Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Plebeian, Pilgrim And Performer, Part II

See here.

Interactions between the author's three roles become more complex. On p. 181, the Pilgrim (abbreviated as "THE PILG" in the script (see p. 55)), rowing a boat, sings, "Life is but a dream," and again, "...life is but a..." Turning the page, we find a more realistically drawn Bryan Talbot waking from a dream. Going downstairs, he draws page 1, the Plebeian approaching the Sunderland Empire Theatre. Pages 2 and 3 are the same picture filled in, then completed, with the texts, "Well, there's this guy, right..." (p. 2) and "...and he goes to this theatre..." (p. 3). When the more realistically drawn Bryan Talbot has drawn p. 3, the Performer appears in front of the panel and recites these words. Then, the Plebeian, seeing all this on a screen inside the theatre, objects to his image being used.

Plebeian and Performer argue, the latter repeating Wonderland words to claim that they are both mad. This makes the more realistically drawn Bryan Talbot exclaim that he is mad. Then he asks the reader whether the reader is dreaming him. When Scott McCloud has appeared and shed some light, the more realistically drawn Bryan Talbot, addressing the Plebeian, removes a mask and costume, showing us that, underneath, he is the Performer. Going backstage, he steps through a door on a right hand page and emerges from the same door on the following left hand page, thus passing through the page. He shows us that Carroll made Alice do this with the Looking Glass. Then he draws us panels of himself in Tintin style walking through Morocco before reminding us of the Bayeux Tapestry, seen earlier, and analyzing the works of William Hogarth over seven pages. The Tapestry is "...the beginning of British comics history..." (p. 195) and Hogarth is "...the next great milestone..." (ibid.)

On p. 216, the Pilgrim, who has been walking through history, is suddenly on a screen in the theatre with the two resident ghosts, introduced earlier, commenting. The unidentified White Lady tells Sid James, a comedy actor who had died on stage, a local ghost story in horror comic style before they again watch the Pilgrim on screen and the reader soon forgets that there has been a screen.

On p. 317, an even more realistically drawn Bryan Talbot wakes up at the end of Swan Lake at the Empire and his wife thinks that he has missed the show but he thinks that he hasn't. P. 318 is them walking home.

(...hopefully not to be mugged by Joe Chill.)

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