League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Classic or Dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

My Alan Moore obsession has been growing for the last year or so. Having read the first two volumes I was convinced LXG was the best thing since the invention of the flushable toilet, and sparked a massive fixation with Victorian literature.

Not being able to get hold of a proper copy, I managed to download the Black Dossier in digital format, and recently got hold of and read Century: 1910. The latter was okay, but flimsy on stroy and just didn't seem as stylish and well defined as the original books, using the Threepenny Opera as a crutch rather than a reference. The Black Dossier seems almost impenetrable... I'm really not up with half the characters and references and I just couldn't be arsed to read all the Shakespeare bits etc.

Is it worth persevering? I did read nearly all the travelogue in Book 2 and that was pretty tedious in places.

village idiot (dog latin), Thursday, 6 May 2010 11:13 (nine years ago) link

Can't be arsed to repost my thoughts, but there's bunch of LOTG: Century discussion in this thread:

Alan Moore!

Tuomas, Thursday, 6 May 2010 11:58 (nine years ago) link

LOTG? LOEG, I mean.

Tuomas, Thursday, 6 May 2010 11:59 (nine years ago) link

First two are good. I advise skipping the text, but then I'm a widely-known philistine. Don't read THE BLACK DOSSIER unless you really like Kevin O'Neill being pushed into various stylistic boxes (though some of the unmarked in-jokes are funny). End of the book made me want to hurl it across the room, though. You've been warned.

Matt M., Thursday, 6 May 2010 16:50 (nine years ago) link

Mostly agreed. I couldn't get through more than a page or two of the travelogue, but I liked Black Dossier - definitely an effort though. The ending was a little annoying, but most of the book was worth it, I thought, though I definitely wish there was far more actual comics in it. Only a couple parts really drove me nuts, mostly the long prose parts, like the Kerouac bit. Haven't read Century yet.

Nhex, Thursday, 6 May 2010 17:14 (nine years ago) link

I like the Dossier a lot, but I think that's because I didn't try to read it straight-through - I initially skipped a bunch of stuff that didn't immediately appeal to me, and then have dipped back into it periodically, eventually reading the whole thing. I think the problem is I, perhaps like most readers, am usually really not in the mood to be whipped around stylistically like that every few pages. it's impressive from a technical point of view, but I have to be in the proper mood to read a P.G. Wodehouse or Kerouac homage, and I definitely don't want to read both in one sitting. It's too jarring. But there are TONS of jokes and plot points buried in each sequence, and stuff doesn't really make any sense unless you eventually dig through all of it.

there are some serious highpoints too. The SEXCRIME 1984/tijuana bible, the James Bond stuff, etc. I didn't have a problem with the ending, altho it was a bit characteristically soapbox-y. Moore likes to pontificate every now and again (a la the ending of Promethea)

the sound of a norwegian guy being wrong (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 May 2010 20:06 (nine years ago) link

Jimmy Bond is easily the highlight of Black Dossier. Cool that Harry Lime pops up too.

i would rather burn than spend eternity with god and rapists (chap), Saturday, 8 May 2010 14:30 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

got the new 1969 issue.

who the fuck are all these people (besides Haddo and the various Moorcock characters)

Richard Nixon's Field of Warmth (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:29 (eight years ago) link

oh duh Michael Caine's character from Get Carter

Richard Nixon's Field of Warmth (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 12 August 2011 21:13 (eight years ago) link

do you actually want answers itt or

generous loller at dollies (sic), Saturday, 13 August 2011 00:38 (eight years ago) link

As usual, Jess Nevins has done a sterling job.

http://jessnevins.com/annotations/1969annotations.html

I had a couple of catches that weren't in the last update that I think I need to submit.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 13 August 2011 09:46 (eight years ago) link

yes actual answers appreciated! thx for the link

Richard Nixon's Field of Warmth (Shakey Mo Collier), Saturday, 13 August 2011 14:11 (eight years ago) link

the most significant one (in that he's v v likely to recur in "2009" is the helpful molester at the Hyde Park concert being Voldemort from the Harry Potter books

beyond that it's mainly Get Carter and Performance intertwined with IRL Stones, plus every single fake Ronnie Kray ever. But I'm really looking forward to reading the Mindless Ones' annocommentations when I've read the comic once or twice more and learning the huge vast amounts that I've missed!

also lol at Munch and Rawls in the text sci-fi story

generous loller at dollies (sic), Saturday, 13 August 2011 16:07 (eight years ago) link

I didn't really feel this one, even less so than the last issue. And for the first time the art seemed a little rushed/poor. Shame.

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 14 August 2011 09:27 (eight years ago) link

(Or perhaps I mean "moreso", duh.)

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 14 August 2011 09:27 (eight years ago) link

I enjoyed this one a lot. Maybe less so after reading Moore's Wired interview, dude's unrelenting negativity becomes tiresome and does not make me look forward to the 2009 issue, tbh

Richard Nixon's Field of Warmth (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:58 (eight years ago) link

Haven't read that interview, but Moore always seems super-positive and enthusiastic about his current projects to me these days - American interviewers tend to love running three pars of him mocking Hollywood or DC and not printing the other hour of him burbling away tho

generous loller at dollies (sic), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 00:06 (eight years ago) link

he's plenty positive about himself, it's everybody else he has problems with

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:42 (eight years ago) link

for example: In keeping with our well-spun political landscape, I think a lot of contemporary art, if it has a concept it is a concept in the advertising sense. It’s a little mental pun, something that you can use to sell cars or burgers. But in terms of art, once you’ve got the idea of joke, if you like, there is absolutely no need to ever look at those works again.

For me, art is more about something that could be revisited, something that was ageless at its best, something that would offer another layer of meaning every time you looked at it. But that oceanic depth of art and culture has dried up, where even the youthful and productive creators are very often left flopping around like dying fish.

or:
Everything has its season, and I think the season of superheroes has probably endured a lot longer, at least in its current form, than it should have. Yes, if superheroes could somehow return to that incredible rush of invention that once existed when they were originally created, then yeah I’m sure the world would delight in the concept. But in its current form, I think it’s a disgrace on all sorts of levels.

And some of the people producing superhero adventure should probably ask themselves whether they have some kind of responsibility to be as morally virtuous as the characters they are talking about. I’m not they do, I think that just something that they should ask themselves. But it might be a question the comics industry should ask itself. I hope that’s not too downbeat of an answer, Scott.

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:54 (eight years ago) link

I preferred the 1977 League at the end of the comic to be honest. Moore's references have started to get waaaay too esoteric and entrenched in real life figures (Crowley, the Stones etc) to work as well as the first two volumes, where the characters were well known even to people who'd never read the books they were taken from.

Why'd You Wanna Tweet Me So Bad? (dog latin), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 18:23 (eight years ago) link

it strikes me as sort of weird that he wanted to carry this concept through the 20th century, cuz I've always thought part of the appeal of doing this for him was being able to work with characters in the public domain/who aren't copyrighted and the further he goes into the 20th century, the more ubiquitous and archetypal fictional characters are all copyright-controlled

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:09 (eight years ago) link

like, he basically can't use anyone from huge films/comics/TV shows cuz he'll get sued, right?

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:10 (eight years ago) link

hence using such a little-known, never-adapted-to-film literary series as Harry Potter, yeah

generous loller at dollies (sic), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:21 (eight years ago) link

well that seems to be an exception and I'm not sure how he's working around that one.

otoh a comic book about the real world's fictional continuum set in 1969 that doesn't feature, say, Superman or Spiderman is a little o_0, no? I mean, if his focus has been narrowed as the century moves on, it's not because the culture is "starved" or whatever he thinks it is, it's cuz he's hemmed in by legalities.

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:43 (eight years ago) link

he worked around Fu Manchu just fine in the first one, and has always said that part of the fun of doing one in 2009 is working around not being able to use the names

apart from that you're right, it's ludicrous to do a story about the occult and gangsters set in one week in London in 1969 and not include Spider-Man

generous loller at dollies (sic), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 00:03 (eight years ago) link

I still have to read the whole of that exhaustive travel guide at the back of League 2. Unfortunately it's boring as hell.

Why'd You Wanna Tweet Me So Bad? (dog latin), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 11:11 (eight years ago) link

hence using such a little-known, never-adapted-to-film literary series as Harry Potter, yeah

well in that case the character was completely unidentifiable to anyone who had not read those books or seen the films they were based on. I had to look him up on Wikipedia to find out who he is. So I think the character is sufficiently disguised to 1) escape legal action and 2) generate a "huh?" response from anyone who has not read those stupid books.

I feel really that LOEG peaked with the one about the Martian invasion... the ones since then have been Alan Moore chortling away at how much more trash literature he has read than everyone else.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 12:34 (eight years ago) link

the character was completely unidentifiable to anyone who had not read those books or seen the films they were based on.

unlike every other character in this issue

So I think the character is sufficiently disguised to

has always said that part of the fun of doing one in 2009 is working around not being able to use the names

I feel really that LOEG peaked with the one about the Martian invasion... the ones since then have been Alan Moore chortling away at how much more trash literature he has read than everyone else.

there has not even been "one" since then - there have been two issues of the next one, the second of which came out a week ago. Moore was very explicit beforehand that Black Dossier was a fun trainspotting sideproject and should not be considered an actual League 'story'

(and given DC fucking it so badly, it probably shouldn't even be bought)



(I read a friend's)

Circlejerk du Soleil (sic), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 13:01 (eight years ago) link

I think the same sort of over-referentiality was creeping into the last Top 10s too, but there it was just in the background (literally), at least.

I guess I just don't the new ones cause they're less FUN and more DO YOU SEE?!?

The quote about the concept-iness of a lot of (popular) contemporary art strikes me as fairly OTM, though...

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 14:39 (eight years ago) link

Moore was very explicit beforehand that Black Dossier was a fun trainspotting sideproject and should not be considered an actual League 'story'

(and given DC fucking it so badly, it probably shouldn't even be bought)

this seems like a distinction without a difference to me, given the density of the book

I'm unaware of what DC did to it

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:47 (eight years ago) link

apart from that you're right, it's ludicrous to do a story about the occult and gangsters set in one week in London in 1969 and not include Spider-Man

this wasn't really my point but thx for being bitchy about it

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:47 (eight years ago) link

if you can't see the difference in scale between the cultural impact/popularity of figures like Sherlock Holmes/Dracula/Capt Nemo and Jack Carter and Mick Jagger's character in Performance I dunno what to tell you. Someone like Spiderman is more in the league of those earlier figures in terms of broad-based recognition and ubiquity (even if no, he isn't British)

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 16:09 (eight years ago) link

Who, then, would we have liked to have seen in a 1969 edition? Preferably British and universally recognised. Late-Victorian literature is so rich with these characters, it feels like it was the last time people could tell such outlandish tales that were set in their actual times and still were widely read. By the 20th century this kind of stuff had been categorised into fantasy or horror and therefore lost a lot of cultural cache. Also - comic books, TV, cinema replacing literature kind of kills the fun. I don't want to see LOEG turn into a Spiderman comic -what's the point??

Why'd You Wanna Tweet Me So Bad? (dog latin), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 16:16 (eight years ago) link

Were Steed and Peel in this?

L.P. Hovercraft (WmC), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 16:44 (eight years ago) link

^^^Peel is in the Black Dossier

obvious ommission in 1969 is fucking Patrick MacGoohan duh

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 16:52 (eight years ago) link

which is weird cuz Moore professes his deep love for the Prisoner in that Wired interview

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 16:53 (eight years ago) link

There's Danger Man refs in this one.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 17:51 (eight years ago) link

never seen it, so those all went past me I guess

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 18:39 (eight years ago) link

Still would like to have seen Tom Ripley.

not bulimic, just a cat (James Morrison), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 23:03 (eight years ago) link

Also - comic books, TV, cinema replacing literature kind of kills the fun. I don't want to see LOEG turn into a Spiderman comic -what's the point??

I don't disagree with this - in fact it reflects precisely what I was getting at about Moore hamstringing himself by bringing the series further into the 20th century. literature contracted in terms of its cultural cachet the later you get in the century because yr right everything got parcelled out into little genres (there's no character in ANY novel set in contemporary times that captured the popular imagination with the archetypal power of Holmes or Nemo or the Invisible Man or whatever, at least not until Harry Potter lol). Cuz yeah duh there's no point in making a giant superhero crossover book at this juncture. Comic books, TV and cinema replacing literature may kill the fun in terms of the LOEG arc, but THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED to popular culture. To structure the book around popular culture and then force yrself to pretend that that other stuff doesn't exist is just... waht? it's weird is all I'm saying.

that mellow wash of meh (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 23:21 (eight years ago) link

he's a pretty weird dude, to be fair.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Thursday, 18 August 2011 00:53 (eight years ago) link

i don't even mean that as simple snark, either. moore's blind spots to his own philosophical contradictions are pretty wide and glaring.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Thursday, 18 August 2011 00:54 (eight years ago) link

I just don’t get the objections on a basic level, I guess – the point has never been to fit EVERY MAJOR CHARACTER OF THE TIME into the narrative, so that seems a furphy – especially when people are also complaining about LOEG books that are more cram-in references and less adventure-story focussed than this!

And even if that were the point at the start, this is now the longest-running work that Moore has ever done, by far – even From Hell only took 8 years, whereas we’re twelve years in and running on this!* It should only be expected that his approach and interests might change over the course of that time.

*Lost Girls took 12 years or so to get drawn, and more to get printed, but was written in much less time.

Circlejerk du Soleil (sic), Thursday, 18 August 2011 02:12 (eight years ago) link

I agree! I just preferred the old approach/interests. I have no problem with Moore raising the difficulty level (which seems to fit in with the Harry Potter model), but that the past two issues -- loved Black Dossier! -- were just bad comics.

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 18 August 2011 07:43 (eight years ago) link

I think I agree - if the storylines were stronger, I think I'd care more. The Black Dossier was pretty good actually - at least it kept me reading - but Century... I dunno, it's all very random and disjointed. I don't seem to care enough about the plot at all, and certain characters seem to pop up and disappear for no reason at all.

Why'd You Wanna Tweet Me So Bad? (dog latin), Thursday, 18 August 2011 09:38 (eight years ago) link

there has not even been "one" since then - there have been two issues of the next one, the second of which came out a week ago.

I see the 1910 and 1969 LOEG books as self-contained but linked. So each is a one. A right one.

I don't think we can get away with not counting the Black Dossier either... it's like when some band tries to claim that a duff album was just a contractual obligation or something.

It strikes me that one odd narrative thing about LOEG is the way a key narrative point - Mina and Quartermain becoming immortal - happens offscreen and is just referred to in passing in the later books as something that has already happened. Or maybe it is in one of the boring text bits that no one reads.

The New Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 18 August 2011 10:08 (eight years ago) link

I can't remember if it is or not. I think it's mentioned in Orlando's story. The huge travelogue at the back of Vol.2 probably mentions it. I now feel a need to go back and read that travelogue properly but it's fucking boring. Might just read the Toytown bit.

Why'd You Wanna Tweet Me So Bad? (dog latin), Thursday, 18 August 2011 10:42 (eight years ago) link

The 2009 one is going to have references to Armando Ianucci's Time Trumpet FFS! No one has seen this show! (Okay, I have, but still..)

Why'd You Wanna Tweet Me So Bad? (dog latin), Thursday, 18 August 2011 10:43 (eight years ago) link

One other problem I have with Century and Black Dossier LOEG is that Orlando is annoying.

The New Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 18 August 2011 11:21 (eight years ago) link

I loved this one (though not quite as much as 1969, at least on first read), and am enjoying the Mindless Ones' annotations.

If only it had been Top 10 and not LoEG Moore chose to continue after America's Best Comics folded, it felt like the former still had some great story potential in it. Or was it because of ownership issues that he was only able to take LoEG to a new publisher?

Yes, Moore and O'Neill own LOEG, which was originally a Homage book. All the ABC line were WFH. DC won't even let the other creators of Top Ten continue it.

¥╡*ٍ*╞¥ (sic), Tuesday, 3 July 2012 13:28 (seven years ago) link

eight months pass...

any thoughts on the new one Nemo: Heart of Ice?

pretty fun, kind of slight. It did make me think that Moore's criticisms of mainstream superhero comics as being endless retreads of existing properties in service to the nostalgia of middle-aged men ring sort of hollow when that's basically what he's doing with LOEG. It's just that instead of using superheroes he uses figures from pulp literature.

Donkamole Marvin (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 11 March 2013 16:09 (six years ago) link

I think League has been on a steady decline since the first volume. Nemo did nothing to change my mind. I had hoped they maybe these little sidetrips would reconnect with some of the magic that has gone out of the series of late but alas it wasn't to be.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 11 March 2013 16:17 (six years ago) link

:-( is it worth checking out at all?

pssstttt, Hey you (dog latin), Monday, 11 March 2013 16:25 (six years ago) link

Depends on how much you want to see Kevin draw Lovecraftian monsters. Otherwise I got nothing from it.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 11 March 2013 16:39 (six years ago) link

Compared to Top 10, it's just really bland work.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 11 March 2013 17:21 (six years ago) link

I like it fine, but I wouldn't claim it to be anything more than genre exercise + reference-spotting

O'Neill's style is not really ideally suited to Lovecraft imho

Donkamole Marvin (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 11 March 2013 18:56 (six years ago) link

It did make me think that Moore's criticisms of mainstream superhero comics as being endless retreads of existing properties in service to the nostalgia of middle-aged men ring sort of hollow when that's basically what he's doing with LOEG. It's just that instead of using superheroes he uses figures from pulp literature.

― Donkamole Marvin (Shakey Mo Collier),

OTM -- he's a fine one to talk, etc.

I Don't Wanna Be Dissed (By Anyone But You) (WilliamC), Monday, 11 March 2013 19:37 (six years ago) link

Moore's criticisms of mainstream superhero comics as being endless retreads of existing properties in service to the nostalgia of middle-aged men

None of these non-original characters (iirc? Maybe Tom Swift in the text pieces?) have been in LoEG before, so it's far from endless. And can you cite his specific criticisms?

( ͡° ͜ʖ͡°) (sic), Tuesday, 12 March 2013 03:07 (six years ago) link

I think Shakey was talking about this Moore interview, particularly these two comments:

It’s the paucity of imagination. I was noticing that DC seems to have based one of its latest crossovers (Blackest Night) in Green Lantern based on a couple of eight-page stories that I did 25 or 30 years ago. I would have thought that would seem kind of desperate and humiliating, When I have said in interviews that it doesn’t look like the American comic book industry has had an idea of its own in the past 20 or 30 years, I was just being mean. I didn’t expect the companies concerned to more or less say, “Yeah, he’s right. Let’s see if we can find another one of his stories from 30 years ago to turn into some spectacular saga.” It’s tragic. The comics that I read as a kid that inspired me were full of ideas. They didn’t need some upstart from England to come over there and tell them how to do comics. They’d got plenty of ideas of their own. But these days, I increasingly get a sense of the comics industry going through my trashcan like raccoons in the dead of the night.

...

But, the people running the industry have taken it down a blind alley, and it’s largely because they don’t have any ideas of their own. There’s no vision of the way that comics could be done. That’s why they have to rely upon peoples’ visions from the past. It’s like a lot of contemporary pop music. It contents itself with recycling the great sounds of the 1960s, 1970s, and increasingly, the 1980s. People today deserve good useful stories. We deserve art that is of our time. We don’t deserve this endless recycling of a particularly nice beat or sound effect of the 1960s. Yes, the past is there to plunder. A lot of the ideas of the past were discarded before they should have been. They’ve still got an awful lot of life left in them. But, don’t make that an exercise in retrospection. Pick up those ideas and do something new with them. Make them shine again. But, I think that it’s been a long time since the comics industry had any talent that was capable of doing that. The talent it did have that was capable of doing that, it either worked them to death or alienated them. I tend to see the people who run the comics industry as being largely like some variety of tapeworm or some other parasite. But, they’re not very good at it. Any self-respecting tapeworm or parasite never kills the host. That is number one on the parasite’s list of dos and don’ts—don’t kill the host. I very seriously doubt whether the comics industry as we know it is going to be here in even five years’ time. Like I said, this could have been avoided if there’d ever been an investment of genuine new ideas and energy, rather than this lazy sort of complacent approach of simply saying, “Oh, we can take these old ideas and recycle them endlessly. The audience doesn’t know any different.” I think the audience has demonstrated that they do know differently, by voting with their feet.

But Moore doesn't really say it's bad to recycle old ideas (how could he, when most of his own major works are based on pre-existing characters/stories?), just that it's bad if you don't do "something new" with them. Though to be honest, LoEG hasn't been particularly good with the "something new" part either.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 12 March 2013 09:18 (six years ago) link

yes that is the interview I was thinking of thx Tuomas

bought it. gonna read tonight. i like the way it's set in 1925, so technically you could read it inbetween 1910 and the Dossier.

pssstttt, Hey you (dog latin), Wednesday, 13 March 2013 22:47 (six years ago) link

afaict it has little to no bearing on any of the other books

one month passes...

O'Neill's art just gets worse and worse with each volume. Look back at the earlier stuff, and it looks like he at least took his time. I've just read 1969 and it's just.. really bad, and basic. The 1977 part is slightly better. Moore deserves an artist as good as Dave Gibbons to actually do any justice to his scripts.. I am unsure of whether I'll trudge along to 2009 and Nemo, hopefully the art gets a BIT better??

Chelvis, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 05:42 (six years ago) link

Have you ever liked O'Neill's art?

[ b) have you ever liked his art drawn for colour?]

just a dorp in the scrooge vault (sic), Tuesday, 23 April 2013 06:27 (six years ago) link

O'Neill is a great artist, I'd say his art more cartoonish at the same time as Moore's script gets stupider, though I have no idea whether this was a conscious choice on O'Neill's part, or whether he just got more lazy. (The more cartoonish bits in Century remind me of his 80s style in Nemesis the Warlock, which looked great in that comic, but not necessarily in LoEG.) Still, there are parts of Century that are only carried by the art; for example, the final battle in 2009 is pretty meh, but O'Neill's rendition of SPOILER still looks awesome.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 06:35 (six years ago) link

OK, it's true that I haven't seen much of his work before LOEG, but found it was adequate and workable for LOEG I & II and pretty amateur in Black Dossier and Century. There must be hundreds of other artists that can do a better job. Hell, what is Rick Veitch doing these days? John Totleben? Eddie Campbell? I guess O'Neill is just not to my taste...

Chelvis, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 19:54 (six years ago) link

I can't imagine any of those guys pulling of the more grotesque stuff in the comics, like the mutant animals of vol. 2, in the same sort "horrific yet sympathetic" way O'Neill did. Okay, maybe Veitch, but definitely not Campbell or Totleben, not even Gibbons. IMO O'Neill was the perfect artist for the series, he could do the detailed panels required for easter eggs and trainspotting, but he also has this horror comic style lineage of exaggeration and macabre, which was also required for the series, since it has plenty of pulpy stuff that calls for that sort of stylization. Campbell's dry line or Gibbon's mannered style wouldn't fit LoEG at all, there's a reason why Moore did it with O'Neill.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 20:29 (six years ago) link

I'm saddened to see Kevin slagged off in this thread since he's been the only reason to even give it a vague glance since volume 1. Moore disappeared up his own ass crack and left O'Neill to try to do something interesting with whatever seeped out.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 20:34 (six years ago) link

have you ever liked his art drawn for colour?

i remember seeing the originals for the first few issues of marshall law, and they were absolutely gorgeous - o'neil is a wonderful colourist of his own work, even if his peak (imho) remains the first series of nemesis, drawn and course in black and white.

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 20:46 (six years ago) link

Yeah, Nemesis was the series that was most perfectly fitted for his "detailed grotesque" style, it still looks gorgeous. After that, has he drawn any other series that would call for equally surreal art?

Tuomas, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:06 (six years ago) link

it's not really "grotesque", but have you read metalzoic?

sleepingsignal, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:32 (six years ago) link

Kev's terrific, but yeah I'd agree the Century books aren't up to his usual standard. The lettering too.

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:34 (six years ago) link

(Obvs he's no slouch even ia bad day, mind)

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:35 (six years ago) link

Ok I agree with Tuomas's statements re: Totleben, Gibbons, and Campbell; they would not have been optimal artists for LOEG. I'd like to know why indeed Moore chose O'Neill... He could just as easily chosen different artists for 1898, 1910, '58, '69, '77, 2009. Imagine the 1969 book in a Ditko or Sal Buscema style, or the 2009 done ironically 'superhero' by some new DC guy.... and I'm sure there's enough old Vertigo artists loafing around to cover the other years...

Chelvis, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 23:37 (six years ago) link

i love o'neill's art in the first loeg. i've never seen any of his other stuff, has he mostly done british comics?

turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 00:07 (six years ago) link

he literally got banned by the Comics Code Authority because his art made them queasy

the vast majority of Marshall Law was published in America though

just a dorp in the scrooge vault (sic), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 01:13 (six years ago) link

He could just as easily chosen different artists for

O'Neill is the co-creator and co-owner and a collaborative partner on LoEG

just a dorp in the scrooge vault (sic), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 01:14 (six years ago) link

The final part of this interview has Moore discussing why he chose O'Neill for LOEG.
http://youtu.be/qtDphCDULeQ?t=4m12s
IMO the Hyde he does here is very slapdash and cartoonish, but, OK, I guess this is the style that Moore wanted, Victorian caricature

Chelvis, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 04:48 (six years ago) link

what's wrong w/ 'cartoonish'?

also, elephant in the room here is that the pool of ppl willing to work w/ alan moore, or who alan is prepared to work w/, has narrowed considerably over time...

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 07:32 (six years ago) link

is he hard to work with?

turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 07:47 (six years ago) link

that's a difficult question to answer, really. i know some artists don't like or want the incredible level of detail that moore puts into his scripts - but many more would still leap at the chance to work w/ him. and most artists who have worked w/ alan have generally done well career-wise, finance-wise etc.

i think it's more that alan is a man of v strong principles and convictions, which of course don't always accord w/ those of his collaborators. i'm sure i'm not betraying any confidences when i say that the number of artists he has fallen out w/ - dave gibbons, david lloyd, steve bissette, alan davis etc - certainly gives one pause for thought, never mind all the publishers or editors. but again, i'm sure there are plenty of ppl who have worked w/ alan that would do so again, happily.

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 07:55 (six years ago) link

to be clear, in general i'm on alan moore's side when it comes to his battles w/ DC or Marvel or Hollywood, and think that his principles on the whole are worth defending and supporting.

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 07:57 (six years ago) link

i feel like i faintly remember an anecdote about the script for v for vendetta, there was a panel in which he describes v or maybe finch with their back to the reader, with a smile on their face - like as an example of how maddening his descriptions could be

turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 07:58 (six years ago) link

yeah but

Despite Moore's detailed scripts, his panel descriptions would often end with the note "If that doesn't work for you, do what works best"

which is something that made me laugh when i first saw a (very detailed) watchmen script page.

fit and working again, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 08:15 (six years ago) link

i'm sure i'm not betraying any confidences when i say that the number of artists he has fallen out w/ - dave gibbons, david lloyd, steve bissette, alan davis etc - certainly gives one pause for thought, never mind all the publishers or editors.

I knew about the others, but what's the story with Moore and Lloyd? Did they have a feud over the V for Vendetta movie or something?

Tuomas, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 08:49 (six years ago) link

something like that:

"I'm not expecting to have very much to do with David Lloyd in the future."

fit and working again, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:01 (six years ago) link

iirc gene colan was going to draw an issue of swamp thing - which would've been a perfect fit - but only wanted to work marvel-style (ie from a brief plot outline), which is obv the antithesis of the moore method, so sadly it never happened.

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:17 (six years ago) link

Oh yeah, I've read that interview, I remembered the bit about Moore and Gibbons falling out, but I didn't remember the same thing had happened with Moore and Lloyd. (Apparently because Lloyd didn't call him and say thanks for the extra money he received from the V for Vendetta movie, due to Moore refusing to accept royalties from it?)

The story about DC and Warner Books using Steve Moore's sick brother as a way of blackmailing Alan Moore is pretty paranoid, especially since the only proof for it is some random comment by Gibbons. I do agree that Moore often has a point in his comments about the comics industry, but stories like this aren't exactly helping him shed the image of Crazy Ol' Man Who Hates Everybody.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:56 (six years ago) link

Steve Bissette did a massive 6 part dissection on his website of Swamp Thing #20 a few years ago with actual script pages. There was a whole page preamble before two pages to describe a 5 panel sheet then another two pages to describe a splash.

I read one somewhere else for #23 (? Might have been later) that I think GMoz criticised that was about 4 pages describing three panels of a cockroach burrowing toward a coffin.

Troughton-masked Replicant (aldo), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 10:03 (six years ago) link

given that moore collaborates at a distance from his artists - as do most comics writers i guess - i expect his level of detail helps reduce the amount of followup questions that might arise from a simpler script.

sleepingsignal, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 10:21 (six years ago) link

well i guess it depends on how you (or the creators) want to define the process - or territory - of the collaboration - ie is the artist there to simply carry out the wishes of the writer, or do you get better comics when some of the storytelling decisions are left to the artist? You might even frame it as a wrinkle on the Barthesian 'readerly' vs 'writerly' text - the 'scripterly' comic vs the 'artisty' comic.

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 10:35 (six years ago) link

Kieron Gillen talking about this a while back.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 10:44 (six years ago) link

moore did some crude storyboards for one of the Spawn miniseries he did, and i remember some of them being published in the back of an issue. i cant remember if it was in lieu of or in addition to his usual descriptions. the finished panels mimicked them pretty closely

turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 17:21 (six years ago) link

Yeah, he didn't do the usual level of description for that stuff, as he doubted the ability of the artists to read it.

just a dorp in the scrooge vault (sic), Thursday, 25 April 2013 03:09 (six years ago) link

haha really?

turds (Hungry4Ass), Friday, 26 April 2013 08:32 (six years ago) link

I may be reading slightly into him saying he didn't think they'd bother

just a dorp in the scrooge vault (sic), Friday, 26 April 2013 10:48 (six years ago) link

but not unfairly, I dare say

just a dorp in the scrooge vault (sic), Friday, 26 April 2013 10:49 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

re-reading this most recent volume what irritates me most is the paper-thin plot machinations. why does Janni go to the south pole? bored. oh, okay, great central dramatic conflict there.

six years pass...

Bumped as the final, last ever, definitely no more issue is about to drop.

Tempest has been a fun exercise but little more. Some of the parts almost feel like reprints - there was a Gloriana play in a previous volume, I know - but I suppose the intent (?) of ripping 20c comics apart is pretty much achieved.

Elitist cheese photos (aldo), Monday, 20 May 2019 10:51 (two months ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.