Last year, Brain Scan published Watchmensch by me and Simon Rohrmuller. A commentary on the comics industry over the last seventy years using the language and characters of Watchmen, coinciding with the release of the movie.
During which I tried to compress the entire Watchmen narrative into 22 pages, including 3 splash pages. This included the scene to move the main cast from prison to the Antarctic with as few panels as possible. And I’d had an idea. The character 1700 Broadway Manhattan opened a door from one prison panel to an Antarctic panel, stating that DC Comics had a series of tunnels around the world, so that people could walk between spots almost instantly “through the gutters of the world”. I thought it was funny, clever, and a bit Alan Moorey. And fitted with his idea that Dr Manhattan in Watchmen played the part of the reader, able to experience the story in any order they chose.
Last week Neonomicon came out. Now, before I’d put pen to paper on Watchmensch, Alan Moore had already written the first issue of Neonomicon for Avatar Press. I’d read a few pages that had been published in the preview Hornbook, but not the end of the first issue. Which I’ve now just read.
And which featured a scene in which a character escapes detection by police, and its implied he did so through the gutters between panels. Read more about that here.
When writing Watchmensch I deliberately and openly stole all sorts of Watchmen stuff. And I was trying to write as much of an pseudo-Alan Moore style as I could to make the parody work better.
Now, Moore is a great believer in Ideaspace, that sometimes ideas have their time and spontaneously generate in separate heads simultaneosly without influence.
Well, with Watchmensch I seem to have quite accidentally invaded his Ideaspace with tanks. And took hostages. In trying to write like Alan Moore, however badly, it seems I thought of something he did, independently.
Swipe File celebrates the swipe, the ripoff, the homage, the influence, the deliberate juxtaposition, the simultaneous thought and the coincidence. I’m just trying to work out which one I did here.
In Swipe File we present two or more images that resemble each other to some degree. They may be homages, parodies, ironic appropriations, coincidences or works of the lightbox. We trust you, the reader, to make that judgment yourself. If you are unable to do so, please return your eyes to their maker before any further damage is done. The Swipe File doesn’t judge, it’s interested more in the process of creation, how work influences other work, how new work comes from old, and sometimes how the same ideas emerge simultaneously, as if their time has just come. The Swipe File was named after the advertising industry habit where writers and artist collect images and lines they admire to inspire them in their work. It was swiped from the Comic Journal who originally ran this column, as well as the now defunct Swipe Of The Week website.
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