May 22, 2017

The Call of Cthulhu: a new preface by Alan Moore

Art by Dan Hillier.
Alan Moore wrote a new preface for H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories published by The Folio Society and available as both standard and limited edition with amazing illustrations by Dan Hillier.
Art by Dan Hillier.
"In a brilliant new preface, written for The Folio Society, author Alan Moore traces his own – and the literary canon’s – troubled relationship with ‘Providence’s paranoiac prophet’ and unearths a writer ‘more subtly insidious and more magnificently visionary… than the one that you remember or anticipate’. [...] 

Moore finds Lovecraft at once at odds with and integral to the time in which he lived: ‘the improbable embodiment of an estranged world in transition’. Yet, despite his prejudices and parochialisms, he ‘possessed a voice and a perspective both unique in modern literature’." 

You can buy these awesome books here and here.
Art by Dan Hillier.

May 20, 2017

Rorschach by Giorgio Cavazzano

Art by Giorgio Cavazzano.
Above, from page 178 of the sold-out Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman (2003, Abiogenesis Press), an awesome Rorschach drawn by legendary Italian artist GIORGIO CAVAZZANO.

May 15, 2017

Jordan Crane on Alan Moore and... watching

Art by Jordan Crane.
Above, a fantastic portrait of Alan Moore by American comics creator Jordan Crane, from Rickey Purdin’s Watchmen sketchbook.

May 4, 2017

Alan Moore on imagination

Excerpt from an interview published the 27th of April on Daily Grail site.

Alan Moore: [...] when I was around seven years old and first discovering American superhero comics, I would have probably given just about anything for a set of, say, Justice League of America toy soldiers. However, such things didn’t exist in 1960, and even if they had existed, my family would not have been able to afford them. Thus, if I wanted to play with a team of toy superheroes I had to invent one myself from the motley assortment of mismatched toy soldiers, cowboys, Indians and Trojan warriors that I already possessed. This required a certain amount of ingenious repurposing: an Indian Chief-type figure became a time-travelling medicine man with magical powers. A seven-inch tall American G.I, probably from a non-regulation set of soldiers I’d acquired somewhere, was obviously a superhuman giant, and by the same logic those tiny little Airfix military figures that used to be available could be pressed into service as heroes with shrinking abilities. A plastic Robin Hood giveaway figure from a box of cereal became one of the ubiquitous masked archers familiar from my superhero reading, and as I recall the green plastic robot figure from an arcane general knowledge novelty board game – The Magic Robot – was re-cast as a more science-fiction oriented non-magical robot, possibly with a human brain. As a headquarters, I customised and decorated a cardboard shoebox, and as a principal villain I took an unpleasant bruise-coloured lump of merged and forgotten Plasticene discovered down the back of the settee, and re-imagined it as an amoebic shape-shifting alien monster from another planet, capable of engulfing my heroes and thereby somehow stealing their powers. My point is that, lacking a readymade set of Justice League of America toys, I had to exercise my imagination by creating characters and situations of my own. Whereas I fear that kids today, assuming they or their parents can somehow scrape the money together from somewhere, can completely satisfy any imaginative whim without having to do a stroke of (actually very enjoyable) work or exhibit any creativity of their own.

In my opinion, this has been an increasing problem throughout the closing decades of the 20th century and has only been greatly exacerbated in the opening decades of the 21st. And, if I’m right, this is only likely to get worse. By not investing in the imaginative growth of the young we would seem to be setting up a massive failure of creativity, progress and imagination for the not too distant future. This may seem a bleak appraisal, but a quick glance at mainstream film, television, music, literature or comic books appears to confirm that the last twenty or thirty years haven’t been exactly bursting with new and transformative ideas.

What I seem to be arguing for here is a greater degree of imaginative deprivation during childhood, isn’t it? While I admit it sounds a bit startling and unattractive put like that, I would only say that it doesn’t appear to have done either myself or Kevin O’Neill any harm.
[...]

Apr 24, 2017

Providence art book and slipcase on Kickstarter

Art by Jacen Burrows.
Avatar launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a Providence art book and complete slipcase set.
At the moment of writing the campaign has been already funded with more than $94,000 pledged of $8,300 goal.
More details here.
Art by Jacen Burrows.

Apr 17, 2017

Dr. John Dee: The first 007

In March The Confidentials published a "magic list of mystics and magicians" written by Moore. Below you can read what he wrote regarding Dr. John Dee.
The complete list is available HERE.

Dr. John Dee (1527-1609): The first 007
This Elizabethan magus is, for my money, the most creative and influential practitioner of magic who has ever existed. A brilliant 16th century mathematician and astronomer/astrologer, adviser to Queen Elizabeth I,  Dee (literally) wrote the book on navigation that helped to establish Britain’s famous sea power; coined the phrase “British Empire” and suggested its implementation, to Elizabeth, in the colonising of America.
  • He provided the basis for most modern Western thought with simply the books that remained in his Mortlake library once the mob were done with it;
  • Was the inspiration for Ben Jonson’s Alchemist, Marlowe’s Faust and Shakespeare’s Prospero;
  • Served as a secret agent in Francis Walsingham’s prototypical British Intelligence under the code name/number 007;
  • Greatly improved the design of Manchester while losing most of his family to the plague;
  • Spent most of his later life in communication with entities that he diplomatically referred to as “angels”, and who had revealed the complex structure of their universe and their “Enochian” language to Dee and his sometime partner, Edward Kelly through the agency of a crystal ball or scrying mirror.
John Dee pretty much built the modern world that we exist in, and his Enochian magical system at least appears to work if approached according to his instructions. They don’t make magicians like that any more.

[The complete list is available HERE.]

Apr 16, 2017

Alan Moore by Gianluca Costantini

Art by Gianluca Costantini.
Above, Alan Moore portrayed by Italian comic artist and graphic journalist Gianluca Costantini during the Comica festival in 2008.

Apr 4, 2017

Brian K. Vaughan on Providence

Providence
Brian K. Vaughan compiled a list of ten of his favorite recent graphic novels "that take advantage of comics’ unique ability to explore the world and ourselves in ways that no other visual medium can." Providence is included in.
The complete list is available HERE.

Providence, by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows
The greatest writer in the history of comics is doing some of his finest work ever with artist Jacen Burrows and their harrowing exploration of Lovecraft. [Brian K. Vaughan]