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.