Crossed Plus One Hundred 2

Cover of Crossed Plus One Hundred No.1, art by Gabriel Andrade. Image via Avatar Press

Cover of Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, art by Gabriel Andrade. Image via Avatar Press

Below are annotations for Crossed Plus One Hundred, No. 2 “Return Of The King” (24 pages, January 2015)
Writer: Alan Moore (AM), Artist: Gabriel Andrade (GA)

>Go to CPOH annotations index
>Go to CPOH timeline
>Go to CPOH language/glossary
>Go to CPOH background, cast of characters

Note: some of this stuff is obvious, but you never know who’s reading this and what their exposure is. For things I missed or got wrong, comment, or email linton.joe [at] gmail.com

General: The CPOH crew spend two days exploring Memphis, Tennessee – including the central city, zoo, pyramid, and Graceland. They frequently mis-identify things, for example they identify Graceland as the governor’s mansion. Future Taylor and Robbie Greer talk about their personal histories. Future Taylor muses on connections with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

WARNING: SPOILERS.

Cover (just regular cover shown above – variant covers here)

  • The cover depicts an interior at Graceland, the former home of singer Elvis Presley and, as of 2015, basically an Elvis museum. That room has a wall of awards Elvis won for selling lots of records. The booth on the right contained an Elvis outfit, now removed, so just the dummy stand is seen. For an example photo of what this room looks like today, see this image (from a Running Through This World post) and the photo below.
  • Graceland in the city of Memphis, in southwest Tennessee; the crew moved west across TN in CPOH1. See Google map of CPOH places.
  • Graceland and Elvis imagery are also on CPOH2 variant covers: future tense and CGC numbered.
  • The characters pictured are Hope Giancoma and Robbie Greer (see CPOH cast of characters page.)
  • The skulls have cross-shaped scarring so they’re from the Crossed – depraved former-human cross-faced zombies.
Display room at Graceland. Photo by "Graceland 2010-12-18 Memphis TN 51" by Thomas R Machnitzki - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graceland_2010-12-18_Memphis_TN_51.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Graceland_2010-12-18_Memphis_TN_51.jpg

Display room at Graceland. Photo by Thomas R Machnitzki via Wikipedia

Page 1

panel 1

  • The mixed-case captions are Future Taylor writing in her journal.
  • “July 14 2108” is the next day after CPOH1 ended.
  • “AFAWK” is an initialization of ‘As Far As We Know.’ (see CPOH glossary.)
  • “Memphis” is the city of Memphis, TN (see CPOH map.)
  • “Wi-Fi” is Wishful Fiction, what today we call science fiction (see CPOH glossary.) “Wi-Fi encyclopedia” is the book Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, which Taylor found in CPOH1 P7,p3.
  • “Lord of the Rings” is of course J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy of The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) books. These books appeared in the library in CPOH1 (see Cover and P7.) The title of CPOH2 (see P2 below) refers to them.
  • “Wishful Fiction about the past” is an inaccurate description of LOTR, which takes place in a fantasy realm not on earth at all. One of the recurring themes in CPOH2 is how Future Taylor and her crew get things wrong. They are doing their best to reconstruct history, but they are imperfect witnesses, prone to errors in their descriptions of things. (Commenter pandrio notes that LOTR was apparently meant to take place in an imaginary period during the earth’s past, though it is a common misconception that it took place in a fantasy realm.)
  • The panel image in black and white is a flashback to earlier times. The flashback is described below, starting in panel 3.
  • Panel 1 depicts “the Surprise” – the first Crossed outbreak starting in 2008.  Future Taylor’s grandfather is the little boy in the middle left.
  • There may be some significance to the room number – might be 23 or 231 or 23-something? (My guess is that the 2-3 refers to the panel format for CPOH pages – 3 rows of 2 panels each.  The numbers are on a door – which is perhaps a sort of a stand in for a comics panel. See CPOH1 P1,p1 for more discussion of the 6-panel, 3-row format.)

panels 1-2 (and all panels 1-6 this page)

  • Panelwise: There’s an interesting repetition going on in the rows across this page. Panels on the right pertain to panels on the left. Specifically for panels 1-2:
    – The two Crossed in the left foreground of panel 1 mirror the two Crossed skulls in the right foreground of panel 2.
    – The humans running in panel 1 are sort of mirrored by the humans (not shown, but inside the battlebus) on panel 2.
    – Even the V-shaped breast contours of the corpse in the lower left in panel 1 are mirrored by the V-shaped flowers (buddleia) and butterfly.
  • All of the above repetition shows differences between 2008 and 2108:
    – The Crossed who were in-your-face abusive in 2008 are dead and dwindling in 2108.
    – Humans who were in close proximity to the Crossed in 2008 are shielded from them in 2108.
    – The cramped frantic horrific 2008 interior has given way to a deceptively somewhat-peaceful 2108 exterior. This is evident in fewer words, fewer captions (AM talks about this in his interview in Bleeding Cool No.14. In CPOH, AM is deliberately using fewer words per page to achieve a different, sparser feel.)
    – 2008 Crossed rape-abuse sexuality has been replaced by 2108 emerging wilderness fertility (sort of “the birds and the bees” euphemism.)

panel 2

  • The panel image in color is the present day – in this case 2108.
  • “Literated” is an interesting 2108-speak. I think that Taylor is sort of making a past-tense verb out of “literature” and/or “literate,” but it kind of sounds to me like “obliterated.”
  • The purple flower is buddleia – see CPOH1 Page 6 for explanation.
  • The lower Crossed skull resembles a Jolly Roger skull and crossbones pirate flag… not sure if that’s significant. (AM did pirate comics in Watchmen… but I think it’s a stretch that this pertains to those.)

panel 3

  • The characters pictured, left to right, are Future Taylor, Robbie Greer (barely visible), Hope Giancoma, and Archie Keller. See CPOH cast of characters.
  • “Jeorge R.R. Tolkien” is another thing Future Taylor has wrong. The J in author J.R.R. Tolkien stands for John, not Jeorge. Commenter dvn61danny points out that Taylor seems to be conflating Tolkien with author George R.R. Martin, whose work was the basis for Game of Thrones.
Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 1, panels 3-4. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 1, panels 3-4. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade

panels 3-4

  • Repetition for panels 3-4: (note in panels 1-2 there is reflection-repetition – panel 1 is flipped to become panel 2. For panels 3-4, the repetition is side-by-side. Not sure what this difference means. It may have to do with foreshadowing?)
    – Both panels 3 and 4 depict a younger person on the left and two older people on the right.
    – The panels foreshadow how the crew will, later in this issue, have to burn Giancoma when she becomes infected, similar to how Taylor’s grandfather had to burn his parents when they became infected. (Ay… I hope this doesn’t mean Keller is going to get infected and die soon too.)

panel 4

  • “Bio-boobies” are biological booby-traps set by the Crossed, using their bodily fluids to coat bullets, sharp sticks, etc. (Thanks commenter dvn61danny.)
  • The panel image is black and white, so it takes place in the past. It’s apparently 9 years after the 2008 Surprise, so about 2017. The boy is Future Taylor’s maternal grandfather; the Crossed are his parents, whom it looks like he’s going to burn with some kind of flammable liquid.

panel 5

  • Black and white panel, apparently depicting the  “Chooga” (Chattanooga, TN) compound in 2075. This panel drawing is repeated on P23,p6 below.
  • That’s Future Taylor’s grandfather and his daughter, Taylor’s mother (Laura), on the right.
  • I think that the man inside Chooga (the one waving) is probably Robbie Greer (see my speculation on P23,p6 below.) The other man inside Chooga (seated, with gun) may be Archie Keller, or Taylor’s father, or just some random Chooga resident.
  • Nitpickology: I think that the colorist missed Greer’s left leg.

panels 5-6

  • The repetition stuff breaks down a little on panels 5-6. There are similarities. Both panels depict a small group of people, interior/exterior, and mitigating grid-panel-barriers. Perhaps the two people inside Chooga (p5) are analogous to the crew inside the steam-bus (p6.)
Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 1, panel 6. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 1, panel 6. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade

panel 6

  • The woman in the middle is Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki. See CPOH cast of characters.
  • I think that this panel is visually a little funky; that usually means that AM is trying to convey a lot. The view is from the front of the crew’s vehicle. The Memphis skyline is behind the viewer, seen in reflection off the front window. The people are inside the vehicle, seen through the window which has horizontal armored slats or bars. (My quibble: the skyline buildings should probably appear semi-transparent in front of the people, but that’s difficult to draw.)
  • There’s symbolism here: shifting views, layers, and perspectives. We’re early 21st Century readers viewing early 22nd Century crewmembers viewing the ruins of the early 21st Century civilization. There are barriers to these views – we can’t see them fully due to the armored slats… and they can’t fully see their world due to those slats.
  • There’s also a vertical slat between Taylor and the rest of the crew. This sets Taylor apart from the others (though both she and Greer appear related by disposition – seated, with gaze downward, clutching objects – her book, his gun.) The slats on Future Taylor’s window are fewer, wider apart – so maybe we can see her better than the others, and/or she can see her world with slightly fewer obstructions.
  • The slats (especially the vertical one) look a lot like the gutters of comics; the windows and space between slats look like comics panels… probably some AM symbolism there.
  • Panelwise: Last but not least here, the transition from panel 6 into Page 2 is interesting. AM uses an excellent comics page-turn reveal trick that he used prominently in CPOH1 between pages 17 and 18-19 (the wolves spread.) A bottom-right panel shows surprised crew-member/s looking at something that the reader can’t see. Then the reader turns the page, and – boom – the sight is revealed (via a large to full-page+ panel.) Especially on first read, there’s some tension – and, given that it’s a horror comic, some apprehension.
    These reveals form an almost too-consistent rhythm in CPOH2:
    – P1 to P2 reveals Memphis city.
    – P3 to P4 reveals feral elephants.
    – P5 to P6 reveals the Memphis Pyramid. (This doesn’t quite match the others as there’s no anticipation of this on P5.)
    – P7 to P8 reveals the damaged Hernando De Soto Bridge.
    – P13 to P14-15 reveals Graceland’s entryway and painting. (The page-panel layout of P14-15 is the same as CPOH1 P18-19.)
    – P15 to P16 reveals Graceland’s Jungle Room.
    – And in contrast, there is P17 to P18, where readers get two panels of preview that the Crossed are coming in the window… while… the… crew are too fuck distracted to notice what we’re seeing. Though the page-turn reveal still gives a boom on Page 18 when we see the melee erupt, the set-up is reversed: for six earlier transitions the crew sees before the reader; this one the reader sees first, before the crew.

Page 2

panel 1

  • The city is Memphis, Tennessee. I tooled around Google street view and it’s not actually Sam Cooper Boulevard mentioned below, but I didn’t find this location yet. There are a lot of clues:
    – it’s an intersection of two one-way streets (from the turn sign)
    – there are multiple skyscrapers (see Page 1, panel 6 for a skyline)
    – there are parking structures joined by what appears to be a pedestrian bridge (multiple downtown Memphis ped bridges on Google – see examples.)
    It’s pretty clear this is downtown Memphis, though right now I think that it’s probably a made-up street.
  • Scarlet macaw, photo by Cburnett via wikipedia

    Scarlet macaw, photo by Cburnett via Wikipedia

    The multi-color birds look like Scarlet Macaws. They’re exotic birds, escaped from captivity, likely from a zoo, pet store, or home. More escaped, now feral, species like these follow. More macaws appear on P4,p1 and P6,p1.
    In a comment, Gabriel Andrade mentions that he was born in Macau (Brazil) where Scarlet Macaws are common.

  • The title of the issue “Return Of The King” is from J.R.R. Tolkien’s third book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy The Return of the King. That trilogy is mentioned by Future Taylor a few times throughout the issue, starting on Page 1.
    The title is also a reference to singer Elvis Presley, who is known as “the King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King.” See cover and P13 onward for the crew’s exploration of Graceland.
    I think that king also refers to animals reclaiming cities. Though the elephants are prominent in CPOH2, there are lions (known as the “king of beasts” and the “king of the jungle”) pictured on some covers – CPOH2 American History X variant cover, and CPOH Taste Test Crossed Flavor variant cover.
    Alan Moore explored a similar escaped zoo animals taking over the city theme in Swamp Thing No.53 “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. In that issue, Swamp Thing causes Gotham City to become overgrown with vegetation and, in “an overgrown department store… in the cosmetics department… an escaped tiger treads carefully through the spilled lipsticks.” Moore, in the 1987 documentary Monsters, Maniacs and Moore describes this in a way that also applies to CPOH: (beginning at minute 4:15)

In one episode of Swamp Thing, we have an entire tropical rainforest bursting up through the streets of New York and smothering the city in vegetation. In the resultant carnage and chaos all the animals escape from the local zoo so that you have parakeets roosting on top of street lamps and escaped tigers padding through the cosmetics department at a local chain store.

What we were trying to suggest is that even though mankind can cover nature and smother the wilderness with a layer of concrete and cement. Even though mankind can erect huge powerful and impressive looking buildings that underneath our feet underneath the buried pipes and the buried cables nature is still there. The wilderness is still there. And though man might boast of having conquered nature that’s not the case, for if nature were to shrug or merely raise its eyebrow, then we should all be gone.

Page 3

panel 1

  • “Highway Forty” is Interstate 40.
  • “Sam Cooper Boulevard” is an actual highway in Memphis, TN. According to its Wikipedia entry, the freeway’s namesake Sam Cooper was a Memphis businessman who ran a vegetable oil refinery. So, Hope Giancoma is wrong when she thinks that Sam Cooper was a singer, perhaps conflating the name with singer Sam Cooke. She also has “sole” singer wrong – which should be a “soul” singer – as in Soul music.
  • “Will there be wolfs here?” Kriswyczki asks because the crew encountered wolves in CPOH1 P18.

panel 3

  • This looks like a pretty specific street view (broken circular mirror?, O-something sign?), but I couldn’t find it online.

panel 5

  • “Arkansaw” is a phonetic spelling of the state of Arkansas. This is made clear from Greer’s later dialog on P9,p2 below.
  • Robbie Greer is about 45 years old. 2108 minus 2075 equals 33. 33 plus 12 equals 45.
  • This panel sets up a page-turn reveal – see P1,p6 above for explanation.

Page 4

panel 1

  • The elephants have escaped from the zoo and become feral. In this 2014 Bleeding Cool interview, AM mentions “with the species that had escaped from botanical gardens and zoos, a lot of our western cities would be pretty tropical. […] Animal populations would have changed massively.”
  • The birds are macaws, see P2,p1.

panel 2

  • “Hipponocerous” is Giancoma’s conflation of hippopotamus and rhinoceros, a (doubly) wrong identification.

Page 5

panel 1

  • The crew is entering a zoo, probably the Memphis Zoo. (Though I couldn’t quite find a sign online like the one shown.)
  • The airplane that crashed is FedEx. According to its Wikipedia entry, FedEx’s main hub is in Memphis, TN, so it would make sense that some Crossed on-board incidents would mean planes crashing there.

panels 2-3-4

  • There are some interesting contrasts/themes here:
    – The roles of people and animals have been reversed from today and 2108. In 2015, people roam the earth freely while animals are in zoos behind bars – which Taylor describes as “when we didn’t have enough dangerous things.” In 2108, humans are nearly “extincted” in encampments like Chooga and Greer’s stockade, while formerly caged animals run free. This comparison is emphasized by the contrasting points of view between panel 3 (human view in) and panel 4 (ape view out.)
    – The glass panels seem analogous to comic book panels somehow… They’re also remarkably intact.

panel 4

  • “One Wi-Fi movie-film, apes have taken over the world” refers to the Planet of the Apes movies.

Page 6

Pyramid arena, Memphis TN, photo by Thomas R Machnitzki vis Wikimedia

Pyramid arena, Memphis TN, photo by Thomas R Machnitzki via Wikimedia

panel 1

  • The place pictured is Memphis’ Pyramid Arena. The arena is a Memphis, TN, celebration of being named after the ancient city of Memphis, Egypt. The statue in front is a replica of an ancient Egyptian statue of Ramesses II.
    The Pyramid Arena’s history is somewhat metaphorical for the CPOH world and this archivist run. According to Wikipedia: the pyramid project looked optimistically back towards ancient Egyptian history to create a landmark place to host a professional basketball team. The pyramid was built in 1991. The Memphis Grizzlies basketball team arrived in 2004 and never played there; the site fell into blighted disrepair. Perhaps AM has included the location to show that some grand-scale human endeavors fail, even without the onset of a Crossed outbreak.
    The grid surface of the pyramid may be AM referring to comics panels.
  • The birds are macaws, see P2,p1.
Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 6 panel 2. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade.

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 6 panel 2. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade.

panel 2

  • “They must have called the urb after this place” again the crew gets it wrong. Archie is suggesting that the city (the “urb”) is named after the pyramid, when the pyramid (built 1991) came long after the city (founded 1819.)

Page 7

panel 1

  • These are the bleachers inside the pyramid.
  • The American flag seems to hold little interest for the CPOH crew.

panel 2

  • “Everything yesterday… Lossing the young, finding the infecteds” refers to the events of CPOH1: the death of Forward Dietrich and encounters with the Crossed.

panel 3

  • “I was borned Chooga” is Future Taylor saying that she was born in Chooga, a human settlement/compound in Chattanooga, TN.

panel 6

Page 8

The Hernando de Soto Bridge across the Mississippi River. Photo by Larry Donald via Wikipedia

The Hernando de Soto Bridge across the Mississippi River. Downtown Memphis, TN, visible in the background. Photo by Larry Donald via Wikipedia

panel 1

  • The bridge, as correctly identified by Archie in the next panel, is the Hernando de Soto Bridge. The bridge is part of I-40, spanning the Mississippi River, connecting Memphis, TN with West Memphis, AR.

Page 9

panel 1

  • Hernando de Soto is somewhat analogous to the CPOH crew. He was a Spanish explorer whose 16th century explorations through sometimes-hostile Native American territories are somewhat analogous to the 2108 crew’s explorations through sometimes-hostile Crossed territories. De Soto’s route across what’s now the southern U.S. has been studied by historians, but remains disputed in its exact details regarding locations.

panel 5

  • “Missippi” is a shortened way of saying Mississippi, the next state, a few miles south of Memphis, TN.
  • “Tupelo” is a city in the state of Mississippi. Probably just a coincidence that it’s the birthplace of Elvis Presley.
  • Oldwoman George is apparently the (or a) top leader of the Chooga human compound.

panel 6

  • The net-bag of fruit (?) appeared in CPOH1 P4, p2-3.

Page 10

panel 1

  • “Dietrich” refers to Forward Dietrich, the crewmember who was killed in CPOH1.
  • “The altar with the sugar” was encountered by the crew on Page 15 of CPOH1.
  • Not sure what the pinkish framed thing is immediately left of Greer’s face – a map? a view of the steam chamber? ??
  • Not sure what the book (or sign?) is on the right – says “DEN” or maybe “OEN”
  • “902.10” is the zip code from the TV show Beverly Hills 90210. So maybe it’s a video or dvd, or it could be a digital clock?
  • (Nitpickology: I think “people’s” should probably be just “peoples.”)

panel 2-3

  • These two panels are what I call a fixed-camera sequence (see the link for an example from AM’s Watchmen.) Not sure why it’s used here. It’s a little dull, but maybe it’s AM and GA kind of lulling us into thinking that everything is OK… for now. (The frame shifts just barely upward – probably to track Greer’s exit.)

panel 4-5

  • These two are also a fixed-camera sequence. It’s interesting that the frame shifts just slightly rightward… so not quite fixed, but shifting very slowly. Panel 4 shows a 2-way conversation – with the radionet and Taylor each taking up half the space. Panel 5 is centered on just Taylor. This kind of echos the above two panels – which shift from two people present to just one… I might be reading too much into this.
  • The switch has been flipped between the two panels. Apparently that turns the radionet communication off. Note that, in the upside-down (catastrophically screwed-up) CPOH world, the switch is installed wrong – up is off, down is on.
  • Future Taylor is biting her nails in panel 5, apparently nervous behavior, maybe thinking about Greer who just walked off in that direction. This panel is somewhat parallel to CPOH1, P12,p5 where Taylor looks out the window longingly at Greer at the end of the first day.

Page 11

panel 1

  • The mixed case caption writing is again Future Taylor writing in her journal.
  • Cautious and Hope are kind of flirting, soon to have sex.

panel 3

  • “Family with no eyes, all singing a church-song” isn’t clear to me. It looks like the central man has his eyes gouged out. I think that the image and the incident may from some other Crossed comic? Crossed readers out there – any no-eyes church-song incidents you remember?
  • “Someone getting sexed with a camera” not clear to me either.

panel 4

  • The Surprise as “Where nothing got done that peoples hadn’t done already” is interesting. The Crossed rape and kill, as humans have often raped and killed. Taylor contrasts this with The Lord of the Rings’ overly clear good vs. evil narratives (which she describes as “the what-for of everything fuck simple” above on P1,p2, and as “the wishful past… that was never there.” below on P23,p5.) Taylor wants her world to be clearer, easier… but knows that it isn’t now, nor was it ever.

panel 5-6

  • “Phil” is the framed photo that Future Taylor found at the altar in the prior issue. That framed portrait first appeared in CPOH1 Pages 15-16. My guess is that he was a phone-book serial killer – see my annotations for CPOH1 Page 23. He’ll be back – see the cover of CPOH5.

Page 12

panel 1

  • It’s the next morning – July 15 2108, the crew is heading south.
  • The location is Graceland, which was the home of Elvis Presley before becoming an Elvis museum. Here’s Google streetview at more-or-less the same location as this panel.
  • “That is fuck sexing movie” seems to be the voice of Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki, talking about having great sex with Hope Giancoma (though it could be Giancoma talking about the sight of Graceland.) See my CPOH glossary – but I’d translate it more-or-less as “that is very fucking awesome.”

panel 2

  • “Gubernor’s mansion” is another thing that the crew got wrong. The Tennessee Governor’s Mansion is located in Nashville. (I’ll come back and research – maybe there’s some other historic governor’s mansion in Memphis?)
  • “Keeler” is even wrong – I think Hope Giancoma is referring to Archie “Keller.”
  • “Route 51” is correct; the crew are on U.S. Route 51 Highway, in this area labeled Elvis Presley Boulevard.

Page 13

panel 1-4

  • The broken sign actually reads Graceland – basically an Elvis Presley Museum – see cover above for more explanation.
Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 13, panel 4. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade.

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 13, panel 4. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade.

panel 4

  • Again the crew get it wrong, speculating it’s “grandstand” or “graveland.”
  • “Egypt funeral brown, like the pyramid yesterday” refers to the pyramids as grave markers for Egyptian kings. Brown means “shit.” (See glossary page.)

panel 5

  • “Cautious was looser than she let on over Forward” refers to Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki being rattled over the death of Forward Dietrich in CPOH1.

panel 6

Page 14

Graceland entryway interiors, captures from Youtube tour video

Graceland entryway interiors, captures from Youtube tour video

panel 1

  • The crew are staring at the opulence of the entryway interior at Graceland (visible in this Graceland tour video at 2:30), with paintings, architectural detailing, etc.
  • It looks like there are eyeballs and a white Elvis jumpsuit (in the center fold, also visible in the bottom left corner of  P15,p2) on the ground.

Page 15

panel 1

  • Giancoma calls the interior “out of an old painted” suggesting it resembles something from a painting. There’s a large painting of Elvis visible, in the right capture above (and clearer in the first photo near the top of this blog post.)
  • Again the crew get it wrong, Greer assuming Graceland’s occupant was “an important art collector” instead of a singer as we know. The opulence and painting aren’t quite as “class” as Robbie thinks they are; the stuff here is nice, but perhaps somewhat kitsch.

panel 3

  • “Mouth-sex” is Kriswyczki refering to oral sex that Giancoma performed on her last night.
  • Lots of grid-windows here similar to comics panels (these continue on multiple panels through P22.)
  • This panel sets up a page-turn reveal – see P1,p6 above for explanation.

Page 16

Graceland's Jungle Room. Photo "GracelandJungleRoom" by Egghead06 (talk). Original uploader was Egghead06 at en.wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:DoxTxob using CommonsHelper.(Original text : self-made). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GracelandJungleRoom.JPG#mediaviewer/File:GracelandJungleRoom.JPG

Graceland’s Jungle Room. Photo by Egghead06 via Wikipedia

panel 1

  • This room is known as the Jungle Room. The room is decorated with carved lacquered wood furniture. The teddy bear and guitar are displayed on that chair today.
  • There are musical instruments (drums, electric guitar, keyboard) and an amplifier strewn around the room.

panel 2

  • Future Taylor gets it wrong describing an electronic keyboard as a “piano.”
  • “Isn’t this like the thing worked all the air play-ins?” Kriswyczki calls airplanes “air play-ins.” I think that she’s looking at a recording console and she thinks it’s the instrumentation in the cockpit of an airplane.
  • That double-horned thing (bottom right) is a pair of animal horns. It’s also in Page 18, panel 1. See it on this Graceland tour video at 4:50.
  • The grid-window is broken where the Crossed will enter. There’s probably some panel interpretation of this – that evil and disruption get into our lives where our ordered grid (information/culture) breaks down?

Page 17

panel 1

  • “Play-ins with fed-something” refer to the crashed FedEx airplane in Page 5, panel 1. Again the crew gets it wrong assuming these were “guberment” (government) when FedEx is a private company.

panel 3

  • “Got infected juice on it, chopped it right off” sounds like Oldwoman Rachel cut off her own hand rather than risk Crossed infection. I suspect that this is why Greer carries that machete-knife.
  • “Another shrine” refers to the earlier shrine that the crew encountered last issue – see CPOH1 Page 15.

panel 5

  • “Pee-aitch” are the letters “P H” on the photo from the earlier shrine; the image that Taylor is calling “Phil.” In CPOH5 he is revealed to be Beau Salt.
  • “I think this is Saint Jesus” is interesting. No one says “Saint Jesus” today… just “Jesus.” So this shows that Taylor really isn’t familiar with Christianity. She knows a church when she sees one in CPOH1, and identifies a “church-song” (P11,p3) but she thinks that the Crunk movement (a sort of Christian sect apparently) is a passing fad.

panel 5-6

  • Those naked people are the Crossed. More specifics on these ones on Page 18 below, when we get a better look.
  • AM and GA build tension here with what I call a fixed-camera sequence (see the link for an example from AM’s Watchmen.) We readers see that the Crossed are approaching but the crew haven’t seen them yet. This is the opposite of all the page-turn reveals (see P1,p6 above) where the crew saw things before we readers did.

panel 6

Page 18

panel 1-2

  • The left (central) Crossed is wearing a white jacket that Elvis Presley wore (see example.) Some of these Elvis outfits are on display at Graceland. Looks like the fourth and fifth Crossed are also wearing some kind of dark gray Elvis jackets, too – perhaps these are the black ones in the display cases in this photo shown in the cover annotations above.
  • Unguhvurruhmuh” (thanks to commenter paintitbrown) seems to be “thank you very much” probably spoken with an Elvis (or just a southern) accent. Perhaps there’s a recording of this on the museum tour that survived and is repeated by the Crossed. The various Crossed in this group all say it, here and in the following four panels. (The Spanish CPOH translation has “Auanbabulubabalanbanbu” here, which is “A-wop-bom-a-loo-mop-a-lomp-bom-bom” a drum-sound lyric from Little Richard‘s hit song Tutti Frutti.)

Page 19

panel 2

  • Nitpickology: I think that white panel (behind the white-jacketed Crossed’s right hand) shouldn’t be white. It’s colored in on P16,p1.

panel 3

  • Bosol” is a little creepy as it’s what Crossed said in CPOH1 on Page 9 and 10. It could be a coincidence, but, it sounds like, linguistically, the Memphis Crossed are linked to the Columbus Crossed. The Altar links the Memphis Crossed to the Jackson Crossed… so there’s something interconnected and probably really bad going on here.

Page 20

panel 4

  • Contrast how sure Greer is in spotting that Giancoma is doomed here (through “I’m sure” P21,p1) – compared to how much about the past the crew keeps getting wrong throughout the issue.
  • “We, we, we” Taylor threw up when she first saw Crossed in CPOH1, here she’s stammering (and again “C-cautious” on P21,p4.) Crossed scare Taylor more than the “olds” who’ve been around them before.

Page 21

panel 1

  • “Y-you’re going to be…” Kriswyczki is stammering too, like Taylor above P20,p4.

panel 2

  • The cross is appearing on Giancoma’s face. Her voice is changing. She’s infected, Crossed.
  • Shut your little pussy kisser” is kind of a take on the phase “shut your kisser” meaning “shut your mouth” but, of course, it also refers to the oral sex that Kriswyczki and Giancoma had the night before.

panel 4 and 5

  • Brown in my mouth” Crossed-Giancoma is asking for people to shit in her mouth.

panel 5

  • Nega” I think is Crossed-speak for “nigger.” At this point in the series, Robbie’s race is not entirely clear yet. His face is burned. The rest of his body is covered. We haven’t seen his skin in the light of day. Looking at the CPOH6 design sketch cover, it’s clear that he’s black.

Page 22

panel 3

  • “Bio-fuel” sounds like bio-diesel.

Page 23

panel 1

  • Again, the mixed-case capitions are Taylor writing in her journal.

panel 1-2 (and all panels 1-6 this page)

  • Similar to Page 1 above, the two panels in each row at least somewhat mirror each other, with black and white panels taking place in the past, and color panels in 2108.
    – In panel 1 Taylor has just seen Crossed doing something horrible and is facing left; In panel 2 Taylor’s mom has just seen something horrible and is facing left.
    – In panel 1 Kriswyczki is crouched over with her arms up, and the composition of the panel puts her kind of around Taylor’s head; in panel 2 Taylor’s grandfather is in a crouched, arms up position, similar to Kriswyczki in p1.
    – The stack of books in panel 1 perhaps somewhat resembles the two crossed women with the pole and small dead person?

panel 2

  • The black and white panels (2,3, and 6) take place in the past. This panel takes place in 2038; it’s the “2038 surprise attack” Taylor mentions on P1,p5 above.
  • It shows Taylor’s “moms and granddad.” Her mother is a girl, with Taylor’s grandfather’s hand over her mouth to keep her quiet. Possibly the woman being raped in Taylor’s grandmother; the child stabbed is Taylor’s aunt (Taylor’s mom’s sister.)

panel 3

  • It looks like panel 3 probably takes place shortly after panel 2, so it’s also probably 2038. The walking man and girl are Taylor’s grandfather and his daughter (Taylor’s mother.) The burnt Crossed may be Taylor’s grandmother and aunt.
Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 23, panels 3-4. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.2, Page 23, panels 3-4. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gabriel Andrade

panel 3-4

  • These are arguably a similar composition:
    – In panel 3, Taylor’s mother is facing right holding a gun; in panel 4 Taylor is facing right holding a pencil (in some sense this is her weapon for survival.) Taylor’s mother was supported by Taylor’s grandfather… but Taylor lacks fatherly support? We don’t know yet what’s up with her father. He was born in 2015, so he would be in his 90s. (Maybe Taylor is analogous to her grandfather, with her journal analogous to her mom?)
    – In the foreground of panel 3, a burned corpse is lying horizontally; in panel 4’s foreground Kriswyczki is lying horizontally. (I think that this foreshadowing. Will Kriswyczki become infected and be killed in an upcoming issue?)
    – The vertical pole in panel 4 is somewhat repeated in the vertical metal beam in the wall of the bus interior.

panel 4-5

  • “I don’t like now” is repeated in both of the present-time (2108) panels.
  • “There’s nowhere else” is sort of a repudiation of science fiction. Tolkein’s world and Gernsback’s future don’t exist.

 

panel 5-6

  • These are arguably a similar composition: (though I need to make a better case for this… will keep looking)
    –  In panel 5, Taylor is facing left; in panel 4 Taylor’s mother is similarly facing left.
    – Perhaps the two skulls in panel 5 somehow represent Taylor’s grandfather and mother in panel 6?
    – Perhaps the protection of the steam-bus in panel 5 echos the protection of the Chooga walls in panel 6?
    – Perhaps both of these panels just show Taylor and her mom heading left  into the protective fortress of Chooga? It’s kind of odd for anything in comics to ever head left (because the text and images read left to right), though. It kind of means moving backwards or moving the wrong way? Perhaps it’s just moving from current-Crossed-terror to past-before-Crossed-safety.)

panel 6

  • The image is an exact replica of P1,p5 – though the text captions differ. Taylor’s mother is right above the Taylor’s text “Moms.” Left of her is Taylor’s grandfather. They are arriving at Chooga in 2075.
  • I think that the two people inside Chooga might well be “Robbie and Keller” because the text of their names is right above their images. It think it’s Greer who is waving. He carries the same gun as Greer does in 2108. This panel depicts 2075, though, Robbie Greer (who was 12 years old in 2072 per P3,p5 above) would be about 15 years old. It’s also possible that one of these is Future’s father, a founder of Chooga?
  • “I skull like I’m making connects that aren’t, missing ones that are” I think she hasn’t spotted the “basol” linguistic link between the Columbia Crossed (see CPOH1 P9-10) and Memphis Crossed (see P19,p3 above), the serial killer identity of “Phil” (see CPOH1 P23), and probably other stuff I didn’t catch.

Page 24

panel 1

  • “Back in Jackson, that white powder in the church” refers to the altar/shrine that the crew encountered last issue – see CPOH1 Page 15-16.
  • Maybe the three butterflies and three skulls are foreshadowing that, perhaps in the next issue, three of the initial crew will be alive and three will be dead. (The center skull is smaller non-Crossed, so it would be Dietrich, who’s young and never became Crossed. The other two: Giancoma, of course, and maybe Keller or maybe Kriswyczki?)

THE END

>Go to Crossed Plus One Hundred No. 3 annotations (available February 2015)
>Go to Crossed Plus One Hundred Annotation Index

 

25 Responses to “Crossed Plus One Hundred 2”

  1. dvn61danny Says:

    Bio-Boobies are traps set by Crossed by coating bullets, sharp sticks even envelopes with their body fluids.

  2. dvn61danny Says:

    To clarify the above comment refer page one panel 4 of issue2. Also on page one panel 3 Future refers to Tolkien as Jorge RR, could she be confusing J R R Tolkien with George R R Martin? Writer of a new generations LOTR, A Game of Thrones. Or is a backhand compliment from AM?

    • Joe Linton Says:

      dvn61danny – these are really helpful! Things I didn’t know – later today I’ll add this stuff and will credit you

      • pandrio Says:

        I think this is also interesting because Future has likely read the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction entry on Tolkien, so this confusion over his name doesn’t really seem to fit with that. I’ve been looking at an online version of the encyclopedia which would be a bit different than the print one Future is reading, but from what I’ve seen, the most confusing thing is that I am not sure if there are pages on individual novels apart from their authors. So, while Future might have mistaken J. R. R. Tolkien for George R. R. Martin were she to have read an entry on LOTR specifically (which I’m not sure exists in the EoSF), if she read the entry on Tolkien himself, where he is identified as John Ronald Reuel, this seems less likely.

        Perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch, but rather than an odd continuity issue, I think Moore might be referencing another major science fiction work here: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, where characters conflate (Henry) Ford with (Sigmund) Freud in a somewhat similar fashion. At least that’s one of the first things it made me think of.

  3. paintthetownbrown Says:

    I was wondering about “unguhvurruhmuh” myself and your suggestions about an Elvis lyrics tipped it for me – I’m pretty sure the Crossed are saying “Thank you very much” with an Elvis twang.

  4. dvn61danny Says:

    I’m not sure if this is relevant, but Giancoma’s infection by just getting a slash of blood on her neck is odd. In all the Crossed issues I’ve read, the infection is usually caused by penetration, cuts, bites or inflected objects (such as bio-boobies). I haven’t read all the Crossed series but I was a bit surprised that Giancoma was infected so fast, so easily. Saying that. it also may be part of the new Crossed generation or a part of the story. I’ll have to wait if some one corrects me or it plays out.

  5. dvn61danny Says:

    I’m wondering if “church song” may be praying or by extension what victims yell when being brutalized by the Crossed. As in:. “God, help me, help me Arrgghhh!”

    • Joe Linton Says:

      Yes – it’s difficult to say what a “church song” for Future Taylor… she knows what a church is (CPOH1), but thinks Crunk (some sect of Christianity) is a flash-in-the-pan… and she uses “church-face” to describe acting like Crossed.

  6. Gabriel Andrade Jr Says:

    🙂

  7. Gabriel Andrade Jr Says:

    About the Scarlet Macaw/: The city wHere I was borned call Macau, Scarlet Macaw is very usually found here.

  8. Angel Says:

    The comment about “what peoples hadn’t done already” is probably referencing an opinion already espoused by Garth Ennis, creator of “Crossed”, and later repeated by Simon Spurrier:

    It’s quite probable he may have mentioned it to Moore in their conversations, or Moore read it somewhere.

  9. Angel Says:

    Also – the nice irony of it all is that in Ennis’ Crossed #1, it was theorised that the Crossed are vulnerable to/terrified of salt. I initially thought Moore was referencing that with the shrines, but instead maybe he was just inspired by the idea into creating Beau Salt, who the Crossed actually were subjugated by…

  10. Greenaum Says:

    Re “biofuel”, bio-diesel is basically just vegetable oil, or at least can be. Diesel engines can burn many types of light oil. Problem being, veggie oil, or diesel, doesn’t ignite until it gets to a high temperature, not much use in burning down a building. Alcohol would be another possibility, petrol (gasoline) engines can be tweaked to run on it.

    Could just be Alan Moore doesn’t know as much about petrochemicals as he does about eldritch weirdities. Indeed, you can take a pool of (actual, petro-)diesel and throw a match in it. The match will just go out.

    Of course, since the busses run on steam power, why would they even bring liquid fuel with them? The big advantage of steam, as well as being able to run on anything that burns, is that those engines are tough, and can last forever. The petroleum engines in modern cars aren’t built to last much longer than the air freshener hanging from the mirror.

    • Joe Linton Says:

      interesting… it seems like they have generators that are in use when the steam buses are not… so maybe the biofuel is for the generators. Nonetheless, it looks like you may have a no-prize here.

  11. pandrio Says:

    Thank you for these annotations; they really add a lot to the reading experience of this comic. That said, I do respectfully disagree on one minor point.

    I’m not an expert on LOTR or anything, but one of the most interesting parts of it for me has always been a divide in how people look at it and how Tolkien intended it–from the bit I have read about it, Tolkien did see his fiction as being an imagined history of Earth, although it is largely considered by most people a fantasy set on its own planet. For example, here’s a quote from the Wikipedia page on Middle-earth:

    “Middle-earth is the central continent of Earth (Arda) in an imaginary period of the Earth’s past[2] (Tolkien placed the end of the Third Age at about 6,000 years before his own time),[3] in the sense of a ‘secondary or sub-creational reality’.[4]”

    So, although I like how you present Future’s reading of LOTR as setting up a variety of misunderstandings that the people of this future make, I actually think that Moore gives her a particularly insightful reading of the work, somewhat in line with Tolkien’s intentions.

    • Joe Linton Says:

      interesting – I wasn’t aware of that – I guess one thing to do would be to see what the entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says about it.

  12. Greenaum Says:

    Just to notice… When they’re checking out the mansion, they’re impressed with how well the governor lived, “like she was a queen or something”.

    “She”, “queen”. They assume governors were female. Together with the boss back in Chooga being a woman, does this mean a matriarchy has evolved, at least in Chooga?

  13. gabriel Says:

    Hi Thank you for this!

    I have just finished reading the first six issues of the series and I find your annotations enriching the experience.

    I just wanted to comment on P.23 I have the feeling that you have a point on saying that there is a parallelism between the panels of the present and the past, but I feel that it is more of a visual symmetry than a literal one.

    panels 1-2

    Note the crouched figure on the left (resting) and the one on the right (being raped).

    3-4

    Left,the skeleton is impalled between the shoulders, while in right, from Taylor’s shoulders raises the line of the corner (almost symmetrically from the “past” panel. Also, The skull on the left is on the forefront,while Cautious head is also on the forefront

    5-6

    The bus as a protection (big block on the left panel), while on the right panel you have the barricade as a protection. On top of that you have the two skulls on the left, mirrorerd by the two heads on the right.

    Overall I think it is a play on visual symmetry more than literal meaning, IMHO.

    Cheers!

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