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Sex, Stars and Serpents

Immateria's Lonely Hearts Club
30 August 2000...October 2000
(24 pgs.)


This is probably one of the few covers where the content of the issue has almost absolutely nothing to do with the cover. One double page spread inside was inspired by a Jimi Hendrix album cover but so far as I can tell the Sgt. Pepper cover doesn't have anything to do with the story in this issue.
The inspiration for the cover is obviously the Rutles Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band .
which was itself partly inspired by Frank Zappa's We're Only in it for the Money album which was a take off of Sgt. Pepper's Only Hearts Club Band by a rather obscure group called The Beatles.
The original cover was designed by Peter Blake. So far as I can tell the only people who appear on both the album cover and the comic book cover are William S. Burroughs, Aleister Crowley, Albert Einstein and Oscar Wilde. All highlighted in green.

Coming straight from the horses mouth (ie. the artist JH Williams III) I can verify that the figures in the background are:
In the foreground on the left are Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz series and on the right is the little man in the red suit from Twin Peaks.

Thanks to Mick Gray for providing this original artwork on his website

Issue #10 cover without the coloring.

As you can see some of the background figures are much more easy to make out. All in all I can count 30 heads apart from the Prometheas, Jack Faust and the foreground figures. I can spot or think I can spot the following:

Other than to say that it's a nice alliteration there's not much I can think of to say about this title. It deals more with sex than stars and serpents although there are a few serpents visible especially on pages 16-19.
Irv Pinsky points out that it could be a reference to the movie Sex, Lies and Videotape

Basically just a prolonged sex scene between Promethea and Jack Faust in which he also teaches her a lot about magick.

"I thought you were supposed to be changing into somebody more comfortable" - Jack Faust, pg. 1
“It’s only symbolism puts magic and meaning into anything” – Jack Faust, pg.4
“The Holy Grail is female” – Jack Faust
"I'm an ugly old bald guy but my body still has magical significance" - Jack Faust, pg. ??
"When the magic kicks in Everything gets sort of looped" - Jack Faust, pg ??
"Everything's shifting" - Promethea
"No, only awareness is shifting" - Jack Faust, pg. ??
"Magicians irrespective of their gender...are male" - Jack Faust, pg. ??
"I guess you're not bad for a creepy old perverted guy" - Sophie, pg. ??
"For a know nothing devil dodging mall rat you're almost bearable" - Jack Faust, pg. ??
"This ain't college. You don't graduate just bacause you screwed the tutor" - Jack Faust, pg. ??
“Wasn’t Crowley sort of evil?” – Sophie
“Nah. I don’t think so. I think at worst he was selfish and maybe silly sometimes. But he knew a lot about magic” – Jack Faust, pg. ??
Promiscua “You are just such a degenerate. They oughta study you and your mom. They could isolate the slut gene” – Stacia, pg 24

NOTE: This issue won the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue in 2001. Here are all the other winners for that year
Note the background of brown leaves behind the panel which is repeated several times throughout this issue

Page 1 Panel 1: Jack Faust lives like a slob. he is obviously fond of takeaway pizza and potato chips. The print seen on the wall which is more visible on the next page is a toned down version of this print by Austin Osman Spare


Panel 2: Books seen behind Sophie are:
Konx Om Pax published originally in 1907 by Aleister Crolwey in a limited edition. The entire text can be read online now.
Similarly with the Book of Lies.
Earth Inferno is the name of an Austin Osman Spare book published in 1976.

Earth Inferno is also the title of a music album by Fields of the Nephilim.
It is also the title of an issue of The Authority comic published by Wildstorm.
Panel 3:
There isn't a book called just The Rites of Occult Magic but there is one called The Rites of Modern Occult Magic by Francis King.
Beyond the Mauve Zone is by Kenneth Grant. It is now out of print.

Click on pages for larger image

Pages 2-3:
Poster above the bed is seen more clearly now. It is a toned down version of the Austin Osman Spare print shown above.
Page 3 Panel 2:
"I believe Einstein said that" – if he did he stole it from the last two lines of John Keats Ode to a Grecian Urn
Panel 3:
Inanna – Sumerian Queen of heaven.
Pages 4-5: Just like the previous 2 pages this 2 page spread has a symmetrical layout. Otherwise there's no need to have two separate panels as Promethea throws of her sandals on pg 5 bottom panels.
Page 4 Panel 1: Note the serpent bracelet Inanna is wearing.
Panel 2: Ereshkigal
Ereshkigal has a real serpent amidst the skeletons.
Page 5 Panel 1: The serpent is certainly a large one.
Bottom panels: Note that when Promethea throws off her sandal we also Sophie's shoes being thrown off.
Pages 6-7: Lightning bolts from the caduceus seperate the panels on these pages. The Promethea separating the panels certainly looks happy.
Page 6 Panel 2: Promethea's robe is also Sophie's jacket.
Panels 3-4: Her breastplate is Sophie's bra and T-shirt.
Page 7 Panel 2: Nuit Star godess.
Diana many breasted deity of the Ephesans.
Panel 4: Promethea's girdle is Sophie's Jeans and underwear.
Pages 8-9: splitting up the two pages we have birds that look like doves flying down into a golden cup which has a Rose Cross seen on the back of Thoth Tarot cards on it. It also has a strong resemblance to the Rose Cross Lamen used by the Golden Dawn.
In cinematic terms on Page 8 we see the camera pulling back from Jack Faust to show the whole room and on Page 9 the opposite effect of the camera moving in to Promethea as Jack starts to perform cunnilingus.
Pages 10-11:
Long walking stick sized wands and a central caduceus split up the panels here. On top of the other wands are two flowers, two doves and two jackals/ibis(?).
Paris and Helen.
Eva Peron
Anne Frank
Robert and John F. Kennedy
Oliver Hardy
Pages 12-13 top Panel: Each of the 5 panels seems to be from different periods of time starting with the oldest almost circular and ending up with the present day. The panels show

  1. Primitive cave painting
  2. Cleopatra
  3. Ornate wall decorations
  4. More elaborate decorations including a tapestry of roses
  5. Present day Jack Faust and Promethea in his apartment
More detailed descriptions of some panels
Innermost panel: a relatively famous painting of what is believed to be a shaman. Does anyone know where it is located geographically?
second panel: the egyptian woman is one of a few references JHW3 had on Cleopatra.
Page 12 panel 2:
Wagner’s Parzifal
Page 13 Panel 5: Yes. But explain again
Obviously for Promethea once is not enough.
Pages 14-15 Middle Panel: The sun and the moon, some planets and a nice plant with flowers splitting up the panels.
On page 14 behind Promethea and Jack Faust we see the reality of his squalid room but on Page 15 we see the stars behind them.
Page 15 Panels 2-3: Note the winged tatoo(?) on Promethea's back.
Pages 16-17: Just one giant panel split into 6 parts which is really a snake swallowing its' tail. the main colors are Blue Red and Gold.
Irv Pinsky points out that the snake is the ouroborous.
"Sometimes the snake is shown as Ouroborus, the snake swallowing its own tail, the symbol of eternity. It is of course the symbol of eternity some of us choose to wear when we marry depicted as a never ending circle known of course as the wedding ring. A band of gold, with no beginning and no end."
Pages 18-19: A snake not swallowing its' tail.
Pages 20-21, main panel: is based on the cover for the Jimi Hendrix Album Axis Bold as Love:

Reading from left to right we see a figure taken from Hendrix album cover (see above), Inanna, Sophie, Promethea, a Sophie/Jack Faust hermaphrodite figure,Jack as magician, Jack's glamour, Thoth and also another figure from the Hendrix album cover.
Saajan Patel informs me that this image is in actuality copying a famous way that Hindus have illustrated the moment when Krsna reveals to Arjuna that he is all divinities and say to check out the following link to the Bhagavad Gita .
Pages 22-23: Another set of symmetrical pages.
Page 23 Panel 1:
Magic without Tears
Eliphas Levi
Upright spines
Hindu yoga
Muladhara Chakra
Svadishthana Chakrah
Six petal lotus
Manipura Chakrah
Anahata Chakrah
Visuddha Chakra
Ajna Chakrah
Sahasrana Chakrah


Page frozen (except for some page numbers): 11 December 2003