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Emails from the Acidman

Cover of
The Adventures of Acidman
by Ian S. Garlington.
I recently received an email from a fellow named Ian Garlington, who goes by the handle of the Acidman. Ian wrote:

…I did my doctoral research at Osaka University’s American Literature department on the influence of psychedelics on American sf and comics and started reading a lot about Bob Wilson and then Thornley and then you. I write about Alan Moore and Grant Morrison and Thomas Disch as well and I was strongly influenced by the temperament of all of this.

I like your version of Kerry Thornley much more than his own version. You got him from all the best angles. I keep a picture of him next to my desk and used to tell my students that I was his reincarnation.

Thank you very much for the Historia Discordia… I read every page in extreme detail and took notes. I explained about it in my American history class at Kansai Gaidai University…

I found a copy Prankster and Conspiracy on a book shelf in a witch store in Osaka but when I asked they told me that none of the books were for sale. I found a note inside that said in English “Never show or tell anyone about this book.” I don’t know why anyone would say that.

Your message in that book about how greyface got Thornley in the end, may be the warning that may save my life not too far off.

No way, fate is like iron rails, right? We can only affirm that we don’t have any clue what is about to happen next but it will happen in spite of and maybe as a result of our best efforts to escape it.

And then I had a mystical vision in which Robert Williams (comix artist) appeared to me at the same time that I felt experiential knowledge of the fourth dimension. There was a lot downloaded and I tried to record what was happening with a camera and a mic but the main message of it was, “your mission is to study Spinoza. I lost interest in all else and eventually quit lecturing and moved back to devote myself to founding Portland Weed Church, Portland Association of Deleuze Studies, Oxford Cognitives, and the Adventures of Acidman (as a household brand).

I published my dissertation as a book while in Japan but have not distributed it until now. I would like to send a copy to you if you are interested in seeing any of it…

Ian did indeed send me his book, the cover of which includes his psychedelic acrylic art. The full title is The Adventures of Acidman: Psychedelics and the Evolution of Consciousness in Science Fiction and Superhero Comics from the 1960s Onward (Amazon), including chapters like “An Anatomy of Cosmic Conspiracy: The Function of Fragmentation in the Illuminatus! Trilogy” and “Comics’ Cosmic Poetry: Pyshcedelics, Chaos and the Poetics of Comics in Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles.”

When I emailed Ian back asking if I could share his emails, he replied:

Yes, of course you can share that story. I was trying to find the VICE TV documentary about erotic witches in Tokyo where there are some interviews with the guy who is most likely the owner of the books on that shelf.

I met this man in person only once in a shower room in a psychiatric clinic where both patients and the doctor’s club friends were partying all night, mingling in an uninhibited environment (I believe I was invited as a “club friend” because the patients all said that they were visiting the clinic on a weekly basis, but you never know).

The warlock was completely naked.  He asked me a few questions and then told me he thought it was my mission to balance the cosmic scales by forming a new branch of Discordianism capable of defeating the newest incarnations of Greyface (in Japanese). That is what I am doing now. I paraphrase this sometimes these days as “getting the heroic dose of psychedelics to the center of the singularity before Google Flesh Cyborg self lobotomizes.” Kind of a John Lilly level of cosmic dualistic struggle.



Here’s a YouTube of the Acidman creating some of his acrylic psychedelic art:

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