Although I don’t consider myself to be a Buddhist, Buddhism will always hold a significant place in my life. I don’t consider myself to be anything really because I don’t feel like my spirit needs a label or definition, but it was Buddhism that revived my interest in anything spiritual. Actually, it was a very personally significant dream visit from the Buddha (or more accurately a dream conversation with his urn and ashes) when I was 25 or so that began to change my worldview and started me down a new path. Before then, I was stuck in the rational scientific materialist trap, I guess. Not that I don’t appreciate science or rationality, but that definitely isn’t the whole picture.
Anyway, I meant to talk about The White Lama…
Tibetan Buddhism is especially interesting, because it is a sort of blending of the native Tibetan shamanism and the Buddhist teachings that were brought from India to Tibet by Padmasambhava. Although it happens much later than that initial introduction, that is the background for The White Lama, which takes place in late 19th century Tibet.
The White Lama is about an orphan boy named Gabriel who is the reincarnation of the Grand Lama Mipam. Gabriel’s European explorer parents are killed very early in the story, and he is raised by Tibetan locals who train him spiritually and physically in their traditions. I don’t want to go too deeply into the story but it is all about Gabriel’s spiritual journey, his struggle to realize his destiny, an exploration of Tibetan culture, and the impact of colonialism and conquest on that culture and the people.
I really only picked up this book because it was written by Alexandro Jodorowsky, and I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was familiar with some of Jodorowsky’s other comic work, like The Metabarons, so I was pretty sure it’d be a good story… but its become a favorite of mine. The artwork is also impeccable, being illustrated by talented George Bess.
Again, not necessarily a horror comic recommendation for this Halloween season (although there are a whole lot of horrible things that happen), but lots ‘o supernatural goodness going on in The White Lama!
comixology.com | The White Lama
amazon.com | The White Lama
I’ll continue the streak and write another comic book post this week. Comictober!
The Invisibles is about a small group of rebels fighting liberate humanity from the domination and psychic oppression imposed upon us by the interdemsional alien gods called the Archons of Outer Church. Multiple universes, extra dimensions, magic, conspiracy theory, alien abduction, violence, time travel, memes, consciousness-expansion… all of that stuff is here in The Invisibles, and much more! The world behind the world, the history behind the history.
Sounds crazy? Probably. The Invisibles isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure… but I love it. It is probably one of my favorite stories, let alone comics.
The Invisibles was created and written by Grant Morrison, who is well known for throwing some pretty strange stories and concepts out there. Morrison is very hit or miss for me. I love a whole lot of his work, and don’t like some of his work at all. But The Invisibles is, in my opinion, among his very best. The artwork is also good, overall, and a number of different artists contributed their talents to the project (click here to see who).
I read first this a long time ago but have been revisiting it again lately. Its been on my mind lately too, especially this week. Again, not necessarily a horror comic (although there is plenty of horror there), but it seems to somehow suit the Halloween season.
comixology.com | Invisibles
amazon.com | Invisibles
Promethea is another comic series that might suit your mood this time of year. It’s not really horror or anything, but there is plenty of supernatural in there. That’s what it is all about, and I love it!
The comic was written by Alan Moore (a favorite!), illustrated by J.H. Williams III (an amazing, amazing artist!) and inked by Mick Grey… so very much talent went into the creation of this series.
The story is about the goddess Promethea, who is a sort of personification of the imagination. Every generation or so, Promethea is reborn and takes on a new human host, usually a woman (an artist, a poet, or something like that) although one time she was a man. In this specific story Promethia is reborn and embodied as Sophie Bangs, although previous incarnations of Promethea also appear prominently in the comic as well, helping and training Sophie.
They train Sophie by teaching her about different forms of Western esoteric magic and mysticism like the tarot, Tree of Life/Kabbalah, and how to bring forth the imagination and make it real (the comic is a good introduction to these concepts too). Sophie/Promethea travel through the imagination to other dimentions, meeting gods, gaining knowledge. Of course, there are demonic beings hunting her down too, demons who want to keep the status quo and don’t want Sophie to realize her true potential and destiny. Wow! Pretty dramatic! But very well done.
*(Spioler?)* And, it is her destiny to bring about the apocalypse. But not the apocalypse we’ve always been told of in church… the original meaning of the word apocalypse was “to bring knowledge, uncover truth, a disclosure of something hidden.” Scary!
comixology.com | Promethea
amazon.com | Promethea
I’d grown tired of vampire stories by the end of the 90’s or early 00’s. So much so that I started to avoid them, like a vampire might avoid the cross. I’d always liked the folklore and legends, but I came to think they were way too over-used and over-saturated in pop culture. Or maybe I just like the legend too much, sought it out, but had finally seen enough. Maybe both those reasons are true…
I’ve recently discovered a comic book that has revived my interest again, called Baltimore.
I really only bought this comic because Mike Mignola is involved with it and darkhorse.com had the series on sale. Mignola is one of my very favorite comic creators, with Hellboy, B.P.R.D, and so many other great comics being written and/or illustrated by him. Mignola created this with Christopher Golden, with art by Ben Stenbeck, and it was colored by Dave Stewart. So good! Still, even though I owned a lot of it, my general aversion to vampire stuff kept me from getting around to reading Baltimore for at least a year or two. Now that I have read most of what I own, I can say it is exceptional too!
The story begins with Lord Henry Baltimore fighting in the trenches of World War 1. He and his platoon are being cut down by German soldiers and left for dead. The carnage and blood bring out ancient vampires who begin to feed. Because he fights back and even wounds one of the vampires, Baltimore unknowingly declares war on those ancients, and they proceed to destroy his life after he has returned home. This war takes Baltimore all over Europe in search of the vampire who is responsible… and beyond him too…
Such a kick-ass comic, and perfect for this Halloween-ie season!
www.darkhorse.com | Baltimore
amazon.com | Baltimore