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Freakwave Mirkin the Mystic - Milligan McCarthy

Written by Arion on Tuesday, December 03 2013 and posted in Blog
Freakwave Mirkin the Mystic - Milligan McCarthy
First version of Freakwave / primera versión de Freakwave
I grew up reading 2000AD, Britain’s weekly sci-fi anthology. 2000AD was the school of many of today’s most notable writers: Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan, John Wagner, Alan Grant, etc. Sometimes with only 4 or 6 pages at their disposal, these writers had to find the way to tell a complete story and it had to be entertaining, surprising and original. I haven’t seen better examples of brevity and intensity than in 2000AD pages. 

I remember that I read at least a couple of Tharg’s Future Shocks written by Milligan and illustrated by McCarthy. They always had the habit of standing out. It wasn’t only the storyline elements or the unexpected final twists, it was the art. Even back then, McCarthy was different from the others. He was always ready to break down a barrier, to go against the established way of doing things. In fact, when he was illustrating Judge Dredd stories, his designs were too crazy… even for such an irrational place like Mega-City!

The beginning of Freakwave made me remember all those 2000AD adventures. Here Milligan describes a post-apocalyptic future, in which most of the planet’s firm land has been swallowed by the sea (fun fact: the authors tried to sell this as a movie script and were turned down by Hollywood, almost a decade later, Kevin Costner’s Waterworld was released). In this strange setting, a surfer –an explorer, a marauder– would travel from one wave to the other in search of provisions.  

Freakwave Mirkin the Mystic - Milligan McCarthy
Brendan McCarthy & Brett Ewins
However, after the initial chapters, Milligan changed the rules of the game. Instead of a story that could perfectly fit in the pages of 2000AD, he transmutes it into a philosophical and outlandish allegory. Suddenly, his world was transformed into an irrational land inhabited by eccentric individuals. And the skies were filled with floating heads, gigantic transports that seemed to come out from the deliriums of a crazy man. McCarthy, once again, decided to put all his creativity in these haunting and amazing images, and he was helped by another remarkable illustrator, Brett Ewins, famous for his intricate lines and highly detailed works. 

Mirkin the Mystic was a very different project. Presented as “a thing of air”, Mirkin is an intelligent and sophisticated lad; with his delicate and somehow effeminate manners he confirms his nobility and dignity. After taking a vow of chastity and temporarily retiring from his favorite club Le cércle pervers (the circle of perverts), Mirkin soon finds himself beleaguered by his old acquaintances.

What does a pederast, a hermaphrodite and other perverts want with this young man? Are they trying to corrupt his soul and soil his body? Or are they simply in need of a helping hand? Indeed, there is a plague upon the house of perversion –a plague that causes disfigurement and ruins the epicurean orgies of the members of the club– and Mirkin swears to find the man responsible for this malady.

Mirkin the Mystic  is “A perfectly formed and sweetly perfumed bonbon, delivered with a knowing smirk –and a heavy sigh of Weltschmerz”. Mirkin is the quintessential bon vivant, a closeted homosexual that lives surrounded by perverts and degenerates. He’s a dandy, an elegant and wealthy young man, but he’s also quite refined and well-educated. In order to save Le cércle pervers he travels to our world, rescues the skull of Oscar Wilde and, together, they find the origin of the plague and destroy it. It’s curious to observe how Wilde has inspired many comic book writers (Mike Carey talks about Oscar Wilde’s forbidden romance with Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas in “The Unwritten” and Grant Morrison pays homage to Wilde with his “Sebastian O” and his hedonistic Club de Paradis Artificiel; we should highlight, however, that Milligan did it first with Mirkin).
Freakwave Mirkin the Mystic - Milligan McCarthy
Mirkin, a sophisticated and effeminate hero / Mirkin, un héroe sofisticado y afeminado

The reader just needs to take a look at the first page to realize that Mirkin the Mystic is the strangest wizard ever created. But, of course, how could it be otherwise if we take into account Mirkin’s inception: “Milligan sipping Russian champagne and listening to Noel Coward in an attempt to inhabit the ghost of Oscar Wilde, McCarthy lounging elegantly in Aubrey Beardsley’s buckled boots while he savors the enigmatic Flavor of the Flavored”. Certainly, McCarthy combines the sensibilities of Art Nouveau, Aubrey Beardsley, surrealism, Dadaism and other cultural currents in this truly wonderful work. If it’s true that physical reality can never be enough to satisfy the impossible demands of the mind, then it’s also true that McCarthy soars high above realism and sates our appetite for (visual) pleasure. 
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Freakwave Mirkin the Mystic - Milligan McCarthy
My life is bereft of temptation […] for I have yielded to everything /
Mi vida ha sido desprovista de tentaciones […] puesto que he cedido a todas

Crecí leyendo "2000AD", la antología británica semanal de ciencia ficción. "2000AD" fue la escuela de muchos de los más notables escritores de hoy: Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan, John Wagner, Alan Grant, etc. A veces, con sólo 4 o 5 páginas a su disposición, estos escritores tenían que encontrar la manera de contar una historia completa y tenía que ser entretenida, sorprendente y original. No he visto mejores ejemplos de brevedad e intensidad que en las páginas de "2000AD". 

Recuerdo que leí al menos un par de los "Future Shocks" de Tharg escritos por Milligan e ilustrados por McCarthy. Siempre tenían el hábito de destacar. No sólo era la línea narrativa o el giro inesperado del final, era el arte. Incluso en ese entonces, McCarthy era diferente a los otros. Siempre estaba listo para romper alguna barrera, para ir en contra de la forma establecida de hacer las cosas. De hecho, cuando estaba ilustrando historias de Juez Dredd, sus diseños eran demasiado locos... ¡incluso para un lugar tan irracional como Mega-City!

El inicio de "Freakwave" me hizo recordar todas esas aventuras de "2000AD". Aquí Milligan describe un futuro post-apocalíptico, en el que la mayor parte de la tierra firme del planeta ha sido tragada por el mar (hecho curioso: los autores intentaron vender este guión a Hollywood y fueron rechazados, casi una década después, se estrenó "Waterworld" de Kevin Costner). En este extraño escenario, un surfer –un explorador, un forajido– viajaba de una ola a la otra en busca de provisiones.

Sin embargo, después de los capítulos iniciales, Milligan cambió las reglas del juego. En vez de una historia que podría encajar perfectamente en las páginas de 2000AD, él la transmuta en una alegoría filosófica y excéntrica. Repentinamente,  su mundo se transforma en una tierra irracional habitada por individuos estrambóticos. Y los cielos se llenan de cabezas flotantes, transportes gigantescos que parecían salir de los delirios de un desquiciado. McCarthy, una vez más, decidió poner toda su creatividad en estas cautivadoras y asombrosas imágenes, y fue ayudado por otro ilustrador notable, Brett Ewins, famoso por sus intrincadas líneas y sus trabajos altamente detallados.
Freakwave Mirkin the Mystic - Milligan McCarthy
A true heir of Oscar Wilde / un auténtico heredero de Oscar Wilde

“Mirkin the Mystic” fue un proyecto muy diferente. Presentado como “una cosa de aire”, Mirkin es un muchacho inteligente y sofisticado; él confirma su nobleza y dignidad con sus modales delicados y un tanto afeminados. Después de tomar un voto de castidad y retirarse temporalmente de su club favorito Le cércle pervers (el círculo de los pervertidos), Mirkin pronto se encuentra acechado por sus viejos camaradas.

¿Qué es lo que quieren un pederasta, un hermafrodita y otros pervertidos con este jovencito? ¿Están intentando corromper su alma y mancillar su cuerpo? ¿O simplemente necesitan una mano amiga? De hecho, una plaga ha caído sobre la casa de la perversión –una plaga que causa desfiguramiento y arruina las epicúreas orgías de los miembros del club– y Mirkin jura encontrar al hombre responsable de este malestar.

Mirkin el Místico es “Un bombón perfectamente formado y dulcemente perfumado, entregado con una sonrisita socarrona –y un fuerte suspiro de Weltschmerz”. Mirkin es la quintaesencia del bon vivant, un homosexual dentro del closet que vive rodeado de pervertidos y degenerados. Él es un dandy, un joven elegante y adinerado, pero también es bastante refinado y bien educado. Para salvar a Le cércle pervers viaja a nuestro mundo, rescata el cráneo de Oscar Wilde y, juntos, encuentran el origen de la plaga y la destruyen. Es curioso observar que Wilde ha inspirado a muchos escritores de cómics (Mike Carey habla sobre el romance prohibido entre Oscar Wilde y Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas en “The Unwritten” y Grant Morrison le rinde homenaje a Wilde con su “Sebastian O” y su hedonista Club de Paradis Artificiel; sin embargo, deberíamos resaltar que Milligan se les adelantó).

El lector sólo necesita darle un vistazo a la primera página para darse cuenta de que Mirkin el Místico es el más extraño hechicero jamás creado. Pero, por supuesto, cómo podría ser de otra manera si tenemos en cuenta el nacimiento de Mirkin: “Milligan sorbiendo champagne ruso y escuchando a Noel Coward en un intento por habitar el fantasma de Oscar Wilde, McCarthy paseándose elegantemente en las botas con hebillas de Aubrey Beardsley mientras saborea el enigmático Sabor de los Sabrosos”. Ciertamente, McCarthy combina las sensibilidades del Art Nouveau, Aubrey Beardsley, surrealismo, dadaísmo y otras corrientes culturales en esta obra auténticamente maravillosa. Si es cierto que la realidad física nunca es suficiente para satisfacer las demandas imposibles de la mente, entonces también es cierto que McCarthy se eleva por encima del realismo y sacia nuestro apetito de placer (visual).   

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/12/freakwave-mirkin-mystic-milligan.html


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About the Author - Arion


Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

 


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