Madness Zines

Madness #7 Extreme Discontent


What’s the problem?

The elite don’t need to look down from their lofty perch, the problem is right in front of them. Extreme Discontent!

The promise of a Utopia is gone, but Dallas recovers from its disastrous past. The economy is looking up, at least for those attending this elite fund raiser.

But the lust for power and control is strong.  Some feel we should we return home and regain our tribal loyalties? Others feel  we need a strong leader to give us meaning and order.

Madness #6 Living in a False Universe

Forget the Truth as you know it. You have been living in a false universe.

Madness #5 Paradise versus Utopia

Search but you won’t find Paradise or Utopia.  They are not a place but a state of mind, not to be sought, but strived for. You create your own paradise or utopia.

In print at Curiosities , Awesome Comics and Keith’s Comics.

Madness #4 irrational.City

Examine the results of bad decisions.

Kitty is rejected and abandoned in this altered interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Is Juan Diablo the man to lead Kitty through the anarchy and despair in this post-apocalyptical Dallas, Texas?

Everyone needs a second chance. Will a post-Dallas be a rational city?

In print at Curiosities , Awesome Comics and Keith’s Comics.

Madness #3 Collective Madness

You can’t escape. We are all part of the Collective Madness.  How we find or create meaning is obvious for some and a great mystery for others.  Whether your path to meaning is by creating art or giving in to greed, it will take more than logic and reason to find the answer.  Perhaps we are incapable of rising above self interest, but we are all part of our giant collective.

In print at Curiosities , Awesome Comics and Keith’s Comics.

Madness #2 Mirror of Madness

A dark tale of lust for money and power.

Control of the Midway is at stake. Driven by greed and the desire for power, the corporate bosses want to exert control over the circus midway.  Where is Hope?

The corporate team inspires irrational violence that leads to the foreclosure of the Midway. Everyone comes out a loser when this happens. Has our culture lost it’s grip on rational thought, or has emotion always ruled over reason? Are we basically irrational creatures?

Everyone’s fate is tied to the long terms success of the midway. Don’t allow yourself to become simply a corporate prosthetic. Don’t be a pawn for corporate greed.  When these corporate bad boys knock off the top block, we all fall down.

We seem consumed by the hot trends and controversy that dominate the news broadcasts. CEOs are gutting companies for profit rather than planting the seeds for long term success.

In the tension between reason and irrationality, there is always hope.

Midway to Madness #1

In this off-beat interpretation of the Wizard of Oz, times are bad and you face limited choices.  You may be trapped in a dead end job or face the prospects of life as a drifter.  We all hope to find heroes who will take us on the path to success and the land of plenty.  But don’t be deceived by your innocent dreams.  Small dreams produce small results. Things are in a state of critical exhaustion. Do you have the brains, the courage and the heart to find your way.

In Midway to Madness #1 from 2010, there is a faint analogy to the hero’s quest for self as found in the classic movie version of the Wizard of Oz.  Our out-of-luck hero goes on a journey, but, like Dorothy, he finds the answers have been inside him the whole time.

  Insurrection, The Way I Feel

In this first Zine by Dwayne Carter, the conflict between self interest and collective good takes center stage in Blue Revolution and Red Insurrection.

Blue represents an almost militant dedication to sameness, order and equality for all. Everything becomes equal, everyone eats, subways run on time, but you sacrifice your individuality. Everyone wears the same suit. Blue resembles socialism almost to the point of a fascism. We may all have a good job, but we must act with a sameness for the betterment of all.

Red is an expression of complete free will and self interest. Our need to satisfy our animal urges for power, sex and wealth can create unexpected consequences including anarchy.  Gas stations may burn, prices may go up, but you and your cronies benefit.  Shortages and instability creates a sellers market.  When the animal within is threatened, reason takes a fall.

Sometimes our personal desires can come into conflict with the need to work within our social compact. When faced with the choice, reason will generally fail and be replaced by our emotional needs.  But we need rules and regulations to function as a society even when the rules feel stifling. In politics, Red versus Blue resulted in the Tea Party insurrection. Is there no middle ground?

Photo Novella

The photo novella format is being used increasingly by artists because of it’s directness in communicating stories and ideas. This format has a tradition in Mexican Comics and was common in the checkout lines at Supermercados in Dallas and other cities in the southwest. The photo novella is also used in health education since photo story telling is easy for people to understand.


Zines and Banners

Artist Dwayne Carter has been producing zines, paintings, animation/videos, banners and digital prints in the Dallas area since 1981.

The directness of the photo novella is echoed in the use of public banners which offer flexibility and ease in transporting and exhibiting.


Are we basically irrational creatures?

This is not to say that we should not seek scientific truth.  But art has the concern for the meaning of things rather than the scientific evidence of truth.  Perhaps at times meaning and truth can be the same.

Art is not science and can not be easily reduced to quantifiable data. It is part of the subjective experience of being human. There are many things we cannot know by science. Some things we accept based on what our elders tell us, as well as, faith, peer pressure, emotional reaction and intuition.

There are many routes to meaning in art. Sometimes meaning can be found in its form or in the content. Sometimes meaning is found in the context. There is not one correct path to meaning. But when we find ourselves struck by something, it develops meaning.

Meaning in art and life cannot be described in words alone. The rhythmic beat of drums can affect the way we feel and and the way we interpret our surroundings. Our emotions are altered by the vibrations of the music. We can feel more at home or we can feel alienated based on our empathic response to music and art.

Probably early humans were drawn or repulsed in very similar ways. Perhaps these instincts are instilled in our fiber. We started as the hunter and gatherer. Many traits of our behavior are shaped by this early existence.

But, even the past is subject to major revisions as our perceptions change. Perspectives on history, politics and art change over time because of our allegiances and cultural biases.

Dreams and madness.

We can still apply reason in trying to understand our world. Goya’s painting The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters reflected his view of a corrupt and demented Spanish society.

However, Goya’s painting points to the realization that “Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with her, she is the mother of the arts and source of their wonders.”

I am the Sleep of Reason is one of my digital works that points to the impact of irrational and capricious behavior. Society should fear the sleep of reason; however,w e should not be guided by reason alone, but also the strength of faith, emotion and other means.

Madness Zines and Banners don’t offer clear answers to questions of madness and rational thinking in our culture. But they can offer a means to examine a social structure that at times seems to favor irrationality over reason.  Perhaps art can reveal truths, but we may only know what it means to us.