Annotations for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Nemo: River of Ghosts
By Jess Nevins

Updated 29 April 2015
Updates in blue
Page 4. "Pendant Books"

Padraig O Mealoid points out that this is the same publisher that's named on the cover of Sal Paradyse's Crazy Wide Forever in the Black Dossier. Patrick D. Ryall writes, "Maybe it is a reference to Pendant Publishing, a company that employed 
Elaine for a few years on Seinfeld?" James Morrison also suggested this. 

“By the author of Jonas Cord: Centurion.” 
I believe this is a reference to the Harold Robbins novel The Carpetbaggers (1961), which became a 1964 film of the same name, directed by Edward Dmytryk. Quoting Wikipedia, “Jonas Cord becomes one of America's richest men, inheriting an explosives company 
from his late father. Cord resents his father bitterly and is psychologically scarred by the death of a twin brother. Believing his family has insanity in its blood, he does not want children of his own.” 
(I confess to not understanding the “Centurion” part of the title). 
               Nevada Smith, a character in The Carpetbaggers, was mentioned Nemo’s Heart of Ice on Page 7 Panel 2. 

Padraig o Mealoid writes:

Re Jonas Cord: Centurion: From Wikipaedia Cord personally pilots a gigantic flying boat called the Centurion, "the biggest airplane ever built", to prove its airworthiness in order to meet a naval contract condition. Hughes personally piloted the Hughes H-4

Hercules or Spruce Goose, by some criteria the largest aircraft ever built, to prove its airworthiness in order to deflect Congressional criticism of his war contracts. 

Interesting presumably unintended echo between 'Hughes H-4 Hercules' and Hugo Hercules...

“Irving Clifford.” 
This is a reference to Clifford Irving (1930-present), who is best known for his Autobiography of Harold Hughes (1971), which was mostly fiction and which drew the ire of Hughes. 
               As was pointed out in the annotations to Nemo’s Heart of Ice, in the Carpetbaggers Jonas Cord is an analog for Howard Hughes. So in the world of League we do not have a Howard Hughes, we have Jonas Cord, and we don’t have Clifford Irving, we have 
Irving Clifford, who has apparently followed up his fictional autobiography of Jonas Cord with a fictional autobiography of Janni Nemo. 
Page 5. “True Sweat for Men.” 
This is a reference to the Men’s Adventure genre of pulp-style magazines. Known as “armpit slicks” or “men’s sweat” magazines, they printed what Wikipedia describes as “lurid tales of adventure that typically 
featured wartime feats of daring, exotic travel or conflict with wild animals.” 
The image of the torturing Nazi women is a reference not just to the typical recurring men’s sweat magazine story (lots of psychosexual material to be found in the men’s sweat mags) but also to the 1975 American 
“Nazi exploitation” film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Ilsa is Kommandant of a Nazi prison camp, who conducts sadistic scientific experiments designed to demonstrate that women are more 
capable of enduring pain than men are, and therefore should be allowed to fight in the army. Ilsa is also portrayed as a buxom woman with a voracious sexual appetite for men. Every night, she chooses another one 
of her male prisoners and rapes him; however, due to her insatiable hunger, she gets disappointed when her current victim eventually ejaculates, and promptly has him castrated and put to death. Only an American 
prisoner, who can withhold ejaculating, manages to use her weakness to his favor.
The story titles given on this page are not references to anything in particular, with the exception of “Easels Ripped My Flesh,” a reference to the legendary “Weasels Ripped My Flesh” story (the image to the left, 
from Man’s Life, Sept. 1956, is the illustration for that story). But the stories are typical in their themes to the kinds of stories which appeared in men’s sweat magazines. Of "Weasels Ripped My Flesh," Padraig O 
Mealoid writes, "“Easels Ripped My Flesh” / “Weasels Ripped My Flesh” could also be a reference to the 1970 Frank Zappa album - of whom AM is a big fan."

Padraig O Mealoid writes, "'The Man Who Wrote Himself Off!' may be based on an episode of Yours Truly Johnny Dollar - called 'The Man Who Wrote Himself To Death.'  There's also this from the BBC Archive 

but I really don't think it's related.... "Better Dead Than Bed!" refers to Better Dead Than Red, a slogan from the Cold War in US and the UK."

Page 6 “You're stubborn. Just like your father.”

Padraig O Mealoid points out that this line is uttered in Century: 1910.  

Page 7. Panel 1. This is Hildy Johnson, from the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur Broadway comedy The Front Page (1928). Hildy Johnson appears in Nemo: Heart of Ice and Nemo: Roses of Berlin as someone who 
interviews Janni Nemo and became a kind of friend. 
“Queen Ayesha.” This is a reference to the immortal African monarch She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed from H. Rider Haggard’s novels. 
Panel 2. “The House of Mabuse is loyal, naturally.” 
This is Uschi Mabuse, the daughter of Doctor Mabuse, the hypnosis-wielding master criminal of Berlin. Mabuse was created by Norbert Jacques and appeared in twelve movies and five novels, beginning with Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, 1922). 
He appeared in Nemo: Roses of Berlin; Uschi Mabuse is a new character—I believe Moore’s creation, as I don’t believe Mabuse was ever given a wife or family in any of the novels and films he appeared in. Padraig O Mealoid adds, "The name Uschi for Ms Mabuse 
may be inspired by Uschi Obermaier, 'a former fashion model, actress and is associated with the 1968 left-wing movement in Germany.'  From her Wikipedia entry: 'Obermaier went on the Rolling Stones' 1975 tour and is said to have had affairs with both Keith Richards 
and Mick Jagger, as well as with Jimi Hendrix...'"
This is a reference to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the supervillain from the James Bond films. Blofeld is the head of the global crime syndicate SPECTRE. Anthony Padilla corrects me: "The reference to "Blofeld" is likely to Blofeld's daughter who appeared in one of the 
John Gardner series James Bond books, as Blofeld died in Ian Fleming's "You Only Live Twice". This would fit nicely with the theme of continuing generations that this particular edition of LOEG is rife with."
“Lord Horror”
This is a reference to Lord Horror, created by David Britton and appearing in the surrealist horror “Lord Horror” comics and Lord Horror (1990), Motherfuckers: The Auschwitz of Oz (1996), and Baptised in the Blood of Millions (2001). Lord
 Horror is a British psychopath who stalks the nightmarish streets of New York City slashing people (mostly Jews) with a straight razor. Padraig O Mealoid adds, "Lord Horror also appears in comics form drawn by John Coulthart, and 
appearing in the book The Haunter of the Dark and Other Grotesque Visions which also contains pieces by AM. Coulthart has also worked with AM on various things, including the forthcoming Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic. 
Also stuff here."
Panel 3. The gentleman here, as we’ll see, is Colonel Manfred Mors, the grandson of Der Luftpirat Kapitan Mors, the hero of the Der Luftpirat und sein Lenkbares Luftschiff ("the Pirate of the Air and his Navigable Airship") #1-165 
(1908-1911). The creator of Captain Mors is unknown, but it is likely that well-known German science fiction writers of the era, such as Oskar Hoffman, may have been involved. Mors, the "Man with the Mask," is a Captain Nemo-
like character, fleeing from mankind with a crew of Indians and involved in a prolonged fight against evil, both on Earth and on Venus, Mars,and the rest of the solar system.
               As was established in previous League volumes, the Nemos and the Morses intermarried, joining forces. Padraig O Mealoid corrects me: "Was it not the Robur family that the Nemos married into? The stylised R on young 
Mors's jacket is for Robur, who was the founder of the air arm of the Nemo fleets, and who dies in Roses of Berlin."
This is a reference to Ayesha’s lost African city of Kor. 
I believe this is a reference to Alexandre Dumas’ Marie Giovanni: Journal de Voyage d’une Parisienne (1865), in which Orafena is a South Pacific island. 
I don’t know what this is a reference to. There aren’t any hunchbacks that I’ve been able to find in Marie Giovanni. Padraig O Mealoid writes, "Orofena, Hunchback - as far as I can make out, the word under Hunchback is Island, which leads me to this annotation of 
your from notes on New Traveller's Almanac from LoEG Vol II: "...we pass by Hunchback Island..." Hunchback Island appears in Abbé Pierre François Guyot Desfontaines' Le Nouveau Gulliver.

Also, just above that, you say:
'Orofena appears in H. Rider Haggard's When the World Shook (1918).'"
Page 8. I don’t know what the statue on the far left—the fish-man with the trident—is a reference to. Padraig O Mealoid does: "The statue on the left is an Aquaphibian, from the Gerry Anderson animated TV series Stingray. The Aquaphibians were the villains 
of the series."
The stuffed squid wearing a sailor’s cap is a reference to Squiddly Diddly, an anthropomorphic animated squid. 
The cobwebbed submarine model hanging from the ceiling is a model of Captain Nemo’s original Nautilus. 
The bell is the ship’s bell from the Titan, a Titanic-like passenger liner which, as described in Morgan Robertson's novella Futility or the Wreck of the Titan (1898), is destroyed by an 
iceberg. (In the world of League there was no Titanic, there was the Titan). 
The model on the desk is a model of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus as of League volumes 1 and 2. 
The ghostly figures on this page and page 9 are the crew who accompanied Janni on the doomed Antarctic voyage in Nemo: Heart of Ice: 
Broad Arrow Jack, who was created by E. Harcourt Burrage and appeared in the penny dreadful Broad Arrow Jack (1866). As has been established in previous League volumes, Jack was 
the lover of Janni Nemo and the father of Hira Nemo. 
Ishmael, from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851). 
Unknown man
Mr. van Dusen--Jacques Futrelle’s Professor Augustus S.F.X. van Dusen, the “Thinking Machine,” from 48 stories and 2 novels (1905-1912). He is a brilliant crime-solver, scientist and logician. 
Mistress Kidd. In The British comic Whizzer and Chips was a strip called "Captain Kid the Pint-Sized Pirate", about a pirate captain who happened to be a small boy. He was accompanied by his "Mumsy", 
a burly woman who kept the rest of the crew in check and is the ancestor for Mistress Kidd.
Unknown woman 
Tom the Cabin Boy, who served under Captain Pugwash. (Alex Anaya points out that "the mute cabin boy was not in fact the original Tom from Pugwash but one of his descendents also named Tom ("from a long line 
of cabin boys" or something to that effect)"
Page 10. Panels 4-5. This is the Ishmael family: Tobias (son of Moby Dick’s Ishmael), Luala (Tobias’ Polynesian wife), and Tacarigua (so-named, I think, for the Trinidadian town). Fittingly for this issue, Moore is filling in the blanks of many of his characters’ 
families and descendants. 

Padraig O Mealoid writes, of Tacarigua, "the Ishmaels' daughter, Tacarigua, is also a reference to the New Traveller's Almanac: Page 27: "...such as Tacarigua..." Tacarigua is from Ronald Firbank's Prancing Nigger (1924)."
Panel 7. “This terrible Coghlan man” 
See the notes to Page 11, Panel 3 below. 
Page 11. Panel 3. “…similar to my father, before the end.” 
In Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933) Dr. Mabuse is in an insane asylum. 
This is a reference to the mythic Irish hero  Chulainn. 
               One pronunciation of  Chulainn is “Coghlan.” 
Panel 7. “Near Gunda in Agzceaziguls.” 
This is a reference to Charles Derennes' Les Conquérants d'idoles (1919), mentioned in League v1n3. 
“…the Pink Child’s Palace”
This is a reference to Marco Denevi's "La niña rosa" (1966), mentioned in League v1n3. 
“…the other Yankee super-feller, yer man Danner, soon after the Great War.” 
This is a reference to Hugo Danner, the protagonist of Philip Wylie’s Gladiator (1930).  In Gladiator Danner is a superhuman (he was a prototype for Siegel and Shuster’s Superman). In the novel he dies when he is struck by a bolt of lightning. 
Page 12. Panel 1. This is Hugo Hercules (the “H.H.” on his bags is a clue), who was created by William H.D. Koerner and appeared in the comic strip “Hugo Hercules” (1902-1903). Hugo Hercules, “the boy wonder,” is a tall, well-dressed, polite young man who 
wanders around the city helping those in need. And because Hercules is a physical marvel, with superhuman strength and speed, he is capable of stopping runaway carriages simply by grabbing them, or catching a falling safe, or lifting up an elephant.
This is a reference to the underground kingdom of Murania, from the film serial The Phantom Empire (1935). 
“I was paid to by a Mr. Savage Senior, an educationalist, I believe.”
This is a reference to the father of Doc Savage, created by Henry W. Ralston, John Nanovic, and Lester Dent and appearing in Doc Savage Magazine #1-181 (1933-1949). Clark “Doc” Savage is a “man of superhuman strength and Protéan genius, whose life is dedicated 
to the destruction of evildoers.” Savage’s widower father raises Savage to be the perfect human and an expert in every field imaginable. 
It’s not exactly in character for Clark Savage Sr. to hire Hugo Hercules to kill Hugo Danner, but the act did remove a competitor to Doc Savage—someone who Doc Savage would undoubtedly have disapproved of—as well as a character that Savage was 
modeled on. 
Page 13. Panel 3. “New Berlin’s resources are at your disposal.”
Moore pulls an interesting shift here. In the world of League there was no Hitler, there was Adenoid Hynkel; there was no Nazi Germany, there was Tomania. But there was a Berlin, obviously destroyed during the war and rebuilt as New Berlin. 
Page 14. Panel 1. “…into the mists which surround Riallaro.”
This is a reference to John Macmillan Brown’s Riallaro: The Archipelago of Exiles (1901). In the novel Riallaro is an island utopia near the Antarctic.
“Some of my bordello girls are recruited from Figlefia….”
Figlefia, populated by libertines, appears in Riallaro. 
“When I was small my parents took me to Spectralia, to see the entities thought to be ghosts.”
Spectralia is an island on the archipelago of Riallaro. Spectralia is "the place of ghosts, where the supernatural can have things to itself without the intrusion of sceptical worldliness and common-sense."
Page 16. Panel 1. “…at Mazagao, near Yu-Atlanchi.”
Mazagao is a real place, a town in Brazil. Yu-Atlanchi is not a real place, but is a reference to A. Merritt’s “The Face in the Abyss” (1923) and its sequel “The Snake Mother” (1930). Quoting Wikipedia, “The novel concerns American mining engineer Nicholas 
Graydon. While searching for lost Inca treasure in South America, he encounters Suarra, handmaiden to the Snake Mother of Yu-Atlanchi. She leads Graydon to an abyss where Nimir, the Lord of Evil is imprisoned in a face of gold. While Graydon's companions 
are transformed by the face into globules of gold on account of their greed, he is saved by Suarra and the Snake Mother whom he joins in their struggle against Nimir.”
“…and the odd rat-dog from Watkinsland?”
Watkinsland appears in Doris Lessing's Briefing for a Descent into Hell (1971). The rat-dogs are a race of degenerate hominids. 
Panel 4. “…from yer Da’s rival Doctor Nikola.” 
Doctor Nikola, created by Guy Boothby and appearing in “A Bid for Fortune” (1895) and four sequels. Nikola is one of the great 19th century master villains, and is an anticipation of the modern popular culture arch-villain. 
Page 17. Panels 3-4. “Ever hear o’ somewhere called Cactusville? …it’s a place in Texas what’s still owned by the English through some technicality. The cowboys right around on double-decker busses. I sired a child out o’ 
wedlock there.” 
This is a reference to Desperate Dan, who has been appearing non-stop in the British comic The Dandy since its first issue in December 1937. Desperate Dan is the strongest, toughest cowboy in the world, and lives in Cactusville 
(which is as described above). 

Peter Gilham writes, "My first thought on seeing this was that this is a classic pose for Desperate Dan, and I still think that's the case - I've attached a picture of the cover of The

Dandy Book 1985, which depicts Dan in a similar pose. Actually, I thought there was a classic Desperate Dan picture which more exactly matched, but I've not been able to

find it online. I seem to remember Dan carrying either a girder or a telegraph pole in his raised left arm and something tucked under his right arm, possibly a cow or a

grizzly bear. However, the Desperate Dan reference might be coincidental, as it's actually a homage to the famous Guinness girder poster, first seen in 1934 - again, I've

attached a picture of this. The Guinness link is confirmed by the toucan statue in the front left of the panel - the toucan was used in Guinness advertising for decades,

first appearing in 1935.

Page 19. Panel 1. “So this is what remains of Mu?”
In the 19th century Mu was a theorized lost continent in the Atlantic (alternatively, the Pacific). 
“Of the Fabulous Land?”
I’m not sure what this is a reference to. Padraig O Mealoid points out, "From your 'Notes on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen v2 #3' for Page 28: '"...quite possible the same kingdom described by the great 19th century traveller Candide and his 
instructor Dr. Pangloss as 'the Fabulous Land'..." Candide and Dr. Pangloss are from Voltaire's Candide (1759). I assume that the "Fabulous Land" mentioned here is the same as the El Dorado which the pair encountered.'"
“It is well that Riolama did not live to witness this.”
Riolama (referred to in League v2), a.k.a. Rima, was created by W.H. Hudson and appeared in Green Mansions (1904). Rima/Riolama is a jungle girl similar to but preceding Tarzan. 
“I wish to be mobile in a mobile element.” 
That is the Nemos’ motto. 


I do not know what the dog statue is a reference to, if anything.

Page 21. Panel 5. Padraig O Mealoid writes, ""Just as easy." this is what HH says in the original cartoon strips, after he's done some feat of strength or other."


Page 22. Panel 2. “Ayesha’s new vessel is named ‘Das Doppel-Kreuz.’”

The “Double Cross”—the two Xs that are the Nazi symbol in the world of League.

Panel 3. “…and then, one o’them Yu-Atlanchi Gods whose statues ‘e shifted, ‘e said ‘is great-granddad knew ‘im personal. Thought ‘im an “eejit,” apparently.”

I don’t know what this is a reference to. Sidney Osinga writes, "As you mention later for page 38, Hugo is the grandson of the demi-god Cú Chulainn, so that would make Lugh the great-granddad being referred to.

Also, in regards to the annotation for pg. 38, a number of demi-gods have been referred to simply as gods, especial due to their deeds, so Hugo's statement is probably accurate."

John Gallagher writes, "Well… in A Merritt’s The Face in the Abyss one of the ruling council of Yu-Atanchi , alongside Adana the Snake Mother, is a character called ‘The Lord of Folly’ an presumably

immortal old man dressed in motley who wields considerable super science or supernatural power. As one of the non-human rulers of Yu Atlanchi he could presumably be referred to as one of it’s Gods

and as ‘The Lord of Folly’ his eccentric behaviour could well qualify him for the description “eejit” (Irish for ‘idiot’)

Panel 4. “He’d have sorted out them giant ants in 1954, and that Jap atom-bomb lizard!”

This is a reference to the giant ant monster film Them! (1954) and to Godzilla.


Page 23. Panel 1. "Tranqilax"

Padraig O Mealoid writes, "in the 1963 Peter Sellers film Heavens Above! Sellers's character is a prison chaplain who is appointed head at the parish of a small English village. He gets various things wrong, including insulting the rich Lady Despard, whose family's company 

made their fortune with a wonder drug called Tranquilax, which is simultaneously a sedative, a stimulant, and a laxative. "

Panel 3. “We are passing Maple White Land”

This is a reference to the Amazon plateau, full of prehistoric animals, in A. Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (1912).


Panel 4. “German-Tomanian war criminal Martin Bormann.”

Martin Bormann (1900-1945) was Hitler’s personal secretary. Although tried and convicted at the Nuremberg Trials in absentia, Bormann’s body was not found for years afterwards, and he was for many years rumored to be alive in South America.

            Bormann was born in Prussia; perhaps Tomania is specifically Prussia?


Page 24. The cow pie here is the traditional meal of Desperate Dan (see the note to page 17, panels 3-4 above).

Page 26. Padraig O Mealoid writes, "The markings on the plane's wings are M for Mors, and an interlinked R & N for Robur & Nemo. Note that one of the dinosaurs - possibly a brontosaurus, now refuted by science, but possibly still real in League-land - has a dinosaur

version of a Howdah, or elephant carriage-seat."

Alex Anaya, among others, including Peter Borowiec, Jason Atomic, and Anthony Padilla, responds to the howdah by suggesting that it is a reference to The Flintstonesand "Therefore, is Bedrock a modern settlement somewhere on Maple White Island?"

Jason Atomic suggests that the "Accala" people mentioned above are the residents of Bedrock. 

Page 29. Peter Borowiec writes, "the creature (Dimetrodon?) below the T Rex is from the Irwin Allen’s 1960 film version of The Lost World, which notoriously employed live animals such as monitor lizards and attached horns and sails to represent

prehistoric creatures." Jason Atomic also noted this. 


Page 31. Panel 4. “Seems ‘im and a Swiss-German feller called Heinz Goldfoot took over some of old Rotwang’s engineerin’ projects. Oh, and he, um, he’s very partial to ladies’ bosoms.”

This is a reference to the Norman Taurog film Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965), in which, quoting Wikipedia, “the titular mad scientist who, with the questionable assistance of his resurrected flunky Mullaney, builds a gang of female robots who are then

dispatched to seduce and rob wealthy men.” (There was a 1966 sequel, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, in which Goldfoot “is working with the Chinese government to use exploding female robots to disrupt a scheduled NATO war-game by blowing up the various

generals involved in the exercise”).

     Padraig O Mealoid writes, "Re partiality to Ladies' Bosoms, when Alan Moore was interviewing Brian Eno, he said 'One of our modern fin de siecle most extraordinary minds, his interest gleefully embracing perfume, science, futurology and ladies bottoms.' Not

the same thing, of course, but put me in mind of it, all the same."

     "Dr. Zarnak" writes, "The Martin Bormann/bosoms comment is a reference to the films of Russ Meyer, who featured Bormann as a plot device in a few films, and breasts in all of them."


Page 32. These creatures are the species of the titular creature from the Jack Arnold monster film Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).


Page 37. Panel 2. The third man from the left is Goldfoot, who was played by Vincent Price, who he resembles here.

Panel 4. In the Ira Levin novel The Boys From Brazil (1976), later filmed by Franklin Schaffner in 1978, concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele, in Brazil, has created 94 young clones of Adolph Hitler. What we’ve got in Nemo: River of Ghosts is Mengele (along with Bormann and Goldfoot) raising clones of Ayesha and Adenoid Hynkel, the Hitler analog in the world of League.

Matthew Davis writes, "Hello, O’Neill has drawn Mengele to resemble Gregory Peck in the film of “The Boys from Brazil”. Likewise, the boy Hitlers with their bright

blue eyes recall Jeremy Black as the clone in the film. As real people in League are often drawn to resemble film actors who have portrayed them, it’s possible that may

be the case with O’Neill’s version of Martin Bormann. There are numerous possibilities. But given the motif of generously- mammaried women in this installment,

maybe it’s Henry Rowland in Russ Meyer’s “Ultra-Vixens” “Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens”, and apparently playing a character implied to be Bormann-in-

hiding in “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls”?


Page 38. “…bein’ a quarter-god meself.”

Traditionally Chulainn is half-god, being the son of the god Lugh and a mortal woman. Perhaps Coghlan is Chulainn’s son, and not Chulainn himself?

“Might be the work o’ the Accala people.”

I don’t know what this is a reference to. Padraig O Mealoid writes, "Accala People - From The Lost World by Conan Doyle - via Wikipeadia  'After exploring the plateau and having some adventures in which the expedition narrowly escapes being killed by dinosaurs, Challenger, Summerlee, and Roxton are captured by a race of ape-men. While in the ape-men's village, they find out that there is also a tribe of humans (calling themselves Accala) inhabiting the other side of the plateau, with whom the ape-men (called Doda by the Accala) are at war.'"


Page 40. Panel 1. “Herr Rotwang’s technology created the man-machine Maria, but she was, perhaps, too intelligent. She subjugated the Berlin Metropolis.”

This is a reference to the 1927 Fritz Lang expressionist film, Metropolis. Rotwang and Maria appeared in Nemo: Roses of Berlin.

“Through our U.S. sympathizer, General Midwinter”

This is a reference to the anti-Soviet oil tycoon General Midwinter, of the 1967 Ken Russell film Billion Dollar Brain, in which Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer goes up against, in Wikipedia’s words, “a sophisticated computer with which an ultra-right-wing organisation controls its worldwide anti-Soviet spy network.


Page 41. Panel 1. “Kitchen Appliances. Stepford Conn. USA”

This is a reference to the 1972 novel by Ira Levin, The Stepford Wives (filmed as The Stepford Wives in 1975). Quoting Wikipedia, “The story concerns Joanna Eberhart, a photographer and young mother who begins to suspect that the frighteningly submissive

housewives in her new idyllic Connecticut neighborhood may be robots created by their husbands.” Padraig O Mealoid points out that "Ira Levin seems to be a particular favourite of AM, as he has used his novels Rosemary's Baby and The Boys from Brazil, as

well as The Stepford Wives."

Peter Borowiec writes, "several robots appearing here (notably at the top of page 41) have large 60s hairstyles. I wonder if this is a nod to the fembots of Austin Powers." Jason Atomic also noticed this. 


Page 42. Panels 5-6. “You’ll have noticed the tablets I take. They are my latest remedy, concocted from peach-pits, I believe. For my brain tumor. And they don’t work.”

“Laetrile,” a modified form of the glycoside Amygdalin, was made from crushed apricot pits and was for a time touted as a cure for cancer. It didn’t work.


Page 47. Panel 2. “I simply…must have that recipe.”

This is a quote from a pivotal sequence in The Stepford Wives.


Page 51. “Schnell, meine Jungen Fuhrer. Dr. Goldfoot und ich werden euch in sicherheit bringen.”

“Hurry, my young Fuhrers. Dr. Goldfoot and I will bring you to safety.”

Page 54. Panel 5. Padraig O Mealoid points out, "This is the point at which the young Tacarigua Ishmael proclaims herself to be Mr Ishmael."


Page 57. “I believe I saw the Scaramanga sisters earlier.”

This is a reference to Francisco Scaramanga, the villain of the Ian Fleming James Bond novel The Man With the Golden Gun (1965).

Eric Berlatsky disagrees: 

I was just talking to my friend/colleague Mark Scroggins (again, working
on a Moorcock biography/book), and he notes that the ³Scaramanga Sisters²
are characters in Moorcock¹s Mother London.  He wasn¹t aware of the Bond
character from Man With the Golden Gun, and perhaps Moore is referring to
both of these thingsŠbut the Mother London reference seems more precise
(this is p. 57 in the River of Ghosts).  Here¹s an excerpt of his book in
progress on the ScaramangasŠ

"The overall curve of Mother London is deftly crafted, especially given
the complex and counter-intuitive chronological order in which Moorcock
disposes his narrative. As so often, Moorcock likes to center his fiction
on great retrospective gatherings‹one is reminded of the Peace Talks Ball
in The English Assassin, the various celebrations in Gloriana; or,
Unfulfill¹d Queen, and the grand Christmas harlequinade towards the end of
The Condition of Muzak, among many others. Mother London is punctuated by
several such gatherings. The last chapter of the fourth section, ³Variable
Currents 1970,² finds most the major characters celebrating at the
Kensington Summer Festival, where as Josef and Old Nonny ride the
carrousel and David and Mary watch, ³If they could they would gladly live
this instant forever.² This is immediately followed by ³The World¹s End
1985,² where the characters have gathered at the Scaramanga sisters¹
cottage to celebrate the forty-fifth anniversary of Josef Kiss¹s defusing
their bomb. These two chapters, the one an island of transient contentment
and the other of retrospection, feel almost like a premature conclusion,
coming as they do some sixty-five pages before the ³coda² proper, the
final ³Departure of the Citizens² section. But Moorcock fills those pages
with incident: David Mummery recalls the 1977 Notting Hill Carnival race
riots and his wartime ³rescue² by the Black Captain; Josef Kiss saves the
Scaramangas¹ cottage from a clutch of greedy real estate speculators; Mary
Gasalee hears of her miraculous deliverance for the first time from a
first-hand witness; and in 1959 (for these chapters are running in reverse
chronological order) Josef Kiss, tormented by sexual hallucinations, beats
up a young stranger who has been abusing his wife, and then is shepherded
off by Old Non into a kind of originary site‹The Old Bran¹s Head,
³London¹s first pub.²

Also, I wonder if the ³River of Ghosts² (that is, a river where the dead
are brought back to life) isn¹t a direct reference to Phillip Jose
Farmer¹s Riverworld series (first volume: To Your Scattered Bodies Go).
The formerly dead wake up next to a riverŠnot totally unlike the events of
River of Ghosts, though the origins of the revivals are different in the
LoEG volume.

Thanks to: Alex Anaya, Jason Atomic, Eric Berlatsky, Peter Borowiec, Matthew Davis, John Gallagher, Pete Gilham, Kevin Holsinger, Ng Hiat Khan, Padraig O Mealoid, James Morrison, Sidney Osinga, Anthony Padilla, Patrick D. Ryall, Dr. Zarnak.