HomeBaked digital by Michael John Weller

By Michael Weller 02 Dec, 2017

One by one, demons and monsters from depths of Hell's City of Dis emerge from the underworld of the other.

Opening with hand-drawn lettering, December 1997's "tale from wellerverse" completes 'The Battle for Heaven' .

Although continuing for another two years as 'comic book series' with two more seasonal editions, Weller was more engaged with poetry and poetics than comic books and it was beginning to show. Unlike character MJ's creation "Nick Muir", his "Mike Weller" character wasn't a graphic novelist.

Number 4 is mostly dark, dense, electronically-fonted prose punctuated by vivid black and white illustration with introduction of Weller's fantastical "nullimaginative techniques" obscuring and erasing both word-processed and hand-lettered text. Like 'The Battle...' part 1: part 2 was spiked for review by Comics International. Number four rolled nicely off New River Project's photo-copier with Bob Cobbing commenting "the machine likes it".

In 2012 a "nullimaginative" drawing from number 4 was sampled by Mike for Michael Weller's 'Ida Lupino comix'. Both sides of the zine were re-printed from Mike Weller's Space Opera ——for English PEN's Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot with introduction by poet George Szirtes.

A Space Opera fragment alchemized into poetic gold.

Pixellated into almost total illegibility—getting an unreadable piece into a PEN poetry anthology seemed as if one minor battle had been won., sort of.

Like Mogilowski's xmas edition in the Thirties, 'The Battle' ends on festive note—

Professor Fergus McQuigly was eating his xmas dinner in the restaurant of Croydon Airport, fork hoisting a sage and onion stuffing ball into his mouth, crumbs dropping into his beard.

Hark, the herald angels sing

A link to Space Opera tale number 3's post (The Battle for Heaven Part One) twenty-years on... is posted here

linguistically innovative €#*@$?!

By Michael Weller 01 Sep, 2017

"In the Otherworld, eternal war rages between God and Satan. Edward Mogil always began his Cosmic Crusaders stories in this fashion in 1930's and 1940's Cosmic Tales."

So opens September 1997's "tales from wellerverse" pamphlet -- Space Opera's repeated refrain from issue one. A comic ready-printed for a nation-state gripped in a strange mix of republicanism and religiosity at death of much loved princess-goddess Diana.

Written and drawn by Mike Weller, his made-up illustrated adventure tale (supposedly from 1934) is accredited to Jewish pulp writer Edward Mogil and fictional co-creator Graham "Gatch" Cratchett—gentile Catholic futurist artist-turned-cartoonist/illustrator. Characters invented by Weller for his tale using Mogil's superheroes—four Addingcombe-based superhero Cosmic Crusader characters battling it our with the Duke of Hell's Nazi mind controllers.

To build his fiction-within-fiction framework character Weller continues to draw himself in Chinese boxes, using hand-lettered explanations of how to read his "comix". Mogil's story, the first part of 'The Battle for Heaven' is retold on keys of Weller's borrowed electronic typewriter copied word-for-word without illustration. Prose is prefaced by a comic-strip thr trade journal Comics International didn't like featuring 1913 Adolf Hitler tracked by "the Satanic Whisperer". A comic depicting the Devil seeking Hitler's soul for possession.

Comics and graphic novels may not have been the best form for Space Opera after all. Bob Cobbing printed Weller's Space Opera booklets in the 90s at New River Project. Cobbing printed little press poetry. He didn't print comics unless they were part of his own vispo explorations. His own criterion for little press poetry was unrelated to US and UK small press promotion. Cobbing's concern was getting poetry and poetics out to the widest public possible.

For the third part of 'The Battle for Heaven' Mike Weller needed to move his Space Opera to a different place/space.

A longer version of Mike Weller's third Space Opera tale twenty-years on... is posted here

linguistically innovative €#*@$?!

By Michael Weller 05 Jun, 2017

Here's the story. It's a June 1997 "tale from wellerverse". Mike is broke and feeling unWeller. He'd wasted an entire decade as a militant socialist fighting emergent neoliberalism. In the tale Mike Weller felt he was ending the century a deadbeat loser, his vision artfully impaired by the Earth Corporstion. For in novelist MJ's tetralogy character Mike Weller is rewarded by The Devil—not that old clichéd Robert Johnson soul-at-the-crossroads-deal illustrated. This deal was lose colour field vision—win black-and-white-inner vampire vision.

Myth, magic, fantasy fun and conspiracy mêlée. Mike Weller's Space Opera 'zines were completed 1999. 'The Truth Is Out There' became the X-Files' strapline. The real twentieth century ended September 11 2001. From then on conspiracy and fake news became new populist counterculture. Conspiracy theory as counterfeit reality. Weller documented that story 2001-2010 as prose  Slow Fiction .  3World x 4 dimensions = 12 space opera tales. Beckenham characters drawn from Weller's life since 1957 made fictional against backbeat pre-EEC English working class pop stars 1958-1962.  Please Don't Tease  audiences Continental, Nordic, Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, South Africa (early '60s) and the Commonwealth nations. Tinny 45rpms with colourful record labels -- soundtrack to atomic threats, strontium-90, cold war crises,crumbling domestic Toryism and asbestos-ridden prefabricated housing.

The Prefabs returned in 1997 for a space opera. Weller put four once-famous Brit pop stars into an imagined pre-globalized beat group: Its young one trad dad film actors playing made-up Eduard Mogilowski superheroes Cosmic Crusaders in parallel earth 1966 comic. Illustrated by fictional Mike Weller. Comic-book plotted as a millennial end times conflict between a globalized Jesus Christ of Marian catholics, Protestant evangelicals and an evil, invisible, possessive Duke of Hell sampled as Satan from Milton's poetic universe.

A longer version of Mike Weller's second Space Opera tale twenty-years on... is posted here

linguistically innovative €#*@$?!

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