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One of Jamie McKelvie's favorite stories about me is the time I explained, at length, that elves were basically "what if there actually was a master race" racial supremacists to a group of people cosplaying Tolkien elves. I'm annoyed at the Know Your Place implicit in Middle-earth, the hatred of the industrial world and the working class who inhabit it. My standard line is "If I was in Middle-earth, I would clearly be an orc" and I still believe that.

But feel the simmering resentment there. I quickly realize why. I came to comics as an adult. As such, my comic influences are all adult influences. I'm chill about them. Conversely, Tolkien was what got me into this world. He's the father figure I have oedipal rage towards.

As such, the research [for DIE] was my process of forgiving Tolkien.


-- Kieron Gillen

















Date: 2019-03-07 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] doodleboy
This issue reminds me of the forward Tolkien wrote in the later editions of LOTR. He said that LOTR wasn't a WWII allegory, and proceeded to describe what the story would be if it was a WWII allegory. It was a much more cynical tale where the Hobbits were wiped out.

Looks like we're going to meet the Bronte sisters in the Die universe at some point, should be fun. I do remember Kieron Gillen asking his followers on twitter for examples of fictional universes the creators made in their teenage years.

I like for the non-player flashbacks instead of going for a Saturday morning cartoon vibe Hans goes for an Ivan Biblin vibe. Moreso in the next issue.

I wonder if Kieron chose Ash as the narrator specifically to contrast the narrator of WicDiv. Laura's voice is kind of an exaggerated teenage voice. Her narration is defined by having these big complex emotions and often failing completely to find the words to describe them "My head is full of plasma!".

Ash by contrast is more sure of themselves and their worldview, more eloquent. They're probably a lot more deceptive than Laura though.

I like how this issue has the most cynical interpretations of Aslan and Gandalf. The people in power who give the dangerous quests to the working class rarely go out to the front-line themselves.

I think the biggest criticism of this issue is that I think it's a little too sure of itself. There's value in taking LOTR and using it to describe how fantasy is used to process real-world events and traumas. But I think Ian Danskin said it the best "It's can be critical to use the author to read the book, but the road only goes one way. You don't use the book to read the author.". Like unless there's some interview where Tolkien talked about the symbolism of a wedding ring, it's probably a big assumption to jump from a wedding ring to the one ring.

Then again Kieron did a whole lot more research on Tolkien than me, so that could be the case.

Overall I liked the issue though. Hope we see more of Eternal Prussia. It's certainly a comic that requires rereading to fully process it.

If you like podcasts and want to listen to a good piece of criticism on this issue from somebody who knows a lot more about Tolkien than me this podcast is good, https://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/die-compressed/id/8610455.


Date: 2019-03-07 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thezmage
I can only half agree with that statement. I can agree with regards to the One Ring/wedding ring thing, but it’s more than possible to get a read on the writer through their fiction

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