My Review of Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste
I have spent the better part of my nearly half a century on this planet studying not only the written works of Aleister Crowley, but those written about him, of which there have been many — some great (Kaczynski’s Perdurabo), some good (Regardie’s The Eye in the Triangle), and some just bloody awful (Sutin’s Do What Thou Wilt).
It’s no easy undertaking. Crowley was, as they say, a larger-than-life personality. A poet, author, mystic, magician, mountaineer, publisher, and more, the man once dubbed “the wickedest in the world” is one of the most influential and infamous figures in modern history.
The latest biography of The Great Beast comes by way of a graphic novel published by Markosia titled Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste.
As a biography, it is quite extensive, covering the full breadth of Crowley’s life. Martin Hayes does an admirable job pacing the narrative and placing events in their proper context. Artistically, Wandering the Waste is less successful.
R.H. Stewart’s line work is not to my particular taste, overall, but there are flashes of promise throughout. It’s a very mixed bag, with odd digital effects and clumsy cut-and-paste ups here and there, that ultimately leave me cold.
Add to this some rather shoddy editing, with numerous typographical errors, amateur computer lettering, and poorly placed special effects, and you have stylistically a merely passable graphic novel here, but I do appreciate and applaud the effort.
At roughly $20 for nearly 150 pages, I have no qualms with the product, despite the errors therein. It benefits greatly from an introduction by the esteemed Richard Kaczynski and the paper quality and overall design is quite superb.
For the Thelemite and Crowley aficionado, Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste is a worthy addition to one’s library of esoterica. For the general comic fan? Not so much.
Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste by Martin Hayes and R.H. Stewart is available via the Markosia online store, or can be ordered at your local comic book retailer.