THE CRACK - EDITION ONE
Welcome to The Crack where letters come to die under the bushes and go damp.
The winner of this month’s best letter prize will receive a so-called ‘dirty bomb’ in the mail. These perverted little weapons can shag your wife and turn your prize-winning athletic son into a simpering she-male even if your house is as far away as six miles from ground zero.
Pray no-one wins in this ghastly game of human roulette.
Leading the charge...
is back doing a creator owned book, updating the website, and releasing lots of
music! How wonderful!
When The Invisibles ended I took a weekend to reread the entire series as a whole. When I was done I was somehow in Hawaii, at which point I immediately went to sleep. True story. Oh yeah, there was something of a party slipped in there as well. Added to the experience. Whenever anyone wants to know about Magick on an applied level, I direct them to Phil Hine's books, and The Invisibles.
Anyway, I can see where with The Filth you are tying up some thought threads from The Invisibles, but a completely different approach is also apparent. It's too early to see where it's going yet, but there's a parallel between the perception of mundane reality and the things that exist beyond it in both books. I'm fascinated to see where it leads from here.
I LOVED the references to homeopathic pet care! My rescued ferals are being raised on raw foods and homeopathic treatment and are totally thriving! I cannot recommend it highly enough. I hope Tony will be alright. What happened to the second cat?
I look forward to subsequent issues of The Filth, and to your forthcoming musical releases. Life is interesting!
It soitinly is! Hi Aldyth. Good to hear from you again – how’s the Barbary Coast ?
The Invisibles was very much concerned with the transcendent world of ideas and ‘spirituality’. The Filth is more concerned with the transcendent world of the material – it’s all about the psychedelic, mind-bending truth of the physical world we inhabit and permeate.
Respect to the feral posse. The other cat went back in its box.
‘somehow in Hawaii’. That’s a title for something!
2) Hey Kristin! Ask your boyfriend when he's going to act like a true revolutionary and start growing some facial hair.
It's the last thing they'd expect!
Ciao for now,
The boyfriend shaves for photographs and public appearances. Otherwise he’s like Fidel Castro about the house.
3) To the Filthy ones,
Well, The Filth #1 is out, and if the first issue is any indication whatsoever of things to come, the next year should be one interesting turn after the next. So pleased was I with this book that I ran back out to the comics store to pick up an extra copy to pass around to my non-comics friends. The Filth is the kid of book people want to read. We've got Star Wars, the Matrix, Men in Black... whatever. What I want to hear is not "Oh, did you guys see Star Wars?", but "Fuck man, did you read the new issue of The Filth?" This is a book that, were it a big budget movie, everyone would be lining up for. I see this book as the type of book every creator wants to do, but just isn't ambitious enough, maybe. And damn, Chris Weston's stuff looks better than ever. I'm so used to seeing him do war-type books and this is the perfect change of pace for him. Can't wait to see what's next....
You’ll be able to see what happens next this week, Benjamin. Thanks for the support and check out the previews of issue 4 elsewhere.
4) Hey Grant & Kristan,
It's good to see you folks back on the net. Must have been very busy.
"Edition ONE hits the screen on 30th June 2002."
My 38th birthday. Lovely.
Issue #1... Made not a bit of sense. None whatsoever.
It Was Beautiful.
Bradly E. Peterson
PS: It feels a bit like "Shake" sounds. If you'd like to hear "Shake", let me know & I'll send a scaled down copy.
‘Shake’ ? Okay.
And...Happy Birthday. Ahh..38!
5) 1st website I've posted to that didn't involve women's wrestling/bodybuilding-- bet that's a perv Mistah Morrison doesn't put in the Filth. Grant, do you actually understand the scientific concepts you throw around O-So-Casually, or are you just very good at verbal manipulation?
A bit of both. I use very precise language to express precise concepts. Or sometimes I just take the poetic aspect of a scientific theory and bend it to suit my dramatic purpose.
Womens wrestling seems way too healthy to be pervy.
6) Dear Grant,
The Filth #1 was, like almost anything you do, very interesting. The first ten pages or so I really dug with its unique English quality to its pacing, setting and dialogue; newsagents, wanking, and a middle-aged fan of pornography whispering in a distinct accent to his cat that humans are a daft lot, like a failed John Steed.
Of course, then we find out he is in fact a rather profane John Steed after having his programmed personality fucked out of him. There was something about this brief look into the hand that left me not feeling something. The transition was somewhat pretentious, from quiet life to superspy in gaudy orange uniform. Then the ending with the weirdness and all, that was cool and interesting enough but the middle just lacked a kinetic movement of energy. Instead it just seemed a sudden bit of shadowy exposition. Better then most comics certainly, and might be part of the grander structure, but those are my thoughts on this first issue. I definitely like the weirdness though.
It's nice to see a letter column on-line. There's just something missing from a comic without the page of reader/creator interaction in the back. The Invisibles was always full of some mad tangents of culture and philosophy so in that vain:
Your comments in the Newsarama interview on the inevitably of superhuman's coming into existence very soon got me thinking on some of the more cultural, human psychological issues. Why bother with physical improvement so much, and not focus on the spiritual and mental elements more? Shouldn't our goals in life not be based on outward apparatus and abilities, but more on the individual improvement of ourself through expansion of ideas and possibilities by learning how to use what we have now to the utmost degree? Learn to think with what we have and face our fears by using more then that 10% of our brain we use now (or whatever the low number may be) by self-analysis and interaction, more new ideas and more extrapolation on single, pre-existing ones. You know, do the Alan Arkin Simon thing and find the genius within or just work to be happy with ourselves more than driven by society. That's the argument against augmentation, and the possibility for total agreement on it is close to nil so comics existing as proper moral tools when the inevitable happens is a great idea though. Opposing ideas should always be considered of course, different cultural memes flowing through the system.
I have a few questions as to your own personal influences and opinions that have always bugged me and might as well be expressed here:
The constant use of mirrors in the invisibles has always hit as being very close to the Who's Tommy. Is this a major influence of yours in though and storylines. Same question for similarities from Pete Townshend's Lifehouse project and the continuation of the philosophy in Quadrophenia with cleansing effects of being washed by rain in purification for higher spiritual levels.
What's your current likes and dislikes in the Britpop scene. All those mentions in Vol. 1 of the Invisibles of Blur and Oasis, what do ya think of 'em now? Blur hasn't done that much after 13's emotional turmoil and Standing on the Shoulder of Giants had its up and downs certainly. The Hindu Times is a great, addictive rocker that follows the Noel tradition of seeming better after each lesson, and the album seems a hell of a lot better lyrically from what I've seen so far. Still mad for it. Again, what do you think of the entire Brit scene now. I'll throw in Travis and Radiohead too on that (Radiohead's seems to have lost its soul with Kid A; the music sounded more programmed than human).
I came late to the invisibles and read Kissing Mr. Quimper as my second trade following Vol. 1. It looks like Mason has a line that's censored in the last chapter! Is it just you havin' some fun with the audience or was there someone who really was a shit?
All for now. Be seeing you.
Your response to the world of the Hand is the correct one.
The superhumans are definitely on their way whether people appear to support ‘augmentation’ or not; I’m hoping that superhuman bodies will be given superhuman brains and ethics to match. I agree with you that we should be making the most of our nervous systems in every way but I have to include the purely physical dimension in that too and assume we will upgrade ourselves in any way we can. Given that, I see the superhero figure as a useful role model for these bizarre citizens of the future and think we should be using these stories as laboratories for memes of tomorrow.
Ah, what do I know ? It’s late and we want a bath.
I wasn’t a big fan of Pete Townsend. I love the early Mod auto-destruction phase of The Who (‘The Kids Are Alright’ is one of the top five greatest teen pop songs) but by the time of The Who Sell Out I pretty much lose interest. Townsend’s devotion to Meher Baba never sat well with me for some reason and I found the Who to be a slightly depressing bunch.
I lost interest in the Britpop stuff around 97 when I got more into Japanese pop and French house but I’ve been listening to some of the Britpop precursor stuff again – TV Personalities, My Bloody Valentine, the Dylans and lots of Creation records. I can even say without irony that I think ‘Shakermaker’ sounds suddenly fresh and honest and I’ve started playing it at the DJ nights.
The new Oasis seems very dry and lumpy – I don’t think money suits them. Blur ? Smart but probably no longer as driven. I never liked Travis or Radiohead. Not enough sex for me. I like The Streets a lot, I like Asian Dub Foundation, the Pet Shop Boys, Momus....er, there must be more British acts.
The line originally read ‘Walt Disney was a shit’ but DCs lawyers insisted on having it removed.
Filth is awesome. And I have NO IDEA what's going on in it. I love that.
No idea ? No idea ? It’s about a man and his cat!
8) chris morris done like comics and spy-porn eh? very good. my best bit comes when greg punishes his demons and tony licks his paw. tony looks just like one of mine, milly. hope they never meat. never fancied girls with big tits before but now will consent if they have that hairstyle. cheers glassonion
It’s the new way. All the lasses are having it done. Wait till you see Holly Valance with a combover on the cover of FRONT this Christmas.
9) What exactly is LePen and what is she typing on her virtual keypad?
Michael D. Fellows
If LePen – who should really be called LaPen - was a Tarot card she would be The Scribe, Reversed
She is typing ‘What exactly is LePen and what is she typing on her virtual keypad?’...even as you read this.
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I’ll set the bloody hounds on the lot of you! GRIP! FANG! GROSS!
11) Hey all
Just wanted to let you know The Filth was featured in the latest edition of First Impressions - currently at the top of our frontpage:
First Impressions is a review column focusing on new series, first issues, new creative teams and the like at the top of the article you'll see my comments on the filth, publisher Scott J Grunewald also chimed in with a few thoughts of his own.
Hope I didn't give away too much about the series
Interviews Editor - Popimage.com
You ruined it for everyone, Ellis...
12) Hey Grant, Kristan
Good to see the big, red beast up and rutting again. Just picked up The Filth #1 yesterday. Beautiful stuff and I think it's carved out space in my brain for the next 12 parts. Equal parts Anticipation and Satisfaction. I'm going to use the next year to really put my life on a new track, a thought really galvanised by seeing Greg Feely snotted out all over the bathroom. Although pattern baldness isn't a feature of my heredity, unless there's something recessive waiting to pounce. Whatever, it looks like it'll be a good read on the way.
p.s. this web site turns the rest of the net green.
In so many lovely ways...
Thanks, Jamie. Bit of advice since I like your face - stay away from any Daleks you see on the way home from the pub. Apparently there’s been a plague of them this summer. They usually don’t turn nasty until later in the season but if you hear the word ‘Exterminate!’, leg it, mate. The damp hot conditions bring them out, according to the papers, but the good news is they can’t see the colour red. A bit like bees.
grant, chris, kristan and satan.
with the release of the filth #1, will all the "emo" kids give up their sad, prim & beautiful, 'net-bleary, sal mineo-like looks in favor of unzipped flies, stained undershirts ("wifebeaters" we call them here) and COMB-OVERS?
one would certainly hope not, but who knows what's in store for us between now and the release of filth #2?
Oh, they will – time itself will make sure the emo kids give it all up for unzipped flies, wifebeaters and comb-overs. World without end, dad.
Things I noticed in "The Filth"
Greg Feely's life is uncannily similar to my own i.e. going bald and wanking a lot, and I've got a bizarre coat in my wardrobe I never wear. I don't have a cat though.
How come the date on the CCTV is 23:11:01 when Greg is buying the June 2002 edition of Young Sluts?
Is the bin lorry on page 5 a Hand vehicle in disguise?
Slade's toupe makes him look like Frankie Howerd.
Great ending to issue #1. It gives the reader a month to imagine what unspeakably perverted atrocities Simon is going to wreak on that little planet, so in a way that drags us down into the filth.
The cover reminds of the Spiritualised album "Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space."
P.S. Are the pages meant to be stuck together?
Depends what they’re stuck together with. If it’s Scotch Broth, yes, that’s perfectly normal.
You definitely sound like you need a cat.
The date was an art error which we will undoubtedly fix for the trade paperback.
Thanks, Mike. ‘Floating In Space’ was a good album...I might listen to that again. Remember The Telescopes ? ‘High On Fire’ ?
Grant (and any go-betweens who might be reading),
Loved the filth #1, particularly the comb-over. As a like-minded devotee of all things style-related, I found it reassuring to see a man possessed of such a coif, along with a sizeable beer-belly, in a 21st-century comic. I'm sure many a New-X-Men fan was taken aback by the filth, but while I have been less than thrilled with the mutants new direction (it's had its' moments...) the filth has renewed my faith and interest in all of Grant's current writings. Can't wait to see those dolphins!
The real reason for this e-mail relates to a friend of mine. She's not a regular comic reader, but has recently taken a vague interest in Spider-man due to the movie release. She was thumbing through the latest "Peter Parker: Spider-man" when I pushed the filth #1 in her direction, remarking, "You've gotta take a look at this." She was unenthusiastic but read it nonetheless. Perplexed and confused as she was after reading it, she told me that she was intrigued by certain elements of the story.
This morning she related to me how she had gone home that night and dreamed of trying to pick her nose, and at every turn had had a camera stuck in her face. Everytime she turned a corner for some nose-picking privacy, there was another camera spoiling her private moment. It disturbed her to have her most private moment invaded in such a fashion, and to have been so influenced by a comic was all the more disturbing to her.
Having said that, she's already expressed a desire to read the next instalment and all ten issues to follow.
Thanks for warping someone else's brain and for giving me something to share with a good friend.
Christopher J. Kay
You may now consider her safely inoculated against the evils of this world.
Thanks for reading, Christopher.
There are no go-betweens here, just Kristan and me.
the future like? Well son, it's a lot like the past.
It's about sex, drugs, and the little buggies that gestate inside your soul. It's about the things that Don't Care, brought to you by the people who do. Well, maybe, anyway.
Is that what they thought? That could just wait Anarchy out? Did they know that someday all those little punk glam girls and toy boys would wind up sad old double-chinned men, decrepit obscenities like an aged Johnny Rotten? Well, I guess we can't blame them for not taking us seriously - fuck, look at my Hair, for Christ's sake.
THE FILTH quickly asserts itself as A Good Thing To Read In Public. I tilt the book as I'm reading it on the bus, so that those walking down the line might simply see me perched over something they can't really understand - something that proclaims itself to be "the filth". It's the shit, yo. Crisp, clean, therapeutic, sterile images gleam up from the cover, like an airplane safety guide. These are images people understand, just arranged in settings and positions that don't compute. Like walking in on your high school math teacher taking it up through the backdoor with the thick leather gloved fist of the nubile and young Britney Spears - Images you can recognize, but what's it all supposed to mean? That's a matter of opinion. That's my filthy little secret.
This is a real time of the signs, isn't it? Like brain damage as an adaptive mutation geared towards a world veined with artificially induced image and sound transmissions. What, like you really thought you could put a whole generation through Sesame Street and they'd come out just fine? Logic doesn't work that way, like a mentally deranged autistic drone dressed in cheetah prints and lesbian haircuts.
Jesus, I feel like I'm off my cloud here. Probably has something to do with the strange, beautiful black women who keep showing up every time I flash over the obligatory 'page 3' tit-shot. I'm spiritually begging those genetically-similar-yet-aesthetically-lusted-after darlings to inquire as to what I'm reading, just to see if, you know, something might come of it. This Filth, unlike the blood/germ war grounds, is tangible, visible to the naked human sexual-sensory organs.
I leave for work, and it drops into the side pouch of my little black satchel, next to Terence McKenna's "True Hallucinations". It might be a slow day at work, and I can't spend a whole eight hours out in the world just trying to decipher every license plate I can make out already in the first issue. I mean, I've got Stuff to do, you know? Besides, Steve Irwin is going to come onto the Discovery Channel within a matter of hours, full of new animals I've never actually seen before, but have always wanted to. I'm just saying man, that's all. Just saying.
All this paged symbolic imagery material is just the new music. You know, "Lets do the Rorschach again."
Bus 99 runs by, viewed in an over-the-shoulder-shot, though the shoulder's the thin corner of a flat-screen monitor, the time of the net café almost right wound up. This is a damn twentieth century institution - I've got tomorrow's hair and yesterday's job. Next week it's on to a better life in the heart, or possibly the bung, of the former rainforest-cum-city.
He's always in for a coffee in the morning; he's been sighted in shirts baring Sandman imagery and the logos for bands like Tool and Ministry. I take my leap, and with no other context as I hand him his coffee, I slyly ask, "So, have you read The Filth?" like we're in a spy film, engaging in an exchange of code-phrases. WE ARE.
And of course, he has. I guess that's the thing about The Filth - you can always tell when somebody's had contact with it.
(Extract from ‘Letters of H.)
‘All this paged symbolic imagery material is just the new music’ is my quote of the summer. You just made me see comics in a whole new way. God Bless You, ‘H’ – I always knew at least ONE member of Steps would change the world.
17) just want to say WOWZA WOWZA WOWZA. Grant has done it again issue 1 was totally mind blowing and my fave images were pages 13 and 20. Brilliant script and art. BRING ON THE FILTH!!!!! love ya grant you crazy young stud ( Chaos) big fan
Crazy ? I’m 400 years old!
18) Dear Sir, me empty spaces filled with goooooooooo? Me endless empty lava - old goo on fire they say - but you know it's more than that. Triple the dose, you'll keep me coming back for more. The Fomorians. I know the name, I know their name, and I promise, I will come back for more. See you, Chuck E Zinnlov.
This is the sort of person who should be leading our country not that weird little person on TV.
19) THE FILTH is great VIzcious yeh.. 23 Pages 13 issues high Five to Grant...another reason to fuck off Mundanity(WHOOOOP) Particularly like the cctv panels got inside the head of the viewer (R those girls nikking stuff ?)
Sigils r wikked 2...
Radiohead bit me
‘KidAbra’! I wish I’d thought of that one.
A cure for the French complaint, concocted from homeopathic doses of that poisoned metal that kills monks and leaves club kids standing. The antidote to allergy is the word.
And its handwriting is small, homeopathic or quantum in scope. Like Nano Nietzsche meets iGod and the punchline is she's dead.
I’ll second that emotion. Mainlining Mercury in the pen nib.
21) another trip in fine morrison fashion "good taste never dies, or filth, for that matter"
(from Ryan Wilson)
Good filth goes on and on...like a pup doing a shite
Several months ago I began working in a local comic shop here in Dallas, Texas. I actually took the job because it was the only place that called back, and didn't think of the changes that would occur in my life due to my employment there. Most of my life, I've been aspiring to feature my writing through some medium, but there were many necessary muses lacking, and my resolve to my calling hadn't fully formed yet. Only weeks previous to my employment at this comic shop, I had finished Grant Morrison's series, "The Invisibles".
His story truly inspired me as a writer, his work moved my mind as only writers like Dick, Burroughs, and Adams had in the past. A culmination of the greater sides of surreal thought, mysticism, magic, science-fiction, and action, Morrison made his way into my head like a tapeworm.
I saw an opening through him, somewhere that I felt I needed to spread root, a medium to communicate through that I hadn't ever considered. Because of the Invisibles, I came to terms with myself as a creative writer, and began to write my first comic series.
Now, four months after all of this occurred, I find myself beginning another adventure into the mind of Grant Morrison. The Filth hit the shelves of my work, and I waited. I stared at it in with such consideration and focus, one would think I was preparing to relieve myself just thinking about the cover. Hours passed as I peddled comics, toys, and the like to all variety of people. Finally my break came, and I read the first edition of the Filth.
Confusing, fast, and colorful... fuck me if I understood where the hell it was going. That was the best part, I couldn't grasp a shred of the big picture yet. I have a test for comics; if I can pick one up and flip through the pages, scanning them only a moment, and know the summary of the plot before the last page, then it's not worth my time.
I'd be lying if I said I had much to say about the first issue of the Filth, because there really isn't much to say yet. It's intriguing, has already complex characters, and largely unrevealed intrigue in store. I'm just waiting to see what internal transformation will occur for me because of Morrison's writing, because I know it's coming. As I begin working with artists through my first virgin scripts, I can only imagine the world that's in store for me.
More important than a story itself, is the tale of a stories creation.
Hi, Sean. Hope you enjoy what’s coming up and all the best with your writing. We need lots of new blood, like a busload of hungry vampires on their way to the theatre to see ‘Miss Saigon’.
23) You people are very, very, unhealthy.
Keep it up.
Unhealthy is the new well. Sometimes I say my own name and feel sick.
24) Re: The
I quite enjoyed the 1st issue. Thank you for uniting 3 of my favourite performers (Grant, Chris, and Garry) . I don't think we'll ever see such a brilliant comb-over sex scene in any Hollywood production, porn or otherwise!
I was so sad at the conclusion of The Invisibles and am greatly pleased to see Grant Morrison at his twisted best again!
Good for wank?
We’ll be seeing lots of seedy combovers in Hollywood productions if I have my way. If you want to see the future, just rent ‘Born on the Fourth of July’ and freeze frame it.
25) Team Morrison,
Beautiful new site(s), just read the Nick Fury story, nice, shall get the filth down my throat soon.
1) Phil Jimenez and Frank Quitely rotating on the X-Men? We're all praying.
2) Is that trialogue book with you, Rushkoff and P-orridge still in the works? I just read the one by Abraham, Sheldrake, and Mckenna, and time seems ripe for a new one.
3) Writing a script for Spielberg? Hahahahahaha, first Philip K. Dick, next GM, pretty soon he'll be adapting Bukowski and Kafka, fuck the elf kids.
That's it. I love this stuff.
1) Me too.
2) We’ll all get together at Doug’s wedding in September so expect news.
3) I want to see him doing ‘The Checkered Demon’ as a family film.
Love you too!
Yes, it’s love love love all the way here at The Crack! So drop on by, why don’t you, tell us what you thought of The Filth 2 or just share a dream, a contemplative moment or a rusty needle with us next month here in front of the fire that burns within our hearts.
30th June 2002
WHO WON THE BOMB ?
UPDATED : 25/05/2004