They still need some polishing, but we’ve got basic annotations up for all the great stories in this week’s box office topper Cinema Purgatorio #10. Look ’em over, throw tomatoes or applaud, and tell us what we missed. Find all the Purgatorio annotations via this index page.
Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill are probably not getting their Cinema Purgatorio references from 21st Century souces like podcasts, but one of the contributors here (me, Joe Linton) has been listening to podcasts to get background on various Purgatorio stories. There’s plenty of text in books and on websites, but if you want to listen to learn more about Thelma Todd, Fatty Arbuckle, Willis O’Brien and others, check out these podcast episodes:
Cinema Purgatorio #1 – Fatty Arbuckle: Hollywood Scandals of Yesteryear #3
Cinema Purgatorio #4 – Willis O’Brien: The Optical #8
Cinema Purgatorio #6 – cameo feature Marie Prevost: Hollywood Scandals of Yesteryear #31
Cinema Purgatorio #7 – Actual OK Corral history: Wartime: A History Series S05E08, New Books in Historical Fiction. My Darling Clementine (1946): The Recommendation Game #8, Totally Awesome Films. Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957): Classic Movie Reviews #86.
Cinema Purgatorio #9 – Thelma Todd: Mysterious Circumstances #26, You Must Remember This #94, Hollywoodland: Unsolved #3, Hollywood Scandals of Yesteryear #13
Cinema Purgatorio #11 – Black Dahlia: Movie Geeks United – Tinseltown Tragedies #3, True Crime Garage #44-46
There are probably still some mysteries lurking, but we’ve posted basic annotations for all five stories in Cinema Purgatorio #9.
It’s a bumper horror issue with a fairly high body count. There are mobsters, side quests, mysterious deaths, giant ants, a cuddly baby monster, bats, and even a dildobeast.
Alan Moore’s story in Cinema Purgatorio, “After Tombstone”, is pretty complex for the roughly 6 pages it takes to vivisect the gunfight at the OK Corral. I’m no expert on the subject, but I’m a lot closer now than I was a month ago, having spent a lot of time reading Wikipedia and watched the three main movies that Moore seems to be drawing on for this story … None of these four sources agree with each other about what was really going on. And then, the clearly unreliable narrator of Moore’s story has yet a fifth account.
It seems to me that what Moore is getting at here is not just the now-familiar concept that history is another kind of fiction. Rather, that fiction overwrites history, often repeatedly. History becomes palimpsest, a hologram of all the different versions refracting with each other at once. As Dave Sim once quoted Moore as saying, “All stories are true.”
It took longer than usual, and we’re still sweeping some rows, but basic annotations are up for all the stories in Cinema Purgatorio #7. Kudos to star annotator Alexx Kay for scouring several westerns to find so many references in Moore and O’Neill’s After Tombstone.
We expect that film buffs, gamers, Civil War historians and others can keep adding details. Look them over and let us know what we missed. All the annotations are found via the Annotations Index page.
In August 2016 Max Brooks was interviewed at The Nerdist podcast. He spoke for a bit about his Cinema Purgatorio creation A More Perfect Union, illustrated by Michael DiPascale. Listen to the whole interview if you want all the details (including ideas behind Brooks’ earlier Avatar Press title Extinction Parade), but here are a few things he mentioned that shed light on where Union is headed. (starting at minute 15)
We’ll start off with pop culture… Alan Moore wanted to put together an anthology of horror stories and he got together the awesome-est of the awesome-est. Garth Ennis, Kieron Gillen, Christos Gage. So he got together this awesome team, and then me.
I had a story I wanted to tell, but it wasn’t what I consider to be traditionally horror. When I think horror, I think dark alleys, and AAAAH! and suspense… and mine’s not. Mine is actually a throwback to the old 1950s movie Them!, which was one of my favorite movies of all time. The one thing Them! never did was have a giant ant battle. Because they couldn’t afford it. They could afford like three animatronic ants and that was it.