Ford is intrigued by Read and wants to find out more about his thoughts on magic, the publishing game and making the distinction between writing novels and writing comics – here’s a sneak preview:
FORD: What did you have in mind when you were developing the rules for magic that the characters in Black City live by? Were they developed in response to any other magical rules you’d previously encountered as a writer or reader?
READ: It’s all real. It’s all based on real magical practices around the world.
The Omegamantis, an entirely fictional God invented by the main character, owes his genesis to the deeply strange Voudon Gnostic Workbook by Michael Bertiaux. Lark’s freeform style owes itself to Phil Hine’s seminal work from the ’70s.
From there, it’s just a lifelong layman’s fascination with this stuff, reading about Enochian Seniors, Neoplatonism, Jack Kirby comic books, Man, Myth & Magic in the Library at lunch and In Search Of. Austin Spare. Ken Grant. All the usual crew. Journal for the Academic Study of Magic.
Black City is Christian Read’s debut novel, an occult noir tale set in a city seething with magic, home to a modern melting-pot of mixed magical traditions that coexist alongside and underneath the ordinary everyday lives of “citizens”.