A Postcard From Hell

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“A Postcard From Hell” by R.T. Cole Printed by Orange Box Books, 2009 102 pp. (of reviewed proof) Hardback Ltd. Ed. of 156 Copies Several years ago, in 2004, a new Pirate set sail on the Thelemic Literary Sea, Black Flag/Naughty Nun. Dangerous waters, those. Along the way of publishing several CD-Roms of relatively inexpensive and invaluable out of print and/or unpublished materials, its man-behind-the-curtain, one R. T. Cole, put out a series of “Comely Crowley Cards” that he and/or his assistants would sprinkle among the out-going orders. Suitable for framing, these sometimes pointedly satirical little postcards caused quite a stir, Mr. Cole stated in correspondence that they were ‘responsible for more e-mails and inquiries than anything else I’ve done.’ This book is the final collection point of those funny little cards, as well as a number of other pieces of Mr. Cole’s output both serious and satirical. The subtitle of this book is “Revised Materials Towards A Cartoon History of the Life, Loves & Legacy of Aleister Crowley.” Now I’ve personally seen many of these; I have at least 20 or so around the house, a couple framed, but most tucked away into the end-papers of my various editions of the Equinox. This book presents all of them, and many more that never saw publication, along with other satirical artwork and advertisements, the author’s two calenders, cover photos of past and projected literary and biographical works, and reproductions of the author’s considerable graphical and multi-media artistic achievements. U.S. and other non-British readers may be puzzled by the text’s veiled reference to Ivor Biggun, or ‘bovvered’ by the occasional and obscure Katherine Tate joke, and perhaps left scratching their heads over Dalek images, but such U.K. cultural curiosities aside, the book is witty, intelligent, and Mr. Cole’s commentaries are illuminating on the sometimes obscure photographic nature of the subjects of his pointed barbs. Sadly, Mr. Cole informs me that the 156 copies of this book sold out almost immediately, so the only complaint that I have is that more of us will not have the opportunity to have a laugh or two at the sacred cows and illustrious personages that many of us Thelemites hold most dear. For as Mr. Cole notes “there is no Vision more crucial in the career of the Adept of Horus than the Universal Joke.”

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