Forming: dirty Gnostic creation-myth comic of high and lavish weirdness

Forming is Jesse Moynihan's ultra-weird graphic novel about the creation of the universe, filled with cursing, inexplicable violence, grotesque sexual acts, and primitive and strange illustrations. Set in the "Third Age of Total Bullshit," the story tells the tale of powerful aliens who visit Earth in the time of giants, set up camp in Atlantis, and enslave the indigenous giants to mine rare minerals for the galactic empire. These aliens are also involved with Noah, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Lucifer and the Archangel Michael, and a cast of personages more obscure and weird than any book of the apocrypha.

To understand Forming (assuming "understand" is the correct verb here), picture some lost Gnostic text translated by Jay (of Jay and Silent Bob) at his cussin-est, under commission by a delusional would-be cult-founder who cut his teeth on the work of Fletcher Hanks and who really liked drawings of weiners and boobies.

Moynihan walks a fine line between "weird" and "incomprehensible" and between "clever" and "dumb," and manages to stay on the right side of it through almost every one of these bizarre, demented panels. I can't say that I've ever read anything quite like this (though it did call to mind the weirder bits of The Incal). I'm glad I did.

Forming is published by London's NOBROW, whose books are fantastically well-made, beautifully cloth-bound and printed on high-quality, sustainably produced paper (they also publish the much-more-kid-friendly Hilda comics). It's a quality product.

Forming (Amazon)

Forming (Nobrow)


  1. Heads up: Moynihan’s stuff comes out at a pretty slow rate by Internet standards. Expect to read the whole thing, wait a few weeks and then forget the context of the new page by the time it comes out.

    Great stuff, though. I don’t mind the necessary back-reading.

    1.  Yes!  And if you like Forming, you are likely to enjoy Adventure Time.  And vice versa.  I recently showed Adventure Time to one of my D&D playing, Wittgenstein-tattooed, game-theorist friends, and about half way through the first episode, he said “This is the greatest thing ever created by man.”

  2. I have his first book and suggest everyone go read the full run on his website. It is one of my favorite things on the internet.

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