Annotations to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume III Chapter Two,
a.k.a. Century: 1969
by Jess Nevins
Unless otherwise specified, all figures identified are in a clockwise fashion.
All new additions in bold Blue. Last of the first round of updates completed on 4 August. Next round in a couple of weeks.
Just a reminder: I only ever note the first three people to point out something, otherwise these notes would be twice as long as they already are.
I'd like to recommend that, after reading my annotations, you go take a look at the annotations done on the Mindless Ones' site (Part One; Part Two; Part Three). They don't think much of my work, but I think they're doing a splendid job--perhaps good enough that I should quit and let them do this. (Which is perhaps why they don't think much of my work. Oh, well....)
Cover. The hooded figure is Oliver Haddo, who appeared in W. Somerset Maugham’s novel The Magician (1907). Haddo was based on Aleister Crowley, whom Maugham disliked, and The Magician is about an occult attempt to create life. Haddo is mentioned on Pages 25 & 26 of Black Dossier and is the villain of Century: 1910.
in Black Dossier and Century: 1910, a number of historical
figures are replaced in the world of League
by their fictional counterparts or models, so that in the world of League there was no Adolph Hitler, there
was Adenoid Hynkel, from Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator. In the world of League there was no
blond-haired man is H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain.
The woman is Bram Stoker’s Mina Murray. And the black-haired man is Virginia
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds,
· The badge on Allan’s jacket lapel looks like the Blue Öyster Cult symbol, upside down and reversed.
· Down at the bottom, between Mina’s legs, we see a Flying Eyeball. This is similar to Rick Griffin’s famous Flying Eyeball poster which was created in 1968 for a concert Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall, and Albert King at the Fillmore in San Francisco in February 1968. This also reflects the last page of Century 1910, where we see a seagull flying away with an eyeball in its mouth, which is reflected by this image. Unlikely to just be a coincidence, as it’s Moore & O’Neill we’re dealing with here.
· As a symbol, it’ll be repeated quite a bit throughout this book. We see it flying out of a Cyclops skull, which, as I think I’ve mentioned before, are fairly often to be seen in various volumes of the League.
Inside Front Cover.
“Spice up your old lady’s performance.”
A “dolly bird” was 1960s British slang for a pretty young woman. A “raver” was a party-goer. And a “right goer” was a woman of easy virtue.
“Sidney Bliss” is a reference
to the British sitcom The New Statesman (1987-1994). The New Statesman
is a satire of the right-wing Conservative government. Sidney Bliss is the
elderly publican (and former hangman) in the
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds,
Sidney Bliss may be based on the official British executioner Albert Pierrepoint (30 March 1905 – 10 July 1992), who also owned a pub, called “Help the Poor Struggler.” The phone number, Effing 1212, is based on Whitehall 1212, which was at one point the phone number of Scotland Yard, and was later the name of a US radio show, dramatising real cases from Scotland Yard’s Black Museum.
planning.” I believe this is a genuine 1960s-era advertisement, although I haven’t
been able to turn up anything on “Reprimed
Laboratories” (not surprising, if they were a fly-by-night outfit) and there is
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds,
· “Comic Publisher Seeks Vocational Comic Creators!” The company’s name, International Print Control, is based on International Publishing Corporation, better known as IPC, who published a lot of UK children’s comics, particularly under their Fleetway Publications imprint. Both Moore and O’Neill worked for IPC/Fleetway in their time, so you can read the text of this ad in that context.
· Flatcat Alley, the address given at the bottom of the ad, has a very tenuous connection to the story in this book: The only Flat Cat Alley I can find a reference to is for the location of a shop in a 1952 Robert Heinlein novel known as Space Family Stone in the UK, but called The Rolling Stones on its original release in the US. And there are numerous parallels to the band The Rolling Stones in this book.
Page 1. This is the 1960s version of the statue of Britannia which appeared in previous League books. Britannia is a personification of the British Empire. In previous books she appeared on the incomplete Channel Causeway bridge near the white cliffs of Dover (seen in the background), but she was in classical garb. This being 1969, Britannia wears a considerably more colorful (and revealing) outfit.
Page 2. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes,
· “Alan ‘The Shape’ Moore” – The Shape appeared in the story ‘It’s the Shape’ in Charlton Premiere volume 2 #1 (Charlton Comics) in September 1967, its one and only appearance.
· “Lyricist and Creator of Anarchist Musical Hair Roots – Been Anywhere Nice!” :- Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical was the original rock musical, making its debut off-Broadway in October 1967, and it was a cause of much controversy at the time. The ‘Been Anywhere Nice’ comment will be familiar to anyone who has ever had their hair cut in a ‘unisex’ hair salon, as the standard question asked by stylists.
· Moore has an eyeball pendant or brooch just under his beard, in the same place that Dr Stephen Strange wears the Eye of Agamotto.
· “Kevin O’Neill – Colony Room Resident”:- The Colony Room was a British club in Dean Street in London’s Soho, opened in 1948 by Muriel Belcher. It was generally habituated by artists and other creative types, and eccentrics in general.
· “Dadd Beats Free”:- This obviously means something, but I’ve no idea what! [Perhaps a reference to the artist Richard Dadd? – Jess]
Page 3. Panel 1. The statue is of Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, and Piglet, from A.A. Milne’s books of poetry and stories and, much later, various Disney films and cartoons.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds,
The statue of Christopher Robin, Winnie-the-Pooh (as he was called before Disney removed his hyphens), and Piglet dancing is probably based on the drawing from Now We are Six (Methuen, London, 1927), where it accompanies the last poem in the book, called The End.
The house we are seeing is Cotchford farm in Hartfield, East Sussex. AA Milne, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, bought the house in 1925, and died there on the 31st of January 1956, aged 74. The house was bought by Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones in November 1968, and he died there on the 2nd of July 1969. He was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool.
Panel 2. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes,
I can’t identify the make of car, because it’s definitely not my field, but I can tell you what that is hanging out of the door to the petrol tank. In 1959 Humble oil launched their ‘Put a Tiger in your Tank’ advertising campaign for its Enco Extra and Esso Extra brands. To go with this, they later produced a tiger tail you could attach to or hang out of your petrol cap, and sold a remarkable 2.5 million of them.
Panel 4. This is the grown-up version of Basil Fotherington-Thomas, who appeared in four of the the “Nigel Molesworth” novels by Geoffrey Willains and Ronald Searle: Down with Skool (1953), How to be Topp (1954), Whizz for Atomms (1956), and Back in the Jug Agane (1959). In the books, Fotherington-Thomas is an effete sissy who skips around school saying “Hullo clouds, hullo sky.”
The “Mrs. Joyful Prize” medal Fotherington-Thomas is wearing is given, in the Nigel Molesworth novels, for Raffia Work. In the novels it is always won by Grabber (see Page 4, Panel 2, below), but obviously Fotherington-Thomas won it at least once.
Panel 6. “Baz” is of course short for “Basil.”
Panels 6-7. “What, the Taddies? Yeah. Yeah, I think so.”
“Actually, it’s short for Tadukic Acid Diethylamide.”
In H. Rider Haggard’s The Ivory Child (1916), The Ancient Allan (1920), and Allan and the Ice Gods (1927), “taduki leaves” appear. In Allan and the Ice Gods thetaduki leaves, when smoked, allow Allan Quatermain and Lady Ragnall to experience past lives. In “Allan and the Sundered Veil,” the text piece in League v1, Allan visits an aging Lady Ragnall and smokes some taduki with her. “Tadukic Acid Diethylamide” would be a semisynthetic version of it akin to Lysergic acid diethylamide, a.k.a. LSD.
Page 4. Panel 1. “Dear old St. Cuthbert’s. ‘Custards,’ we called it.”
In the Nigel Molesworth novels the school Molesworth attends is called “St. Custards,” but as far as I know is never identified with its proper name. “St. Cuthbert’s” might be a reference to the R.E. Knowles’ romance St. Cuthberts (1905), though I’m not sure what the point of the reference would be. Perhaps “St. Cuthbert’s” is the most likely original for “St. Custards.”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “St. Cuthbert’s/Custards:- I have come across one reference to St Cuthbert's Primary School in Birmingham being called St Custard’s by its pupils. Perhaps, as Birmingham is not terribly far from Northampton, Moore was aware of this.”
“That’s where I met Tim, our lead guitarist.”
See Page 58, Panel 3 below.
Panel 2. “And Andy, Andrew May, our Manager. ‘Grabber,’ we called him back then.”
In the Molesworth novels “Grabber” is the Head Boy at St. Custards and the child of wealthy parents. The name “Andy May”/”Andrew May” isn’t (as far as I know) in the Molesworth books, and does sound familiar, but I can’t place it.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “The Rolling Stones manager for the early part of the sixties was Andrew Loog Oldham (even though he’d given it up by 1966), so Andrew May is presumably an analogue of him.”
Martin Crookall writes, "A clarification on Andy May. Grabber, in the Molesworth books, is always referred to as 'Grabber ma'. I always read that as an abreviation of 'Grabber major', meaning that the Head Boy was the older of two brothers at St Cuthberts. This usage appears in the contemporaneous Anthony Buckeridge series of Jennings books. Admittedly, Nigel Molesworth's younger brother is known as Molesworth 2. But either way, the surname of Andy May clearly comes from that usage."
Panel 3. “I respect you, Wolfe.”
See Page 9, Panel 3 below.
“And Vince, ‘e thinks the world of you.”
See Page 9, Panel 3 below.
Panel 6. “I can play ‘Fairy Bells.’”
There are a number of songs by this name—I’m not sure which (if any) are being referenced here.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid clarifies: “In Whizz for Atomms (Max Parrish, London, 1956), Molesworth says of his friend Peason ‘His piece Fairy Bells on the skool piano will never be forgoten by those who hav heard it.’ There are a few other mentions of Fairy Bells being played by various others, including Molesworth 2 (Molesworth’s younger brother), in other Molesworth books.”
Panel 7. “But big mouth said no....”
See Page 15, Panel 2 below.
Page 5. Panel 1. “World
Cup Willie” is a statue of the Mascot for the 1966 World Cup, which was held in
The dog is a statue of Nipper, the dog featured in the famous “His Master’s Voice” ad for the Gramophone Company but originally created by Francis Barraud.
The third statue looks familiar but I can’t place it. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “The third large object, after World Cup Willie and Nipper the HMV dog, was some sort of image used in weather forecasts in the UK back in the day, in one or other of the tabloid newspapers, I seem to recall.”Martin Crookall writes, "Based on the art style, I'm convinced he dates from the Fifties and, without access to the original comics, I'm almost sure he appeared in the legendary 'Eagle', which offered it's artists to draw advertising material. I believe his name was Mr Therm and that he advertised for the then equivalent of British Gas plc, the company providing gas to homes for the purpose of cooking, heating etc." Rob Wickings agrees that it's Mr. Therm.
John Hall writes, "A possible reason for World Cup Willie being shown next to the HMV dog Nipper is that (taken from Wikipedia entry): "On 20 March 1966, four months before the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England, the trophy was stolen during a public exhibition at Westminster Central Hall. The trophy was found just seven days later wrapped in newspaper at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge in Upper Norwood, South London, by a dog named Pickles." So it's possible that the dog is intended to be Pickles rather than Nipper and that the gramophone has been put in as a piece of misdirection!"
Panel 2. “Tibetan Masters” coming to take Baz to the “next level” is likely a reference to Theosophy, the 19th century philosophy propagated by Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891). Part of Theosophy is the idea that Tibetan ascended masters are passing on their wisdom to ordinary humanity.
Panel 3. “Rubber lips would be livid.”
See Page 15, Panel 2 below.
Panel 4. Lou Mougin writes, "When Basil drowns, it's possibly a ref to the theory (actually, more like a report in some cases) that Brian Jones was drowned in his swimming pool by workers who were remodeling the place, and whom Brian had allegedly insulted."
Page 6. Panel 1. This is the same “Albion Reach” lion statue next to the cancelled Channel Causeway seen in League v1n1, page 2. And the submarine is the newest iteration of the Captain Nemo’s Nautilus.
“Paint it Black” is of course a reference to the 1966 Rolling Stones song “Paint It, Black.” The song was originally entitled “Paint It Black,” but the Stones’ record label, Decca, added the comma.
I will leave any potential relationship between the lyrics of the song and the events of this issue to you, Dear Reader, to decide.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “I’m sure the image of the woman in the speedboat is from a movie poster, but I can’t place it otherwise.”
Leo Antolini notes, "I can´t help but notice certain design similarities between The Beatles´ Yellow Submarine and this iteration of the Nautilus (which, given the time period, makes sense)." Alexander Birtles writes, "I think the redesigned Nautilus bears a superficial similarity to the Batmobile from the sixties Batman tv show."
Page 7. Panel 1. “Little Jack, you stop it now!”
“Hira, let the boy be.”
In the two Jules Verne novels, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1869) andThe Mysterious Island (1874), Captain Nemo is a widower, having lost his family during the 1857 Indian Rebellion. In League v2n6 Page 24, Panel 3, Nemo mentions returning to his “wife and child on Lincoln Island” (Lincoln Island being the setting of The Mysterious Island). The child is given a name in the text piece in League v2: “Janni Dakkar” (Nemo’s real name is Prince Dakkar”). A grown-up Janni played a major role in Century: 1910.
The woman wearing the captain’s jacket is an elderly Janni Dakkar. The woman on the left, “Hira,” is Janni’s daughter. In Panel 6 Janni refers to “my love, my Jack,” which would seem to confirm fan speculation that Broad Arrow Jack, a member of the Nautilus crew from League v1n1, became Janni’s lover, and therefore Hira’s father. (Broad Arrow Jack was created by E. Harcourt Burrage and appeared in the penny dreadful Broad Arrow Jack (1866)). Antony Keen corrects me: "It's not fan speculation that Broad-Arrow Jack and Jenny Nemo were lovers - it's stated explicitly on page 76 of 1910 that they were married. The same source establishes that young Jack's father is Armand Robur."
“Hira” means diamond in Gujarati, one of the major languages of India (45.5 million speakers in 1997). Interestingly, in Century: 1910 Janni and her father spoke Punjabi to each other, and in the notes to Century: 1910 I wrote:
According to The Mysterious Island Captain Nemo, a.k.a. Prince Dakkar, was a prince of “Bundelkund,” or Bundelkhand, an area in central India. Punjab is on the northwest border of India. Most people in Bundelkhand speak Bundeli, but there’s certainly no reason why Nemo’s wife couldn’t be Punjabi.
There’s certainly no reason why Janni and Jack couldn’t have chosen “Hira” as a name. But Punjabi and Gujarati are different languages from different parts of India.
“Little Jack” is Janni’s grandson, Hira’s son. The identity of his father is not hinted at.Leo Antolini corrects me: "About the identity of Little Jack´s father, it´s not hinted at here, no, but we know from LoEG: 1910 that his father is Armand Robur, Jean Robur´s son." Dawfydd Kelly also noted this.
“Well, Miss Murray, there’s your England, with the ruins of its causeway.”
“Mm. Having to blow it up during the war was a real drag, wasn’t it, Allan?”
Obviously the Channel Causeway, delayed as of 1898 (in League v1), was eventually completed, but such a thing would have posed a great threat to England during World War Two, so it had to be destroyed.Sidney Osinga writes, "This is a refence to page 146 of the Black Dossier, which stated that Mina and Allen destroyed it in 1941 to prevent it being used to invade England."
Panel 5. “Now, Ishmael’s son will row you ashore.”
Obviously Broad Arrow Jack was not the only crew member of the Nautilus to find a wife and have a child. Ishmael, like Broad Arrow Jack a member of the Nautilus crew fromLeague v1n1, was created by Herman Melville and appeared in Moby Dick (1851).
Panel 6. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “When Janni says, ‘Our daughter and grandson are our immortality,’ this more or less states that she doesn’t have any other offspring other than Hira.”
Panel 7. “I remember King Lear saying something very similar to me once.”
Recall that, as seen in Black Dossier, many of the events of Shakespeare’s plays actually happened, and that Orlando interacted with several of the members of those plays. It’s fitting that Orlando would have interacted with the lead of Shakespeare’s King Lear (1603-1606).
Damian Gordon notes, "this is meant to be ironic since two out of three of King Lear's daughters (Goneril and Regan) betray him, and he exiles his only loyal daughter (Cordelia), and by the end of the play all three of them are dead, so unlike the Nemo family, Lear effectively caused the death of all of his daughters and ended his family line." Steve Flanagan also pointed this out.
“I think I’ll stick with simply not dying if nobody minds.”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Woody Allen once said, ‘I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying.’”
Page 8. Panel 4. “We built a road straight there when I landed here with Caesar. Or was it Agricola?”
As seen in Black Dossier, Orlando was a part of Caesar’s invasion of Britain. Historically, the earliest roads built in Britain by the Romans connected London with the ports used in the invasion. The “Agricola” Orlando mentions is Gnaeus Julius Agricola (40-93), who was the general responsible for most of the Roman conquest of Britain. Tony Keen corrects me: "Agricola was only responsible for the conquest of northern Britain - the south was conquered before he arrived."
Panels 5-6. “You came here in ‘64, didn’t you?”
“With my League of Marvels. Don’t remind me.”
The “League of Marvels” a.k.a. the Seven Stars, was described in Century: 1910.
Page 9. Panel 1. This is the first of the scenes with numerous passers-by who, presumably, are meant to be recognized as someone. I’m not good with these, so I’ll need extra help from you, Dear Reader, to recognize these individuals: left to right, Man With His Leg Up, Bow-Tie Man, Two Men In Suits, Blonde-Haired Man With Two Women.
Gabriel Neeb says, "I could swear one of the British gangsters Jack Carter meets in the early pages of 1969 might be from The Long Good Sunday (d. John Mackenzie, 1980) starring Bob Hoskins, where most of the actions begins after the murder of one of Hoskin's gay associates. To be honest the opening of Century 1969 reminded me of the opening of ...Friday. And to continue, a James Bond, Pierece Brosnan has one of his earliest appearance on film in TLG."
Joe McNally says, of Bow-Tie Man, "it's tempting to suggest that the portly gent in the bow-tie may be Billy Bunter out on the town; Gerald Campion, the actor who played Bunter for many years on British TV, ended up as the manager of Gerry's, a Soho basement drinking club, albeit a rather more upmarket one than the one Carter visits." Steve Flanagan and Mark Hagen also pointed this out. Sanjay Shah writes, "The chap in the bowtie with the overweight lady is Professor Simon Peach from the 1969 version of 'The Italian Job' (played by Benny Hill) he had a fetish for large women (and he starred alongside Michael Caine in that - who he's standing next to in that panel as Jack Carter)." Jam Norman also caught this.
Greg Daly writes, "I've no idea who anyone is in this, save that I'm not sure you're right to describe the man at the left as 'Man With His Leg Up'. Hasn't he got his right foot on some kind of orthotic stilt? So that, in effect, he's a man with a serious case of Short Leg Syndrome? Surely that'd ring someone else's bells..."
Steve Flanagan writes of the Blonde-Haired Man, "Could Blonde-haired man be "Budgie" Bird, played by Adam Faith (TV series "Budgie")?" Sanjay Shah expands on this: "the blonde man with the two women is Ronald 'Budgie' Bird (played by singer turned actor, Adam Faith) a character from the sit-com 'Budgie' who was an ex-con and occasional stripshow hawker."
Chris Benjamin writes, "Two Men in Suits - Are those the Piranha Brothers? I sort of doubt it, but they do have the look about them. I'm surprised there's not a giant porcupine looking for Dinsdale."
“Durex” is a British brand of condom.
“LoobyLoo’s” is a reference to “LoobyLoo,” a rag doll who appeared on the British children’s tv show Andy Pandy (1950-1952). (Thanks to everyone for the correction here).
The poster for the sex show, “A woman and a Vril” is a reference to the Vril-ya, from Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race (1871). In the novel the Vril-ya are a technologically and biologically advanced species of humanoids who live in a subterranean civilization.
Panel 2. Don’t recognize the man on the left or the quartet on the right. Pádraig Ó Méalóid can, thank goodness: “The four people sitting at a table together are some of the cast from the Carry On films, made between 1958 and 1978 at Pinewood Studios. Left to right, from back to front, there’s Joan Sims, Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, and Kenneth Williams.” Mark Elstob disagrees: "the woman is not Joan Sims. It is Barbara Windsor (who had a very brief liaison with the man standing next to her, Sid James). With British comedy films in mind, I imagine the seated gentleman with the cigarette holder is Terry Thomas, star of a number of films on both sides of the Atlantic through the fifties and sixties." Joe McNally and Damian Gordon also pointed out these. Mark Hagen writes, "Rather than Joan Sims, that looks like Doris Ewell, another denizen of Fenn Street, played by the redoubtable Joan Sanderson."
Panel 3. The gentleman speaking, “Vince,” is Vic Dakin, from the film Villain (1971). (Vince’s full name, “Vince Dakin,” is given on Page 18, Panel 6). In the film Dakin, played by Richard Burton, is a gay London mobster modeled on Ronnie Kray (see Panel 5 below). Presumably Vince is drawn here and elsewhere to resemble Burton.
In Panel 2 we can see Vic’s “V” cufflink. The cufflink is the shape as the “V” in the film poster (seen here) for Villain.
“Wolfe Lovejoy,” who as the dialogue in this scene demonstrates was the Wolfe in the murder scene at the beginning of the book, is a reference to both Villain and the British t.v. series Lovejoy (1986, 1991-1994). In the t.v. series Lovejoy is a British antiques dealer (see Page 31, Panel 5 below) played by Ian McShane. In Villain Vic Dakin’s younger lover is named Wolfe Lissner and is played by Ian McShane.Tristan Sargent writes, "the film ‘Sexy Beast’ (2000) also featured a psychopathic homosexual London gang boss, Teddy Bass, played by Ian McShane." This point was in fact raised by Moore later.
“Jackie-Boy”/”Mr. C” is Jack Carter, the lead in Get Carter (1971). Get Carter is about Jack Carter, a British gangster who travels to Newcastle Upon Tyne, in the north of Britain, to avenge his brother’s murder. In the film Carter was (memorably) played by Michael Caine, who Century: 1969's Jackie-Boy is drawn to resemble.
Panel 4. "We're not poofs. We're 'omosexuals."
Dickon Edwards writes, " In Jake Arnott's The Long Firm, one of the most memorable lines is when Harry Starks says "I'm not gay. I'm homosexual.""
“Brown hatter” is, as might be expected, British slang for homosexual. I’m not going to go any further into it, sorry.
Panel 5. “Now, all yer other East End villains...Harry Starks, Harry Flowers, Doug Piranha...they’re poofs.”
“Harry Starks” is a reference to Jake Arnott’s splendid The Long Firm (1999) and truecrime (2003). Starks is a gay East End gangster not unlike Ronnie Kray (see below).
“Harry Flowers” is a reference to the film Performance (1970).Flowers is an
“Doug Piranha” is a reference to Doug and Dinsdale Piranha, from the Monty Python sketch “Piranha Brothers” (1970). The Piranha Brothers are loosely based on Reggie and Ronnie Kray and use “violence and sarcasm” to rule the London underworld.
Notable by their absence in this list are the Kray twins, Reggie (1933-2000) and Ronnie (1933-1995). In real life the Kray twins were the fearsome and brutal crimelords of London’s East End in the 1950s and 1960s. But as we’ve seen in previous volumes of League, in the world of League real life figures are replaced by their analogues in popular culture. So in the world of League the Krays are replaced by Vince Dakin, Harry Starks, Harry Flowers, and the Piranha brothers.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “It’s probably worth pointing out that Ronnie Kray, after who all the crooks named in this panel are named, was also a homosexual, and would regularly bring his latest boyfriend to the firm’s meetings, where the various gang leaders from around London were expected to admire him. He was also by far the more unbalanced and violent of the Kray Twins.”
Page 10. Panel 1. “Rival firm” was 1960s British crime slang for an enemy gang.
“O-or some upstart, like Hogg...”
“Hogg” may be a reference to the Samuel Delany novel Hogg (written in 1969, only published in 1995). Franklin “Hogg” Hargus is a possibly-gay rapist and thug.
Panel 3. “I should give you a face like tramlines, son.”
A “tramline” is a railway track, so the threat here is to leave scars all over his face. Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “The specific threat here is to take a straight razor to his face, which was a common weapon of choice in those times.” Joe McNally (Tony Keen also noted this) writes, "'tramlines' aren't railway lines as such, they're what the old London trams (trolleybuses) used to run on, and were generally set into ruts cut in the road surface, often forming a confusing grid at road junctions." Jay Eales adds, "It's not quite as the original annotation suggests. It wouldn't be done with a straight razor. It's actually something that goes on in prisons, usually to teach someone a lesson. They get something like a toothbrush, and melt the end, so they can insert two razor blades close together. then, when they slice someone's face open, it gives two cuts (literally like tramlines) so close together that it can't be stitched, and leaves a particularly brutal scar..."
Panel 5. “One o’ them Geordie cavemen, ennit?”
A “Geordie” is a nickname for someone from the Tyneside area of northeast England. In The Coming Race the Vril-ya are found in a cave somewhere in the north of England, and since we’re seeing a Vril-ya here, it makes sense that Vince would call the Vril-ya “Geordie cavemen.”
Panel 6. “Look, I’m ‘eadin’ up north soon on family business, but I’ll ask about.”
In Get Carter Carter goes north, to Newcastle Upon Tyne, to avenge the death of his brother. Steve Flanagan adds, "Where he will, of course, shoot a lot of Geordies who have involved his niece in the sex trade, retroactively foreshadowed by his interest in the floor show here."
Panel 7. Presumably some or many of the pedestrians here are references.
Mark Elstob writes, "The bus is advertising "Compact" which was a magazine featuring in the TV soap opera of the same name from 1962 to 1965." Steve Flanagan and Frank Robert also caught this
I have the nagging suspicion that there is a Treen link with Nigel Molesworth, but I can’t find it, so the next logical choice is the Treens of Dan Dare. Created by Frank Hampson, Dan Dare has been appearing in various media since his debut in the comic Eagle in 1950. In the future of the 1990s, Colonel Dan Dare, chief pilot of the Interplanet Space Fleet, has adventures across the solar system, repeatedly coming into conflict with the Mekon, the evil ruler of the Treens of northern Venus.
Dan Dare is mentioned in the Black Dossier (Page 10, Panel 8), and on page 127, panel 2 of Black Dossier can be seen a child wearing the mask of a Worker Treen. More broadly, the Black Dossier showed that the Earth was interacting with a number of alien societies. It makes sense that a school for English serving aliens would appear in the London of League.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “The Treen connection with Nigel Molesworth you were looking for is probably to do with this line from one of the books: ‘You have caught me, Sir, like a treen in a disabled spaceship.’”
Though a common-sounding name for a company, there is a significant fictional “Universal Export:” the cover name for British Secret Service in the James Bond films.
Page 11. Panel 1. Goodge Street is a station on the London Underground, but this panel and Panel 2 are a reference to the song “Sunny Goodge Street,” which appears on Donovan’s Fairytale (1965). The first three lines of the song are:
On the firefly platform on sunny Goodge Street
Violent hash-smoker shook a chocolate machine
Bobbed in an eating scene
Peter Borowiec writes, "I suspect the character at the chocolate machine is Donovan himself. It looks an awful lot like him."
David Mosley writes, "The tall building in the background (with orange lights) is probably Centre Point, completed in 1966 and which can certainly be seen from Goodge Street tube station on the Tottenham Court Road looking south."
Panel 2. “Isn’t that Nightmore Street, where the Tic-Toc Club was?”
This is a reference to Michael Moorcock’s “Nightmore Street, WC1,” in Iain Sinclair’s London: City of Disappearances (2006), about a London club whose members included Dylan Thomas.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid
adds, “The Tic-Toc Club is a reference to the Kit-Kat Club a London club
of the 18th Century. Not to be confused with the more recent KitKatClub
“We want Little Monmouth Street.”
This is a reference to Michael Moorcock’s “The Venue Underground,” in London: City of Disappearances. “The Venue Underground” is the club, located on Little Monmouth Street, “where the Beatles first performed in London, but was better known for its association with the Rolling Stones and the Who.” (This is whimsy on Moorcock’s part. The Beatles’ first performance in London can be found here and was certainly not at the Venue Underground).
Panel 3. “The Basement” is a reference to “The Venue Underground.” The club “originally (1954) opened as the Jazz Cellar. In the early 1960s it changed its name to the Cellar and later to the Basement.”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “The Basement would also be a reference to The Cavern Club in Liverpool, where The Beatles came to prominence.”
Panel 4. “Chinese White Bedsock”
This is a reference to the British radio soap opera The Archers (1951-present). In the early 1970s Joe Grundy held a concert at Grange Farm. The headlining band was Chinese WhiteBedsock.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “Chinese White Bedsock could possibly also be a reference to Soft White Underbelly, the original name of Blue Öyster Cult.”
“Down with the M AN Demo”
See Page 19, Panel 7 below.
Panel 5. “Anyway, it’s where the Rutles first played London, apparently.”
The Rutles were a Beatles pastiche created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes in 1975 for Idle’sRutland Weekend Television and were the focus of the 1978 tv film All You Need Is Cash. For the delightful details, see the Wikipedia entry.
As mentioned in Panel 2 above, in Moorcock’s “The Venue Underground” the Beatles are said to have first performed in London in the Venue Underground. But in the world of League many prominent historical figures have fictional analogues. So in the world of League there were no Beatles, there were the Rutles.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “If The Rutles are this world’s equivalent of The Beatles, and Oliver Haddo is the equivalent of Aleister Crowley, then I suppose it must follow that Haddo would be on the cover of their 1967 album Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band.”
Panels 5-6. The singer here is writer and sometime musician Michael Moorcock.
The “Deep Fix” sign in Panel 6 indicates that the singer is a member of the band the Deep Fix, who were created by Michael Moorcock and appear in Moorcock’s “The Venue Underground:” “The Deep Fix were resident there until 1977.”
“Runestaff spells in Golden Place/Light your alabaster face/where photographs of Una’s smile/Made all my lonely nights worthwhile.”
The lyrics are references to the works of Michael Moorcock:
• “Runestaff” is a reference to Moorcock’s
four-volume “Runestaff” series of novels, The
Jewel in the Skull (1967), Sorcerer’s Amulet (1968), The Sword of
the Dawn (1968), and The Secret of the Runestaff
(1969). A part of Moorcock’s “Eternal Champion” cycle
of books, the Runestaff quartet
describe the adventures of Dorian Hawkmoon in
a far-future dystopian
• “Golden Place” is a reference to “Golden Place, WC2,” which appears in London: City of Disappearances. The Golden Place “was notorious as a thieves’ sanctuary, being technically Portuguese soil” originally operated by a secret society looking for the Holy Grail “otherwise documented as the ‘RooneStaffe.’”
• “Light your alabaster face” is a reference to the sword-wielding albino anti-hero Elric of Melnibone, Moorcock’s most famous character.
• “Una’s smile” is a reference to UnaPersson, a revolutionary who has appeared in a number of Moorcock’s novels, including the “Jerry Cornelius” cycle and the “Eternal Champion” cycle. (Wikipedia entry). She has also been leant by Moorcock to other writers.
Pádraig ÓMéalóid adds, “The Deep Fix was an actual band, as
well as being fictitious. They were called Michael Moorcock & The Deep Fix, and recorded a few albums, the first of which.New Worlds Fair,
was released in 1975. The Deep Fix was the title story of a collection
of short stories by James Colvin published by Compact in the
“Made all my lonely nights worthwhile.”
If this is a reference to something, I don’t know what it is.
“Don’t worry. Everyone’ll think we’re smoking charge.”
Pádraig ÓMéalóid writes, “Charge is a slang term for Marijuana, dating from the 1920s onwards.”
Panel 8. “Lando, I did once teach music.”
Stoker’s Dracula (1897) Mina was a teacher of “etiquette and decorum” at
a girl’s school. But as somehow went unremarked upon in the twelve years since
the first issue of League
“I bought the building in ’64 for my supermen.”
This is a reference to the text piece in Century: 1910.
Page 12. Panel 1. I’m drawing a blank on many of the references here. Working clockwise beginning with Mina:
four-panel view-screen: don’t know. Tony Keen points out that this is a jukebox.
• The “Woof” poster. (Note the clouds in shape of the question mark—the question mark being the symbol of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen): don’t know. Pádraig Ó Méalóid does, however: “It's the sound that you get when Mickey Moran says KIMOTA! and changes into Marvelman.”
• The globe half-filled with liquid: don’t know.
• The robot head with the melted entry hole: don’t know. Chris Benjamin writes, "Could the severed robot head belong to Rex Robot of the Society of Heroes? Rex appeared in Lion Comics in the the 1960s. He was featured in The Spider's comic strip one time. Rex was a robot lawman from the planet Kragnol. He died in battle against his arch-nemesis, the Mad Meckanoid of the Sinister Seven. Here's an entry online. The image by K. O'Neill seems to have the same forehead emblem as Rex Robot.Another option for the severed robot head is the Steel Commando - His adventures were told in Thunder Comics from the 1970's, but they take place during WW2." Marc Dolan writes, "The severed robot head (not the melty one) may be a 1960s Cyberman (not a cybernaut, which was The Avengers not Doctor Who). Here's an image from the DW Experience."
• The “Marsman” plaque on the table is a reference to Mars Man, the hero of the British comic Marsman Comics #1 (1948). In Marsman Comics an unnamed Martian comes to Earth as an anthropologist but ends up fighting crime. In Century: 1910, “Minions of the Moon,” Marsman is a member of the Seven Stars, Mina’s 1964 iteration of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
• The hood with the lightning symbol is the hood of Captain Zenith, who appeared in the British comic Captain Zenith Comic #1 (1950). In Captain Zenith the titular hero is a somewhat generic costumed crime-fighter. Captain Zenith is not mentioned in “Minions of the Moon” as a member of the Seven Stars, but the full membership of the Seven Stars was not mentioned there.
• The chain mail helmet and vest and stars-and-planets cape belong to Zom of the Zodiac, who appeared in the British comic Big Win Comics #1 (1948). In Big Win Zom uses magic to right wrongs. Zom is not mentioned in “Minions of the Moon” as a member of the Seven Stars, but the full membership of the Seven Stars was not mentioned there.
• The (guessing) severed robot head lying on its side in the lower left: no idea. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “I think is actually Mina’s helmet when she’s Vull the Invisible.” (see Page 15, Panel 7 below).
• The bottles with the stylized “G” on them are a reference to Speed Gale, who appeared in the British comic Super Duper Comics #1 (1947). Speed Gale drinks an elixir which gives him “mastery over the air and super-human strength” which he uses to fight crime with the help of his sidekick Garry. Speed Gale is not mentioned in “Minions of the Moon” as a member of the Seven Stars, but the full membership of the Seven Stars was not mentioned there.
• The bust of a woman. I assume that is of Janni.
• The severed robot head: haven’t been able to find out.
• The skeleton in a space suit: haven’t been able to find out.
• The spiral statue appears on the cover of Black Dossier. In Impossible Territories Kevin O’Neill had this to say about it: “The spiral tipped object...is the Burrowing machine from an eponymous story in The Jester (1908). This was probably written by Houghton Townley, who also wrote “The Case of the Human Mole,” a Sexton Blake Library story (1927). The Burrowing Machine clearly also inspired the more famous Black Sapper, published by Scotland’s D.C. Thomson in The Rover from 1929.”
• The round view screen.
Note the question-mark-shaped table on the right.
Panel 2. The pictures Orlando is looking at are of the 18th century League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, first seen in League v1n2 on Page 23, Panel 2, and of the 1910 League, seen in Century: 1910.
Page 13. Panel 1. The “Satin” table plaque is a reference to Satin Astro, who appeared in the British comic Whizzer Comics (1947). In the year 3000 A.D. the glamorous criminal Satin Astro teams up with adventurer Burt Steele and fight against Astro’s former boss Krozac. Satin is mentioned in Century: 1910 as a member of the Seven Stars.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid corrects me: “The strip Satin Astro appeared in was actually called Burt Steele and Satin Astro in the Year 3000 AD, and was written by Dennis M. Reader (1927-1995). It appeared in Whizzer Comics (Cartoon Art Productions, 1947). There were only five issues of Whizzer, but I can’t find a mention of which one the strip was actually in anywhere.”
Panel 2. We get a better view of the robot from Page 12, Panel 1, but I still haven’t been able to figure out who it is.
Panel 3. The costume in the vacuum tube is that of Electroman, who appeared in the British comic Electroman Comics (1951-1952). Dan “Fingers” Watkins is a criminal whose attempted execution by electrocution cures his criminal tendencies; a later, second dose of electricity gives him superpowers which he uses to fight evil.
Panel 4. “So that’s London Flesh Pie, is it? Wasn’t that supposed to be human meat?”
This is a reference to Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, who carved his customers up so that his partner could serve them as meat pies. Sweeney Todd has been an urban myth in London for well over two centuries—he never existed despite the lies of Peter Haining, who claimed he did. The literary Sweeney Todd was created by James Malcolm Rymer and appeared in an 1846 serial, “The String of Pearls; or, The Barber of Fleet Street,” which appeared in The People’s Periodical.
Joe McNally corrects my mistake here: ""London Flesh" is a reference to the Michael Moorcock story of the same title, which originally appeared in Iain Sinclair's "London: City Of Disappearances". "Hern" is mentioned therein as the source of London Flesh." David Mosley also caught this. Karin Kross Levenstein provides the passage: "Daniel Defoe was the first to write about 'London Flesh'. the legendary meat of the hern supposed to 'confer Magical Powers upon those who Partook of it'. Defoe, in fact, invested money in its unsuccessful commercial production. Perhaps that was why he wrote his famous pamphlet which, while pretending scepticism, actually gave the impression that the meat, sold mostly in the form of a paste, had supernatural properties."
“It’s a bird. The hern, I think.”
“Hern” is an archaic version of heron. But herons, as carnivorous birds, haven’t traditionally been eaten, so I’m not sure why Orlando would think of a heron as the source of a flesh pie.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “A possible explanation for the mention of the Hern is that the Heron is a symbol for certain aspects of Christ, particularly at the time of his crucifiction, so this may be a convoluted association of the contents of the London Meat pie with the communion wafer, which is meant to transubstantiate into the flesh of Jesus Christ in the Catholic mass. And there was me thinking all that stuff would never be any use to me!”
I don’t know what the salt and pepper shakers are a reference to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid does: “The salt and pepper set are Pinky and Perky, a pair of pig puppets from the TV show of the same name, who I remember well from my childhood. It ran on the BBC under various name variations from 1957 until 1968, and did a further three years on ITV after that. Perky is the noe with the hat.”
Panel 5. “Detto with Black Whitener.”
“Detto” is a reference to one of the products sold in the film I’m All Right Jack (1959).
“-rd’s Eye –don Flesh Pi-“
“Bird’s Eye” is an international manufacturer of frozen foods—the logo here is the traditional Bird’s Eye logo.
Perhaps the “hern” joke from Panel 4 is that Bird’s Eye is serving a literal bird’s eye in their flesh pie.
Pádraig ÓMéalóid writes, “There is a tiny human figure in the art, right at the bottom right-hand corner, seemingly running away. Might it have escaped from the London Flesh Pie box?”David Cairns wonders if it's a Borrower.
Page 14. Panel 1. “-brimble Hedge & theVegatations” is a reference to the film Bedazzled (1967). In the film Dudley Moore’s Stanley gets seven wishes from the devil and uses one of them to become a rock star–all to gain the affection of Wimpy’s waitress Margaret. But Stanley is upstaged by a new band, Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations.
Panel 2. “Remind me, did we ever find out what a moonchild actually is?”
“It’s a magical birth meant to usher in a new age, apparently.” In Aleister Crowley’s novel The Moonchild (1917) the titular child will be a kind of occult messiah, a child who is possessed with the soul of an astral spirit.
Panel 3. “Well, that connects with poor old Carnacki’s visions of Apocalypse.”
This is a reference to the events of Century: 1910 and Thomas Carnacki, a member of the 1910 League. Carnacki was created by William Hope Hodgson and appeared in six stories in British magazines from 1910 to 1912, beginning with “The Gateway of the Monster” (The Idler, Jan. 1910). Thomas Carnacki was the second major Occult Detective in detective/horror fiction. Carnacki is a “Psychic Investigator” who uses both scientific equipment and the traditional ghost-breaking paraphernalia to combat the psychic forces and the “Outer Monsters” which threaten our world.
Just why he’s “poor old Carnacki” is unclear. Hodgson never related Carnacki’s final fate, so perhaps Moore is hinting here that Carnacki’s ending was a bad one.
Panels 4-5. “Haddo’s sect nearly produced an Antichrist in New York recently, according to Prospero. He said some poor girl...Rosemary something...was the mother. Luckily, the baby died in infancy.”
This is a reference to Ira Levin’s novel Rosemary Baby (1967), memorably turned into a film in 1968 by Roman Polanski. In the novel Rosemary Woodhouse is used by her husband as the Devil’s breeder.
In the novel and film Rosemary’s demonic baby is born healthy, and in Levin’s sequel, Son of Rosemary (1997), the child, Andy, grows up safely.
Gabriel Neeb point out that Rosemary's Baby was shot at the Dakota, where John Lennon was murdered.
Panel 6. “Under the name Adrian Marcato, Haddo parented a son who engineered the New York attempt.”
In Rosemary’s Baby Marcato had lived in the Bramford (where Rosemary lives) in the 1890s and practiced witchcraft.
Page 15. Panel 4. “...body of the orphan, discovered in an abandoned station, had been partly eaten by his pet sheepdog.”
All my guesses–My Three Sons, The Shaggy Dog–are obviously wrong. Anyone? Rodger Kibble writes, "the "orphan boy" is Wellington of the Perishers, who lived in a disused railway station with his dog Boot." Graham Tugwell and Joe McNally also noted this. Cole Odell wonders if this is a reference to Belle et Sebastian.
Panel 5. “...pop group the Purple Orchestra have announced a Hyde Park tribute to deceased member Basil Thomas, who died last week.”
This is a reference to the Donald Cammell/Nicolas Roeg film Performance (1970), in which Mick Jagger plays retired rock musician “Turner Purple.” Also see See Page 59, Panel 4 below.
I don’t believe that Turner’s former group was ever named in Performance, but the name of the group, combined with the “big mouth” comment (Page 4, Panel 7 above) and “rubber lips” comment (Page 5, Panel 3), are convincing enough for me.
The sword is Orlando’s Excalibur–Orlando said in Panel 3 that he dumped his stuff in Mina’s room.
Panel 7. The picture is of three of the Seven Stars in happier times: Captain Universe, an invisible Mina wearing the hat of Vull, and Marsman.
“Captain Universe” is a reference to Captain Universe, who appeared in the British comic Captain Universe (1954). “Working in the research laboratories of the United Nations Interplanetary Division, Jim Logan discovers an amazing secret. He treats himself electronically and thereafter, whenever he shouts the word 'Galap', electronic impulses from outer space vibrate through him, endowing him with superhuman powers. He becomes Captain Universe, the Super Marvel!”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “Captain Universe was created by Mick Anglo, the alleged creator of Marvelman, and it’s obvious that, like Marvelman, Captain Universe is a direct copy of Captain Marvel. Only one issue of Captain Universe was ever published, by Arnold Book Company, which was a subsidiary of L Miller & Son, the publishers of Marvelman, but run by the ‘& Son’ himself, Arnold Miller.”
“Vull the Invisible” was created by Temple Murdoch and appeared in the British story paper Ranger in 1934 and 1935. He was a thief who used a technologically-advanced helmet to turn invisible. At some point Mina acquired his helmet and used it as a superhero–as far back as the 1930s, if the “Minions of the Moon” section of Century: 1910 is any indication.
Page 16. Panel 1. David Cairns writes, "The Crowley who appears in bed with Mina appears to be the REAL-WORLD Crowley, in some ways. Just as Norton talks about events in our world which are baffling to the League, and seems to be following their adventures in the comics. So KG could indeed refer to Crowley's real-life disciples."
Panel 2. Any guesses what “I’ve already cut your young friends’ throats, by the way” might be a reference to? The events of Century: 2009? What happened to Carnacki? David Knight writes, "I think Haddo is lying to wind up Mina and goad her into attacking him, thus injuring or killing Allan. “I’ve already cut your young friends’ throats” refers to the throats of Allan and Orlando."
Panel 4. “I died of heroin and hard-boiled eggs in Hastings.”
Pádraig ÓMéalóid writes, “This is almost a quote from Crowley, but I can’t track down exactly what he said, or where he said it. His diet towards the end of his days in Hastings was apparently just this, though.”
Page 18. Panel 1. On the left, the eight advertisements for prostitutes are references to British comics.
• “Rome- -or hire” is a reference to Romeo (1956?-?), a girl’s comic.
• “Bimb- -ill suck lollipop” is a reference to Bimbo (1961-1972), a “nursery comic” about younger children. The titular character is actually a boy, Bob Dewar.
• “Jack of- Jill up her hill” is a reference to Jack & Jill (1954-1985), a children’s comic.
• “Randy xx Mandy” is a reference to Mandy (1967-1991), a girl’s comic.
• I’m not sure what “Big Girl needs a little” (can’t make out the next word) is a reference to. The accompanying image of the girl is likely a reference, but I don’t know what it is.
• “June and Schoolfriend wit-“ is a reference to June (?-?) and School Friend (1919-1934, 1950-?), two girl’s comics which merged in the late 1950s to becomeJune and School Friend (?-?). The most notable aspect of School Friend is Bessie Bunter, the sister of Billy Bunter. In the world of League Bessie Bunter married (and was eventually murdered by) Harry Wharton. Bessie is mentioned on page 86, panel 7 of Black Dossier. David Simpson adds, "The full name of June And Schoolfriend wit- is June And School Friend With Princess Tina."
• “Miss Bunty” is a reference to Bunty (1958-2001), a girl’s comic. The titular character is a blonde schoolgirl.
• “Ms. Twinkle” is a reference to Twinkle (1968-1999), a comic for young girls.
I don’t believe any of the magazines on the right, in the store window, are a reference to anything in particular, although some of them–Clint, Flick–were seen in the Black Dossier on Page 93, Panel 1. [I didn't add that "Clint" and "Flick" weren't traditionally used in comics because of the way they would read on the page because I thought it too obvious to note].
Pádraig ÓMéalóid adds:
The one you’re missing is Girl, which was a sister paper to Eagle, published by Hulton Press, which became Longacre Press, and was eventually taken over by IPC, from November 1951 to October 1964.
Twinkle did, as far as I recall, actually have that little star shape over the ‘I’ on the cover.
June was published by Fleetway/IPC from March 1961 to Jun 1974.
Romeo was published by DC Thomson from August 1957 to September 1974.
Schoolfriend was published by Amalgamated Press (which would later become IPC) from May 1950 to January 1965, before being subsumed into June.
The magazines we can see in the shop window are: This is my 1/2d, Knob, Cok!, Minge, Twats, Pocket Billiards, Stag Man, Ward 10 Whoppers, Fa-- Cr-- (which I’d like to believe says Fanny Craddock), Fluck, Phallos, andPlayd--. Right at the bottom of the window is a copy of SEXJANE, the Tijuana Bible title that is in the Black Dossier.
‘This Is My 1/2d’ is a reference to the phrase ‘Keep your hand on your ha’penny ‘til the right man comes along,’ a piece of advice given to young ladies, once upon a time, and meaning to keep your hand over your genitals, or more generally to watch out for amorous young gentlemen. So, the title should be a bit more evident.
‘Pocket Billiards’ is British slang for manipulating the male genitals through the trouser pocket, generally done by the gentleman himself.
“Battery Boy Sold Here” and the variously-sized vibrators with a smiling face on them are a reference to the Gerry Anderson tv series “Torchy the Battery Boy” (1958-1959). The series is about a battery-operated boy doll and his adventures in his rocket ship.
Joe McNally notes that ""Fluck" was the original surname of British actress Diana Dors, something of a sex-symbol in Britain in the fifties and sixties." David Knight also noted this.
David Knight writes, "I believe we are supposed to infer the title of ‘Fa-- Cra--’ to be ‘Fanny Craddock.’ She was a famous TV cook, but many British people loved the idea that her name must mean something smutty or else used it as a euphemism anyway."
Jules Fattorini writes, "The half-seen magazine PLAYD-- is probably a copy of "Playdude", a Playboy analogy from The Simpsons."
Panel 2. “Ward
10 Whoppers” is a reference to the British tv series Emergency –
Ward 10 (1957-1967), about soap opera and medical storylines at
“Weatherfield Wives” is a reference to Weatherfield, the fictional town in which the British tv soap opera Coronation Street (1960-present) is set.
It’s possible that the man in the checkered cap is a reference to Andy Capp, from Reginald Smythe’s comic strip “Andy Capp” (1957-present). Andy Capp is a working-class British drunk. His visiting a tawdry porn shop is entirely in keeping with his character. But I’m not sure what “Lonely” would be a reference to.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid corrects me:
Lonely is a character from the TV series Callan, played by Russell Hunter. He’s a petty criminal.
On the cover of the magazine Lonely has dropped we do actually see a bare bottom and a slipper. The slipper was a common sight in UK comics of that period, as the naughty children in these – of which there were many – usually got their comeuppance in the form of a spanking with a slipper, usually by their fathers.
Panel 3. “Y-you didn’t ‘alf frighten me, Mr. Ca—“
Although of course you, I, and Lonely know that it’s Carter who is bracing Lonely in this panel, it’s in character for Carter not to want his name spoken aloud.
Jay Eales writes, "Just a little clarification on the above. The reason why Lonely breaks off mid-sentence is because he's associated with David Callan, and not Jack Carter, so as Moore has conflated the two, he can't finish the sentence without naming him. Lonely always calls him "Mister Callan". Just a nice coincidence that both characters' names start with "Ca". "
Panel 4. "I've not done nothin'..."
"No? Smells like you 'ave."
Damian Gordon writes, "Callan was also constantly criticizing Lonely about his malodorous nature."
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “On the
covers of the two issues of Schoolgirl and Slipper on the ground
we see two
Panel 5. "What, you? In a confined space? Leave it out."
Steve Flanagan writes, "Lonely's nickname was derived from the fact that he rarely bathed."
Panel 6. “You dirty little grass.”
“Grass” is of course British slang for a snitch.
Page 19. Panel 2. I suspect the woman with the cork-dangling-hat is a reference to Mavis Bramston, the star of the Australian sketch comedy tv series The Mavis Bramston Show (1964-1968). Bramston was often seen wearing a similar hat (without the corks), and hats with corks dangling from them are a trademark of the Australian Ocker character.
Looking at Bramston is, I’m guessing, a young Dame Edna Everage, the Melburnian housewife portrayed by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. (It’s the glasses that make me think it’s Dame Edna).
Pádraig ÓMéalóid writes, “That’s not a woman in the cork-dangling-hat, it’s Barry McKenzie, another of Barry Humphries’s creations. He was the titular hero of a comic strip in Private Eye, which was collected in The Wonderful World of Barry McKenzie. There were two subsequent films, too. That’s definitely Dame Edna Everage looking on, though. Is the man at the right of the frame Barry Humphries himself, I wonder?”
Joe McNally writes, "the man on the right of the frame is likely to be yet another Humphries creation, Sir Les Patterson." Leo Antolini and Gareth Edwards also caught this.
Panel 4. “This Gallion bloke what died, ‘e started it.”
This is a reference to Cosmo Gallion, who appeared in the “Warlock” episode (27 January 1963) of The Avengers (1961-1969). In “Warlock” Steed and Cathy Gale taken on a black magic circle led by Cosmo Gallion. At the end of the episode Gallion dies.
"W-weirdies still 'ang out at 'is old shop in Museum Street."
Jules Fattorini writes, "This is a reference to the Atlantis Occult Bookshop (est.1922) at 49a Museum Street, Bloomsbury (which, co-incidentally or not, is just round the corner from Gosh Comics where I bought my copy of League today and where Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill are having a signing this Saturday 30th July!)."
Panel 7. Steve Flanagan writes, "The beret and red-and-black striped jersey suggest that the woman of the left is a grown-up version of "Minnie the Minx", created by Leo Baxendale for "The Beano" in the 1950s (a grown-up version of "Roger the Dodger" appears later)."
The “Down with Mogul” poster, partially obscured on Page 11, Panel 4, is a reference to the British tv drama The Troubleshooters (1965-1972). Titled Mogul during its first season, The Troubleshooters is about a corrupt international oil company.
The Rutles poster is of their All You Need Is Cash album, a parody of the inner gatefold sleeve of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, down to the poses. (Thanks to David Allen Jones for the correction here).
Page 20. Panel 1. Dave Jones writes, of the M9 on the bus, "M9 is the department John Drake worked for in the TV series Danger Man."
The black-haired gentleman in the bowtie on the far left of this panel is of course the second Doctor Who, played by Patrick Troughton from 1966-1969.
Pinters Ltd is a reference to the “Death at Bargain Prices” episode of The Avengers (1965). Department store Pinters, Ltd. is the setting for the episode.
I don’t know what the symbol on the back of the bus is.Jeremy Briggs writes, "The symbol on the rear of the green bus is the HH logo of 2000AD's Harlem Heroes aeroball team. Kev O'Neill did the Harlem Heroes super liner cutaway in 2000AD prog 6." David Mosley and Rob Wicking also noted this.
“Berwick Street” is a real location in London.
“Fenner Fashions” is a reference to the British sitcom The Rag Trade (1961-1963, 1977-1978). The Rag Trade is about a small clothing store which is often disrupted by labor actions, which is why the workman in this panel is being arrested for having painted Xs on Fenner’s windows.
Graham Tugwell writes, "Note in the the top left corner Thunderbird 2 flying, possibly towards the flames and smoke in the distance." Damian Gordon writes, "Is that International Rescue flying in Thunderbird 2 to put out a fire?"
Panel 2. If “Hot Chicks” is a reference to anything I’m unaware of it.
I’m sure the pair of hippies are a reference to something, but I don’t know what it is. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “It’s possible that the young man with the black hair is a young Alan Moore, at sixteen years of age, hanging out with (taking a wild stab in the dark) Steve Moore, who would have been twenty. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a photo of Steve Moore, so this is a complete wild guess on my part.”Greg Daly writes, "I think the fellow with the black hair may be Nigel Molesworth, now in his mid-twenties? Google for an image of him and you'll see what I mean: the eyes and nose are very distinctive."
Panel 3. “There Will Come Soft Rains” is the title of the classic Ray Bradbury short story.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “There Will Come Soft Rains is the League equivalent of ‘Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed,’ which is also both the name of a short story by Ray Bradbury and a book and comic shop at 10 Berwick Street in London, which closed in 1981.
“And next door there’s the underground paper, Hunchback.”
See Page 21, Panel 3 below.
Panel 4. A few of these superhero comics were seen in the newsstand in Black Dossier on Page 93, Panel 1. Moving counterclockwise from the lower left:
• If Peter Rock is a reference to anything in particular, I’m unaware of it. Simon Rogers writes, "I think I’m right in saying that Peter Rock was a character created by Frank Hampson for Bulldog which was planned in the late 50s as a rival to Eagle but never published. Alistair Compton’s biography of Hampson covers that background." Martin Crookall also noted this.
• The Winged Avenger was seen in Black Dossier. It’s a reference to the “Winged Avenger” episode of the British TV spy series The Avengers, in which a killer vigilante superhero seems to make the leap from comic books to real life.
• The Bat was seen in Black Dossier. In the notes to Impossible Territories this is what Kevin O’Neill said about it: “The Bat, I believe, first appeared in the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis movie Artists and Models (1955), set partially in a Hollywood version of the comic book business. Dean was a comic artist and Shirley MacLaine was his model!” Lou Mougin writes,"Actually, the character referred to in Artists and Models was the Bat Lady, who was portrayed in costume by Shirley MacLaine. Kevin was misremembering the name. BTW, this was a few years before Batwoman even appeared in the comics."
• The Karkus is a reference to “The Mind Robber”
episode (14 Sept 1968) of Doctor Who. In the course of fighting a
world-conquest-driven computer the Second Doctor and his companions Zoe and Jamie
encounter a superhero, the Karkus, who appeared in
the Hourly Telepress in the year 2000. Greg Daly writes, "The Karkus isn't just a reference to Doctor Who, but a particularly apt one, in that he appeared in a 1968 story featuring the Second Doctor (20:1) in a pocket universe called 'The Land of Fiction', where among other fictional characters he met Lemuel Gulliver, who we know was in the eighteenth-century League; indeed, he's depicted on page 12, panel 2."
don’t think Bulldog is a reference to anything particular, but rather to
the bulldog, the traditional British icon, and to the many British story papers
of the 20th century. Martin Crookall writes, "Bulldog was a proposed British boys comic intended to be published by Fleetway/IPC. It was planned as a vehicle for Frank Hampson, who was to be tempted away from Eagle (which had just changed hands to far less sympathetic publishers) to effectively animate the title as arival to Eagle. With Hampson at a stage where he wanted to direct and inspire series rather than actually draw them, no deal could be struck and Bulldog never appeared."
• Astro Quest is a reference to the “A Space Oddity” episode (16 April 2009) of American crime procedural CSI. In the episode the CSI characters are called in to investigate a murder committed at a convention celebrating a 1960s Star Trek-like science fiction show called Astro Quest. The costume the character wears on the cover of Astro Quest here is much like the ones seen in the flashbacks in CSI. Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds: “Astro Quest itself is probably a reference to the film Galaxy Quest.”
don’t know what Thund- the Aven- is a reference to. Damian Gordon does: "It's Thunderbolt the Avenger." Matthew Craig also caught this.
Panel 5. “Heisenberg, eh? What a wanker.”
I’m unaware of any link between Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) and Jerry Cornelius (see below). Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “I think this refers to his previous comment, where he says, “I’m almost certain we’ve met.” It’s this uncertainty that he’s referring to. Heisenberg is after all the man after whom the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is named." Travis Hedgecoke adds, "Heisenberg being referenced is in keeping with Cornelius being a former physicist who grew disdainful (and/or fearful) of it by the time of his most familiar adventures. He name drops and references physicists and scientists, particularly those in quantum physics."
Page 21. Panel 1. “What in the name of Mithras...”
Mithras/Mithra was the Persian/Roman god worshiped as part of the Mithraism religion. Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “There are a lot of similarities between Mithras and Jesus Christ. Perhaps Mithras is the League version of Christ?” Greg Daly disagrees: "While Pádraig's later idea that Mithras is the League analogue for Christ is interesting, I don't quite buy it, mainly because here -- and elsewhere -- we'll see people using 'Christ!' as an expletive, or even moaning 'Jesus' in the case of Julia." Andrew Bonia writes, "One thing about Mithra that fits is that he was cult god within the Roman Soldiery elite. So Orlando, having constantly referenced his place in the Roman military would not only be familiar with mithraic worship, but also want to rub in in people's faces."
“I’m Jeremiah Cornelius.”
Jeremiah (“Jerry”) Cornelius is the creation of Michael Moorcock. He’s a secret agent and anarchistic adventurer. He appeared, much younger, in Black Dossier on Page 20, Panels 2-8.
“You lodged at our old mum’s, late fifties. The Birthday Party and Ban the Bomb.”
Pádraig ÓMéalóid adds,
The Birthday Party is a play by British playwright Harold Pinter, which had its world première at the Arts Theatre, in Cambridge, England, on 28 April 1958. According to Wikipedia, it’s “about Stanley Webber, an erstwhile piano player in his 30s, who lives in a rundown boarding house, run by Meg and Petey Boles, in an English seaside town, ‘probably on the south coast, not too far from London’. Two sinister strangers, Goldberg and McCann, who arrive supposedly on his birthday and who appear to have come looking for him, turn Stanley's apparently innocuous birthday party organized by Meg into a nightmare.”
There’s a small similarity between this and Mina and Allen’s time at Jerry Cornelius’s mother’s boarding house.
Ban the Bomb was the slogan of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, or CND, formed in 1957, with its first public meeting in February 1958.
Both events are contemporaneous with Black Dossier, the main body of which is set in 1958.
Panel 2. “But...but they were all, y’know. White.”
“Oh, I”m just a bit negative at present. Peace and love depresses me.”
In A Cure for Cancer (1971), the second Jerry Cornelius novel, Cornelius is a photonegative from his original appearance: black skin, white hair.
Panel 3. “I’m collecting royalties on my Hunchback comic strip. They’re serializing my exploits, apparently.”
This may be a reference to “The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius,” a comic strip done by Moebius in Metal Hurlant (1976-1980). Or it may be a reference to something else entirely.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds,
I’ve been trying to find out what The Hunchback might be based on, and my best guess at the moment is The Black Dwarf, an underground socialist newspaper published between 1968 and 1972. I’m not wholly satisfied with this myself, but it’s the closest fit I can find for the moment.
I’ve found this online:-
“Jerry appeared in a series of Comic Strips in the British 'underground' newspaper IT (International Times) from May 1969 to January 1970. The strip was entitled The Adventures of Jerry Cornelius - The English Assassin. Some installments were scripted by Mike [Moorcock], others by M. John Harrison, some illustrated by Mal Dean others by Richard Glyn Jones. Some of the strips later appeared in The Nature of the Catastrophe and the whole lot appeared in the initial Millennium issues of The New Nature of the Catastrophe.”
This started in IT #58 in June 1969, and appeared in a few subsequent issues, on no regular schedule.
Scans of the original pages can be found here.
Zack Smith has this from Moore himself: "Moore says Hunchback is a play on the British underground newspaper IT, and comes from a Jack Trevor Story...story called "The Wind in the Snottygobble Tree" that was published in, yes, Moorcock's New Worlds."
Panel 4. “I bet Miss Brunner wouldn’t approve of you...”
In the Jerry Cornelius stories Miss Brunner is Cornelius’ sadistic technologist (and sometimes demon summoner) nemesis.
Panels 5-6. “The metatemporal detective might know more. He’s due to materialize near King’s Cross tomorrow.”
“Y-you mean Andrew Norton?”
“If you like. Personally, I’ve always called him Taffy.”
In 2007 Michael Moorcock’s collection of short stories, The Metatemporal Detective, was published by Pyr. (With a lovely cover by genius artist John Picacio). The Metatemporal Detective tells the story of the titular crime-solver, Sir Seaton Begg, and his sidekick Dr. Taffy Sinclair, in their conflicts with Begg’s cousin, Monsieur Zenith.
The Metatemporal Detective is Moorcock’s take on the classic British detective Sexton Blake, who first appeared in 1893. Monsieur Zenith the Albino is one of Blake’s arch-enemies. As seen in “The Sincerest Form of Flattery” section of Black Dossier, Monsieur Zenith was a member of Les HommesMysterieux, the French counterpart of the League.
Some of the implications of The Metatemporal Detective was that Seaton Begg effectively was Sexton Blake, that Monsieur Zenith was a cross-dimensional counterpart to Moorcock’sElric of Melnibone, and that they were all manifestations of Moorcock’s Eternal Champion. Cornelius hints here that Andrew Norton is a part of this as well. Tim Chapman points out that Moorcock specifically modeled Taffy Sinclair on Sinclair, which further fleshes out the reference in this panel.
Panel 5. I suspect the man in the hat offering a cucumber to the woman is a reference to something, but I don’t know what it is.Greg Daly writes, "I'm pretty sure the gentleman with the cucumber and the blonde lady are meant to be a young Arthur and Pauline Fowler from BBC's Eastenders, which didn't begin broadcasting till 1985. Pauline's family, the Beales, had owned for decades market stall, and the two characters do resemble Bill Treacher and Wendy Richard." Steve Flanagan writes, "I think that this group of characters is from the TV series "The Fenn Street Gang", a spin-off from "Please, Sir", about what happened after the kids left school: Peter Craven in the hat, Duffy in the sheep-skin coat, and blonde Sharon."
Page 22. Panel 1. More references I don’t get in this panel.
Of the two London Underground symbols, Greg Daly writes, “The London underground symbol in the background is, of course, rather different from the one in our world; it still has the red roundel with a blue bar, as has existed here since 1908, but in the Leaque world the blue bar has wings. This makes sense, if that's indeed, as I think it is, an aerial train flying by! For what it's worth, just before the roundel was introduced, the London General Omnibus Company had a similar emblem, with a winged wheel and a bar across it.” Joe McNally writes, "As to the matter of the electric-bolt roundels, note that there appear to be rails for a suspended monorail system in the top right of the frame. In 1967, the Greater London Council put forward serious plans to build an electric monorail system in central London - there's a contemporary mock-up of what it would have looked like in Regent Street here."
If the “Red Arrow Stamps” is a reference to something, I don’t know what it is.
Greg Daly writes, “Here the Red Arrows are the RAF display team, but I have no idea how this would play in the League world."
Jeremy Martin writes, "My guess is that this is just a twist on Green Shield stamps." Ed Jackson and David Mosley also noted this.
The man on the far left is reading the Daily Brute, a reference to Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop (1938). I Scoop the most base and yellow of yellow journalist papers is the Daily Brute. I suspect “Million- Guy G- Gives Fort-“ is a reference to something, but I don’t know what.
Greg Daly writes, “The newspaper seller, who looks like Hitler, certainly can't be him, as in the League Universe his analogue has already been established as Chaplin's Adenoid Hynkel. I think it's somebody emulating him, though; the emblem he's wearing, curiously, isn't Hynkel's double-cross, and is instead seems to be a red Cross of Lorraine on a black background; this is the Norsefire emblem from the 'V for Vendetta' film, which is a bit odd, given that Moore says he's no fan of it.”
Sean Levin writes, ""Million- Guy G- Gives Fort-" is a reference to Joseph McGrath's film The Magic Christian, which ends with eccentric millionaire prankster Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers) and his adopted son Youngman (Ringo Starr) filling a vat with bank notes, blood, urine, and animal feces, and announces "Free money!" The crowd wades through the offal to get at the cash. The film was based loosely on the novel of the same name by Terry Southern, and the scene in question does not occur in the book." John Dorrian and Joe McNally also noted this.
Rich Johnston writes, "Behind the Steptoes, that's Fred Kite from I'm Alright Jack, played by Peter Sellers. A trade unionist with Stalinist sympathies, ten years on... the Hitler/Hynkel 'tache is a dead giveaway." Jules Fattorini also caught this.
I suspect the pair of men in middle-left panel are Steptoe and Son. Pádraig Ó Méalóid confirms this.
Of the woman behind Steptoe and Son, Greg Daly writes, “I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the blue-eyed blonde lady in pink and with a pearl necklace were Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, the London agent of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds.”
Of the two craft in the air, Greg Daly writes, “I can't quite tell in this picture, but I'd gamble that the grey rocket with the red tip is Thunderbird 1 and the green aircraft next to it is Thunderbird 2.” Pádraig Ó Méalóid says that they are Thunderbird 2 and Thunderbird 3.
Greg Daly and Pádraig Ó Méalóid point out that that’s British film director Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) on the far right.
Panel 2. Pádraig Ó Méalóid says, “The
Panel 4. “Well, during my...my episode last night, I dreamed Haddo said, ‘K.G. was my death-hole,’ whatever that might be.”
Pádraig ÓMéalóid notes, “What strikes me about the exchange here is that it’s only six pages back that Haddo made his cryptic comment, and here we have Mina explaining it away already. I wondered if there might be anyone else that the initials might fit, in the real world. I thought of Kenneth Grant, who was involved at a high level in the OTO with Crowley, but I think it’s actually referring to Karl Germer, who succeeded to the position of the Outer Head of the Order of Ordo Templi Orientis immediately on Crowley’s death.”
The man on the right is John Cleese as a member of the Ministry of Silly Walks in the Monty Python sketch “The Ministry of Silly Walks.”
Panel 5. Jules Fattorini notes, "The Altantis Bookshop is used as the model for the bookshop depicted here."
Panel 5. Jules Fattorini notes, "The Altantis Bookshop is used as the model for the bookshop depicted here."
Panel 7. “Sorry to bring you down, but Mr. Gallion died, and Mr. Felton, who took over, isn’t here.”
“Mr. Felton” is Dr. Charles Felton, from Robert Irwin’s Satan Wants Me, about an apprentice sorcerer who becomes involved with the Black Light Lodge, which is led by Dr. Felton.
Greg Daly writes,
Somewhat incongruously there's a bust of 2000AD's Nemesis the Warlock, which only began in the early 1980s. Kev O'Neill designed the character and drew the story in its early years, but this doesn't really explain what the Nemesis bust is doing here. Having said that, Nemesis certainly could travel in time; one photo-comic in a 1987 special featured him visiting London's Forbidden Planet comic shop in the late 1980s, and volumes seven and nine of the regular strip were set in fifteenth-century Spain and 1980s London respectively. There's a useful history of Nemesis here.
Pádraig ÓMéalóid also noted the Nemesis bust.
Page 23. Panel 1. “Powis Square” is a real
location in London. Pádraig Ó Méalóid
adds, “81 Powis Square is the address of the house in Performance where Turner Purple lives. In real life, there is no
Panel 2. “Oh, I was just discussing your last album, the ‘Infernal Eminences’ one.”
This is a reference to the Rolling Stones’ album Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967), which makes the individual to whom Felton is speaking Turner. Which in turn makes the Purple Orchestra the Rolling Stones analogue of the world of League.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid goes further: “If the Purple Orchestra is the Rolling Stones analogue in world of the League, then we should be able to say who’s who in it. Terner Purple is obviously Mick Jagger, Basil Thomas is the late Brian Jones, Andy ‘Grabber’ May is the equivalent of manager Andrew Loog Oldham. At this point I don’t think we’ve yet identified guitarist Keith Richards, bassist Bill Wyman, or drummer Charlie Watts.”
Panel 3. “I mean, on ‘She Comes in Scarlet,’ you’re quoting The Book of the Word…”
“Yeah, very much so. Very into old Mr. Haddo, we were, recordin’ that.”
“She Comes in Scarlet” is a reference to the “She’s a Rainbow,” the sixth cut (first on side two) of Their Satanic Majesties Request. I don’t believe “She’s a Rainbow” had any quotes from occult source material, although the title of Satanic Majesties spawned numerous rumors that the Stones were devil-worshipers.
Just as Oliver Haddo is an Aleister Crowley analogue, so is The Book of the Word an analogue for Crowley’s The Book of the Law.
The Stones were not followers of Crowley during the recording of Satanic Majesties, but they did record songs for one of Kenneth Anger’s movies about Aleister Crowley.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “‘She Comes in Scarlet’ may also be a
“Triste Le-Roy Guide” is a reference to Jorge Luis Borges’ story “Death and the Compass” (1942), about a series of murders which lead the investigating detective to supposedly unreachable the castle of Triste-le-Roi in the southern part of a nightmarish Buenos Aires-like city.
“Valentine Michael Smith” is a reference to the hero of Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), about a human raised on Mars and returned to Earth.
“John P. Jon--” might be a reference to a number of things, but my preference is for J’onn J’onzz, a.k.a. John Jones, a.k.a. the Martian Manhunter, the DC superhero created in 1955. Pádraig Ó Méalóid disagrees:
‘John P. Jon-‘ probably refers to John Paul Jones, who is best known as the bass player for Led Zepplin, but worked with lots of people, including the Rolling Stones. Specifically, he did the string arrangement on She's a Rainbow, which appears on Their Satanic Majesties Request. The item with John P. Jon- on it seems to be a record sleeve, rather than a book, and I think you can see a bit of the record peeping out from the top of it.
It is unlikely this refers to the Martian Manhunter because A) he’s an American character, and they’re largely using British references, and B) Moore is certainly unlikely to refer to anything to do with DC Comics, it seems to me.
Page 24. Panel 2. “Lady Fink-Nottle”
As seen in the “What Ho, Gods of the Abyss” section of Black Dossier, the Fink-Nottles, of P.G. Wodehouse’s work, were involved in some unnatural dealings in the world of League.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “Lady Freida Fink-Nottle is presumably a reference to Lady Frieda Harris (born Marguerite Frieda Bloxam in 1877, and married Percy Harris in 1901, who was made a Baronet in 1932, thus allowing her to call herself Lady Harris). Frieda Harris painted Crowley's Thoth tarot deck, based on Crowley’s designs.”
Panel 4. “Soror Iliel”
In Aleister Crowley’s The Moonchild (1917) one of the characters is given the name “Iliel” as part of a magic war on a group of black magicians.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “Soror Iliel is probably supposed to be Lisa la Giuffria from Crowley’s 1917 novel The Moonchild. She should also have a real-life counterpart, but I don’t know enough about this to make a proper guess.”
“…my most loyal whore of Samara.”
As seen in Black Dossier, in the world of League the Thessalian witch-goddess Smarra (a reference to Charles Nodier’s “Smarra, ou Les Demons de la Nuit” (1821)), plays the role that the goddess Babalon did in our world for Aleister Crowley: as the avatar of female sexuality nd liberation.
“The Ordo Templi Terra.”
Mention in Black Dossier, Page 28, the Ordo Templi Terra is the League version of Crowley’s magical organization Ordo TempliOrientis (O.T.O.).
“I’ve…faked death…under many names. Carswell. Trelawney. Mercato.”
In Century: 1910, Page 50, Panel 4, Oliver Haddo introduces himself as “Dr. Karswell Trelawney.” “Karswell” comes from Karswell, the man who buys Lufford Abbey in Warwickshire in M.R. James’ “Casting the Runes.” “Trelawney” is a reference to Dr. Trelawney, the Aleister Crowley analogue in Anthony Powell’s twelve-book “A Dance to the Music of Time” series. “Mercato” is a reference to Adrian Marcato, mentioned above on Page 14, Panel 6.
Page 7. “The transference ritual...requires...a human sacrifice.”
Pádraig ÓMéalóid says,
Transference Ritual: There is a very similar transference ritual used in Tim Powers’s The Anubis Gates, which I know Moore has read, and which I commend to you, if you haven’t already read it. Of course, that’s by no means the only book that features that kind of body swapping, but the thing of swapping bodies, having taken poison to kill the abandoned body, is very similar to Powers’s book.
Moore is suggesting here that, not only did Oliver Haddo’s essence pass into the body of Kosmo Gallion, who took over as head of the OTT, but that Aleister Crowley’s essence passed into Karl Germer, who took over as head of the OTO.
Page 25. Panel 3. "I'm perplexed."
Adam Bezecny writes, "During the flashback to the death of Haddo, after the transference ritual, (Gallion) says, "I'm perplexed", which is supposedly what Frieda Harris said upon hearing that Crowley was dead. Unlike her analogue, Lady Fink-Nottle, Harris was not present at the death of Crowley physically." Kevin Brettauer notes that "I'm perplexed" are Crowley's rumored last words.
Panel 4. “Netherwo-“
I’m assuming this, and the house (whose windows look like a face), are a reference to some fictional haunted or evil house, but I haven’t been able to discover which.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid corrects me: “The house where Crowley died in Hastings was called Netherwood. However, later on, we see this house referred to as Netherworld. I’ll flag it up when I get to it. Here’s an old postcard of the house.
Bill Thomson writes, "I think the illustration of Netherwo... Pg 25 Pan 4 might be based on the little house from Bill & Ben The Flowerpot Men. It's presented from a similar angle and the sign-off line after thair adventures was always "...and I think the little house knew some thing, dont' you?" which fits rather well with the events happening inside. Also, it continues the Watch With Mother refrence of "Looby Loos'" as B & B & Andy Pandy were part of the same strand."
Panels 5-6. “He’s gone, hasn’t he? I knew when I heard that thunderclap...that thunder. It was the gods, welcoming him.”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes,
Patricia MacAlphine, the mother of Crowley's son Aleister Ataturk, said that on the day Crowley died the weather was very calm, but at the moment of his death a gust of wind caught the curtains in his room and a peal of thunder was heard as if "It was the gods greeting him."
Having said that, I really don’t think she was present, from all reports, and this is the kind of thing that often gets said about the death of famous/infamous men, so you can make up your own mind as to how much actual truth there is in the story.
Page 26. Panel 2. “Yeah, I quite fancy that, being a magician. A jongleur, yeah?”
“Jongleur” was the French name for minstrels during the medieval era. I’m unclear what the tie between Mick Jagger and jongleur might be except for the similarity in sounds.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid clears this up: “In Performance, Mick Jagger’s character, Turner, calls James Fox’s character, Chas, ‘A jongleur, the third oldest profession, you’re a performer of natural magic,’ after Chas says he’s a juggler.”
Panels 2-3. “Well, like Haddo, he enjoyed espionage. He lured rocket scientists into his cult, then sold their secrets abroad. British intelligence investigated, Kosmo had a heart-attack and died, apparently.”
This is an apt summary of the events of the “Warlock” episode of The Avengers.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “One particular rocket scientist that Crowley was involved with was John Whiteside Parsons, an American rocket propulsion researcher at the California Institute of Technology who also joined and eventually led an American lodge of Crowley's magical order, Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) Moore wrote about Parsons in the Cobweb story Brighter Than You Think, which was to be published in ABC’s Tomorrow Stories, but was blocked by DC Comics, and was eventually published in Top Shelf Asks the Big Questions in 2003, with the name Cobweb changed to La Toile.”
Panel 7. “I think it should be Terner’s Purple Orchestra now.”
So in this world it’s “Terner,” not “Turner.” Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds,
Turner’s band in Performance was called Turner’s Purple Orchestra. There is one brief moment when we see a poster on the wall in Chas’s flat in the house at 81 Powis Square which reads Turner’s Purple Orchestra. You can see it here.
And looking back on your notes for page 15, panel 5, you say, “Mick Jagger plays retired rock musician Turner Purple.” In fact, I don’t think we ever have any other name for Jagger’s character except Turner.
Page 27. Panel 1. “The Beast.”
In Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop the rival of the Daily Brute is the yellow journalist rag Daily Beast.
As this is on the back pages of The Beast, traditionally where the sports section is (note the “-rts” at the top of the page), I’m assuming “-vers” is a reference to the Melchester Rovers, mentioned in the Black Dossier and a reference to the British football comic Roy of the Rovers (1954-1993).
Panel 3. “God, Orlando, that’s Terner, from the Purple Orchestra. They rival the Rutles!”
Just as the Rolling Stones rivaled the Beatles, so does the Purple Orchestra rival the Rutles.
Panel 4. “Trigan Empire”
This is a reference to the British science fiction comic strip “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” (1965-1982), about the Roman Empire-likeTrigan Empire on the planet of Elekton. Jeremy Briggs adds, "The spaceship on it, which looks like a 1950s circular space station, is the Elekton spaceship which crashed on Earth and which contained the records of the Trigan civilisation."
Panel 6. “How
about Hornblower’s Column,
or the Martian playground near
As seen in Black Dossier, Page 106, Panel 2, Horatio Hornblower, hero of eleven of C.S. Forester’s Napoleonic Wars naval novels (1937-1967), plays the role in the world of League that Lord Nelson does in our own, down to a Column bearing his statue in Trafalgar Square.
Also as seen in Black Dossier, an abandoned Martian tripod was turned into a playground.
Page 28. Panel 1. I assume the man on the left, with the plate, fork, and spoon above his head and the “E” belt buckle, is a reference to someone, but I don’t know who.
The woman is carrying a Fenner bag–see Page 20 Panel 1 above.
I’m not sure what the “Mephisto” poster is a reference to. My guess is that “Mephisto” is the name of pop-star Dudley Moore in Bedazzled–the pop-star upstabed by Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations (see Page 14, Panel 1 above).
Pádraig Ó Méalóid disagrees:
I think the Mephisto poster refers to Fred Mustard Stewart’s 1969 novel, The Mephisto Waltz, which was made into a movie of the same name in 1971. According to the synopsis of the movie at IMDB:-
Alan Alda plays a classical piano player on the rise who befriends a famous player himself who's at death's door. Unknown to Alda, the guy is a satanist, who arranges to have their souls switch places at his death, so that he can be young again and continue to play piano (thus needing a skilled piano player like Alda to switch bodies with).”
This would fit in very neatly with the body-swapping that Haddo has been doing.
“...with the Wilson government uncertain whether the popular barefoot prime-minister will vanish into the hills after winning the election.”
The “Wilson” here is the superhuman teenager Wilson, who appeared in hundreds of stories in various British story papers from 1943 into at least the late 1960s. Wilson was born in 1806 and still lives there, in a cave on Amberfide Moor. But he has extraordinarily long life thanks to a diet of gruel, nuts, berries, and wild roots, and various special breathing exercises. They also enable him win every world track and running record, beginning by running a three-minute mile. Wilson was mentioned on Page 9, Panel 3 of the Black Dossier.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “Seeing as this particular League story seems also to have parallels in the real world, I should point out that the reference to the Wilson government also refers to the actual government in the UK at that time, which had Labour Party in power, under the leadership of Harold Wilson, who was therefore the Prime Minister.”
Panel 1-2. “...the death of 1950s super-adventurer Jack Flash. Mr. Flash, a former Mercurian space-policeman, had been depressed by his waning popularity. He jumped from a tower-block after three failed attempts to gas himself, shocking neighbours who’d assumed Flash was ‘all right now.’”
Jack Flash, created by Dudley Watkins, appeared in various DC Thomson comics and story papers from 1949 to 1958. Flash is the son of a leading Mercurian scientist who crash-lands a ship in England and uses his powers to fight evil here on Earth.
Jumping from a tower-block, failing to gas himself, and being “all right now” are all references to the Rolling Stones song “Jumping Jack Flash” (1968).Richard Pachter and Mark Patterson add that the B-side of "Jumping Jack Flash" was "Child of the Moon." Giles Woodrow provides a link to a Youtube video of "Child of the Moon."
Mark Patterson writes, "It might also be worth explicitly noting that the reference to "three failed attempts to gas himself" is playing on the repetition of "it's a gas, gas gas" in the lyrics to the song."
Panel 1. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “The young couple beside the door seem to be Roger the Dodger, in his trademark red and black checked jersey, who was in The Beano, and Keyhole Kate, who started in The Dandy, but in 1969 was in Sparky, where I was reading her exploits. Roger appears to have impregnated Kate...”
Pádraig ÓMéalóid adds, “In yet another ‘Find Alan in League’ attempt, I’m going to point at the guy with the long hair and sleeveless t-shirt walking towards the door, as this is just the kind of sleeveless t-shirt that Alan seems to be fond of wearing.”
One of the bottles behind Flash is “Duf-,” presumably a reference to Duff Beer, Homer Simpson’s favorite brew.
Panel 3. “In international news, controversial United States President Max Foster quoted the post-war communist American President Mike Thingmaker...”
For Max Foster, see Page 43, Panel 2.
“Mike Thingmaker” is a reference to Soviet science fiction writer Marietta Shaginian’s “Mess Mend” trilogy (1923-1925). In the books Mike Thingmaster is a Connecticut woodworker and a revolutionary Communist who defeats a corrupt capitalist conspiracy and achieves a Communist utopia in the United States.
Page 29. Panel 1. “Met him in the 1650s. Called me anti-Semitic. At least, I think he did.”
If this is a reference to something specific, either in the Virginia Woolf novel or elsewhere, I’m unaware of it. Perhaps to the anti-Semitism of the Bloomsbury Group (see Page 34, Panel 3), of whom Orlando’s real-life model was a member.Eric Berlatsky (author of the forthcoming Alan Moore: Conversations) writes, "Vita Sackville-West and many of her Bloomsbury cohort have been accused of anti-semitism by a variety of later writers. Googling Vita Sackville-West and anti-semitism yields the usual accusations and evidence. V. Woolf, of course, was married to the Jewish Leonard Woolf, but she and her fellow Bloomsberries referred to him regularly as “The Jew” both to his face and behind his back. Both Woolfs were on Hitler’s hit-list if he ever did conquer England. Woolf’s Jewishness had something to do with this, of course."
Panel 2. “On the Descent of Gods” is a reference to the Oliver Haddo book, On the Descent of Gods, excerpted in Black Dossier, pages 26-28.
Panel 7. “Bovex” is a reference to the George Orwell novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936). In the novel, Bovex is the treat which oppresses the impoverished protagonist the most—he wants it and cannot afford it, and he hates it as well.
“Num Yum” is a reference to one of the products sold in the film I’m All Right Jack.
“Frim,” seen in Black Dossier on Page 82, Panel 5, is seen in the film Dentist on the Job (1961).
“Smoke Victory” is a reference to the only brand of cigarettes approved by Big Brother in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948).
I’m assuming “Gay Paree” isn’t a reference to anything in particular.
For Bona Fashions, see Panel 7 below.
I’m assuming “Gulliver’s Travels” isn’t a reference to anything in particular.
Panel 7. Pádraig Ó Méalóid does yeoman’s work on this panel:
The statue you can see in the background of a winged
figure with a bow is the figure of Anteros
- sometimes called The Angel of Christian Charity and popularly mistaken for
Eros – which is to be found atop the Shaftesbury memorial fountain in
Piccadilly Circus in
On the left-hand side we have two men who look to be Peter Bowles on the left, and Dick Emery on the right. In the Dick Emery Show, which ran from 1963 to 1981, one of the characters Emery played was called Clarence, a flamboyant and pretty obviously gay man, played for laughs. I don’t know what the relevance of the Peter Bowles character is, though.
The man with the cane and moustache is Professor James Edwards (played by Jimmy Edwards) from Whack-O!, a BBC TV sitcom that ran at various times between 1956 and 1972. The young man he is about to thrash with his cane is Mick Travis (played by Malcolm McDowell) from the 1968 British film If..., which features quite a bit of corporeal punishment.
Just over Jimmy Edward’s shoulder we can see Kenneth Williams, one of the Carry On actors, and a closet homosexual himself, looking on gleefully, while Joan Sims looks disapproving. At one point Williams proposed a marriage of convenience to Sims, but it never came to pass.
Now, those billboards: Gay Paree is probably just another chance to reinforce the gay theme of the frame. Bona Fashions refers to the BBC comedy radio show Round the Horne (1965 - 1968), and in particular to the two characters Julian and Sandy, played by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, who were very obviously camp homosexual men. To quote from the Wikipedia article:
As well as being highly amusing, Julian and Sandy were notable for being two camp homosexual characters in mass entertainment at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK, and for the use of Polari in the sketches. The writers and cast thought the characters worked very well as they were not being held up to ridicule or simply there to be the target of a joke: in fact most of the sketches revolved around Kenneth Horne's presumed ignorance being the target of their jokes.
Kenneth Horne would find these two characters usually by looking in a rather risque magazine (which he would insist he bought for innocent reasons). This would lead him, more often than not, to a business in Chelsea starting with the word "bona" (Polari for "good"). He would enter by saying, "Hello, anyone there?", and Julian (Hugh Paddick) would answer, "Ooh hello! I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy!"
Hence the name Bona Fashions, which I believe was used in one of the episodes.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with Polari, so once again Wikipedia to the rescue:-
Polari (or alternatively Parlare,Parlary, Palare, Palarie, Palari; from Italian parlare, "to talk") is a form of cant slang used in Britain by actors, circus and fairground showmen, criminals, prostitutes, and by the gay subculture. It was popularised in the 1960s by camp characters Julian and Sandy in the popular BBC radio show Round the Horne.
It’s possible that the Gulliver’s Travels ad refers tothe album of that name, produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ manager, released in 1969:
Joe McNally writes, " I think it's much more likely that the gent with the 'tache is Jason King, from Department S and the eponymous swinging sixties detective series, played by Peter Wyngarde. Similarly, from the gap in his front teeth, the flamboyant gent in pink is more likely to be Are You Being Served's Mr Humphries, played by John Inman. Wyngarde, Inman, Kenneth Williams and Jimmy Edwards were all secretly (or at least not publicly) gay at a time when this could easily finish an actor's career - which in fact happened to Wyngarde after he was discovered having sex with a lorry driver in a public toilet. The woman looking on disapprovingly may be morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse, who began her anti-smut crusade in 1963." Jeremy Martin and Greg Daly also caught Jason King.
Huw Price writes, "Same panel, I wondered if that might be Mary Whitehouse looking on disapprovingly in the middle rather than Joan Simms? It's just that Joan is seen earlier in the club and was still fairly young at this time. In 1969, she'd have just been in Carry On Camping as the romantic interest of Sid James; the woman here appears quite frumpy and somewhat older than Joan should be. Mrs Whitehouse would most definitely disapprove of everything going on in this frame."
Page 30. Panel 4. “Bonehead” is a reference to the BBC children’s show Bonehead (1957-1962), about a trio of inept criminals. Bonehead was the stupid one.
Perhaps “Lonely,” on Page 18 Panel 2, is what Happy, on Bonehead, turned into?
Page 31. Panel 1. “Little git, big north an’ south.”
Pádraig ÓMéalóid writes, “In cockney rhyming slang North and South = Mouth.”
Panel 2. “There’s this coloured musician kips at Terner’s ‘ouse. Noel somethin’....”
In Performance the voice of a black musician, Noel, is heard. Noel is voiced by Ian McShane.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid corrects me: “You said, “In Performance the voice of a black musician, Noel, is heard. Noel is voiced by Ian McShane.” In actual fact, you see the black musician, who comes into the café in the railway station where Chas is waiting to get a train out of London, although it seems quite obvious that it’s not the actor’s own voice we’re hearing, so, yes, I think it’s likely that the voiceover is by Ian McShane.”
“Like Jimmy Cannibal, over Nottin’ ‘ill.”
In Colin MacInnes’ City of Spades (1957), Jimmy Cannibal is a boxer-turned-legbreaker working in Notting hill.
Panel 7. I assume that license plate “AA100" is some kind of reference, but beyond being the absolute first license plate in the two-letter-three-number license plate sequence, I don’t know what it is.
Similarly, “ST1" probably references something, but I don’t know what.
I can’t make out the license plate on the ground in mid-frame.
I assume the man on the right with the untamed eyebrows is a reference, but I don’t know what to.
Trust Pádraig Ó Méalóid to clear this up for us all:
From left to right you have:
Adam Adamant, from the BBC TV series Adam Adamant Lives!, which ran for a bit less than a year from 1966 to 1967. Adam drove a 1965 built Radford Mk1 Austin Cooper S, with the registration number AA 1000. I literally hit myself in the head when I finally figured this one out, as there’s a clue right there in the initials...
The car, as you can see, is actually brown, but may have been red at the time. Anyway, the TV series was in good old black and white, so maybe Moore & O’Neill were guessing.
Next up is Simon Templar, better known as The Saint, from both the books by Leslie Charteris, as well as the ITV TV series The Saint, which ran from 1962 to 1969. The character here isrecognisably Roger Moore, who played Templar. The car is a white Volvo 1800S, and, like Adam Adamant’s car, has his initials in the reg, ST 1.
The third car is an Aston Martin DB5 with the reg number DMT 216A, as driven by James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger, with Bond being played by Sean Connery. In Goldfinger, bond plays a game of golf with Auric Goldfinger, which perhaps explains why he’s waving a golf club here.
The other character in the scene, the man with the unruly eyebrows, is Aloysius "Nosey" Parker, who was the butler and chauffeur of Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, who appeared in the TV series Thunderbirds, which ran on ATV from 1965 to 1966. He’s wearing a Mogul shirt, so it’s possible he’s actually working for the company at the petrol station we see here. Lady Penelope recruited him when she caught him breaking into the safe of an oil tycoon, so this may have been related to that.
Greg Daly writes, "It's nice to see Moore and O'Neill doing something here which just couldn't be done on the screen: bringing together Roger Moore and Sean Connery in the same panel!"
Tony Keen adds, "Given that this is 1969, this may be meant to be George Lazenby as Bond, who was playing the role in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service."
Page 32. Panel 1. “‘...stay at home with you!’ That was Eddie Enrico and His Hawaiian Hotshots...”
This is a reference to “Home With You,” the single recorded by Alan Moore as the Elvis-like “Eddie Enrico and His Hawaiian Hotshots.” The 45 rpm single was intended to be included with the Black Dossier but was held back by DC and will be included with the Absolute Edition of League.
Paul di Filippo points out that "Eddie Enrico and His Hawaiian Hotshots" is ultimately taken from Thomas Pynchon's Vineland. Sean Levin provides a correction: "The correct name of the group in Pynchon is Eddie Enrico and His Hong Kong Hotshots. It's been speculated that this was a nod to the movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Buckaroo's band in the film is called the Hong Kong Cavaliers."
“You’re listening to Radio Jolly Roger. This is proud owner Susie Wade, taking you through to the Dave Smash Hour at ten...”
This is a reference to the “Not So Jolly Roger” episode (7 April 1966) of the British tv spy series Danger Man (1964-1966). “Not So Jolly Roger” is set at a pirate radio station, the “Jolly Roger.” Susie Wade is one of the djs.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “In the TV comedy sketch series Harry Enfield's Television Programme, which ran on various UK TV stations between 1992 and 1998, there were two DJ characters called Mike Smash and Dave Nice, better known as Smashie and Nicey, so Dave Smash is obviously a conflation of these two.”
Panel 2. I don’t know what the illustration and numbers and letters on the radio are a reference to, if they are a reference at all. Pádraig Ó Méalóid says, “The numbers on the radio, 219 MW, just mean that the radio station is broadcasting on the wavelength 219 Medium Wave.”Rob Wicking adds, "Radio Kaleidoscope, a pirate station out of Essex, began broadcasting on 219MW in 1968. Not at all fictional, but appropriately detailed." Rodger Kibble also noted this.
“...an instrumental favourite of mine. It’s ‘Fishpaste Dawn,’ by the Trinks...”
I don’t know what this is a reference to. Sean Levin writes, "Everything I found on the Trinks indicate they're either from the British police drama Heartbeat or a skit involving the show on Harry Hill's TV Burp, a satirical series looking at the TV programs airing that week." Jeremy Martin and Gabriel McCann suggest that it's a play on The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset."
Panel 5. I don’t know what any of the posters in this panel are a reference to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid says, “I can’t place the ‘Stoned’ poster, but the other one, the one with the spring under him, is Zebedee from the BBC children’s TV series The Magic Roundabout, which I remember watching as a small child. According to Wikipedia, ‘He always appeared and disappeared with a loud "boing"-sound and usually closed the show with the phrase "Time for bed",’ which is pretty much exactly what I remember.”Martin Crookall writes, "The character on the poster Stoned looks to me like 'Wack.' The character was a Liverpudlian factory worker who was smart, flippant and trendy. Wack was a Liverpool term for addressing others which became popular after the Beatles broke big, hence the cash-in strip character. No idea why the reference Stoned: Wack was a cigarette-smoker, so maybe Moore/O'Neill are just suggesting it wasn't tobacco..." David Knight also noted this.
Page 33. Panel 1. This is a scene from London, 1898, as the Martians advance on London during the events of League v2. (Specifically, the space between issue 3 and 4; I would guess that the people seen here are running for the train which the Martian tripod destroys in the beginning of League v2n4).
The figure on the far left is Andrew Norton. Norton is from Iain Sinclair’s Slow Chocolate Autopsy (1997), in which Norton, the “prisoner of London,” can travel in time but is stuck within the physical confines of London.
As we saw in Century: 1910, Norton is present at a wide range of moments in London’s history, always wearing his overcoat and seeming to merely watch.
The man with the protruberant nose is Ally Sloper, a character in British comic strips from 1884-1914.Sloper is a kind of roguish everyman. Sloper was seen in League v1n6 page 23 panel 1.
I don’t believe anyone else in this panel is a reference. The large-bottomed man to the right of Sloper was seen on League v1n6 page 24, but I don’t think he’s a reference to anyone in particular. Steve Flanagan writes, "I think that he and the man in front and to the right of him may be the cartoon tramps "Weary Willie and Tired Tim", created by Tom Browne." Ola Hellsten and Adam Bezecny also noted this.
Panel 3. This is a scene from Big Brother’s London, which in the world of League took place after World War Two. Note the girl fingering her father or grandfather on the right.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “The man being denounced by his daughter is possibly Winston Smith’s neighbour Parsons, who is denounced by his children for speaking against the Party in his sleep. Smith meets him in the Ministry of Love, where he is proud of having been betrayed by them.”
Greg Daly writes, "Is this the first time we've seen Harold Wharton, the Big Brother of the League world?"
Panel 4. Ah–now here is the Andy Capp appearance, along with his suffering wife Flo. (She has a black eye here, courtesy of Andy, who is a wife-beater in the strips). So that wasn’t Capp on Page 2, Panel 3.
I don’t know who the individual on the right, with the white streak in his hair, is.
Panel 5. This panel takes place seconds after Century: 1910's Page 41, Panel 2. The visual references:
• The couple on the far left remains a mystery. One suggestion for the Century: 1910 notes was that it was Julie and Linc from the American tv show The Mod Squad (1968-1973), but the man lacks Clarence Williams III’s trademark Afro, and I think Moore/O’Neill would prefer to make a British reference rather than an American one. I think Greg Daly’s right, and that it’s Gillian Blanchard and Mr. Thackeray, from To SirWith Love (1967).
• Andrew Norton. As was pointed out in the Century: 1910 notes, the pose of Norton here is similar to a picture of Norton on page 91 of Slow Chocolate Autopsy.
• A young Kevin O’Neill. In the Century: 1910 panel, his portfolio can be seen–he’s on his way to work.
• British comedian Marty Feldman (1934-1982), here as part of his BBC tv series It’s Marty (1969).
• Alf Garnett, from various British sitcoms (1965-1998) but here a part of his first, Till Death Us Do Part (1965-1968, 1970, 1972-1975).
• Possibly a young Alan Moore.
• My guess about the man in the bowler hat and suit is Dupont/Thomson,
one of a pair of private detectives in Hergé’s Tintin series of comics. Greg Daly disagrees: "I think it more likely that the bowler-hatted man is Captain Peacock from Are You Being Served? than either Thompson or Thomson. I have trouble picturing them in isolation, and this fellow has the long stern face of Frank Thornton. Although the show didn't start until 1955, Peacock had worked there since the mid-1950s." Dave Snyder corrects this: Are You Being Served? started in 1972. Tom G also thinks it's Captain Peacock.
• The man wearing the ruffle is is American musician Frank Zappa (1940-1993). In 1969 Zappa was with the Mothers of Invention (he disbanded the band late in the year), and the Mothers’ 1968 album, “We’re Only In It For the Money,” had this cover, in which Zappa wears an outfit similar to the one seen here–the same outfit he was reported to have worn when the Mothers played in London in June, 1969.
• The blond man to the right is either Steve Dowling and Gordon Boshell’s British comic strip hero Garth (Daily Mirror, 1943-1997) or British comic book hero Kelly, of “Kelly’s Eye.” I tend to think it’s Garth, because of the look he’s giving Norton–Garth travels through time and might have encountered Norton in the past.
• Below Garth/Kelly are Andy Capp, Buster, and Flo. Buster is Andy Capp’s son, although as pointed out in the Century: 1910 notes he was not in the original “Andy Capp” strips but was a later addition.
Page 34. Panel 1. “Donald Cammell.”
Donald Cammell (1934-1996) was the writer and co-director of Performance.
“‘Can you see the photograph of Borges?’”
This is a quote from Performance. Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “I’m not sure if the quote ‘Can you see the photograph of Borges?’ is in Performance, having watched it recently, but photos of Borges certainly appear throughout the film, mostly on book covers, and there is a photograph of Borges seen in the bullet hole in Turner’s head when he’s shot at the end of the film.” Pádraig follows up with:
I’ve found the source for ‘Can you see the photograph of Borges?’, which Norton quotes in 34/1. According toPocket Movie Guide 6: Mick Brown on Performance (Bloomsbury, London, 1999), about the death of Donald Cammell, the director of Performance,
Cammell knew something of ballistics. He certainly would have known that the surest way to kill himself would have been by directing the gun upwards through the mouth. But he directed the shot at the top of his head – the same shot that kills Turner in Performance. It allegedly took Donald Cammell some forty minutes to die. China subsequently told friends that in that time her husband appeared happy, almost euphoric. He is said to have asked her to hold up a mirror, so that he could see his face. He is also said to have asked her, ‘Do you see the picture of Borges?’
Panel 2. “Oh, yes. The new Vita.”
a reference to the most famous Vita, Vita Sackville-West
(1892-1962), the author and poet.
“Maplin-“ is a reference to Maplins, a holiday camp in the British TV sitcom Hi-de-Hi! (1980–1988). Maplins is in the coastal town of Crimpton-on-Sea in Essex, and is based on Butlin’s Holiday Camps, a series of economical resorts for the British built between 1936 and 1966.
Panel 3. “
and Woolf were part of the Bloomsbury Group of
writers and intellectuals who met in
“Emmanuel Litvinoff’s response to Eliot’s ‘Money in Furs.’”
Emanuel Litvinoff (1915-present) is a British Jewish writer.
The “Eliot’s ‘Money in Furs’” reference is to T.S. Eliot’s poem “Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar” which has several anti-Semitic lines, including “ The rats are underneath the piles./The jew is underneath the lot./Money in furs.” “Litvinoff’s response” is a reference to the following, which I’m quoting directly from Wikipedia:
Litvinoff is also well known for being one of the first to raise publicly the implications of T. S. Eliot's negative references to Jews in a number of poems, a controversy that continues, in his famous poem To T. S. Eliot. This protest against T. S. Eliot on the subject of anti-Semitism took place at an inaugural poetry reading for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1951. Litvinoff, an admirer of Eliot, was appalled to find Eliot republishing lines he had written in the 1920s about 'money in furs' and the 'protozoic slime' of Bleistein's "lustreless, protrusive eye" only a few years after the Holocaust, in his Selected Poems of 1948. When Litvinoff got up to announce the poem at the ICA reading, the event's host, Sir Herbert Read, declared, "Oh Good, Tom's just come in," referring to Eliot (Thomas Stearns, nickname: Tom). Despite feeling "nervous", Litvinoff decided that "the poem was entitled to be read" and proceeded to recite it to the packed but silent room:
So shall I say it is not eminence chills
but the snigger from behind the covers of history,
the sly words and the cold heart
and footprints made with blood upon a continent?
Let your words
tread lightly on this earth of
lest my people’s bones protest.
In the pandemonium after Litvinoff read the poem, T. S. Eliot reportedly stated, "It's a good poem, it's a very good poem."
Panel 4. “David.Manny’s half-brother, Cammell’s dialogue consultant.”
David Litvinoff is mentioned by Norton in Century: 1910 on Page 41, Panel 1. Litvinoff is credited as a consultant on Performance, although the superb film critic David Thomson gives Litvinoff more credit than that:
David Litvinoff, the most brilliant nutter anyone had ever met. He would talk a blue streak about the most amazing stuff, always jumping from this to that. When Performance came out, there were critics who said, "Aha! Note the leaping editorial style, the self-interruption, the cross-streaming of consciousness" - and before I'd sniffed the film, I said, "That is your David Litvinoff." Well, David was the whole film: he knew all your books and authors, but he knew the Krays, too - Reggie and Ronnie - very naughty boys who'd cut you up with a sword. And so David was the catalyst - he just brought the whole thing together. And that's why David gets a credit on the picture as dialogue coach and technical adviser. And well deserved.
Panels 4-5. “We think someone connected to Oliver Haddo is creating an antichrist. Apparently there was a recent attempt in New York…”
“Oh, yes. Anton La Vey at the Dakota.”
This is a reference to the film version of Rosemary’s Baby. It has often been (incorrectly) claimed that noted Satanist Anton La Vey (1930-1997) played Satan in the scene in which Rosemary is raped by Satan.
Rosemary’s Baby was filmed at the Dakota Apartments building.
Panel 5. “One more autograph, Mr. Lennon?”
This is the question that Mark David Chapman asked John Lennon during the autograph session near the Dakota Apartments.
“Petit’s already covered it.”
Chris Petit (1949-present) is a British novelist and film maker whose novel Back From the Dead (1999) ends with a murder of a John Lennon-like musician. David Cairns adds that Petit is a collaborator with Sinclair.
Panel 7. “Shares a stylist with Van Hoogstraten.”
Presumably this is a reference to the distasteful Nicholas van Hoogstraten (1945-present), millionaire, bully, and felon.
“Shock-chic, Mills bomb through the conservatory window.”
“Shock chic” was a contemporary term for punk fashion. A “Mills bomb” was a type of British hand grenade. I assume this is a reference to a particular event, but I don’t know what it is.Adam Bezecny writes, "The grenade reference is one pointed at how van Hoogstraten ordered a local gang to toss a grenade through the window of one of his associates. This led to a judge calling him an "emissary of Beelzebub", which may be why he seems to share a "stylist" with Jerry Cornelius, who is kind of a devilish figure." David Knight writes, "a profile from The Guardian newspaper states “In the 60s he was sentenced to four years in Wormwood Scrubs for paying a gang to mount a hand grenade attack on a former business associate.”"
Page 35. Panel 1. “Ulmer’s architect, Hjalmar Poelzig.”
Edgar G. Ulmer (1904-1972) was an Austrian-American film director who is best known for the Universal horror film The Black Cat (1934) and the classic noir film Detour (1945). In The Black Cat the Austrian Satanist architect, who is modeled on Aleister Crowley and is, surprisingly, the bad guy, is named “Hjalmar Poelzig.” Hjalmar Poelzig is named after Hans Poelzig (1869-1936), a German architect who Ulmer worked with on the film Der Golem (1920).
“Mocata shading into Marcato.”
In Dennis Wheatley’s 1934 novel The Devil Rides Out the leader of the devil-worshiping cult is named Mocata.
Panel 2. “Cammell claimed to be a godson.”
Donald Cammell did in fact claim to be a godson of Aleister Crowley.
“Serial possession, perhaps, as with Milton to Blake to Ginsberg…”
Norton here is speaking of John Milton (1608-1674), the great English poet and author of Paradise Lost (1667); William Blake (1757-1827), English poet, painter, and printmaker; and Allan Ginsberg (1926-1997), the American poet and author of “Howl” (1955).
Blake believed himself to be the living embodiment of the spirit of Milton and claimed to have been visited by Blake in visions many times. And in 1948 Ginsberg had what Wikipedia describes as “an auditory hallucination while reading the poetry of William Blake.”
Joe McNally writes, "perhaps worth noting that Norton's real-world analogue Iain Sinclair wrote a short book about Ginsberg's visits to London entitled Kodak Mantra Diaries."
Panel 3. “Dakota dreams: Helter Skelter and Holden Caufield.”
“Helter Skelter” is a song by the Beatles on The White Album (1968). Charles Manson claimed that several of the White Album songs, including “Helter Skelter,” were coded prophecy about a coming race war. Lennon wrote the words “Helter Skelter” across one wall of his apartment in the Dakota building.
“Holden Caufield” is a reference to the protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951). Mark David Chapman was reading The Catcher in the Rye when the police arrested him for Lennon’s murder.
Panel 4. “Or this place, magical let’s-pretend preceding eerie realities. 7-7, concussed bus driver shambles from here to Acton, King’s Cross fire memorial storage site.”
This scene is set at the King’s Cross railway and subway station in London. In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books, the train to Hogwarts, the magical school Harry Potter attends, is boarded from Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross.
The “eerie realities:” “7-7" is a reference to the suicide attacks on 7 July 2005, three of which took place on trains which had just left King’s Cross station.
“Concussed bus driver” is a reference to George Psaradakis, who drove the number 30 bus which exploded. 13 passengers were killed but Psaradakis was only concussed. Tom Whiteley adds, "Iain Sinclair wrote a brilliant piece about the 7/7 bombings for the London Review of Books which concluded with the bus driver's concussed walk across London. It doesn't seem to be available online, sadly."
“King’s Cross fire” is a reference to the 18 November 1987 King’s Cross fire, in which 31 people died.
Panel 5. “Obviously in 1969 this is an acid flash-forward. Roeg’s precognitive cutting.”
Since Norton is outside of time, his references to the future are flash-forwards, not flashbacks.
The “Roeg” mentioned here is Nicholas Roeg (1928-present), co-director of Performance. He’s known for his cut-up technique in his films, with scenes and images presented out of chronological order.
“Explosion a momentary light-show glitch at Joe Boyd’s UFO Club.”
Joe Boyd (1942-present) is an
American record producer who was the co-founder of the UFO Club in
Panel 6. “Enjoyed that second volume, incidentally.”
Presumably Norton is referring to League v2. Jeff Newberry disagrees: "I believe he mentions Wells before he says this. I took this as a reference to Wells’ The Outline of History Vol. 2. What makes this interesting is that in the League world, Wells is a historian, not the author of “The Invisible Man,” etc. Also, it makes sense that a time tripping character like Norton would appreciate a concise work of history."
Panel 7. “The Bubble runs Jack McVitie to Blonde Carol’s.”
a.k.a. “Jack the Hat,” was a notorious
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds,
The Bubble is Tony Lambrianou, a member of the Kray gang, of Greek-Cypriot descent. He’s called the Bubble in Sinclair’s Slow Chocolate Autopsy, perhaps to distance the character in the book from Lambrianou himself, who was still alive when the book was published, I believe. He was involved in the death of Jack the Hat, which he writes about in his autobiography Inside the Firm.
Bubble is derived from Cockney rhyming slang: Bubble and Squeak = Greek
1967, here at Highbury Corner is the Tempo Club. Eastend lad runs it, Freddie Bird. Dorothy Squires in residence when in comes Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie. Dorothy’s drunk, her husband Roger Moore sits by the dressing rooms, disowns her. Jack shouts ‘What’s he like in bed, the old Saint?,’ drops his pants, the place erupts. The twins feel bad, an entertainer of that calibre. The Hat’s already on a warning. Ron and Reg have Tony Lambrianou ferry Jack around to Blonde Carol’s for a quiet word. When it’s all done, Tone scrapes Jack’s liver up onto a shovel, throws it on the fire. Jack the Hat’s buried out at Greenwich. Underneath the dome he dreams a new millennium.
“Two boys dancing under coloured lights.”
I don’t know what this refers to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid says, “It’s just possible that the reference to ‘Two boys dancing under coloured lights’ is also from Moore’s The Highbury Working:
It was the third of February 1967, and Joe Meek was set up for a final mix. ... Around the walls were pale rectangles, afterimages, where Joe had taken down the paintings that he’d done, and tried to burn them on his two-bar heater. They were evidence, incriminating imagery. The crying woman, and, Joe’s favourite, the little black boys, dancing naked in the dreamy voodoo firelight.
It’s worth noting that both events take place in 1967.”
Joe McNally writes, ""Two boys dancing under coloured lights" was the scene that greeted Jack The Hat when he arrived at Blonde Carol's - Ronnie Kray was sitting on a sofa staring intently at two young boys slow-dancing. This detail is mentioned in several books about the Krays, but somewhat bizarrely I heard it from Tony Lambrianou himself when I interviewed him some years ago. (He also mentioned that the Krays' nightclub was often visited by monks, or at least men dressed in monks' robes; make of this what you will.)" Greg Baldino also noted this.
“Sardonic phone chat with Pinter prototypes.”
Harold Pinter (1930-2008) was a British playwright whose works are known for their strong use of dialogue. Pádraig Ó Méalóid notes that Pinter wrote The Birthday Party, mentioned above on Page 21, Panel 1.
Page 36. Panel 2. Presumably a look at the dystopic London of 2009 which we’ll see in Century: 2009.
Panel 5. If the two images of the devil have any relevance, I’m not seeing it. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “I think that the image on the right is by Picasso, but can’t place it any closer than that.” Rodger Kibble writes, "picture on the left is from Night of the Demon (1957), Jacques Tourneur's film of "Casting the Runes."" Joe McNally writes, "the picture on the left is of the titular demon from Night/Curse Of The Demon, the excellent film adaptation of MR James' Casting The Runes, in which it is summoned by Karswell (see p24 panel 4) to deal with those who pour scorn on his magical powers. It's vaguely in the style of British comics legend Leo Baxendale, and I'm sure he has actually drawn this in one of his Willy The Kid strips."
Of the demon on the right, Ross Byrne writes, "the painting of the demon to the right looks quite a lot like some of the demons Aleister Crowley painted, as seen in Kenneth Anger's documentary film The Man We Want to Hang."
Page 37. Panel 1. “I mean, if I read Rowley’s poem on the death of Ossian, right, and then we release all the little fluttering things over Hyde Park...”
See Page 59, Panel 4 below. I don’t want to spoil things.
Panel 2. “Phurbur, don’t be greedy.”
In Performance “Pherber” is one of Turner’s lovers. Ian Watson writes, "This is almost certainly a punning reference to the Phurbu - a Tibetan demon-killing dagger: "A phurpa (Phurbu), sometimes called a "magic dagger", is a tantric ritual object used to conquer evil spirits and to destroy obstacles. It is utilized in magic rituals by high level tantric practitioners. The word phurpa is used primarily in Central Tibet, while the word phurbu is used more often in Kham, Amdo and Ladakh. The component phur in the word phurpa is a Tibetan rendering of the Sanskrit word kila, (meaning peg or nail).""
Panel 3. “Our English maternity home plan will probably fail, too.”
This is a reference to the horror film The Omen (1976), about the birth and English childhood of the anti-Christ. Joe McNally corrects me: "the 'English maternity home' refers not to The Omen (Damien Thorne is adopted in Italy, not England, and the Thornes don't move to England until he's two) but to Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens, in which a mix-up at a maternity home leads to the prospective antichrist being raised by an ordinary suburban English family rather than his intended adoptive parents." Ola Hellsten also caught this.
“Perhaps there’s something wrong with the numerology.”
Traditionally 666 has been described as the number of the beast and has been used as such in novels and films like The Omen. But the majority of the early uses of the Number of the Beast were 616, not 666.
Panel 4. “Shame. I’d make a good Prince of Darkness.”
“Prince of Darkness” has been one of Jagger’s nicknames.
Page 38. Panel 1. Don’t know who the man on the far right is. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “I’m pretty sure the man on the right is Barry Mainwaring, the feckless brother of Captain George Mainwaring, from the BBC sitcom Dad's Army (1968 – 1977). Both parts were played by Arthur Lowe.”Antony Keen writes, "I'm not convinced that's Barry Mainwaring. Instead, I think it's Major Gowen, from Fawlty Towers. The 'BB' badge would then be a reference to Ballard Berkeley, who played the Major."
Panels 2-4. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes,
That’s Adam Llewellyn De Vere Adamant, from BBC’s Adam Adamant Lives! This ran from 1966 to 1967, and starred Gerald Harper as Adam Adamant. Adamant is a swashbuckling Victorian gentleman adventurer, born in 1867 who, in 1902, is lured into a trap by his arch-nemesis, the Face, where he is frozen in a block of ice. He is found in 1966, when a building is demolished, and is revived.
Panel 4. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “The
Panel 6. The image on the cover of Hunchback is Nasty, the John Lennon-analogue in the Rutles, as rendered by Yellow Submarine-like animation.
Panel 7. I don’t know what the pendant is meant to represent. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “That’s a Nemesis the Warlock pendant that Julia’s wearing.” Jeremy Martin disagrees: "It's a pendant of Torquemada, who was Nemesis' arch-enemy. In the series he was pursued by Nemesis (and earlier his son Thoth) through various past life incarnations, each one being killed." Damian Gordon also pointed this out.
Page 39. Panel 2. “Hey, Horace Spurgeon Fenton’s got a story in Hunchback...”
British novelist Jack Trevor Story (1917-1991) wrote three novels about Horace Fenton Spurgeon: I Sit in Hanger Lane (1968), One Last Mad Embrace (1970), and Hitler Needs You (1970). Spurgeon is a lightlyl fictionalized version of Story himself.
Panel 7. Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) was a British artist known for his magical artistic techniques.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “There is an occult shop on Museum Street in London, but not at number 13. The Atlantis Bookshop is at 49a Museum Street, where it has been since 1922. Crowley is said to have been a customer.”
Page 40. Panel 1. Presumably the two paintings behind Mina and the woman are references. Dunno what they are, though.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes:
The image of the bear with what I can only describe as a raging erection is probably meant to be from the issue #28 of the underground magazine OZ, which was known as Schoolkids OZ, and which became the subject of a high-profile obscenity case in Britain in 1971. According to the relevant Wikipedia entry,
The trial of OZ editors Richard Neville, Felix Dennis, and Jim Anderson, for issue 28, Schoolkids OZ, was conducted at the Old Bailey, under the auspices of Judge Michael Argyle. It was the longest trial under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act. Of particular significance is the now-notorious Robert Crumb pastiche cartoon of Rupert Bear in an explicitly sexual situation.
The picture in question was created by a fifteen-year-old schoolboy named Vivian Berger, who pasted the head of Rupert Bear onto a sexually explicit cartoon character drawn by Robert Crumb.
Of course, as we know that Rupert Bear, or an analogue thereof, actually exists in the League universe, this raises interesting questions about what he might have got up to in his later career…
Richard Powell writes, "The mention of Ardistan Black is probably a reference to Ardistan and Djinnistan by Karl May. Ardistan is a fictional middle eastern country (though notionally on a different earth) and sounds likely to be home to the "Ardistan Black" strain of marijuana." Ardistan was mentioned in League v2n4. Adam Bezecny also noted this.
Panel 2. ‘That’s the Set Deck that Haddo and Freida Fink-Nottle did…’
Pádraig ÓMéalóid writes, “As the League’s version of the Thoth Deck that Aleisteir Crowley and Frieda Harris did, the Set Deck is also named after an Egyptian god.”
Panel 3. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Julia refers to the house where Haddo died as Netherworld. The house where Crowley died was called Netherwood. The name sign beside the house in 25/1 says Netherwo-“
Page 41. Panel 3. Presumably the picture or drawing here is a reference. Don’t know what it is.Adam Bezecny writes, "This is the cover to Oz #28, referenced on the previous page."
Panel 9. I’m guessing that the Tarot layout here is the Celtic Cross Spread, and what the cards seen here are cards number 6 (Near Future), 8 (Environment: Friend & Family Attitudes), 9 (Your Hopes and Fears), and 10 (The Outcome). So the reading gives us (and I know I’m going to be contradicted by experts on this but oh well):
• Near Future: Ten of Coins, Wealth, symbolizing gain.
• Environment: Seven of words–in this version of the Tarot Deck, Ruin, symbolizing a rash and impulsive decision quite possibly ending in failure.
• Hopes and Fears: The Tower, symbolizing downfall and the end of good fortune.
• The Outcome: Death, symbolizing great change.
Page 43. Panels 1-2. “I mean that the current president of the United States is Max Foster. Max Foster the pop singer. He’s setting up camps for anyone he thinks is too straight. It’s hippy fascism.”
This one took me a long time, but I got it. It’s a reference to the film Wild in the Streets (1968), in which singer Max Frost becomes president and has everyone over 35 sent to “re-education camps.”
Panel 7. A picture, in traditional League style, of the assembled Seven Stars. Left to right:
• Captain Universe (see Page 15, Panel 7 above).
• Vull (see Page 15, Panel 7 above).
• Marsman (see Page 12, Panel 1 above).
• Zom of the Zodiac (see Page 12, Panel 1 above).
• Satin Astro (see Page 13, Panel 1 above). Thanks to Damian Gordon for correcting me here.
• Captain Zenith (see Page 12, Panel 1 above).
• Damian Gordon corrects me: "I think the last character on the rightmost is Electrogirl - red hair, red costume, cape (she's even sharing electricity with Zenith)"
The picture on the top right is of the Bat (see Page 20, Panel 4 above).
The picture on the lower right might be Graham Jeffries’ gentleman cracksman Blackshirt (many stories and thirty novels, 1924-1969), although Blackshirt’s attire is always all black. Blackshirt appeared in a story paper in Black Dossier, Page 93, Panel 1.
Page 44. Panel 1. If any of these people are references, I don’t know
what they are. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "I’m pretty sure the lady on the right of the picture is Else Garnell, wife of Alf Garnett, both from the TV comedy Till Death Us Do Part."
Panel 3. I don’t
know who the midget (I assume she’s a midget and not a dwarf) with the mustache
is, though she’s obviously a reference to someone. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "The strange short creature is actually a little girl called Laraine, the daughter of the housekeeper in Performance, who does seem to wander around amongst the naked adults, as here. When we first see her she is wearing a false moustache, which Chas later wears to have a false passport photo taken. She really does talk like that in the film, calling Chas ‘dad’ and referring to Turner as ‘old rubber lips.’"
Page 45. Panels 2-3. “You shouldn’t be ‘ere at all, dad. You’ve got business up north. Family business, most likely. Bruvver ‘oo’s in trouble or sumfin; an’ you’re all muckin’ about down ‘ere.”
In Get Carter Carter goes north, to Newcastle upon Tyne, to avenge the death of his brother. (Thanks to Joe Street for correcting me here).
Page 46. Panel 1. I don’t know who any of the people in this panel are meant to be references to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "The man in the centre at the front, facing left, and with a cigarette, is Frankie Stein from UK comic "Shiver and Shake," I think."
I don’t think the Malibu Hotel or the duck t-shirt are references to anything in particular. Jeremy Holstein corrects me: "That's not the Malibu Hotel. It's Sexton Blake's Malibu Club. In the 2009 documentary "the Hunt for Sexton Blake" Kevin O'Neil was interviewed, and he explained how he snuck the Malibu Club into the opening panels of the Black Dossier as a Blake reference. From what he says it sounds as if this was O'Neil's doing, not Moore.Moore seems to have picked this up and included it in the 1969 script."
“Lady Penelope Photos: Who Is The Headless Man?”
I think I’m correct in assuming that “Lady Penelope” is not in fact Lady Penelope Peasoup, from the Londinium trilogy of Batman (1966), but rather Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, a member of International Rescue in the British tv series Thunderbirds (1965-1966). I do not know, however, of a Thunderbirds episode involving a headless man.
Joe McNally writes, "the 'headless man' refers to a notorious 1963 high-society sex scandal centred on a photograph of Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, engaging in oral sex with an unknown man whose head was out of frame, hence the 'headless man'. The identity of the gentleman in question was the subject of much speculation, but is now believed to have been either Douglas Fairbanks Jr or the then Defence Minister Duncan Sandys." Steve Flanagan provides a link which sums up the case. Tom Whiteley adds, "Moore's swapped the Duchess for Thunderbirds' Lady Penelope."
Panel 2. Allan’s wearing a “Seven Stars” t-shirt.
Panel 3. “It’s just when you’re being thoroughly modern Minnie you can’t see it.”
Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) is a film about a young flapper having wacky adventures.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "That’s Michael Moorcock again, with the earring and the cigarette."
Page 48. Panel 7. David Cairns writes, "Is the topless woman onstage at Hyde Park a ref to the statuesque woman who used to dance with Hawkwind?"
Pages 50-51. Working counterclockwise, beginning at the page fold on Page 50:
• Glove, from Yellow Submarine.
• A tree with pods or eyes, likely a stylized form of the Darlingtonia bingley, the common English “cobra tree.”
• Golliwog and the two Dutch dolls.
• I don’t know what the…stuffed animal?...is. Pádraig Ó Méalóid notes that it's a "Golliwog Crib Toy."
• I don’t know who the man wearing the Mickey Mouse ears is a reference to.
• A Dalek, from Dr. Who.
• Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "The pink creature in front of the Dalek is Flook." Rodger Kibble and Joe McNally also caught this.
• A Blue Meanie from Yellow Submarine.
• Former League member The Invisible Man.
• Former League member Captain Nemo.
• I don’t know who the man wearing the goggles and star pants is a reference to.
• I thought Humpty Dumpty too obvious to point out, but Paul Dawson notes this: "I would think the Humpty Dumpty with the musical notes coming out of his head is a reference to The Beatles "I Am The Walrus" (1967). It was a popular theory back in the day that "goo goo ga joob" were Humpty Dumpty's (the Eggman) final words before he fell off the wall which played into the whole 'Paul is Dead' conspiracy!"
• Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "The creature with the tiger head is Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosties. The orange object beside him with the horns is a Space Hopper toy." Joe McNally also noted this.
• A topless Alice Liddell?
• Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "The policeman behind the topless Alice – which I’ve failed to identify, although I know I should know it – is Mr Plod, from Enid Blyton’s Noddy stories." Joe McNally writes, "To the right of Alice is PC McGarry (number 452), a character from popular BBC children's stop-motion puppet series Camberwick Green." Greg Daly and Mike Rampton also caught this. Steve Flanagan says that it's "PC Potter from the puppet TV show Trumpton."
• Zom of the Zodiac
• Captain Universe
• Vull’s helmet.
Page 53. Panel 7. I don’t know who any of these people are meant to be. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "In the footage from the Rolling Stones’ concert at Hyde Park, we see a girl blowing bubbles."
Jerry Swan writes, "The hippy chic on the left reminds me of 'Penny Lane' from Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous". Wasn't she based on "Cynthia Paster-caster"? The guys sitting down seem American (but neither looks particularly like a young Cameron Crowe)."
Zack Smith has this from Moore himself: "the guys sitting by the "Peace" sign in the park are Steve Moore and Derek "Bram" Stokes, the founder of the "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed" bookshop, who were in fact at the Rolling Stones Hyde Park concert. "
Page 54. Panel 1. "And isn't that Duke Prospero's talisman you're wearing?"
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "This – which we get to see more clearly in other panels – is not entirely unlike John Dee’s Hieroglyphic Monad, or Monas Hieroglyphica."
Panel 2: “Oh, I teach occult studies at a school up north.”
See Panel 4 below.
Panel 4. “Well, my first name’s Tom, my middle name’s a marvel, and my last name’s a conundrum.”
In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels the real name of arch-villain Lord Voldemort is Tom Marvolo Riddle. The “Harry Potter” novels are set in the 1990s and 2000s, but Voldemort/Tom Riddle is much older than Harry Potter et al., and as best can be guessed Tom Riddle, in the late 1960s, was a free agent.
According to the novels themselves, Riddle never taught at Hogwarts–he applied for the role of teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts twice but was denied both times. However, it is very much in character for Riddle to claim he is a Hogwarts teacher, as he does in Panel 2.
Jerry Swan writes, "The two guys sitting down look to me like Bill Bruford and Jon Anderson of 'Yes', both of whom would subsequently be associated with King Crimson."
Panel 5. "D-did you say your name was Tim?"
Kevin Brettauer writes, "Mina briefly confusing Tom Riddle's name with "Tim" may be an in-joke for comic readers familiar with the similarity of Harry Potter and Tim Hunter."
Page 55. Panel 6 and following. Here are the full lyrics to the song Terner sings here:
Well, howdy there. Please pull up a chair.
And don’t leave me sittin’ here alone...
Mark me well, ‘cuz I’m old as Hell,
I’m the serpent coiled beneath the throne.
I had a spree in Gay Paree
Back when Robespierre was in town
And I subdued my hilarity when the heads came rolling down.
Won’t you please me?
Won’t you take a chance?
Though it ain’t easy, it’s the way I like to dance.
I can recall watching Babel fall,
An’ I witnessed the decline o’Rome.
Saw Samson shorn in no time at all
Loaned Delilah my shears an’ comb.
My laughter grew with each child you slew
And I scorned each victim’s cries.
Wherever man’s been, I’ve been too.
I’m your friend who never dies.
Come on and please me!
Come on and take that chance!
No it ain’t easy, but it’s how I like to dance!
While Dachau choked and Nagasaki smoked,
Oh, how I joked! What fun I poked!
And every cause and every fight,
Whether wrong or right, filled me with delight.
I’ve met with Popes and inquisitors
From the Holy Roman See
Imams and priests have been my visitors
You know they’re awwl workin’ for me! [Vanja Miskovic writes, "The line "You know they're awwl workin' for me" is a reference to "Memo from Turner", the song Mick Jagger sings in "Performance". The song, performed in it's entirety in the scene that doubles as a music video, finishes with "You gentlemen, why you all work for me?", which is perhaps the most memorable line in it." Rob Clough also caught this]
Just try to please me!
Just try to take a chance!
Though it ain’t easy
It’s the way I’ll make you dance!
So where a tyrant learns humanity,
Or a victim learns to victimize
There’ll you’ll find me,
In my most up-to-date disguise.
So when you talk with me, speak courteously
No matter what my latest role.
‘Cuz I’ll be with you for eternity.
I’m the one who owns your soul.
Oh yeah, you please me,
And you ain’t got a chance,
You can’t appease me ‘less
You join me in my dance!
Now compare those to the lyrics of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil:”
Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith
And I was round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game
I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain
I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
Let me please introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
Cause I’m in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down
Terner’s song scans the same as “Sympathy” and can be sung to the same tune.
Jim Maloy points out that at the Hyde Park concert in which the Rolling Stones eulogized Brian Jones and introduced his replacement, Mick Taylor, the opening band, King Crimson, had a song at the time called “Moonchild.” “Sholcroft” clarifies: “The Concerts in Hyde Park in '69, the most notable on 7/5/69 featuring the Rolling Stones and King Crimson. King Crimson, notably would soon release 'In the Court of the Crimson King" which features the song 'Moonchild'.”
Page 57. Panel 3. I don’t know what the “Stig
-ara” in the book Allan’s reading is a reference to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "I think the other name in the address book is Stig O’Hara, a member of The Rutles." Sean Levin and Jason Schneiderman also caught this.
Similarly, I don’t know what “The Car- Nat- Tou-“ is a reference to. Tom Grzeskowiak catches it: "Given the psychedelic rock connection, the first thing to come to mind was "The Carrie Nation Tour", a reference to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls." Sean Levin also noted this.
Panel 4. Tom Riddle seems to have snakes’ eyes and a forked tongue because of his descent from Salazar Slytherin (founder of Slytherin House) and the Slytherin affinity for snakes.
Page 58. Panel 3. “Isn’t Tim Peason a great lead guitarist?”
guitarist is not mentioned in Performance, and I haven’t been able to
discover who “Tim Peason” is a reference to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "Tim Peason is from the Moleworth books, as are pretty much all the other members of the Purple Orchestra, except Terner." Joe McNally and Damian Gordon also noted this. Dan Hitchcock adds, "If you rearrange the letters in “Tim Peason” from LXG-1969 (p. 58) you get either “I am Stone P” or more likely “I’m a Stone P” – the “P” may seem out of place, but if you read it as an emoticon it’s basically the Stones’ tongue logo (and remember that unlike more traditional emoticons, there’s no need for a colon representing the eyes or anything representing the nose or eyebrows since the Stones’ logo only consists of mouth and tongue, not the whole face). And Tim Peason represents Keith Richards, who is definitely a Stone (some would argue *the* Stone)."
Page 59. Panel 3. Brian Jones (1942-1969) was a founding member of the Rolling Stones, but his drug problems led to his being let go in 1969 by the rest of the band. On 3 July, 1969, Jones drowned in a pool. The Rolling Stones had planned a concert at Hyde Park for 5 July and went ahead with the concert despite Jones’ death. During the concert, Mick Jagger read an excerpt from Percy Shelley’s “Adonais” and released thousands of butterflies in Jones’ memory.
Shelley wrote “Adonais” in 1821 as a tribute to the just-deceased John Keats . But, of course, this is the world of League, in which many real world figures (not all–there is a William Shakespeare in the world of League) are replaced by fictional analogues. So in the world of League there was no Shelley and there was no Keats and there was no “Adonais.” Instead:
• replacing Shelley–not chronologically, but as a poet–is “Thomas Rowley.” In our world Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770) was an English poet. He is best known for having being one of the subjects of “Adonais” and for forged a set of poems (and a History of England) by “Thomas Rowley,” a 15th century English monk.
• replacing “Adonais” is the poem recited by Terner beginning on Page 59, Panel 4.
• replacing Keats is “Ossian.” In the early 1760s the Scottish poet James Macpherson claimed to have translated a set of ancient Scottish poems written by one “Ossian.” It was a hoax, but an immensely successful one.
Panel 4 and following. Here’s the poem Terner reads:
He has not died, to be forgot
He has but woken from our worldly dreams.
‘Tis rather we who with pale shades
Do plot our pointless course
Else wretched mortal schemes.
Rejoice! He hath escaped this fleshy gaol
To soar above in pure Elysian sky
And quit the teeth grown loose,
The eyes that fail, become one with his song
That does not die.
He treads in spirit now those moonlit lanes
Where night-things flit, that once he trod in rhyme.
In such nocturnal glades his wraith remains
To hunt with owls, beyond the reach of time.
Phantasmagoric climes, where he abides
That earthly poets glimpse but from afar
Wherein enchantment’s darkling soul resides
To light his way, as some wan, secret star.
His lyrics haunt the ruin; the churchyard bower
The sepulchure where furtive rodents creep
Are in each chime of every midnight hour.
He is not dead, nor doth he even sleep.
Proud apparition in thy shadow-lands
Where wait the fiends of thy imaginings upon thy call
Inspire our quills, our hands
That we may hear what the night-raven sings. [Lou Mougin notes that this "is probably a sly ref to the Night-Raven strip that appeared in Marvel's UK comics." Steve Flanagan also caught this]
Our vision soars like crows above the ley [which Pádraig Ó Méalóid notes has the word "Crowley" hidden in it]
With thine, and corpse-fields seek whence life is fled
And empty eyes, locked on the waning day
Anticipate the pastures of the dead.
Sweet master, let thine essence fill me now.
Take me to do thy work, and have thy sight.
Show me the charnel worm and mouldering bough.
Reveal the stinking bones, the barrow-wight.
Bequeath me thine poetic of despond
Teach me they gallows hymn, its mournful note,
The suicide-wood and the drowning pond
Where bloated, disappointed dreamers float.
Unveil the glorious pageant of demise
That spectacle that e’en dire monsters dread
Make carrion banquets wondrous in mine eyes
And the grim leavings once the grubs have fed.
Possess me now with dark ability
To know the thoughts of babes sunk in a fen
To scry the mordant twists of destiny
To hear the bitter plaint of murdered men
Or young braves washed up sodden on the shore
With hermit-crabs crawled in the sockets bare
And shredded lips now hushed forever more
And leeches jewelling their weed-ribboned hair
Minstrel of mire and moss and burial mound
Fill me with grand decay, thy sacred rot
Tell me what men know when they’re ‘neath the ground
Possess me, master, and desert me not.
Defend me with thy spell, thy charm, thy sign
From taunts, and barbs, and criticisms vile
Protect me from my weakness. Make me thine
And let my spirit walk with thee a while.
Thou art my daemon, let thy will be done
Let thy sweet shade find haven now in me
Let me and what I crave for be as one
That e’en in death I shall be part of thee
And here’s the relevant text of “Adonais”:
Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep-
He hath awakened from the dream of life-
'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit's knife
Invulnerable nothings.-We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.
He has outsoared the shadow of our night;
Envy and calumny and hate and pain,
And that unrest which men miscall delight,
Can touch him not and torture not again;
From the contagion of the world's slow stain
He is secure, and now can never mourn
A heart grown cold, a head grown grey in vain;
Nor, when the spirit's self has ceased to burn,
With sparkless ashes load an unlamented urn.
He lives, he wakes-'tis Death is dead, not he;
Mourn not for Adonais.-Thou young Dawn,
Turn all thy dew to splendour, for from thee
The spirit thou lamentest is not gone;
Ye caverns and ye forests, cease to moan!
Cease, ye faint flowers and fountains, and thou Air
Which like a mourning veil thy scarf hadst thrown
O'er the abandoned Earth, now leave it bare
Even to the joyous stars which smile on its despair!
Pages 60-61. Working counter-clockwise, beginning at the upper right of page 60:
• I’m not sure who the
sad/serious blonde woman is. Sean Levin writes, "The blonde woman closely resembles Eva Kant, lover and partner in crime of the aforementioned Diabolik."
• Felix the Cat, a mainstay of animated film since 1919.
• Lee Falk’s The Phantom, hero of comic strips, comic books, and films since 1936.
• Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Damian Gordon corrects me: it's Dr. Jekyll.
• Former League member Mister Hyde.
• I’m not sure what the cigar-smoking duck is a reference to. Michael Besozzi writes, "Second, could the cigar smoking duck on Pages 60-61 of Century 1969 be Howard the Duck? Granted he appeared in the early 70s, but late 60s early 70s run together, right? It would make sense for him to appear on the astral plane; if I remember correctly there was a lot of dimensional hopping in that comic." Jason Schneiderman also noted this. Lou Mougin writes, "I'd imagine that he's a combination of Mickey Mouse (dressed like him) and Donald Duck, Disney's two most popular characters. The cigar may be a nod to Howard the Duck, who was derived from Donald." Greg Strohecker writes, "This character comes from the cover of Yellow Dog Comics #18, and old underground comic from 1970 (you can see an image of it on Google images). The artwork was by underground artist Greg Irons." Gabriel McCann writes, "the cigar-smoking duck is probably in reference to Alan's own March of the Sinister Ducks: "...Sneering and whispering and stealing your cars, Reading pornography, smoking cigars. Ducks, Ducks! Quack, Quack! Quack, Quack!"" Zach King writes, "The lightning bolt tail belongs to neither Donald/Howard nor Mickey. Ignatz, the mouse in George Herriman's Krazy Kat, had a similar looking tail albeit generally with fewer points to his tail." David Simpson writes, "I think the cigar smoking duck is from a Rick Griffin poster for the film Dirty Duck."
• I don’t know what the doll
and…alien?...are a reference to. Joe McNally writes, "The doll is Jemima, as featured in Play School, a seminal British programme for very young children."
• Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes,"There are also Rocket Ice Lollies around the image." Joe McNally also noted this. David Simpson writes, "I hate to disagree with Pádraig Ó Méalóid and Joe McNally, but those are more likely to be Zoom ice lollies around the image; Rocket seems to be a Tesco Store knock off of Zoom."
• I don’t know what the
surprised snake is a reference to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes,"The surprised looking snake is Sid’s Snake from UK comic Whizzer and Chips." Graham Tugwell and Joe McNally also noted this.
• Former League member The Invisible Man.
Joe McNally also notes, "The whole spread is dominated by a winged skull, symbol of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, who the Stones employed as security for the Hyde Park concerts; later that year they would again draft them in at the Altamont festival with famously disastrous consequences."
Joe McNally also notes, "The whole spread is dominated by a winged skull, symbol of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, who the Stones employed as security for the Hyde Park concerts; later that year they would again draft them in at the Altamont festival with famously disastrous consequences."
Page 61. Panel 3. “I am the great beast.”
“The Great Beast” was the title Crowley assigned to himself.
Page 62. Panel 1. If the man in the swan boat is a reference to anything I’m unaware of it. Steve Flanagan writes, "Could it be the Tyranosaurus Rex song "Ride a White Swan" with a colouring error?" Eric Berlatsky writes, "Is the man in the swan-boat a Lennon analogue from “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (“Picture yourself in a boat on a river/with tangerine trees and marmalade skies)?" Jerry Swan also wondered this. Adam Bezecny writes, "The man in the swan boat may be Willy Wonka, from the 2005 film and the 1964 novel "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"." Peter Borowiec writes, "The man in the swan boat looks like a White Album-era John Lennon, possibly in the style of the book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, so perhaps is meant to be Ron Nasty of the Rutles."
Page 68. Panel 1. At long last, we see the Moore/O’Neill version of Dracula. The common image of Dracula is clean-shaven, following Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of him. But the Dracula of Stoker’s novel is “a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache.”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "At the Rolling Stoners’ Hyde Park concert, they released white butterflies after Jagger finished reading his piece from Adonais. The butterflies were not so much released as shaken out of the cardboard boxes they were being kept in, and as here with the bats, quite a number of them had died in the meantime."
Page 69. Panel 3. “I’ve…I’ve lost it, Phurber. I—I’ve lost my daemon.”
In Performance Turner has gone into seclusion with Pherber because he “lost his demon.” (He gets it back at the end of the film).
Panel 5. Eric Berlatsky writes, "Mina’s packing up into the looney-bin van is, I think, another reference to Pinter’s The Birthday Party (where they carry the protagonist off at the play’s conclusion)."
Page 70. Panel 5. David Knight writes, "The chap in the centre of the frame bears a physical resemblance to Geoffrey Ingham from the film based on Shelagh Delaney’s play A Taste of Honey (1961) as portrayed by the actor Murray Melvin."
Page 71. Panels 1 and 3. Back at the King’s Cross railway station, at “Platform 10—,” we see Tom Riddle entering the magical portal that takes him to Hogwarts.
Panel 2. “Good luck up north, ay?”
Obviously the events of Get Carter follow closely after Century: 1969.
Panel 6. "Mina, stop messing about!"
Matthew Craig writes, ""Stop messing about" was Carry On and Round The Horne actor Kenneth Williams' catchphrase."
Page 72. Panel 1. “Zuki and the Tawdries” is a reference to Suky
Tawdry, one of the prostitutes in Bertholt Brecht and
Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera (1928). A
version of Tawdry appeared in Century: 1910. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "Zuki and the Tawdries is also a reference to Siouxie and the Banshees, a UK punk/post-punk band formed in 1976." Greg Daly and Chris Sims also caught this.
"Sid Snot Sell Out Tour." Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "Sid Snot was a character created by Kenny Everett for his UK TV show The Kenny Everett Video Show. He was meant to be an aging rock’n’roller, and did short comedy monologues." Rodger Kibble and Joe McNally also caught this.
Rich Johnston writes, "That has to be Beverley and Laurence from Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party hurriedly running away from punkishness."
“Immoral Earnings (In The
This song is a reference to Brecht’s “the Ballad of Immoral Earnings.” Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, "Immoral Earnings (In The U.K.) is also a reference to Anarchy in the UK, the first single released by the Sex Pistols in November 1976, and arguably, at least on this side of the Atlantic, the beginning of Punk Rock as we know and love it." Paul Eke and Rich Johnston also noted this.
Adam Bezecny writes, "The singer for the band looks like Ellen Green (b. 1951), who played Jenny Diver in the 1976 stage adaptation of The Threepenny Opera."
Panel 3. Adam Bezecny writes, "Orlando resembles a punk era Kathy Acker. Allan resembles John Constantine."
Panel 4. Greg Daly and David Mosley point out that Orlando is drinking Duff beer, beloved of Homer Simpson.
Panel 6. Adam Bezecny writes, "The man feeling up Orlando resembles Paul Cook (b. 1956) of the Sex Pistols. "
Page 74. Panel 1. Rodger Kibble writes, "The figure of punk Britannia may allude to Derek Jarman's film Jubilee (1977)."
Page 75. “Minions of the Moon by John Thomas. Originally serialised in Lewd Worlds Science Fiction, Ed. James Colvin”
“Minions of the Moon” is a science fiction story written in the style of the “New Wave,” which was the term bestowed on science fiction of the late 1960s which had an unusual amount of literary experimentation (unusual for science fiction of this era, anyhow) and had aspirations to art. “Lewd Worlds Science Fiction” was the nickname which writer Brian Aldiss bestowed on the magazine New Worlds, which embraced the New Wave.
“John Thomas” was one of the pseudonyms used by science fiction writer John Sladek.
“James Colvin” was one of Michael Moorcock’s pseudonyms. Tim Chapman points out that Charles Platt later killed Colvin off. Moorcock’s comment on this: “Problems came later when people took offence at criticism under the name of Colvin which by then had become a New Worlds house name.It was useful to have such a name, though Charles Platt scotched it by killing Colvin off in a New Worlds obit I didn't know about until the issue appeared (Charles being the art editor and having final control over what when in!).”
Mark Elstob points out what I should have: ""Minions of the Moon" is drawn from Falstaff's description of himself and his villainous cohorts in Henry IV Part One: "Let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon"."
the “A tiny paper figure” passage is from Mina’s point of view after the events
of this issue, during her confinement in a mental hospital. Pádraig Ó Méalóid disagrees: "This refers to the James Robertson & Sons, who used a Golliwog as their trademark from the early 1900s. The inference is that Mina still remembers some of her previous colleagues, I imagine." Jon Morris and Richard Powell also caught this.
"The Clinic's proprietor, a woman doctor with what seem aggressively large breasts..."
Robert Eddleman writes, "This immediately reminded me of the equally endowed Nurse Mildred Ratched of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Could be a shot in the dark, since Ratched isn't a doctor at the time of the novel, and presumably Mina probably wouldn't be in an Oregon insane asylum, but Moore has thrown in weirder things."
If this is a reference to something I’m unaware of it.
“...the vast atomic light that the pink humanoids originated from was known as ‘Olodoria’ or something similar, though some years later he would learn that in terrestrial astronomies it was referred to as ‘Antares.’”
I’m drawing a blank on “’Olodoria’ or something similar.”
“…in the night-system known as the Great Erebus Array…”
If this is a reference I’m unaware of it.
“…a sadistic younger male named Kelger Vo…compound-eyed and cerise-coloured slavers...”
If this is a reference I’m unaware of it. Graham Tugwell notes, "A bit of a stretch this one, but could the slaver Kelger Vo by a reference to Kanjar Ro? Multifacetted eyes and whatnot. And he's from Antares too." Jon Morris and Mark Vassilakis also caught this.
Page 76. “…a plump female that the naked and perspiring Jackboy thought was known as VinvirGu…”
If this is a reference I’m unaware of it.
“She was constructing a hypothesis based on the ancient anecdotal evidence of Baron Munchausen, apparently borne to the moon in a terrific waterspout.”
Here’s the exact passage from Rudolf Erich Raspe’s The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen:
On the eighteenth day after we had passed the Island of Otaheite, mentioned by Captain Cook as the place from whence they brought Omai, a hurricane blew our ship at least one thousand leagues above the surface of the water, and kept it at the height till a fresh gale arising filled the sails in every part, and onwards we travelled at a prodigious rate; thus we proceeded above the clouds for six weeks. At last we discovered a great land in the sky, like a shining island, round and bright, where, coming into a convenient harbour, we went on shore, and soon found it was inhabited.
“Upon inspection this turned out to be a rusting crown of what looked to be Anglo-Saxon origins, while a short distance further on she came across a single Argyle sock, some ballpoint pens, a wooden doll that might have been Elizabethan and a damaged violin, perhaps a Stradivarius. With mounting wonderment it dawned upon her that she might be situated in the fabled Limbus of the Moon, where all lost things were rumoured to accumulate.”
Quoting from Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:
One legend connected with the moon was that there was treasured everything wasted on earth, such as misspent time and wealth, broken vows, unanswered prayers, fruitless tears, abortive attempts, unfulfilled desires and intentions, etc. In Ariosto’s Orlando FuriosoAstolpho found on his visit to the Moon (Bk. xviii and xxxiv, 70) that bribes were hung on gold and silver hooks; princes’ favours were kept in bellows; wasted talent was kept in vases, each marked with the proper name, etc.; and in The Rape of the Lock (canto v) Pope tells us that when the Lock disappeared—
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere,
Since all things lost on earth are treasured there,
There heroes’ wits are kept in pond’rous vases,
And beaux’ in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases.
There broken vows and death-bed alms are found
And lovers’ hearts with ends of ribbon bound,
The courier’s promises, and sick man’s prayers,
The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea,
Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
Hence the phrase, the limbus of the moon.
“She found avian skeletons which she identified as those of geese, both wearing perished leather harnesses, and thought that they might be remainders from the fiercely-debated Godwin journey to the moon reputed to have happened long before Professor Cavor’s mission, sometime in the late seventeenth century.”
“…two broken halves of a suspiciously large tunic made entirely out of solid glass…”
I don’t know what this is a reference to.Adam Bezecny writes, "The glass tunic could be that of Marvel Comics' Uatu the Watcher--although his tunic is apparently made out of white partially-transparent cloth, rather than glass, he is larger than the average human and does live on the moon."
“…the decomposing head and thorax of a hippopotamus-sized ant…”
“…the tightly-furled Titanium-white suede of moss…”
I don’t know what this is a reference to.Adam Bezecny writes, "The "suede of moss" may be the sun-loving plants from "The First Men in the Moon"."
Page 77. “The Gally-wag & the Frankenstein monster, Arctic circle, 1896: Babes in Toyland.”
As was mentioned in League v2 and the Black Dossier, Toyland—created by Enid Blyton and appearing in Noddy Goes to Toyland (1929)—is a country in the North Pole populated by toys and nursery rhyme characters. In the world of League Toyland is inhabited by far more than that, and is ruled over by Olympia, the doll from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Sand-Man” (1817), and the Creature from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818).
Page 78. “It’s a document fact that Kennedy Senior was running arms to Adenoid Hynkel during the war…”
The anti-Semitism of Joseph Kennedy, Sr. (1888-1969) is a part of the historical record, as his Wikipedia entry notes. However, although the rumor of Kennedy Sr. selling or running arms to the Germans before and during World War Two has been around for decades, I’m unaware of a reputable historian who supports this rumor. (I’m willing to be wrong about this).
“And then we hear these rumors about biological duplicates of Hynkel being reared in Brazil.”
This is a reference to Ira Levin’s The Boys in Brazil (as a novel, 1976, as a film 1978), in which clones of Hitler, created by Josef Mengele (still alive in Brazil), are being raised around the world.
“Through the glass bubble of Pete Munch’s helmet, his bespectacled and haggard face…”
“Pete Munch” is presumably the father of police Sgt. John Munch, of American crime tv series Homicide, Life on the Street (1993-1999) and later Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-present). Both series—and The Wire, in which Munch cameoed—are set in Baltimore, the home of Jules Verne’s “Baltimore Gun Club” (from Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon (1865)), the source of the first moon trip.Dave Snyder corrects me: Law and Order SVU is set in NYC, not Baltimore.
Sgt. John Munch is played by actor, comedian, and cancer survivor Richard Belzer (1944-present), who is certainly both bespectacled and haggard.
This is presumably the father of William A. Rawls, homicide detective (and later Acting Commissioner) on the American crime tv series The Wire (2002-2008). The Wire is set in Baltimore, the home of Jules Verne’s “Baltimore Gun Club” (from Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon (1865)), the source of the first moon trip.
“…this wiry and persistent little man with his incessant idiot monologues concerning government conspiracy.”
John Munch is wiry, persistent, and a conspiracy fanatic.
“…the recent onslaught of gigantic moon-bugs that had so surprised the various lunar colonies.”
are a giant insects in a number of the works
“There were rumours that the skinny self-styled intellectual liked to puff on the odd reefer with the niggers in the U.S. base’s maintenance crew, and reefer-fiends have got a theory about everything.”
Sgt. John Munch is a recovering drug addict.
“Well, I hear the Soviets believe the ants have got a rudimentary civilization and even perhaps some kind of religion. They say that the bugs’ recent behavior resembles violent uprisings on Earth…like Britain’s Indian Mutiny…when people feel that their religious principles are somehow being violated. Boy, I wonder what an insect worships. Some kind of beetle Buddha, perhaps?”
Apart from the “violent uprisings” perhaps being a reference to the giant ant uprising in Them! (1954), I’m not sure what this passage might be in reference to, if it is a reference at all.
“…his thoughts turned to the cute technician, Bayliss, who’d arrived here at the Pride of Baltimore moon colony with the last shuttle.”
Timothy Bayliss is a police detective on Homicide: Life on the Street. Dave Snyder points out that Bayliss is bisexual.
In The Wire it is implied that Rawls is gay.
The Pride of Baltimore was a early 19th century
Page 79. “…a probably apocryphyal report she’d come across some decades previously of a so-called ‘honeymoon in space,’ where the adventuring young couple had described a field of skulls here on Earth’s orbiting companion.”
This is a reference to George Griffith’s A Honeymoon in Space (as a serial, 1900-1901; as a novel, 1901), in which the British adventurer Rollo Aubrey and his new wife Lilla take the Astronef, a new airship, on a tour of the solar system. On the moon, they find monsters, skeletons, a pyramid, a long-dead civilization in ruins, and skulls:
When they got nearer they saw a white fringe round the steps by which it was approached, and they soon found that this fringe was composed of millions of white-bleached bones and skulls, shaped very much like those of terrestrial men, save that they were very much larger, and that the ribs were out of all proportion to the rest of the skeleton.
Page 80. “A herd of piglet-creatures that communicated in low whistles and whose hides gave the impression they’d somehow been knitted were all clustering around a wavering giant worm or salamander which appeared to be secreting a clear, broth-like fluid that the lunar swine found nourishing.”
This is a reference to British children’s tv series The Clangers (1969-1974), about a group of whistling creatures who live on a moon-like planet. They feed on the soup supplied by the Soup Dragon, which is what the “worm or salamander” is.Eric Berlatsky adds, "The Soup Dragon(s) (from Clangers) who appear in the backup story might be loosely linked to the Rolling Stones/Purple Orchestra of the main story, in that there is a band called the Soup Dragons most well known for covering the Stones’ “I’m Free” (from December’s Children...And Everybody’s). It’s probably a stretch to link the song to Crowley, but “I’m free to do what I want any old time” (the song’s lyrics) could be linked to the Crowley quote, “Do What Thou Wilt.”"
“Nearby a smaller group of very different animals were nibbling contentedly at the lush pelt of moss, these having skins that were predominantly black albeit marked with a distinctive pattern of white polka-dots. After observing them for a few moments, Mina also noticed that these black-and-white things seemed to possess an innate ability to change their shape. There were at least three or four species present on the fleecy lunar veldt, including a variety of plump yet brightly-patterned bird whose stubby and vestigial-looking wings were nonetheless sufficient to propel it through the low-gravity heavens.”I’m not sure what this is a reference to. Graham Tugwell writes that these "are a reference to Moony, who you reference in your Black Dossier annotations, p 48 panel 5." What I wrote there was, "The big-eared dark alien to the right of Bernard’s head is John Donnelly’s Moony, who appeared in Harold Hare’s Own Paper and Playhour from 1959–1964. Moony is a small, shape-shifting alien who travels to the Earth from the Moon on a moonbeam." Richard Powell also caught this.
“…the citadel that Mina had until then thought to be either a bawdy joke or an idyllic sexual fancy of her shaggy-haired companion. Its towers and boulevards were thronged with stunning amazons, all naked save for the occasional cape, sword-belt, or wrought silver helmet…”
This is a reference to the film Amazon Women on the Moon (1987).
“…thanks to a radio transmitter situated up in the high Andes, fluent Spanish.”
I’m not sure what this is a reference to.Jonathan Carter writes, "The transmitter in the Andes is probably a reference to the movie Red Planet Mars, in which the villain claims to have been faking messages from Mars using a transmitter in the Andes, but eventually it turns out the signals really are coming from Mars." Adam Bezecny adds that Red Planet Mars is "based on the play Red Planet (1932) by John L. Balderston and John Hoare."
“…high-ranked representatives of this remarkable all-female populace, a brunette evidently known as Mysta and a blonde named Maza.”
“Mysta” is a reference to “Mysta of the Moon,” a serial in Planet Comics (1945-1952). Mysta is a beautiful woman who is “sole possessor of the scientific knowledge of the universe” and uses that, and her robot servant, to fight evil. And “Maza” is a reference to Otis Adelbert Kline’s Maza of the Moon (as a serial, 1929-1930; as a novel, 1930), in which an interplanetary war breaks out between the Earth and the moon, which is inhabited by two races of beings similar to human Caucasians and human “Orientals.” The white moon men are ruled over by Queen Maza.
“Countless centuries ago, the women’s native race had been a great civilization that existed near the universe’s rim, developing amongst those oldest first-formed suns until an unavoidable catastrophe…a deadly ray-emitting star known as a gamma-burster…had threatened to sterilize their entire galaxy. Migrating to the inner cosmos, the ancestors of these women and their erstwhile mates had settled on Earth’s moon in the terrestrial Neolithic period…”
If this is a reference to something in particular I’m unaware of it. Chris Benjamin writes, "Maybe a reference to 1953’s Cat-Women of the Moon. One of the prototypes for Amazon Women on the Moon." Ethan Halo also noted this.
“…some zones had workable gravity caused by incredibly dense obelisks of black material that had been buried on the lunar satellite for unknown reasons by a similarly unknown agency, sometime in the remote primordial past.”
This is a reference to the Monoliths of Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Sentinel” (1951) and the various films made based on it.Antony Keen corrects me: "It should be noted that the alien abject in 'The Sentinel' is not a stone monolith - that was the invention of Kubrick and Clarke for 2001."
“The plague, which Mina realized guiltily had coincided with Professor Cavor’s 1901 lunar expedition, had killed every last male in the colony…”
I don’t know what this is a reference to. Gabriel Neeb writes "I can't remember if it was the 1964 movie or the Wells novel which showed a UN expedition to the moon (set in the 1960s, flashing back to 1901) that found the Selenites dead due to an infection brought to the moon by humans (probably the movie- which is really cool because it has Ray Harryhausen effects in 'scope)." Simon Rogers identifies it as being from the 1964 movie.
Back Cover. Sean Levin writes, "Paul Ashby (played by Paul Massie) is from the film The Rebel. Paul is a frustrated artist who tells his less-talented fellow artist and pal Anthony Hancock (Tony Hancock) to do whatever he wants with his work. Unfortunately, art dealer Sir Charles Broward takes it for Anthony's work, and arranged an exhibition of the painitings." Paul Eke also noted this.
Thanks to: Edward Alcantara, Leo Antolini, Gregory Arnott, Jason Atomic, Greg Baldino, Chris Benjamin, Eric Berlatsky, Michael Besozzi, Adam Bezecny, Alexander Birtles, Rik Boeykens, Andrew Bonia, Peter Borowiec, Kevin Brettauer, Jeremy Briggs, Ade Brown, Jonathan Burns, Ross Byrne, Carlos Caballero, Jonathan Carter, Tim Chapman, Eamonn Clarke, James Coates, Spencer Cook, Matthew Craig, E. Clark, Rob Clough, Matthew Creasy, Martin Crookall, Joyce Cunyus, Cyril, Greg Daly, Matthew Davis, Paul Dawson, Sergio de Andrade, Paul di Filippo, Jeremy Dixon, Marc Dolan, John Dorrian, Ryan Dunne, Peter Dyde, Jay Eales, Robert Eddleman, Dickon Edwards, Gareth Edwards, Paul Eke, Marc Ellis, Mark Elstob, David Errington, Jules Fattorini, Martin Fawkes, Steve Flanagan, Lee Ford, Scott Fried, Shawn Garrett, Robert W. Getz, Andrew Goldsworthy, Damian Gordon, Tom Grzeskowiak, Mark Hagen, John Hall, Ethan Halo, Andre Hansen, Scott Harris, Travis Hedge Coke, Ola Hellsten, Vin Marsden Hendrick, Ben Henley, Dan Higginbottom, Dan Hitchcock, Michael Hodson, Jeremy Holstein, J, Ed Jackson, Rich Johnston, Dave Jones, David Allan Jones, Graham Jordan, John Joshua, Robby Justus, Tony Keen, Dawfydd Kelly, Jamie Kelly, Rodger Kibble, Zach King, David Knight, Chris Lane, Jean-Christophe Lebourdais, Karin Kross Levenstein, Sean Levin, Alan Mackenzie, Conor Magee, Jim Maloy, Martin, Jeremy Martin, Chris Matthews, Gabriel McCann, Dan McKee, Joe McNally,Vanja Miskovic, Jon Morris, David Mosley, Lou Mougin, Mrrutsala, Gabriel Neeb, Jeff Newberry, Joe Nixon, Jam Norman, Cole Odell, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, John Orloff, Ian Orr, Sidney Osinga, Richard Pachter, Andy Paterson, Mark Patterson, Richard Powell, Huw Price, Robert Prosser, George Quail, Mike Rampton, Anthony Roberts, Frank Roberts, Paul Robertson, Mike Robinson, Simon Rogers, Ray Sablack, Tristan Sargent, Jason Schneiderman, Len Sessions, Sanjay Shah, “Sholcroft,” Dave Siklos, David Simpson, Chris Sims, Steve Smith, Zack Smith, Dave Snyder, Damian Steer, Joe Street, Greg Strohecker, Jerry Swan, David Sweeney, Adi Tantimedh, Bill Thomson, Kelly Tindall, Johann Tor, Graham Tugwell, Nick Turner, Mark Vassilakis, Rich Vining, Ian Watson, Darren Watts, Tom Whiteley, Rob Wickings, Brian Williams, Giles Woodrow, J. Wyburn.
If you’ve got any suggestions, additions, or corrections, please send them along to me.