Friday, May 18, 2007

The Invisibles Vol. 3 #1: 'Glitterdammerung!'

‘Glitterdammerung!’ is an issue of superlatives, the best issue of the best comic series ever, written by the best writer ever and drawn by the best comics artist ever. After the substandard art of the jam issues, it’s shocking to be back to the coherent universe of Quitely’s beautiful pencils, creating an entire future society in the space of these 22 pages. He owns the characters in their final appearance.

The thing I love about Quitely’s art is the way he renders space. A lot of artists can make beautiful pictures, but few can create fully functional 3-D environments for the characters to move through. There’s so much depth and reality in what he draws, you can spend hours just marveling at the page construction. And, I love the aesthetic of his art, the slightly grimy pop style he brings to the people, they may not be as pretty as Jiminez’s cast of models, but they’ve got a lot of character, particularly evident on the wonderful title double page spread. ...

I've taken down my posts on The Invisibles because they're all coming out in book form. The book, Our Sentence is Up, features revised and expanded versions of each blog post, covering every issue of The Invisibles, plus an extensive interview with Morrison himself. Visit your local comic store and order a copy now!


David Golding said...

Wow! what a post! what a series of posts! I'm impressed that you sustained your post-per-issue, in doing them at all, and in quality. It is a worthy testament to The Invisibles.

I especially love how closely you look at the art. Again and again you've noticed things I've missed. Like: the panel shaped like the logo!

I'll definitely have your posts to hand when I reread the series, some day. You've certainly helped me focus some of my concerns about the series, primarily its teleological nature, which I'm uncomfortable with.

I wonder, for instance, whether Gaz really doesn't have a place. If individuality is an illusion (or we're looking at the advocacy of radical empathy) then surely there's a place for everyone? That's what King Mob says back in Vol 1 #8. And the King-Of-All-Tears seems to get into the supercontext. Reynard certainly doesn't seem all that enlightened with her narration's condescending postscript.

I also think Reynard is an unreliable narrator. How much of her word can we take as gospel? How much is posturing and adolescent expansiveness? Have we even seen the word "supercontext" before she uses it? And you know I'm uncomfortable with seeing superiority in mental illness. On the other hand, I hold dear some of her lines: about nature, the Gnostic error, the post-ironic---a diagnosis of the '90s which I think holds a lot of insight.

I'll see when I return and begin again. I'm thinking of reading Vol 3 #1 first, then the rest of Vol 3, then Vol 2, then Vol 1. One day.

Until then, I've got to remember to dance more. One of the things I like about dancing is that it is not spiritual in the traditional sense. It is about getting away from that Cartesian mind and living in your body. After I finished reading the series, I danced a lot. I danced all night long for NYE03 and my following birthday party...

Patrick said...

This was a pretty huge project, but it definitely helped make this reread something special. Writing about issue, each page even, made me look closer at the series than ever before and try to engage with the stuff that baffled me the first times through. It made it feel more alive than the last time I read it, without really writing about it.

As for the idea of the supercontext, I think Grant has mentioned it outside of the series, but I don't recall any references within. I'd imagine it's a term he came up with near the end that crystallized all the concepts he'd previously explored.

But, Reynard definitely has an element of posturing in her speech. She's reminiscent of a young Dane, while the Dane in 2012 is much more mature and grounded. That's what Robin mentioned before she went back in the time machine, how much she missed 2012 Dane.

As for the superiority in mental illness, that's a big Alan Moore idea too. I don't think it's so much that mental illness is superior, more that we've decided that anything outside the norm is a problem, so we've written these people off as damaged rather than considering what they might have to offer us. For Moore, it's a larger symptom of the loss of wonder in society, rather than seeing something potentially great in the difference, we just work to mediate everything.

Reading things in the reverse order would be quite a different experience. It's tough to go back and see the less evolved Dane from the beginning of the series after reading the end. But, it would help to break down the temporal structure of the series, and allow you to view it from a more 4-D perspective. I'm not planning to reread the series until 2012, but when that happens, I'll probably mix up the order.

And a big hell yeah to the dancing comment as well. I've been going to more DJs and dance concerts lately and it's really a uniquely joyous experience. Daft Punk last week was amazing, just getting totally lost in the music and the collective around you. It's like being in the streets of 2012 in this last issue, just total abandon and joy.

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The invisibles is the most twisted comic I've ever seen, I wonder if it haves continuation . said...

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