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Pirate multiplicities: Aion, chronos and magical inscription in the graphic novels of Alan Moore

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This article will seek to address questions of creativity, sense and expression in the fiction of Alan Moore and a few of the artists with whom he has worked through an examination of their manipulation of time and space and magical inscription in the graphic novel. It will do this across and alongside the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, on the one hand, and the often antipathetic thought of Alain Badiou, on the other, on virtuality, the event and multiplicity. Taking as its points of triangulation, therefore, first, Moore's Watchmen and Promethea series, second, Deleuze's appropriation of the Stoic notions of aion and chronos in Logic of Sense and with Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus, and third, Badiou's notion of 'pirate multiplicities' from his essay on Fernando Pessoa in The Century, this article will consider the hieroglyphic density of magical inscription in Moore as a fabricated codex of fundamental creativity in art, literature and philosophy, and by implication, in the terms that Moore favours and advocates, in magic itself. Moreover, such magical inscription (which it will be assumed encompasses, in Moore's case, straightforward narrative and image as much as anything specifically occultic) will be considered here as a fabricated codex, whose ontological implications emerge both mimetically and diegetically from its enactment as a narrative device so as to question the very notion of a distinction of ontological levels between fiction and reality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-07-01

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  • Studies in Comics aims to describe the nature of comics, to identify the medium as a distinct art form, and to address the medium's formal properties. The emerging field of comics studies is a model for interdisciplinary research and in this spirit this journal welcomes all approaches. This journal is international in scope and provides an inclusive space in which researchers from all backgrounds can present new thinking on comics to a global audience. The journal will promote the close analysis of the comics page/text using a variety of methodologies. Its specific goal, however, is to expand the relationship between comics and theory and to articulate a "theory of comics". The journal also includes reviews of new comics, criticism, and exhibitions, and a dedicated online space for cutting-edge and emergent creative work.

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