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Mister X

Entry updated 15 November 2012. Tagged: Comics, Publication.

Created by Canadian designers Dean Motter and Paul Rivoche, this cipherlike character – bald and with sunglasses, black overcoat and suitcase – appeared in illustrations and on record-album covers in the late 1970s before plans were made to publish a comic. The Mister X comic was promoted with several gorgeously designed posters 1981-1983 without in fact appearing. Eventually Rivoche was taken off the strip and the project was handed over to Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez, the creators of Love and Rockets; using Rivoche's designs, they produced The Return of Mister X (graph coll 1986) which first ran in Mister X #1-#4 1984-1985.

Mr X is not really the star of his own comic. Its main subject and the cause of most of its stories is its location, Radiant City. This city was codesigned by Mr X using the dogmas of "Psychetecture", so that its enclosures, shapes and spaces would have resonances in the human psyche. Sadly, someone skimped on the materials during construction, and the result is the nightmare city Somnopolis – a place deliberately reminiscent of Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

Since the Hernandez brothers many others have turned their hand to matters Somnopolitan. They include D'Israeli, Shane Oakley, Klaus Schoenfeld, Seth, Rivoche himself, Michael W Kaluta, Howard Chaykin, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Dave McKean. Writer Neil Gaiman contributed an 8-page Mister X story to the first issue of the comics anthology A1 in 1989. [SW/JP]

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