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Must we endure this filth? Yes,we must!!
on 13 June 2004
In Britain ," Filth " is a word which can mean pornography,grime and dirt, or (in the expression "The Filth") can be slang for the police force. Grant Morrison,surrealistic graphic novelist supreme, plays with all three meanings,and combines them with his usual interest in the nature of reality,personality and the power of fiction to create new realities....the result?
A graphic novel which is confusing,stimulating,terrifying. hilarious and uplifting.
Through a sad sack loner who is obsessed with his cat(autobiographical echoes of Morrison's own life here!), the reader is introduced to "the Hand" a reality police force,clearing up threats to existence itself....but what do they really represent? And what is reality?
Readers familiar with Morrison's wonderful "Doom Patrol"," Animal Man" and "The Invisibles" will be on home territory here,while the casual reader may find themselves thoroughly confused. This work is dense,allusive and mind-expanding and is nowhere near as easy to follow as Morrison himself thinks..But,by God,it's thought-provoking,beautifully drawn by the magnificent Chris Weston and will resonate for weeks after reading. This work,perhaps more than any other,repays careful rereading and consideration.
Ignore the grudging response of much of the comics community. This is a challenging and complex work,but it is very worthwhile.The sexual and violent content,whilst disturbing in many ways,is neither gratuitous nor pointless,and the message of the work is empowering and positive.
Another meaning of "Filth" is the manure that makes flowers grow, and this compelling and difficult graphic novel makes the flowering of new concepts and ideas possible.
Recommended to all open-minded readers, willing to work hard to explore the limits of reality.
And that should include YOU!!