May 19, 2015

Alan Moore intro for The Vorrh novel

Excerpt from Alan Moore introduction for The Vorrh, a novel by English artist Brian Catling.
The complete introduction can be read here. You can also listen it directly from Moore's voice, here.

Easily the current century’s first landmark work of fantasy and ranking amongst the best pieces ever written in that genre, with The Vorrh we are presented with a sprawling immaterial organism which leaves the reader filthy with its seeds and spores, encouraging new growth and threatening a great reforesting of the imagination.

Comedies of manners set in mews and crescents that have lost their meaning, auto-heroising romps through sloppy pseudo-medieval fens, our writings are increasingly outgunned by our experience and are too narrow to describe, contain, or even name our current circumstance. In the original-growth arbours of The Vorrh, new routes are posited and new agendas are implicit in the sinister viridian dapple. As the greyed-out urban street-grid of our ideologies and ways of thinking falls inevitably into disrepair and disappearance, Catling’s stupefying work provides both viable alternatives and meaningful escape into its tropic possibilities.

It offers us a welcome to the wilderness.

The complete introduction: here
Directly from Moore's voice: here.

May 15, 2015

Starry Wisdow: Alan Moore, John Coulthart and HPL

Yuggoth Cultures (1994) by John Coulthart.
Excerpts from a really interesting post published by John Coulthart on his site.

[...] "Yuggoth Cultures" would have been an earlier collection of Lovecraftian fiction and non-fiction that Alan Moore had begun writing for Creation in 1993. Alan’s idea was to take Lovecraft’s "Fungi from Yuggoth" sonnet sequence as the basis for a collection that would explore Lovecraft’s fictional world and also draw together a variety of figures from the same era: fellow writers, occultists like Aleister Crowley and Austin Spare, and Harry Houdini for whom Lovecraft ghost-wrote "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs" in 1924. Unfortunately the stars were not right on this occasion; Alan took the sole copy of the half-written manuscript to London in order to read selections at an event in Soho but left the papers in a cab. Some pieces survived, having been copied and stored elsewhere—"The Courtyard" in "The Starry Wisdom" is one of these—and there was talk for a while of the lost pieces being rewritten but enthusiasm for the project flagged.
Cover sketch by Alan Moore.
This is Alan’s sketch for the cover, the idea being to have a Lovecraft head made of fungal growths rather like an Arcimboldo painting. The head would be sprouting tendrils whose loops would contain pictures of some of the people featured in the book. Alan’s quick sketch is actually a better approximation of Lovecraft’s strange features than my painted version which isn’t narrow enough. For the record (and because people always ask), the other people on the cover are Alan himself, Austin Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, Harry Houdini, Robert E Howard (not Al Capone as people often think) and Clark Ashton Smith

The complete article can be read here.

May 9, 2015

May 5, 2015

Moore talks about Providence

Except from an article published on PREVIEWSWorld.

Providence is an attempt to marry Lovecraft’s history with a mosaic of his fictions, setting the man and his monsters in a persuasively real America during the pivotal year of 1919: before Prohibition and Weird Tales, before Votes for Women or the marriage to Sonia, before the Boston Police Strike and Cthulhu. This is a story of the birth of modern America, and the birth of modern American terror. It is also, in my opinion, the most spectacular outgrowth of our original fungus-sample thus far, and I look forward with interest to the reaction of the modern Lovecraft audience and to that of modern Lovecraft scholarship. Above all this is a reappraisal of Lovecraft, not as an icon of the horror story’s past, but of its future. It may be that the stars are finally right. [Alan More]

The complete piece can be read here.  
Providence N.1, published by Avatar Press, will be released at the end of May.

Apr 29, 2015

Apr 27, 2015

Alan Moore and The Dark Knight

Batman: The Dark Knight returns.
Excerpt from the introduction written by Moore in 1986 for the hardcover edition of Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight returns.

[...] The importance of myth and legend as a subtext to Dark Knight can't really be overstated, shining as it does from every page. The familiar Batman origin sequence with the tiny bat fluttering in through an open window to inspire a musing Bruce Wayne becomes something far more religious and apocalyptic under Miller's handling; the bat itself transformed into a gigantic and ominous chimera straight out of the darkest European fables. 

[...] Beyond the imagery, themes, and essential romance of Dark Knight, Miller has also managed to shape The Batman into a true legend by introducing that element without which all true legends are incomplete and yet which for some reason hardly seems to exist in the world depicted in the average comic book, and that element is time.
All of our best and oldest legends recognize that time passes and that people grow old and die.

[...] In his engrossing story of a great man's final and greatest battle, Miller has managed to create something radiant which should hopefully illuminate things for the rest of the comic book field, casting a new light upon the problems which face all of us working within the industry and perhaps even guiding us towards some fresh solutions.
[...] A new hero.

Alan Moore
Northampton, 1986

Apr 25, 2015

Don Simpson's cover for In Pictopia

Art by Don Simpson.
Above, the inked commission created by artist Don Simpson for Alan Moore connoisseur Flavio Pessanha who requested a "cover" for the In Pictopia story. 

In Pictopia originally appeared in Anything Goes N. 2 (Fantagraphics, December 1986). It was subsequently reprinted in The Best Comics of the Decade 1980-1990 Volume 1 (Fantagraphics, 1990), and in George Khoury's The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2003). The entire story with original coloring by Eric Vincent can be read online here.

Excerpt from Don Simpson's blog:
Simpson: "I took a few liberties, young buck that I was at the time (all of 24 years old). First, the original title had been “In Fictopia,” which I promptly changed to "In Pictopia" - more visual, I thought (and if anyone objected, and nobody did, I could always change it back. We were doing this for free, after all). I also expanded the cramped 8 pages called for to a leisurely 13 pages, employing a Cinemascope “widescreen” panel to impose a steady rhythm."
The complete piece can be read here.

In Pictopia is ™ and © Alan Moore and Donald Simpson, all rights reserved.

Apr 22, 2015

Marvelman by Chris Weston

Art by Chris Weston.
Above, a gorgeous portrait of Marvelman by the great CHRIS WESTON. A generous gift by Chris for my personal collection.Thank you, Chris!

More info about Chris Weston and his works: here.