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Guys and Dolls

May 24, 2000...July 2000
(24 pgs.)


A quote from JHW3 about covers
I can't really say which is my favorite but if I was to choose one I think it would be the cover to #8. You know the one that is thanking Terry Gilliam. That cover is a nod to Terry's strange photographic animation sequences that he would do on Monty Python. Those were absolutely brilliant
Quote Source
Note the small note saying Thank You Terry Gilliam. If you don't know who Terry Gilliam is then I suggest you go and watch Monty Python's Flying Circus or the Python movies or any of Terry Gilliams' movies, especially the Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Here is a page about him
Compare the bottom of the cover image with this Gilliam animation taken from the opening titles of the first Series of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Image Source

Note that the human Sophie whose head has been split open is in Black and white whilst the Immateria Promethea springing upwards from her mind or brain is seen in bright colors emerging accompanied by green, purple and pink smoke and some bright yellow stars. Imagination is always much more colorful than an ordinary everyday reality

Guys and Dolls is the name of a musical by Frank Loesser. It was filmed in 1955 with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. Within the context of Promethea it refers to the 5 Swell Guys and the Painted Doll both of whom play a prominent part in the plot of this issue.

Sophie manages to sum up previous versions of Promethea as well as her own using her mother, Stacia and a nurse as hosts. The Prometheas manage to defeat all the demons but the Painted Doll blows up himself and Benny Solomon which leaves the demons in our world where they hide inside Mayor Baskerville.

"A hospice ringing with the cries of the maimed. It's no better than when I was in Londinium in the 1940's..." - Demon (who was obviously active in our world during WWII in London), pg 1
"...this is all somehow connected with magic" - Kenneth
"Kenneth, get real! This is a diversion by the painted doll! Magic has nothing to do with this..." - Bob, pg. 3 (Bob showing why he's such a great leader ([Not])
"Jeez, is that Sophie's mom? She is way too old for that outfit..." - Promethea(5), pg 5.
"You're useless. You kids, you're useless in an emergency! We should barricade the door" - Trish Bangs, Pg. 6 (against the entire Goetia, I don't think so)
"What puzzles me is which of us is Promethea now? The original little girl Promethea?" - Promethea( )
"" - Prometheas( ), pgs. 8-9
"We are love" - Promethea( )
"We are beauty" - Promethea( )
"We are art and we are mind" - Promethea(6)
"We are Promethea. I'm rather afraid you're all going to die, poppets" - Promethea(3), pg. 10
"Sophie are you okay alone. We taught you cups, swords and coins, but not wands. We didn't teach you will...- Promethea( )
"Then I'll improvise. That's Sophie's specialty" - Promethea(6), pg 11
"Marchosias said she was strong but he did not say there were four of her" - Demon, pg.11
"It looks like Dolly Demon here is up past her bedtime. Come, Miss Purgatory, you're leaving" - Promethea ( )/Bill, pg 14
"So you used to be a man? You know, Hon, we should talk sometime" - Promethea( )/Bill to Roger, pg 15
"What are you shooting at, ludicrous creature. We're from the Howling. We can't be killed" - Demon
"Really? Now there's a challenge" - Painted Doll, pg. 16
"Just let her go. It's easy letting go is easy. We let go of being children. We let go of being young. We let go of Being Promethea. We...let go...of...everything" - Barbara almost dying, pg. 24

Page 1: Note the bat winged stone head that provides the frame for the panels on this page
Page 1, Panel 4: Crowley-Mathers feud 1904,1905 : Information about this and some history about the Golden Dawn can be found here.
Here is a good biography of Crowley and a biography of Mathers
Pages 2-3 top panel: Nice demons seen here. Note how they refer to Sophie as Sophia Bangs and they refer to Promethea as 'that whore with the caduceus'
Lower panels: Note the two demons with their snake tounges providing the edges of the panels
Page 2 Panel 2: I'm assuming a teddy bomb is a bomb inside a teddy bear.
Page 3, Panel 2: Buer and also here as well as here
Pages 4-5: All the panels here appear to be circles formed in a pool of liquid (probably the pond all the Promethea's are looking down at in panel 1)
Panel 1: The entire Howling is swarming on that hospital
A quote from Crowley's Confessions Chapter 20
Goetia means "howling"; but it is the technical word employed to cover all the operations of that Magick which deals with gross, malignant or unenlightened forces
Page 5 Panel last: Sophie's pen is the Wand of her will. She is following Barbara/Promethea's instructions of 2 panels ago.
Pages 6-7 Middle panel: Note that the creatures' tounge provides most of the artwork in this panel. This time flowers and leaves instead of snakes
Poem: Sophie crosses out the storylike beginning of "There were..." and changes the present tense to the past "Hell is..." to "Hell was...", "sacred law" becomes "holy writ"; "lovers" becomes "loved ones"; attempt is simply crossed out and not replaced; the "love" on the doctors' face becomes "compassion"; "angel" turns to "seraph"; "strife" to "harm"' "event" becomes "eventuality"; "As for" simply crossed out; "woman" to "mortal"; modern "writers" to ancient "scribes".
How to fix up a poem when you're in a hurry and the demons are knocking at the door
Page 6, Panel 3: Note that Stacia really is wearing glasses with lights on the sides.
Page 7 Panels 2-4: Sophie's pen is transformed into her caduceus
Pages 8-9 Four of the Prometheas lined up with a different sun symbol behind each one. From left to right the versions are

  1. Grace Brannagh
  2. Sophie Bangs
  3. Bill Woolcot
  4. Margaret Taylor Case.
You can see a nipple on the rightmost Promethea.
Pages 10-11 Middle Panel: Blue Caduceus divides these two pages
Page 11, Panel 1: Stolas
Panel 3 Agares
I'm not sure where the expression Jesu's teeth originates from. Could be a reference to Psalm 21 verse 9:
"they shall be cast into a furnace of fire, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
See this page for more details
If anyone can find a better reference to Jesu's teeth please let me know
Panel 4: Asmoday
Pages 12-13 lower panel: The first of 6 double pages to refer to Siege of South Tower, incident and then the name of the incident. The South Tower is of course the South Tower of the Hospital.
This one is entitled The Fat Lady Sings which comes from the expression
It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings
referring to most Operas which don't conclude until the leading female singer (who is usually corpulent) has a solo. A quote from Wordwizard
a reference to Wagnerian opera. I believe it refers specifically to Bruennhilde. Many opera singers, both male and female, tend to be rather plump people. When Bruennhilde, sung by a plump singer, sings the Opera is over
In this case the fat lady is Fat Babs and she herself provides the quote on page 13 panel 4
Pages 14-15: Bill and Margaret, jumping Bael
Bill and Margaret are Bill Woolcott and Margaret Case, Bael is the demon they jump. Jumping bail means to fail to appear before a court at an alloted time. See here and here for more details.
Middle Panel: These events are taking place on the unlucky 13th Floor
Page 14 Panel 1: The Painted Doll is certainly an athletic assailant
Couldn't find much reference to Dolltime on the net but Doll Time yielded better results
It also seems to refer to men who dress up in women's clothes. Hmnnn
Pages 14-15, Doll Panels: This is very reminiscent of a similar scene in The Usual Suspects.
Pages 16-17: Sophie earns her wings by overcoming a host of demons with her caduceus
To earn your wings means to finally pass some test and be considered to be fully capable of performing some action which requires considerable skill. For example flying a plane.
Page 16 Panel 4: Halloween Parade is obviously a parade which occurs on Halloween. Lou Reed has a song with this title on his New York album.
Pages 18-19: Panel 5: Nice pink hand grenade with a red heart on it.
Pages 20-21: Blow-up Doll is rather self-explanatory

Page 20 bears the following instructions from JH Williams:

A variety of techniques appeared to have been used in panels 4 and 5.
Ink is applied with sponge to create the fine, smoky texture to the left of the demon's wing in panel 4. Fine crosshatching in panel 5 provides dramatic contrast to panels 3 and 4, which are rendered in the slick, photo-realistic technique.
Prior to PROMETHEA, photo-realism was the primary stylistic signature of the Williams/Gray team. (See SON OF SUPERMAN.)
On PROMETHEA, JH and Mick vary the density of detail and texture as the narrative demands.
The checkered Painted Doll motif (derived from DC’s '60s ‘go-go checks’) and the decorative panel borders are hand-rendered. JH refers to a fine spray of white paint as "splotches in panel one," usually applied with a toothbrush. The effect both leaves room for colorist Jeremy Cox, and imparts the original art with texture.
The caption: "Siege of the South Tower, Incident 5: Blow-Up Doll" is pasted on. All dialogue is hand lettered, in ink slightly lighter than Mick Gray's preferred FW acrylic ink. Traces of blue pencil remain in every panel;
it appears that only the panel borders and lettering lines show traces of graphite. J.H. draws the PROMETHEA double page spreads on separate sheets of DC company paper, joined on the back with Scotch tape."
-- Michael Draine
Pages 22-23: The Temptation of St. Sonny sounds like a reference to The Temptation of Saint Anthony, a biblical story which has inspired various paintings throughout history by famous artists like
and many others. Just scroll down a little bit.
Page 24 Panel 4: Note that as Barbara's life ebbs away the sun symbol has its' eyes closed.


Page frozen: 9 December 2003