Title: The Filth.
Author: Grant Morrison.
Artist: Chris Weston and Gary Erskine.
Genre: Graphic novel, fiction, science fiction, cyberpunk.
Publication Date: 2002-2003.
Summary: The story centers around Greg Feely, a man who wants to do nothing more than look at pornography and care for his ailing cat Tony. However, Greg soon learns that he is actually Ned Slade, a special negotiator for an organization called the Hand, which cleans up the unhealthy variations and messes made in the world. Feely's search for his identity brings him across a talking communist chimpanzee named Dmitri who boasts that he killed JFK, an adult film star named Anders Klimakks, whose black semen is made into a biological weapon by depraved director Tex Porneau, and brainwashed children which are nothing more than ants.
My rating: 6.5/10.
My review: The feeling I got off this book was that Grant Morrison was trying so hard to be edgy and shocking that he forgot quite a few other elements that are required to make a good story - one of the major ones being that the story should preferably make sense. It would be unfair to say that it didn't make sense at all. I actually could see really clearly where he was trying to go, and some of the points he was trying to make got through, but this is truly an unnecessarily convoluted and confusing plot that jumps every which way, doesn't actually explain half the things it begins to or introduces, and has quite a few plot holes, especially toward the end when scenes start jumping around very chaotically. What I especially did not like is the fact that all the excessive vulgarity, violence, and sex, instead of highlighting and mirroring a society in a shocking but believable and even necessary way (much in the way of Pope's 100% or Transmetropolitan), Morrison's writing just seems like he's trying too hard to not so much shock as disgust, so it just comes off tasteless, not to mention excessive, disturbed, and slightly obsessive (especially with sperm). I did enjoy the art, and some of the concepts, especially the ones about breaking the fourth wall and the giant hand and the "ink" they harvest in order to write the future. In fact, I feel like if he concentrated and developed that point, instead of vaguely touching upon it in s never-ending and fast conveyor belt of constant plot, it could have made for a fascinating graphic novel. Overall, an interesting and promising concept that gets lost among all the chaos.
♥ "You've been attending to a cat... a neutered tom with a thyroid complaint. You recently dug a small grave for another animal."
"Thyroid? Is this telepathy? Or did you read my dossier?"
"Not at all. Every man and woman has a unique, personal cloud, officer Slade. This seething aura of invisible particles follows each of us everywhere we go. The carpenter hammers out a nebula of wood shavings and sweat; the teacher wears an invisible gown of chalk dust; the secret fetishist hides particles of rubber and silicone spray behind her tweed fragments. The cloud never lies."
♥ "Ten billion cells in the human body, Slade. And do you know how many bacteria we carry? Ten times that amount. Ha! The germs crawling all over us outnumber our native cells by ten to one."
"Do you honestly think this is helping to raise my spirits at a difficult time, Arno?"
"To know that we are only angels weighed down by filth, free of guilt? The bacteria in our bellies are responsible for the farts which shame us. Tiny monsters shitting in their billions all over our pure skin create the acid reek of "our" sweat. And Slade: when the "inner voices" tell us we're unworthy or instruct us to "love" and "hate," despite our best instincts, are these incessant distracting thoughts our own? Or do we only hear the voice of the eternal germ screaming in our heads?"
♥ "So what can I expect from this floating community of the future, now it's been turned into a pirate hell on the ocean waves? Severed hands worn as cod-pieces? Brothels staffed by AIDS-infected toddlers?"
"Stuff like that, yeah. People do terrible things to one another when it all falls apart, Slade. But they're always the same things. That's what makes our job easier."
♥ "It's so stupid, isn't it? When you think about it. All the stupid reasons people find to hate one another on the rocket ride to the grave."