Creativity and Real Life: a Head-on Collision

This is one the strangest and most immediate incidents we’ve heard of where creativity and real life don’t just intersect, but have a head-on collision.

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In the 1970s, prolific comic book writer Doug Moench wrote and worked on Planet of the Apes for Marvel Comics. It was Marvel’s longest-lived series and featured original Ape stories as well as adaptations of the various movies. In 1975, it ran eleven issues that included color versions of the adaptation of the first two films, which Moench wrote.

On one particular day, Moench had just completed writing a scene for a Planet of the Apes comic book about a black-hooded gorilla named Brutus. In the scene, Brutus invaded the hero’s home, grabbed the man’s partner by the neck, and held a gun to her head so the hero would do what he demanded.

Just as Moench finished writing the scene, he heard his wife calling for him from the other side of the house. He thought her voice sounded strange. He hurried across the house and when he entered the living room, saw a man in a black hood with one arm around his wife’s neck and his other hand clutching a gun that he held to her head.

“It was exactly what I had written…it was so immediate in relation to the writing and such an exact duplicate of what I had written, that it became an instant altered state,” Moench told Jeffrey R. Kripal, who wrote about the incident in Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal. Kripal’s book is filled with stories like this.

We initially felt this incident was precognitive, but it occurred so closely to when Moench was writing the scene that it’s more likely it was telepathic or clairvoyant – seeing events at a distance. The intruder, after all, had to find a way to enter the house, then get inside and seize Moench’s wife. Or, was the intruder already inside the house as he began writing the scene?

After the experience, Moench found it difficult to write. He was afraid that whatever he wrote might happen. “It really does make you wonder,” Moench said. “Are you seeing the future? Creating an alternate reality? Should you give up writing forever after something like this happens? I don’t know.”

Moench didn’t give up writing. But Kripal noted that the black-hooded figure became his obsession for months, then years.

This kind of experience isn’t uncommon when it comes to artistic expression and real life. It’s one example from our book in progress, Visions: A Thoughtful Guide to Paranormal Experiences.

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8 Responses to Creativity and Real Life: a Head-on Collision

  1. Shadow says:

    I understand why he didn’t want to write again, this is too spooky… i think our thoughts have the power to manifest, combine that with the written word, this could certainly happen, but would also like to believe not always…

  2. Rob MacGregor says:

    I’ve tried to get DM to talk about his experience and finish the story. I mean what happened after that? But I’ve only been able to reach out to Doug through Messenger, and if you’re not a FB friend it’s hard to get a message through…though possible if he looks closely.

  3. bh says:

    I am never ever writing anything ever again.

  4. Sheila Joshi says:

    There’s a similar anecdote with the comic book writer Grant Morrison, who wrote a series that he called a hypersigil or narrative magick, which caused things to happen to him as he wrote them.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Not familiar with him or his work. Will check him out. Thanks, Sheila!

      • Laurence Zankowski says:

        You need to look into Grant Morrison! His work “The Invisibles” is considered a major opus in graphic novels.

        And then research Jack Kirby and his way to write the stories he did. Fascinating.

        If I remember Grant Morrison did sort of the same type of Nepal/ Tibet experience like Steve Jobs. Changed his life.

        BTW: I am not a comics fan. Belonged to the Museum of Sequential Art, up in Northampton, MA. Founded by the man who created the “teenage mutant turtles”. It no longer exists. Or maybe it does some place else. It was in the late 90s when I was part of it.

        Also as a treat, and if they are still up on YouTube, look for Richard Corben’s Films / Graphic novel hero “Den”. He did those films in the 60s. It seemed the USA was more open to expanded awareness pre Internet.

        And of course I could be all wrong, Ha!