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.