Further Deconstructing The Metabarons

Deconstructing The Metabarons from Humanoids isn't what I expected. I expected a scholarly dissection of what is now referred to as the First Cycle of the iconic science fiction comic. (I wrote about the Second Cycle of the Metabarons here if you're interested.)

Deconstructing The Metabarons cover. Credit: Humanoids
Deconstructing The Metabarons cover. Credit: Humanoids

Deconstructing The Metabarons isn't that. It's a collection of anecdotes, biographies, sketches, and short explanations of themes in the Metabarons series. Is the collection compelling? That depends on the anecdote in front of the reader at the time. Admittedly, Jodorowsky's Dune was about 90 minutes of anecdotes, and that was fun. So it's certainly possible.

Take this anecdote from Deconstructing The Metabarons: Apparently, Alejandro Jodorowsky considers Mike Tyson, a hero. Here's another one: Jodorowsky's son was a part of an internationally recognized mime troupe. Or that Jodorowsky said, "It's shameful that there's a pope and not a popette." One can only imagine translator Montana Kane's note: Did he mean female pope? Yes, but write popette. Not pope-ette, either. Popette. Other artists will be relieved to hear that it took Juan Giménez five days to draw each page from The Metabarons: First Cycle.

(A side note: Imagine a Western comics industry that had the coordination, money, and planning to give artists five days with each page. Or if not five, two! Just imagine how much better work our favorite artists could produce with more time.)

(Another side note: There's at least one repeated paragraph on page 63 that hopefully, Humanoids will correct for the next printing.)

It's certainly tempting to read Deconstructing The Metabarons with one eye towards what wacky thing Jodorowsky will write or what writer Christophe Quillien will quote him saying next, and that's admittedly part of the draw. That said, I did come away from Deconstructing The Metabarons will a deeper understanding of the meanings and references within the series.

That's the aim of the book, and admittedly I was entertained, especially when Jodorowsky takes the long, long way around to the concept of maturity: "Gradually…I began to see [women] as human beings that a man could not only desire but also love…Of course I've been a monster, but there were a plethora of willing victims."

Further Deconstructing The Metabarons
A Jodorowsky quote from his interview with The Comics Journal.

Reading Deconstructing The Metabarons feels like a day spent pouring over particularly compelling backmatter. It enhances the next reading experience of the work, whenever that happens to occur.

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About James Hepplewhite

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