More Crossed Plus 100 References and Some Questions

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In my spare time, I’ve been enjoying annotating some of Alan Moore’s comics. Alan Moore writes great stuff, with lots of references to pop culture, literature, other comics, etc.

People actually publish books (and, more often these days, create websites), that are basically companion volumes, pointing out all of the references he has crammed into his most highly referential series including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Top Ten, and Watchmen.

Below are two examples of the latest references I’ve been tracking down for Crossed Plus One Hundred (CPOH), a new comics series written by Alan Moore and drawn by Gabriel Andrade. Crossed are basically depraved zombies. Not my favorite genre, but in Moore and Andrade’s hands, it works. CPOH is a look at what a post-apocalyptic future might look like after a hundred years from now. See this earlier post for three more CPOH references.

There are a series of CPOH variant cover images called “future tense.” Each image is a homage to a science fiction book. Below is Gabriel Andrade’s future tense cover for CPOH4, and the book cover it references A Canticle For Leibowitz.

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Crossed Plus One Hundred No.4 future tense cover, art by Gabriel Andrade (left) and its source 1950s sci-fi novel A Canticle For Leibowitz

And here’s the future tense cover from CPOH5 and the 1950s book cover it references, Tiger! Tiger! (aka The Stars My Destination.)

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.5 future tense cover, art by Gabriel Andrade (left) and its source 1950s sci-fi novel Tiger! Tiger!

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.5 future tense cover, art by Gabriel Andrade (left) and its source 1950s sci-fi novel Tiger! Tiger!

Even after scouring the internet, reading, and re-reading each issue, there are still quite a few references I can’t figure out. At the time of this writing, there are only two (of six) issues released (plus future covers at Avatar Press.) These references may be made clearer as other issues come out… and there will probably be a whole raft of new references I am looking to track down as new issues hit the shelves.

Readers – take a look a the list below and see if you can help me figure these out.

1. Sci-Fi book references? (#2 still not clear, #3 is Heinlein’s Glory Road.)

CPOH No. 2 and No. 3 future tense covers, art by Gabriel Andrade. Can anyone tell what sci-fi books these refer to?

CPOH No. 2 and No. 3 future tense covers, art by Gabriel Andrade. Can anyone tell what sci-fi books these refer to?

The above variant covers refer to some sci-fi books. Theoretically the left one should reference a cover of a J.R.R. Tolkein book, but I couldn’t find any that resemble it. The right one we should learn more about when CPOH3 comes out in late February.

2. Album cover reference?

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.1 CGC Numbered Edition Variant Cover, art by Gabriel Andrade

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.1 CGC Numbered Edition Variant Cover, art by Gabriel Andrade

This is an unusual variant cover that I am guessing might refer to an album cover. The Crossed character on the right seems to be building a guitar. Also the guy in the back is seated a bit like a drummer. Can anyone tell what this might reference?

3. Images from “the Surprise” possibly from earlier Crossed comics?

the surprise

Details from cell phone footage the crew finds from The Surprise – CPOH No.1 P12,p3 and No.2 P11,p3. Art by Gabriel Andrade. I am guessing that these might be from earlier Crossed comics.

Moore and Andrade’s CPOH builds on a series of Crossed comics, which I haven’t read… though I am starting to, some. In CPOH, the crew finds video footage of “the Surprise” which was the first big Crossed outbreak that started in 2008. I think the above two images may be taken from earlier Crossed comic books. Any Crossed readers out there recognize these? The one in CPOH No.2 (Page 11) says that they’re “singing a church-song” – does that ring any bells from earlier Crossed stories?

(solved – see comments!) 4.What blue book is this?

What is the title on that blue book in the lower right? Detail from CPOH No.1, P7,p3 - art by Gabriel Andrade

What is the title on that blue book in the lower right? Detail from CPOH No.1, P7,p3 – art by Gabriel Andrade

In CPOH No.1, crewmembers gather books in an abandoned library, and many of the book titles in the library and legible and pertain to themes in the issue. The above blue book, from Page 7 panel 3, like something specific, but I can’t quite make it out. Looks like maybe “Esperando Carvão” or something like that? Might be Brazilian Portuguese?

5. What do Crossed mean when they say “Bosol“?

Details from Crossed-speak

Crossed in two different cities say “bosol” – what does it mean? Details from Crossed-speak CPOH No.1 P9,p5 and CPOH No.2 P19,p3. Art by Gabriel Andrade

The Crossed zombies speak in a sort of semi-decipherable gibberish. For example, “unguhvurruhmuh” I am pretty sure means “thank you very much” (in a Southern accent.) I think it’s going to be made clearer in future issues, but right now it’s a mystery that two different Crossed, in different cities, both say “bosol” – and I have no idea what it means.

6. What does “anal” mean in 2108 speak?

Moore’s future humans speak a clever 2108 language that’s English, but evolved a hundred years into the future. Most of it is decipherable (see my glossary), but a few things are puzzling. The word “anal”  is used as follows in CPOH1. Two of the crew are on a mission looking for archival materials. They’re entering an old abandoned library that looks promising for books that they can use to learn about the past, and about technology. A character named Future Taylor says:

“Wo. If half this is more than dust and bugs, Oldwoman George can anal the resource committee.” (CPOH1, P7,p2)

At first I thought it might be short for “analyse.” Then I thought it might an initialization – words that begin with those four letters – like “ask needed ancillary losses” or something. There’s a lot of creative swearing throughout CPOH, so it could be the basic scatological meaning of anal… but I don’t know. It probably should mean something like “reward” or “promote” – how can this come from “anal”?

7. What buildings are these?

What buildings are these? Detail from CPOH No. 3 variant cover by Gabriel Andrade

What buildings are these? Detail from CPOH No. 3 variant cover by Gabriel Andrade

These are getting really obscure, but I am going to just put stuff out there. These red-roofed structures look like they’re from a very specific place. The full cover is here.

8. What does this subway sign say?

subway

What does this NYC subway sign say? Detail from CPOH No.4 variant cover by Gabriel Andrade

These are partial letters from a subway station sign in lower Manhattan – see full cover here. Looks like it reads “PL ??? DEN GO ???”

And while I am at it, from some earlier Alan Moore puzzle work I never quite finished:

(solved – see comments!) 9. Who are these mystery cameo characters from Splash Brannigan stories?

Mystery woman mopping and man schlepping - from Splash Brannigan comics. Art by Hillary Barta

Mystery woman mopping and man schlepping – from Splash Brannigan comics. Art by Hilary Barta

There are a couple of recurring cameo characters in the Splash Brannigan stories by Alan Moore and Hilary Barta. There’s a woman wearing a red and white striped shirt; she’s mopping an art gallery and mopping after a comic book convention. (She appears in Tomorrow Stories No.7, P2,p2 and No.8 P6,p4.) There’s another red-haired 5-o’clock-shadowed big guy who helps carry things and and serves as a chauffer. (He appears in Tomorrow Stories No.8 P6,p1&4 and No.11 P2,p5)

Let me know via the comments (or email linton.joe [at] gmail.com) if you can help identify any of these unsolved references.

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17 Responses to “More Crossed Plus 100 References and Some Questions”

  1. dvn61danny Says:

    In regard to number 9 on your list. The big fella in the Splash Brannigan stories looks like a tribute to a recurring Bill Elder character from the very first editions of MAD magazine. Elder often used this character to represent the “muscle” but who was a dullard and never spoke much and was ALWAYS being bullied by the smaller smarter “brains” of the outfit. Look through here at Frank N Stein http://jeffoverturf.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/frank-n-stein-will-elder-mad-mondays.html and here for the GANEFS (you’ll need to scroll down a bit) http://www.tomrichmond.com/blog/tag/will-elder/

  2. ZH Says:

    The woman up close in the second picture of #3 looks like the mother in the second volume of Crossed (Family Values). You can see a picture here for comparison: http://www.comcav.net/collections/premium-variants/products/crossed-family-values-7-wraparound (She’s 2nd from the left – similar hair and mouth, and same eye colour).
    The family start off being pretty churchy. She turns into one of the Crossed about half way through. I don’t know who the other two people are, and I don’t believe this depicts any particular scene from the series. From memory, she’s mostly out in the woods from when she turns until the end when the crossed invade an old hospital, but I don’t think she would have had time to take any home movies.

    I also would really like to know what Bosol or Bafol mean. It’s killing me. It seems to me that the Crossed haven’t shown themselves to be particularly violent this series. They want to get up close to the humans but are more interested in them and their plain faces than wanting to hurt them. In the first issue, one of them actually turns and tries to run away, just before that woman starts coming at them with the crossed fingers as if to protect herself. I don’t think that would’ve happened in the earlier series: the crossed were happy to sacrifice themselves if it meant that the virus continued on. Later, the infected warn them about the wolves. In issue 2, they come at the survivors again in Graceland but are more playful than scary, until Giancoma turns. To me, the free crossed just seem to be out for a good time, and have some sort of sense of self-preservation.

    • Joe Linton Says:

      Cool – she looks similar… anyone know where family values takes place? I just read Crossed Volume 1 (see this page) – and part of it is in Denver, but there’s a lot where it could sort of be any place. Am curious how AM/GA chose TN… did it have any specific precedent in earlier Crossed books?

  3. Tim Says:

    Regarding question one the Future Tense for issue 03 is referring back to a classic cover for Heinlein’s Glory Road

  4. Tim Says:

    Concerning your query number 4 my thought is that since Mr. Andrade is Brazilian he is tipping his hat to the book “O Espadachim de Carvao” or the Coal Sword by Affonso Solano who may be a friend or a favorite book of his or perhaps on e of his children.

  5. Tim Says:

    Regarding your query number six I think that the context seems to indicate that the finding of the cache of books would give Oldwoman George leverage with the resource committee which made me think along the lines of anal meaning “brown nose” or something similar. Or it might be even stronger still and refer to something like “butt f*ck” as in “have dominance or power over” (again via leverage).
    My 2 cents worth.

    • Joe Linton Says:

      yes – I’ve been thinking that anal is just a swear word – a superlative swear word. Their “fuck” means “very” – with no super-clear linear explanation. Their “anal” could just mean sort of “value very highly”… I keep waiting for a character to use it again, just read #3 today and didn’t spot it.

      • Angel Says:

        I personally took it as being an oblique way of saying a common phrase of this day and age – i.e. “Oldwoman George can shove the resource committee where the sun don’t shine”.

        Also – with the revelations of later issues – you’ll note that not only did the Crossed say “Bosol” but also “Bafol” to Robbie – i.e., “Bashful”.

        Also also, I think there’s a minor detail wrong with the “American History” variant cover for #5. It says it takes place in 2025 – but that would put the character depicted there (Jokemercy) in his 80s or 90s by the time we see him again…

      • Joe Linton Says:

        Responding to Angel: I think the 2025 cover shows an earlier Crossed who is not Jokemercy. It seems like Salt (with Doc) started the interrogations in the 2020s and it took until ~2070 to find Jokemercy.

        Definiely Bafol is Bashful – I plan to go back through and fill in stuff where I was guessing earlier.

  6. Colin Mc Keown Says:

    Query 5. Is it the name Basil?

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