Thursday, October 21, 2021

Brendan McGinley:

Quisque Comoedum Est


Comic Book Holocaust + The Plot

Comic Book Holocaust

Johnny Ryan writes and draws this scatological sendup of… well, pretty much every comic you ever read.

Book 1 is all daily newspaper strips, and the joke starts to repeat itself, changing only to up the ante of dirt, but by the end he’s making some pretty good imitations of others’ art, and then the jokes vary and can get chuckleworthy in Book 2 (super-heroes). Book 3 takes aim at independent comics, and Book 4 is sort of potpourri.


The Plot

Will Eisner’s final graphic novel is a detailed analysis of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a fabricated document outlining a Jewish conspiracy’s plot for world domination.

Eisner first outlines the origins of the source text to ground its veracity, then the history of its plagiarist author, his character and reasons for committing his act of slander. Next, he spends several pages comparing passages, which stops the dramatic narrative dead, but is essential in establishing the fraudulence of the text, which is Eisner’s primary aim in The Plot. What follows is a dishearteningly tidal ebb and flow of belief in the book, no matter how thoroughly or frequently its lies are dispelled, culminating in the Holocaust (ironically, an event that among the same anti-Semitic circles is taken in faith to have not occurred or been as severe as reported by those seemingly omnipresent scheming Jews, in the racist mind).

Even in the present day, copies of the Protocols are being published in far greater numbers than the best-selling comic books. Eisner’s final opus holds aloft a lonely torch, but the darkness remains.

Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.

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