Nov 8, 2016

Jay Stephens: ABC and Alan Moore

Art by Jay Stephens.
Above an illustration by Canadian cartoonist JAY STEPHENS featuring several characters from Alan Moore's America's Best Comics; also below a short homage text by Stephens.
The pieces were both published in May 2001 on Ultrazine.org special dedicated to Moore. 

       I was fifteen years old when WATCHMEN hit comics like an ice age. Now there would always be a before and an after. By that time, my friends and I had graduated to reading Love and Rockets, Mr.X, and Yummy Fur, but we still managed to find time for our old favourites, the superheroes. Suddenly, we were struck by a single comic that gave it to us all at once. The comic that blew up the genre. WATCHMEN.
    
In hindsight it's no longer my favourite work of Alan Moore's (though it still holds up very well). Anybody with a sharp knife can cut something to pieces. Elegantly, meticulously, it doesn't ultimately make a difference. Diced is diced. A good surgeon, however, learns to use a sharp knife with great skill to repair and heal. To build instead of destroy. It is the fantastic surgical skill that Mr. Moore has displayed recently that so impresses me.
       
FROM HELL is a stitched together work of art the likes of which comics had yet to behold, and the incredible ABC books... who among us had NOT uttered the phrase " It's all been done.", in connection to superheroes? Proven wrong again by one of the medium true masters.
He's no longer tinkering with the bowels of corpses, but constructing strange, new Prometheans that walk and breathe with life of their own. And it is a thing of wonder to behold.
       
Thank you Alan Moore.

Jay Stephens
[December 2000]

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