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Sunday, 18 August 2013

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mxyzptlk

I've been thinking about this one for a couple days, and wanted to add something to it, but I just can't -- you've nailed it, particularly recurrence as a visual, textual and structural theme. I followed that IO9 discussion for a little bit -- debates over the minutiae of the final panels, the quality of the rocks and grass in the light reflection that tell us not a whole lot -- but I didn't get too far with it because that discussion didn't seem to be getting too far. Someone should have considered how those final panels fit into the work as a whole, like maybe Grant Morrison.

Spankminister

I don't have the data in front of me, but I think phasing out thought bubbles for internal character monologue happened before the Killing Joke. I think making it seem more like narration rather than calling attention to an old comic technique is the sort of shift towards the "graphic novel" style typical of this time, similar to the creative use of panel layouts and visual symmetry to take on a more "directorial" style in comics. All this to say it may not be Batman thinking this, but I don't think the absence of thought bubbles proves it.

Of course, I am biased against this post since I have fallen far out of love with Alan Moore since being blown away by Watchmen in high school. I just never found the idea that Batman belongs among his diseased rogues' gallery all that compelling, nor the repeated attempts to hammer home the duality of their situation. That he manages to effectively visually mirror this message is certainly technically interesting, but does it convey any more meaning than Nolan's clever directorial tricks in Inception? I don't think so, but I doubt I will convince someone who saw merit in Neonomicon.

Spankminister

I'd like to amend my previous statement in that although your response to Neonomicon was bewilderment, I still consider anything besides outright derision/condemnation as tacit approval.

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