Monday, December 03, 2007

The Ballad of the Hermeneutic Circle - Pt I. - pg. 4


Click for legible, if no more coherent, reading size.
Next: End Pt. I/ Brink of Death.


Also:Whiling away the hours, indifferently awaiting the boring conclusion of Part I? I heartily recommend occupying the time with the only comic even more delayed than our present entertainment, Mr. Alan Moore and Mr. Kevin O'Neill's impossibly densely composed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier. The adventure is as cracking fun as ever, but with the further expansion of the historical timeline, the literary gamesmanship has simply gone bonkers. The story is fractured and experimental, at least as madly ambitious as the "New Traveller's Almanac" in Volume 2. That breathtaking brain-bender was my favorite League piece, and it's been surpassed by Black Dossier.

I mention this here, because the fictional-text crunching has long left obsessive Victoriana, and now extends into the 1950s, which 1) allows a gratifying opening sequence of Mina Harker smashing in James Bond's teeth and lamenting his thuggery and misogyny, and 2) opens the playing field to a dazzling, crazed expanse of film and television referents. Cinephiles who could normally take or leave such delights as singularly dirty-mouthed Shakespeare pastiches, are advised to check it totally out. Carry On in-jokes! Avengers obscuriana in the opening pages! A Gorgo gag that's worth the price of admission! A Chaplin reference that will blow your goddamned mind! Extended Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? riff includes cruel Rock Hudson joke! You won't believe what you're seeing. Bone up on your Quatermass and the Pit and Fireball XL5 creatures before diving in.

7 comments:

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

I've been enjoying this. Every time I come to the Kinetoscope, I'm hoping for something like your sublime piece on BEETLEJUICE (or THE SHINING), but I like how the quasi-narrative nature of this format allows for interesting digressions.

Chris Stangl said...

Thanks Ed; there are more long (long, long) essays in the hopper, but obviously they take a long time to write, and there are huge drawbacks to web-publishing them. Pt II is partly about the perils of trying to operate a blog that way.

aram said...

Am I wrong, or is comic-world Chris Stangl slowly undressing as this story proceeds? Either way, I am enjoying this very much.

Jordan said...

All I want are more posts about X-Files or They Might Be Giants, but I'm willing to wait. I can wait allllll day...


-Jordan

mike said...

Man, I'm really enjoying this as well. Thanks for posting it! I can't wait to see how it ends...Anticipationnnnn!

NATHANIEL R said...

i love this. that is all.

agreed that the digressions are quite interesting

C. Jerry Kutner said...

I loved THE BLACK DOSSIER, particularly the fact that most of it takes place in a post-1984 (Orwell) England.

An attempt to list and annotate the many pop cultural references in THE BLACK DOSSIER can be found at http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=12391