Tag Archives: phil jimenez

Counting to None

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Invisibles Vol. 5: Counting to None by Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez:

Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez's Counting to None from Vertigo

 

I’m reading these reprint collections of Grant Morrison’s Invisibles comic in sequential order, and this is definitely the one that I have enjoyed the best so far. I don’t know if it’s because of the intrinsic merits of its own story, or whether it’s simply that I’ve now read enough of the prior material to feel properly oriented in the story’s world. Each of the main characters from the original Invisibles cell of the first series has now had some significant backstory narrative, and a time-travel plot provides some new perspectives on familiar characters.

This volume collects the individual issues making up three titled arcs: “Time Machine Go,” “Sensitive Criminals,” and “Amerian Death Camp.” Written and published in the late 1990s, these stories seem to accept the identification of Vernor Vinge’s technological singularity with the end of the Mayan long count calendrical cycle in 2012 — an idea later popularized by Daniel Pinchbeck, among others, but which may have been original with Morrison here, as far as I can tell. Still, that feature reduces the immediacy of the narrative when reading it in 2013. Ragged Robin, the witch from the future who is the current leader of the Invisibles, mentions other contra-factual events from the first decade of the 21st century, with similar effects.

Up to his usual tricks, Morrison provides some startling intimations of presque vu and psychedelia-through-language. Many of the motifs in this segment of The Invisibles also feature in his later, more contained and incisive work The Filth. Phil Jimenez does an effective job of depicting key disorientations without entirely losing the reader, and manages to keep the violence as realistic as possible in the context. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Bloody Hell in America

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Invisibles Vol. 4: Bloody Hell in America by Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez:

Grant Morrison's The Invisibles 4: Bloody Hell in America from Vertigo

 

The jacket copy on this fourth collection of Morrison’s The Invisibles suggests that readers might profitably start reading the series here. Perhaps that’s so: it lacks the narrative hand-holding offered by the naive Jack Frost in the early issues centered on his recruitment, but readers likely to get much out of this series never really needed that in the first place. This shortish volume collects a free-standing plot sequence and showcases the principal characters without surplus exposition.

The four issues collected here are actually the beginning of the second Invisibles series as published in periodical comic book format. Although the trade paperback bears the title Bloody Hell in America, the individual parts are the commencement (and completion?) of the story arc “Black Science.” The cinematic violence that is a mainstay of the series is on abundant display here, along with the themes of mind control and spiritual coercion. The conspiracy at stake is pretty humdrum for a post-X-Files readership, although Morrison raises the metaphysical stakes somewhat.

To the extent that there is character development in this volume, it is focused on Ragged Robin, but by the final page her backstory is still pretty opaque. (It does appear that she gets to encounter her childhood self very briefly.) A couple of new accessory “good guys” are added, in the form of Jolly Roger (a dour dyke who was King Mob’s colleague in martial arts) and Mason (a rich American on a po-mo grail quest). [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.