|Stephen R. Bissette & John Totleben|
Jason Blood has been portrayed before as a mere man who dabbles with occultism, but here he’s so much more. Alan Moore gives us a glimpse of Blood’s attitude and that’s more than enough to fear him almost as much as we would fear a demon such as Etrigan -Blood’s alter ego.
Abigail has just started working in an institution specialized in autistic children. She’s excited about her new job, she longs for at least a resemblance of her old, normal life. And then Blood appears and she knows that for her normality has forever been forfeit.
“The Sleep of Reason” (June 1984) is a beautifully crafted tale that encompasses a rich and complex cast of characters; in its polyphonic approach lies its greatest narrative strength. We have Jason Blood admiring Goya’s famous painting and remembering how he met the artist centuries ago, we have Abby and her compassion towards children, we have Paul, the autistic child that dreams of the Monkey King, a white creature of fear, we have Matt Cable, Abby’s unapologetically alcoholic husband and, of course, we have Alec Holland too.
“Yes, for every child, rich or poor… there’s a time of running through a dark place; and there’s no word for a child’s fear”; in “A Time of Running” (July 1984) Alan Moore quotes “Night of the Hunter” by James Agee, and we understand that, indeed, infantile fears are unnamed; they’re dark things that can barely be comprehended.
As we had seen before, Paul had witnessed the arrival of the Monkey King, a creature capable of awakening people’s deepest fears, and so long as fear prevails, this nightmarish monster will become stronger. When a naked teenager named Vince attacks Abby, she understands that something wrong is going on in Elysium Lawns. As Abigail concludes: “I used to think I knew from fear… I didn’t. All I knew were the suburbs of fear… and now here I am, in the big city”.
In every page, we have Moore’s poetry. He’s a master of both, content and style. His complex vocabulary complements the rhythm of his phrases; his unusual synecdoches and his incredibly creative metaphors, add meaning and depth to an already fascinating saga.
Therefore, only a creative team as talented as the one formed by Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben could do any justice to Moore’s script. Their technique is akin to Francisco de Goya’s style and other Romanticism artists as well. Whenever the characters run for their lives, we have a ragged surface, without smooth finishes, and at the same time we also have exquisitely painted details.
Tatjana Wood’s coloring also helps Bissette and Totleben, the red in the victims’ blood is like a dark alizarin crimson smeared on thick inks, it looks crusty and scratchy, just like real blood would. With a few gestures of the brush, Totleben transforms Bissette’s pencils into the most sublime expression of art. Time and time again, both artists provide us with moments of unassuageable pathos.
|The Sleep of Reason / El sueño de la razón|
Abigail ha empezado a trabajar en una institución especializada en niños autistas. Está emocionada con su nuevo trabajo, busca algo que al menos se parezca un poco a su antigua vida normal. Y entonces Blood aparece y ella comprende que ya no podrá alcanzar esa normalidad.
“El sueño de la razón” (junio de 1984) es un relato hermosamente diseñado que engloba un rico y complejo elenco de personajes; en su enfoque polifónico yace su mayor fortaleza narrativa. Tenemos a Jason Blood admirando la famosa pintura de Goya y recordando cómo conoció al artista hace siglos, tenemos a Abby y su compasión por los niños, tenemos a Paul, el niño autista que sueña con el Rey Mono, una criatura blanca del miedo, tenemos a Matt Cable, el inexcusablemente alcohólico esposo de Abby y, por supuesto, también tenemos a Alec Holland.
"Sí, para cada niño, rico o pobre... llega la hora de correr a través de un lugar oscuro; y no existen palabras para el miedo de un niño"; en "La hora de correr" (julio de 1984) Alan Moore cita "La noche del cazador" de James Agee, y entendemos que, de hecho, los miedos infantiles son innombrables, son cosas oscuras que apenas pueden ser entendidas.
|Monkey King / Rey Mono|
|from man to monster / de hombre a monstruo|
|psychotic outbreak / crisis psicótica|
|the Demon Etrigan / el demonio Etrigan|
|By Demons Driven / Conducido por demonios|