This comic was completed in March 2013 by Josh at Chugnut (comics weekend in Victoria). It was written with major assistance from Katsutoshi Osakabe and Nadine Kessler who helped with translations, I sneakily placed in some people I know, borrowed their stories somewhat and whatnot – thankyous therefore go to Jerome Santospirito, Andrew Harwood, Glen Ewers, Sarah Katz, Sophie Clear and anyone who looks after the Cradle Mountain National Park. This comic is part of the Sleuth series of comics, an investigation into the spirituality of modern Australia. I also stole something from TGH Strehlow.
At Documenta in 2012, the most interesting piece I came across was this historical oddity by Charlotte Salomon. It is a Gesamtkunstwerk of sorts, an ambitious fusion of visual art, poetry and perhaps other hidden artforms by a young Jewish German women who eventually found herself in Auschwitz. The entire work was made in 1941-42 and is a series of about 760 gouache paintings that retell the story of numerous suicides in her family, mostly women on a background of suggested abuse. It was mostly in German which I found difficult to fully understand (my German not being up to scratch despite being married for a number of years now to a beautiful German lass) but the intense visuals were quite astounding. I realised very quickly that this kind of artwork, which was laid out in a series of cases (as you’ll see in the images below), was a form of comics. It also happened to coincide with the period where I was organising the first of the Sleuth series of exhibits, which mostly involved me using entire sheets of paper as panels for comics that were to spread across walls. I found it very interesting indeed. I must get my mitts on a copy of the book of these images.
The yellow one is a zine from all my sketches and comics from Nadine and my trip to Western Europe to catch up with family, cruise around paris and Spain and Berlin and dOCUMENTA and whatnot – highly amusing stuff. (Last night I also found two other zines … one from a couple of years ago with a slightly wicked story in it … and another from earlier in 2012 for the IHOS production of Barbarians as part of the 2012 MONA FOMA here in Hobart … I’m drowning in zines right now … I must find a way to get them out to you all.
Carn’ the Blues – we play Richmond Tigers this Round!!!
Other pics in the series can be found here.
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!
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.
Next pages - 38-42
Holy mother of the world!! WHat the hell did Erishkigal do to Inanna!!! No more SEX? What will the world DO??? Play computer games until the end I suppose … hm, that’s a pretty good description of what I think limbo must be like.
Doing this section was a breath of fresh air for me after doing all the other pages of the Long Weekend which involve a lot of hatching and much more strict formatting and structure. These 13 or so pages I got to be a lot more stretchy and flexible and experiment with layout a lot more, they were also a lot quicker to draw (being a lot more cartoony) which was a lot of fun. Any ol’ comicer can tell you that it’s a slog to do long-form comics, so I’ll take all the variety I can get! The myth of Inanna is only alluded to in Craig San Roque’s original text for the Long Weekend, I just jumped at the opportunity to mix it up a little … there is a point to it, you might have to wait a little before it becomes more obvious.
Here’s a couple of sketches I did whilst researching what I wanted to do with the Long Weekend. The old bloke was from a photo in an old anthropology book … I actually didn’t record which one, so I’ve forgotten, possibly a photo of Spencer’s … or Herbert’s … not sure now. The second one was a contemporary photo that was in the Age newspaper after the intervention occurred, again I didn’t record the photo’s information. I really liked trying to draw the shadows on the faces of dark skinned peoples in the starkly contrasting light of the desert, quite a challenge that I’d never tried before. I was concerned at the time that the challenge would be to still retain the humanity of the characters despite there eyes not being visible … I didn’t want them to seem like cartoony zombies just because there eyes were obscured, I still find that a challenge even though I’ve had a lot more practice now.