Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Grant Morrison & Cameron Stewart Seaguy (2005)
Having been looking in the other direction when this came out, I was slightly pissed off to find it apparently only available for silly money on Amazon and eBay - silly money here meaning lots of dollars rather than payment by fish, hamburgers, lego bricks or whatever; so I was hugely chuffed to find a copy at Half Price Books for less than the cover price. I guess somebody screwed-up.

Seaguy was sold to me as something wonderful during discussion generally themed along the lines of how The Invisibles is shit and Grant Morrison disappeared up his own arse around 1998 and is yet to resurface - Seaguy and We3 being exceptions to a general trend. True enough, it's decent, and it commits none of the sins of his absolute worst writing, although I probably wouldn't go so far as to call it a classic. I suppose it's sort of like David Bowie's Black Tie White Noise, which was actually somewhat shite and yet seemingly garnered a fairly respectable reputation through sheer force of relief that at least it wasn't fucking Never Let Me Down.

Just to get it out of the way, I can't help but notice some faint similarity to Underwater Guy from Shannon Wheeler's wonderful Too Much Coffee Man, but anyway...

Seaguy is sort of like Morrison's Doom Patrol as a Saturday morning cartoon - all primary colours and things that only make sense if you live in a Hanna-Barbera version of reality.

...actually, Chubby da Choona is a lot like Billy the Fish from Viz, come to think of it...

Where was I?

On the surface of it, Seaguy is mostly enjoyable surrealism and general stupidity, but knowing some of Morrison's preoccupations I have a feeling it may also constitute some kind of statement on comic book narrative. The narrative is full of big ideas and improbable concepts provided without explanation, and none of the adventures or scrapes encountered by Seaguy and his fish buddy ever quite play out to the end or amount to anything, just like in a Saturday morning cartoon show. We get evasions and distraction rather than conclusions, at least up to the point at which Chubby comes to a peculiarly realistic and gruesome end, before quickly hitting the reset button and we start over again with a new animal sidekick. I suspect the point of this amounts to two fingers up at the supposedly gritty and realistic comic narrative as supposedly introduced by Alan Moore - perhaps represented here as the She-Beard, which itself suggests the slightly odd possibility of Morrison wanting to shag Northampton's finest.

The message is, I suppose, nothing deeper than this shit is more fun than all that frowning; which is fine, because they don't all have to be the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. So I wouldn't call Seaguy a masterpiece, but there's nevertheless plenty to like.

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