Monday, 6 October 2014

Plebeian, Performer And Pilgrim

I had already noticed that Bryan Talbot plays three roles in his Alice In Sunderland, then I realized that he had told us this on the title page:

               THE WIGAN TITWILLOW
As the Plebeian, the Performer and the Pilgrim

(I have not reproduced the colors of the smaller letters accurately.)

The Plebeian enters the theatre, where the Performer, as the White Rabbit, speaks from the stage, saying that the comic medium will conjure a vision in the imagination. The Pilgrim first appears on p. 26, drawing the Performer. The Pilgrim then addresses the reader and walks through Sunderland but is interrupted by the Plebeian who is answered by the Performer with the Pilgrim, in his most recent panel, in the background. Then the Pilgrim also addresses the Plebeian and resumes his narrative walk. Later, the Plebeian sleeps, dreams and meets the Tweedles who put the White Rabbit mask on him and send him onto the stage where he is now the Performer addressing the Plebeian. 

Needless to say, on my first reading of the book, I concentrated on the verbal content and completely missed all these interactions between the author's three roles.

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