This is the entire first chapter of the Long Weekend from woe to go in a single post … Still undecided about putting up the second and third chapters on the web, perhaps I shall update with the occasional image rather than a whole read. Summer in Australia currently – very nice.
Well, well, well! I made it to the next chapter … and so did you!
I shall put all of Friday into the one post next so that anyone who wants a recap can just read it right through if they want … and then carry on with the Long Weekend PART 2 – SATURDAY. Saturday is a lot more conceptual, and it presented some interesting challenges … but I’m a bit of a believer in the ability of comics to be able to convey some pretty complex concepts in really interesting ways … let’s see how it goes.
Incidentally, feel free to comment on this blog at the bottom, I think some of the topics contained in this comic covers some hot areas … (literally, figuratively etc) … It’d be nice to get some discussion going, I’ve received some nice feedback on facebook, I have no objection to nasty feedback or constructive criticism … or anything really. But if there are no comments at the end of it … ah well.
Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of sex and war, this is an adaption of her myth that I made as an insert into The Long Weekend in Alice Springs, just to flesh out the connection between modern day events and mythology from the ancient world. You can read more about Inanna / Ishtar on a wonderfully informative website named Wikipedia, she’s fairly interesting.
I also intended to include this as a way of playing around with different layouts and seeing what works and what doesn’t for future reference, there are a couple of pages that are failures, but on the whole I enjoy looking at these pages, not least of all because there’s LOTS OF NUDITY!! Just joking.
A quick sketch from the sidelines at my sister’s house … Simon, Emma, Raphael and Jude all captivated by an internet game called THE LIGHT TEMPLE … be warned … addictive!
Here’s a comic of my day in town in Sydney prior to going to Woolloomoolloo to play a concert at the Silent Hour with Paul Heslin.
I then dropped off all of my gear at the gallery (the General Store) and walked up to Kings Cross main street to draw passers-by for fun … I forgot how many people there are in the world. Sydney is sooooo much more populated than Hobart, these things are strangely easy to forget.
Bree Van Reyk used to play in a band called the Rebel Astronauts in Sydney which rocked!
In fact – Darren Hanlon makes a reference to the Rebel Astronauts in one of his songs … I think it’s called an in-joke. Bree sometimes drums for Darren too, you see.
Saw her play the other night in the St David’s Cathedral in Hobart with Seeker lover keeper. It was quite a top concert supported by Henry Wagons. She put me and Nadine on the guest list, very generously since it had sold out the church. When we arrived the lady at the door told to stand down the back near the wall and when they’d let everyone in we could find a small space somewhere and squeeze ourselves in … we dutifully went and sat on a cold hard bench behind the baptysmal font and waited. The lady then came back and apologised profusely for getting mixed up and took us to the very front and placed us there and said that she’d looked at the wrong list. She said we could go backstage if we wanted. Strange days … good seats.
Thanks so much Bree. It was awesome!!
Here’s some of the images that I took on several of my trips back to Alice, I needed a lot of reference material to build up enough of a sense of place in the Long Weekend. One of main aims was to flesh out the town a little as the central idea of the essay was about how a place can affect those that live in it, a sort of “pyschogeography” of sorts. Alice is often a town that affects people, passers through are often very taken aback at the obvious disparity in health and behaviour. Are often shocked at the obvious violence that occurs in the streets. People who live there are often bitter about it. The letter section of the Advocate newspaper often has overtly racist tones referring to “people who sleep in the park”. Everyone reading is aware of who the “people” are. The “drunks” etc … the euphemisms are unnecessary. People keep insisting that they have a right to feel safe in their homes. But, as all places on the edge are, the town is surrounded by an incredibly hostile and beautiful landscape. Ancient mountain ranges worn down to their nubs by time. Orange rock that is inflamed for that first ray of sun each day, gnarled trees, rocks, creatures, people. The spikes in the grasses slashes the tires of your bicycle three times on the way home from work, you have to push it along the stinking bitumen through the heat … bugger.
Jeez!! What a spiteful woman Inanna is! I s’pose that’s the kind of gal that end up being the goddess of sex and war. Well, how does this all end? Surely a girl like this flips and flops a bit about what they want? Maybe Dumuzi stays dead forever? I’m glad she’s back anyhow, the world was missing having sex … and war … hmm, strange dichotomies in action here.
One of the things that the Long Weekend looks at is the link between past mythologies and the present. Loosely speaking this echoes Jung’s concept of the archetypes and how they relate to structure of our psyche today. One might say that the idea of the Cultural Complex is the logical extension of this idea only it is as applied to a larger group of people, i.e. cultural groups and their behaviours. I shan’t go into this too much since greater minds have covered this in a few other places and I’m not a great person at explaining stuff like this in words … which is why I made a comic instead. The original essay of the Long Weekend in Alice Springs was contained in a book called The Cultural Complex which has numerous essays from all around the world. Each of them explores this idea in different ways, tries to articulate what it might mean for the modern world etc.
The idea goes some way in trying to explore why some culturals/national groups behave in certain ways. Historically it was not a well-covered concept. Jung postulated the idea but his example at the time was controversial – Wotan, the Germanic name for the Norse god Odin, and his possession of the German psyche in the rise of Nazism.
- “Wotan is a restless wanderer who creates unrest and stirs up strife, now here, now there, and works magic. He was soon changed by Christianity into the devil, and only lived on in fading local traditions as a ghostly hunter who was seen with his retinue, flickering like a will o’ the wisp through the stormy night. In the Middle Ages the role of the restless wanderer was taken over by Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew, which is not a Jewish but a Christian legend. The motif of the wanderer who has not accepted Christ was projected on the Jews, in the same way as we always rediscover our unconscious psychic contents in other people. At any rate the coincidence of anti-Semitism with the reawakening of Wotan is a psychological subtlety that may perhaps be worth mentioning.”
excerpt from “Essay On Wotan” By Dr. Carl Gustav Jung (1946)
Understandably enough, the idea became somewhat stigmatised and has not really been expanded upon until very recently with the 2004 book The Cultural Complex. The introduction to this book by editors Tom Singer and Samuel Kimbles suggests that the end of the dual superpowers of Communism and Capitalism, the collapse of a binary world view after the fall of the Berlin Wall, has led us to recognise the diverse cultural conflicts that exist across the planet.
“Much of what tears us apart can be understood as the manifestation of autonomous processes in the collective and individual psyche that organize themselves as cultural complexes.” (T Singer and S Kimbles, 2004 from the Cultural Complex)
The story of Inanna’s descent into the Underworld is hinted at in the structure of the essay of Craig’s and I felt that it could be an excellent addition to the story in translating it into comic form. I felt that it would better set the scene for certain ideas that get explored later on, particularly in the second chapter – Saturday.