Jun 30, 2021

The Most Important Comic Book on Earth

This October, Alan Moore will contribute to The Most Important Comic Book on Earth, a book to be released by DK. The story will be drawn by Melinda Gebbie.

The book, compiled by writer and producer Paul Goodenough, will include more than 120 stories on environmentalism from celebrities, scientists, comedians, charities, activists, and artists. 

Goodenough said: "We are uniting the most important environmental voices on the planet: from indigenous people to activists, from storytellers to celebrities, and helping them collaborate to craft moving comic stories."
Besides Moore, confirmed contributors include Ricky Gervais, Cara Delevingne, Taika Waititi, Patrick Stewart, Jane Goodall, Lenny Henry, Yoko Ono and Peter Gabriel among others. 

"The publication of The Most Important Comic Book on Earth is a significant part of a broader, cross-charity campaign called Rewriting Extinction, founded by Goodenough,” DK explained. “Working with charities including World Land Trust, The Wildlife Trusts, Reserva YLT, Born Free, Rewilding Europe and Re:wild, the project aims to raise awareness and fundraise for conservation projects around the world.”  

The Most Important Comic Book on Earth will be published on 28th October in the UK and the 2nd November 2021 in the US and Australia. 

Pre-order you copy, HERE.

More info: here - here - here - here

Jun 29, 2021

Ozy by Jesse Lonergan

Art by Jesse Lonergan
Above, a perfect portrait of Ozymandias by American comic book artist and illustrator Jesse Lonergan.
For more info about the artist: Website - Etsy shop - Image page

Jun 23, 2021

Alan Moore by Wagner Willian

Art by Wagner Willian
Above and below two portraits of The Man from Northampton - referring, respectively, Swamp Thing and From Hell - by Brazilian artist and writer Wagner Willian, realized for a Voice of The Fire exhibition in 2014. 
For more info about the artist, visit his site: HERE.

Jun 22, 2021

Marvelman by Drew Moss

Art by Drew Moss
Above, a blazing Marvelman by American comic book artist DREW MOSS.

More info about Moss, HERE.

Jun 20, 2021

Alan Moore by Ryan Gajda

Art by Ryan Gajda
Above, a powerful portrait of Moore with intense gaze by British based artist RYAN GAJDA.

For more info about the artist, visit his site HERE.

Jun 17, 2021

Supreme and... Miracleman?

Excerpt from Kimota! The Miracleman Companion by George Khoury, published by TwoMorrows in 2001 (page 23).
Alan Moore: [...] I did have a vague idea that at one point, I remember talking to Rick Veitch: "Wouldn't it be cool if we maybe did a run of SUPREME where Supreme decides to journey to the absolute limits of reality?" Not just to the end of the universe but the limits of reality to try and find out about the nature of this strange form of reality that his universe existed with these constant revisions and the existence of Supremacy and things like that. And I got some mad idea--I don't know how I would have tied it in--that wouldn't it be cool if Supreme reached some place at the end of the universe and went into this room and there was Miracleman and maybe Rick Veitch's Maximortal and two or three other kinda clones of existing super-heroes, all trying to find the answer to the same problem, "Where are we? What are we?" That was the last time that I actually thought maybe it would be fun to have Miracleman turn up in a story. But that's never going to happen.

Jun 16, 2021

A different history

Excerpt from the introduction to Kings In Disguise re-issued by W. W. Norton in 2006.
I highly recommend the book!
[...] The histories that we were taught in school were gold and ermine histories, the self-penned chronicles of church and state, of kings and generals, of misjudged wars, successful persecutions, hamstrung dynasties, that all too often seemed like a list of mankind's stumbling blocks more than a proud recounting of its progress. When we look back at our culture's high points, at its noblest achievements, we do not in general count coronations, bloody feuds or holy wars amongst that company. The things we generally cherish as a species, unsurprisingly, seem not to be the grand and glorious campaigns that waste us in our thousands, in our millions, but instead the things that make the often-gruelling human trail sweeter: music and art and writing, medicine and learning, and those fruits of science that are not poisonous and do not too severely disadvantage us. [...] When we search for names to make us proud of our humanity and of our heritage, the likelihood is that the name we seize upon will be a person born to modest circumstance.
    The poor, we're told, are always with us, although one would never think so from the reconstructed dramas we call history. History turns the poor into a nameless herd of unpaid and uncredited film-extras with no speaking part, to cannon fodder or to scabby Bastille mobs, to people whose lives came and went and never merited a cameo from Winslett or DiCaprio. To people like our parents or our grandparents or great-grandparents or however far one has to scramble arse-first down the family tree before one reaches hard black dirt. Didn't their lives, their stories, count for anything? Are they to be excluded from the homo sapiens account simply because they were not born into a noble lineage most likely founded upon murder, incest, treachery, decapitation?
    Instead, perhaps we should attempt a different history, a different narrative where even those not blessed by ruthlessly acquisitive blood-genealogies may be included. We should count small human victories as dearly as we count the sinking of armadas, and elect our own dishevelled heroes and aristocrats, our monarchies without a pot to piss in, our own vagrant kings.
    In this astonishing and heartfelt graphic novel, James Vance and Dan Burr have rescued a lost butt-end of discarded history, an edited-out sequence from the Souza pageant of the great American success tale. [...]
    In America, the moment that has come to be iconic as an image of rock-bottom destitution is the Great Depression of the 1930s: sepia lives, dust-saturated, frozen into sepia pictures, newsreel breadlines, but of course that's only half the story. [...] During the Depression, quite a lot of it was going to the entertainment industry, especially those sections of the entertainment industry that dealt in fantasy. [...]
    Kings in Disguise closes the circle, the direct descendant of an industry whose boom years were those times that people were most desperate to escape from into dreams of romance and empowerment, using comic strips to tell a story that portrays the grim realities that underlay the times when comic strips were born.
    James Vance writes with a naturalism, with an honest voice that doesn't wear its research on its sleeve, and with a finely tuned eye for the human nuances on which his story rests.
[...] Dan Burr's compelling art, as masterful and unassuming as the best of, for example, Harvey Pekar's worthiest collaborators, is the writing's perfect complement. It has an earthy strength and functionality, just as the writing has, that doesn't leave room for the least manipulative smear of sentiment, but which leaves all the open space for poetry that anyone could wish. [...]
This is simply one of the most moving and compelling human stories to emerge out of the graphic story medium thus far. [...]

Alan Moore
Northampton, England
July 2005

Jun 10, 2021

Decorated Moore by Gianluca Costantini

Art by Gianluca Costantini
Above, a decorated, cerebral Alan Moore portrait by Italian comic book artist and graphic journalist GIANLUCA COSTANTINI.
The black and white illustration has been included in the Italian edition of Alan Moore: Portrait, published by Black Velvet in 2003. A color version is available here.

For more info about Gianluca Costantini, visit his Official page

Jun 9, 2021

Swamp Thing by Chris Samnee

Art by Chris Samnee
Above, an intense black and white portrait of Swamp Thing by American comic book Master CHRIS SAMNEE.

Jun 7, 2021

Poetry, films, money and imagination

Excerpt from an interview published in The 100 Greatest Graphic Novels of All Time magazine, printed in 2016. 
Alan Moore: [...] I’d really like to write an enormous poem. Something with clout. On the scale of TS Eliot’s Waste Land, only probably nowhere near as good. I’d like to give it a try.
And I might even play around with film. On an amateurish level and it wouldn’t see the light of day, and it wouldn’t be treated as a commercial project. It would just be me having fun, playing in a new playpen, with a camera and some friends. Most of my favourite films look like they cost ten quid to make.

Alan Moore’s movies… now that would be something.
Alan Moore: I believe there’s a straightforward inverse equation that applies not just to films but lots of areas, and that is the inverse relationship of money and imagination. If you haven’t got any money then you’re going to have to use an incredible amount of imagination. Whereas if you’ve got tons of money, you’re not going to have to use any....

Jun 6, 2021

Dr. Manhattan by Jesse Lonergan

Art by Jesse Lonergan.
Above, an intense portrait of Doctor Manhattan by American comic book artist and illustrator Jesse Lonergan.
For more info about the artist: Website - Etsy shop - Image page

Jun 1, 2021

Media power, Watchmen, films

Excerpt from Sequential versus Cinematic Art, an interview by Chris Gore from Film Threat n. 12, published in 1987.
[...] Gore: In Watchmen you make references to media and its power in today's society.  Do you feel one must become media-literate to survive in the eighties?
Certainly.  I'd go further than that... I think there's a need for people to understand that the media is reality in the twentieth century. Everything we do or think or feel is in response to our media, so that in effect we have become a function on the media. The vocabulary of attitudes we use when fucking are largely derived from porno. Our moral and social attitudes come from bad films and crappy comic books. If you watch a brutally insensitive T.V. news interview with a woman who's just lost three children in a bus crash, you'll find it difficult to avoid the awful conclusion that the tearful woman's emotional responses are not totally derived from soap operas. The media is the world. I wish more artists understood this, the sheer scale of what they're fucking with. I wish they treated it with more respect... not in the arse-kissing fashion, but in the way the lifeboatmen respect the sea. The media is bigger than the sea, having no shoreline. It can take you to fabulous places or kill you without noticing, and we should at least bear that in mind.

Gore: There are also elements of self-reflexivity, the pirate story within the story seems to be a direct address to the reader- WAKE UP THIS IS A COMIC BOOK!!!  Comments?
With Watchmen being the most controlled project I'd ever attempted, I wanted to exploit the virtue of comic books I noted earlier... namely, that one can create material that is as (if not more) dense and intricate as a fairly complex novel, while retaining the visual appeal and flow of a film. Since the reader is in control of the "playline time", they are able to take in levels of complexity that other media would have difficulty in matching. The pirate story grew out of this... a device which reflected the main story obliquely while adding a whole new level of depth and interplay to the narrative. In a different setting it could easily have been, say, a T.V. show, so really I wouldn't say it was attempting to be self-referential. If it did constantly remind viewers they were reading a comic, then I made a serious cock-up and I apologise.

[...] Gore: Do you want to write film scripts?
No. I wrote "FASHION BEAST" for Malcolm McLaren, just to see what it was like, but I personally feel that comics are a much more exciting and vital as a medium. As I said earlier, unless you really want to do it all yourself, like Clive Barker's doing with "HELLRAISER", then the film industry is so incredibly compromised that, to me at least, it seems to have little future.

[...] Gore: Watchmen reads like a good film, many cinematic devices are used: cross-cutting, flashbacks, even devices involving sound.  Do you have an interest in films that goes beyond a mere novice viewer?
Not really. The relationship between comics and cinema is fairly obvious, and over the years it's been seen as the height of comic storytelling to be "cinematic". This strikes me as a dated attitude that can at best produce films that don't move and are harmed by the comparison. I'm much more interested in exploiting the differences between comics and cinema, in locating those effects that are unique to the medium and thus helping to stake out the artistic territory that belongs to comics alone.

[...] Gore: What do you think of current cinema?
I don't see very much. Most of what I see doesn't interest me.

Gore: Any favorite films?
If you mean recently, I enjoyed Repo Man, Brazil, Insignificance, and a couple of others. Jim Jarmusch looks interesting, but I imagine that most of the really interesting stuff passes me by completely. Oh... I'm looking forward to Brian Eno's video accompanying the ambient piece "Thursday Afternoon"... it sounds like a moving painting that shifts very slowly and very subtly. Obviously, this has a completely different function to most cinema, or indeed most music videos, but I'm fascinated by the thinking behind it.  As far as older films go, any list would be fairly random... O Lucky Man, Spider Baby, It's a Wonderful Life, Eraserhead, old Fleischer and Iwerks cartoons, The Phibes movies, Scorpio Rising, 5000 Fingers of Dr. T., King Kong, The Tingler, Dr. Caligari, Dead of Night, The Tenant, Night of the Hunter, Daniel and the Devil, Videodrome.

Gore: What films have influenced your work?
All of them, including the bad and dull ones. Bad art, really bad useless shit art, is important as a negative influence, and as such is probably more important as an influence than good art, which can only lead to emulation. Bad art shows you what not to do. And that's absolutely vital.

Gore: What films do you make reference to in Watchmen?
Not many, and they aren't of much importance-
This Island Earth, Things to Come, Day the Earth Stood Still, and an old Outer Limits episode, "Architects of Fear" with Robert Culp. If there's more, I've forgotten them.

[...] Gore: What is your involvement with the Watchmen film, currently in progress?
They asked me to write it, but I was too busy with comic work and had to say no. Also, since in my limited experience it's practically impossible to ensure creative control over the work unless you have the energy and the inclination to direct the thing yourself, which I don't, then I wasn't very keen to work in the film industry anyway. In comics, I write a script, it goes to the artist, the letterer and so son, but what comes out the other end is what the artist and I wanted to see there. In films this doesn't seem possible. A script will go through numerous rewrites by different people, will be furthered altered by the director or the cast, and what finally appears on the screen will only have accidental similarity to what was originally written. Thus, it doesn't really matter who writes the thing- the end result will be a committee decision, and I don't do art on that basis. Watchmen, if it gets made, may be a wonderful film or a complete fuck-up. The outcome seems fairly random to me, and if it's the latter result, I'd rather it was somebody else who fucked it up and not me. [...]