Why We Became You (Adventures in New Mythologies): Part 1

Concept art for a mythological adventure. Illustration by Ruben Alejandro Santos.

After completing Pick Up the Gun, My Son in 2008, I was left with the desire to continue creating something just as personally meaningful. The nonfiction style narrative, which I had used, told the story of a mid-20th century Appalachian woman and victim of child molestation, who wrote stories for print and film as a therapy for her own psychological recovery. The idea of getting to know a character by what they create in their minds and/or materialize had been something I had unconsciously tinkered with years earlier, on a couple of other stories.

Months after Pick Up’s completion, a viewing of The Mindscape of Alan Moore (2003), followed by listening to Alex Grey’s intentions in CoSM: The Movie (2006), a new idea was ignited. One that led me back to revisiting comparative mythologies.

The first truly encouraging read was Joseph Campbell’s Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal, which included a creation myth taken from the beginning of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (found on page 9) that inspired further research.

The initial picture that launched the enormous in scope, yet small in word count project, actually came to me by way of the DVD commentary tracks (added to the images) on The Films of Kenneth Anger. Thinking objectively—having heard the story many times before—I toyed with the idea: “Why would a deity need a bringer of light, unless it was in the dark?” (See Sufi poet Mansur al-Hallaj, author of the Kitab al Tawasin, for his interpretation on the story of Iblis.)

And so, my mythological adventure project started rolling. It’s a story completely devoid of any attachment to other myths and religious stories. In fact, once the idea for the image illustrated above came to me, I decided to leave my research into mythology behind in exchange for other subjects and new sources of inspiration.

After watching Walt Disney’s Our Friend the Atom (1957), the very first book I read was The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology by Masaharu Takemura and Sakura. Since then I’ve developed a new appreciation for mathematics, which I never had before, and have fallen in love with astronomy, physics, and especially particle physics. (I’ve just been so darn busy lately that I’ve got a handful of books still waiting to be read.)

The purpose for my having started up My Kind of Story was to get organized, and get things done—in particularly, for this project. Why We Became You will continue to be previewed as long as I have a collaborator to deliver its visual half. The complete accompanying text will go up, once the last picture is completed and compiled with the rest. This one is quite a ride.

Special thanks to Anger, and to The Vogues for singing Jimmy Duncan’s My Special Angel.

AUG-27/OCT-21 update: I’m currently keeping my eyes peeled for a new artist, so the project has been placed on hold. In the meantime, I’ve playfully revealed a few more details in I Am a Rock’s penultimate scene.

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