Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. - Liber AL I:40
The imagery of Aleister Crowley has been depicted in many formats. He has been stereotyped as an evil character in novels, short stories, music and movies, but no image is more outrageous than the assorted cartoon figures which have appeared in the pulp fiction of comic books. This in itself, by the mere fact of what a comic book implies, gives us an entirely different view on how the Great Beast is portrayed-sometimes rather funny even when it's being drawn in all seriousness. In other cases the actual illustrations of Crowley are meant to be ludicrous with absolutely no resemblance to the real person. Even when the comic book claims to be publishing the 'truth' it is often an abominable portrayal of facts.
In some of the comic books Aleister Crowley is not even mentioned. Instead there is some allusion to the 'Beast', subtly characterized, which shows that the author has at least heard of the Great Beast or studied his works. This is obvious in the comic titled Oz Squad No.1, published by Brave New Words, 1992. All the typical Oz characters are found-the tin man, the lion, the scarecrow and Dorothy-in a rather fanciful modernized plot. Crowley isn't mentioned anywhere outright but in one frame the scarecrow is sitting back reading a book which he calls "Edwardian occult porno trash." It is difficult to read the title on the book but with little effort one realizes that it is Snowdrops from a Curate's Garden but there is no authors name depicted. Many readers will not make any connection to Aleister Crowley but this book was actually written and published privately by the Beast in 1903. It is also one of the rarest of his books because many of the original copies were destroyed by British customs as being pornographic.
Another brief and extremely funny Crowleyan mention appears on the cover of issue No.13 of Cherry, Last Gasp, 1992. The comic is called the 'occult issue' because of its number. Cherry, everyone's favorite blonde bimbo, is depicted in a tiny black bikini saying, "Hey, do like what thou wilt, y'know?" in a typical comic book bubble above her head. You have to love her, but it is best said that if Aleister Crowley were alive he'd probably be doing a back flip over the obvious corruption into modern California slang of his greeting 'Do what thou wilt.' But, after all, it is only a comic book and as such is merely a parody looking for laughs-and it succeeds. There are numerous other types of Crowley subtleties mentioned in different comic books. In the Eclipse Comics entitled Scorpio Rose Vol.1 Nos.1&2 published in 1983 a bit of Crowleyanity is depicted in the form of his Thoth Deck being used by the gypsy, Scorpio Rose (whose name is an obvious Crowleyan pun). Scorpio Rose uses the deck to foretell the future with uncanny accuracy and the Thoth Deck drawings are quite good.
Some of the best renditions of Crowley's Thoth deck are drawn in the DC Comic titled Arkham Asylum published in 1989. The art work throughout is very exquisite, albeit twisted and often demented. The basic premise of the comic is that Batman has to go into the asylum founded by Amadeus Arkham for the criminally insane after one of its inmates, the Joker, has taken it over. We learn that Amadeus, while a young man, traveled to England where he was "introduced to the so-called 'Wickedest Man On Earth'... Aleister Crowley." In regards to Crowley, Amadeus claims, "I find him charming and highly educated. We discuss the symbolism of the Egyptian Tarot and he beat me at chess ... twice." This comic doesn't portray anything negative in regards to the Great Beast but simply mentions the above incident in passing.
Crowley's Thoth Cards are depicted throughout this comic as they are used by one of the inmates.
Then again there are those comic books whose subtlety in depicting Aleister Crowley is far from hidden. An example of such humor is found in a comic book billing itself as 'Satanic Romance, Psychic Commands, Esoteric Tips' or Occult Laff-Parade No.1 which was released in 1973 by The Print Mint of Berkeley, California. On the inside back cover there is a full page cartoon titled 'Great Moments in Occultism No.1' or 'Annie Besant outwits Aleister Crowley's "evil eye", at the Theosophical New Year's Eve Wing Ding, 1913.' A terrific title and obviously based on historical data, this author says with a chuckle. Anyway, Crowley is drawn as a rather skinny, well-dressed and very old looking gentleman, almost bald except for a little hair around the ears and a long handlebar mustache. Unfortunately, in 1913 Crowley was only 38 years old, hardly an old man. In all honesty it doesn't even look like Crowley. Still, it is only a comic book so one must suspend their disbelief. There is a cast of other characters humorously drawn at this 'wing ding' but it's old Crowley, with one eye closed that is zapping a lightning bolt from his left eye. Annie Besant is ducking and the bolt hits the wall just above her head. This is apparently Crowley's third attempt at nailing old Annie as there are already two other holes burned into the wall near where the third one is striking. Anyway, Annie Besant with her eyes bulging out and a smile on her face, screams "Hah! Missed again, Crowley!" in a cartoon bubble. It must have been a truly great moment in occultism.
Probably the greatest comic parody ever achieved which portrays something bizarrely related to Crowley appeared in the series 'Oh, Wicked Wanda.' This comic strip was published at the end of the October 1976 issue of Penthouse magazine. In this issue the beautiful, naked, big busted, long black haired cartoon character named Wicked Wanda is held captive by "Alistair Crowley Jnr., in the Temple of the Glittering Phallus" located somewhere in the Himalayas. Great orgies are portrayed-sex, sex and more sex. This was drawn purely tongue-in-cheek, no resemblance to any Crowley facts or philosophy. How Wanda escaped from Alistair Crowley Jnr. makes no sense, but it is not expected to-the cartoon simply was drawn to show naked woman and sex, all for fun. It definitely achieved it's goal.
There is yet another magazine which actually uses Aleister Crowley himself in a fictional setting drawn purely for fun. This appeared in Heavy Metal, The Illustrated Fantasy Magazine, in January of 1993. It is a black and white cartoon titled The Hermit and the Fool by Milan Irene and is rather well drawn and filled with interesting characterizations. The plot even makes the story worth reading. It is based on absolutely no facts except that it has Aleister Crowley as a magician in New York City who 'tricks' two would be students into an astral vision of good and evil. Luckily both the students realize their folly in the end and decide not to continue their lessons with the Great Beast. This is simply fun reading and does not resort to a depiction of an evil Aleister Crowley to sell the story.
There are some comic books which go much further than simply using a fictitious characterization of the Great Beast. These try to portray some part of Crowley's real life, claiming it to be a factual story. Still, true to comic book fashion, truth and fantasy often gets confused as facts seemingly get thrown out the window with the stroke of a pencil. No better example can be found than Crowley's portrayal in Sleazy Scandals of the Silver Screen, Issue No.1, published by Kitchen Sink Press, Inc., Wisconsin in 1974. It is truly a classic. This comic bills itself as having numerous 'true' scandalous stories about Marilyn Monroe, Fatty Arbuckle and Lupe Velez amongst others, but it is in the story entitled 'Wm. Desmond Taylor, Hollywood Director, His Mysterious Death' that Aleister Crowley is brought to light in all his evil. It is a very complicated story, so please bear with me as I attempt to unravel the plot behind it. Shortly after William Desmond Taylor's brother disappeared in 1912 he resurfaced using the alias Edward F. Sands. The story continues by telling the reader that during his period of disappearance, Sands traveled to England where he joined the Ordo Templi Orientis, "A secret society headed by the notorious Aleister Crowley." A few years later, when World War I broke out, William Desmond Taylor also traveled to England but to join the British army. While in England he was reunited with his brother. This is where the story gets a bit strange, if it wasn't already. According to Sands, he and his brother went to visit Aleister Crowley who hypnotized them (of course) and ordered them to return to America. While under hypnosis they were both programmed with Crowley's 'Master Plan' which was to ultimately throw the world into an era of "strife and social chaos"-in about fifty years. Although, on a more immediate mundane level, the 'Master Plan' was simply the branding of Hollywood's "fairest flowers of sweet American femininity" with the Mark of the Beast 666. This makes sense.
The plot becomes even more bizarre when one day William Desmond Taylor is riffling through the personal belongings of his brother. He finds a book titled in big, bold letters across the cover-the 'Master Plan', of course. He's shocked to learn that the plan which was to unfold in fifty years was the assassination of an American president, which the comic immediately points out, actually occurred on November 22nd 1963 in Dallas Texas! At this stage one begins to realize that this comic is obviously based on nothing less than pure fantasy, if you haven't guessed already. Especially as it expects the reader to believe that a plan hatched fifty years earlier by Aleister Crowley ultimately ended up in the shooting of John F. Kennedy. Anyway, getting back to the story. Taylor's brother, Edward enters the room and sees his brother reading the sacred book. Immediately he knows what he must do-his brother has to be eliminated. So finally after all these years we learn the truth behind William Desmond Taylor's death. It was his own brother who shot him in the back rather than allowing William Desmond Taylor to expose Aleister Crowley's true mission in America, the 'Master Plan.'
If this isn't strange enough for the average reader, there is a lot more to test the readers gullibility. The comic continues with making accusations that Crowley's cult of the Ordo Templi Orientis was behind other evil assassinations and murders. Would you like to know what really happened with the strange disappearance of Judge Joseph F. Crater in New York City on August 6th 1930? It appears the Judge was also personally working with the Great Beast, Aleister Crowley (obviously) and somehow the two of them plotted and succeeded in toppling the New York Stock Exchange the previous year. Unfortunately the poor Judge got a change of heart and got into a taxi, ordering the driver to "Take me to the District Attorney's Office" to confess his sins. What Judge Crater didn't know was that the taxi driver was none other than Edward F. Sands, who, with another accomplish holding a gun, drove the Judge to the waterfront where he was never heard from again.
So with skepticism you ask, this comic book wants me to believe that Aleister Crowley's cult was behind William Desmond Taylor's death, the collapse of the New York Stock exchange in 1929, the disappearance of Judge Crater and even the assassination of John F. Kennedy? To this I say, and why not? But if that's not enough-it seems that when Amelia Earhart crashed her plane onto a tiny pacific island on July 2nd 1937 she stumbled upon a "secret seminar." This seminar was being conducted "for the Japanese High Command on some particularly hideous occult techniques." Amelia sees beheaded bodies laying nearby a strange man robed in ceremonial garments who is apparently leading the seminar. It is none other than the Great Beast 666, Aleister Crowley himself! Regrettably Amelia Earhart's fate was sealed and she too was beheaded. However, her head was 'magically' kept alive in a jar! All this is portrayed rather graphically in the comic book and is really funny to read. In truth, the only resemblance to any real facts is that the comic book has spelt Aleister Crowley's name correctly. The whole story is simply written tongue-in-cheek-but how many gullible people will still quote it as if fact?
Of course there are other comic books claiming to tell the true story about Aleister Crowley's life. Like the DC Comic titled Ghosts, True Tales of the Weird and Supernatural, Vol.8 No.63 which appeared in April of 1978. The story is simply titled 'Beast of Satan.' It really does seem to try very hard to tell the true story of Crowley. Unfortunately it falls prey to some of the typical false stories which the press so often spreads in regards to Crowley's life, either deliberately for sensationalism or because of shoddy research.
One story repeated in this comic book which needs to be finally put to rest is when Crowley's friend Allan Bennett evokes Satan, only to go mad. The comic claims Bennett had to be hospitalized in a mental institution where he died shortly afterwards. For the last time-this never happened. In truth, Allan Bennett travele to Ceylon shortly after practicing magick with Crowley where he became a rather famous Buddhist named Ananda Metteyya. He died in March of 1923 and not in a mental institution. Another story which is slightly twisted is when we are told that Crowley fled his home at Boleskinne (sic) because his neighbors were enraged by his weird black magick rites and threatened him with a lynching. This also never happened, nor did Crowley found the Abbey at Cefalu in 1916. This occurred in the early twenties. Other than the slight historical problems, the drawings are great, especially when Crowley evokes the mighty devil, Choromzon (sic) only to find himself. And the drawings of Raoul Loveday being scratched by the black cat are funny, as is Crowley's death, where a priest came to hear his confession. In my opinion the story is probably at least ten percent accurate.
And speaking of Boleskine, Jimmy Page of the rock band Led Zeppelin once owned Crowley's home in Scotland. There is a comic book series titled The Led Zeppelin Experience by Revolutionary Comics, 1992, which makes mention of this connection. Especially Part 3 (of 5) which shows a very poorly drawn picture of each member of the band on the cover overshadowed by a huge drawing of Aleister Crowley directly behind them. What is odd, is that there is little mention of the Great Beast anywhere in the issue except in an article on the inside front cover entitled 'Black Magick vs. White Wash'. Although, briefly in the comic itself there is an 'implied Beastly reference' when it shows Jimmy Page relaxing at his house at Boleskine reading a book titled 777. Most readers would not make this connection with Aleister Crowley but this is another book written by the Great Beast. To sum up this series-it is basically a complete disappointment in historical facts and especially in the drawings.
Still the Crowley stories continue. Most recently in a rather large formatted comic book out of Paradox Press, New York titled The Big Book of Weirdos, 'True Tales of the World's Kookiest Characters and Visionaries!' which was published earlier this year. On page 63 there is the typical characterization of the Great Beast's life simply titled 'Aleister Crowley.' The cartoon strip is in black and white and runs only five pages. Like some previous comics, it also takes a little poetic license with facts. Especially when it claims that Aleister Crowley was born "into a Fundamentalist Scottish home in October 1847"...when in fact it was in 1875! The editor, or the proofing of this book should have caught this gross historical inaccuracy. Especially since it does mention the correct date of his death on December 1947. If he was born in 1847 he would have been 100 years old when he died! Such historical discrepancies are regrettable but often expected and if only slight distortions-as in the case when it mentions that Aleister Crowley joined the Paris based Golden Dawn in his early twenties when the group was actually in London-they could almost be overlooked. Although in the very next frame it portrays two members of the Golden Dawn talking while Aleister Crowley listens on. One unidentified GD member says, "Pierre thought my elixir tasted quite good..." while the other replies, "Then what's the problem?" "Well, it made his hair and fingernails fall out" claims the first man. There is a bubble above Crowley's head where he's thinking to himself, "Idiot."
Unfortunately the reader is left with the impression that this was an accurate portrayal of an event which Crowley had overheard. This is not true and is a typical 'story line filler' which often stretches the truth for sensationalism. The real incident in question centers around Rev. William Alexander Ayton who joined the Golden Dawn on January 1, 1909 at the ripe old age of seventy two. Historically, Crowley had dropped out of the Golden Dawn a long time before the Rev. Ayton even joined the order. The 'elixir' incident actually surfaces in a 'letter' from Rev. Ayton to his friend, another Golden Dawner named W. B. Yeats. It appears that Rev. Ayton believed that he had actually manufactured the elixir of life. Claiming in his letter that, "A French alchemist said that it had the right smell and the right color... but the first effect of the elixir is that your nails fall out and your hair falls off. I was afraid that I might have made a mistake and that nothing else might happen, so I put it away on a shelf. I meant to drink it when I was an old man, but when I took it down the other day it had all dried up." Obviously comic book 'historians' aren't trying to be accurate, just dramatic.
The rest of the story incorporates limited historical information and it soon becomes apparent that whoever was doing the research simply stopped. Although the drawings are fairly good, there is little meat as to who the real Aleister Crowley was. The comic rehashes some of the same old, tired, Crowley stories which most people have heard over and over again, but in this case there is very little creative flavor. Reading this comic simply proved to me that yellow journalism is not dead-for a buck, people will draw anything. In some ways this type of characterization should have been expected, especially reflecting upon the title of the book.
Next there is the comic book series which tries to tie Aleister Crowley to none other than Jack the Ripper! This series by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell entitled From Hell comes out of Mad Love/Kitchen Sink Press in England. The first issue appeared in March of 1991 and still continues to this day with the most recent release of Volume Six in 1994. Although Crowley is briefly mentioned in the Appendix of Volume Two, he isn't drawn into the actual comics strip until Volume Six. Most people do not realize this is Crowley unless they read the Appendix. At the very beginning of this issue is the date September 30th 1888 and the images are of Mitre Square where a large rally is taking place. Men from Scotland Yard are standing by and near one of them is a young boy who asks, "Are you a policeman?" To which he is told yes. The young lad then states, "My name's Alexander and I'm nearly fourteen. Tell me, do you think the man who's killing these ladies is doing something magic?" They discuss this briefly but overall the policeman tells young Alexander that he doesn't believe the killings had anything to do with magic. To which the lad replies, "You're wrong. Goodbye" and then walks off into the crowd.
As I've previously said, in the Appendix we are told that Alexander is in fact Aleister Crowley. It further points out that Crowley and his mother had recently moved to London in 1887, as if implying a connection, or interest to these murders simply because Crowley now lived in the city. It is no secret that Crowley had a strong interest in this topic which he carried throughout his life. Because of this, the comic admits to using a 'spurious cameo' of young Alexander which "seemed too good to pass up." Of course this event never really happened, at least the comic admits this. As to why it included Crowley is further discussed at length in the Appendix. Basically it is the typical rehash of data already known by most Crowleyites-but it is fairly accurate. The drawings are great and for this reason the series is well worth reading.
Luckily not all comic books attempt to portray Aleister Crowley or his beliefs seriously. Sometimes this is refreshing. Especially if the reader is aware that this is occurring at the onset and takes the story for what it is worth, pure enjoyment, rather than thinking the comic is portraying some aspect of the Crowley's real 'life' as previously shown.
Let us take a look at a few examples of Crowley's beliefs used openly in comics but not directly slandering him. The rather famous series by Alan Moore and David Lloyd titled V For Vendetta published by DC Comics, 1988, has a brief Thelemic overtone. This occurs in Book Three 'The Land of Do-As-You-Please' (pages 187 and 217) which is obviously a pun on 'Do what thou wilt.' One of the characters is drawn using Crowley's greeting of 'Do what thou wilt
shall be the whole of the Law.' You can read a lot more into this story but little else is directly mentioned. Another interesting fantasy portrayal of brief Crowleyanity is found in the Vertigo DC Comic series No.1-3 titled Witchcraft by James Robinson, Steve Yeowell and Tedy Kristiansen which was released in 1994. It is a very good series, well drawn, with the first two issues not mentioning Crowley at all. The basic plot begins with a witch coven in ancient Britain led by a Roman Lady named Ursula Venicculus. During one of their sabbaths to Hecate, which takes place around a huge blazing bonfire, they are attacked. All are viciously slain by a gang Saxon barbarians led by a warrior called Rafe Ban Cooth. From this point on, Ursula and Cooth are reincarnated into an eternal battle. Ursula apparently is bent on vengeance against Cooth for crimes he previously did against her and her coven, although she and he do not always remember their past lives nor recognize why they've been brought together over the centuries. This makes for an entertaining story as it unfolds through the three issues.
The plot gets really interesting when the final conflict is brought into the last issue. The battle is fought when both individuals are reincarnated into the 1990s, Ursula as an old woman, her daughter married to Martyn Vaughn, who is none other than the reincarnation of the barbarian Cooth. It appears that Cooth has come back as an evil black magician who murders and kills in order to gain power. His 'Men's Group,' as it is called, is really a satanic coven. The only mention of the Great Beast comes when Martyn is asking a new candidate to, "Name me one pioneer. Quickly now, off the top of your head" who practiced magic. The candidate, named Rob, replies, "Err, Crowley?" To which Martyn says, "Good, Good. 'The Beast,' Yes. Now name me another"...quite a few are mentioned from MacGregor Mathers, John Dee and Gardner to Austin Spare. It is stressed by Martyn that all great magicians are always men-not women. Obviously Cooth is unconsciously still pitting himself against women in general, even after all the centuries. Actually the only mention of Crowley was that one particular time. I won't spoil the end of this struggle between female witches and a male satanist for those who might wish to pick up this series. Even if it didn't have a passing reference to Crowley, this series would be worth reading.
My favorite portrayal of an Aleister Crowley character which has ever been committed to paper. The plot is original, creative and drawn so well that it held me captivated throughout. There is no indication right from the start that any facts are going to be brought into the plot and I liked that. I could immediately suspend my disbelief and simply enjoy the comic. What I am referring to is Epic Comics series of Clive Barker's Night Breed vs. Rawhead Rex. In particular, four issues running from No.13-16 in 1992 titled 'The Wickedest Man in the World.' The plot is very complicated, especially if you don't understand what is going on between the Night Breed and Rawhead Rex. In some ways you must have a basic foundation in the writings of Clive Barker to fully understand it, but luckily it is not necessary if you just wish to enjoy the story. The Night Breed are from a novel written by Clive Barker while Rawhead Rex is a character in a short story by that name which is found in Barker's Volume Three of the Books of Blood series. Both types of creatures are very different and how they become pitted together with the third character in the plot-the new 'Master Therion' makes for fascinating reading. The first issue of this series begins in 1975 with a beautiful woman, clothed only in her underwear, named Leah Qlipoth. She, being a Scarlet Woman, is doing astral workings, dreaming about the magical child, "to carry on the Grand Tradition" which encompasses the overall plot of the series.
This is followed by a dinner sequence. The Crowley character, a young man with long blonde hair, goes by the name Algernon Kinder. Kinder loves to cook and he serves up his favorite recipe, like Crowley it is a curry dish..."it's Hot, it is...the only way to serve it up!" says Kinder. During the dinner Kinder talks about all sorts of great stories. How he's perfected the Elixir of Life, although "its first effect would be that all my hair and nails would fall out." (sounds familiar?) Kinder also quotes The Book of the Law during super when talking about his Temple, saying such things as "Eat rich food and drink sweet wine and wines that foam!" and "Take your fill of love, as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will!" Later, after supper, the two hosts go into the kitchen to do the dishes and leave Kinder alone in the parlor. In one of the next frames it shows Kinder squatting down on the rug, his pants down to his ankles, taking a dump on the floor. Within a bubble Kinder is saying, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." Soon afterwards Kinder leaves, attempting to give the female host his 'serpents kiss' but, regrettably, he fails. The woman has obviously not been amused by his antics throughout the evening and simply wants him to leave. The best frame comes after the door is closed when the woman asks her husband, "You smell something?"
The next few pages jump back and forth between the Night Breed doing their thing of murder and killing to Kinder climbing in the Himalayas. We are then told it is now 1983, and the great Goliath named Rawhead Rex is discovered, dug up and immediately killed. Meanwhile Algernon Kinder is losing "himself in a heroin oblivion" in a room with his Scarlet Woman, Leah. Also, Kinder is now bald as a cucumber-obviously pointing to the fact that Kinder must be using his Elixir of Life. Shortly afterwards Kinder and Leah obtain the body of Rawhead Rex which they plan on using in a ceremony to obtain their 'magical child.'
In the next few issues the story becomes even more complicated. Therion's thugs have a bloody altercation with the Night Breed, kidnapping one of their children to be used in Therion's evil ritual. This is followed by fantastic scenes, graphically drawn, of Kinder and Leah trying to conceive their magical child with the body of Rawhead Rex laying in the background on a table. They obtain "the Amrita...the mixture of sperm and vaginal fluids" which is used to "sweeten
the sacrifice." Then the Nightbreed's child is stuffed into the huge mouth of Rawhead Rex-while alive! In the next frame we are shown a black cat being drawn from a bag, but unlike episodes at Cefalu this one doesn't escape. Shortly afterwards Rawhead Rex begins to awaken and "He catches the flavor of baby-meat on his tongue..." Yum, yum. Unfortunately when Kinder sees that Rawhead Rex has been brought back to life he freaks, claiming this is not what was supposed to happen in a magical child ritual. He then grabs his shotgun and, oh so tragically, begins blasting away. Meanwhile, the Night Breed are in quest to find their stolen child, unaware of its fate. But what's this...the child isn't dead! It's still in Rawhead's mouth, still alive! What a relief. In fact, even Rawhead isn't hurt. Therion only shot him in the nuts. Fate plays a really strange twist on us at this point as Therion gets another change of heart and begins to accept his new master, Rawhead Rex! Unfortunately during the previous battle Leah was standing right behind Rawhead and took some of the shotgun blast herself. The plot thickens when we learn that the "shot that ripped through Rawhead's scrotum" ended up between Leah's legs. Can you figure out what's going to happen now? Like, maybe Kinder's magical ritual to obtain the 'child' might actually work in some odd, twisted way?
Meanwhile there is much, much more going on. Basically the Night Breed catch up with Therion and huge battles occur. There is blood, blood and more blood. Then tragedy, Leah dies but Rawhead's baby is still growing inside her, so it's ok. I can't continue. The story gets even more twisted and all I will tell you is that the ending is great! You'll just have to find these comic books and discover for yourself what happens in the final issue. I will tell you, Algernon Kinder's last words were "I am perplexed..."
We must also mention the comic book series called the Sherlock Holmes Reader which is published by Tome Press in England (1998-2000). There is a great story titled The Loch Ness Horror written by Martin Powell with illustrations by Seppo Makinen which runs as a series through at least four issues. The main story begins in 1907 when Sherlock Holmes is called to the Vatican by the Pope to investigate a hideous murder which took place in their underground catacombs. Far more sinister is that the priest was killed by demons who stole the Church's Spear of Destiny which had pierced the side of Christ at the Crucifixion. The demons stole it for a magician who had evoked them while at Loch Ness, Scotland. The magician's name is none other than Aleister Crowley! The artwork and story line of what Crowley wants to do with the spear is well worth reading. There is also the comic book named Promethea. In issue No.15, August 2001, when one of the female characters is introduced to another, she asks, "Wait a second ... Crowley, you're Aleister Crowley!" To which he replies, "Ha Ha. Why, yes. I know." Flattered, in an odd demented way, she continues, "I - I just wanted to say, I love your work. The Thoth Deck, it's just ... incredible." Crowley is obviously pleased and with eyes bulging out, he replies as only he can, "Why, Thank You. I wonder, Would it distress you greatly if I kissed your behind?" Priceless Crowleyana! Yes, there are many other comics which we haven't mentioned which have incorporated a characterization of the Great Beast in either a good or bad setting. Unfortunately space prohibits any lengthy discourse on this subject, limiting us to only a taste, which I hope you enjoyed. We'd suggest picking up other issues of this particular comic in order to see how Crowley is occassionally portrayed.
To make any sense out of this topic is extremely difficult, if not impossible. I don't believe that we should be as critical in regards to how Crowley's image has been portrayed as some researchers might like. To those individuals who scream that these Crowley characterizations are hurting The Beast's image, we say, "Lighten up!" After all, the bottom line is that we are talking about comic books. I think we should take the imagery with a grain of salt. Doesn't the word 'Comic' imply something of a more humorous element or in this case something which is mimicking life that causes merriment or laughter? Most of the comics mentioned above are simply poking fun, using Aleister Crowley and his belief as an avenue of expression. They are not malicious nor are they attempting to slander him in anyway. Yes, we have seen that some comics are spreading seriously false stories about the Great Beast and this has always been a problem. Most comics in their usage of Crowley's image are drawn purely for fun and fantasy with very little hard core facts. They are not deliberately trying to draw conclusions about Aleister Crowley's life to entrap children with negative propaganda. Finally, it is my personal belief that the Beast has gotten a fair shake in most comic books unlike the usage of his image in novels, short stories and especially music. But that is another story.
Love is the law, love under will. - Liber AL I:57
First printing, Pangenetor Publications
Pangenetor Lodge, OTO Berkeley, California
The Propaganda Series No.2, September 1, 1995EV, pamphlet
Second printing, Red Flame, A Thelemic Research Journal