Brothers and sisters! It is my great joy and privilege to share with you the news of the birth, this past Sunday, January 6th, 2013 AD, of our son:
HERCULES JAN NARKIEWICZ!
Also, I share with you that beautiful photo at the top of the page!
He was born here at home in Don Studios at 3:30 in the pm, following a day of rightfully named LABOUR carried out by ninja warrior goddess Charlotte Whewell Narkiewicz, AKA My Wife, who was awoken at about 6:30 am by some relatively pleasant “flutters” that morphed into full on 3 minute interval CONTRACTIONS within two hours, upon which time I was awoken from my slumber, and launched immediately into ACTION, carrying out my Donly Duties of BIRTH PARTNER to the maximum of my abilities.
I think the first thing I had to do was get rid of an unfinished bowl of cereal that was upsetting the contract-ee, then ring the delivery suite. An hour or so later two incredible and super-heroic human creatures calling themselves ”Midwives” rocked up at Don Studios and proceeded to help us deliver our child in the most relaxing and natural manner possible in this metropolis short of erecting a mountain with a garden of eden atop and getting THE SKYGOD HIMSELF to oversee proceedings and give everybody figs to protect their innocence and shit.
Yes, there was nudity and there was blood and there were tears, and there was poop and there was pee (via one of those superheroic Midwives’ clever tubing systems), and there was an orgy of gas and air (of which I, far too busy in my Supportive Donly Duties partook of precisely NONE, news I know will shock some of my readers)… Indeed, gas and air was imbibed as if there weren’t a drought (which I hear there is) and it wasn’t running out (which I am told it is). HOOF! NGGGHHHH! HOOF! NGGGHHHHH!
“Herculeeeese! I LOVE YOU! But this is a LOT of pain!”
Since we were labouring at home, in the manner of the free and the righteous and the non-medically endangered, we were free to play whatever music we Charlotte liked (Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas at least 5 times, A-Ha’s Foot Of A Mountain three, many hours of Super Furry Animals) , and Charlotte was free to stagger from room to room going PUUUUUUUUUUSH with all she had, sometimes enjoying the luxury of our very own toilet to PUUUUUUUSH on, with her husband and two Superheoric Midwives helping her out and egging her on, like loving and professional cheerleaders with medical skills and diamond hard limbs that in no way hurt like buggery when crunched in the fist of the Labouree as she PUUUUUUUUUUSHed and PUUUUUUOOOGHHHHShhhhhhSSHHHHHed with all she had and then some.
Beautifully enough the Crowning Moment, when our baby’s head first touched the sweet air, occurred as Charlotte and I were entwined in a human pyramid embrace that bore down on the roof of the shop below with the force of a thousand suns. Charlotte fell backwards onto our brand new red sofa that I bought in a sale for a bargainous £200 last month and dragged up the metal stairs that lead to our front door on my own in the manner of a Warrior and True Impending Father, as the Superheroic Midwives began to ready their various Scientific Equipments, and with one, two, three more moon crushing PUUUUUUSHHHHHHHHHHHEs…
HERCULES, fists in front of his face like a boxer, burst forth from his nine month luxury incubation chamber and displaced 8 pounds and zero point two ounces of air in one fell swoop!
“Would you like to cut the cord?” asked one of the Superheroic Midwives. Did I ever!
The crab claw scissors hovered tentatively around the unexpectedly thick and blue tube.
And then a sweet little sound, something like RTD2 dreaming about chasing asteroids, or a tiny Zoidberg falling down a mirrored crystal staircase into a pile of stars, fell into our world.
(YES, I WAS RIGHT! HE’S A BOY! JUST LIKE I SAID FROM THE MOMENT I KNEW WE WERE EXPECTANT! AND NO WE DIDN’T FIND OUT AT THE SCAN! I JUST KNEW! AND I WAS RIGHT ABOUT HIM BEING EARLY TOO! EVEN IF IT WAS ONLY TWO DAYS AND NOT A WEEK! WOOOO! IN YOUR FACE DISBELIEVERS OF THE TELIKENETIC POWERS OF I, AKIRA THE DON! I WAS RIGHT ABOUT BILL MURRAY BEING GHOSTBUSTERS TOO! AND I’M GOING TO USE THE MONEY I WON ON THAT BET BUYING HERCULES A THRONE! BECAUSE HE IS A KING! ALL HAIL! YES, YOU AT THE BACK TOO! HAIL HERCULES! AMEN!)
Yes, brothers and sisters, it was a magical, beautiful, spiritual, cosmic, and full on 3D animal as fuck experience of a lifetime. The pride and awe I felt for my girl briefly snatched my breath, if not my duty-steeled composure… and the love I felt for my son was as obvious and as real as the sun.
I would like to thank the Hackney Homebirth Team for their selfless, entirely superheroic service to my family and to humanity. I would like to thank my wife, for her courage, and her strength and her excellent genes that have fused with my own to create an entirely perfect human creature. I’d like to thank you, for the warm wishes and the love you’ve sent our way, that I have no doubt contributed to what was pretty much the acest birth we could have wished for.
And now, finally, it is again my great honour and privilege to share with you some photographs taken during the first three days of the human, air-breathing life of the most beautiful boy in the whole multiverse.
I woke up a few hours later still drunk, immobile beneath the weight of a Galactean and only just emerging hangover. Vegas sunshine poured over me quite torrentially, like twin Niagras from two of the room’s four walls. I felt pinned to the bed by unseeable forces, like in that dream I once had at my mother’s house that I’m not entirely sure was actually a dream, where I awoke next to my brother completely paralysed, as long, rubberflesh fingers clawed at my face and prised open my mouth and I screamed, silently.
My eyeballs stinging in the hotel air, eyelids fleeing jaw and scalp-ward, dragged down by a foul and magical combination of gravity and dehydration, I mused that perhaps I needn’t have flung myself so hard into the arena of Party last night. A slideshow of barely connected flashback spat past my vision, like those He-Man binoculars you used to get in The Past (my Twitterpeople tell me they were called VIEW MASTERS). Eventually I fell out of bed and dragged myself into the shower room, like that girl coming out the telly in Ring, and lay beneath the beatific godlike mercy of The Water until the VIEW MASTER inside my head stopped flicking through slides, and I could utter some words to myself.
“Fuck,” I said.
I felt panicky. I knew that I was doing a panel with Grant Morrison on the subject of, well, many heady subjects of great interest to me and presumably those who’d paid $1000 each to attend MorrsionCon at the end of the day. I wondered how I’d get there.
I forced myself into some fly clothing and staggered off down the hallway, fell into a lift, and was washed out ashore in the Kubrikian Kirby kaleidoscope casino carpet corridors of The Hard Rock Hotel. I wandered, as if in a dream through a parade of bikini clad, bossomy young females, slot machine grannies and inky-fleshed football players, signed autographs for a cluster of comics kids hanging outside the tattoo parlour, air-fived the excellent Day One movie panel host and 2011 Penthouse Pet of the Year Runner Up and Saints Row The Third star Ryan Keely and nearly tripped over Tiggeresque Chronicle scribe Max Landis, who was lost and looking for The Morrisons. I failed to be of any use to him and aimed myself at the Mexican restaurant, where I heaved myself up onto a stool and attempted to force down a bucket of water and eat tacos for an hour, until my hangover arrived properly and violently in the manner of a Cylon Baseship Plus Fleet, and there was nothing else to do but launch myself back down the swirling corridors, back up the lift, down the hall and into bed. The whole thing was like slow motion giant sized pinball machine, with I the Pinball. I Skyped my pregant wife from my bed and summoned all my remaining energies.
An hour or so later myself and my remaining energies were at one of the many little bars that peppered the MorrsionCon convention area, trying to work out what had happened last night with the help of a revolving cast of helpful humans including J.H. Williams III and Kristan Morrison and Gerard Way and Jason Aaron and James Sime, all of whom seemed in much better shape than I. Mr Sime was particularly amused and considered the whole thing BALANCE and payback for when he took me out on the razz in San Francisco earlier this year and we crashed in his comic shop and he woke up with “the worst hangover in a decade.”
I wasn’t functioning as well as I’d like. I’d been forlornly gripping the same banana for about an hour, unable to deal with its overripe, sloppy end, until Grant Morrison’s agent advised I break the end off and eat the rest. That, I mused, is why they you the big bucks. A very tall young man who I’d been chatting with the previous day approached me with a screwdriver. “Please have this,” he said, with a concerned expression. “No thank you very much, I am on water,” I said, firmly. “Oh,” he said, forlornly, “Well I don’t know what to do with it now.”
“OK,” I said, and took the screwdriver. He looked relieved, and scurried off to watch whatever panel was occurring. I drunk my screwdriver and felt much better, thank you. “Science,” I thought. Soon I was being scooshed into a room at the side of the convention area, where serious men with vast video cameras were recording interviews with people for a forthcoming documentary about the proceedings. Naturally when asked how I’d gotten into Grant Morrison I completely forgot that it was in fact his early run on Spawn that had first grabbed my attention, instead remembering Arkham Asylum, which I stole from WH Smiths not long after, and I spoke about The Invisibles a lot and completely forgot that it was Doom Patrol that had most affected me. I did mention that I’d been reading bootlegged torrent CBR files of The Invisibles on my Nexus 7 tablet on the plane, and had burst into tears, awash with a mighty and all encompassing hiraeth when I got to page 7 of A Solder’s Tale, as if a button had been pushed. Just like every time I’ve read it, in different years, on different continents – on trains, planes, in bars… on different surfaces – paper, laptop screen, tablet… Science, I explained, science and magic and art and science and magic, all the same thing.
I’m not sure that I completely explained the magical gravitas of the situation either. I mean, there’s been a great big GRANT MORRSION /FRANK QUITELY Batman & Robin poster hung above my desk for years now. Now here I was in Vegas going on magic carpet rides with them. Science. Art. Magic.
I ran into Jenn Ocide outside the interview room, who is a lovely person and very appreciative of the music I supplied for her glass munching staplegun performance last night, and we went and watched the JH williams III talk - J.H. WILLIAMS III’S SUBLIMINAL WORLD - which was enlightening and inspirational. Dude’s work looked glorious up on the projector, with him humbly and excitably explaining the fascinating process behind its alchemical creation. I thought I felt like poor people in the middle ages must have felt like when they went to church and looked up at those stained glass windows. Sipping on another screwdriver, giddy with art and hangover and the potential significance of it all, I proceded to trip the fuck out.
The earthy, gritty realism of Frank Quietly’s BUMHEIDS sketches (funny cos it’s true), revealed during he and Grant’s FRANK QUITELY’S UNSEEN WORLD OF WONDERS talk, bought me back into the moment. I was sat on the floor near the front of the stage and I wasn’t sure how I’d got there, so I scurried off to get another magical screwdriver an sat down at the back behind Lady Quitely, who radiates Dope Happy Human vibes which are super useful when one has an entirely unprepared closing panel to sit on in half an hour.
Grant and I had fully neglected to discuss what was about to occur. Indeed, all I knew was what it said on the programme:
5:00 pm: THE INVISIBLES AND THE PRE-APOCALYPSE
As the Mayan’s Long Calendar comes to an end on December 22, 2012, will the acceleration of invention, technology, and environmental disruptions bring about a long foretold ancient apocalypse and is humanity ready for the transformations that awaits us? Exploring The I-Ching, McKenna’s Timewave Zero Theory, Native American mythology, The Sekhmet Hypothesis and 2012 predictive technologies like Clif High and George Ure’s Web Bot Project, Grant breaks it all down and explores, demystifies and examines what it all means. Has his vision for this next stage of existence changed since he penned THE INVISIBLES? What advice can he offer for fellow prognostinauts in apocalyptic times?
Featuring: Grant Morrison, Akira The Don
Suddenly the BUMHEIDS were gone, and I heard my name and the resulting applause (science), and I was hurtling stageward in the manner of a bowling ball, smashing into Grant and Frank like pins, kissing the latter on the head high fiving the former (art). And then the hangover evaporated (magic), along with any worry I’d had about what we were going to discuss and whether I was well informed enough on the topics, leaving me, Akira The Don, appreciator of the work of pop magician and universe creator Grant Morrison, and Grant Morrison, appreciator of the work of pop musician and reality creator Akira The Don, talking about shit we’re interesting in with a room full of like minded humans.
Grant started the thing off by talking about my ZION 2012 mixtape, which he says he’s had on loop since it came out. That’s the sort of thing that will put you at ease, sitting around with one of your biggest inspirations talking about one of your own records. From there we proceeded to discuss most of what was outlined on the programme and a whole lot more. It was easy and fun. Relatively early on in the proceedings we opened the floor to questions from the audience, a big long timeworm of a que formed behind the audience mike, and like Jack Kirby used to say, the questions were terrific. It was easy and fun and enlightening and heartening and everything I’d hoped and more.
I look forward to seeing the video of it. Comic Book Resources have posted a pretty thorough recap of the talk over here. A week later, it’s all pretty hazy by this point. I clearly remember one nervous young human, worried that his life wasn’t something worth writing about, that to do so would just be foisting yet more unnecessary crap on humanity. A crime. I said that to not give us his take on existence would be the crime. We need that. That’s all we have. That’s why we all came here. Shout our Harvey Pekar.
“How can we bring about the new age?” pleased another human. “How can we change conciousness?”
“We’re doing it right now!” cried someone in the crowd, to cheers of agreement. It was true. We were.
Eventually, the audeincemiketimeworm grew shorter. Every question was answered. And it was over. We were joined onstage by Grant’s wife Kristan and those heroic organisers, the creators of this very beautiful moment in time, James Sime, Kirsten Baldrock and Ron Richards. The room on their feet, roaring and smashing their palms together. We took a bow.
“Don’t forget!” cried Grant, “All time is simultaneous, so this moment lasts forever!”
“Bill and Ted were right,” I said. “Be excellent to each other.”
Afterwards I signed a great many books and spoke with a great many beautiful humans, and Grant sat down in the corner of the convention hall and signed every single thing that came his way until the place was empty.
Pressure off, responsibility fulfilled, that night we celebrated. It was a joyous time. I saw a man bite the cap off a beer bottle, chew it up, swallow it down, they bring it back up again, as if it was the easiest, most normal thing in the world. Charlotte had suggested I take a small pile of CDs, and I gave them to the first people that asked for them, a random sweet bearded human, a beautifully tattooed amazonian painter, The Quitelys, Gerard Way and the barman who’d poured me my first Vegas 2012 drink way back in the long long ago of Thursday night.
Grant gave me a hashcake. I haven’t had a hashcake since I was wee. We were eating $50 steaks and talking about Jilted John and making records and I felt like a great light was pushing out from the inside of me, throbbing outward from a fiery liquid core. Eventually I couldn’t talk properly anymore, so I bid everyone a very fond farewell, and floated off down those Kubrikian Kirby kaleidoscope carpet casino corridors, up the great glass elevator, along the Michael Jackson hallway to my suite, where I lay on that big-ass bed repeating over and over, “lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, happy, happy, happy, happy,” until I fell asleep.
I didn’t sleep a wink on the journey home, which lasted a full human day. I pondered the flood of hiraeth that Invisibles comic had triggered on the way out, that sudden awareness of everything I’d ever felt, that flood of empathy, of a vast cosmic love for my Wife and my Unborn Child and Mum and my Dad and my Brothers and my Family and my Friends. Every song I ever heard, every book I ever read, every person I ever met, and every person I never.
Magic is real. Dreams come true. Life’s what you make it. Every precious moment exists for always, and it always did.
Well look what I just found on an old harddrive while I was looking for this footage of Narstie and Littles fighting over carton of juice I wanted to upload cos it’s flipping hilarious! It’s the unreleased, not quite finished 2009 Video Highwayvideo! OMFG!
In 2009 Video Highway was gonna come out as The Life Equation‘s first single, then it got nixed at the last minute cos we couldn’t clear the sample. This video was shot entirely on a Kodak Zi60 (basically an early Flip cam) by me, Joey2tits and Michael Kinsella perks, and edited by me in Sony Vegas. It co-stars Mary Turner, whose voice you can hear on the song (and on lots of my other songs). It never got finished (the synch’s off a lot), but I thought you might like to see it.
You can watch the official 2012 Video Highway video here (or at the bottom of this page), and you can cop the final version with the replaced sample on The Life Equation on iTunes and in the Don shop.
Now let’s see what other nuggets we can find on this ole drive…