Dec 15, 2011

AM Portrait: SandokAlan

SandokAlan by D. Barzi (story) and Oskar (art)
The Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman tribute book I co-edited in 2003 with Gary Spencer Millidge contained a wide variety of material - such as essays, appreciation texts, memories, homage illustrations, interviews, and so on - to celebrate the 50th birthday of Alan Moore.

There were also some comics short stories included in. Some contributors were thrilled by the idea to play with Moore-related characters, so the book was enriched by a bunch of comics that paid homage to characters created by Moore, moments from Moore's stories or had Moore himself as the main character.
Italian artists Davide Barzi (story) and Oskar (art) created a very funny 2page story (titled SandokAlan) which did homage to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series featuring Moore himself. It's was a "strange" Moore because he has been mashed-up with Sandokan, a classic hero created by Italian writer Emilio Salgari.

The story can be read at page 38 of the sold-out volume and it appears here on AMW with the artists' permission. Again, many thanks to Mr. Barzi and Oskar for their great contribution to the Alan Moore: Portrait.
SandokAlan by D. Barzi (story) and Oskar (art)
Davide Barzi is a well-known Italian comics writer, journalist and critic. He worked for several Italian comics publishing houses and he is a regular collaborator of Sergio Bonelli Editore.

Oskar started his career as penciler and inker in the 90ies and worked on the popular Italian series Alan Ford. He collaborated with Barzi on several projects; currently he is a member of the art team at work on SBE's science fiction series Nathan Never.

Dec 6, 2011

The Honest Moore: OWS, Frank Miller & Politics

An amazing Alan Moore portrait by Diego Maia
Read The Honest Alan Moore interview: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

With the Occupy movement, it seems you and Frank Miller have conflicting views. Would you say that he’s against it and you’re for it?
Well, Frank Miller is someone whose work I’ve barely looked at for the past twenty years. I thought the Sin City stuff was unreconstructed misogyny, 300 appeared to be wildly ahistoric, homophobic and just completely misguided. I think that there has probably been a rather unpleasant sensibility apparent in Frank Miller’s work for quite a long time. [...] 
It’s always seemed to me that the majority of the comics field, if you had to place them politically, you’d have to say centre-right. That would be as far towards the liberal end of the spectrum as they would go. I’ve never been in any way, I don’t even know if I’m centre-left. I’ve been outspoken about that since the beginning of my career. So yes I think it would be fair to say that me and Frank Miller have diametrically opposing views upon all sorts of things, but certainly upon the Occupy movement.

As far as I can see, the Occupy movement is just ordinary people reclaiming rights which should always have been theirs. [...] I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail. It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it. I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favour of it. We would definitely have to agree to differ on that one.

What do you think needs to change in our political system?
Everything. I believe that what’s needed is a radical solution, by which I mean from the roots upwards. Our entire political thinking seems to me to be based upon medieval precepts. These things, they didn’t work particularly well five or six hundred years ago. Their slightly modified forms are not adequate at all for the rapidly changing territory of the 21st Century. [...]

Dec 3, 2011

AM Portrait: The Comedian

Art by Roberto Recchioni
In 2003 Roberto Recchioni drew a great old style illustration of The Comedian as his contribution to the Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman tribute book (see page 283 of the sold-out volume, and obviously, the above jpg image.)

Roberto Recchioni is a well-known Italian comics artist and writer, creator of several series and characters and writer for the best-selling Italian comic book series Dylan Dog.
He is also a videogame and movie expert, a tech geek and a popular blogger. For more info about him visit his blog Dalla Parte di Asso (Italian only).

Again, many thanks to Mr. Recchioni for his contribution to the Alan Moore: Portrait and for the permission to post his illustration here.

Nov 18, 2011

Moore and... Frank Miller!

Moore from The Simpsons' episode Husbands and Knives.
In the past days Frank Miller generated a huge "controversy" with his opinion about the Occupy movement. So, it's not strictly related but it could be of some interest to read what Alan Moore said about Miller's 300 in an interview published in 2007 on Tripwire magazine (page 17, Tripwire Annual 2007, Tripwire Publishing Ltd.).

TRIPWIRE: Zack Snyder's directing Watchmen - he did Frank Miller's 300...
ALAN: "Jesus Christ..."

TRIPWIRE: Um, he did the remake of Romero's Dawn Of The Dead as well.
Actually, I didn't think it was bad at all...
ALAN: "Well, I am not interested in either of those films. I was invited to the premiere of 300 but I didn't even like the comics so... I think it's far from the best thing that Frank Miller has ever done. I got as far as the line where one of the Spartans is talking about the Anesthesias and says, "Huh, those boy lovers." I mean, Jesus Christ, the Spartans were famous for things other than being a bunch of tough guys. Possibly Frank should have read a book before he commenced that work... or, you know, more than one. I also don't understand why you want to make a film look like a graphic novel - what is the point of that? It's not a graphic novel, it's a film."

TRIPWIRE: Miller seems to have worked out how to handle Hollywood, though - be as hands-on as humanly possible...
ALAN: "... Or have material that is fairly simple. Sin City is based upon Mickey Spillane and noir films that Frank Miller has seen, so of course you can do something like that as a film. And something like 300 - this is not a complex plot. Three-hundred men defending a bridge against an invading empire - it goes back to the Dark Knight ethos of 'One good man can turn it all around' which I think is simplistic. But it's simplicity that works pretty well with contemporary Hollywood. Most of the stuff I do is intentionally complex - I'm not saying that complex is better than simple but complex you can't make into films very easily."

Nov 16, 2011

AM Portrait: 1963

Art by Massimo Giacon.
In 2003 Massimo Giacon contributed to the Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman tribute book with a very smart and funny illustration celebrating the 1963 miniseries. You can see it in its printed glory at page 94 of the sold-out volume, and obviously, in the above jpg image. :)

Massimo Giacon is a real Renaissance man, not only a well-known comics artist with a decades-long career but also a musician (see a video here), a painter, a performer and a designer. More information about him can be found at his colorful website:
Again, many thanks to Mr. Giacon for his generous support to the Alan Moore: Portrait!

Sep 6, 2011

AM Portrait: V for Vendetta

Art by Luca Enoch
In 2003 Luca Enoch contributed with a powerful homage illustration of V to the Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman tribute book, published by Abiogenesis Press. You can see it in its printed glory at page 188 of the sold-out volume. And, obviously you can admire it in the above jpg image. :)

Luca Enoch is one of the most well-known and popular Italian comics artists and writers. Some info, in English, about Enoch can be found in Lambiek Comiclopedia. He is currently working on his sci-fi series Lilith for SBE and on several other projects and stories.
Many thanks to Mr. Enoch for his generous support to the Alan Moore: Portrait, and to several other projects I asked him to contribute to during the past years. A billion thanks, Luca!
More news and info about Luca Enoch at his Italian blog: here.

Aug 24, 2011

Judgment Day Omega: script example

Alan Moore is famous for his extremely detailed comics scripts.
In the following you can read the script for a single panel from "Judgment Day Omega" (1997, Awesome Entertainment) drawn by Chris Sprouse (the final panel is shown above). It's a short excerpt but it is a clear example of Moore's writing.
Due to a misunderstanding, Moore indicates in the script the name of Dan Jurgens even if the artist for that sequence was Sprouse (read the editor's note in the page).
So... enjoy!

Published here just as a "comics studies" example.

Jul 31, 2011

Moore talks to the Guardian

Photograph by Murdo Macleod
The complete interview can be read at the Guardian site.

Do you miss anything about not working with a DC or a Marvel?
AM: Believe me, there is nothing that I miss about it at all. I only wish that I had been able to make this jump earlier in my career. I wish I hadn't wasted so much time working for those people. I'm very distanced from the comics industry. I love the comics medium but I have no time for the industry. [...]

Jul 22, 2011

20th Anniversary Watchmen tribute: Nite Owl I

Art by Werther Dell'Edera
This year marked the 25th anniversary of Watchmen. But... at the end of 2006 - in the occasion of its 20th anniversary - I edited "Watchmen 20 anni dopo", an Italian Watchmen tribute book which was basically a collection of 12 brand new essays by well known comics experts analyzing Moore & Gibbons masterpiece. The volume was published by Lavieri with all net profits donated to AIMA, the Italian Alzheimer organization.
The book also contained a 24 illustration gallery: above you can admire the original Nite Owl drawn by Italian amazing artist WERTHER DELL'EDERA who is well known to the American comics readers for his art on several series published by Marvel, DC, Image and IDW. 
So enjoy and...  many thanks to Mr. Dell'Edera for his permission to show the illo here, of course!

For more info about Werther Dell'Edera visit his blog.

Jun 23, 2011

20th Anniversary Watchmen tribute: the shipwreck

Art by Luca Rossi
This year marked the 25th anniversary of Watchmen. But... at the end of 2006 - in the occasion of its 20th anniversary - I edited "Watchmen 20 anni dopo", an Italian Watchmen tribute book which was basically a collection of 12 brand new essays by well known comics experts analyzing Moore & Gibbons masterpiece. The volume was published by Lavieri, a small Italian publisher, with all net profits donated to AIMA, the Italian Alzheimer organization.
The book also contained a 24 illustration gallery: above you can admire the shipwreck from "Tales of the Black_Freighter" drawn by Italian amazing artist LUCA ROSSI who is well known to the American comics readers for his art on Vertigo's House of Mistery series. Mr.Rossi gave his permission to show here the piece. Also he was really generous to provide some preliminary sketches that you can see below, for the very first time. 
Enjoy and...  many thanks to Mr.Rossi, of course
Art by Luca Rossi

May 23, 2011

new Moore projects

One frame from the storyboard for Jimmy’s End, Mitch Jenkins‘ new film written by Alan Moore.
From Bleeding Cool.
It seems that there is more Moore than we can imagine.

In a recent interview by Pádraig Ó Méalóid titled Boy From The Boroughs, Moore said: "[About Jimmy's End] I don’t want to announce anything regarding who or what that might be, but it’s people that I find interesting, and we’re not talking to anybody from Hollywood. [...] Well, at the moment we’re just talking about a short ten minute film. There are possibilities beyond that, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. The ten minute film Jimmy’s End is the cornerstone for everything that follows, so we want to just treat that as entirely a thing in itself. Then when people have seen that, they will be able to judge whether they would be interested in the other possible film, television series, or whatever, that we’ve got to follow that up. But I can tell you that it’s coming on very well, it’s looking very, very interesting and if, by the end of the week, we’ve got the funding sorted out, then we should be going into filming very soon, and it’ll take us about a week to film it. So, later in the year is my best guess, but I’m spending a lot of my time thinking about ideas related to Jimmy’s End at the moment, so I think that people will be interested when we’ve finally got it developed enough to be able to show people some of the stuff we’ve been coming up with."

Furthermore, Bleeding Cool revealed the Alan Moore’s Big New Multi-Media Thing: "Hey this is the 21st century people want to expand everything into multiple platforms, into games and all sorts of things, so what if I embraced that, what if I came up with a concept that could spin out into all sorts of things that I believe, in the way that I wanted to… That would be quite diabolical, couldn’t it?"

I can't wait to know... Moore!

Apr 24, 2011

20th Anniversary Watchmen tribute: Ozymandias

Art by Claudio Villa
This year marked the 25th anniversary of Watchmen. But... at the end of 2006 - in the occasion of its 20th anniversary - I edited "Watchmen 20 anni dopo", an Italian Watchmen tribute book which was basicallya collection of 12 brand new essays by well known comics experts analyzing Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons masterpiece. The volume was published by Lavieri, a small Italian publisher, with all net profits donated to AIMA, the Italian Alzheimer organization.
The book also contained a 24 illustration gallery: above you can admire Ozymandias drawn by Italian superstar artist CLAUDIO VILLA who gave his permission to show here the piece. Enjoy! And  many thanks to Mr. Villa, of course!

Mar 20, 2011

Alan Moore Storyteller: preview

In the previous post I had a brief chat with Gary Spencer Millidge about his upcoming book Alan Moore: Storyteller (it will be published this summer by Ilex Press).
In the following you can see some previous pages from the book. Other pages can be seen at Millidge's blog
In the post opening image, you can admire the final book cover: photography by José Villarrubia, design by Chip Kidd.
Enjoy... and don't forget to pre-order the volume!!!

Mar 11, 2011

Gary Spencer Millidge talks about Storyteller

This summer Ilex Press will release Alan Moore: Storyteller by Gary Spencer Millidge. The book promises to be the definitive volume about Moore and a must-have for any fan of the Bard of Northampton.
Ilex 2011 catalogue can be seen and downloaded at Issuu. Alan Moore: Storyteller is at page 28. The volume is currently scheduled for early July release.

Gary Spencer Millidge is the author of the acclaimed series Strangehaven and together we edited the 2003 Alan Moore: Portrait of and Extraordinary Gentleman tribute book. He already talked about Storyteller in his own blog.

In the following a brief chat with Gary about this new Moore-related project.

smoky man: How did you start working on an other Moore-related project, after our Portrait? Previously you did a book focused on comics design...
Gary Spencer Millidge: I wrote Comic Book Design for Ilex Press in 2008, and the commissioning editor Tim Pilcher called me at the end of 2009 to ask me to create some sample pages for a potential Alan Moore biography. I was commissioned to write the book in the spring of 2010.

Can you reveal us details about the actual content of the book? It seems to be as an enhanced biography of sort, doesn't it?
It's what I think the publishers call a visual biography. It mainly concerns a survey of the entirety of Moore's works in some depth, profusely illustrated, but also contains a detailed biography, particularly of his early life. The book also goes into some detail about his music, performance, prose and illustration work, as well as his personal views opinions and philosophies on magic, politics, drug use and of course the Hollywood system.

What about the CD included in?
The audio CD included with the book is a collection of tracks spanning Moore's musical and audio career, containing tracks from each of his major recorded projects, as well as a number of unreleased songs, including the infamous Emperors of Ice Cream track, Mr. A. All 19 tracks have been professionally remastered by Gary Lloyd, Moore's collaborator on the audio version of  Brought to Light.

What will Moore longtime fans will find in the book? And, what's about the general comics audience? And for a "common" person maybe attracted by Moore's name related to movies?
As well as providing the most accurate and comprehensive biography of Moore to date, the book will include a great deal of rare and never previously published material. This includes a reproduction of the much rumoured Big Numbers chart, many personal family photographs, excerpts from Moore's personal notebooks (including sketches and notes for From Hell and Lost Girls), and unseen/unillustrated script for an episode of V for Vendetta, unseen art from Captain Britain and Watchmen and much more.
There's also a gatefold timeline and bibliography which puts all of Moore's works into chronological context.

What's about the involvement of Alan Moore himself in the whole project? It's a fact that Moore has a strong ethic related to his works and his own persona, so... I think he really trusted you... for this book, I mean...
Alan Moore has given me his utmost co-operation in the production of this book, making himself available for interviews in person and by phone, as well as providing the photographs, notebooks and audio recordings as described above; in addition, he has checked my manuscript to ensure every accuracy.

You well know Moore and its works but... What did you find out that surprised you working on the book? Maybe doing researches or talking with Moore..
The quality, diversity and prolificacy of Moore's work is more astonishing that I previously thought. Revisiting even his earlier material proved the depth and breath of his writing skills. Having access to his notebooks was a revelation. It was amazing how much like my own or any other writers these notebooks are; which proves that there is no secret magical techniques employed, just a massive intellect and a vast amount of hard work.

You spent many months working on this. I thinks it can also be defined as a "labour of love" on an Author you have the highest respect and admiration for.... What are your expectation in terms of critical and commercial response?
I don't have any expectations, as it will be Moore's name that sells the book, not mine. It was a labour of love in the sense that everything I do, I try to do my best. Hopefully the book will enhance Moore's reputation and open another door for him to be able to create another masterwork.

In conclusion, I can't avoid to ask this last question. Any possibility to see some new Strangehaven issue/material in the upcoming future? :)
It's a pretty simple equation of time and money. The amount of time I spend on Strangehaven cannot really be compensated for financially in the current economic climate. I still intend to find a solution that will enable me to continue and conclude the series as soon as I am able, and I won't make any further announcements until I have some concrete news.
from Ilex catalogue, page 28

Here the Italian version of this post.

Feb 28, 2011

Judgment Day Sourcebook

Above and in the following, sketches and page layouts by Chris Sprouse for Judgment Day Sourcebook (Awesome Entertainment), the 6 page prequel story to Judgment Day, published in 1997. Enjoy!

Feb 19, 2011

Alan Moore World header

Hey folks, as you can see, the blog has a new header! It has been created by multi-talented Italian comics artist Daniele Tomasi. Daniele is a long-time friend of mine and so... a smoky "thank you, Daniele" for your great contribution! 
Daniele is also the owner of DTE, "the smallest publishing house in the world", as he likes to say. He is a creator, writer, penciler, inker, letterer, colorist and publisher. A real Renaissance man!
If you can't read Italian go here to take a look at Tomasi's storyboard based on James Cameron's script for a Spider-Man movie that never happened.

Above you can see the pencils and, in the following, the inks that Tomasi did for the header.
From left to right: Alan Moore, Tom Strong, Ginda Bojeffries, Dr. Manhattan, Promethea, V, D.R. and Quinch, William Gull, Capitain Nemo.

Jan 31, 2011

a Fury in the making

In 2003 Trevor Hairsine contributed with a pencil drawing of The Fury to the Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman tribute book, published by Abiogenesis Press. You can see it in its printed glory at page 150 of the volume. 
In the past weeks I discovered in a box some preliminary sketches Trevor sent me. I completely forgot them! So, you can see them here for the very first time. 
Also included the original piece and the inked version realized by Kevin Nowlan in 2010, as a commission for me.

 The Fury, original pencil drawing. By Trevor Hairsine.
  The Fury, inked version by Kevin Nowlan (2010).

Jan 10, 2011

League: Century N.2 - 1969

CHAPTER TWO takes place almost sixty years later in the psychedelic daze of Swinging London during 1969, a place where Tadukic Acid Diethylamide 26 is the drug of choice, and where different underworlds are starting to overlap dangerously to an accompaniment of sit-ins and sitars.  More here.

Jan 7, 2011

Sienkiewicz speaks about Big Numbers N.3

Some days ago, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, posted on his blog an intense piece by Bill Sienkiewicz, one of the most extraordinary Artists in the comics field, about his controversial work on Big Numbers and especially on the legendary "lost" third issue.
Sienkiewicz wrote: "[...] Alan's a genius, an absolute gentleman. Plain and simple. Yes, his scripts are dense. They're brilliant, layered, nuanced, variegated, textural, beautiful and daunting. Simultaneously so. And although Alan is incredibly deferential and generous as to allowances for alterations made by the artist, the scripts veritably beg, no, demand, to be adhered to in their totality. It's practically sacramental.
[...] Working with Alan was like going from the multiplication table to the periodic chart to quantum physics all in the space of one panel border. 
[...] To this day, I've lamented that Alan and I never finished the series. I actually literally can't stomach the thought of it remaining a hole in our creative lives, certainly in mine. And honestly, there's not a week that goes by that I don't think about completing it, about contacting Alan and saying, “Adult here. What say you? Let's kick out the jams!” I understand his great disappointment, though I've no doubt he's moved on. And gotten even more brilliant, if that's possible. I've apologized to Alan personally, and to the others, for my part. And I apologize to you - the readers."

Jan 6, 2011

Lettering the League

On his blog, Master of Lettering Todd Klein talks about the process behind the upcoming second 80-page issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century (published by Top Shelf).
Klein writes: "Mostly, Alan gives us everything he can think of that might be relevant in the script, then lets us get on with doing the rest of it. So, when Alan does include lettering notes, I try extra hard to come up with something I think he’ll like. There are a couple of examples in this issue."
You can read the whole thing here. A quite interesting and revealing piece.

Images © Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill; Lettering and text © Todd Klein.