Legendary comic book creator Rick Veitch once self-published the comic series Roarin' Rick's Rare Bit Fiends a comic book dream diary, initially funded by his work on the Image Comics title 1963 and self-published as King Hell alongside a spate of Dave Sim-inspired nineties self-published titles of which I was a very minor part.
It's been a long time since the last issue. But this year, alongside his new comic Super Catchy, Rare Bit Fiends has returned with a twenty-second issue, 52 pages long, bypassing Diamond Comic Distributors and printed-to-demand, including through Amazon.
And we have a few pages of preview courtesy of Amazon and his own website. There are two stories to tell, Subtleman, which continues and concludes the first part from #21 published in the nineties. And The Art of Mercurius, the details of which may make some recall Dave Sim for other reasons.
I hope it will offer some sense of where I think all dreams are heading. Or perhaps, more to the point, where they originate.
Mercurius is an enigmatic figure at the arcane core of alchemy, being described as both the beginning and end of whatever it was the old alchemists were doing. Most people think of turning lead into gold or Harry Potter style spell casting when they think of alchemists, but I'm here to tell you they were into something else entirely. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung was one of the first to see it in our time, but his writings can be very confusing.
This new RARE BIT FIENDS material is my attempt to share with readers how I personally came to grips with what Jung and the alchemists (and as it turns out many others) were actually talking about; direct experience of the living heart of nature.
When I make a statement like that, I hope you won't assume I'm the victim of some sort of mind cult. While there definitely is a cult of personality around C.J. Jung, we dreamworkers recognize the extraordinary value of his research. He left us a realistic model of the human psyche and the tools to investigate it. What Einstein is to physics, Jung is to dreamwork.
And for the second part…
SUBTLEMAN focuses on what I like to call "shamanic" dreams. These are dreams that seem to hint at deeper layers of reality, the presence of other dreaming entities and the physics of consciousness.
The 45 year old Roarin' Rick who did SUBTLEMAN is now the 65 year old doing THE ART OF MERCURIUS.