Invisible Girl, Heroine: Chapter One, Page Seven

After a few glitches, Maureen gets her machine to work.

Maureen gets her invisibility machine to work.

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Invisible Girl, Heroine: Chapter One, Page One written and commissioned by Dr. Faustus of and drawn by Lon Ryden is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.)

Invisibility achieved! Maureen joins the great tradition now under her own power.

Animation found at the tumblr Mothic Flights and Flutterings.

Progress in Research: Chapter Four, Page Four

Might as well go all the way with the effect.

Maureen sets off to see what there is to see.

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Progress in Research: Chapter Four, Page Four written and commissioned by Dr. Faustus of and drawn by Lon Ryden is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.)

An agreeable companion piece might be a movie post for the 1940 Invisible Woman which is, perhaps, just a little more explicit about the implied nudity in that film than most others I have found.

Found at Wrong Side of the Art.

Progress in Research: Chapter Four, Page Three

Meanwhile, Maureen scoots across campus, in her altered form causing slight suspicion.

Maureen crosses campus, then strips.

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Progress in Research: Chapter Four, Page Three written and commissioned by Dr. Faustus of and drawn by Lon Ryden is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.)

Maureen’s removal of her clothes brings to mind an appropriate scene from the 1940 The Invisible Woman, which is celebrated in a video that combines it an a classic rock song into a splendid example of remix culture. You can watch here:

I must say I enjoyed that.

Progress in Research: Chapter Four, Cover

Chapter Four of Progress in Research is a little on the long side, and so I’m starting it a day early (I doubt anyone will mind) with the cover, which shows Maureen putting her technological discovery from the previous chapter to good use.

Naked Maureen (ghostlike, here) goes spying around the Gnosis campus

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Progress in Research: Chapter Four, Cover written and commissioned by Dr. Faustus of and drawn by Lon Ryden is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.)

Maureen’s au naturel condition suggests to me Lady Godiva. A classic image:

John Collier (1850-1934), Lady Godiva (1934)

Image source Wikipedia. You go, Maureen!

Progress in Research: Chapter Three, Page Twenty

Great Cthulhu, this crazy technology actually works!

Maureen zaps herself with the mad science technology, turns invisible!

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Progress in Research: Chapter Three, Page Twenty written and commissioned by Dr. Faustus of and drawn by Lon Ryden is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.)

What better way to celebrate Maureen’s mad science achievement than with an evocative still from the original cinematic Invisible Woman?

Pretty good effects for 1941. This particular still found at The Oscar Completist.

Invisible girl sequential art

While it’s topical, I should note that the same Japanese “flexible-invisible” blog that was the source for yesterday’s melting girl art post also has a cute invisibility-transformation sequence.  Since the ladies of Apsinthion Protocol have been getting a lot of artistic attention lately, I thought it only fair to throw some to invisible girl Maureen Creel.

Uh, to be sure Maureen wasn’t quite that voluptuous in my own imagination but okay, I can roll with this.

Also one thing that Maureen clearly understood from the get-go that perhaps this girl hasn’t figured out yet is…

…that if your invisibility tech turns only you invisible you’re still going outlined by the clothing you wear.

Though I guess if you had her outlines there might be good reason for keeping them!

And as for the fine blog that gives us all this — it has been added to the blogroll, because there’s plenty of interest there.  Its name appears to be 消えます、溶けます、捻れます。 (“Disappears, Dissolves [something]”) according to not-too-useful Google translate.  If anyone wishes to propose a better reading, by all means please do so.

Ancestress of Invisible Girl

Maureen Creel’s zeal in the pursuit of invisibility technology has a pretty obvious antecedent.

I must have seen The Invisible Woman (1942) for the first time when I was about eleven, when it as the sort of thing that would run on weekend afternoons on UHF television stations that couldn’t acquire other programming.

A comparatively benign — as in dotty elderly professor type — mad scientist named Professor Gibbs (played by John Barrymore, a great Shakespearean then near the end of his career, and yes, he is an ancestor of Drew Barrymore), is perfecting a machine that will make living things invisible.  He needs a human subject on whom to test his device, but how to find one?

Since it’s 1940 and there is no Craigslist (and no pesky protocols about human experimentation, either) he does the sensible thing, and takes out a classified ad.

Poor Professor Gibbs gets a stack of mail telling him what a crank he is (he would have been familiar with the sex-blogging experience long before there was such a thing), but happily for him there is one young woman who takes a different attitude.  Kitty Carroll, played by Virginia Bruce, takes one look at the ad and knows something she wants.  The look in her eyes when she receives an invitation from Professor Gibbs (who has no idea that she’s a woman, by the way) is priceless.

Her response to Gibbs’s letter:  “This is the call of adventure.”

So she shows up at Professor Gibbs’s mad-lab and promptly gets herself invisibled.  I should note, by the way, that Professor Gibb’s invisibility, much like the invisibility technology that Maureen will encounter at Gnosis, will turn a human being invisible, but not clothing, gear, etc.  (We’re talking mad science here, not magic!) You have to be naked for the invisibility to work.

Let’s reflect on what Kitty has implicitly gone for here:  “So, you want me to take off all my clothes, step into this machine that has hitherto never been tested on a human being, zap me with heaven-knows-what, and turn me invisibile?  Sure, I’m game!”

I think I’m in love.

Anyway, Kitty promptly uses her newly-established invisibility to scare the living crap out of her mean boss, the aptly-named Mr. Growley, played by Charles Lane (a character actor of extraordinary longevity whose career reached all the way into the 21st century).

Invisibility makes possible a fine ironic joke about striptease, by the way.  The point of stripping might be to see everything, but of course, if you’re invisible, then stripping means that you can see nothing.  Kitty, in the process of terrifying Growley, does indeed strip down, leaving only her lady-like gloves as a visual cue to the audience of her location.

A friend of mine commenting on Peter Weller‘s performance in RoboCop once remarked, “it must be tough acting with only your chin.”  It’s probably tougher acting with only your gloves.

There is a slight problem with Professor Gibbs’s invisibility technology, which is that it does tend to wear off, and this can lead to some ticklish situations.  Although if you’re in a movie after the passage of the Hays Code and titilation is rather thin on the ground. this can be a good thing, at least for the audience.

Certainly those bare legs were something that stuck in my juvenile mind!  Probably the erotic side resitered only dimly, but I did recall thinking how wonderfully naughty it would be to run around naked without being seen.

Invisible Jesus sex

Maureen Creel sure stumbles on something unorthodox when she tries to figure out who (or what) is shtupping Lola in the chapel.

As the distinguished proprietor of Bondage Blog has observed and as I have myself argued on occasion, there’s kind of a submission and suffering kink going on in Christianity.  Here are the first two verses of real hymn that neither of us is making up:

1.	Make me a captive, Lord,
	and then I shall be free.
	Force me to render up my sword,
	and I shall conqueror be.
	I sink in life's alarms
	when by myself I stand;
	imprison me within thine arms,
	and strong shall be my hand. 

2.	My heart is weak and poor
	until it master find;
	it has no spring of action sure,
	it varies with the wind.
	It cannot freely move
	till thou hast wrought its chain;
	enslave it with thy matchless love,
	and deathless it shall reign.

Full words along with a score and midi music available here, if you’re interested.

Unsurprisingly, someone is willing to push the metaphor, and not just weirdos like me.  There’ a real sex toy — honest! — called the Jackhammer Jesus, a crucifix in the form of the dildo, so I’m not making up some weird fetish just to advance the plot.

“Invisible man having sex with girls” is of course also a well-established trope — I had to throw in the anal Jesus thing just to give it a touch of originality.  You might well be familiar with it’s appearance in comics especially.  It shows up, for example, in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill‘s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a story of a group of late-Victorian characters (many with mad-scientist origins) who group together to fight the enemies of the British Empire.  The Invisible Man is one of them.  He is first “seen” in the series in a girls school, busily having his way with the students (some of whom, impregnated, interpret their experiences as divine visitations).

And of course there is also always that classic of European comic-book erotica, Milo Manara‘s Butterscotch, which has a merry time with the whole Invisible Man theme.

As with so many kinks, the roots of this one turn out to be ancient.  Remember that we have asked before the question about why people put so much energy into thinking about possible morality-free zones?  Well, as it turns out, people in fifth and fourth century B.C.E. Athens were thinking about this as well.    In Book II of Plato‘s Republic, Glaucon, a young companion of Socrates, challenges Socrates on the value of justice using — you guessed it! — a story about an invisible man.

According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result-when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared.

So now Glaucon, who’s clearly been giving the matter a lot of thought, quickly jumps into the “invisible man having sex” theme, before swiftly moving into the more philosophical challenge.

Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other;,no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust. For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right. If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another’s, he would be thought by the lookers-on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another’s faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer injustice.

Whole text available here, in case any of you want to see how it ends.