From the established trunk of Afrofuturism emerges a new branch I call Panfuturism. This isn’t some Ukranian offshoot of avant-garde Futurismo, for what it is worth. Where Afrofuturism is science fiction without the colonial mentality and othering, and reimagined with ancient African traditions with an unapologetic black identity, Panfuturism is also science fiction, but on a global scale, up to and including all our ancient mythologies re-imagined in a post-human future. Continue reading Panfuturism
Last month, I finally published the first volume of Pantheon: Heterotopia. This blog is the lessons I’ve learned from writing and drawing it over the last few years. Writing Pantheon, at least the very first chapter, was done in a flash of inspiration, and unlocking a hidden treasure. But it wasn’t until long afterwards that I realized that most of the hard work was done before I even sat down to write – it was the reading and imagining the possibilities for years until it finally crystallized as a true piece of art. Something worth endowing with a thousand perfections and to count my blessings with limitless satisfaction. But this was a serious overestimation, as if the first chapter dripped from the honeyed lips of the Muses into my broken ears. Chapter one was just the opening step. Continue reading On Writing Pantheon
In this day and age, science fiction, not to mention its more popularized version, scifi, has lost its prestige. Before we get into its current dilapidated state, first we need a cursory analysis of its emergence, to properly assess its origins. Continue reading The Decline of Science Fiction
It seems that our time is the most cynical and intensely pessimistic era ever in recorded history. Continue reading Nihilism in the Iliad and Pantheon
Life without utopia is suffocating, for the multitude at least: threatened otherwise with petrifaction, the world must have a new madness. — Cioran, History and Utopia
There’s a fault line running in science fiction that predates it: the Great Optimism -Pessimism divide. The most obvious trope of each is the role of utopia/dystopia in the science fiction work, but that is slightly more complicated than it appears.
Some years ago, Alan Moore, the acclaimed author of Watchmen and Miracleman, claimed that all comics after the 1960s were fan fiction, largely for several reasons related to the massive replacement of the original writers with a younger generation.
I will argue why he is right… and why he’s wrong. Continue reading Alan Moore and fan fiction
I had an epiphany a few days ago: the graphic novel I am working on, Pantheon, is a vampire novel. I mean, it doesn’t obviously share with many traditional elements (blood sucking, undead creatures), but they both feature immortal beings that reflect on our humanity in many ways, and most importantly in an existential fashion. Continue reading Existentialism in Pantheon
A historical novel by Gore Vidal, Creation is an Odysseus styled dialectic on religious dogma. The main character, Cyrus Spitama, is the grandson of Zarathustra, and his encounters with other 5th century sages are clearly the highlights of the novel. Cyrus is fixated on the question of creation, or the origin of the universe or human existence. Initially he was indoctrinated by Zarathustra, specifically the dualistic ontology of Zoroastrianism. Convinced with this religious truth, he sets out to test the alternative answers or non-answers of other wise men, such as those from the East: the Buddha, Confucius, Lao-Tze, and the West: Pythagoras, Anaxagoras, and etc. However, the book demonstrates how much of a fatal flaw the question of creation was for Western philosophy, because it always was the wrong question. Continue reading Creation, by Gore Vidal
Giacomo Leopardi is one of the greatest secrets of 19th century poetry. Despite being heralded by luminaries like Schopenhauer1 and Nietzsche, his fame remains scattered in Europe and hardly extends to the American hemisphere. Leopardi’s Zibaldone di pensieri2 was read by every school kid but they barely cracked open his Operette Morali.3 The likely culprit is an irredeemable pessimism that was too difficult for interpreters to connect it to contemporary issues. Leopardi wrote mostly moral essays, parables, fables, and dialogues – painting life as a joke of the gods – a darkly comic view of world and its inhabitants. However, instead of leaving the reader sad and pathetic, they are actually funny. Continue reading Leopardi and pessimism