Crossed Plus One Hundred 3
Below are annotations for Crossed Plus One Hundred, No. 3 “Glory Road” (24 pages, dated February, 2015, released March 5, 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, some very very obvious… but you never know who’s reading this and what their exposure is. If there’s stuff I missed or got wrong, please comment, or email linton.joe [at] gmail.com
General: Future Taylor and the rest of the crew return to Chooga – the human settlement at Chattagnooga, TN. The crew speaks at the shout gathering, and then Taylor and a new crew set off for Murfreesboro via steamboat on the Tennessee River.
Cover (regular only – variants here)
- The only person on the cover who was introduced earlier is Future Taylor, the woman smiling. She’s embracing her mother Laura Taylor.
- The setting is Chooga – the human settlement located in Chattanooga, TN.
- The mixed-case captions are Future Taylor writing in her journal.
- “July 17th 2108” – as Taylor mentions, a full day has passed since July 15 when the crew spent the latter half of CPOH2 at Graceland, in Memphis TN.
- “AFAWK” is an initialization of “as far as we know” (see CPOH glossary)
- “Chooga” is the human settlement at Chattanooga, TN, where much of the first half of CPOH3 takes place.
- “Huntsville” is the city of Huntsville, in northern Alabama (see CPOH locations map)
- The “track-jacks” are people from Chooga who are scavenging railroad track materials, so that Chooga can build a future railway to connect to other human settlements. See P11,p3 below for more on the rail projects. It may be a stretch, but I think that the railroad is somewhat like a comic strip – a linear sequence of panels. I think it kind of represents knowledge/civilization. Chooga’s humans are gradually re-asserting the lines and the grid on the re-wilded landscape. (Maybe I am spotting too many human-made right-angled things and associating them with comics panels.)
- Panelwise, this page uses the 6-panel grid that has been the default throughout CPOH. This page has a sort of checkerboard alternating between interiors and exteriors.
- “Browns Ferry” is Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Plant, located on the Tennessee River, 30 miles east of Huntsville. The plant is depicted on P24,p1 below.
- “Bellefonte atomics” is Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station, located on the Tennessee River, about 40 miles west of Huntsville. The plant is depicted on P19,p1 below.
- Brown’s Ferry and Bellefonte are part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) – an ambitious governmental authority formed in the 1930s. TVA built lots of power plants and dams during the 20th Century. Although the TVA isn’t mentioned by name, about a dozen TVA facilities come up during the course of CPOH3. The issue has a sort of running theme contrasting the TVA’s environmentally-risky nuclear and hydro power, with the gentler power (solar, multiple types of wind, plus human power – and a little hydro, too) generated by the human settlement at Chooga. There are also similarities and contrasts between the TVA’s ambitious public works program, and the more way Chooga is slowly building a rail line to connect human settlements.
- “Incidented in the Surprise” – The Surprise is the first huge Crossed outbreak which started in 2008. (See CPOH timeline) These two nuclear plants were apparently blown up during the Surprise, releasing radiation into the area.
- The “balloon” is a courier bringing talksheets; it’s shown on P5,p3 below.
- “Fayetteville” is the city of Fayetteville, TN, about 30 miles north of Huntsville.
- Looks like there are Crossed skull-and-bone markers (visible in window this panel) that perhaps mark the roads to Chooga. There’s one on P.2 also.
- This panel introduces, left to right, Archie Keller and Robbie Greer. (See CPOH cast of characters)
- “Gapple Islands” – I thought might refer to the Georgia barrier islands… but commenter dvn61danny spotted that Gapple is shortened from “The Big Apple” nickname for New York City. So it’s some kind of human settlement there, perhaps on Staten Island and/or Long Island.
- “Cautious” is a character’s name. In this issue, Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki first appears on P3,p5 below.
- Chooga “repoepled in ’73” refers to the founding of the Chooga settlement in 2073.
- “Local history center” sounds like the Chattanooga History Center.
- “Kimball” is the town of Kimball, TN, about 30 miles west of Chattanooga.
- “Route 41” is the U.S. Route 41 highway.
- “1838, Chooga was still Ross’s Landing” – according to Wikipedia, Chattanooga was founded in 1839, prior to that it was Ross’s Landing.
- “Red Alleghanians” are Native American Indians, specifically here the Cherokee.
- “Klahoma” is the state of Oklahoma.
- “Trail of Tears” was the largely-genocidal forced relocation of Native Americans in the 1830s.
- This panel shows Future Taylor, though her hands appear in p2 above.
- The sign “Chooga Welcomes Careful Drivers” is, of course, based on U.S. highway signage (I’ll try to use Google maps find an actual sign reference if there is one.) “Chattanooga” has been damaged, leaving “Chooga” which is the residents name for their settlement. “24”
- “If you can read this…” is explained in my CPOH1 annotations – see P4,p4.
- The V-shaped Crossed skull-and-bones marker seems like some kind of road markings done by humans to wayfind and to scare Crossed. Another is on P1,p2 above.
- The issue’s title “Glory Road” refers to the 1964 science fiction novel Glory Road written by Robert Heinlein. Each CPOH title/issue references a classic sci-fi novel.
- “George” is Oldwoman George. She is mentioned and speaks (on radionet) in earlier issues, but this is her first appearance.
- Frank Giancoma‘s statement “What in sex happened with my Hope” refers to his daughter Hope Giancoma, who was infected and killed in CPOH2.
- Right of Frank Giancoma is Laura Taylor, Future Taylor’s mother. Behind here are Cautious’s parents.
- The young people on the right are members of Chooga’s “Crunk” sect. It’s a small sort of Christian-ecological movement among Chooga youth. Though it looks like they have Crossed rashes on their faces, it is just make-up, probably lipstick, like Forward Dietrich used earlier in CPOH1 – see P1 and P13. I think the youth in the blue pants is Tomorrow “Tomo” Milovic, mentioned in CPOH1, P4, p2-3.
- Oldwoman George’s tattoo reads “Dont Cross Me.” This of course refers to the Crossed – so it’s sort of don’t infect me with the Crossed disease. It’s also playing on the meaning of crossing someone as betraying them… and it’s a bit like the often-tattooed early American patriotic phrase “don’t tread on me,” so it links George with early U.S. patriots.
- The young woman in black is Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki, nicknamed “Cautious” or “Caush.”
- The five young people are Chooga’s Crunk movement – see P3,p1 above.
- “Called Robbie a nega” is Future Taylor recounting P21,p5 of CPOH3 where the infected Giancoma calls Greer “nega” which apparently means “nigger.” (???Find Moore interview where he talks about the lack of racial differences in CPOH survivors.) Future Taylor’s mother Laura looks pretty fair-skinned, and Future is mixed race, so Future’s father was presumably African-American.
In the background, people are shearing what appear to be alpacas. When I misidentified them as llamas, commenter dvn61danny spotted my error and further says “alpaca’s are a hardy animal more tolerant than sheep in harsher climates, they also regenerate their wool and are a good meat source.”
- “The altars we opsied” refers to the Crossed altars Future Taylor spotted in CPOH1 (PX,px) and CPOH2 (PX,px), evidence that the Crossed are apparently some what organized and capable of building basic things.
- The panel shows an “eco-village” type of low-tech paradise. Activities include: gardening/farming, fresh milk, fresh-baked bread, ostriches raised for eggs and meat. Transportation is by walking, bicycling, and riding horses – with the car in the background idle enough for folks to lean on it. Groups of people in the middle and right appear to be bartering.
- “Wishful fiction encyclopaedia” is the book The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Taylor found in the Jackson library in CPOH1, P7,p3.
- O-burgers are ostrich burgers; domesticated ostrich shown here and on the previous and next panel.
- “BIK” the sign in the background shows that this is a bike shop. The two men out front appear to be repairing a bike.
- “Paca stew” apparently refers to a stew made from rodent. A paca, also called a Gibnut, is a large rodent found in South America and Central America. Paca meat is sometimes eaten, including in stew. A simpler explanation is that it refers to alpaca meat.
- “Balloon” – see next panel below.
- The “balloon” … “from the gapple” appeared on P1 above, and reappears on P23 below. “Gapple” is a shortened form of “Big Apple” the nickname for New York City.
- “They lossed another island to the ocean” – based on the subsequent conversation, the island of Manhattan was lost to rising to sea levels, due to pre-Surprise induced global warming.
- “Where enwhy shitted under, the kilo-whales down central pond? Gadabout! I’m tongue ya, they…” seems to be AM writing in a Brooklyn accent (which he did humorously in the Cobweb story in Tomorrow Stories No.8.) The crier is bringing news from New York City:
– “enwhy” is “N.Y.”
– “kilo-whales” are killer whales, orcas
– “central pond” is the flooded Central Park
– “Gadabout!” – sounds like “get about” which could be sort of “gather around.” Commenters are probably correct in suggesting this means “Forget about it.”
– “I’m tongue ya…” – sounds like “I’m telling you…”
- I don’t recognize the square where they’ve landed – will look for that soon.
- “Flash Gordon” – the name of Future Taylor’s cat, is, of course, an early sci-fi adventurer who began in comic strips in the 1930s. There’s also a Flash Gordon character in Heinlein’s Glory Road.
- “ChooCh_ A_ G_ILL” Future’s home is in the former “Choo Choo Bar and Grill” – which I couldn’t find on a quick Google search, but it’s a reference to Chattanooga Choo Choo, a popular song from the 1940s. “Choo choo” is a train, referring to sound a steam train makes. In CPOH4 P18,p1 Taylor calls her home the “Hooch Bag Ill.”
- In the foreground are the Crunk youth – see explanation on P3,p1 above.
- “eow?” is the only animal noise so far in CPOH. Earlier images like wolves, ostriches weren’t shown making any noises.
- The “green table” (shown in the lower left, and on next panel) is a pool table – for playing billiards. It was probably left here from the earlier bar days. Future’s C-shaped couch looks like it was from a bar too.
- “Juice ration” is the rationing of electricity, only available certain times of the day.
- For Page 7, panels 1-3 and 5-6 (and P8 p1) show the images from the videotape that Future Taylor is watching. The panels aren’t drawn any differently than panel 4, which has the effect of making the past action seem pretty immediate. The tape’s audio is apparent because the word-balloon shows the triangle-points at its four corners.
- The action taking place on the video isn’t entirely clear. There’s a somewhat similar Crossed-cave scene on the American History X cover for CPOH5; that cover takes place in 2025. I think that some doctor (Crossed says “doc” in P7,p1 and P8,p1) is testing Crossed to see which of them retain any parental sense. The doctor is perhaps scientifically breeding Crossed (see CPOH4 Crossed Culture cover), focusing on Crossed that have the genetic trait of not raping or eating their offspring. The young non-Crossed man in panel 1, in subsequent panels calls the man “dads” and “dadeeeee.” There’s a bunch I don’t get:
– another person (“her”) there “join ’em together”
– not sure why “daybreak”?
– “stab-pussy” seems like this dad failed the test – seems like he wants to put his cock into the son’s wound? He’s more Crossed than parent.
- The transition from P7 to P8 is a page-turn reveal.
- The Crossed father failed the test (he didn’t show continuing parental sentiment for his son), so he was killed.
- More alpacas – see P4,p4 above.
- The building roofs and the lights have solar-power photovoltaic panels.
- Taylor’s “Wi-Fi book” is The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction she found in the Jackson library in CPOH1, P7,p3.
- “Robert Heinlein” is the science fiction writer who this issue’s title “Glory Road” refers to.
- “The leaders are all men and the women act churchface.” Taylor’s 22nd Century has much less sexism than Heinlein’s future imagined in the 20th Century.
- This gathering is “the shout” a sort of recurring town hall meeting for Chooga.
- The folks standing are Chooga’s leaders: (left to right) planbosss Churchy John Monroe (first appearance), Oldwoman George, and resourceboss Dawn Pasko (first appearance). Keller and Greer are seated in the front row. Future and Laura Taylor are just entering the room.
- This panel introduces Morning Addison.
- The “juice” is electricity. Apparently there’s a coal-powered electrical generator (along with the windmills, solar panels) that’s working well, so the hours that electricity is available are being extended.
- “There’s hydro from Chicamauga” refers to hydroelectic power generation from the Chicamauga Dam, on the Tennesse River just upstream from Chattanooga.
- The train project is Chooga working to build a railroad connection to other “settles” (human settlements) in Alleghania. The track-jacks (people scavenging railroad materials) were shown earlier on P1,p1.
- The Crunk youth (see P3,p1 above) are suspicious of their elders.
- The “tape” is the videotape Future Taylor watched on P7-8 above.
- “I-I” – Future Taylor gets nervous, stutters when she encounters or recalls Crossed.
- The conflict is set up here: do humans marshal their limited resources to kill the Crossed – or to build a railway?
- “Murfreesboro” is the city of Murfreesboro, about 100 miles northwest of Chattanooga, TN. The human settlement there was referenced earlier, see CPOH1, P7,p3, where the islamic identity of the Murfreesboro settlement is mentioned by Archie Keller.
- The meeting place is an old movie theater. The marquee shows that the theater had featured the film Mamma Mia, which according to Wikipedia, premiered July 18 2008, which puts it squarely in the timeframe of the Surprise. The front “THEATER” has been reduced to “TH__E_.” The “MIA” on the front also stands for “missing in action”, a status that armies use to designate when soldiers are missing and presumed captured or dead. So “THE MIA” refers to a lot of people were missing, killed, and/or infected during the Surprise.
On the side it reads “?_ WR _ R?” and “? _LO _ REI _?” probably refer to other movie/s at the time.
“LO REI” – might be 2008’s Cloverfield, released January 2008 and a suitably apocalyptic movie.
“WR R” – might be The Wrestler, released December 2008.
- These two panels form a fixed-camera sequence. In a sense, the lights go on after Monroe’s remark.
- “Mustaqbal” is something to do with the Islamic human settlement at Murfreesboro. According to Wikipedia, “al-mustaqbal” means “future” in Arabic. Should be made clear in future issues… perhaps it’s the name of the settlement at Murfreesboro, or a person there? Would be symmetry if Chooga’s Future meets up with Murfreesboro’s Mustaqbal. (Who I am guessing might be the guy on the cover of CPOH4)
- More eco-village stuff: gardening, wind-power.
- “Fooded crickets” – people eat crickets, which are said to taste good and supply nutrition.
- “Market Street” is one of the main north-south streets in downtown Chattanooga TN today.
- Character Newday “Nudie” Wales is first mentioned here, first appears P17,p3 below.
- “Heinlein’s published, Glory Road.” See also P2,p1 and P9,p4 above.
- Future Taylor conflates two books: Robert Heinlein’s Glory Road (1963) with Cormac McCarthy‘s The Road (2006.)
- “There being only one baby [roasting on a spit.]” – Ironically Future Taylor apparently thinks that, compared to her 2108 world, The Road is a hopeful/wishful book. Though The Road is in the science fiction genre, it is an oppressively bleak post-apocalyptic world… but Taylor sees it still in line with pre-surprise optimism.
- Seems like there’s some symbolism here, the approaching darkness about to cover Future Taylor’s panel-ed, knowledge-ed life.
- I couldn’t find a “Pride of Chooga” riverboat – but there’s plenty of riverboat stuff in Chattanooga. It makes sense that the crew travels by steam-powered boats and steam-powered buses, with coal being readily available.
- Dialogue is Future Taylor first, then Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki replying. Those are their parents waving goodbye, Future’s mom and Kriswyczki’s mom and dad.
- This panel introduces Newday “Nudie” Wales, sitting with arms crossed. He somehow reminds me of The Incredible Hulk – strong arms, dressed in green and purple.
- This looks like Nickajack Dam, mentioned in the following panel.
- “Widows Peak Coal Plant” is wrong – it’s actually Widows Creek Power Plant.
- “Nickajack Dam” is a dam on the Tennesse River, about 20 miles west of Chattanooga.
- “Guntersville” is Guntersville Dam.
- “Tims Ford” is Tims Ford Dam.
- “Bellefonte” is Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station, located on the Tennessee River, about 40 miles west of Huntsville. The plant is mentioned on P1,p2 above, and depicted on P19,p1 below.
- “Sequoyah” is Sequoyah Nuclear Generating Station, near Chattanooga.
- “Getting hotter” – Keller is using a geiger counter to measure ambient radiation levels.
- The location pictured is is Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station.
- I think that the confusion here “I’m Keller, this is Taylor here” could be foreshadowing of an upcoming incident.
- The frog could be a reference to radioactive frogs that made news in the 1990s.
- This might be the ruins of Wilson Dam, on the Tennessee River, just downstream of Brown’s Ferry… though it seems like the crew later mentions it as Guntersville Dam.
- Cautious Kriswyczki is young, I’d guess late teens. She’s cleary excited when treated as an adult. Greer called her “crewwoman” on P17,p3.
- “Brownhole” is asshole. This is a human-skin anus necklace.
- “Salt” was written on the image found at the Crossed’s altar in Memphis in CPOH2, P17 – and was probably also the white powder at the Crossed’s altar in Jackson in CPOH1, P15.
- “Pulaski” is the city of Pulaski, TN.
- The news balloon from NYC’s Gapple Islands appears again, making for some symmetry as it appeared in the air on the first page.
- Crew is suited up for Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Plant, shown in the next panels – P24,p1, mentioned earlier on P1,p2.
- The site is is Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Plant, located on the Tennessee River, 30 miles east of Huntsville. It was mentioned first on P1,p2. The disaster formed the glowing radioactive glass that the crew calls the Fuck Slug, because it kind of resembles a slug.
- “Elk River” is a tributary of the Tennessee River that will lead north toward Pulaski and Murfreesboro. I mapped the river route here; it appears the crew traveled just under 200 miles on the water, from Chooga to just up the Elk River.
- “Glory Road” is the Heinlein book mentioned above.
- “Trail of Tears” is Native American genocide mentioned above.
- Panel 2 and 3 are basically a fixed-camera sequence (with a slight zoom.) Compare with the earlier sequence on P14,p3-4 where the lights figuratively go on in folks heads.
- “Gapple balloon” – see P5,p3 above.
- “Arkansaw” is the state of Arkansas.