Super excited this afternoon to discover Fantagraphics Books will release William S. Burroughs’ lost masterpiece Ah Pook Is Here, a graphic novel created in collaboration with artist Malcolm McNeill in the 1970’s. The work first appeared as a regular comic strip under the title The Unspeakable Mr Hart in English magazine, Cyclops. Sadly Cyclops folded, but Burroughs and McNeill decided to turn the work into a full length graphic novel. Now almost four decades on, we will get the chance to see the end result of the collaboration.
Here’s how Fantagraphics Books are describing Ah Pook Is Here:
Ah Pook Is Here is a consideration of time with respect to the differing perceptions of the ancient Maya and that of the current Western mindset. It was Burroughs’ contention that both of these views result in systems of control in which the elite perpetuate its agendas at the expense of the people. They make time for themselves and through increasing measures of Control attempt to prolong the process indefinitely.
John Stanley Hart is the “Ugly American” or “Instrument of Control” – a billionaire newspaper tycoon obsessed with discovering the means for achieving immortality. Based on the formulae contained in rediscovered Mayan books he attempts to create a Media Control Machine using the images of Fear and Death. By increasing Control, however, he devalues time and invokes an implacable enemy: Ah Pook, the Mayan Death God. Young mutant heroes using the same Mayan formulae travel through time bringing biologic plagues from the remote past to destroy Hart and his Judeo/Christian temporal reality.
Sounds like a must have for the book shelves!
Check out more about the release of Ah Pook is Here on the Fantagraphics Books website.