I just tried this and it doesn't work. I probably should have used chalk instead of a Sharpie.
What am I talking about? Why aren't I writing my commentary as I usually do? Maybe the Dial I drew on my wall actually worked! I'm losing myself in another voice! But I'm still kind of here as well! I need something like Manteau's cloak to keep me grounded in my normal identity!
Yeah, that'll work. Also, displaying proudly my shirt that declares I'm not illiterate!
I will be scanning the first page because it is a marvelous rendering of childhood pictographs. But because I just inserted a picture a scant few lines above what you are currently reading, I feel the need to vamp for a bit to increase the negative space between visual representations of the story. Most of these sentences filled with words and letters are merely filler anyway. It is the revelation of the monthly plot that you are most likely interested in because it will save you two dollars and nintety-nine cents to get the information from me. By the way, money is a symbolic representation of perceived value. Since it is highly unlikely that anybody will be willing to part with four pints of beer directly for your ability to interpret tax law, money acts as an intermediary proof that you have performed valuable services for somebody somewhere and are, in fact, due four pints of beer. The man pouring your four pints of beer will receive money from the man selling the four pints of beer for the service of inebriating a good percentage of the city. But since not everybody in the city is an inebriate, the tender of the bar probably cannot get his toilet unclogged by directly pouring beer for the plumber. Yes, it's highly probably that that exchange will actually work. But perhaps if the tender of the bar needs his prostate examined, he would be better off exchanging currency.
Although the term "currency" brings up an interesting tangle, especially since I invoked the medical profession. Here money is rarely exchanged and we, as citizens, generally get by with insurance cards. To gain an insurance card, we continuously pay an insurance company in exchange for paying exorbitant fees to the medical professionals. Interestingly enough, the insurance companies pay much smaller fees for the same procedures that would drive us into bankruptcy if we had to pay with currency from our own pockets. Occasionally, an insurance company that we have been loyal to for many years, giving them many of our dollars and cents, decides we aren't worth their help and they terminate our relationship just when we need them most. Many people in our country argue violently to maintain this lopsided relationship in which they have no power because they believe the rhetoric that nationalized healthcare will wind up with people not being treated. And most people would rather not be treated by medical professionals because they can't afford it than to not be treated by medical professionals in a hypothetical situation that will never actually come to pass.
Okay, that's enough negative space. Here's the first page of this comic book that is simply adorable and chilling at the same time. Like a baby dressed as a shark!
It's Captain America's origin story!
As Open-Window Man watches the chalk figure boy cry his eyes out over his dead parents (remembering all the while that these chalk figures are merely representations of a thug murdering a man and a woman without a pearl necklace), the chalk boy begins speaking to him (so forget that part about remembering these figures being a representation!). It asks for his help and then the conversation is interrupted by the title of this comic book, "Tekel Upharsin."
Being that I don't know Hebrew, I decided to consult Lord Google who I was assured knew Hebrew! But he knew it too well and kept expecting me to understand the meaning of the pictorial representations of the sounds of the language. He even offered to let me hear the sounds uttered but I didn't think that would do me any good. So instead, I donned on my swamp pants and waded into Wikipedia. Wikipedia told me that the phrase "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin" was written on the wall of Babylonian King Belshazzar's palace during a drunken orgy where some sacred vessels stolen from a Solomon's Temple were totally Two Girled, One Cupped. The literal translation seems to just be a list of measures of currency but the interpreted translation meant that Babylon was fucked.
Let me interrupt myself for a second to say, "Holy fucking shit. I can't believe all my bullshit on symbols and language and currency actually ended up being perfect commentary for the title of the comic book that I had yet to read." I now return you to the not-so-regularly scheduled reading.
Anyway, the "Tekel Upharsin" stuff seems to be the etymology of the term "the writing on the wall." I think that's what China Mieville is getting at. Imminent doom! As in, this fucking book has been cancelled, bitches!
As the graffiti story continues with Open-Window Man watching, I realize Open-Window Man probably caused the American flag that Captain America takes inspiration from. Being that the American Flag came in through an open window and Open-Window Man is watching Captain America's life pass him by, it makes sense that he would help him in some, small ways. Also, he's probably watching the Preboot Captain America!
A bunch of other DC heroes can hear and see them too! Like Scarlet Witch and Iron Man and Thor and Thunderbolt and Moon Knight too!
I could visit this planet with a full bladder and become their big company-wide crossover supervillain: The Piss Eraser!
I hope he drew the American flag correctly as it came through the open window!
Open-Window Man also explains who his friends are.
Ejad is my favorite.
How has this been cancelled while Scott Lobdell's excrement continues to sell well? It's sad that familiar characters rather than well told stories sell comic books.
Why isn't the female hero doing the Boob-Butt Showcase? This world is weird!
Dial H #13 Rating: +3 Ranking. This issue was just all kinds of awesome. Stupid readers not supporting it.