Annotations for “11: A Nest of Anacondas” 8 pages in Cinema Purgatorio #11
Writer: Garth Ennis, Artist: Raulo Caceres
Note: Some of this is obvious, but you never know who’s reading and what their exposure is. If there’s anything we missed or got wrong, let us know in comments.
General: Pru visits and confronts Jon Squidpump, one of the higher-ups at the hospital she works for.
- Commenter Iñaki suggests that the cover is a reference to the film Tombs of the Blind Dead.
- On the left is Prudence “Pru” Slapweather. On the right is a very swollen William, the vampire who appeared in CP#1.
- The framed print may refer to a specific historical image – suggest?? It may be an invented image, inspired by Olaus Magnus’ Sea Serpent and various more recent monster vs. ship pieces.
- “A Nest of Anacondas” is a riff on the phrase “nest of vipers“, only vipers are poisonous snakes, whereas anacondas are constrictor snakes. The suggestion is that there is danger here, but of a slower and more insidious type than may have been expecteD. The constrictor imagery is also reinforced by the octopus/squid imagery throughout.
- First appearance of Judith.
- It is not clear what Fire Department personnel William is seeking to contact – perhaps he is seeking some sort of relationship with a staff member, and is staging his “accidents” in order to see them?
- “This old thing?” is a cliche deprecating response to someone complimenting one’s clothes. Here it has a second meaning referring to the antique dress style from over 100 years ago.
- There is a second octopus (or squid) image on the wall.
- First Cinema Purgatorio appearance of Jon Squidpump, though he already appeared in the standalone Code Pru comics issues #1 and #2.
- The office is full of squid statues and artwork. Visible at the left is a model of The Nautilus, Nemo’s submarine from the 1954 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea film, which famously battled a giant squid. At right, we see an old-fashioned diving suit. The ceiling appears to have light fixtures in the shape of portholes.
- There is a nautical map visible on the wall.
- “Thereby hangs a tale” is an expression dating back to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. It essentially means that there is a lot more to say about something.
- Squidpump is snoring, pretending to have fallen asleep, as a way of expressing his boredom.
- “Push! Push! It’s crowning!” is something one might say to a laboring mother about to give birth. Crowning is when the baby’s head first becomes visible in the mother’s vagina. The birthing metaphor continues into the next panel.
- “Supercilious” means arrogant or acting superior.
- “E. Astrachan” is Eric Astrachan, Pru’s paramedic coworker who appears in various issues starting with Purgatorio #1.
- “His taste in chromosomes tends more towards Y” is a complicated of saying Astrachan is gay: he prefers men, who have Y chromosomes.
- “Who knows what tomorrow may bring? […] Revel in your time!” may be Squidpump’s sardonic way of acknowledging his terminal illness.
- Unclear why Judith’s clothing changed, why her body is shaped the way it is, and what her connection is with lizards.
- “I’m almost like you now” that is, “brain-damaged.” It is an insult which takes Pru two panels to parse.