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lyra

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Well, it's only one part of a larger story. IC, though it has consequences down the line, is basically a self-contained story.

 

Thats true. although I wonder if its marketed somewhat as a stand alone graphic novel. I just expected a story and was rather let down.

 

 

Unfortunaty this is what I hasve had with big comic stoires, I loved Moench and Jones run years ago on Batman, and didnt really like it when they did the big cataclysm cross over. I had hopes for this one after IC.

 

Jb

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Red, I pretty much agree completely with Mark's opinion on Seaguy. It's funny, emotional, a nice parody on modern day entertainment, and it has a schizo-side in which it constantly switches between all those different emotions, often within one scene. it's a complete breakdown of pretty much all dark 'n' gritty comics while mixing it with Silver Age style weirdness.

 

Mark: I'll do an extended post on the medieval quest aspect of it later this week (remind me if I haven't done so by friday).

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The main reason I didn't find the lack of a coherent plot in Seaguy a problem is that there was quite clearly never intended to be one. It worked on an emotional level, rather than an intellectual one - there was certainly a form of internal consistency stemming from the characters' emotional reactions to the situations they were thrust into, which was never violated (the emotional shifts from dejected apathy, to excitement, optimism, fear, horror and - ultimately - misguided triumph were surprisingly smooth, given the jarring leaps in narrative content against which they were played out), but the whole book was based around dream-logic rather than real-world logic - the jarring twist into dark, grim unpleasantness in the final issue makes a lot more sense if you view it as a dream turning into a nightmare than if you try to interpret the whole situation literally. As Sethos suggested, the use of archetypal characters, situations and tonal elements taken from different eras of comic-book history also works on an unconscious, subtextual level - Morrison is an exceptionally comics-literate writer, and he used that contrast between the Silver Age surrealism and modern-era darkness to (for me) powerful effect.

 

If you didn't enjoy that, it's fine - it certainly wasn't for everyone - and, as I said, the final issue definitely felt a little too jarring, and could have done with a bit more space to wrap everything up. It's also, obviously, unfinished, although I still found the end of the final issue strangely satisfying. But criticizing Seaguy for not having a superficially-coherent plot is a bit like levelling the same criticism at, say, Mulholland Dr., Under Milk Wood, or Naked Lunch - it's true, but utterly irrelevant to the actual quality of the work, which was never intended to be taken in those terms. It's a dream, and dreams don't have a coherent, linear narrative.

 

In essence, in fact, my response to Seaguy was almost entirely the opposite of that which Red expressed in his final sentence - I found the characters and situations sufficiently emotionally-resonant that I had no difficulty in accepting the lack of a conventional narrative. But, as he said, different strokes...we clearly just approached the book from a different direction.

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I agree with Red.

It didn't work on an emotional level with me.

It was one of the Grant Morrison misses, which are sure to occur with a writer of that style.

"Seaguy" wasn't a dream story, it didn't even work as surrealism. I love surrealism, but "Seaguy" can't even be considered in that genre. It was a bunch of random ideas that Morrison threw at the reader and none of them stuck. Morrison should try putting a plot with those ideas, as he's done with his series since then, it works much better.

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I love surrealism, but "Seaguy" can't even be considered in that genre.

 

Why on Earth not?

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Well, I guess when you address me in those terms you certainly can consider "Seaguy" to be surrealism, although I don't find it to be very effective even in that sense.

It's like an acid trip Morrison took through Kirbyland that he wants to share with you, only acid trips aren't very interesting if you're not the one tripping on LSD.

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The main reason I didn't find the lack of a coherent plot in Seaguy a problem is that there was quite clearly never intended to be one.

 

I could intentionally build a car with no engine, but that wouldn't make it any good.

 

But criticizing Seaguy for not having a superficially-coherent plot is a bit like levelling the same criticism at, say, Mulholland Dr., Under Milk Wood, or Naked Lunch - it's true, but utterly irrelevant to the actual quality of the work, which was never intended to be taken in those terms. It's a dream, and dreams don't have a coherent, linear narrative.

 

The thing is, Sea Guy does have a linear, coherent narrative. Everything that happens makes sense within the story and happens in the order in which it is shown (with the exception of the flashback to the Anti-Dad's death in the first issue). There is a sense of cause and effect and nothing happens without a reason - except, perhaps, for the sudden melting of the chocolate icecaps which happens for no reason at all.

 

The real problem is that it tries to do too much in too little space, leading to plots that do not get resolved to any degree of satisfaction, because Morrison was working under the assumption that he would have further miniseries to expand on the world.

 

It's all set-up and no payoff; the slaves of Mickey Eye that Morrison was going to write about in later miniseries are glimpsed once then forgotten about altogether. The Xoo plot goes nowhere and ends abruptly. The search for Atlantis is over in about three pages. The visit to the moon - something else which Morrison was going to elaborate on - becomes a throwaway non-event. The ending is so ambiguous that it doesn't actually have any impact because the reader is too busy scratching his head and wondering whether Sea Guy knows about his kidnapping after all.

 

Morrison should've picked a maximum of two of the nine or so proto-plots from Sea Guy and made a proper, enjoyable story instead of the big ugly shapeless mess that we got.

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But criticizing Seaguy for not having a superficially-coherent plot is a bit like levelling the same criticism at, say, Mulholland Dr., Under Milk Wood, or Naked Lunch - it's true, but utterly irrelevant to the actual quality of the work, which was never intended to be taken in those terms. It's a dream, and dreams don't have a coherent, linear narrative.

 

The thing is, Sea Guy does have a linear, coherent narrative. Everything that happens makes sense within the story and happens in the order in which it is shown (with the exception of the flashback to the Anti-Dad's death in the first issue). There is a sense of cause and effect and nothing happens without a reason - except, perhaps, for the sudden melting of the chocolate icecaps which happens for no reason at all.

 

You're right - I shouldn't have used "linear". Poor word choice on my part. Other than that, though, I stand by my comments. You clearly disagree, but I simply wasn't dissatisfied by the things by which you were. Horses, courses...

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Guest spiderlegs

I'm a big fan of being wierd just to fuck with people--and Morrison has pulled of that achievement quite a few times, my favorites being the Invisibles and The Filth--but I'm out on SeaGuy, too. I find it refreshing to not like EVERYTHING a creator does. It's nice to feign integrity once in a while for myself...

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No arguments here, Spider - I'm well and truly "out" on plenty of Morrison's stuff, both old and recent (just off the top of my head, Kill Your Boyfriend did nothing for me, his New X-Men run started promisingly but went downhill horribly by the end, and Vimanarama was hugely disappointing, among several others). It's not about uncritically accepting everything he does - I just really liked Seaguy. Sorry.

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Guest spiderlegs

Breathe deeply, Mark. Close your eyes, and imagine a large floating tuna with a bronx accent spilling roe upon your sofa...there. Peaceful, innit?

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Anyone read 'The Horde' by a Ukrainian guy named Baranko?? Its really very good - weird, fascinating, intelligently written, violent and containing some interesting ideas with regards to politics and religion. Some extremely thoughtful speculative elements. And clones of Isaac Newton and Abraham Lincoln. I hear Baranko's part of that whole surrealist, borderline nutty group of guys like Giger, Moebius and Dionnet. Well worth a look, I thought.

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I lump "Seaguy" in with Grant Morrison's rediscovering himself phase.

He went through a period where I really couldn't stand his writing anymore:

1.Marvel Boy

2.New X-Men

3.Filth

4.Seaguy

None of this a damn thing for me.

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Almost all the way through Across The Universe: The DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore and am enjoying the master at work, so to speak. All these stories are good but in particular I enjoyed For the Man Who Has Everything, Night Olympics, Mogo Doesnt Socialize and Brief Lives. It's also got me wanting to read more Green Arrow and Green Arrow stories when my bank balance is a bit healthier :)

 

I also got Crisis on Infinite Earths, havent read much of it yet so comments on that will be forthcoming...

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'Mogo Doesn't Socialise' is my favourite GLC story ever.

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Yes.

Across the DCU was an incredibly fun book.

 

Unfortunately, there aren't that many good "Green Arrow" stories.

You could try the Denny O'Neil "Green Lantern & Green Arrow" stories. They were from the 70s and read incredibly dated today.

There's Kevin Smith's run on "Green Arrow", which is the closest I've seen the character written to perfection.

I've always liked the character, but have a hell of a time finding any comics about him I can stomach to read.

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Almost all the way through Across The Universe: The DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore and am enjoying the master at work, so to speak. All these stories are good but in particular I enjoyed For the Man Who Has Everything, Night Olympics, Mogo Doesnt Socialize and Brief Lives. It's also got me wanting to read more Green Arrow and Green Arrow stories when my bank balance is a bit healthier :)

 

I also got Crisis on Infinite Earths, havent read much of it yet so comments on that will be forthcoming...

 

 

He also did "What ever happened to the man of tomorrow", didn't he. I loved that shit. I don't think it's in the collection, though.

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Yes, he wrote that too. I really enjoyed it too.

Actually, it was originally released on its own, in a prestige format book, just like "Killing Joke", but DC has decided it is too costly to keep comics in print in that format, so they've thrown those two comics into a new collection, so that all of Alan Moore's mainstream DCU stories are in ONE book.

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Yes.

Across the DCU was an incredibly fun book.

 

Unfortunately, there aren't that many good "Green Arrow" stories.

You could try the Denny O'Neil "Green Lantern & Green Arrow" stories. They were from the 70s and read incredibly dated today.

There's Kevin Smith's run on "Green Arrow", which is the closest I've seen the character written to perfection.

I've always liked the character, but have a hell of a time finding any comics about him I can stomach to read.

 

Brad Metzer's run after Smith's is pretty good, too.

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They had Blackhole in today at my local.

 

Rarely am I as stunned and moved by a comic as I was by Blackhole. Maaaaaan, read the entire thing in under an hour. Some stunning imagery and some really strongly written characters... Love it. Very chilling.

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Almost all the way through Across The Universe: The DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore and am enjoying the master at work, so to speak. All these stories are good but in particular I enjoyed For the Man Who Has Everything, Night Olympics, Mogo Doesnt Socialize and Brief Lives. It's also got me wanting to read more Green Arrow and Green Arrow stories when my bank balance is a bit healthier :)

 

I also got Crisis on Infinite Earths, havent read much of it yet so comments on that will be forthcoming...

 

Perez and Wolfman, considered a classic I believe, be interested to see what you make of it.

 

I think the problem, for me at least with the alan moore selection, is that I too yearned for more stories from those characters - BUT stories by alan moore, which of course are not forthcumming.

 

jamesb

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Mark gave me the first Fables trade for Christmas, and since then I've bought, read and enjoyed the first three trades. So far Storybook Love is probably my favourite. I'm really liking it, and trying not to just spend lots of money buying all the available trades at once.

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Currently reading through Crisis On Infinite Earths, some interesting moments thus far although doubtless Im not the target audience in the sense that all these superhero deaths hardlyt resonate with someone who is largely unfamiliar with most of them...

 

Hmm, just noticed John Constantine in a brief cameo, green suit?? Well I suppose this must have been way early days in the development of that character...

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