Apr 30, 2020

20th Anniversary Watchmen tribute: Crimebusters

Art by  Giuseppe Palumbo.
In 2006 I edited Watchmen 20 anni dopo, an Italian tribute book to Watchmen in the occasion of its 20th anniversary. The volume was published by Lavieri with all net profits donated to AIMA, the Italian Alzheimer organization. 
Basically a collection of 12 essays, the book also contained a 24 illustration gallery: above you can admire a fantastic illustration featuring the Crimebusters drawn by the extraordinary Italian author GIUSEPPE PALUMBO.
The illustration was originally published in black and white lineart: here you can see the version colored by Palumbo himself.

Giuseppe Palumbo is one of the most acclaimed Italian comic book artists and writers.
For more info about  Giuseppe Palumbo visit his site: here.
A short Palumbo bio, in English - even if outdated - can be read on Lambiek Comiclopedia: here.

Apr 28, 2020

He has mesmerising eyes by Andrea Casciu

Above, an awesome and stylist portrait of our Beloved Author by well known Italian illustrator and street artist ANDREA CASCIU. Grazie, Andrea: great work!
You can admire the art of CASCIU on: Instagram - Tumblr - Pinterest and... on many walls around the world! Enjoy!

Apr 27, 2020

Superman Goes to Hell

Excerpt from The Art of Neil Gaiman by Hayley Campbell, page 70-71. 
Buy it: it's a great book!
At that same convention [The British Fantasy Convention, 1985] Gaiman met Diana Wynne Jones, who was guest of honor at what was the first convention she had ever attended. Neil kept her company while she stood nervously at the bar, and downstairs Moore was reading Jones's The Ogre Downstairs to his daughters, Amber and Leah, as their bedtime book. With the kids safely asleep he'd come back out and talk about comics. "I remember the stuff that he was telling me about that hadn't come put yet. He was telling me about the last Superman story ("Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"), which hadn't yet come out. And he was telling me about a thing he did that never came out, which was Bernie Wrightson and him collaborating on "Superman Goes to Hell" and Lex Luthor going to rescue him.

Apr 26, 2020

Lost CD game with Dave Gibbons

Excerpt from an interview with DAVE GIBBONS that I did in collaboration with my friend Antonio Solinas in 2007. Originally printed in Italy on Lezioni di Fumetto: Dave Gibbons (October 2008, Coniglio Editore). The complete interview is available HERE.
Some years ago, maybe it was Bristol Con 2002, you told me about a huge project you were developing with Alan Moore. Any chances that it could materialize, or would you say it is a lost project?
Dave Gibbons:
Alan and I have always enjoyed collaborating and I think we both have done some of our best works when we have collaborated. The thing we did talk about for a little while, and this was a while ago, this was in the late 90’s, was the idea of doing something on a kind of a CD game, a computer game… to use their abilities to weave complex worlds and try new kind of storytelling techniques, where there were alternate storylines. We kicked the idea around for a while and put some thought into it but I think what we eventually realized was that we were getting into something that would probably be as fraught with problems as, say, doing a movie, and also into something that we didn’t completely understand or hadn’t completely grown up with.
Computer games nowadays are as big business as movies and therefore there are huge amounts of money involved, which means that the are huge amounts of people that want protect investments and want to maximise profits, so I think we would actually find ourselves in a situation of really just doing some kind of treatment or outline for a movie and then having it taken completely out of our hands. Also, as I said, there was a certain lack of experience in the medium. I mean, I know people in the game industry, and they have the same kind of passion and encyclopaedic knowledge of computer games that us comics fans have of comics. Certainly, I watched my son play computer games, I have dabbled myself, but I am not an expert: I would not know what a state-of-the-art computer game is.
So that faded away, and obviously Alan has got projects that he is working on and he is very enthusiastic about. As you might know, he is writing a novel called Jerusalem at the moment, which sounds fantastic, and I wouldn’t want to take him away from that, even if he wanted to be taken away from it [laughs].
So, we have no plans to do anything in the future but, who knows, when the stars are in the right position, something could happen.

Apr 25, 2020

The Magician by Eddie Campbell

Art by Eddie Campbell.
Above, a mesmerizing little sketch portrait of Moore by Eddie Campbell
If I remember well it was drawn during the first edition of Romics convention, in 2001. In that occasion Campbell won the Romics D'oro award.
So... this is the first entry in my collection of Bearded portraits.

Apr 24, 2020

Neil Gaiman: Moore is "Hairy, like a yeti"

Below an excerpt from The Sandman Companion a book by Hy Bender, published by Vertigo/DC Comics in 1999. The book contains several original interviews with Neil Gaiman about the comic and his career.
MOORE, MCKEAN, AND MAGIC (page 17-18-19)
Hy Bender: During that same period, you became friends with Alan Moore, who - present company excluded - is arguably the finest comics writer in the history of the medium. How did you and Alan first hook up with each other?
Neil Gaiman: When my book Ghostly Beyond Belief which I wrote with Kim Newman was published in 1985, I sent Alan a copy accompanied by a note that basically said, “You’ve given me an enormous amounts of pleasure, I think you’re terrific, and this is something I’ve done. Hope you like it.” Alan called me a week later and went [doing an uncannily accurate impersonation]: “You bastard. I lost an entire afternoon's work reading your book!” [Laughter] From then on, we were phone pals.

HB: You’ve since met Alan many times. How would you describe him?
Hairy, like a yeti. [Laughter] And huge - Alan looms at you, like a lion. But he’s also very gentle; incredibly funny; and utterly brilliant.

HB: I know that Alan is the one who taught you about writing a comics script. Do you recall how that happened?
NG: Oh, certainly. About eight months after we first chatted, I mentioned to Alan that two of his favorite writers, Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell, were going to be at the British Fantasy Convention at Birmingham. As a result of my journalism work, I knew both Clive and Ramsey,so I told Alan, “Come on down; I'll look after you and make sure you don't feel out of place."And he did, and I did, and we had a great time.
Toward the end of the day, we were  about comics, and I said, “I don't understand what a comics script looks like. How do you tell the artist what to draw?" So he showed me a scripts format, step by step, in a sheet of paper: “Put down 'Page 1 panel 1' like this, then describe what happens in the panel then write the name of the first character who talks, then put down his dialogue,» and so on.
After receiving that tutorial, I went home and wrote a short comics script titled “The Day My Pad Went Mad” based on Alan’s wonderful John Constantine character. In retrospect, the story wasn’t very good, and the ending was wrong. But I sent the script to Alan, and he told me, “Yeah, it’s all right. The ending’s a bit off.” And then he actually used a few lines of my story in Swamp Thing 51, "Home Free," which was very encouraging to me.
I next wrote a sixteenth-century Swamp Thing script titled “Jack in the Green” and sent it to Alan. When I asked him if it was okay, he said “Yeah, I would’ve been proud to write that.” That made me very happy.
And then - proving the driven nature of my ambition to begin a fiction career - I wrote absolutely no other scripts. I went, “Okay, now I know how to write a comic book" and left it at that.

Apr 21, 2020

Magic Al by Sergio Ponchione

Above, The Amazing Wizard of Northampton as imagined and portrayed by Italian extraordinary artist SERGIO PONCHIONE. And... we all know that He can do a lot of magic tricks (watch this!).
Grazie mille, Sergio! You did a fantastic and light-hearted illustration! Thank you, amico!

Ponchione previously drew a great Swamp Thing homage and a Doc Manhattan one. In 2019 he was the cover artist for a Linus issue focused on Moore and his works. 

Ponchione's books are published in English by Fantagraphics: check HERE.

Apr 18, 2020

Gangsta Moore by Paolo Raffaelli

Above, a spectacular portrait of Alan Moore playing the role of... a 1920s gangster!

The illustration has been drawn by Italian comic book artist and Master of black & white art PAOLO RAFFAELLI. Raffaelli is a regular collaborator of Sergio Bonelli Editore and his works have been also published in France; in 2018 for SBE he drew the graphic novel Keller (written by L. Migliacco), a story set during the Prohibition and Great Depression years, and he also realized a fantastic issue of Dampyr series, featuring... H.P. Lovecraft!

Soundtrack: Old Gangsters Never Die! Of course.

Thank you Paolo, amico mio, for you generosity!

Apr 16, 2020

Shaman Moore by Marino Neri

Above, a shamanic portrait of our beloved Writer from Northampton by Italian comic book artist and illustrator MARINO NERI
I really love the intensity of Neri's art! Grazie, Marino!
For more info about MARINO NERI, visit his blog: here.

Apr 15, 2020

Alan Moore and... Paolo Uccello

The Battle of San Romano
Excerpt from an article appeared on The Times newspaper, August 23, 2003, pag. 28.
"The true comic book"; interview by Angus Batey.
[...] He hopes to spend more time studying magic, and is considering a second novel. America's Best will continue, with his daughter, Leah, among the writers. A new comic-book idea is eating away at him - a book based on Paolo Uccello's Renaissance painting The Battle of San Romano and its numerous contexts. And Hollywood shows no sign of leaving him alone: X-Men writer David Hayter has written a screenplay for Watchmen that even meets with Moore's approval. [...]
This seems to be one of Moore's "lost projects". Even if considering what the journalist wrote about the Watchmen ("approval"?) I am not so sure he reported 100% true facts. :D

Apr 12, 2020

Maxwell, O Gato Mágico

It seems that the impossible became possible: Brazilian publisher Pipoca e Nanquim has just released a complete edition of... MAXWELL THE MAGIC CAT strips!!! OMG! In Portuguese of course

We hope to see the English version, sooner or later... and some other foreign editions too.

At the moment, the book seems to be available only via Amazon BR. Sigh! HERE.

Apr 11, 2020

Original proposal for the ABC line

The original proposal for the ABC line. By Alan Moore.
The 6th and 7th of April, Scott Dunbier posted some Moore texts and scripts on his Twitter account. Here, here, here and here. Above, an excerpt from Moore's original proposal for ABC. 
Alan Moore: [...] The broad agenda for the line will be the manufacture of comic books to a standard of excellence and beauty in both art and writing that will make them unique in today's marketplace and more importantly, fit for tomorrow's. With the comic industry in a state of panic, fragmention and decline; with little else to lose and everything to play for, it would seem a strong, decisive move is necessary.

Rather than dwell pointlessly and inconclusively upon the many problems and negative factors that afflict the field, now is perhaps the time to play our strongest cards, those of imagination, Energy and Vision. These were, in truth, the only cards the industry was ever holding. All the rest was bluff.

The complete text has been transcribed by BleedingCool, here.

Apr 8, 2020

Unpublished Big Numbers cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

Art by Bill Sienkiewicz. Up for sale on Heritage, HERE.
Above, a stunning painted illustration by Master Bill Sienkiewicz to be used as cover for an unpublished issue of Big Numbers. 
The original artwork is up for sale on Heritage Auctions, HERE.
There you can read: "This piece is signed by Sienkiewicz and dated 1992, What cover it was intended for is unclear (likely #4 or 5), but it is a stunning work in oil on Bristol board with an image area of 19.5" x 19.5". In Excellent condition."

Auction ends in 23 Days. So... place your bid (if you can)! ;)

UPDATE (9th of April): Commenting on a post by Paul Gravett, Sienkiewicz wrote: "I think this was going to be for issue 6 or 7, as their characters' roles began to become more prominent. [...] It's actually acrylic, not oil. w mixed media and airbrush."

Apr 7, 2020

Young Dylan Dog and a certain... Bearded One

Art by Paolo Bacilieri.
Well, Italians did it again! So, young Dylan Dog met... Alan Moore (again), sort of!

Below, a page from "I due padri" ("The two fathers"), a short story contained in Dylan Dog Magazine 2020, published this March in Italy by Bonelli Comics.
In the story, a young Dylan Dog enters in a record store, named Undead Records, looking for a very rare vinyl copy of The Dark Side of the Moon. And, needless to say, the shop owner is... a strange hairy guy that we all can recognize even if his name seems to be... Alistair Roome!

"I due padri" - a real gem, full of homages to pop culture (Pink Floyd, of course, and much more) - is written by Alberto Ostini with art by the extraordinary PAOLO BACILIERI (who is one of my personal heroes in comics).

Dylan Dog, created in 1986 by Tiziano Sclavi, is one of the best selling Italian comics of all time and a national pop-icon. Wikipedia page: here.
Art by Paolo Bacilieri.

Apr 3, 2020


A panel from The Birth Caul drawn by Eddie Campbell.
Below, an excerpt from HOLY SMOKE, the transcript of a short appearance by Alan Moore on London Weekend Television, in 1999. He was invited to share his personal answer to the perennial question, "What is reality?". 
The complete text can be read HERE.
Reality, at first glance, is a simple thing: the television speaking to you now is real. Your body sunk into that chair in the approach to midnight, a clock ticking at the threshold of awareness. All the endless detail of a solid and material world surrounding you. These things exist. [...]

Then there's the mind, half-focused on the TV, the settee, the clock. This ghostly knot of memory, idea and feeling that we call ourself also exists, though not within the measurable world our science may describe. Consciousness is unquantifiable, a ghost in the machine, barely considered real at all, though in a sense this flickering mosaic of awareness is the only true reality that we can ever know.

Before the Age of Reason was announced, humanity had polished strategies for interacting with the world of the imaginary and invisible: complicated magic-systems; sprawling pantheons of gods and spirits, images and names with which we labelled powerful inner forces so that we might better understand them. [...] Ancient cultures did not worship idols. Their god-statues represented ideal states which, when meditated constantly upon, one might aspire to.

Science proves there never was a mermaid, blue-skinned Krishna or a virgin birth in physical reality. Yet thought is real, and the domain of thought is the one place where gods inarguably exist, wielding tremendous power. If Aphrodite were a myth and Love only a concept, then would that negate the crimes and kindnesses and songs done in Love's name? If Christ were only ever fiction, a divine Idea, would this invalidate the social change inspired by that idea, make holy wars less terrible, or human betterment less real, less sacred?

The world of ideas is in certain senses deeper, truer than reality; this solid television less significant than the Idea of television. Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish. They remain immortal, immaterial and everywhere, like all Divine things. Ideas are a golden, savage landscape that we wander unaware, without a map. Be careful: in the last analysis, reality may be exactly what we think it is.

The complete text is available HERE.

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