Friday, November 27, 2015
Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, celebrates Día de los Guajoletes with a with a tribute to the Go Go Gophers. Here's some leftovers from my research . . .
The depiction of Native Americans in early cartoons often went beyond stereotypes into raging surrealism:
This Popeye cartoon crystalizes the American myth of colonization into the grotesque:
Just for fun, here's some Chuck Jones for your guajolete hangover:
And to be truly perverse, this twisted masterpiece from Tex Avery:
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Ernest Hogan's reprint, the mindbending psychedelic fantasia "Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song," explores the Delanyesque theme of artist and muse in a tale that itself could be classified as a psychotropic drug.
That's from Elizabeth Hand's review of Stories for Chip in Fantasy & Science Fiction. It puts a twisted grin on my face, and gets me wondering if this stuff I keep doing is legal. What will my work do to my poor, innocent readers who pick up Stories for Chip because they want to honor Samuel R. Delany? “Guerrilla Mural” is also still available in Alien Contact, which is aimed at more conventional sci-fi enthusiasts. It's also the story that I exploded into my first novel Cortez on Jupiter, which no doubt has its own psychotropic effects.
As Alexandro Jodorowsky said:
I ask of film what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs. The difference being that when one creates a psychedelic film, he need not create a film that shows the visions of a person who has taken a pill; rather, he needs to manufacture the pill.
I ask the same of science fiction. I prefer it to be psychedelic rather than narcotic.
Maybe I am in the drug business.
And before the DEA knocks down my door, I must explain that I do not use drugs for recreation or inspiration. I haven't touched any of that shit since way back in the Ninteen-hundreds. And even then, I was just a dabbler on the ragged edge of the drug culture, checking things out so I could write with authority about it later. I never courted brain damage with the unholy lust I've seen in blood-shot, dilated eyes of hardcore druggies.
Ah, research! What it lets you get away with!
But still, why do I create all this stuff that messes up people's minds?
I guess it's because people need their minds messed up. Plug into your favorite news outlet, see all the stories about people doing horrible things because they think it's normal, or going to preserve or establish normalcy. Some wild and unpredictable monkey wrenches need to be thrown into all the infernal machineries out there.
So, like Salvador Dalí said:
Like the drug companies, I have to ask that you use my writing, and art, responsibly. Do not drive, or operate heavy machinery while under its influence. You shouldn't make any important, life-changing decisions, either.
Maybe tune into a popular corporate franchise. Let your brain cool off. You wouldn't want your life to become exciting, would you?
Friday, November 13, 2015
Thursday, November 5, 2015
My eye was snagged by a Tweet about an novel with an ancient high-tech civilization in Africa that was written in 1902 by a black woman. I clicked on the link and investigated right away – and it was a good thing, because, even though I retweeted it, time has gone by the social media has been vomiting up stuff for about a week, and I can't find it! Good thing I've somehow become savvy enough to download the ePub version from Archive.org with the OCR-generated typos and the snippets of other stuff from the magazine because this was an unedited scan.
Even though it was a static-encrusted signal coming in on a weird fuzzed out station, I was hooked. I read and enjoyed and otherwise had my mind properly blown by Of One Blood, Or, The Hidden Self (yes, the sci-fi is plugged into identity) by Pauline E. Hopkins. It was only later that I found out it was available in an edited form.
The best things seem to come to me wrapped up in a weird adventure. Either that, or I'm just doomed to do everything the hard way.
Of One Blood was originally serialized in The Colored American Magazine, the first African American monthly, "devoted to literature, science, music, art, religion, facts, fiction and traditions of the Negro Race," from December 1902 to January 1903. The magazine was established by Pauline E. Hopkins in 1900. She was the editor until 1904 when Booker T. Washington purchased it in a hostile takeover. Seems that some folks thought that Hopkins was too much of a radical.
Hopkins was a journalist, playwright, and historian as well as writer and editor. She pioneered using what would now be called popular genre fiction to explore social and racial themes, not just in Of One Blood, but also in her other novels:
All four of which are available in one volume.
Of One Blood, being over a century old, has a steampunkish appeal, is proto-Afrofuturist, dealing with mesmerism, mediumistic powers, a cataleptic trance, and astral projection (we'd call these paranormal these days, but this was before the term science fiction was coined) and a fantastic, advanced lost civilization in the city of Meroe, in Ethiopia.
If that doesn't sound sci-fi enough for you, there's telepathy-powered television!
It begins with Reuel Briggs, “a young medical student interested in mysticism” who sees Dianthe Lusk, a Negro singer and “the owner of a mysterious face” and falls in love with her. I hesitate to tell much of the plot, or identify some characters by race. Some are identified as white in the beginning turn out be what we'd now call black. This is a “lost race” story, the subgenre pioneered by H. Rider Haggard in King Solomon's Mines and She, but in this case, the lost race is the entire human race, originating in Africa. Blacks and whites are all of one blood.
Which allows a love triangle to turn out to be both incestuous and interracial.
This was over a generation before José Vasconcelos published his mestiaje manifesto La Raza Cosmica.
Of One Blood is a novel from the past that can still shake things up in the 21st century.
For more information, check out the Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins Society.
Friday, October 30, 2015
Just in time for Dead Daze, so get your ofrendas done, amiga/os:
And, of course, there's José Guadalupe Posada:
Meanwhile, catch an old favorite for the 'Daze:
And watch out, this one may case some tears:
Monday, October 26, 2015
Look out, amigo/as! You will get another chance to look at my artwork, up close and personal. Anthony Romero and Josh Rios will be using some of my drawings for an upcoming installation at Harold Washington College.
We're just working things out now, so keep checking. I'll post all the details as soon as I have them.
Meanwhile, remember the words of Marshall McLuhan: “Culture is our business.”
Friday, October 16, 2015
The future is now, so get into your spacesuits:
Even if you're a calaca:
Sci-fi is getting Mexicanized:
And old spacesuits don't die, they just float away:
Monday, October 5, 2015
Hang onto your nalgas, carnalito/as, my “Chicanonautica Manifesto” is in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Volume 40, Number 2, Fall 2015!
It's part of special section called “Dossier: Latino Speculative Literature, Film and Popular Culture.” They even used some of my drawings to illustrate the introduction.
Along with my manifesto is an essay: “From Code to Codex: Tricksterizing the Digital Divide in Ernest Hogan's Smoking Mirror Blues” by Daoine S. Bachman.
Also discussed are Chicanafuturism, Latino@futurism, Jamie Hernandez's comics, Afro-Latina and Mexican immigrant heroines, Chicana/o cyberpunk, Gloria Andzaldúa's sci-fi roots, speculative rasquashismo, and Chicano@futurist visual art!
Order yours now!
Friday, October 2, 2015
Chicanonautica continues the Zen and the Art of Interstate Highways over at La Bloga. Here's some videos I shot on my trusty iTouch . . .
We're talking about the Wild West, amigos:
We mostly stayed in Truchas:
And visited Española, “the most dangerous city in New Mexico:”
And got wet in Valles Caldera:
This is where the buffalo roam. Or bison, if ya wanna get technical:
Thursday, September 24, 2015
I'm on newsprint again, and being of my generation, it feels good. (You kids that need to can Google “newsprint.”)
Copies of News from Sector 2337, No. 2, Summer & Fall 2015 have made their way to me. It features a piece by me, “A Calaca in a Spacesuit: Confessions of a Sci-Fi Artist” – that will appear as a Chicanonautica entry at La Bloga in the near future – illustrated by damnear life-size reproduction of my drawing “Inner Space Man.”
There's also an interesting article, "Chican@futurism, Ernest Hogan's High Aztech, and Tenochtology” by Josh Rios and Anthony Romero, that says a lot of nice things about me and my most infamous novel:
Chicano sci-fi novelist and short story writer, Ernest Hogan, is a future schemer par excellence who maniacally produces at the intersections of speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, amateur anthropology, and technoculture.
Hogan, not unlike his protagonist in High Aztech, is a vehement cartoonist, doodler, note-taker, and writer – or better put, an amalgamation of all these.
As for tenochtology, it's:
. . . a word and concept created in the tradition of High Aztech's Esperanto language – a mixture of slang, Spanish, and Nahuatl – is meant to give credence to a varitey of Chicano/a activities and resulting objects.
. . .All Chicano/a practices, objects, and forms of knowledge count as tenochtologies: the application of Chola style make-up and its attendant devices, Zoot suit draping, monumental murals, masa and salsa, conjunto and norteño, cowboy boots, Ballet Folklórico, and pack trains. What kinds of futures do these objects offer up?
It does kinda sound like what I do. Maybe I should put tenochtologist on my résumé.