two statements that are not mutually exclusive

I'm a European.

The flat, grey, wet Lowlands, far from being Europe at its most resplendent, i call home. The dull canals reflecting oppressive cloud-builded skies, industrial edgelands eating up the park-like woodland that's left; it is cold; it is wet; it is an insignificant marshland corner of a great continent with blood on its hands. Nevertheless, each part is a gateway to the whole: in dreams, the squares and streets of former 19th century suburbs of my native town open up into the alleys of Rome and London, in which the coffee-houses of old Vienna stand undemolished before a backdrop of Paris untainted by Haussman's brutalities. How many Roman roads, combs, horses and urns form strata under the asphalt beneath my feet? How many strangers in the street are here because they are descended from Royalist refugees from Robespierre's terrorized France? How many Sefardím contributed to this city's wealth before being slaughtered? All this bloody history is mine - is what i live with, and in; and call home.

I'm a Muslim.

Singular blossom of the harsh, parched desert peopled by vast unseen legion of djinn, my religion does not exist in the achievements of the astronomers and doctors of ancient Baghdad; it is not exalted by algebra or alchemy or azimuth, found and named in its lands; it does not partake of any of its conquests, not Toulouse, not Andaluz  - not while the beggar remains unfed, the homeless unsheltered, the overfed unscolded. Not until mercy reigns will there be anything other than desert; harsh, parched desert under the indifferent eye of modernity's scorching sun, until we remember that God is calling us home, not to nations, states, and land, but to Him.

The Prozess Manifestations

17-10-25 tcf_ret b.jpg

Honoured to have been able to contribute some visual elements to the design of Mark Samuels' latest short story collection, "The Prozess Manifestations." Devastating horror fiction. "I think they call it the numinous."

order here:


Well, i've been sitting on this news for a while, awaiting the resolution of certain legal aspects, but with that taken care of i feel at liberty to 'announce' that the Estate of Jean Ray has accorded me the exclusive right to adapt that Belgian master of the grotesque's seminal novella 'Malpertuis' for the comics medium. Hence my re-posting below of the old 'rules of disengagement.' I am, by all appearances so far, three-thirds of the way in, with lots of revision and adjustment, i suspect, still to come. Hope to update here regularly with premature burials and cutting-room floor massacres & vague phone pictures of cluttered desk. There is a comic-book in there somewhere & i hope to unearth it, even if it takes a lot of stripping-away of what looks like essential parts. A comic-strip, indeed.

what's he building in there

new rules, same as the old rules