Monday, August 5, 2013

Singer finds all kinds of parallels in the discourse around comics / graphic novels that parallel the disquiets and gripes of my book:

e.g. Dorian Wright on Steven Moffat's Doctor Who:
"...the people in charge of the show aren’t interested in people who are Doctor Who fans, they’re interested in people who are fans. Full stop. People who are, essentially fans of…being fans. Who just like to be into…things. Because it’s a thing, and God help you if you’re not into it. They want to please that mercurial, fickle, transitory audience that watches an episode and immediately floods the internet with animated gifs and posts on Twitter and Tumblr about their 'feels' about the show and who communicate with one another entirely in references to pop culture ephemera, like that really shitty Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, only with jokes about bronies and t-shirts mashing up Dexter and Game of Thrones."

e.g. Andrew Hickey, following up Wright's points:

"The thinking behind it is precisely the same thinking that is used in every shitty image macro you’ve ever seen, a sort of post-postmodernism for cretins. Take two symbols of “awesome” and bash them together, and generate something more “awesome”. It’s the postmodern technique of collaging signifiers divorced from their context, but with the difference that you must show absolutely no interest whatsoever in investigating any ideas that this juxtaposition might inspire.
[...] The logic of surrealism is not that far from the logic of the tumblr meme, after all — put two familiar things, like a lobster and a telephone, together and see what kind of interference pattern results in our mind. But the choices in this series are from what seems to be a pre-approved list of “awesome” stuff. Film noir detectives and time travel, dinosaurs and spaceships, cyborgs and cowboys, Daleks and ballerinas. The kind of combuination that only the most tediously unimaginative person could ever possibly think was original. No doubt next year we’ll have cats with lasers (inspiring jokes about how now it’s them with the laser pointer), monkeys riding unicorns, pirates eating bacon, and steampunk lesbian sumo wrestlers teaming up with Sherlock Holmes".

Singer himself identifies a parallel between "glutted and clotted"/hyperstasis and "Final Crisis" or indeed projects by "Morrison or Alan Moore or any other creator who's become captured by pop culture's bottomless past", then signs off with a quote plucked from a comic panel (the serial unknown to me, though clearly needing no introduction to the hardcore cognoscenti who read his blog):

"Perhaps, Agent Helligan, when a civilization reaches its peak, there comes a time of harvest, let’s say. After the ripening comes inevitable decay. With predictable and grim implications for your own civilization."


  1. Seven Soldiers, Grant Morrison's "auteur crossover" that featured seven different series drawn by different artists.

    The main bad guys are the Sheeda, a race of alien fairies who turn out to be humanity from a billion years from the future. Unable to create their own technology or culture, they travel back into the past to "harvest" human civilization.

    Just enough is left each time for the humans to cobble together a new global society over the course of a hundred thousand years.

    Then they come back.

  2. Hi Simon (if I may),

    The quote and the image in my post come from Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers, in which the Sheeda--humanity's descendants from a future depleted of all resources--keep coming back to plunder the past. Needless to say, I was reminded of that more than once while I read your book.

    Ironically, Seven Soldiers isn't the first Morrison comic I would recommend to new readers--precisely because it's filled with so many arcane references to past comics. But hey, one man's hyperstasis is another man's portal...

    Loved the book, by the way.

  3. cheers Marc (and Anonymous)

    what a fantastic concept, parasite raiders from the future...