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The Filth by Grant Morrison

The Filth

by Grant Morrison, Chris Weston (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Filth (Collection of 1-13)

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511819,861 (3.41)17
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    The Limits of Vision by Robert Irwin (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Mysticism of scale; metafictional expressions of questionable sanity; dirty, dirty, dirty!
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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Utterly bizarre but fascinating - probably needs a re-read in the future because I'm sure I missed some of the point first time around. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
Incomprehensible gibberish interlaced with pornographic references, extreme violence and curse words. Tries to be clever but fails. ( )
  questbird | Jul 6, 2014 |
Read it again, following up a discussion of author Grant Morrison's disappointing Return of Bruce Wayne.

To be frank, The Filth was even less coherent than I had remembered: a rambling tale that veers this way and that about a secret policing organization, a story that seems to be critiquing the mind-numbing violence, sexualization, and incoherence of consumerist culture by creating a consumable object that consists of mind-numbing, incoherent depictions of sex and violence. Its excited flaunting of the veneer of heteronormal sexuality is undermined by the fact that its depiction of women consists almost solely of Barbie doll figures (albeit occasionally bald as a Vulcan dominatrix).

There are meta-asides to comics as a form struggling to break through its own self-contained borders, in which the divide between drawn page and physical reality is crumbled and each bends slightly into the other. There's no particular logic to it, though, just a spew of ideas. Its apparent underlying critique of superheroism is undermined by Morrison's later and earlier fine execution of superhero comics.

The series' covers (when it was first published, as a baker's dozen of pamphlets), though, remain one of the best things a mainstream comics publisher has ever produced. Beautiful stuff. If only the storytelling enacted the rigor its wrapper promised.
  Disquiet | Mar 30, 2013 |
I read The Filth as a complete bound collection, rather than the thirteen individual comics issues. In that format, it amounts to probably my favorite graphic novel. It includes science fiction, satire, superheroism, sex, drugs, and violence. It's something like The Matrix reconstituted on the basis of a scatological rant from Antonin Artaud. It has a completely freestanding mythos, not dependent on any prior superhero or comics franchise, highly coherent when it's not completely mind-blowing. Despite its evident balls-out insanity, The Filth tackles serious issues and ultimately offers a sense of profound redemption.

I'm not an unequivocal fan of Grant Morrison's work: sometimes I find him indulgent and meandering. But when he hits his mark, he's awesome; and I've never read anything where he has hit it as hard as The Filth. Weston and Erskine's art is both surreal and gritty while strangely conventional, just the mix of H.R Giger, William Blake, and Joe Kubert that the story requires.

Edited to add: Morrison is on the record as having written The Filth as a companion piece to his earlier and longer series The Invisibles, even though there is no narrative continuity between them. There is certainly a lot of conceptual and thematic overlap. They can be seen as perfectly complementary, though, if viewed through the cops-and-criminals dichotomy that each eventually collapses. The Filth works initially from the cop's end of the spectrum, while The Invisibles does from the criminal's.
3 vote paradoxosalpha | Jul 20, 2011 |
The craziest thing I have ever read/ laid eyes on. Amusing, confusing, over the top comic. If you are easily offended, stay away! ( )
  Bellenuitoeil | Jun 27, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grant Morrisonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weston, ChrisIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hollingsworth, MattColoristsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The filth is a heady brew of big ideas, exotic locales, and bizarre action featuring some of the wildest imagery in all of comics, including prosthetically outfitted dolphins in scuba gear and a hard-smoking chimpanzee in Kremlin garb.

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