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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:23 pm 
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I recently bought a copy of DC's House of Mystery comic issue 197 and was ASTONISHED at how closely the cover story mirrored the "Tales of the Black Freighter" subtext story in Watchmen and paralleled the general "pirate comics fad" of the Watchmen world.

http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o306 ... 33d79d.jpg

I recommend this to anyone looking for interesting Watchmen spinoffs. Could Moore and/or Gibbons read this comic in 1971 and deliberately or unconsciously taken the idea of Watchmen's pirate comics from the elad story here, "Ghost Ship"? This is a classic of its type. Story by Jack Oleck, art by Jack Sparling, edited by Joe Orlando. The narrative is a sea-faring yarn recounted in the first person, in overwrought prose, the art is wild and dynamic but crude, and of course, Joe Orlando is the real-life comic book genius who was tapped by Moore to appear in his alternate reality. In the late Sixties thru mid-70s Orlando edited a stable of horror comics for DC that for my money have never been surpassed; bulit on the traditions of classic EC horror but told in a more modern and gripping fashion, shaped by influences like the Twilight Zone and B-movies, and no longer stifled by a now-loosened Comics Code Authority. This House of Mystery issue is representative of its type, and in this period contained reprints of older material as well as new stories. The twist ending is a specialty, as well as black humor and vivid illustrations from old veterans and also a new wave of comic talent like Alfredo Alcala and Nestor Redondo.

The horror comic renaissance of the early 1970s was short-lived, but did it contribute toward the world of the Watchmen? Anyone reading HOM #197 would certainly think so.

Cross-posted from the "Related Topics" board.

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 Post subject: Freighter Generator
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Certainly an interesting propostion and entirely plausible, although I would question the likelihood of an 18 year old Moore getting his hands on such a particular title in deepest darkest Northampton, certainly at the time of its release: quite difficult to source from a quaint Midlands tobacconist come sweet shop come newsagents I would have thought.

Whilst Moore has gone on record to cite another specific influence, and has subsequently made a far more obvious Brechtian Pirate Jenny reference in chapter one of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. III: Century, it was after all Gibbons who suggested basing the popular comic books of WATCHMEN on a pirate theme as an alternative to superhero stories. If not Alan, then perhaps it was Dave who remembered the very type of comic you've drawn attention to?

I could, of course, just ask Dave if this was indeed the case... but I don't want to keep pestering the man. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Generator
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Writer Of Wrongs wrote:
Certainly an interesting propostion and entirely plausible, although I would question the likelihood of an 18 year old Moore getting his hands on such a particular title in deepest darkest Northampton, certainly at the time of its release: quite difficult to source from a quaint Midlands tobacconist come sweet shop come newsagents I would have thought.

Whilst Moore has gone on record to cite another specific influence, and has subsequently made a far more obvious Brechtian Pirate Jenny reference in chapter one of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. III: Century, it was after all Gibbons who suggested basing the popular comic books of WATCHMEN on a pirate theme as an alternative to superhero stories. If not Alan, then perhaps it was Dave who remembered the very type of comic you've drawn attention to?

I could, of course, just ask Dave if this was indeed the case... but I don't want to keep pestering the man. ;)


Certainly not. I doubt, actually, anything THIS distinctive would a direct influence per se -- but it's possible that the general atmosphere of comics of this type may have shaped the general approach taken to the "pirate comics" subtext in the watchmen world.

The cover of the Tales of the Black Freighter used as a movie prop was also similar to the cover art on this particular HOM issue. The serendippity is amusing! "Strange phenomena" as Kate Bush sang about. I am reminded of the strange coincidence involving the Titanic. I don't have the book or details with me as I write, but Walter Lord in his A Night to Remember history describes a novel published shortly before the Titanic's voyage that centered around a huge ocean liner (with a similar name, I recall) that hits an iceberg and sinks with great loss of life on her maiden voyage. It was an eerily prescient incident. And finding this particular comic struck me as something in a similar vein.

It's a grand issue in any event, hugely entertaining. All the stories were fun reads. The panel showing the police mistaking a male genie for a hippie and attacking him with their clubs was a riot, (vintage period humor) as was the female genie shown threatening her "master" with a rolling pin, that classic nagging housewife cliche!

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 Post subject: Ship Happens
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:09 pm 
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piper909 wrote:
The cover of the Tales of the Black Freighter used as a movie prop was also similar to the cover art on this particular HOM issue.

Well, Dave Gibbons was responsible for the artwork on the prop. I could, of course, just ask him if your vintage pirate comic was indeed a shaping influence for that, too... but I still don't want to keep pestering the man. :D


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