Cara Ellison and Irene Koh just created a new short comic called “Liquor, Bond, Dark” that takes Joanna Dark and James Bond and drives them forward into the future. They’re the videogame versions of themselves, divorced from that existence but aware of it, and there’s a bit of anxiety about replacement that happens. It’s short, so go read it.
What struck me about the comic is that it exists as a kind of modernist thieves’ cant. The comic operates almost completely along the lines of a secret language. It’s poetic how it gets put together–the comic deals with sex and memory. Sex requires secret language; talking about the past is always about talking through secret doors and windows.
There’s something mystical about creating a fractured story about videogames from the past. I’ve decried “gamer memory” before, a kind of shared nostalgia, but I’ve also been open to how it operates on us and allows for really strange and beautiful things to happen. “Liquor, Bond, Dark” is one of those beautiful things–you can’t decode it without having access to a particular era, a particular longing, and a particular understanding of a historical betrayal.
“Liquor, Bond, Dark” is a simulation of whispering a secret.