Posts tagged: alan moore
For someone who has supposedly turned his back on the comics industry, Alan Moore sure is doing a lot of comics work. He’s currently doing the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen spin-off Nemo, the next LoEG book and a follow-up to his Neonomicon series called Providence. From an interview for The Beat:
At the moment I am swamped in Lovecraft books about – I’ve got nearly every book of criticism that’s been written, that I’ve accumulated over these last six months, so I’m living and breathing Lovecraft. […]
It’s obviously a completely different animal to anything like Watchmen, but there is that point of similarity. It’s starting from – if Lovecraft’s characters, if Lovecraft’s monsters, if Lovecraft’s locales actually existed in A Real World, then what would they really be like, and what would the world be like? So it’s the same premise, but it’s taken me into some very interesting new directions. […]
Having run on at the mouth relatively recently about the appalling standards of research that exist throughout the rest of the comic book industry… I’ve said some very scornful things about some of the other writers in the industry and how – in my opinion – they are completely lazy, that they obviously do not have the respect for their own work that would lead them to actually put a bit of effort into it, and research some things, you know. Don’t just copy everything from an episode of Deadwood that you’ve seen, actually research the American West, find out how people talked. So, having been incredibly nasty and high-handed about many of the other professionals in the industry, I have kind of left myself wide open. If I don’t get every detail of this completely right, then I deserve to get a taste of my own medicine. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. We have been devilishly thorough in researching this. In the first issue there’s a brief glimpse of a gramophone record, and we’ve got the actual label to paste in, with the record’s serial number on it. I think we briefly see somebody reading a New York Times in the first issue, and it actually is the New York Times for June the 19th, 1919. I’m even – I’ve not actually done this yet, but I’m even trying to check out what the weather was like, which is difficult to establish other than in broad generalities, but I can at least sort out what the sky looked like, and what the phases of the moon were – which is something that Lovecraft used to take pains to do, so I feel that I should as well.
Guess I missed this:
The “From Hell Companion” is “an astonishing selection of Alan Moore’s original scripts and sketches for the landmark graphic novel, with copious annotations, commentary, and illustrations by Eddie Campbell. Here for the first time are a set of pages, including some of Moore’s greatest writing, which have never been seen by anyone except his collaborator. Joining them are Campbell’s first-hand accounts of the project’s decade-long development, complete with photos, anecdotes, disagreements, and wry confessions. Arranged in narrative order, these perspectives form a fascinating mosaic, an opportunity to read ‘From Hell’ with fresh eyes, and a tour inside the minds of two giants of their field.”
You can buy it on Amazon.
Black Mask Studios, the recently formed transmedia publishing company — founded by comic book writer Steve Niles, entrepreneur and transmedia production shingle Halo-8′s Matt Pizzolo, and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz — has recruited some of comics’ biggest guns to help create their first wave of comic book titles.
Among the luminaries participating are Watchmen co-creator Alan Moore, V for Vendetta artist David Lloyd, Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus creator Art Spiegelman, The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, Mike Allred (Madman), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night), J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League, Spider-Man), Molly Crabapple (Shell Game), as well as Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Ghostface Killah.
And there’s not a superhero in sight.
(via Hal Phillips)
The Beat is pleased to serialize this of work of comics history by Pádraig Ó Méalóid, a known expert on things Alan Moore, British comics, and SF. In Poisoned Chalice he wades in to one of the strangest and thorniest knots of all of comics: the history of Marvel/Miracleman and still unsolved question of who owns this character. It’s a story that touches on many of the most remarkable personalities in the comics industry—Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Todd McFarlene, Joe Quesada and more—and one of the most fascinating. It’s a sad fact about the comics medium that only in the last few decades have its most talented and passionate creators been able to present their work with a guarantee of equity and ownership; I feel that it is no coincidence that since this began, the medium has risen in popular and critical regard. The story of Marvelman touches on the darker places of comics history, springing from the prehistory where greed ruled the day; it’s a tangled tale that I have occasionally attempted to untie myself, but Pádraig is far better equipped to do so, as I think the following will show, bringing the research and attention to detail the story requires. It’s a piece of scholarship that I am proud to present.
It’s my intention to serialize Poisoned Chalice over the next few months; but I would hope to see it published in a more complete form at some time. So with no further ado, let’s begin the story of Marvelman.
Wired published Alan Moore’s contribution to Occupy Comics, an essay of the history of comics as subversion:
In the derivation of the word cartoon itself we see the art-form’s insurrectionary origins: during the tumults and upheavals of a volatile seventeenth century Italy, it became both expedient and popular to scrawl satirical depictions of political opponents on the sides of cardboard packages, otherwise known as cartons. Soon, these drawings were referred to by the same name as the boxes upon which they’d been emblazoned. As a method of communicating revolutionary ideas in a few crude lampooning strokes, often to an intended audience whose reading skills were limited, the power and effectiveness of the new medium was made immediately apparent.
This may also be the starting point for the receding but still-current attitude that comics and cartoons are best regarded as a province of the lower-class illiterate. However, following the realisation of the form’s immense political utility, it’s only with increasing difficulty that we can find a political event of any scale that has not been commemorated (and, often, most memorably commemorated) by the means of a cartoon.
The eighteenth century, with its more readily available print media, saw the promotion of the scathing cartoon image from its lowly cardboard-box beginnings to the cheap pulp paper mass-production of the broadsheets and the illustrated chapbooks. Consequently this same period would witness the emergence of the form’s first masters, artists who could see the thrilling possibilities in this unruly and untamed new mode of cultural expression. We can see this evidenced in James Gilray’s often-scatological and lacerating barbed caricatures of the dementia-prone King George the Fourth, in William Hogarth’s stark depictions of society’s deprived and shameful lower reaches and even in the sublime illuminated texts of William Blake, in which the visionary’s radical opinions… He’d stood with the firebrands of the Gordon Riots, in a red cap denoting solidarity with the French revolutionaries across the channel, watching Newgate Prison burn…were of necessity concealed beneath a cryptic code of fierce spiritual essences; invented demi-gods with grandiose and punning names that can be viewed as having much in common with the later output of the superhero industry’s presiding genius, the genuinely great Jack Kirby.
Above: The trailer for Jimmy’s End, a forthcoming 30 minute film written by Alan Moore and directed by Mitch Jenkins. According to Lex Records, it is the second part of a series of short films collectively called “The Show.” The first, titled Act of Faith, is a prequel to Jimmy’s End and will be released on jimmysend.com on November 19. Jimmy’s End itself will be released on November 25.
Moore has also recorded a single titled “The Decline of English Murder” for Occupation Records. You can find out more, and listen to the song, at The Guardian. You can download it from the Occupation Records shop for £1.00.
Moore had previously recorded “March of the Sinister Ducks” and other works with David J of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets (the band, not the comic). Speaking of whom, Moore once wrote a letter to Fortean Times about one of his performances with J, which has been reproduced online.
The full text of the gnostic sci-fi novel A Voyage to Arcturus, a book Alan Moore cites as one of the best underrated books of all time, is available for free on the Gutenberg Project.
Old but previously unpublished interview:
John Dee, for example, was one of the leading scientific lights of his age. Without John Dee, there wouldn’t have been an Isaac Newton. The science of navigation was practically invented by John Dee. He was a classic Renaissance man, and yet he seemed to spend the latter half of his life working upon this incomprehensible series of squiggles that he referred to as being Enochian language, which he seemed to believe literally was a form of language with which you could communicate with angels. Now, you look at this table of tiny squares full of little symbols, numbers, letters, and it looks like complete lunacy - and, indeed, most people have dismissed it as such, but given Dee’s undisputed, original intellect, I found it more difficult to dismiss it.
I also started looking at people like Jack Whiteside Parsons. There’s a crater on the moon named after him - the Parsons Crater. That’s because Jack Parsons invented solid rocket fuel, without which it would have been impossible to reach the moon. He was a distinguished scientist. He was also a member of the Golden Dawn - the Caliphate OTO; the Ordo Templi Orientist (OTO). Crowley had been the head of the order at one point. The more I started to look at it, the more it seemed that … most of the leading scientists, artists, musicians - most of the key thinkers in human cultural history, seemed to be blatantly and overtly involved in magical thinking of some sort. I mean nearly every artist that you would care to name … You’d think there’d be nothing more formal and scientific than those sort of divided rectangles and squares of Mondrian’s, but no, that was all based upon theosophy. Even baseball was created by a theosophist.
(via New World Disorder)
Ultimately Sinclair distinguishes himself and his perambulations from those of the flaneur. While the latter strolls aimlessly about the city, idle and undecided, he claims to walk with obsessive, mad purpose. He fashions himself as a ‘stalker’, as someone who walks with a thesis, however crazed, and not the dawdling, browsing manner of the strolling fl?neur (1997: 75). In this he once more references the example of Debord, whose Situationist platform includes the concept of ‘drift’: a calculated movement across the city determined by an absence of proper criteria (Sadler 1998: 81). Hence his exercise with the inscribed letter V or his insistence that the annotations of a map belonging to a vanished man might somehow reveal an occult pattern. The point is to locate fictional alignments: between City churches, telephone boxes, war memorials etc., to find energy lines or paths to be walked, and thus open what he calls ‘a secret history of London’ (1997). By these stalking manoeuvres, Sinclair believes himself capable of taking possession of the city. His walks are intended to unravel a one-dimensional plan.
So, Basso states that among the Apache wisdom is seen as the outcome of deep reflection upon landscape (76). By observing different places, listening to stories about them and thinking of the ancestors who gave those stories voice, they gain knowledge about how to behave in the world (80). Indeed, the Apache landscape is viewed as a resource through which subjects can modify themselves or alter their thinking (85). In this way, Basso and other anthropologists (cf. Feld 1996, Munn 1973) look to provide ‘ethnography of lived topographies’ (58).
And it was also born of the conviction that, yes, Northampton is the center of the cosmos. I truly believe that. I also believe that Northampton is nowhere special. I believe that anybody living anywhere upon the face of the globe, if they were to simply take the time and do the research, would find an incredible nest of wonders buried right where they were standing, right in their own backyard. I think that all too often, in the 21st Century, and throughout the 20th Century, we tend to spend our everyday existence walking along streets or driving along streets that we have no real understanding of, even if we see them everyday, and they just become fairly meaningless and bleak blocks of concrete, whereas, if you happen to know that such-and-such a poet was incarcerated inside an asylum upon this street or that such-and-such a murder happened here or that such-and-such a fabulous, legendary queen is buried in this vicinity: all of these little stories, it makes the places that we live much richer if we have a knowledge of these things. All of a sudden, you’re not walking down mundane, dull, everyday streets anymore, you’re walking down fabulous avenues full of wonderful ideas and incredible stories. It just makes living a much richer experience if we can fully appreciate the part of the world that we are living in, and I suppose that is a very long winded answer to why I wrote Voice Of The Fire.
This is what interests me about psychogeography: connecting historic dots. Creating new meaning (or discovering old meaning).
I’m reminded of a story about Kurt Cobain. At Burning Man last year I camped with an Olympia-based musician who knew Cobain before Nirvana. He said he and Cobain used to lie on their stomachs on skateboards and roll down State Ave. starting at Ralph’s Thriftway and going down to around where the AM-PM used to be. You probably won’t find that story in an Olympia tour-guide.
Geo-tagging could be a great aid to this, especially if there are a variety of ways to filter and search the information left in places. First kisses. First cigarettes. Sites of police brutality.