Following on from Part 1 & 2 of Freemasonry in Pop Culture we take a look at Masonic depictions in Comics and Graphic Novels.
Numerous comics and graphic novels produced in the 20th century featured references – oblique or overt – to Freemasonry or similar ‘secret’ societies and organisations.
Often, the references to, or appearances of Masonic characters and symbols are in a derogatory sense – much of it is explicitly anti-Masonic or erroneous, but very occasionally, the organisation is featured in a good light. Below are a just a few examples.
Get Fuzzy is an American comic strip written and drawn by Darby Conley. It features Boston advertising executive Rob Wilco and his two anthropomorphic pets, a dog, Satchel Pooch, and a cat, Bucky Katt. While there have been no new comics produced since 2019, the reruns continue to appear in newspapers.
Get Fuzzy was first published on 6 September 1999, by United Feature Syndicate. Initially appearing in 75 newspapers nationally, the strip quickly gained popularity. It currently appears in some 400 newspapers worldwide.
The strip’s humour comes from the conflict between Bucky’s and Satchel’s personalities, which are extreme stereotypes of cats and dogs, with Rob as the frazzled middleman.
– Source: Wikipedia
Copyright: Darby Conley, Distributed by United Features Syndicate, Inc., USA. Reprinted “Say Cheesy” a Get Fuzzy Collection. Kansas City : Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2005. pp. 73-74.
In the strips from 14-19 April 2003, Bucky has to explain to Rob and Satchel that he belongs to a Masonic lodge, announcing that he will kill anyone who tried to stop him from attending his meeting.
When told by Rob that it’s not a club for cats, Bucky states that there are ‘other cats in it, too. They’re orange. I’m not at liberty to divulge names.’ You can see the full strips at Get Fuzzy, GoComics.
In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight ‘Conspiracy’ (DC, 1996, vols 86-89) there is reference made to Batman’s supposed ‘memory’ of Masonic ritual and the Hiram Abiff legend.
After a string of ritualistic murders, Batman finds the trail for the serial killer leads to Los Angeles and a mysterious Temple of the New Dawn.
He discusses his thoughts on the manner of three of the killings with Alfred, positing that he ‘remembers’ certain things that with further research, Alfred confirms that his memory is of Masonic ritual and that the murders correspond to the Hiramic legend:
Alfred: I’ve found the information you requested, sir, and it does indeed corroborate your memory… …although how you remember such grisly details is beyond–
Batman: Just read it, Alfred.
Alfred: Well, as you said, sir, the three murderers of the master mason Hiram Abif [sic]– architect of the Temple of Solomon–
In Batman: The Scottish Connection (DC, 1998), Bruce Wayne attends a family reunion in Scotland and foils an attempt to murder the clan.
On page 25, he visits Rosslyn Chapel and demonstrates his knowledge of the Hiramic Legend and the Apprentice Pillar to the group of tourists and guide:
Bruce: Enraged, the master killed the apprentice with a single blow from his mallet…in an astonishing parallel with the murder of Hiram Abiff, builder of Solomon’s legendary temple in Jerusalem!
Guide: You know of such things, Sir?
On page 21 of Superman Adventures #34.’Fighting Fate’ (DC, 1999) our hero is depicted launching himself into the sky, with a member of the crowd below shouting after him:
‘Go now, and may the Great Architect of the Universe protect you on your journey!’
Illustration reprinted from “Superman Adventures 34.” Fighting Fate. August, 1999. DC Comics New York, NY. Mark Millar,writer; Mike McAvennie, editor; Frank Berris, Asst. editor. p. 21. colour, 24 page plus gloss cover.
Doctor Strange [Dr Strange] features ‘The Book of Cagliostro’, supposedly the work of Count Cagliostro, a renowned Freemason from the 18th century.
In the comic, ‘Cagliostro was one of the many aliases through history of a sorcerer who achieved immortality…
He was also known as Giuseppe Balsamo, an Italian alchemist, and was a teacher of Victor von Doom and an enemy of Doctor Strange.
Cagliostro was also an alias used by the time travelling sorcerer Sise-Neg’.
‘Il Libro di Cagliostro/ The Book of Cagliostro’ in the comic book ‘Doctor Strange’. Image is copyright of Marvel Comics and/or the creators Steve Englehart, Mike Friedrich, Frank Brunner – here used in the capacity of ‘Fair Use’.
According to the Marvel Fandom Wiki, the character of Cagliostro, and his wife Lorenza Serafina, first appear in Dracula Lives Vol 2 #1 – Chapter 1: “A Duel of Demons” (December, 1973) where Cagliostro and Dracula become adversaries, ending in the plot twist of Lorenza becoming a vampire.
Alan Moore (1953–) is regarded by many as being the best graphic novel writer in history. Regardless of whether you like Moore’s style, his works are compelling and complex: they include:
V for Vendetta (DC Comics, ills. David Lloyd, pub. 1982-85)
Watchmen (DC Comics, ills. Dave Gibbons, pub. 1986-87)
From Hell (Top Shelf/Knockabout Comics, with artist Eddie Campbell, pub. 1989-1999)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (DC/Knockabout Comics/Top Shelf; ills. Kevin O’Neill, pub. 1999-2019), all of which have been made into films.
Graphic Novelist Alan Moore, author of From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.
IMAGE By: Fimb, CC BY 2.0. wikimedia
Award winning Moore is reputedly a self-professed occultist, ceremonial magician and anarchist – of which all themes feature in his works and he repeatedly incudes references to Freemasonry, and Masonic symbolism. With regards to conspiracy he gave, arguably, one of the best statements ever:
Yes, there is a conspiracy, indeed there are a great number of conspiracies, all tripping each other up… the main thing that I learned about conspiracy theories is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in the conspiracy because that is more comforting.
The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy, or the grey aliens, or the twelve-foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control, the truth is far more frightening; no one is in control, the world is rudderless.
– ‘The Mindscape of Alan Moore’, Shadowsnake Films, 2003
Obvious references to Freemasonry in his novels are notably included in ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ and ‘From Hell’.
In ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’, the offices of League founder ‘M’ feature numerous doors with square and compasses insignia; the character Campion Bond wears a square and compasses watch fob; the Phantom has a Masonic ring; military personnel wear square and compasses over their rank insignia and many wear Masonic-style aprons with an eye in a triangle symbol.
The story, complete with its Masonic references was made into a film starring Sean Connery in 2003.
‘From Hell’, written by Moore and illustrated by Eddie Campbell, takes the theory instigated by anti Masonic journalist Stephen Knight, that the ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders were part of a conspiracy to conceal the birth of an illegitimate royal baby fathered by Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, grandson of Queen Victoria.
Sir William Gull and Sir Charles Warren depicted in a Masonic lodge, ‘From Hell’ Ch. 2, p. 16. Image is copyright Eddie Campbell (Artist) and Alan Moore (Writer), used here in the capacity of Fair Use,
IMAGE LINKED: Comic Art Fans https://www.comicartfans.com/gallerypiece.asp?piece=1249362
The conspiracy, of course, involves the Freemasons with the Queen’s physician Sir William Gull depicted as a high-ranking Mason…and Jack the Ripper.
Aided by his carriage driver John Netley, Gull goes on a misogynistic rampage. In an earlier edition of The Square, within the article ‘Hawksmoor – the ‘Devil’s Architect’, there is an illustration from the novel, featuring Gull and Netley plotting their nefarious murders.
Article by: Philippa Lee. Editor
Philippa Lee (writes as Philippa Faulks) is the author of eight books, an editor and researcher.
Philippa was initiated into the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) in 2014.
Her specialism is ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, comparative religions and social history. She has several books in progress on the subject of ancient and modern Egypt. Selection of Books Online at Amazon
The Mindscape of Alan Moore (DVD)
By: Alan Moore (Actor), Dave Gibbons (Actor), DeZ Vylenz (Director)
Genre Special Interests
DVD Format Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen, Subtitled
Contributor DeZ Vylenz, Jose Villarubia, Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Melinda Gebbie, Paul Gravett, Dave Gibbons, Kevin O’Neill
Runtime 1 hour and 20 minutes
Recent Articles: Masonic Art series
Experience the power of Masonic art like never before with our handpicked selection of NFT collections now available on Opensea. Discover stunning works of art from talented artists across the world, all inspired by the ancient traditions and symbols of the Freemasonry. Don't miss out on the chance to own a piece of history - start exploring our Masonic art NFT projects today!
Unlock the digital realm of Freemasonry with our exclusive NFT marketplace, designed for the modern-day Masonic community. Become one of 333 founders of Digital Freemasonry and gain access to a range of cutting-edge digital tools for the craft. Own a unique NFT as confirmation of your contribution to this ground-breaking initiative. Join us in shaping the future of Freemasonry - start exploring our NFT marketplace now!
Experience the legacy of Tubal Cain like never before with our unique collection of Masonic apron NFTs. Each of the 1,000 digital designs are one-of-a-kind and serve as a symbol of Masonic pride and tradition. And for those who prefer to have a physical item, these designs are also available as collectible aprons. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to own a piece of Masonic history - start exploring our Tubal Cain Masonic apron NFTs now!
Art and education in the Hoyt’s newest exhibition, "Mystery & Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Art", explores the art and accessories of two fraternal organizations steeped in symbols and coded systems, from special handles, gestures and passwords to ritualized performances that probably come from the Middle Ages.
Since 2018, The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania’s “Embodying Masonic Values” open art competition has provided an opportunity for participants to explore Masonic values through art. Cash prizes are awarded to winners in five categories: Oil, Three-dimensional, Drawing and Print-making, Water-Based Medium and Digital Imagery. Most artwork is also available for sale.
Part 4 of our series on Freemasonry in Popular Culture takes a look at some of the TV series that feature Freemasonry. With much intrigue into the supposed machinations of the Freemasons within business, politics and the police force, TV was a ripe medium for ridicule and sensationalist anti-Masonic propaganda.
Part 3 of our series on Freemasonry in Popular Culture takes a look at some of the comic books and graphic novels that feature Freemasonry.
Following on from Part 1 of Freemasonry in Pop Culture we take a look at Masonic depictions in film.
Freemasonry-membership is a mysterious NFT project that would be built across the Metaverse. Taking the idea from virtual lodges, the project is a huge mystery in terms of assets and value for the user.
Freemasonry has been the subject of satire and lampooning since its inception in the 1700s courtesy
For many of us, the name of the artist Grant Wood doesn’t ring any bells. But on a recent visit to the Grand Lodge of Iowa Masonic Library and Museums, I discovered a hidden gem – Grant Wood's vision of 'The First Three Degrees of Freemasonry'.
Freemason, composer and artistic director Laurențiu Ganea announces the premiere of his long-awaited composition of the 'Song of Songs' - the Shir HaShirim (also known as the 'Song of Solomon').
Martin Bogardus explores the Masonic characters and symbolism within the hugely successful 'Outlander' books and TV series.
The Art, Masonic Aprons, and Magic of Ari Roussimoff - interviewed by Elena Llamas
Hogarth's mockery of Freemasonry. A humorous depictions of life in the streets of London, the vagaries of fashion, and the interactions between the rich and poor.
This entertaining and infectious poem was written by an Ayeshire poet
to be a better citizen of the world
share the square with two brothers
click image to open email app on mobile device