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7 February 2013

The Invisibles: Say you want a revolution (1996)

I have a fantastic track record of recommendations from the Clifton-Browns. Angry single-handedly opened my eyes to the possibilities of Graphic Novels when he put me onto Alan Moore's monumentally distressing From Hell. Mrs C-B showed me that Manchester was still alive with Conrad Williams' wonderfully dark book One. Next up is another Angry recommendation:.

Warning: This post is a little bit random...

King Mob? King Uke?
The Invisibles, Veritigo 1996

"The Invisibles: Say you want a revolution" is the first compendium in a series of comics created by Grant Morrison and published between 1994 and 2000. All in all there are 3 volumes to get your hands on and this is only part 1 of the first volume! That's a lot of comics! This book is is made up of the first 8 comics.

Ray Manzarek - Golden Scarab

The omens were good when I started reading the Invisibles. I’d been talking to my Argentinian brother +shankti oviedo and he'd brought my attention to a 1973 Ray Manzarek album called Golden Scarab. Ray was the organ player and founding member of the Doors, and Golden Scarab was Ray’s first solo album following their demise. It's a psychedelic head-trip of awesomeness. The title track blew me away: To crazy bongos Ray sings a chorus of: "Scarab, roll your dung ball... a-roll away the night. A push across the sun ball... Golden Scarab light!" Yeah! This really is a fantastic album. I’d recommend it to anyone. They don’t make music like this anymore.

Cosmic balls of shit!

I praised Shankti for his excellent taste in music and shared with him a link to a breaking story claiming that dung beetles navigate using the Milky Way. Apparently dung beetles use light from the Milky Way to orient themselves. It’s all to do with preventing other Scarabs from stealing their shit... allegedly...

Shankti (who is wise beyond his years) explained that "the scarab beetles or escarabajo pelotero (sounds better in english no way), its the semiotic icon of the way wich a knowledge man takes the work of awareness in his hands,well used by the orient Alchemist to represent the master and the orbis philosophae. txs +King Uke for the image, now i got to listen Massive attack mesanine & read some karl Gustav Jung!!!"

"And those old Egyptians would wrap up anything.
Look, a Scarab, mummified."
The Invisibles, Veritigo 1996

I thought nothing of it, but can you guess what I saw when I opened the Invisibles? Yep... Scarabs. Lo and behold if a couple of days later I don't then stumble across this crazy-assed blog called "Just Watching the Wheels Go Round" where this weirdo called Darren from Brisbane has only gone and done a post on... you guessed it... Scarabs! I know!

What on earth does it all mean? Ha ha! I haven’t got a clue!

Dung Grenade

Back to the Invisibles...

Opening up this book I had high hopes for a little bit of anarchistic entertainment; The cover is adorned with some colourful Banksy / Warhol-esque hand grenades. I was hopeful for an explosive read.

Remember this? Pay heed Grant Morrison...

I'll not beat about the bush... unfortunately The Invisibles is not for me. Though I like a little obtuse madness, there was simply too much of it in this story to keep me interested. My guess is that the overall story is a commentary on changing values throughout the ages as we push the boundaries of acceptability ever further, but to be honest, I could have that completely wrong.

There's a lot made of the Templar stories and page after page of rambling discourse on "stuff". Yawn.

Central to the whole story is a cell of "Invisibles" who have been tasked by somebody with protecting the Earth from what I think might be Hell. They're an unlikely bunch that travel through time and don't get up to a great deal while they're doing it. One's a Liverpudlian, one's a transvestite, one's a raver, and there are other ones too ;-) I can't remember who they are! I think that speaks volumes in itself.

These guys were great... but I'm not sure who
they were or what they were doing...
The Invisibles, Veritigo 1996

I'm sorry Angry, but I've just got to tell this the way it is. The artwork is okay... It's the story that leaves me a bit flat. Maybe it gets better the more it unfolds? I'm not going to find out I'm afraid. I know that I haven't said a great deal about the good and the bad, but let's leave it at that.

On the Triple-B I'm going to wonder what the 3 characters with gas-masks had to do with anything.

Update: Remember the nutter I mentioned from Brisbane? He's added a little bit more flesh to this sync on his blog post about Susan de Beer. It's funny that he should end with Jumping Jack Flash... but that's another story altogether ;-)


  1. Yeah King,that guy that writes that blog
    "Just Watching The Wheels Go Round" is a schizophrenic that I want nothing to do with personally.
    But look what he wrote about this post in his updated Sue de beer post -


  2. Ha ha... he who throws dung grenades should expect a smelly outcome!

  3. I'm wearing my dungarees.
    Let the dung grenades fly.-)