Issue #3, Page 29: Captured and Brainwashed

© 2004 Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart. All Rights Reserved.

SEAGUY (2004)
by Grant Morrison & Cam Stewart
Issue #3, Page 29: Mickey Eye Brainwashing Sequence
Graphite and ink on board
Signed by Grant Morrison
11" x 17"

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Only Grant Morrison could pen the ultimate feel-good story with equal parts naive optimism and heroic tragedy without overdosing on nostalgic sentimentality. And he did it twice, because before All-Star Superman, there was Seaguy!

Seaguy was Grant Morrison's deliberate effrontery to the unconvincing cynicism prevalent in comics in the early millennium. His idea was to create a larkish hero with no super powers, much like the captain action toys of his childhood. To a Glaswegian lad in the 1950s, the most exotic of these action men was the scuba diver, and in Morrison's rendition, the hero frequents a Disneyesque amusement park with a talking tuna. More than just mimicking the magical sea voyages of Ray Harryhausen or the ecological travelogues of Jacques Cousteau, there is a Quixotic wonder that harkens back to the grail romances in a purely "Silver Age gone wrong" kind of way. There is a Jungian progression within the three collections, each a three-issue series, that takes the hero on a metaphorical journey from childhood through adolescence and ultimately to adulthood. Naïveté advances to rebellion, which leads to realization, as the tone grows slightly darker from series to series. In this first installment, the idyllic existence of an adventureless hero is interrupted by the discovery that the world's new food staple is sentient. He is thwarted in his efforts to protect this unchampioned lifeform and notify the public at large by an ambulatory, talking eyeball who happens to be the mascot for the aforementioned amusement park chain.

Cam Stewart's blend of stylized and realistic pencils made him the spot-on choice to breathe cartoony life into this latest Morrison creation. So successful was their collaboration that Stewart was recalled not only for the two Seaguy sequels but also for Morrison's best-selling revival of Bruce Wayne in the Batman and Robin comic. Above, is one of the darkest moments in the first volume. Seaguy sits helpless in Clockwork Orange bondage as Mickey Eye attempts to brainwash him –forced to feed upon the same creature he has sworn to protect.

Honestly, you just can't make this stuff up...


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