Wolven, while he works in his monstrous lab concocting his follow-up to his Magic in Comics post, offered up this archival interview he conducted with author Hal Duncan on September 14, 2006. Hal Duncan is the author of Vellum and Ink, both discussed below, and also Escape From Hell!, which came out last year.
Wolven: 1) For the record, what is your name?
HD: Hal Duncan.
W: 2) Many would say that “modern magical practice,” as spoken of by people like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Phil Hine, and those others counting themselves as “modern magicians,” rests in an idea of the manipulation of language as a way to manipulate concepts and thereby dictate perception and interaction with the world.
a. Do you think that if there is a “magic,” then it rests in this kind of manipulation?
b. How would you define a magic in which you could believe?
HD: a) I think it would have to. I’m an atheist, nihilist, existentialist, materialist, when it comes down to it, albeit with an idiosyncratic view on materialism which doesn’t preclude the irrational, the indefinite and the downright chaotic, so any theory of magic that requires a spiritual / material distinction, that posits it as an appeal to supernatural entities or incorporeal agents active in a “higher” realm, doesn’t hold water for me. If magic were to exist, to me it would have to be a natural phenomenon.