In the human mind, the number of possible connections that can be made between neurons greatly exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.
Magic is a state of mind. It is often portrayed as very black and gothic, and that is because certain practitioners played that up for a sense of power and prestige. That is a disservice. Magic is very colorful. Of this, I am sure.
The one thing with writing stories about the rise of fascism is that if you wait long enough, you’ll almost certainly be proved right. Fascism is like a hydra – you can cut off its head in the Germany of the ’30s and ’40s, but it’ll still turn up on your back doorstep in a slightly altered guise.
As people get more desperate, history suggests that they’re not going to rise in a mighty proletarian tidal wave and wash away their oppressors. They’re gonna turn on each other.
I’m not personally connected to the Internet, although nearly everyone that I know is, and many of them have a great time and no problems with it. And on the surface you can see that the Internet could go an awful long way to educating, enlightening, informing and connecting the world.
In the human mind, the number of possible connections that can be made between neurons greatly exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.
No matter how powerful our political and religious leaders think they are, they are as dust before the immense and implacable forces of history and progress. I just hope that they don’t make too much of a mess or take too many more people down with them.
The roots of the word ‘anarchy’ are ‘an archos,’ ‘no leaders,’ which is not really about the kind of chaos that most people imagine when the word ‘anarchy’ is mentioned. I think that anarchy is, to the contrary, about taking personal responsibility for yourself.
Don’t leave home without your sword – your intellect.
Life is a lot more interesting if you are interested in the people and the places around you. So, illuminate your little patch of ground, the people that you know, the things that you want to commemorate. Light them up with your art, with your music, with your writing, with whatever it is that you do.
If you’re going to have any kind of political opposition in the 21st century, then it has to be as fundamentally liquid as the rapidly changing society we’re living in.
Because our entire universe is made up of consciousness, we never really experience the universe directly we just experience our consciousness of the universe, our perception of it, so right, our only universe is perception.
Since I am me, I find it very difficult to judge how fascinating listening to my nasal, heavily-accented drone for two hours would be to somebody who wasn’t me.
There are two worlds we live in: a material world, bound by the laws of physics, and the world inside our mind, which is just as important.
Right from the outset, the prevailing mindset in British comics fandom was a radical and progressive one. We were all proto-hippies, and we all thought that comics would be greatly improved if everything was a bit psychedelic like Jim Steranko.
It is my belief that all gods are stories, or at least the ideas behind stories, but stories or ideas that have become in some way almost alive and aware.
For me, there is very little difference between magic and art. To me, the ultimate act of magic is to create something from nothing: It’s like when the stage magician pulls the rabbit from the hat.
Writing is a very focused form of meditation. Just as good as sitting in a lotus position.
Do I believe, for example, that by using magic I could fly? No. How would you get around gravity? Impossible. Do I believe that I might be able to project my consciousness into a very, very vivid simulation of flying? Yeah. Yes, I’ve done that. Yes, that works.
Language comes first. It’s not that language grows out of consciousness, if you haven’t got language, you can’t be conscious.
Most of the people who get sent to die in wars are young men who’ve got a lot of energy and would probably rather, in a better world, be putting that energy into copulation rather than going over there and blowing some other young man’s guts out.
Of course, Marxism is an example of what Carl Popper would have called a ‘World Three’ structure, in that it’s got immense power as an idea, but you couldn’t actually hold up anything in the world and say: ‘this is Marxism’.
To paint comic books as childish and illiterate is lazy. A lot of comic books are very literate – unlike most films.
To some degree Satanism is purely a kind of disease of Christianity. You’ve got to really be Christian to believe in Satan.
War is a perversion of sex.
I increasingly fear that nothing good can come of almost any adaptation, and obviously that’s sweeping. There are a couple of adaptations that are perhaps as good or better than the original work. But the vast majority of them are pointless.
There’s nothing that could get me interested in Hollywood again. And, increasingly, there’s nothing that could get me interested in the American comics industry again.
Way back in the day, when I first started and had delusions of adequacy as a cartoonist, I would listen to music. When I switched to a career as a writer, I would try to listen to music, but if the songs had lyrics they would get in the way of the words I was trying to write. So I switched to listening to purely instrumental pieces.
Our environments shape the way we see ourselves. If you have been condemned to live in an area that is pretty evidently a rat-run, then sooner or later you’re gonna come to the conclusion that you’re a rat.
Certainly, my many years working in the comics industry, creating products that I do not own, has made me rather fierce on the subject of giving up rights.
While the revolution will be certainly televised, it strikes me that there is a strong possibility that the revolution will also be crowd-funded.
Here’s the thing: If you’re monitoring every single thing that goes on in a given culture, if you have all the information that is there to be had, then that is the equivalent of having none of it. How are you going to process that amount of information?
Culture is just a shambling zombie that repeats what it did in life; bits of it drop off, and it doesn’t appear to notice.
I don’t really think that very much is interesting about the superhero as an archetype.
It has occurred to me that the superhero really only originates in America. That seems to be the only country that has produced this phenomenon.
I’m not a particularly dark individual. I have my moments, it’s true, but I do have a sense of humor.
I’ve never watched any of the adaptations of my books. I’ve never wanted to, and there’s absolutely no chance of me doing so in the future.
I’m dependent on writing for a living, so really it’s to my advantage to understand how the creative process works. One of the problems is, when you start to do that, in effect you’re going to have to step off the edge of science and rationality.
If you’re functional, it doesn’t matter if you’re mad.
Every film is a remake of a previous film, or a remake of a television series that everyone loved in the 1960s, or a remake of a television series that everyone hated in the 1960s. Or it’s a theme park ride; it will soon come to breakfast cereal mascots.
I love films that are made with almost no budget.
I’ve developed a theory that there’s an inverse relationship between money and imagination. That if you’ve got lots of imagination then you don’t really need much money, and if you’ve got lots of money then you won’t bother with much imagination.
In comics the reader is in complete control of the experience. They can read it at their own pace, and if there’s a piece of dialogue that seems to echo something a few pages back, they can flip back and check it out, whereas the audience for a film is being dragged through the experience at the speed of 24 frames per second.
One of the things I don’t like about film is its incredible immersive quality. It’s kind of bullying – it’s very big, it’s very flashy, it’s got a lot of weight and it throws it around almost to the detriment of the rest of our culture.
If you give me a typewriter and I’m having a good day, I can write a scene that will astonish its readers. That will perhaps make them laugh, perhaps make them cry – that will have some emotional clout to it. It doesn’t cost much to do that.
There’s a widespread cultural barrenness across art and political culture. But there are some pockets of resistance on the extreme margins, like the techno-savvy protest movements, small press, the creator-owned comics, that seem to be getting some signs of hope for the future.
There’s been a growing dissatisfaction and distrust with the conventional publishing industry, in that you tend to have a lot of formerly reputable imprints now owned by big conglomerates.
I think that we need mythology. We need a bedrock of story and legend in order to live our lives coherently.
I don’t think you can separate a place from its history. I think a place is much more than the bricks and mortar that go into its construction. I think it’s more than the accidental topography of the ground it stands on.
Famously, there’s not really anywhere to go after nihilism. It’s not progressing toward anything, it’s a statement of outrage, however brilliant.
A lot of the critique of our growing mechanization was actually at its strongest, and arguably at its most perceptive, during the late ’60s.
I don’t think any of us grew up into the world we were hoping for or expecting.
Romantic poetry had its heyday when people like Lord Byron were kicking it large. But you try and make a living as a poet today, and you’ll find it’s very different!
I’ve got nothing against America, but I went over there a couple of times and didn’t really like it. I mean, not that I like England that much, but it’s somewhere to live.
I try to do things in comics that cannot be repeated by television, by movies, by interactive entertainment.
It may be true that the only reason the comic book industry now exists is for this purpose, to create characters for movies, board games and other types of merchandise.
Television and movies have short-circuited reality. I don’t think a lot of people are entirely clear on what is real and what is on the screen.
War never accomplishes anything. It’s never going to look good in the history books. People are never going to look back and think, ‘He started a lot of wars; what a great leader he was!’ That’s not the way it works. God knows how many more of these things we’re going to need before it starts to sink in.
If you look at that incredible burst of fantastic characters that emerged in the late 19th century/early 20th century, you can see so many of the fears and hopes of those times embedded in those characters. Even in throwaway bits of contemporary culture you can often find some penetrating insights into the real world around us.
It’s not my job to tell people what to think. If I can actually in some way help the readers’ own creative thinking, then that’s got to be to everybody’s benefit.
When I’m putting a story together, I generally know the ending and a couple of the points halfway through, and I’ve got sort of an idea about the beginning, and although I do write the story one sentence at a time, when I’m thinking it up, I’m thinking it up all at once.
A lot of people have found the idea of living your life over and over again absolutely terrifying; there’s some people that find it very comforting. There are others that are appalled by it.
As far as I can see, it’s not important that we have free will, just as long as we have the illusion of free will to stop us going mad.
I find that if I’m watching somebody upon television or in a movie that is on a window ledge or in some high precarious position my hand starts sweating and I get that crawling feeling in the soles of my feet.
I love the smell of paper in the morning; it smells like victory.
There has been a rather unpleasant sensibility apparent in Frank Miller’s work for quite a long time.
I suppose all fictional characters, especially in adventure or heroic fiction, at the end of the day are our dreams about ourselves. And sometimes they can be really revealing.
London has been used as the emblematic English city, but it’s far from representative of what life in England is actually about.
I think that in an increasingly virtual world, lovingly produced artefacts are at a premium.
In many ways, my entire graphic novel career was a long diversion. Originally, all I wanted to do was to be an underground cartoonist and maybe bring out a groovy underground mag.
When I started writing comics, ‘comics writer’ was the most obscure job in the world! If I wanted to be a celebrity, I would have become a moody English screen actor.
I was kind of a selfish child, who always wanted things his way, and I’ve kind of taken that over into my relationship with the world.
I suppose when I was writing ‘V for Vendetta’ I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact?’ So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It’s peculiar.
I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail.
When alchemists were talking about turning lead to gold, they were talking about turning a leaden consciousness, which most of us exist in during our lives, into a golden consciousness, which is a much better place to be.
I’ve never studied anything formally. I was excluded from school at the age of 17, so I am an autodidact, which is a word that I have taught myself.
Art makes us feel less alone. It makes us think: somebody else has thought this, somebody else has had these feelings.
One of the reasons why I don’t leave Northampton is that the people don’t treat me like a celebrity. I’ve been here for years; I’m just that bloke with long hair.
People have asked me why I made the first chapter of my first novel so long, and in an invented English. The only answer I can come up with that satisfies me is, ‘To keep out the scum.’
Money’s fine if it enables you to enjoy your life and to be useful to other people. But as something that is a means to an end, no, it’s useless.
In the sixties, for anybody to suggest that the government didn’t have our best interests at heart and policemen sometimes killed people would have automatically made them a radical firebrand lefty. That’s not the case anymore.
I think there’s always been a traditionally apocalyptic side to British science fiction, from H.G. Wells onwards. I mean, most of Wells’ stories are potentially apocalyptic in some sense or another.
I’ve had years of bizarre hallucinogenic magical experiences in which I believed I had communicated with entities that may well have been disassociated parts of my own personality or conceivably some independent entity of a metaphysical nature. Both would seem equally interesting.
Everything you’ve ever read of mine is first-draft. This is one of the peculiarities of the comics field. By the time you’re working on chapter three of your masterwork, chapter one is already in print. You can’t go back and suddenly decide to make this character a woman, or have this one fall out of a window.
The Conservative Party is a religion in that they are bound together by belief. Almost any organization has its religious aspects.
All culture must have arisen from cult.
If the audience knew what they wanted then they wouldn’t be the audience, they would be the artist.
I really can’t be bothered going to a barber. And shaving every morning, that’s nightmarish. I spent my teenage years covered in tiny little bits of toilet paper.
I enjoy putting my mind into different situations rather than my body.
One of the advantages of travelling the world is that you get to know the world broadly. And one of the advantages of staying in one place is that you get to know the world deeply.
My main point about films is that I don’t like the adaptation process, and I particularly don’t like the modern way of comic book-film adaptations, where, essentially, the central characters are just franchises that can be worked endlessly to no apparent point.
I like Jacques Derrida; I think he’s funny. I like my philosophy with a few jokes and puns. I know that that offends other philosophers; they think he’s not taking things seriously, but he comes up with some marvellous puns. Why shouldn’t you have a bit of fun while dealing with the deepest issues of the mind?
You’ve got to be able to pay your bills; otherwise, you’re not going to sleep at night. But beyond that, the world inside my head has always been a far richer place than the world outside it. I suppose that a lot of my art and writing are meant to bring the two together.
Growing up in the Boroughs, I thought I must be the cleverest boy in the world, an illusion that I was able to maintain until I got to the grammar school.
I’m remote from most technology to the point that I’m kind of Amish.
Technology is always a two-edged sword. It will bring in many benefits, but also many disasters.
Despite the constant clamor for attention from the modern world, I do believe we need to procure a psychological space for ourselves. I apparently know some people who try to achieve this by logging off or going without their Twitter or Facebook for a limited period.
On the one occasion where I did try writing a screenplay, I found the rewriting just unendurable.
I could never be the kind of writer who went to the set of the movie and fussed and fretted about, ‘Oh, that dialogue’s wrong,’ or ‘That character doesn’t look like that.’ That would be insufferable.
I didn’t really sign up to be a celebrity, I only signed up to be a writer.
When I was working upon the ABC books, I wanted to show different ways that mainstream comics could viably have gone, that they didn’t have to follow ‘Watchmen’ and the other 1980s books down this relentlessly dark route. It was never my intention to start a trend for darkness. I’m not a particularly dark individual.
I’m very distanced from the comics industry. I love the comics medium, but I have no time for the industry.
I genuinely like the people I meet at signings or the bits of public talking that I do.
My only problem with fans is when they turn pro. For example, when all the professional writers were fired by DC in the ’60s, they brought in a generation of comic book fans who would have paid to have written these stories.