November 26th, 2011

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Only the end of the world again: some thoughts on Alan Moore's "Promethea" and "The Neonomicon"

Yesterday the third volume of Absolute Promethea arrived, so I rad that in bed before falling asleep. This morning the TPB of Neonomicon arrived, so I read that in bed before breakfast. I am quite glad that they arrived in that order, as Neonomicon was quite traumatising enough without the aid of darkness outside and the likelihood of troubling dreams.

I was struck by the similarity between the two of them, with the ending of Promethea and the idea behind Neomicon being dark reflections of each other.
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This idea of transformation ties back to something which seems to have happened to a few writers. Philip K Dick, Grant Morrison, Dave Sim, Robert Anton Wilson, Alan Moore, and a few others seem to have at some point experienced _something_ and then spent years trying to find ways of trying to explain it, even though the experience itself only makes internal sense.****

If one believes in a positive universe, where a caring creator/pervading spirit wishes us to be happy then the experience is likely to be seen as a positive thing. If one feels more negatively about the universe then paranoia and a feeling of general horror seem to be the order of the day.

Reading these two so close together gives an interesting look at one writer showing both sides of the same coin, and that was fascinating.

*Which I wish someone would reprint.
**Yes, I'm generalising wildly here.
***It was converted to a comic a few years ago, and the remainder of Neonomicon was then written as a four parter when Alan Moore had a tax bill due. Also, that's a terrible pun.
****Being the kind of person I am, I think that the something was an event in the brain, and almost certainly caused by drugs in those cases. It seems that similar events can be caused by praying a _lot_ and by meditating, both of which can cause altered mental states.



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