Jason Atomic at the Satanic Temple

"Satanic Mojo" is a comic book, a multi-platform art project that draws parallels between the rise of adolescence after the Second World War and the traditional portrayal of Satan. Jason Atomic is the evil spirit behind Satanic Mojo. The Voice of Satan will ask him some questions, such as the Inquisition, in order to penetrate his disturbed mind. (French version in "La Voix de Satan" N°0)

LVDS: Jason Atomic, where did the idea of creating such deranged and depraved art come from? Is your objective really to point out problems in society, or you were just inspired by the Devil?

JA: The thing that specifically inspired me to begin this project came around 2008. I had the sudden idea to look for an anagram of my name.

The result was 'Satanic Mojo' and my creative practice was immediately affected by that discovery. However, I have always been very much inspired by "The Devil & All His Work". As a kid my favourite game was exploring abandoned houses. One day some hippies had squatted one of these dilapidated playgrounds and I stole their copy of the Dennis Wheatley's book of that title, a paranoiac history of the occult penned in a very biased manner by the horror author. My mum wouldn't have it in the house and made me throw it in the bin, but I was already fascinated by what I had seen.

I think that is probably why I ended up writing about occultist hippies in my Comix. Also around that time at school, my music textbook had a reproduction of the classic witchcraft print "Sabbat on the Brocken"! I was entranced by this image of witches dancing with priapic demons while the devil shits in a giant pot. That has led to several cover versions including the last page of "Disneyland After Dark" and the art-jam poster "Sabbath Ov Thee Broken" in Satanic Mojo Comix 3.

LVDS: I see other accomplices mentioned in the credits, and the stamp "Satanic Cartoonists". Who are those people? Are you connected physically or is it some kind of long distance conspiracy/collaboration?

JA: When I first started this project, I was thinking the comic would be a one-off. I wanted it to look like the old undergrounds from Zap, Last Gasp etc, and was thinking to illustrate it all myself under assumed names. However, I was curating exhibitions in the gallery of London's Orbital Comics & started to meet a lot of cartoonists I admired. As we talked I realised many of them shared similar influences but were frustrated by the censorship and restrictions mainstream comics. They thought it would be fun to let loose on Satanic Mojo and volunteered to join me.

Now I'm putting together issue 7 and I have more contributions than I can accommodate in my page count. It appears there is a real need for Satanic Underground comix amongst fans and creators alike. Anyone wishing to contribute strips is welcome to pitch ideas to me.

"Satanist Cartoonists" is our gang name. Getting a strip published in Satanic Mojo Comix is our initiation & every published artist is awarded an embroidered patch and the right to "fly gang colours".

LVDS: In the middle of a satanic orgy, would you prefer to suck Robert Crumb's or Gilbert Shelton's cock?

JA: I'm a big fan of both but probably owe it more to Crumb; reading his comix at a formative age did more to inform my desire for and appreciation of oral sex than anything else. His illustration of the cartoonist at his drawing board getting blown from under the table in "Snatch Comics" definitely influenced my wanting to become an underground cartoonist.

LVDS: What is your vision of Satan and Satanism? Do you consider yourself part of some of the major currents, Theistic, LaVeyan, Crowleyan, Setian, Luciferian, etc... satanists? Do you practice any rituals or other esoteric-inspired activities ?

JA: I'm not theistic but not entirely atheistic. I do believe in magick and have an affinity for elementals, I have an instinctive familiarity with the concept of reincarnation and don't fear death. LaVeyan Satanism answered a lot of questions for me and inspired me to call myself a Satanist.

I am currently experimenting with herbal infusions that aid lucid & psychic dreaming. I occasionally practice sigil magic and certain procedures of my own invention, for example to influence weather.

I have taken part in rituals based on the classic black mass but see that as theatre more than anything. I don't believe anthropomorphic god entities are watching us or would even care about us if they did exist.

LVDS: Recently you visited The Satanic Temple in Salem. What was the purpose of that visit and can you describe the experience?

JA: In the summer of 2018 I visited the USA with my muse Manko. We wanted to see the notorious TST Baphomet statue and also to hook up with some for the Satanist Cartoonists we hadn't met yet. The TST HQ also operates as an art gallery in Salem. I sent them some comix, which they framed and put up on the wall, and asked if they would be interested to do something together with Satanist Cartoonists. We had a satanic sleepover with Dennis Franklin, Gunsho and Andrew Labanaris, hung out with the enigmatic TST founder Lucien Greaves, did an art jam, a performance of my Satanic Mojo manifesto, and had a private life drawing session with Manko posing nude on the Baphomet statue.

LVDS: The Satanic Temple are often criticized by The Church of Satan for their provocative political public actions. Do you have an opinion on the matter? What is better for a satanic organization, to stay hidden in the shadow of it's own misanthropic individualistic past or go viral?

JA: I don't want to criticise them too much because I do respect what they stand for, but there are a lot of cantankerous old Satanists in the CoS who seem to be jealous that the young whippersnappers in TST are getting more press and attention than them.

For a club of people who don't join clubs there is a lot of tribalism and partisan sneering.

It reminds me of the "I was a punk before you were a punk" shit I used to get in the 80ies because I was like 5 years younger than the other punks in my town.

Being older than someone or into Satanism before them doesn't make you more worthy to hold the keys to the infernal kingdom.

There are some ideological differences but they share a lot of common roots and core beliefs. The TST members I have met have been nothing but respectful of LaVey and his work. Being a Satanist means following your true will, and if that leads you to fighting for social justice in a society rapidly descending into populism, racism, intolerance and division, then hail to you and do what thou wilt.

LVDS: Do you think satanists around the world shall unite for a Greater Satanic World?

JA: That's what I'm trying to do with my Comix, events and Satanic Flea Markets.

As Satanists we should treat each other with mutual self respect.

I think the future survival of the human race depends on us breaking down borders and coming together. We should be rejecting tribalism and realising that we are all one. By separating into different nations we have become like a cancer on this planet, caring only about our own little plot without looking at the bigger picture.

LVDS: The Satanic Mojo world is totally inspired by the psychedelic culture of the 60s, is this some kind of nostalgia for the good old times, and what can we expect from "Phase 2"?

JA: Phase One of the comic takes direct inspiration from the late sixties counterculture. What I have been trying to do is follow my own life-line and explore what has been considered 'satanic' during that period.

I was born in 1967 so I started there.

In volume one (issues 1-6) we wore our hearts on our sleeve and made a very accurate approximation of underground comix from that period in the style of artwork, themes, influences, trade-dress and so on. It was so much fun to conjure up that period. The more research I did into the San Francisco counterculture the more fleshed out my characters became. My flamboyant hippy occultist Lester Starbeard for example was originally designed as a background character, a nod to beardy drag act the Cockettes, but he came alive in my mind and pretty soon I couldn't sleep nights because his life story kept playing through my mind. Between producing issues 2 and 3 I visited San Francisco, and spotted a house that looked exactly like the one I imagined him living in - along Haight Street, next to Buena Vista park. That meant that when I did the flashback story about him singing in the choir I knew that St Agnes was the nearest church in walking distance. Then I found several locally produced books about homosexuality and witchcraft, and discovered that a gay "anarcho faerie" visionary witchcraft movement actually existed (this informed Lester's speech in issue 5). The more research I did the more it transpired that my gut instincts about these characters was true. The history of the occult scene in the American West Coast has been a massive influence, with parallels being drawn to Jack Parsons, L Ron Hubbard, the Church of Satan, the Manson Family, the Process Church, the birth of Scientology and more... In issue 7 I'll focus on the death of the Sixties with "The Great Black Acid Freakout of '69" but also I plan to look back at some point to see what Lester's grandmother 'Ma Bunnie' was up to during WW2; a flashback to Lester's exploits in The Nam and maybe a further look at my "Weird Tales" pulp fiction analogue "Queer Tales of the Unusual". Moving on, we will have more experimental layouts, increased interaction between artists, references to other genres, and will be advancing our timeline to look at the occult revival and witchsploitation of the Seventies and the Satanic Panic of the Eighties & Nineties. That should be fun as everything from Dungeons & Dragons, Heavy Metal and "video nasties", from He-Man cartoons to My Little Pony (!) have been accused of being Satanic. We are also hoping to speed up the frequency of the comix and to have more spin-off publications and products.

LVDS: Do you think that today's teenagers are doomed to leave the physical realm and upload their consciousness into the matrix of social media or there is hope for an old-school revival? Is a cyber society worse than a physical society?

JA: The cyber society has given us the sum total of human history at our fingertips, it has allowed like minds to join together across the world. It's small wonder that "They" want to limit our newfound freedoms and are trolling us with a constant parade of false flag terrorism, the theatre of terror, disaster capitalism, post-truth politics, political correctness and so on. But I hope that these things are the death rattle of the old system and that we are moving towards something better. And remember, when an incoherent babbling orange clown can be president of the USA, literally anything is possible - so it's a good time for any of us to attempt to impose our own will on so-called reality.

One thing that fascinates me about our current technologically-reliant society is that with the flick of a switch we could be literally be flung back to the Stone Age. Actually it's worse than that, I can't imagine half the fools alive today would even know not to shit in their own water supply.

Brainwashed, consumerist drones seem more submissive and compliant than ever, locked into a slavery they don't even recognise, using the bullshit money they earn at their pointless jobs to buy soulless decorations for their prison cells. However on the ground level I am witnessing an increased interest in making things, in forming clubs and groups. The amount of people who want to sell their own handicrafts, self published zines etc at our markets is overwhelming, we usually get up to 200 applications for 50 spaces, and most of them are perfectly good. Our battle jacket sewing club & life drawing sessions are likewise increasingly popular.

Mainstream culture keeps gets more generic, more homogenised, more boring. Factory quality production means nothing when we have computer aided design, 3-d printers and 'minimum order one'. We used to aspire to professional quality, now that is just boring and people are looking for something more 'real'.

LVDS: What would you say if you had 10 seconds of broadcast time on a major media, if anything?

JA: Don't believe the hype! Don't feed the trolls! Question everything! Think for yourselves! You are a star! Hail Satan!

LVDS: You probably listen to some kind of perverse heavy metal music while drawing, maybe some hippie shit with tons of fuzz and delay… Give us the names worth mentioning!

JA: I made a Satanic Mojo playlist on Spotify that sums up my current taste pretty well. The only thing missing that I regularly listen to is Satanic Warmaster who don't really have much of a presence online, to be honest I appreciate that it's fun to have to search something out for a change these days.

Electric Wizard are another big favourite (we are proud to count their cover/poster artist Labanaris amongst the Satanist Cartoonists) but a lot of my favourite music is still the stuff I listened to as a teenager, early Hawkwind & Alice Cooper band stuff, the first 2 Iron Maiden albums of course Black Sabbath & Motörhead.

On the more hippy end of things I'm a big fan Purson aka Rosalie Cunningham she's a multi-instrumentalist inspired by lucid dreaming who has really nailed that psychedelic sound.

I also love classical music Beethoven, Mozart, Bach & Stravinsky in particular.

LVDS: Any last words?

JA: Yes, thanks for talking to me. And anyone bored of useless consumerist rubbish should make their own stuff and of course buy Satanic Mojo Comix!







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