TDG: Moving onto less complex issues, let's talk scientific and philosophical theories of time and the cosmos. The theme of transcending time has recurred in your work over the years - I'm thinking things like Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan ("There is no future. There is no past. Do you see? Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet."), a wonderful möbius strip time-loop full-page spread in Promethea, and it also seems to be one of the core themes in your recently released novel Jerusalem. Is time simply a fun concept to play with in story-telling, or is there a deeper fascination for you?
AM: Obviously, as a storyteller the element of time and the narrative uses to which you can put it are tremendous fun, but I think if I’ve been drawn to telling stories like this – and I certainly appear to have been – then that would be because time itself is a subject that has fascinated me since my early childhood, when studying framed photographs of deceased forebears it came to me that at some point in the future, after I was dead, people would be examining photographs of me, and that from a certain perspective this was already happening.
As I’ve grown and have come to understand more about the position that I have learned is called Eternalism, then I’ve come to feel that it offers a vivid alternative to both ridiculously optimistic religious belief and an atheistic pessimism that is probably psychologically unworkable. I recently received wonderful letter from someone who said that reading Jerusalem had helped resolve the terror of mortality that had dogged them since childhood, bringing with it debilitating anxiety and depression. This is all I ever wanted the book to achieve; the hope that it might offer a solidly rational new view of death that would provide an alternative to letting our life be morbidly overshadowed by our paralysed and fruitless fear of its end.