"I want Seaguy to remain as my statement about life and death and the universe."
 - Grant Morrison.

A tall order, to say the least. And somewhat vague. And yet, having read both the original three-issue series (2004) and its sequel Slaves of Mickey Eye (2009) it makes total and complete sense to me.

Whether it does (or might) for you depends on your reaction to the following panels from the 1st and 2nd pages of the very first issue:

Are you a) intrigued by the familiar-yet-strange imagery? b) too busy marveling at the artwork by Cameron Stewart to have read the words yet? or c) annoyed?

If "c," it's best to stop right there, as things will not become any more linear.

If "a" or "b," though, then you're in for a real treat. Feel free to proceed with no worry of spoiling anything. It really isn't the type of thing learning about beforehand (or seeing any screencaps) can ruin. The best analogy is Dali or Miro or David Lynch. You can have the imagery and themes of their work described to you beforehand, but you won't "get it" until you see the work itself. Same goes for the sequential order that Morrison and Stewart (as aided and abetted by colorist extraordinaire Dave Stewart, no relation) arranged for us.

I'll try and confine my own remarks to the captions. All of the text below (except where indicated) is from this review. Except any direct Morrison quotations, which come from this interview. 

"Did you ever get the feeling that everything worth doing has already been done? That there are no more adventures to be had in this factory-farmed, mass-produced, flat-cultured world? Well, that's how the titular hero feels every day in Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart's Seaguy.

"Not everything is perfect in Comfort Zone 7, however, as a series of unexpected occurrences send Seaguy and his best pal Chubby Da Choona - 

- on an adventure to save a new friend, prove worthy of a would-be girlfriend, and discovery the mystery of the moon meteorites."
She-Beard. Like Seaguy, she was born to an age unwilling to and incapable of her ambitions.
"Seaguy's world is one supposedly in its "happily ever after" age, where all the villains have been defeated and all the heroes have retired."

"The world has become so homogenized and safe that even Death Himself, once a terrifying and awe-inspiring figure, is relegated to the role of lowly gondolier and Seaguy’s black/white color-blind chess opponent."
"Many comics fans see Seaguy as an indictment of modern superhero comics' brand-centeredness (...) The gigantic double splash page flashback to the last great superhero battle against "Anti-Dad" is an obvious homage to the final battle of Crisis on Infinite Earths versus the Anti-Monitor."

This backstory is very important to the thematic concerns of Seaguy, but we purposefully get very little information about it.
Here, Doc Hero - one of the few survivors from the Age of Heroes and seen in the splash above in the bottom right of the picture - is rebooted for the new generation.

"Everyone knows the world's made of science and history" is a great line.

"Seaguy is a commentary on the Disneyfication of modern culture and the Powers-that-be's attempts to homogenize and commodify anything and everything." 

Along these lines, Seaguy speaks Esperanto, i.e. that constructed-to-be-universal language invented by L.L. Zemnhof and used by the cast in the movie Incubus.

"Everyone spends their days laughing and playing in Mickey Eye Amusement Park, and their nights watching The Mickey Eye Show - "

The cumulative effect of all this can only be mass depression.

" - while eating dinner made from a mysterious pink foodstuff called Xoo."

"The Powers-that-be created a general purpose foodstuff from which they make every good available at supermarkets, further cementing their complete control over the population."


The above refers only to the first mini-series. As for its sequel, Morrison says:

"One of the things we wanted to do with Seaguy (was) a whole human life in three books. The very first time we see him, there's this hand of Death playing chess with him and Death says, It's your move, Seaguy."

Here it is again.
"It's kind of like being born. The first thing that happens when you're born is that you're going to die. The first book is very much a child's eye view of everything. He's quite naive. And he's got these weird, little animal companions beside him. But he slowly learns. he grows up a little bit. By the time we get to the second book, this is punk rock Seaguy."
"This is a guy who has made it through the sensations of society without getting brainwashed. They tried to hold him down. He wants to be a hero in a world that doesn't need heroes. It is about the next phase of his life, his teenage years (...) and the final book will be the adult take on the whole concept."

Morrison continues:
"I had the idea to develop Seaguy into a weapon I could use to fight back against the trendy and unconvincing 'bad-ass' cynicism of current comics, most of which are produced by the most un-'bad-ass' men you can possibly imagine. In the current climate, it seemed like an act of rebellion to produce work that was almost embarrassingly dripping with tender and awkward feelings."

Morrison has spoken of the third part of the trilogy (which is, as of this writing, presently being illustrated by Cameron Stewart) as "kind of a conspiracy story. Something like Watchmen or The Prisoner."

Can't wait.


  1. I'm trying to think if I've ever read ANYTHING by Grant Morrison, and I think the answer is no. Let me consult Wikipedia...

    Well, I did read the first issue of the New 52 "Action Comics" relaunch, and was bored by it, hence not reading a second issue.

    Otherwise, I'm a blank slate Morrison-wise.

    This looks awesome, though. It'd be hard to overstate how awesome the art is.

    1. Morrison's best known work (arguably) is actually the one of his I like least, namely Arkham Asylum. When that came out, I wrote the guy off completely. But later, I got into his Doom Patrol and then started reading other things of his that resonated with me (like Earth 2 and - especially - All-Star Superman) and a few others. He's hit or miss on some things (I'm not a particular fan of The Invisibles, for example, which one would assume I totally WOULD be, given its subject matter) but when he's on, he's pretty damn great. Seaguy is, outside of All-Star Superman, where he's hit the high mark most consistently.

      His book Supergods, by the by, is a really fantastic overview of the medium itself.

      Lately, his feud with Alan Moore (which was the subject of half of Alan Moore's "last" comics interview earlier this year) has been getting a lot of attention at some of the comics sites. They strike me as two writers whose visions are simply too powerful to share the same plane without one of them being compromised, hence their squabbling.

      Anyway! Just some Morrison tidbits. All-Star Superman, Supergods, Seaguy, his work on JLA (though a lot of the art is lousy, IMHO) Joe the Barbarian, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, and a handful of other stuff = all classics, in my book.

      And I can't say enough about Cameron Stewart, either, that guy's amazing. I've yet to see anything by him that isn't fantastic, but this Seaguy stuff is my favorite.

    2. p.s. I'm with you on the New 52 Action Comics re-launch. I stuck with it (and several others) for 5 or 6 issues, but it just wasn't interesting enough to justify itself. I usually come to that conclusion in the wake of most reboots (with some notable exceptions, of course, like BSG.)

      I was super-excited for that one, though, as All-Star Superman is such a huge favorite of mine. Thought he'd knock it out of the park with Action Comics. I didn't hate it, I guess, just failed to wow me.

      The one New 52 title that really DID wow me was OMAC, but it was (naturally!) one of the first to get the axe.needs

  2. I want you to know, you sonofagun, that I've had that damn "WHEN YOU LIVE! WHEN YOU DIE! HERE COMES MICKEY EYE!" refrain stuck in my head all week long. And I don't even know what it's supposed to sound like!

    I ordered for-cheap the first three issues while buying some single-issue Neonomicons. Would've bought the sequel, too, but it seems to be less obtainable. I'll try and read 'em soon and come back with something more cogent to say. Apart from mentioning that I find She-Beard to be oddly alluring.