Rereading And Translating Neonomicon #3

There's nothing quite like the Little Bleeders of Bleeding Cool to crowdsource a comic analysis.

Take Neonomicon #3 by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows. I'd already posted about some of the themes and images in the comic. But I hadn't seen the half of it. Thankfully the commentators were happy to step up. Here are a few.

Rereading And Translating Neonomicon #3Brian888 asks;

Moore is definitely having fun with Carcosa's lisp in this issue. For example, I don't think he's actually calling Brears the "asian Merry." But what's an athian, if that's the case?

He also adds;

I'm intrigued by what "dhurr-nurrh" is meant to mean. The quote seems to suggest the Deep One is saying dinner, which has terrible implications for Brears. I suspect, rather, that he's saying "dho-hna." This is one of the three Aklo words that Moore defines in "The Courtyard," the precursor to Neonomicon. "Dho-hna" is "a force which defines; lends significance to its receptacle as with the hand in the glove; wind in mill-vanes; the guest or the trespasser crossing a threshold and giving it meaning [italics mine]." Since language and thresholds are important to this issue (The Language at the Threshold, natch), it appears the Deep One is telling Brears what she has to do next. Possibly the Deep One is also telling us as readers, since he appears to be looking at and speaking directly to us more than once in this issue. Perhaps the threshold is the fourth wall.

Rereading And Translating Neonomicon #3

SJE replies;

"What thith ith, ith your're a nun thee, athian merry"

Which I translate as "What this is, is your annunciaton, Mary"

The Annunciation of course being the Angel Gabriel (played by Johnny Carcosa) telling Mary (Merril) that she is going to be the Mother of God (Outer God perhaps? Or a Deep One).

The fact that the Deep One then does a pregnancy taste-test on Brears urine sample seems to confirm that Brears is now preggers and going to be dho-na'd (animated by a possessing force- such as a hand in a glove or a bun in the oven)

Rereading And Translating Neonomicon #3

dripgrind goes further

Carcosa tells Brears that "R'yleh is in you".

Later on, the Deep One tastes her urine and says "R'yleh", and agrees enthusiastically when she says "Cthulhu fhtagn R'yleh" – which means "Cthulhu lies sleeping in R'yleh". And later on he almost repeats the phrase a second time, except he says "KUH'LURR'LURR FUH-TAAN *N'YURH*", not "RRURRL-YURR".

We know that YURH is how he says "you".

What he's telling her is "Cthulhu lies sleeping in you".

She's pregnant with Cthulhu.

If you think that interpretation is a bit of a reach, look at the first page of the first issue: "IT'S THE END, AND THE BEGINNING. HE'S BENEATH THE WATERS NOW, BUT IN A FEW MONTHS, HE WILL COME FORTH. AND UNTIL THEN HE SLEEPS. AND DREAMS."

The pink cloud in the background isn't a nebula. It's a baby's-eye-view of the womb. And in the lower right, there's the umbilical cord.

Rereading And Translating Neonomicon #3

Impressed, SJE replies;

I do think Dripgrind has taken my logic to its inevitable conclusion with some more keen observations. It very much feels to me in this issue that Moore is playing with language as a deception as much as Jacen Burrows did with the 2-D/3-D Johnny Carcosa in #1. After all, in #1 Carcosa deceives Brears eyes. Now in #3 Carcosa deceives Brears hearing, as Moore makes a point of her hearing Asian, Merry, instead of Annunciation. There is another major misdirect with Randolph Carter in the start – meaningless babbling away the names of Mythos Gods to convince us later that Carcosa and the Deep Ones Aklo is equal nonsense.

And good work on then going on to parse and translate the Deep One's speech – it seems in this issue that Moore is trying to teach us how to speak Aklo- to force the attentive reader to make new connections, to come to terrible realisations – just as Sax did in Courtyard #2. Is it any wonder that Neonomicon #3 is called the Language at the Threshold. Or are we at the threshold of language?

All good stuff…

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.