Sunday, 19 January 2014

1956 Revisited

The original writer of Miracleman (New York, 2014) created a perfect contrast between the PROLOGUE (pp. 1-10) and episode 1, "A Dream of Flying" (pp. 11-19). Each of these short comic strips presents an interaction between the mid-fifties and the early eighties but their perspectives are opposite in every respect.

The first strip, written by Mick Anglo, was originally published in 1956. When the writer of Miracleman adapted it as his Prologue, he revised it verbally though not visually. Thus, in the Prologue, science fiction villains from the future, in the revised version from 1981, invade 1956 and the Miracleman Family counter-attacks in 1981, whereas in episode 1, originally both published and set in 1982, Michael Moran, unexpectedly transformed into Miracleman, suddenly recalls his strange adventures of the fifties although, like everyone else, Liz Moran has never heard of a Miracleman.

Mick Anglo had looked forward to a science fictional future whereas his successor looks back to a simpler time. As I say, a perfect contrast.

1956 is significant year for me because it was the first year in which I remember noticing that we were in a year with a number and that that number would change after 31 December. I was seven. We lived in the Lake District in the North West of England and, in 1956, I began to attend a boarding school, now closed and the building demolished, in a small seaside resort that was also a "dormitory town" of Glasgow. I occasionally read Superman and Marvelman in comics and hard back annuals.

The Miracleman Prologue highlights 1956 and episode 1 mentions "...the Lake District..." (p. 14) so that reading these strips feels like coming home but as an adult.

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