The Magic of Television!!!
Alan Moore has read too much James Joyce, not the Dubliners James Joyce, but the Odyssey James Joyce. He is communicating and in doing so he is inventing a language of symbols and sounds, more poetry than prose and doing it in a graphic medium. Communicating is too a strong a word, as it implies that there will be someone else understanding the message. I think in this attempt he has failed. The first third of the book is complete non-sense, well written and poetic, but a complete failure for a comic. The only think that rescues this comic is the artwork.
“What was my form, what was my first face in that pre-creational abyss before they threw the switch; what omens were attendant to my signal-flare nativity?”
Now, starting in page twenty-two we see a different Alan Moore, one that can be said has been influenced by the likes of Philip K Dick at his schizophrenic best. Moore draws us into a history of the early half of the twentieth century interweaving the Depression with the scientific discoveries of Einstein and the passivism of Gandhi and the terror that was Hitler. Television proving to be Moore’s vehicle to distill sketches of history to us the passive reader. Then we are faced with Hiroshima and Nagasaki as illustrations of what humanity can bring forth as the cleansing fires or is it retribution? This is done so well as to lead us to understand the creative genius that resides in Moore when he is at his best.
The last third is a rummage through popular culture and the post-war economic triumphs of the few over the many, but even when the few enrich themselves the many prosper to some degree increasing the so call middle class to allow the few to continue their practices and mal-practices. Here we see Moore’s anarchism most clearly.
And finally we come to the present where technology reigns supreme and becomes the new pimp, provider of sexual toys and alienation reigns supreme. “Come naked and come all that I may penetrate you in your billions at a single instant, for I crave your soft fellatio of eyelid lips, the hot, deep, sucking warmth of socket throat upon me.”
For this is the magic of Television!!!