Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Demmed howdy

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Michael Heisler
    Moonbeam Traveller
    • May 2021
    • 5

    Demmed howdy

    Hi all. I've worked in American comics for a bit over 30 years, which is just long enough for me to have very little interest in talking about it. I've been a letterer for most of that time, though I've also written some and edited some. Highlights: I had the opportunity to letter a bunch of Moebius' Blueberry stories when they were published by Epic Comics back in the '90s. I joined Jim Lee's WildStorm studios in 1992 where I had the privilege of editing both Alan Moore and Warren Ellis, by which I mean I did my best to stay out of their way. After a number of WildStorm-owned efforts written by Alan managed to go awry for one reason or another (none of them his fault), I asked him if he had any original concepts that he'd consider developing for us. He said he had an idea for a sort of "Victorian Justice League," and within a day or so I received the proposal for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen…beyond this small role, I take zero credit for it. I left WildStorm not too long thereafter and feel very fortunate that I wasn't in the position of explaining to Alan that the company had sold itself to his least favorite publisher in comics, because I could never have done so convincingly. In 2005 I lettered a couple of stories for Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars anthology title, and that ultimately led to me lettering every demmed Star Wars comic book for around 9 years, until Disney bought Lucasfilm and took the license away. Then I managed to get work lettering Aliens and Predator comics for Dark Horse, until Disney bought 20th Century Fox and took the license away. Currently I'm the letterer on Dark Horse's comic based on James Cameron's Avatar, and that's not going anywhere anytime soon; as my editor said, "Unfortunately for Disney, we signed a ten-year contract." I also letter Lady Mechanika, a steampunk comic unlike anything else in comics. I'm not bragging about that; it's a real bear to letter, and I'd have left it long ago if I didn't like the book so much.

    I first encountered the multiverse when I read the Elric comics adaptations in the '80s, first in Epic Illustrated, then later from Pacific and First comics. I enjoyed them but was not moved to read the source material. I couldn't begin to tell you why not. It's still puzzling to me. Jump to roughly 25 years later when I discovered the first volume of Del Rey's Elric reprint series. I thought "I really should read these things" and started buying them. I didn't start reading them, though, because it wasn't before very long that I realized Del Rey were reprinting the stories in their original publication order, not in the chronological order of the character's life. So I figured I'd wait and buy the whole series and then start reading them. What can I say? All the best comics letterers are anal-retentive. I wouldn't say I'm one of the best, but that's at least one trait I share with them.

    And then…I still didn't read them. The moment never felt right. Finally, around six months ago I thought "I REALLY SHOULD READ THESE"…so I started with Elric Of Melniboné. Since then I have only paused to kick myself for not getting into them previously. I followed the first Elric book with The Fortress of the Pearl; realizing that Elric was due to meet some characters in the next book that I hadn't met yet, I decided to shift gears and read the first four Hawkmoon books (it was while reading Jewel in the Skull that I discovered The Many Worlds of Michael Moorcock group on Facebook). Near the end of The Runestaff, I thought I should make a greater effort to determine a reading order, which eventually led me to this very site and David Mosley's extremely helpful guide, A [Suggested] Moorcock Reading Order. Except…now I'm thinking of dropping any attempt to follow a guide and simply reading all things Moorcock in the order they were published, regardless how much they may have been revised since their original versions. I loved City in the Autumn Stars, but following it with The Eternal Champion felt a little jarring. It seems to me that a chronological organization of the multiverse may work best for you if you've already read most of it. I feel like I might be missing something important if I don't first try to follow and understand the path that the author took. Maybe. I will probably finish the Eternal Champion block of stories before I make a decision what to read next.

    In any case, it was the idiotic Facebook decision that led me to create an account here. So…hi, all.
  • Michael Moorcock
    Site Host
    • Dec 2003
    • 14278

    #2

    In any case, it was the idiotic Facebook decision that led me to create an account here. So…hi, all.[/QUOTE]
    Hi, Pard! I've had similar experiences, usually because I have a visceral hatred of mindless censorship which I have actively resisted since I was 17. I see no reason not to be civil EXCEPT TO AGGRESSIVE PROSELETISERS who will not stop pestering. As with the fb pages I set up-- There is no bar on subject matter. Incivility will get you kicked off. If you read in published order you will start running in to comedy thrillers (outdated and unconsciously insulting in its use of knowing stereotypes c. 1965!), comics and literary novels like MOTHER LONDON and non-fiction like WIZARDRY AND WILD ROMANCE or LETTERS FROM HOLLYWOOD or DEATH IS NO OBSTACLE, not to mention the PYAT QUARTET which is a million or two words long or juvenilia and collections of non-fiction! I'm 81 and still have a lot of ideas, unpublished stories to write -- three ready in the pipeline and working on new ones -- so I have a feeling it would not only be uncomfortable (not everything on my list is something I'd recommend!) even arduous () to go through from start to finish you'd be better off selecting what's to your taste! Many readers only read fantasy and others prefer my 'literary' fiction. I'm more like a bloody Waterstone's/B&N than a person...
    Last edited by Michael Moorcock; 05-07-2021, 11:01 PM.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

    Comment

    • fammann
      Wanderer of the Moonbeam Roads
      • Feb 2011
      • 138

      #3
      That’s what I most admire about your writing, how you change gernes and styles so easily. Well it feels that way to me, maybe it’s hard for you, but you do it really well. My reading taste evolved over time, but I always find something in your vast multiverse that fits it.

      Comment

      • EdCh
        Terhali's Particular Satisfaction
        • May 2021
        • 19

        #4
        What a nice introduction! I think many people from my generation in the States entered the Moorcock literary corpus through Elric and the Eternal Champion books! Like you (MH), I also was first introduced through the Marvel adaptations. And of course those DAW paperbacks with the Whelan covers didn't hurt. If I recall, I read every Eternal Champion book I could get my hands on, and enjoyed them, but once I started exploring some of the more "literary" works (the Cornelius novels, Gloriana), I became a little bit restless (remember I was a young teenager at that time, who had not read Dickens yet, let alone William Burroughs!).

        In my 50s (ongoing BTW), I finally found some time to go back and see what the excitement was all about. And frankly it's been a wonderful trip so far. You may have seen my blog around, which chronicles my ongoing effort to read all of MM's books in publishing order (https://ariochspad.blogspot.com/). In previous Moorcock rereading jags I've just stuck to rereading the fantasy stuff, but this time I went through the "non-fantasy" stuff as well and frankly it's always been rewarding in one aspect or another. It's also led me to expand my horizons as far as reading tastes.

        For example, I've recently finished off the Cornelius Quartet for the first time (after having the Avon pb omnibus sit in my shelf for at least 3 decades), and while at times the volatility of the structure was "disorienting", I was blown away by the fearlessness of the writing - and eventually became very fond of Jerry and his friends, probably even more so at this point than Elric and his cast. The fantasy stuff is great fun, and legendary, but MM has at times expressed a personal favoritism towards his Cornelius books, and after having finally read them I finally see why. I guess it's like fine wine...not the most palatable at first, but when you get hooked...

        I also have to mention the sf books like The Black Corridor and Behold the Man. Not exactly comfort reading - but unforgettable and as relevant as ever. I think the key for me lately has been to approach books with a more open mind, without having preconceived expectations. Although very handy for marketing and for most consumers who are digging into a specific kind of atmosphere, the practice of genre-labelling does a dis-service to "no boundary" writers like MM I think.

        (Having said all that, I did make a kind of Eternal Champion reading order based on publication date which you can find at the bottom of this blog post. 😁. I'm not sure how useful it is though, unless you have the same book editions that I have!)

        Comment

        • EdCh
          Terhali's Particular Satisfaction
          • May 2021
          • 19

          #5
          Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
          If you read in published order you will start running in to comedy thrillers (outdated and unconsciously insulting in its use of knowing stereotypes c. 1965!,
          Haha, but fairly innocent compared to Sax Rohmer at least! To be honest, as an Asian American, reading that kind of "yellow peril" stuff as a kid had never raised any alarms for me - but with our culture being more and more progressively-minded these days, I actually have to re-examine my own biases! (Which I applaud, of course - it's just ironic!)

          Comment

          • Michael Heisler
            Moonbeam Traveller
            • May 2021
            • 5

            #6
            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
            If you read in published order you will start running in to comedy thrillers (outdated and unconsciously insulting in its use of knowing stereotypes c. 1965!), comics and literary novels like MOTHER LONDON and non-fiction like WIZARDRY AND WILD ROMANCE or LETTERS FROM HOLLYWOOD or DEATH IS NO OBSTACLE, not to mention the PYAT QUARTET which is a million or two words long or juvenilia and collections of non-fiction! I'm 81 and still have a lot of ideas, unpublished stories to write -- three ready in the pipeline and working on new ones -- so I have a feeling it would not only be uncomfortable (not everything on my list is something I'd recommend!) even arduous () to go through from start to finish you'd be better off selecting what's to your taste! Many readers only read fantasy and others prefer my 'literary' fiction. I'm more like a bloody Waterstone's/B&N than a person...
            I won't be looking at the non-fiction until I get through the fiction, but otherwise I don't mind the change of genres or approaches at all. If Kubrick had only done straight science fiction after 2001, we'd never have gotten A Clockwork Orange. Reading what's to my taste isn't all it's cracked up to be, anyway; now that I'm into The Sundered Worlds, I find myself sorry that I read the Doctor Who book first. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I'd recognized it as a different take on a previously-visited subject.

            As I said, though, I haven't made up my mind and won't until after I finish The Dragon in the Sword. At that point I'd next be reading the first Corum trilogy (following David's suggested reading order; I've already read the first Hawkmoon tetralogy), or, were I to switch to publication order, Sojan. Both paths seem interesting to me. Maybe I'll alternate between both and meet somewhere in the middle!

            Comment

            • Pietro_Mercurios
              Eternal Champion
              • Oct 2004
              • 5747

              #7
              Originally posted by Michael Heisler View Post
              ... At that point I'd next be reading the first Corum trilogy (following David's suggested reading order;
              You probably know that Mike Mignola helped create a very handsome graphic novelisation of, The Chronicles of Corum. That's still on my wishlist. Read the novels first, though.


              Comment

              • Pietro_Mercurios
                Eternal Champion
                • Oct 2004
                • 5747

                #8
                Wrong link. 😕

                Try this: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/exclus...-graphic-novel

                Comment

                • Michael Heisler
                  Moonbeam Traveller
                  • May 2021
                  • 5

                  #9
                  Originally posted by EdCh View Post

                  Haha, but fairly innocent compared to Sax Rohmer at least! To be honest, as an Asian American, reading that kind of "yellow peril" stuff as a kid had never raised any alarms for me - but with our culture being more and more progressively-minded these days, I actually have to re-examine my own biases! (Which I applaud, of course - it's just ironic!)
                  I read several of the Fu Manchu books as a kid as well, as an adjunct to the Master of Kung Fu comic from Marvel. What I got from those — as I got from the comic book — was that Nayland Smith hated Fu Manchu with a passion, but not so much that the Chinese were some kind of threat to the rest of the civilized world. I reread the first book a few years back and my impressions were much the same, though maybe I'm too blinded by childhood nostalgia. One thing for certain, there's a feel to those books that I've never gotten from anything else published at the time.

                  Comment

                  • Michael Heisler
                    Moonbeam Traveller
                    • May 2021
                    • 5

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
                    You probably know that Mike Mignola helped create a very handsome graphic novelisation of, The Chronicles of Corum. That's still on my wishlist. Read the novels first, though.

                    I do know that. Not much interest at the moment, though. The only MM-related comics I'm likely to read in the near future are The Swords of Heaven, the Flowers of Hell, Michael Moorcock's Multiverse, and Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer.

                    Comment

                    • Pietro_Mercurios
                      Eternal Champion
                      • Oct 2004
                      • 5747

                      #11
                      I do have a copy of the, Michael Moorcock's Multiverse, TPB. Encapsulates a few of the problems with attempting a chronological reading of Mike's work. Trim your sails & set fair for a trip though the Second Ether. It's a wild ride.

                      Comment

                      • Michael Moorcock
                        Site Host
                        • Dec 2003
                        • 14278

                        #12
                        Originally posted by EdCh View Post

                        Haha, but fairly innocent compared to Sax Rohmer at least! To be honest, as an Asian American, reading that kind of "yellow peril" stuff as a kid had never raised any alarms for me - but with our culture being more and more progressively-minded these days, I actually have to re-examine my own biases! (Which I applaud, of course - it's just ironic!)
                        WE SHOULD HAVE a conversation with this because whie not excusing any racism I am curious to know what you and other 'minorities' think because I have more than once deliberately adopted offensive language in order to satirise and parody racists and Im wondering if this hurts or not because obviously digging up familiar cesspits is what I believe I'm doing!

                        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                        Comment

                        • EdCh
                          Terhali's Particular Satisfaction
                          • May 2021
                          • 19

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post

                          WE SHOULD HAVE a conversation with this because whie not excusing any racism I am curious to know what you and other 'minorities' think because I have more than once deliberately adopted offensive language in order to satirise and parody racists and Im wondering if this hurts or not because obviously digging up familiar cesspits is what I believe I'm doing!
                          Actually I just read Barry Windsor Smith's new graphic novel "Monsters" which is highly recommended. However, there are many characters which are intended to be racist caricatures (I think) of Blacks, Germans and American intelligence officers. While reading the dialogue I couldn't help but wonder how Smith could put such inflammable language into his characters (even the despicable ones). Now these aren't meant to be minorities, but they do play into a very dark portrait of racism. Obviously I get that it's for satirical purposes, and for that these kinds of thing are justified. However, at the same time, no non-Black is allowed to utter the N-word, even for satirical purposes. So apparently there are some lines. However I have no idea how these lines are drawn... It's a very complicated subject which I personally have not even worked out a solid stance on.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X