Remember Meg and Mog from your childhood? Okay wipe them from your minds and meet the new Megg and Mogg, recreated by Simon Hanselmann whose art has made us laugh more than…well, anyone. Ever. Simon’s ever-changing style but consistent weirdness is exactly the reason we wanted to snoop around in his bookshelf. The fact that he chose to draw his bookshelves rather than photograph them is nothing short of heroic. Without further ado, here he is.
“I probably only read around three or four (non-picture) books a year, i have a problem with “workaholism”. I usually binge-read a few things when i’m sick or really depressed. In my entire lifetime I will read perhaps two hundred and fifty books. A horrible thought. Here are five of the one hundred and seventeen books I have read thus far in my life that have made me feel something."
Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D & Howard Rheingold: Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
I found this in the library in high school during a period of intense interest in out of body experiences and dreams and “magic”. It totally works. I’ve never even finished it once but it always works. It puts a trigger in your head.
I’ve had terrifying moments of clear total lucidity. One time it was horrifying, utterly horrifying. It felt dangerous.
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreams: Stephen LaBerge
Knut Hamsun: Mysteries
The cover reads: “Never has the Nobel Prize been awarded to one worthier of it.” Twenty Three years after Hamsun received it he sent it to Joseph Goebbels as a gift (this was during Hamsun’s “horrible senile racist” phase)
Nevertheless… when i read Mysteries on a long bus ride as a young man, it made me feel alive. I devoured it and it made me dizzy. Much like the protagonist of the novel, I was heading to a new town where nobody knew me. Much like Johan Nilsen Nagel I caused a lot of trouble for the townsfolk and disappeared into the ocean.
[Mysteries: Knut Hamsun
Fiddler’s Green, Richard McKenna
I’m obsessed with this short novella from the 1960s. It’s about eight marooned sailors dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean who create a shared mental realm together and start living in it and building in it. Then other people start showing up.
I started drawing an adaptation of it in 2010 but abandoned it after fifty or so pages.
In the future I plan to restart it and finish it… I’ve attempted to track down McKenna’s living relatives to obtain the rights to do it but have come up empty…
Keep the Aspidistra Flying, George Orwell
Having been poor, working in many bookstores and having an interest in writing terrible poetry, I find myself sympathizing and identifying with Gordon Comstock, moth-eaten self-saboteur. At 29, the same age as he, I was working in a bookshop in London, around the area where Orwell probably wrote the book, commuting past Putney everyday, thinking about the “Money World”, aspidistras in windows, expensive fur coats, gruesome advertising…As i flip through the ratty 70’s paperback edition (unemployed and broke) in 2013, a slip of paper falls out of the book and onto my lap. It’s my bank account numbers…
Money. It’s always money.
Keep the Aspidistra Flying: George Orwell
His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
I voraciously read these back to back over a week in 2009. I’d been gutting out a gallery space, smashing up walls and shattering glass, I must have inhaled something weird and haunted and I became deliriously unbalanced for many days.
The Subtle Knife is my favourite. Fucking Alamo Gulch made me weep.
I’m a sucker for good YAF. I also LOVE Harry Potter and The Hunger Games was probably the best thing I read last year…
His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman