Aug 5, 2018

Moore Against da System by Officina Infernale

Art by Officina Infernale (a.k.a. Andrea Mozzato)
Above a very intense, punk version of Alan Moore drawn by Italian über artist OFFICINA INFERNALE (a.k.a. Andrea Mozzato).

"Without any planning, he turned out the Moore version who's fucking angry at the comics majors... And obviously Moore is 100% right in his attitude!", Officina Infernale said.

More info regarding Officina Infernal: Tumblr page - Big Cartel.

Aug 2, 2018

Writing Watchmen in 1985!

Excerpt from comic book store zine Telegraph Wire which included a long interview from SDCC 1985 with... Alan Moore! The complete interview is available HERE.

Alan Moore: [...] WATCHMEN is my first project to actually use what I’ve learned. WATCHMEN is very, very structured. It’s twelve issues long.

I know exactly what the image in the last panel is going to be. I can see it as a whole from beginning to end. I’m really pleased with the way it’s working.

I’ve been working closely with Dave Gibbons on the project. Dave’s putting so much into it. It’s not just the writing; we’re coming together on a level of pure story-telling. I mean, the way Dave’s drawing things affects the way I’m writing it. The way he’s laying out pages is affecting the way I’m writing it.

It’s a really amazing experience. I’m enjoying it immensely.
[...]

We’re trying to step back from the superhero a little bit; we want to take a fresh look at the idea of being a superhero. Joe Schuster and Jerry Siegel brought out SUPERMAN in 1939. There were no other superheroes and I think that for us today, it’s very difficult to imagine what the impact of that character was; since Superman in comics, the sky is full of flying men. It’s not quite the same. The whole superhero idea has grown up with cliches around it and that has smothered it in a way. You can no longer see the woods for the trees.

What me and Dave have tried to do with WATCHMEN is to somehow get back to that point where we stepped away from the conventional idea of superheroes. I wanted to do something that used the superhero in a very, very different way to the way it’s been used before: psychologically.

One of the main things is to see what effect a superhero would have upon the world. In the DC and Marvel universes, they don’t have any effect. They’re all extraordinary beings, but the world they live in is very much the same as ours.

In WATCHMEN, we try to think it through politically and socially. We’ve got a character called Mr. Manhattan who is the only actual superhero in the book.

He’s the only actual one with powers. He emerges about 1965 and from that point on, the world is different forever. Since he’s strongly aligned to the American military, obviously, he’s like a step beyond the neutron bomb. Instantly, the balance of world power changes.

I think if the American government had found a superhero, they would have been a little bit more adventuresome in their foreign policy whereas the Russians would most certainly have been a little more timid.

In the world we’re dealing with, America won the Vietnamese war. The Russians have not invaded Afghanistan. Basically, they’re in the Kremlin under the table with their fingers in their ears. They’re terrified and the only option that they have left is mutually assured destruction. Their backs are against the wall.

You’ve reached a point where the doomsday clock is seconds away from midnight. It’s closer to disaster than our own world is. That is one of the main themes of the book: it’s this paranoid, frightening world that’s just getting closer and closer to Armageddon.

And it’s all because of this one superhero.

There are other costumed heroes in the book, but most of them are retired because I don’t think that the American legal system, or any legal system, would support superheroes. It would just cause so many problems. If you allow one guy in a mask to go around beating people up, anyone in a mask can beat people up. It just wouldn’t work. So most of the superheroes have been forced into retirement – apart from those who are valuable to the military, which includes Dr. Manhattan. That is where it all begins.

There’s a lot of different threads in it. One of the things that ties the entire story together is a murder mystery that runs all the way through the plot.

I can’t tell you an awful lot without giving away the plot.

We’ve got some interesting characters. There’s Rorschach who’s a really psychotic vigilante. Whereas in most comic books the psychopath will get angry, a real psychopath doesn’t get angry. A psychopath will break your arm and smile… or never react at all.
[...]

Jul 14, 2018

Extraordinary Gentlemen by David Hitchcock

Art by David Hitchcock.
Above, a stunning commission piece by great British comic book artist and illustrator DAVID HITCHCOCK portraying The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
(Grazie David for sending me the picture!)

For more info about David Hitchcock: Blog - Twitter page

Jul 1, 2018

Alan Moore by Marcello Albano

Art by Marcello Albano.
Above, a portrait of Alan Moore by Italian comic book writer and artist Marcello Albano.
Marcello was a friend of mine, a gentleman, a great soul, a musician and a real comics lover and expert. He suddenly passed away in 2017 and... I miss him a lot.

In the past days I found two CDs and letters he sent me in 2001 full of his works and drawings. One of the CD cover is the Alan Moore portrait you can see above. It is dedicated to my old comics site Ultrazine.

Marcello was an admirer of Moore's works with a huge interest for esotericism. He also contributed with a short text to the Alan Moore: Portrait book (read here) I co-edited in 2003.

Jun 25, 2018

Trio of traitors and tricksters

Art by Oliver Pulumbarit.
Above, a "trio of traitors and tricksters" co-created by Alan Moore drawn by Oliver Pulumbarit, a Philippine newspaper writer-editor and occasional comic book-maker.
 
From left to right: Ultima from Top Ten, Ozymandias from Watchmen and TAO from WildCATs. The original drawing is available on Pulumbarit's Deviantart page, here.

Jun 21, 2018

John Constantine and Sting

Alan Moore: But I can state categorically that the character only existed because Steve [Bissette] and John [Totleben] wanted to do a character that looked like Sting. Having been given that challenge, how could I fit Sting into Swamp Thing? I have an idea that most of the mystics in comics are generally older people, very austere, very proper, very middle class in a lot of ways. They are not at all functional on the street. It struck me that it might be interesting for once to do an almost blue-collar warlock. Somebody who was streetwise, working class, and from a different background than the standard run of comic book mystics. Constantine started to grow out of that.
 
2018: Sting will pen the foreword to the Constantine, Hellblazer: 30th Anniversary Celebration commemorative collection to be published this October. More HERE.
John Constantine aka Sting.

Jun 18, 2018

Alan Moore by Gianmaria Caschetto

Art by Gianmaria Caschetto.
Every now and then I received unexpected emails including an Alan Moore portrait.
Above you can see one of them, a nice sketch illustration by comics blogger Gianmaria Caschetto.
"[Alan Moore is] my favourite wizard", Caschetto wrote.

Jun 14, 2018

From Hell and... beyond

Excerpt from an interview published on EW.com on May 31, 2018.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Have you been in contact with Alan Moore at all about this?
Eddie Campbell: I’ve told Alan I’m doing it. I was like “Alan, if there’s anything you want to fix, you’ve gotta fix it now, this is your chance.” He hasn’t said anything so far. I might jog his memory by getting the stuff to him in the next week or two. If there’s any dialogue that’s wrong, now’s his time to fix it. He’s always talked about adding another appendix. When I spoke to him last month, he said “Eddie, maybe it’s time we do that other appendix, this is the only time we’ll be able to do it.” That’ll be a whole other dozen pages of illustration, but he wants to bring it up to date because in the last 30 years there’s been a lot of developments in Ripper-ology. Even though this was a crime that happened in 1888, every second year there’s a new book about it, where somebody’s found a new culprit. Five, six years ago, Patricia Cornwell went to huge expense buying Walter Sickert’s paintings to get DNA evidence from the paintings and compare it with DNA evidence from the murder site just to prove it was Walter Sickert. But since then somebody’s come out with another suspect. Everybody thinks they’ve got the last word on it. We did this 24-page appendix to the original From Hell called Dance of the Gull-Catchers, in which we ridiculed all the theories, including our own. It’s a grand piece of postmodernism, where you finish the book of “this is our theory, here’s why it’s right” by going “well no it isn’t, nobody’s right, it’s all baloney.” That was great fun doing that, we had a riot doing that in an almost comedic style. Alan wants to do another one where he brings it up to date. I’m not promising that, because we’ll probably have to beat him up to get it out. We’ll have to tie him to the computer and make him type it out. But we’ll see, it’s a possibility.