In honor of Timothy Leary: Neurocomics remastered and colored

97 years ago one of the bright­est minds of 20th cen­tu­ry descend­ed upon this plan­et under the guise of an Irish trick­ster. He man­aged to leave behind not only dozens of books, sci­en­tif­ic works and man­i­festos but the leg­end: the leg­end of a man who had play­ful­ly declared the ideals of cog­ni­tive free­dom, not los­ing his met­tle and com­po­sure even in the face of impris­on­ment and death. Nat­u­ral­ly, we are talk­ing about Tim­o­thy Leary, a man who holds a spe­cial place in our hearts and our pan­theon, a man who hard­ly needs a long intro­duc­tion.

Leary is no stranger in Rus­sia today: psy­chol­o­gy majors may have been intro­duced to him dur­ing psy­chodi­ag­nos­tics class, pon­der­ing over Leary’s test of inter­per­son­al com­pat­i­bil­i­ty. Some may have read about him in the fore­word of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest that men­tions Leary among those who influ­enced the book. One may have met this Cal­i­forn­ian mis­chief-mak­er on the pages of The Ency­clo­pe­dia of Sym­bols (along with Love­craft and Crow­ley) or via Russ­ian youth mag­a­zine arti­cles in the mid-nineties. Oth­ers were intro­duced to his works by their friends, or, more recent­ly, by typ­ing «LSD», «mesca­line», «Ram Dass», «psy­che­del­ic rev­o­lu­tion», «why not» into a search engine or by fol­low­ing cross-ref­er­ences found in the inter­views of the oth­er promi­nent peo­ple, both his friends (and fans) and his antag­o­nists.

The time is now to show our grat­i­tude.
In hon­or of this puck­ish rogue who lived his live reach­ing out beyond the lim­its of mun­dane life and the lim­its of human mind alike and man­aged to find many chem­i­cal and elec­tron­ic keys allow­ing us to fol­low him Kataba­sia presents a col­ored issue of Neu­ro­comics, a com­ic book ren­di­tion of Future His­to­ry, one of Tim’s cen­tral works. This com­ic was cre­at­ed in the late sev­en­ties in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pete von Shol­ly and George DiCaprio; rather uncom­pli­cat­ed draw­ings sup­ple­ment­ed by con­sid­er­able quan­ti­ties of text became a medi­um for Leary’s ideas con­cern­ing human­i­ty’s future prospects. Despite its seri­ous theme, at times Neu­ro­comics reads as a New Age col­lage, splic­ing up-to-date genet­ics with Jun­gian­ism, cut­ting-edge physics with eso­teric sym­bol­ism and so on. Yet as soon as you explore Future His­to­ry and Leary’s biog­ra­phy, it becomes obvi­ous that all these heaps of terms and images are noth­ing more or less than metaphors, build­ing blocks Tim uses to illus­trate prin­ci­ples with a near­ly child­like spon­tane­ity. Hope you like an extra dimen­sion of col­or added to these blocks.



Spe­cial thanks to Lim­bic Split­ter and E.Reshetova for their help in col­or­ing and restor­ing this book.

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