20 January 2012

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Four Alan Moore Comics That'll Knock Your Head Back

Alan Moore is a comic book writer often referred to as the best in history. Although a subjective statement this may be few can deny his talents, penning some of the most critically acclaimed and influential comic titles of the last 30 years. His revered status as an author isn't limited to inside the world of graphic story telling either, with Ethan Doyle-White, editor of Pentacle magazine stating that Moore is one of the 'most important British writers of the last 50 years'. Although Moore's work is extensive we'll begin with four of his more famous titles that will give you a feeling for scope and flair of his work.

Alan Moore is a comic book writer often referred to as the best in history. Although a subjective statement this may be few can deny his talents, penning some of the most critically acclaimed and influential comic titles of the last 30 years. His revered status as an author isn't limited to inside the world of graphic story telling either, with Ethan Doyle-White, editor of Pentacle magazine stating that Moore is one of the 'most important British writers of the last 50 years'. 

Although Moore's work is extensive we'll begin with four of his more famous titles that will give you a feeling for scope and flair of his work.


Image: Fimb

V for Vendetta (1982-1985)
Such is the influence and significance of his work that some 30 years after V for Vendetta was produced the mask that the lead character V wears throughout is now produced and worn globally. Helped by the film version of the tale protestors have taken V's Guy Fawkes inspired visage as a symbol of civil unrest and dissatisfaction with government policy. This is something Moore said 'pleased him'. The comic itself is aligned with similar, if slightly more dramatic concerns. Set in a near future London ruled by a totalitarian government, V takes the fight to them seeking to convince the masses to rise against their oppressors.

Watchmen (1986-1987)
Often cited as the greatest comic work ever created, Watchmen questions the superhero ideology while playing thematically on cultural anxieties of the time. The story is epic, painting a modern world in which superheroes have effectively been outlawed in the wake of helping to win the Vietnam War. However, a murder investigation brings them back to prominence and all set against the threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Mind. Blowing.

From Hell (1991-1996)
From Hell is a whooping 572 pages of civilised terror that focuses on Jack the Ripper. The story takes accounts and factual details of the incidents surrounding the infamous murders, and speculates on who and why the notorious serial killer did what he did but within a fictional narrative. Expansive and melancholy to the last, From Hell is quite the grisly trip.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999-present)
Being turned into a distinctly average film that famously ended the career of Sean Connery, he felt it was such an unpleasant experience he vowed not to work again, isn't fitting for such fine source material. Moore created The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen as a Justice League equivalent, but set in Victorian England. The result is an outstanding and complex merging of literary folklore and characters, lead by a post Dracula Mina Harker and aging Allan Quatermain, it's masterful.


Hopefully this will have given you a taste for the work of Alan Moore and, if things have gone really well, have you figuring where you can get your hands on one or all of the above titles. I suggest all good book shops... though be prepared to have that head knocked well and truly back!






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