The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic
|The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic|
Cover design by John Coulthart
|Publisher||Top Shelf Productions|
|Writer(s)||Alan Moore and Steve Moore|
|Artist(s)||Kevin O'Neill, Melinda Gebbie,
John Coulthart, José Villarrubia et al.
|Top Shelf||ISBN 978-1-60309-001-8|
The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic is an upcoming hardcover work by Alan Moore and the late Steve Moore (no relation). Both men have written comics and together co-founded the private magical order known as The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels. The book is listed as "a future release" from Top Shelf Productions.
The book is intended to be "a clear and practical grimoire of the occult sciences," containing "profusely illustrated instructional essays" on theories of magic from c. 150AD to the present of the Moon & Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels sect, of whom Alan Moore is a dedicated follower. Indeed, both Moores are described by publisher Top Shelf Productions as the "current proprietors" of the group of occult performers, of whom Alan Moore is a particularly prominent member, alongside former Bauhaus bassist David J. The "Moon and Serpent" group have released a number of spoken word CD releases of their occult "workings"/performances.
Among the essays the book will include is "Adventures in Thinking," a dissertation detailing "how entry into the world of magic may be readily achieved." The tongue-in-cheek tone of the tome will also include "a number of 'Rainy Day' activity pages" suggesting "lively and entertaining things-to-do once the magical state has been attained, including such popular pastimes as divination, etheric travel and the conjuring of a colourful multitude of spirits, deities, dead people and infernal entities from the pit." This will likely incorporate a "bestiary of demons and gods and other things that you might be lucky or unfortunate enough to bump into."
The two Moores – unrelated, but long-term friends – will also pen "lengthy theses revealing the ultimate meaning of both the Moon and the Serpent."
The Great Enchanters
The book will present a "history of magic from the last ice-age to the present day, told in a series of easy-to-absorb pictorial biographies of fifty great enchanters," an area in which both Moores are readily familiar, Alan having been a practising magician for a number of years, and Steve having contributed to the Fortean Times journal since its earliest days, the paranormal, occult and magic itself being extremely familiar areas covered by that publication. This section, tentatively entitled "Old Moore's Lives of the Great Enchanters" is described by A. Moore as around "fifty-two full pages.. laid out a bit like the old Ripley's Believe it or Not, where you've got five panels with captions" describing the illustrations. These "great enchanters" will cover key individuals in the history of magic beginning with the alleged "first representation of a magician" – "the Dancing Sorcerer from the Trois Freres cave in France."
Other notable individuals will include "the Persian Magi and Zarathustra" ("after the Stone Age shamanic period... the first record of actual magic") and various other real, fictional and debatable individuals including "King Solomon, Circe, Medea... Apollonius of Tyana [and] Merlin... the first white magician." Coverage will also be given to those individuals who "almost certainly existed, like Roger Bacon and people like that." Kevin O'Neill (co-creator with A. Moore of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) is set to illustrate a "seven or eight-page life of Alexander... done in a Radio Fun style... detail[ling] the life of Alexander of Abonuteichos who was the creator of Glycon," Alan's "patron deity."
In addition to the hefty – a projected 320 pages – book itself, a "full range of entertainments will be provided" in addition, including (in typical Moorean fashion – see his 2007 Black Dossier for a similar cornucopia of bonus materials) "a lavishly decorated decadent pulp tale of occult adventure recounted in the serial form", "a full set of this sinister and deathless cult's never-before-seen Tarot cards" (illustrated by José Villarrubia), "a fold-out Kabalistic board game" and "a pop-up Theatre of Marvels that serves as both a Renaissance memory theatre and a handy portable shrine." This latter (theatre) is being designed by Moore's wife, the artist Melinda Gebbie.
Similar Moorean works
In additional to Steve Moore's lengthy association with Bob Rickard's UK publication Fortean Times, Alan Moore is no stranger to the world of magic. A self-proclaimed practisising magician (and self-professed worshipper of Roman glove puppet god Glycon), Moore's ouvre includes several diversions into the realms of the magickal, including his America's Best Comics series Promethea, both a general meditation on magic in comics form and a specific guide to the 22 Major Arcana Tarot cards (issue #12), the Sephiroth (issue #14) and the entire Hermetic Qabalah (issues #13–25). Promethea featured appearances from such individuals as Dr. John Dee, Aleister Crowley, Austin Osman Spare and Jack Parsons, all of whom are likely to be covered in the Bumper Book of Magic.
Indeed, it has been suggested that much of A. Moore's recent output has to a greater or lesser extent been designed as magical rituals:
|“||All of Moore's recent comics and other texts that are intended to function as magical "workings" or rituals, perform the work of making something metaphysically real though a work of imagination and communication, as with the culminatory "there because we say She is" that births the Angel Highbury at the end of his psychogeographic spoken-word piece, The Highbury Working.||”|
- Top Shelf Catalog listing for The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic by Alan Moore and Steve Moore. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log: "We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Northampton: Part 1" Interview with Alan Moore by Pádraig Ó Méalóid, 13 June 2008
- "Alan Moore (III) – Biography on IMDB". Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- "ImageSexT: A Roundtable on Lost Girls: A magical realism of the fuck" by Tof Eklund, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2008.