Apr 2, 2020

5 Tips for would-be comics writers

Alan Moore, 2012. Photo (C) Isabelle Adam. Creative Commons License.
Below a small article published in 1999 on the pages of Comic Buyer's Guide, reprinted in 2003 in The Extraordinary Works Of Alan Moore.

1. Don't.
2. No, really don't.
3. DEFINITELY don't—I mean it.
4. Whatever you might be imagining about a life of writing, it's not like that.
5. OK, if you're going to anyway, if you're going to be a writer of any quality, you will have to commit yourself to writing— which is something that, when you're young and idealistic, sounds incredibly easy to do, but you should commit yourself to writing almost as if you were some ancient Greek or Egyptian committing yourself to a god.
If you do right by the god, then the god may, at some point in the future, reward you. But if you slack off and don't do right by your talent or your god, then you are heading for a world of immense and unimaginable pain. If you have a gift that you choose to pursue, then you have to pursue it seriously. Don't be half-assed about it, but realize what that commitment means.
Committing yourself to writing will mean, to a certain extent, your writing will become the most important part of your life—and that's a big thing to say. It can have a distancing effect upon other relationships. It can be sometimes quite a solitary life. If you're committed to your writing, you're going to spend most of your life indoors in a silent, empty room, concentrating on a pen and a piece of paper or their equivalent. Be prepared to take it seriously and be prepared to follow where it takes you, even if that takes you to some very strange places.
This is by no means the most glamorous profession.
Don't say that I didn't warn you.

Apr 1, 2020

Smoking Rorschach by STREF

Art by STREF.
Above, a fantastic illustration featuring Rorschach and his Bearded Creator drawn by the amazing STREF. I looove the touch of irony of this & the great composition and coloring. Grazie Stevie for such a gift!

Stephen White is a Scottish comic book artist/writer, who lives in Edinburgh, and works under the pen name STREF. He has previously worked on DC Thomson publications, The Dandy and The Beano, as well as drawing Scotland's most famous characters, Oor Wullie, and The Broons for them. He currently works for Viz Magazine, and produces his own independent work.
In 2015 he created a graphic novel version of Peter Pan, six years of research went into the book, which contains many secrets regarding the true origins of the story.

For more info about STREF: Twitter - Blogger - Facebook

Mar 30, 2020

Watchmen homage by Gabriel Hernández Walta

Art by Gabriel Hernández Walta.
A "self-commission" drawn by the amazing Gabriel Hernández Walta paying homage to Watchmen. His Twitter page, HERE.

Mar 29, 2020

Swamp Thing by Spugna

Art by SPUGNA.
Above, a lovely Swamp Thing by Italian young wizard, comic book artist and illustrator SPUGNA (a.ka. Tommaso Di Spigna).
For more info about Spugna: Tumblr - Blog

Mar 28, 2020

On ratings system and censorship

Excerpt from The politics and morality of rating and self-censorship, the editorial written by Alan Moore as guest for the Comics Buyer's Guide, published the 13th February 1987. The piece was reprinted in The Comics Journal n. 117, September 1987.
Alan Moore: [...] I believe a ratings system, or indeed any kind of censorship, to be akin to shooting oneself in the foot in the fond hope that this will make people feel too sorry for you to shoot you in the head. It seems to me both impractical and spineless, genuinely demeaning to the medium, its audience, and the people who work within it.
I have worked long and hard for this medium, this industry, and it deserves better than this. If any person or publisher seeks to negotiate a surrender of truce with the book burners, they are at liberty to do so, but not on my behalf. Not without telling me first.
Since I cannot be a party to this kind of behavior, with the conclusion of the work that I am actually contracted to do, I shall be producing no work in the future for any publisher imposing a ratings system upon its creators and readers.
Frankly, I don't even know if I could write comics of the type that must surely follow the introduction of these measures. It would seem hypocritical to feed young readers stories of courage and heroism while working in an industry apparently incapable of same. Or perhaps the comics will adjust their notions of bravery accordingly:
"Superman? It's an ultimatum from Luthor. He says he wants to destroy the whole of America! What shall we do?"
"No sweat, Lois. We'll nuke New Jersey and hope he goes away satisfied."
In closing, I'm sorry if the above sounds bitter or angry or accusatory or arrogant. Given my state of mind while writing, it may indeed be all those things, but I'm reluctant to say goodbye to a mainstream industry that I've enjoyed working in with words that leave such an unpleasant taste.
I have enjoyed, over the last few years, the wonderful creative freedom that your American industry offers, the welcome support of editors and publishers and a very appreciative, very mature, and intelligent readership. I'm sorry if these current developments mean that I'm going to have to say goodbye to much of that, but to me it feels necessary. Looking like a shrill, over-reactive prima donna is something I can live with. Compromising my integrity to appease a bunch of political thugs is something I can't.
As many CBG correspondents have helpfully pointed out, this leaves me with one clear course of action: I have some stout and stylish footwear upon my feet, and I know where the door is.
In the end, these may be the only "rights" that any of us can truly depend on.
More content here: TCJ n. 118 interview.

Mar 26, 2020

Marvelman by Mark Buckingham

Above, a great Miracleman sketch that the fantastic MARK BUCKINGHAM drew for me during Bristol Con 2003 in the special plate he created for the event.
Grazie, Mark! :) Kimota for all!

Mar 23, 2020

Promethea by José Villarrubia

Art by José Villarrubia.
Above, a fantastic Promethea sketch that José Villarrubia drew for me during Bristol Con 2002.

Villarrubia is a stunning multi-talented artist, well known in the comic book industry for his amazing work as colorist. With Alan Moore, he has produced two illustrated books, Voice of the Fire and The Mirror of Love, both published by Top Shelf Productions.

Mar 19, 2020

Alan Moore by Mark Buckingham

Above, the awesome portrait drawn by the amazing MARK BUCKINGHAM as contribution to the sold-out  Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman (2003, Abiogenesis Press, page 87) to celebrate Moore's 50th birthday.