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.
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.)
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?
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?
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?
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“?
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?
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?
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?
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.