myself in those forests soon.