Here’s Scott Jeffrey’s presentation from the most recent Trans States 2 Conference “Competing Visions of Anarchism, Magick and the Self.” ENJOY — unless you still gotta work like me!
The Conference’s YT page for this states:
“A ‘Memeplex’ or ‘Just an Inch’?: Competing Visions of Anarchism, Magick and the Self in the Comics of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison Perhaps because comic books have generally been ignored by mainstream cultural critics have always been a rich source of occultural expression. This paper expands on this premise to discuss the works of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, two of the most influential comic book writers who share some remarkable similarities as well as some crucial differences. These two authors’ trajectories, if not intertwined, then at least overlap enough that their antipathy for one another is well-known, but comparing their work and lives offers a unique lens through which to examine some wider concerns regarding the occult and countercultural ideologies. Both Moore and Morrison are practicing magicians who have both expressed an interest in anarchism as their political philosophy. Both authors have produced works that explore anarchist philosophy as well as works that are explicitly designed to function not just as comic books, abut as a magical spell on the reader (most explicitly Morrison’s The Invisibles and Moore’s Promethea). This paper explores the crossovers and bifurcations in the work and biographies of Moore and Morrison to illuminate the ways their lives and careers embody wider debates about the relationship between art and magic, occultism and politics, art and magic. The paper begins by laying out the cosmologies the two writers present in their collective oeuvres, before going on to examine how these appear to inform their political ideas. Paying close attention to the key texts of Morrison’s esoteric anarchist sci-fi The Invisibles and Moore’s V for Vendetta and Promethea the paper will end by focusing on the concept of the self in these works, and the competing visions of subjectivity, magic and anarchism the two authors offer.
“Scott Jeffery PhD, is the author of The Posthuman Body in Superhero Comics and lectures in sociology at Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands. He writes intermittently about magic, comics, posthumanism, film and other sundry topics at his blog Nth Mind and is currently working on a new book that examines “acid communism” and historical assemblages of art, magic and activism as a map for how we might navigate an accelerated future. When he can he also does drawings and comedy, writing and performing three solo shows as well as 2016’s Discordian influenced revue Mondo Occulto.”