The Invisibles

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
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It's the newest book that I've fallen in love with.

I'm currently halfway through Volume 3. It cool and stylish and sexy and guess what. It's literally magic.

Grant Morrison famously coined the word "Hypersigil" to describe The Invisibles, saying that it was a magically inspired work meant to transform himself, the readers, and hopefully the world itself.

Last night I was reading through the first arc of Volume 3 and wondering exactly how this was supposed to work. I thought the book was great, but there certainly didn't seem to be anything magic about it. Then I read the recap at the beginning of Volume 4, just to remind myself of the larger picture of the series and I swear to god, something astonishing happened.

Let me take you back to a post I made back in October, a few days before Halloween and exactly two months before I began reading The Invisibles.

I took a good long nap this afternoon (I don't get much sleep at night so I'm prone to doing this) and had yet another odd dream.

The dream began in a house that was supposed to be my aunt's house, but it was completely new. I played with my cousins for a while until they had to go off and brush their teeth or something.

Then I walked up a staircase and came into this nice restaurant, everything was red and quite well-decorated. I looked in a mirror and saw this girl sitting behind me who I suddenly realized I was on a date with. I pretended to fix my hair and not notice her and then I turned around and let out a surprised "Hey!". We talked for a while and things were going well when I was called away for some reason and had to leave the table.

The restaurant was kind of circular, with a bar at the center. I walked around the circle and the place ended up changing into a comic book store.
Hm. A comic book store...
My family was there for some reason and I started looking around. The store was huge and eventually I came to an isle that felt familiar. It felt like something was supposed to happen here. I walked down the empty isle, and past a strangely placed mirror. Suddenly a tear opened up in the mirror, it looked like a tear in a peice of paper, and it was tearing inward and light was starting to come out. I immediately realized that this was a tear in space and that if I were to be sucked into it, my soul would cease to exist. I ran until I felt safe and calmed down. I came to believe that there were people who could manipulate reality and they were coming to get me, hence the space tear.
Did I mention that the big enemies in the Invisibles are a group of reality warping beings from another dimension, attempting to destroy our reality and everything in it and replace it with their own.

In the dream, when I imagined what these people looked like, I remember seeing a huge figure in a black shroud with a huge mask covered in horns.

Say, what does the leader of those Invisibles baddies look like?
TheInvisiblesking.jpg

I walked to the other side of the store cautiously and realized that the place was actually two floors when I saw an up escalator and a down escalator adjacent to each other. I wondered, "This place is so big. What in the world couldy they put up there?". I went to walk up the escalator, but found that you had to be careful because there were large maniquins riding up and down the escalators every few steps. I got on and was surprised at how fast the escalator was going. In fact, I almost fell off. I thought to myself, "It must be so fast because this is the future, and in the future everything gets faster and faster, like human knowledge".
In The Invisibles, King Mob keeps on talking about how time speeds up as you move into the future. Things happen in shorter and shorter amounts of time as you move towards the Apocalypse...
The second floor of the store was an island floating in the sky. Up a steep rock hill was an enclosure with an iron fence. Inside I thought I saw a gorilla walking around, but no one else seemed to see it. A bunch of people were standing around, looking in the cage in awe and making strange remarks. "Oh look, it's so beautiful!", "It's changing!", "I see, it was something else before but it came out of the cave and now it's my mother.". Everyone seemed to be seeing something completely different. I quickly realized that this was the work of the people who opened the hole in space and decided I should leave.
Sir Miles, an agent of the Conspiracy, tells King Mob that language is the Conspiracy's greatest weapon. Things are only what they are because they made up a language that tells us what they are. In a perfect, ascendent world, everyone could interpret things however they like. Everyone could have a different sense of perception. But there's a rocky, steep path to get there.

After that, my dream went back into normal territory. But it was strange because
God, I haven't remembered a dream that vividly in ages.

You can choose to believe me, or you can just say that I'm stretching here, but this revelation came to me in about the span of a second. I didn't spend an hour working this all out in my head. It just kind of ... clicked.

As far as I'm concerned, this book is everything Morrison said it would be and my experience is proof. And you know what's really great? According to most people, the book doesn't really start affecting things until the last volume...
 

E

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I have Vol. 1 - I need to re-read it. I was a little underwhelmed with it. It wasn't bad, just not as good as some other things of his I've liked.
 

ourchair

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I like Grant Morrison's ideas more consistently than I do his comics, so strangely enough, I actually enjoy Invisibles even though I can't pretend what I've read was not an underwhelming experience.

Compound likes it a lot, though.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
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I'm finally finished with The Invisibles. Overall, I loved it. The last volume was incredibly bewildering and out of joint but somehow it flowed very easily and simply. The whole thing left me feeling kind of ... high. And I'm feeling really wordy also. It is supposed to be a hypersigil and all...

I'll be writing a review shortly to put my thoughts into order more coherently.
 

Ultimate Houde

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It's the newest book that I've fallen in love with.

bilbiaphile

Grant Morrison famously coined the word "Hypersigil" to describe The Invisibles, saying that it was a magically inspired work meant to transform himself, the readers, and hopefully the world itself.

Last night I was reading through the first arc of Volume 3 and wondering exactly how this was supposed to work. I thought the book was great, but there certainly didn't seem to be anything magic about it. Then I read the recap at the beginning of Volume 4, just to remind myself of the larger picture of the series and I swear to god, something astonishing happened.

Let me take you back to a post I made back in October, a few days before Halloween and exactly two months before I began reading The Invisibles.

MEMORY LANE!

Hm. A comic book store...

TIme for Dr. Houde to step in.

Yes, a comic book store. You see, you read lots of comics, why would a comic book store strike you so vividly?

Did I mention that the big enemies in the Invisibles are a group of reality warping beings from another dimension, attempting to destroy our reality and everything in it and replace it with their own.

In the dream, when I imagined what these people looked like, I remember seeing a huge figure in a black shroud with a huge mask covered in horns.

Say, what does the leader of those Invisibles baddies look like?

Lot's of people have dreams of shrouded figures coming after them. It's a type of foreboding doom thing. You know something big is coming, you have no idea how it's coming, so you give it a figure, and that is of the cloaked man.

This is probably why Grant Morrison choose them to be his villians

In The Invisibles, King Mob keeps on talking about how time speeds up as you move into the future. Things happen in shorter and shorter amounts of time as you move towards the Apocalypse...

Think about time as a line. There is a beginning point, and an end point. Now, as you travel away from the beginning point and head towards the end point, you time to get to the endpoint becomes quicker and quicker. Now envision the beginning point to be Genesis of Earth, and the enpoint to be the Apocalypse.

Hopefully you understand the analogy.

Sir Miles, an agent of the Conspiracy, tells King Mob that language is the Conspiracy's greatest weapon. Things are only what they are because they made up a language that tells us what they are. In a perfect, ascendent world, everyone could interpret things however they like. Everyone could have a different sense of perception. But there's a rocky, steep path to get there.

Interesting view point. Reminds me of an experiment done to a baby. They told him blue was really orange, and orange was really blue. When he was in grade school, he couldn't grasp the difference between blue and orange.

So, in truth, language would narrow our ability to understand the natural world.

You can choose to believee me, or you can just say that I'm stretching here, but this revelation came to me in about the span of a second. I didn't spend an hour working this all out in my head. It just kind of ... clicked.

As far as I'm concerned, this book is everything Morrison said it would be and my experience is proof. And you know what's really great? According to most people, the book doesn't really start affecting things until the last volume...

I'm not trying to put you down here or anything, just merely giving you other viewpoints you could look at, that is all. I respect you find this comic does this things for you, but I can see it through a different lens, and hopefully, that enables you to look at it through a different lens as well, and maybe catch something you didn't catch before.
 

Bass

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Mooney - you are such an erratic fellow. I can always tell when you've just fallen in love with a new comic, as your avatar capriciously changes to whatever's tugging your heart today. It's Miracleman, then it's the Mooninites, then it's Captain Marvel, now the Invisibles.

Promethea is annoyed with you. So is The Punisher.

I like The Invisibles, highly enjoyable. A better version of the Matrix. A worse version of Promethea. But enjoyable nonetheless.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Joined
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Messages
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bilbiaphile



MEMORY LANE!



TIme for Dr. Houde to step in.

Yes, a comic book store. You see, you read lots of comics, why would a comic book store strike you so vividly?



Lot's of people have dreams of shrouded figures coming after them. It's a type of foreboding doom thing. You know something big is coming, you have no idea how it's coming, so you give it a figure, and that is of the cloaked man.

This is probably why Grant Morrison choose them to be his villians



Think about time as a line. There is a beginning point, and an end point. Now, as you travel away from the beginning point and head towards the end point, you time to get to the endpoint becomes quicker and quicker. Now envision the beginning point to be Genesis of Earth, and the enpoint to be the Apocalypse.

Hopefully you understand the analogy.



Interesting view point. Reminds me of an experiment done to a baby. They told him blue was really orange, and orange was really blue. When he was in grade school, he couldn't grasp the difference between blue and orange.

So, in truth, language would narrow our ability to understand the natural world.



I'm not trying to put you down here or anything, just merely giving you other viewpoints you could look at, that is all. I respect you find this comic does this things for you, but I can see it through a different lens, and hopefully, that enables you to look at it through a different lens as well, and maybe catch something you didn't catch before.
:cry:

Houde has crushed my dreams with his logic. What the hell, I'll say it, I don't care-

DAMN YOU, SCIENCE!!!
Mooney - you are such an erratic fellow. I can always tell when you've just fallen in love with a new comic, as your avatar capriciously changes to whatever's tugging your heart today. It's Miracleman, then it's the Mooninites, then it's Captain Marvel, now the Invisibles.

Promethea is annoyed with you. So is The Punisher.
But I still have Punisher on my wallpaper. And I still think Promethea's mag1kb00bs r teh hawt.
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
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In regards to Mooney's dreaming posting thing - I didn't have a profound experience with The Invisibles. It was enjoyable, but not 'changing'.

Now, Mooney says things clicked for him, things that the Invisibles forced to have happen in his mind, dream and awake. That this is not coincidence or apophenia - he's not looking for links, it just clicked.

So there are essentially two possibilities - 1) The Invisibles alters your mind with its magical nature, and 2) Mooney's looking for meaning where there isn't any.

Like most things, I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Grant Morrison has stated in interviews here and there, he sees connections in metaphors and symbols. He sees Godzilla as Hiroshima, for example.

Understand - this is what good writers do. They find powerful symbols with meaning, and then use them in a subtle, varied category of imagery to heighten the meaning of their story to further enrich the audience's experience. (Look at how blood is used in MacBeth for example - or how Shakespeare does this in everything, the bastard.)

It helps create a powerful dream world in which your unconscious can be so enamoured, that you can lose yourself into it. Think about it - why should any story appeal to anyone? It's just fake nonsense and lies, pretty pictures and pretending actors. The skilled writer breaks down that part of you that says, "This isn't real", because that's the joy of the art world.

Horror films are particularly adept at this because they need to make you terrified of something that is completely fictional. If you watch any good horror film, it gradually, throughout the film, creates the aesthetic of a nightmare, tearing down your psychological defences one by one.

The first thing you'll do when scared is run away, then go to a higher authority (such as the police). Watch a horror film like The Terminator. He kills the police. As you get closer and closer to death, with your avenues of safety cut off, you call out to your mother, and to God. This is why Horror films have somewhat sacriligeous imagery to them, because they have to show God can't save you. Watch a horror film and you'll see this pattern, "[This] can't save you. There's nowhere to run. You're going to die." Over and over and over again.

Stories use powerful symbolic imagery to get our minds involved, working into the story. They also use one other tool - our imagination. The scariest villains, for example, are the ones we hardly see. Watch Alien - you see it's silhouette. That's all. The most intriguing heroes have a mystery to them - why does Mal Reynolds hate the Alliance so? The audience's imagination will allow it to delve deeper into the story - it will scare them more than any rubber suit can, it will sadden them more than any hard-luck story, and so on.

Good writers 'get' this. They understand to take the personal, and transform it into the universal, aware the audience will turn it back, into something personal for themselves.

Now, for this to work, the audience has to be willing. Anyone who wants to, who's aware of it, can block it out and disassociate themselves with the text.

And Mooney now says he has all these linking images. Now, the truth is, those images WERE there. Those images DID have THAT meaning to HIM. To say otherwise is false. The other truth is that Mooney can't possibly recall ALL the symbols and ALL the dreams and ALL the meanings, and thus, like anyone in the history of ever, has removed certain parts, either unconsciously or consciously, because they don't prove his point. That is true also.

But, because Mooney was open to the comic, because he enjoyed it so, and because Morrison knew what he was doing and how to directly get into someone's head to make the story more vivid and powerful, those images were in Mooney's unconscious.

Morrison's text is powerful and mind-altering. Mooney's dreams did have meanings relating to that text.

However, the text is not a magical tome that will change the world and the lives of all. And Mooney's dreams did not have profound, revelatory meaning that have scope into the destiny of his or anyone else's life.

The thing here - there IS meaning. But it is not as trivial, nor as grand, as everyone makes it out to be.

It is a good, powerful story, that excites the imagination for those willing to let it. It allows those who want to, to use it as a metaphor for life.

That is it's purpose, it's effect, and we are lucky such wonderful, or horribly cathartic things exist in our world.

I for one, love the way I shake when I read Miracleman. The experiences, the meanings, they are real - to us. To the individual audience. And that is enough.

To quote from Dead Poet's Society, something I think that should make the point I'm trying to make, clearer, quicker, and better:

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."​
 
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darkspider

Formerly known as 'darkspider16'
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"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."​

This was beautiful. As an aspiring writer, thankyou Bass.
 

Gideon Stargrave

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Messages
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I love The Invisibles! I thought I was the only one who liked it. None of the other comicbook geeks in my area have ever even heard of it.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Joined
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Messages
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In regards to Mooney's dreaming posting thing - I didn't have a profound experience with The Invisibles. It was enjoyable, but not 'changing'.

Now, Mooney says things clicked for him, things that the Invisibles forced to have happen in his mind, dream and awake. That this is not coincidence or apophenia - he's not looking for links, it just clicked.

So there are essentially two possibilities - 1) The Invisibles alters your mind with its magical nature, and 2) Mooney's looking for meaning where there isn't any.

Like most things, I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Grant Morrison has stated in interviews here and there, he sees connections in metaphors and symbols. He sees Godzilla as Hiroshima, for example.

Understand - this is what good writers do. They find powerful symbols with meaning, and then use them in a subtle, varied category of imagery to heighten the meaning of their story to further enrich the audience's experience. (Look at how blood is used in MacBeth for example - or how Shakespeare does this in everything, the bastard.)

It helps create a powerful dream world in which your unconscious can be so enamoured, that you can lose yourself into it. Think about it - why should any story appeal to anyone? It's just fake nonsense and lies, pretty pictures and pretending actors. The skilled writer breaks down that part of you that says, "This isn't real", because that's the joy of the art world.

Horror films are particularly adept at this because they need to make you terrified of something that is completely fictional. If you watch any good horror film, it gradually, throughout the film, creates the aesthetic of a nightmare, tearing down your psychological defences one by one.

The first thing you'll do when scared is run away, then go to a higher authority (such as the police). Watch a horror film like The Terminator. He kills the police. As you get closer and closer to death, with your avenues of safety cut off, you call out to your mother, and to God. This is why Horror films have somewhat sacriligeous imagery to them, because they have to show God can't save you. Watch a horror film and you'll see this pattern, "[This] can't save you. There's nowhere to run. You're going to die." Over and over and over again.

Stories use powerful symbolic imagery to get our minds involved, working into the story. They also use one other tool - our imagination. The scariest villains, for example, are the ones we hardly see. Watch Alien - you see it's silhouette. That's all. The most intriguing heroes have a mystery to them - why does Mal Reynolds hate the Alliance so? The audience's imagination will allow it to delve deeper into the story - it will scare them more than any rubber suit can, it will sadden them more than any hard-luck story, and so on.

Good writers 'get' this. They understand to take the personal, and transform it into the universal, aware the audience will turn it back, into something personal for themselves.

Now, for this to work, the audience has to be willing. Anyone who wants to, who's aware of it, can block it out and disassociate themselves with the text.

And Mooney now says he has all these linking images. Now, the truth is, those images WERE there. Those images DID have THAT meaning to HIM. To say otherwise is false. The other truth is that Mooney can't possibly recall ALL the symbols and ALL the dreams and ALL the meanings, and thus, like anyone in the history of ever, has removed certain parts, either unconsciously or consciously, because they don't prove his point. That is true also.

But, because Mooney was open to the comic, because he enjoyed it so, and because Morrison knew what he was doing and how to directly get into someone's head to make the story more vivid and powerful, those images were in Mooney's unconscious.

Morrison's text is powerful and mind-altering. Mooney's dreams did have meanings relating to that text.

However, the text is not a magical tome that will change the world and the lives of all. And Mooney's dreams did not have profound, revelatory meaning that have scope into the destiny of his or anyone else's life.

The thing here - there IS meaning. But it is not as trivial, nor as grand, as everyone makes it out to be.

It is a good, powerful story, that excites the imagination for those willing to let it. It allows those who want to, to use it as a metaphor for life.

That is it's purpose, it's effect, and we are lucky such wonderful, or horribly cathartic things exist in our world.

I for one, love the way I shake when I read Miracleman. The experiences, the meanings, they are real - to us. To the individual audience. And that is enough.

To quote from Dead Poet's Society, something I think that should make the point I'm trying to make, clearer, quicker, and better:

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."​
*applause*

Brilliant post.

Today I've actually been spending a lot of time attempting to reason out the ending. I understood it, but it seemed to fly in the face of the rest of the series. I think I have it though. In the end, Jack realizes that despite what they've thought, the two universes are not opposing forces, they're just disparate sides of existance. Both sides must be embraced. It's essentially saying the same things as Promethea, but in a much more "Grant Morrison" way. So Jack come sto understand that the Gnosticism angle is wrong and that the Universe is not our prison, but our womb. It's the place where we must gestate and learn in order to emerge into something much more incredible. Conflict is just a natural force imposed on us in order to let us grow and learn. At the end of time, we must realize conflict's purpose and abandon it. In the end, it doesn't matter which side you're on because in the end it's all the same.

It's interesting to see Morrison doing what Moore did, but in his own style.
 

Ultimate Houde

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But, because Mooney was open to the comic, because he enjoyed it so, and because Morrison knew what he was doing and how to directly get into someone's head to make the story more vivid and powerful, those images were in Mooney's unconscious.

Now, that just sounds dirty
 

Langsta

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It's the newest book that I've fallen in love with.

I'm currently halfway through Volume 3. It cool and stylish and sexy and guess what. It's literally magic.

Grant Morrison famously coined the word "Hypersigil" to describe The Invisibles, saying that it was a magically inspired work meant to transform himself, the readers, and hopefully the world itself.

Can someone please explain to me what words like "super context" and "fiction suits" are?
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
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If I remember correctly, the super context is a reality undefined by language or ideas. Time and space cease to exist and reality becomes one singularity or something.

A fiction suit, again if I remember correctly, is when you invent an entirely new personality, a character basically, and then put it on, becoming an entirely different person. It can also be a way in which someone literally steps into a piece of fiction. There's a metafictional plotline involving the character Ragged Robin that has something like this, and Grant Morrison has called the character based on him, King Mob, his own fiction suit. The Grant Morrison that appeared at the end of Animal Man could also probably be thought of as some kind of fiction suit.
 

Langsta

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If I remember correctly, the super context is a reality undefined by language or ideas. Time and space cease to exist and reality becomes one singularity or something.

A fiction suit, again if I remember correctly, is when you invent an entirely new personality, a character basically, and then put it on, becoming an entirely different person. It can also be a way in which someone literally steps into a piece of fiction. There's a metafictional plotline involving the character Ragged Robin that has something like this, and Grant Morrison has called the character based on him, King Mob, his own fiction suit. The Grant Morrison that appeared at the end of Animal Man could also probably be thought of as some kind of fiction suit.

Interesting. Thanks.




There are some cool Grant Morrison interviews on this blog:
http://renegadefuturist.com/archives/category/grantmorrison/
 

ProjectX2

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Didn't Morrison also say that Xavier in New X-Men, Luthor in All Star Superman/Earth 2 and Greg Feely from The Filth (but not future Damien as Batman in #666 - that was just Kubert drawing him looking like Morrison) were all possibly fictionsuits as well? I'm sure I remember reading something about how there's always a bald character in most of the comics he writes and he tries to embody those characters.

I just realised the words fictionsuit, hypersigil and supercontext are all in my profile, left over from when I had that Grant Morrison avatar. Hmm...
 
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