as is often said, the boy is father to the man, then Karl might well
have said, "I'm my own grandpa." Sorry; Karl would have gotten that joke…
Anyhow, Karl had always, it seems, wanted to be a writer, long before he
considered going into the medical field. His grammar school fiancé speaks
elsewhere of a horror story he wrote and read to their grade school class.
Sadly, that seminal work appears to be lost to history. we are in hopes that
other early work may still exist and that we will be permitted to present
Meanwhile, we begin with what is, surely, Karl's first published work, both as writer and as editor. Below are samples of The Cauldron, a scholarly scientific journal Karl published with the "able assistance" of your humble webnecromancer, John Mayer, for The Knoxville Junior Academy of Science. The title might well have referred to the origins of the scientific method in the experiments of the alchemists, possibly a foreshadowing of Karl's depiction of Kane as a scholar and wizard as well as a warrior. I don't recall how Karl got involved in this group of future scientists, but I know how I got there, despite having taken only the bare minimum of science courses: it was a way of getting out of detention hall, a detention hall, that, in this instance, Karl had gotten me into. He was able to be excused to work on the Science Club skit and told the detention hall monitor, Mr. Nicely, that my help was needed, too. Mr. Nicely happened to know I wasn't taking any science courses that year, so I had to cover by joining the Science Club and, thence, the KJAS. Karl and I were immediately, for some reason, elected to office and given the assignment of producing the club newsletter, printed by way of the arcane technology of mimeograph, a printing technique that Gutenberg develped shortly after moveable type. The blue text with its heady, probably huffable, odor (probably indicative of the presence of an aryl functional group in the ink) was the mainstay of schools and clubs prior to the availability of pc's and personal printers.
This material is only for the benefit of the completists among Wagner fans. Karl was a brilliant lad, but neither he nor I was quite a prodigy, and you'll find no equivalent of a young Mozart of horror here. But there are glimmerings of the cynical cleverness that eventually would find a much wider audience. Some of Karl's observations about political hypocrisy seem especially aware for a 15-year-old.
Vol 1, #2 Vol 1, #3 Vol 1, #5
Special Xmas Issue Special Serious Issue
Special Doomsday Issue
Doomsday Insert 1 Insert 2 Insert 3