supplanted by a web of smaller narratives, Azuma proposes that, in reality, post-modernity is defined as having placed a “great data base” at the centre of this “great narrative”. In this sense, Óscar Seco’s work is the fruit of the reconfiguration the deliberate remix of many of the images present in this supposed “ great data base”, i.e. our collective unconscious, where both jewels and bargains are to be found, along with pulp and revelation, history, and “Z” series. Consequently, elements such as Nazi iconography, engravings of deformed babies, Mars Attacks trading cards, tin soldiers Spanish Republican flags, superheroes from American comics, Holy Week images, McFarlane dragons, plastic animals from dollar shops, extraterrestrial and radioactive beasts all commune on Seco’s canvases, making it obvious that, here and now, any of us has more in common with the girl who covers her face in horror in the poster for Roger Corman’s Not of This Earth (1957), than we do with, say, Leopold Bloom. Or that at bottom, we are a Leopold Bloom whose interior monologue has been accelerated by radioactivity and a not necessarily lethal variety (at least in the short term) of Ebola.
The Unbearable Lightness of the Superhero Óscar Seco’s Superman, who had previously considered changing his job, and now expresses –always in balloons– that slogan with a tautological intent which says that “Spain is Different”, is neither a onedimensional emblem of “good”, nor an obvious ironic commentary on imperialist power: it is, as it was created by Siegel and Shuster, an ambiguous subject, caught up In confusion, like all of us. Superman (and this is something not everyone knows) was conceived as a villain, an embodiment of the Nietzschean superhero as imagined by a Jew fascinated by science-fiction. When Siegel and Shuster sold their idea to a publishing house, Superman was changed into a hero, because the concept was more commercial. And so, unwittingly, do we also move, between our essence of losers and the epic poetry that history manufactures for us, more or less sensing that a spectacular ending (or an Apocalypse) will be the most commercial way of reaching the climax. * Jordi Costa is a writer, journalist and independent curator of exhibitions. (Images courtesy of the artist)
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Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006