Nov 26, 2014

Alan Moore's early days

Hypernaut © and ™ Stephen R. Bissette.

Alan Moore: [...] It wasn’t until I was about twenty-four that I came up with Plan B.

Lance Parkin: And that was to write and draw an epic space opera, possibly one you could sell to 2000AD. You’ve said you had elaborate plans, but after a year you only had a couple of pages completed. I don’t think you’ve ever gone into detail.
Alan Moore: It was all in my head. I think it was called Sun Dodgers, but whether I lettered that up, I doubt it. They were a group of superheroes in space, with a science fiction explanation for each of these characters. They were a motley crew in a spaceship, probably going back the kind of strips Wally Wood was doing in witzend and The Misfits. That was certainly the model Steve Moore was building on with Abslom Daak. I was thinking along the same lines. I can remember somebody looked a bit like a futuristic samurai.

Lance Parkin: Like Warpsmith?
Alan Moore: I suppose so. A coincidence. It was Garry Leach who came up with that look, I gave him a free hand, I wasn’t adverse to it. There was also a humanoid robot thing with a big steel ball for a head, which probably later surfaced as the Hypernaut in 1963. There was a half-human, half-canine creature who ended up as Wardog in the Special Executive. I only got a couple of pages done. The ideas I had … actually, thinking back, there was a character whose name was Five, and I don’t think I ever got around to drawing him, but my vague idea was that he was a mental patient of undefined but unusual abilities who had been kept in a particular room, room five, that might have been an element which fed into V for Vendetta. I don’t think there was anything else that ended up in anything.

The complete interview can be read here.

Nov 24, 2014

Adam Hines and From Hell

From Hell cover.
Excerpt from an interview with Duncan The Wonder Dog's creator Adam Hines conducted by Marco Apostoli, originally published in Italian on Fumettologica site.

Adam Hines: From Hell by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell [is] my favorite “graphic novel” I’ve yet read. I could put another three or four more Alan Moore stories and another two or three Eddie Campbell books on here, but this, to me, is my favorite work by both of them, and what I consider their best. Still chilling.

The complete interview, in Italian, can be read here.
Special thanks to Marco Apostoli for the support.

Nov 23, 2014

Chris Weston talks about Moore

A sketch of Allan Quatermain drawn by Chris Weston at Bristol Con 2003.
The following contribution written by amazing comics artist Chris Weston was originally published in Ultrazine's Alan Moore Special in 2002. You can see it here

Chris Weston: So what have I got to say about Alan Moore? Not much. Never worked with him; never met him; haven't even read an interview by him. Let's face it, I'm the wrong person to be writing about him, really. He looks like a big hippy bastard and I'm told he smokes too much dope, apparently. I don't know anything else about his private life. Nothing. And I wouldn't have it any other way! "There shouldn't be artists, only their works." Orson Welles once said. I couldn't agree more. In this new millennium, Celebrity is no longer just a Cult; it's a bloody Craze! It's poisoned every single popular art-form I can think of, including comics. I don't need to tell you about all the so-called "big-name" writers who put so much time and effort into promoting themselves, they actually forget to sit down and write some decent stories.
Worse than that, there's even gossip columns devoted to the activities of comics creators... that has got to be the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard.

I don't know if Alan Moore has his own website, and I couldn't give a toss if he did. All I know is I've never heard of one, so I'm going to assume he spends all his valuable time on his craft: writing comics. Funny ones like "D.R. and Quinch". Ground-breaking ones like "Watchmen". Moving ones like "Halo Jones". Traditional ones like "Tom Strong". Shit, I'm not going to reel off his whole back catalogue; we all know his work and its brilliance. But nothing about the man, please!

I will let you know which Alan Moore book is my own personal favourite, though: it's gotta be "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"! The single most charming publication in the whole history of comics!

Nov 22, 2014

Zander Cannon and Moore's cartooning Tetris

Zander Cannon's cover art for Smax tp.
In the following, you can read an intense post published by artist Zander Cannon on his Facebook page the 18th of November 2014.

Today is Alan Moore's 61st birthday.

I worked with Alan on Top Ten and Smax the Barbarian in the late '90s and early '00s for America's Best Comics, an imprint of Wildstorm, which was then itself an imprint of DC Comics. I've never met the man in person (and it has been postulated that he no longer has human form, but rather exists as a blue smoke which gives a vague sense of unease), but spoke with him frequently on the phone. Sometimes it was for a legitimate storytelling reason, but as often as not it was because I knew that all things must eventually pass, and there would come a day when I had no reason to speak to one of my greatest heroes on the phone.

I learned more from my time working from Alan Moore's scripts than at virtually any point in my career. Gene Ha and I had adjacent studios while working on Top Ten and we passed our pages back and forth, talking about the background characters, ideas for design, and taking guesses where the story was going (we had no idea). The scripts, beyond being legendarily dense, long, specific, and chatty, were an education in comics storytelling right there on the page. His style of comics does not work for every artist, but it absolutely hits the bullseye on HIS style. It creates intricate, layered, humorous, on-point comics that are both dense and dynamic, treating every panel like a well-constructed sentence and every page like a well-constructed paragraph. Consequently, drawing from his scripts was as much an exercise in efficiently cramming elements into a panel as it was a process of storytelling. I used to tell people it was like 'cartooning Tetris'.

It's come into vogue lately to criticize the once-uncriticizable Moore for being a crank, or for protesting the unsanctioned or unethical use of his or others' work to make a billion dollars for massive corporations, or for simply being unwilling to 'go along to get along'. Now, I don't like to have my parade rained on any more than anyone else, but for Moore to harsh our collective buzz about the Watchmen or V for Vendetta movies by speaking out against the way he's been treated, and the similar ways that others have been or are being treated, is completely fair, and completely warranted. And frankly, reducing it down to "well, that's just the deal he made", shows a crucial lack of awareness of how comics companies ran in (in this case) the late '70s to mid-'80s. Furthermore, for a prominent person who has financially thrived in that system to nevertheless make the case for fair treatment is very important for those of us who have yet to knock one out of the park.

Alan is a gentleman, a remarkable artist, and in my experience, a kind and generous soul. I thank him for providing me a boost in my career, the Platonic ideal of a great comic book script, and hundreds of thousands of pages of wonderful comics. Not to mention some really enjoyable phone calls.
[Zander Cannon]

Nov 21, 2014

Wot have Oi done...

Art by John Cullen.
Above, a short comics by artist John Cullen featuring a pexplexed Alan Moore regarding the V mask popularity. 
 
Visit John Cullen's site here.

Nov 20, 2014

Brian K. Vaughan's hero

A page from Swamp Thing Vol.3 N.2 (Vertigo, 2000) by B.K. Vaughan, R. Petersen and J. Rubinstein.
Excerpt from an interview with acclaimed writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The last man, Ex Machina, Saga) conducted by Adriano Ercolani and Evil Monkey during the last Lucca Comics & Games convention. 
Originally published in Italian on Fumettologica site.

Is there any other author that you feel close to you or you are inspired by?
Brian K. Vaughan: In comics...Alan Moore is my hero. Bur I will never be able to write in his style.

Well, you have been compared to him many times!
Brian K. Vaughan: Unfairly! Maybe they said: "This guy sucks compared to Alan Moore!"

The complete interview, in Italian, can be read here.
Special thanks to Adriano Ercolani for the support.

Nov 19, 2014

Electricomics badges


A set of all seven Electricomics badges, featuring:
The logos of all four of the forthcoming stories - Big Nemo, Sway, Red Horse and Cabaret Amygdala,
The Electricomics Logo itself,
Electricosmos- the logo of the open publishing platform.
All logos were designed by the Mighty Todd Klein.
As well as the logos, there is also the lovely muse of Electricomics from Colleen Doran's cover, coloured by Jose Villarrubia.

Buy here.

Nov 18, 2014

Moore 61

Art by Michael Netzer.
Happy b-day, Magus!

Above, an amazing portrait of Alan Moore drawn by Michael Netzer.