This page features annotations for the Disappearing chapter of Unearthing. Disappearing is the first chapter, located on (unnumbered) pages 6-17 of the 2012 Unearthing book.
Words by Alan Moore and images by Mitch Jenkins.
Page 6 (Disappear)
Page 7 (Disconnecting…)
- The “he” is comics writer Steve Moore.
- Alan Moore explores the significance of “liminal” spaces in several works. For example, on page 34 of Providence #8, where Robert Black, noting a dream about bridges, writes: “the central symbol of the bridge itself, this structure – I believe the word is “liminal” – which exists at the ambiguous limits of two worlds and also joins those worlds together.”
- Don’t move “for almost 60 years” refers to Steve Moore living nearly all his life in the same house.
- “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” is an ancient saying. Moore has added the “better yet, invisible.”
Pages 8-9 (invisible)
Page 10 (Steve Moore sat…)
- “Man with a foolish grin, perfectly still” references lyrics from the Beatles song The Fool on the Hill.
Page 11 (grin…)
Page 12 (Slowly, )
Page 13 (Excuse themselves…)
Page 14 (Black on…)
- “Selenites Rhomboidalis” is a common mineral found in large quantities on Shooter’s Hill.
- Shooters Hill (or Shooter’s Hill) is a south London district/place/landscape feature. It is one of the highest places in London. As with a lot of Alan Moore’s pyschogeographical work, Unearthing is as much about Steve Moore, as it is about Shooters’s Hill where S. Moore was born and lived nearly all his life.
For what it is worth, Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta character Evey Hammond mentions living on Shooter’s Hill – see chapter 3, page 5, panel 6.
Page 15 (London up: low on its northern slope…)
- The “Thames Valley” is where London is located – along the river Thames.
- “Neolithic swill” refers to the Neolithic period (c. 14,000-6,000 BC).
- “Pallid Morlock scrum” refers to Morlocks, a fictional underground humanoid species created by H. G. Wells for his 1895 novel The Time Machine. A scrum is a rugby formation, also British slang for a disorderly crowd of people or things.
- “Chav” is derogatory British slang for a type of brash young dressed-up lower-class lout.
- “Plumstead” and “Woolwich” are London suburbs located immediately north of Shooters Hill.
- “Trinovante” were a Celtic tribe that ruled the London area before the Romans took over in 55-54 BC.
- “Squints” is slang for a smart person, similar to geek.
- The “Laing Estate” was a 1930s housing development, now designated a “conservation area” (apparently similar to a U.S. historic preservation overlay zone) called Shrewsbury Park Estate. A map of the Shrewsbury Park conservation area is online.
- The “railed-off and grassed over hump” burial mound (called the Shrewsbury Tumulus or Shrewsbury Barrow) is shown in the photos on pages 14 and 15, and is visible via Google street view. The burial mound dates to the Bronze Age (c. 3000-1000 B.C.). As Moore notes “five of these were flattened”, just one burial mound remains of six at the site.
- Kent is the next county over, southeast of the county of London.
Page 16 (Back in the bedroom…)
- The “I Ching” is an early Chinese divination text.
- The moon goddess “gem like miniature he painted” appears later in the book – see pages xxxx.
“Planet Uniceptor IV” is a fictional planet from Doctor Who comics written by Steve Moore (and illustrated by Dave Gibbons). The planet is the setting of S. Moore and Gibbons’ 1980 “Dreamers of Death” story in which a telepathic animal (called a slinth) guides people into a dream world – echoing dreaming themes on this page of Unearthing. (The scientist’s daughter may refer to one of two characters in that story: Sharon Davies or Lyan. Suggest??)
- “Blackheath” is a London neighborhood west of Shooters Hill.
- “Eight thousand year old woodlands just the across the humming road” – suggest??
- “[The] Avengers” was a 1960s British spy tv series, starring Diana Rigg.
- “Hong Kong action movie” introduces S. Moore’s affinity for these.
- “Elevator doors shrug shut before the lift slides sideways through unfathomable offices” – suggest?? (Doctor Who’s tardis??)
- The 486 bus serves Shooters Hill.
Page 17 (crest, sees…)
- “Goatman” – suggest??
- The “Portait of the goddess [moon goddess Selene]” (first mentioned Page 16 above) appears on pages xxxx.