Part IV, Chapters 9–17

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Last Updated on March 16, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1384

Chapter Nine 

Orson Welles tells Sammy that he enjoys The Escapist and reads every issue. At the after-party, Joe dances with Dolores del Rio and Rosa with Joseph Cotton. The film is Citizen Kane, and it has a tremendous effect on Sammy. The film’s structure inspires him, and Joe agrees that the structure of the film represents a “total blending of narration and image,” which is the fundamental element of the comic book medium. 

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However, Sammy says that he doesn’t think they could ever achieve anything on this scale with comic books, which are an inferior medium. Bacon suggests that it isn’t comic books which are inferior but rather Sammy’s sense of his own abilities.

After this, Sammy and Joe immediately go to work on a “prismatic” Escapist story. They approach Anapol with their notes, but Anapol has something to tell them first: Parnassus have bought movie rights to The Escapist. He then asks whether what they have to offer will make the company more money. 

Joe and Sammy argue that it will, because their new approach will draw in adult readers. Anapol says they can try it. However, he points out that Parnassus’s largest market is Germany, and a lot of money could be lost if their reputation is too anti-German. To Sammy’s surprise, Joe says he will stop introducing Nazis into the scripts. He is tired of fighting. He wants to take a moment to work on something really great. Sammy wonders whether they could add Japanese villains instead. 

Chapter Ten 

Sammy and Joe are forced by the ban on war-related matters to take a new approach to their comics, which includes making greater use of their other characters. Joe’s art is able to develop, and their circulation figures slowly increase in line with the general increased national interest in comics. As a result, Joe and Sammy become wealthy.

Chapter Eleven 

Bacon introduces Sammy to Frank Singe, head of production at Parnassus. Sammy has three scenarios to show him, but Singe seems uninterested and says he has other scriptwriters lined up. Sammy recognizes that Bacon really wants Sammy to get a job in California so that Bacon won’t be alone there.

Sammy reluctantly recognizes that he is in love with Bacon. They spend almost all their time together and have kissed some more, but Sammy isn’t sure whether he or Bacon are homosexual.

Bacon hails a cab. He wants to take Sammy to the World’s Fair in Queens. The taxi driver says it has mostly been taken down, but he is willing to drive them out to whatever is left. 

The site is fenced off, but Bacon helps Sammy up and over the fence. The Trylon is covered in scaffolding, about to be torn down. Bacon wants to sneak in, to see what’s left inside. The Perisphere, which Sammy remembers seeing years earlier, is still there. The two men push their way right into the core of the building. They lie down on the ground in the dark, looking at what remains of the displays, “loving each other.”

Chapter Twelve 

In November, Joe receives a letter from Thomas. He is making slow progress and is near Portugal. 

The next day, Rosa comes straight to the Empire offices from the TRA to tell Joe that, according to Mr. Hoffman, there is a problem with the children’s visas, and most of them will be revoked. She is crying, wishing there is something they could do. Joe optimistically suggests calling Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa remembers that her father has made her acquaintance. 

Harkoo calls the White House that afternoon and is told that Eleanor is indeed in New York City. He sets an appointment with her to explain the situation, and she arranges for the Ark of Miriam to leave Lisbon for the USA.

Joe tells Rosa that he has signed the lease on a new apartment. Sammy is moving to LA for three months to write a movie, and he wants...

(The entire section contains 1384 words.)

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Part IV, Chapters 1–8

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Part V, Chapters 1–7