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Another trend is the title, which is always an excerpt from an apropos quote shown in its entirety in the last panel. This issue's title is from Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row."
The clock appearing on the covers counts the minutes to midnight, similar to the clock in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is an estimate of the world's closeness to nuclear war. The clock stands at 11 minutes to midnight, and advances by one minute per issue.
Cover: First appearance of the blood-spattered smiley-face button. The button belonged to the Comedian, who we first see in flashback on page 2. The shape of the blood stain reappears in issues 11 and 12.
Rorschach's opener on page 1 issue 1 is a dead ringer for the dialogue of 'Travis' in the film 'Taxi Driver'
If the vehicles appear strange, it's because they are electrically powered.
In our world, Ford was vice-president from 1973 (when Spiro Agnew resigned) to 1974, when Nixon resigned and he became president. In their world, somebody, maybe the Comedian, snuffed Woodward and Bernstein before they could report Watergate, and this, combined with Nixon's popularity following the victory in Vietnam, led to his serving at least five terms.
The Gunga Diner is this world's equivalent of McDonald's, as the ever- present fast-food restaurant. It was founded by an Indian who left the country during the famine in the '60's (see the poster on page 17).
If this newsstand is meant to be the same one that appears again starting with #3, it is misplaced (see notes for issue #5).
This panel is the first appearance of a reference to "Mmeltdowns," a popular candy. (See Ozymandias's interpretation in issue #10, page 8.)
Notice the 25-cent fare on the taxi.
Rorschach's name comes from Dr. Hermann Rorschach, who invented a psychological test based on interpretations of inkblots. Inkblots are formed by pouring ink onto a piece of paper, folding it, and unfolding it, producing a symmetrical image. The actual Rorschach test uses ten cards with multi-colored blots.
Also, notice the geodesic dome in the background; this is the Astrodome. Its purpose is never mentioned, apart from being the site of a charity event Ozymandias performed at; but it's identified in issue #7, page 23. (This structure does not exist in our New York; there is a building named the Astrodome, but it's in Houston.)
The Keene Act, re-illegalizing vigilantism, was passed in 1977; it was named after its sponsor, Senator Keene. I don't think Keene was a real person, and we never learn his (her, for all we know) name or home state. I'd guess he was from New York, though; NYC was the home of most cotumed heroes, and hence would have been the likeliest site of the police strike.
I have always wondered why Heinz ketchup bottles all say "57 varieties," even though I have never seen but one type, whether it be on grocery shelves or in restaurants. What gives? Where's the other 56 kinds? --R.B., Dallas
Fifty-seven varieties doesn't mean 57 varieties of ketchup, you dope, it means 57 varieties of food products in general. There are only three varieties of Heinz ketchup, regular, hot, and low-sodium, but there are far more than 57 varieties of Heinz pickles, Heinz sauces, Heinz soups, and Heinz God-knows-what-else. In fact, if you count everything Heinz and all its divisions and subsidiaries make, there are something like 1,300 varieties, including 108 varieties of baby food, 60 kinds of pickles, and so on.
The number 57 has mystical significance to the Heinz company, but it has never had much to do with reality. The slogan was invented by the company's founder, Henry J. Heinz, in 1892 while he was cruising around on the elevated in New York one day. Whilst reading the car cards on the ceiling, his eye alighted on the slogan "21 styles of shoes." To pedestrian minds such as our own, R.B., this probably does not sound like one of your landmark advertising mottoes, but that's why we're not millionaire ketchup barons. Heinz, on the other hand, could recognize genius when he saw it. Cogitating briefly, he soon conceived the immortal words "57 varieties," whereupon he got off the train and set about plastering the nation with the now-famous pickle-plus-number logo. The one problem with this scheme was that at the time the company was manufacturing more than 60 varieties. However, Heinz stuck with 57, for what his biographer describes as "occult reasons."
Heinz, as may already be evident, was something of a character. He started off bottling horseradish in a little town near Pittsburgh in 1869 (ketchup did not arrive on the scene until 1876). He made a major selling point of the fact that he put his product in clear glass bottles, thus demonstrating that he did not adulterate his sauce with turnips or other false vegetables, as his competitors did.
Once Heinz hit on the notion of "57 varieties," he constructed a number of hideous advertising signs at various strategic locales around the country. One, which was six stories high, was located at 23rd and 5th Avenue in New York City and dazzled tourists with a 40-foot-long electrified pickle. Heinz also built an exhibition hall in Atlantic City on a pier that extended 900 feet out into the ocean; another monstrous pickle, this one 70 feet tall, perched heroically on the end.
After a few more demonstrations of this style of architecture, the citizenry became alarmed lest Heinz encumber every landmark in the Republic with giant pickles. When a rumor (unfounded, it appears) got out that he had purchased Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennesee, in order to scrape off the side and sculp a pickle of unprecedented proportions in the native granite, or whatever it is they have out there, there was a general uproar, with one partisan threatening to pickle Heinz 57 ways if he tried it.
The Heinz people are still quite attached to the number 57. The phone number at corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh is 237-5757, and the address is P.O. Box 57. One of their salesman was a player for the Pittsburgh Steelers at one time, and you'll never guess what his number was. It is enough to make you want to swear off ketchup forever.
OH, NO, IT'S THE ILLUMINATI!
Thank you for the leg work. In case you're not aware, you've uncovered another Illuminati agent in Henry J. Heinz. Let me expand briefly. The Illuminati are an extremely secret sect, and have been among mankind practically from the beginning, originating, it is believed, in the Lost Continent, Atlantis. Being a secret, powerful, occult sect, the Illuminati gathered great mystical power from their use of the number 5. Five is an extremely strong number, still used in the worship of Satan, the power of our military, the logic of our digits, the points of our extremities, our senses, and a great many other things rooted in our collective psyche. Also important, and perhaps more powerful, is the combination of the numbers 2 and 3, equalling 5, of course. Two is the symbol for symmetry, and three, the divinity and others. It is a blatant game that the Illuminati are extremely fond of, flaunting their symbols to each other--the more bizarre the better, the more flagrant the waste of money, the better yet. Keeping this in mind, think again of the giant pickles, the man whose "mysterious" number is 57. (Remember, 7 is simply the repeating 2 + 3 cycle, i.e., 2 + 3 = 5 + 2 = 7 + 3 = 10 or 5 x 2.) Now observe the phone number--237-5757. Ergo, buying Heinz products finances the Illuminati. --Daniel K., Baltimore
P.S.: Notice how many letters in his first and last names.
Very shrewd, Dan, and just the sort of thing we expect from the sly inhabitants of your native city. I should point out, by way of amplification, that by using the digits 2 and 3 in appropriate combinations you can generate every integer (including 1, if you allow subtraction). Thus we learn that the very foundations of mathematics are mortally infected with Illuminism. Man, those guys are everywhere.
written by Cecil Adams
The band name, "Pale Horse," refers to Revelation 6:8, where the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse, Death, is said to ride a pale horse. (Sometimes a pale green horse.) The band's lead singer is named Red D'Eath (more on this later). The other band's name, "Krystalnacht," refers to a night of terror (9-10 November 1938) against Jews in Nazi Germany; the name derives from all the broken glass from broken storefronts. In German it's actually spelled "Kristallnacht".
© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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This file was last modified 17. Jan 2007 by root