May 1, 2016

Swamp Thing by Michele Benevento

Art by Michele Benevento.
Above and below (pencils and preliminary sketch), Swamp Thing by Italian comic book artist Michele Benevento (co-creator of Bonelli's series Lukas). 
The illustration have been published on the author's blog (here) to accompany an article which Benevento wrote for a DC celebration book but was not included in the printed version.
Art by Michele Benevento.

Apr 12, 2016

A matter of passion

Alan Moore by  Spanish artist Mario Rivière.
Below, a short piece I wrote for the Alan Moore Special published in August 2001 on Ultrazine.org (the site is not reachable anymore).

A matter of passion
In a recent interview [originally here; the link is not available anymore] answering a "what is comics for you?" question, Mr. Alan Moore said: "Comics is for me an art form which is of tremendous importance but which is largely marginalized, is seen as unimportant. The more I look at comics, the more interesting they become. It strikes me that comics are perhaps the original human art form, that a sequence of pictures telling a story has got to be one of the oldest forms of language, whether you're talking about Egyptian hieroglyphics or Chinese ideograms. [...] There's still such a lot that could be done with comics, still new forms that can be achieved and imagined. I've been doing them for twenty years; I'm nowhere near reaching the limit of what comics can do. [...] Even if the spotlight of public attention moves away, that won't faze me in the slightest. It's still a form I can see potential in, it probably sounds arrogant but that's the only person I'm interested in. If I can see the potential there, there's potential there, it doesn't matter if other people can't see it. In fact, I'd probably rather I was the only one who could see it; there'd be more for me, all the more unbroken ground. [...] I cannot imagine a point in the future where I will completely abandon comics for another media. I think there's enough there for me to continue working with different combinations of words and images for the rest of my days. It's a boundless ocean that I could get lost in; I would really like to see a few more people taking the plunge."

Among these words we can find the key to understand.
The starting point to comprehend the true power of the best writer comic art has ever had.
In these words all becomes clear and we can feel, as a tangible thing, the passion Mr. Moore has for the comics medium. This passion is the natural propelling force he uses to imagine words and worlds.

It's passion that feeds technique and structure, that gives him the input to ideate anomalous comics masterpieces such as Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell.

It's passion that makes him happy to play with minor toys such as Supreme or Mr. Majestic breathing in them a shining life.

It's passion that moves his respect for the audience and the artists. It's this passion that gives him the impulse to put on paper thousands of words to describe a single panel.

And again it's this inextinguishable feeling that guides Mr. Moore in the deep waters of comics ocean while all the others stay around the coasts.

Long life to the long-haired bearded Genius and... long life to comic art!

smoky man, August 2001

Apr 10, 2016

Rorschach by Gabriele Dell’Otto

Art by Gabriele Dell'Otto.
Above an amazing Rorschach by Italian extraordinary comic book artist and illustrator GABRIELE DELL'OTTO. The illustration is included in his recent exhibition catalogue, limited to 150 copies, titled Out of Darkness (more info and preview here).

Jerusalem is coming!

Jerusalem cover art by Alan Moore.
Above, from Knockabout Twitter account: Alan Moore's cover drawing for JERUSALEM in preparation.
I can't wait to hold the book in my hands!

Apr 5, 2016

Jim Starlin on Alan Moore

Page from Supreme - The Return Vol.1 No.2. Art by Jim Starlin.
Below, a short text written by comics legend JIM STARLIN, published online in August 2001 as contribution to the Ultrazine.org Alan Moore Special (the site is not reachable anymore).

I think of Alan as arguably the best writer of comics today.
I've always admired the way he's structures a story and his characterization.
I've only had one opportunity to work with Alan [on Supreme - The Return Vol.1 No.2, Awesome Entertainment, 1999 - editor's note] and that went badly because of the unprofessional behavior of the publisher.
I sincerely hope that someday I'll be able to collaborate with him on another project.
But in the meantime I'll just look forward to reading whatever his fertile mind produces, like all other comic fans. [Jim Starlin, August 2001]
Page from Supreme - The Return Vol.1 No.2. Art by Jim Starlin.

Mar 26, 2016

Alan Moore's NEW music project

A Thousand Strands is the debut long-player from The Dandelion Set, a new collaboration between Glyn 'Bigga' Bush (Lightning Head, Rockers Hi Fi) and PK Chown (James Beige, Mr Liquorice).

The album travels back to their formative years in the mid-70s, with sleevenotes, lyrics and vocals by cult writer ALAN MOORE (V For Vendetta, Watchmen, Promethea...) as well as passing a whole cavalcade of musical landmarks en route to their present day compositions.

Mar 21, 2016

Alan Moore by Facundo Percio

Art by Facundo Percio.
Above, some Alan Moore sketches by Argentine artist Facundo Percio published some days ago on his Instagram page.

Alan Moore: The art of magic

Alan Moore photographed by Joe Brown.
Excerpt from a long interview about Magic and creativity published on Pagan Dawn site.

"I’d been advised by Steve Moore [the late comics writer, no relation to Alan], who knew about such things, that a useful entry into magic might be to adopt a god-form as a patron deity and ritual focus, much as he had done with the Greek moon-goddess Selene. I should either find a divinity which took my fancy, or let one find me. Shortly thereafter, when Steve was showing me a book of Late Roman antiquities, I came across a photo of Glycon’s statue, as unearthed in 1962 at Constantza in Romania. In that extraordinary image, at once comical and profound, I found what I was looking for.
After that first instinctual adoption of the snake-god as a personal symbolic deity the relationship deepened, both through what seemed to be spectacular early contact with the idea form itself – back when I probably still needed spectacular results to convince me that there was any value in the path I’d chosen – and through my subsequently deeper understanding of the symbol-entity attained through careful reading and deliberation.
My relationship with Glycon, though necessarily pyrotechnic 20 years ago, has been internalised as part of my own personality and processes, which seems more suited to this current and more focused phase of magical activity through which I’m moving, where I have no need for visionary reassurance.
If anything, Glycon is more real, more present and more fully understood to me now than he was back during those first dazzling years." [Alan Moore]