Tag Archives: alan moore

Magic Words

Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore by Lance Parkin is due on December 1, 2013 from Aurum Press.

Lance Parkin Alan Moore Magic Words

“For over three decades comics fans and creators have regarded Alan Moore as a titan of the form. With works such as V for Vendetta, Watchmen and From Hell, he has repeatedly staked out new territory, attracting literary plaudits and a mainstream audience far removed from his underground origins. His place in popular culture is now such that major Hollywood players vie to adapt his books for cinema.

Yet Moore’s journey from the hippie Arts Labs of the 1970s to the bestseller lists was far from preordained. A principled eccentric, who has lived his whole life in one English town, he has been embroiled in fierce feuds with some of the entertainment industry’s biggest corporations. And just when he could have made millions ploughing a golden rut he turned instead to performance art, writing erotica, and the occult.

Now, as Alan Moore hits sixty, it’s time to go in search of this extraordinary gentleman, and follow the peculiar path taken by a writer quite unlike any other.”

“In Magic Words Lance Parkin has crafted a biography that is insightful, scrupulously fair-minded and often very funny, a considerable achievement given its unrelentingly grim, unreasonable and annoying subject. Belongs on the bookshelf of any halfway decent criminal profiler.” — Alan Moore

The Ballad of Halo Jones

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson:

Alan Moore and Ian Gibson's The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones from 2000 AD

 

This trade volume collects the entire run of “The Ballad of Halo Jones” from the English comics weekly 2000 AD. This mid-1980s material was some of Alan Moore’s early work, and it shows him tackling class oppression, military imperialism, personal trauma, and cultural anomie, all in the context of a 50th-century dystopia-cum-space opera. Protagonist Halo is an underclass nobody whose discontent carries her across the galaxy. The real moral heft to these stories keeps them from being careless and speedy reads. At the end, the major plot elements have all been resolved, but Jones is on her way out to some new experiences, having survived nearly everyone with whom she has been involved during the three major parts of the story: her origins in the floating “Hoop” off the New York coast, her adventure off-planet as staff on a space liner, and her military service in the Tarantulan War. Moore clearly left room for more story, although he never filled that room.

Ian Gibson’s art is effective in the black-and-white panels, and the pages reproduce well enough at the full-page magazine size used for this volume. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Nemo

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Nemo: Heart of Ice (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill from Top Shelf Productions:

Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's Nemo from Top Shelf Productions

 

I was reminded once or twice while reading this book that Warren Ellis’s Planetary is a more effective 20th-century version of Alan Moore’s 19th-century League of Extraordinary Gentlemen than the latter’s own actual later League books are. Still, I enjoyed Nemo: Heart of Ice. It’s a beautiful hardcover on heavy stock at the price you might pay for a small trade-paper collected volume. The colors are especially beautiful, bringing out O’Neill’s art to great effect.

The story is both a sequel to Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (with Nemo’s daughter Janni as the captain of the Nautilus, as established elsewhere in the League continuity) and a prequel to Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, all wrapped up in “science hero” competition and animosity. It’s a quick but enjoyable read, and makes a curious little annex to the sprawling series by Moore and O’Neill. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Somnium: A Fantastic Romance

Lunar Rover: An Interview With Steve Moore And Extract From Somnium” by Aug Stone is an interview with Steve Moore about his first novel Somnium: A Fantastic Romance [also] that includes mentions of Alan Moore and a cameo by Austin Osman Spare. The interview concludes with an excerpt from the book.

“Alan Moore says it’s ‘a masterpiece’. Indeed. Steve Moore’s Somnium is a tour-de-force of playful majesty and magic, of style and of love. Spanning centuries, even aeons in its dreamworld, it ranges from Gothic novel through Elizabethan tragedy and mediaeval romance to piquant Decadence, all via the Greek myth of lunar goddess Selene and her mortal lover Endymion. It is nothing short of an epic love song to The Moon and of, as per her reflective nature, ‘the love the Moon has always had for Earthly things below’.

Those familiar with Alan Moore’s Unearthing, will know of his friend, mentor, and collaborator Steve Moore’s long obsession with the Moon-Goddess. In October 1976, having improvised a magic ritual with a Chinese coin sword, he awoke near dawn to hear an unexpected whisper which would provide a clue to his life’s work. Though, as Steve notes below, perhaps the lunar associations were always there. Unearthing takes us through Steve’s life — writing comics, studying and producing scholarly work on the I Ching, editing and contributing to Fortean Studies and Fortean Times — and also shows us the beginnings of Somnium, his debut novel.” [via]

“There was also something of the magical in how I came to read the book. Having learned of Strange Attractor Press and its biography of Austin Osman Spare, Somnium also caught my eye as I was perusing their website. But I thought nothing more of it until a few weeks later I had just finished Israel Regardie’s essay ‘The Art And Meaning Of Magic’ and the following day, quite out of the blue, I was asked to interview Steve Moore regarding his new book. Regardie’s essay, when describing the Sephiroth of The Tree of Life, primarily deals with Yesod, the sphere of the moon. So fresh in my mind were the traditional attributes of that heavenly body — its colours purple and silver, its jewels pearl and moonstone, its number being nine, and so much more; traits Moore makes wonderful use of throughout the book. Though one need not be familiar with these to appreciate its splendour.” [via]

 

 

Physical copies of the work are available via the Strange Attractor website:

“Written in the early years of the 21st century, when the author was engaged in dream-explorations and mystical practices centred on the Greek moon-goddess Selene, Somnium is an intensely personal and highly-embroidered fictional tapestry that weaves together numerous historical and stylistic variations on the enduring myth of Selene and Endymion. Ranging through the 16th to 21st centuries, it combines mediæval, Elizabethan, Gothic and Decadent elements in a fantastic romance of rare imagination.

With its delirious and heartbroken text spiralling out from the classical myth of Endymion and the Greek lunar goddess Selene, Somnium is an extraordinary odyssey through love and loss and lunacy, illuminated by the silvery moonlight of its exquisite language.

With an afterword by Alan Moore, whose biographical piece Unearthing details the life of his friend and mentor Steve Moore, and includes the circumstances surrounding the writing of Somnium.” [via]

 

The Gnostic

You may be interested in Voices of Gnosticism and The Gnostic: A Magazine of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality put out by Bardic Press. I saw several issues of The Gnostic at the Esoteric Book Conference and thought they were well done. I regret not picking them up at the time, but they are available still.

 

Voices of Gnosticism

“For several years, Miguel Conner has engaged the most prominent writers and scholars on Gnosticism and early Christianity on Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio. These interviews with 13 leading scholars represent one of the best ways to get to know ancient Gnosticism, the movement that has inspired Dan Brown, Philip Pullman, Philip K. Dick and The Matrix movies. Read what the best minds have to say about the Gnostic sects, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, Mary Magdalene, heresy, the origins of Gnosticism, and the original teachings of Jesus.

Elaine Pagels · Marvin Meyer · Bart Ehrman · Bruce Chilton · Stevan Davies · David Fideler · Birger Pearson · John Turner · Einar Thomassen · Jason BeDuhn · Karen King · Jane Schaberg · April DeConick”

 

The Gnostic 1

“The first issue of a tri-annual journal on Gnosticism in all its forms. Featuring interviews with Alan Moore and Sethian Gnostic expert John Turner; a complete translation of the Gospel of Judas; Tim Freke on The Gospel of the Second Coming; articles on William Burroughs, Philip K.Dick, the Alternative Judas, Gnosticism and Magic; columns, book reviews and more.”

 

The Gnostic 2

“The second issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Featuring an interview with Colin Wilson and an indepth examination of his ideas on the occult. An interview with Tessa Dick, widow of Philip K Dick, plus an excerpt from her memoir and Anthony Peake’s analysis of Dick’s precognitive abilities. An interview with noted scholar April DeConick on the Gospel of John. The Gnosticism of the TV series The Prisoner. Kimetikos, Jeremy Puma’s Gnostic practice. Tony Blake’s meetings with remarkable people including J.G. Bennett, David Bohm and Idries Shah. Articles on asceticism, the symbolism of the Bible, resurrection, Schrodinger’s Gun, a short story by Andrew Phillip Smith. Extensive book reviews, original art and more.”

 

The Gnostic 3

“The third issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Featuring a cover by C.G. Jung, Lance Owens on Jung’s Red Book. Interviews with David Tibet of Current 93, Jacob Needleman and Zohar expert Daniel C. Matt. Articles on Gnostic anime, Robert Graves, Gnostic texts, the Gospel of Luke, William Blake, deja vu, coincidence, a ten page comic, reviews and much more.”

 

The Gnostic 4

“The fourth issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Alan Moore’s Fossil Angels, an investigation into the contemporary occult scene. Interviews with Stephan Hoeller and Miguel Conner. Anthony Peake on the Quantum Pleroma. Sean Martin tells a Gnostic sci-fi tale. Robert M.Price on the Gnostic Gospel of John. Bill Darlison on the zodiac in the Gospel of Mark. Gnostic influences on Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. The plight of the Mandaeans. The gematria of Marcus the Magician. The Gospel of Thomas, a translation and Fourth Way interpretation. Gnostic politics. John Cowper Powys. The complete text of the Gnosis of the Light–a book within a magazine! Egyptian cat mummies and more. And we review enough books to fill a whole shelf. Cover and interior illustrations by Laurence Caruana.”

 

 

Alan Moore’s signed computer keyboard (may have mystical powers)

A keyboard signed by Alan Moore is currently listed for auction.

“As you know, Alan Moore is the world reknowned author of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing and a load of other fantastical gubbins, and here for sale is his old computer keyboard. He definitely didn’t write any of the aforementioned works with this, and by the looks of things, it was mainly used as an ash tray.

I’ve had a go on the keyboard, and in doing so, felt the power of Alan surging through it. It immediately inspired me to write a fifteen chapter novel, comparable to the Russian Masters, which took no less than four and a half hours, without even stopping for a toilet break. Unfortunately, the keyboard was not connected to a computer at the time, and all the work was lost. Therefore I cannot verfiy the functionality of the keyboard, as it hasn’t been rigourously tested. Or even connected to a computer since Alan owned it.” [via]

There’s more to amuse on the page, including the Q&A with the seller, so check it out if you like.

Alan Moore joins the Occupy Comic project

Recently I posted about Occupy Comics: Art + Stories Inspired by Occupy Wall Street. There’s only about 40 hours left to get in on the project, but here’s something that may make this project even more interesting:

“Nearly 30 years after publishing V for Vendetta, writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd are throwing their support behind the global Occupy movement that’s drawn inspiration from their comic’s anti-totalitarian philosophy and iconography.

Moore will contribute a long-form prose piece, possibly with illustrations, to the Occupy Comics project. His writing work will explore the Occupy movement’s principles, corporate control of the comics industry and the superhero paradigm itself.

Lloyd signed onto the growing Occupy Comics project last week, as did Madman’s Mike Allred and American Splendor’s Dean Haspiel. Occupy Comics will eventually sell single-issue comic books and a hardcover compilation, but an innovative arrangement with Kickstarter means that funds raised through pledges of support can be channeled directly to Occupy Wall Street’s populist ranks now.

‘It’s fair to say that Alan Moore and David Lloyd are unofficial godfathers of the current protest movement,’ said Halo-8 founder and Occupy Comics organizer Matt Pizzolo in an e-mail to Wired.com. ‘It’s really amazing to see two creatives whose work was inspiring to street protesters join a creative project that is inspired by the street protesters. It’s a pretty virtuous cycle.'” [via]

See also occupycomics.com and Alan Moore and Will Contribute to Occupy Comics Anthology

Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist

I don’t remember if I’d mentioned this before or not, but I was reminded about this volume recently which you may also have interest in checking out. I think I posted about this to the Fb page when there was a bunch of news about Austin Osman Spare a while back, but anyhow, it’s worth mentioning.

Phil Baker’s Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist, with an introduction by Alan Moore, is available from Strange Attractor.

“London has harboured many curious characters, but few more curious than the artist and visionary Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956).

A controversial enfant terrible of the Edwardian art world, the young Spare was hailed as a genius and a new Aubrey Beardsley, while George Bernard Shaw reportedly said ‘Spare’s medicine is too strong for the average man.’

But Spare was never made for worldly success and he went underground, falling out of the gallery system to live in poverty and obscurity south of the river. Absorbed in occultism and sorcery, voyaging into inner dimensions and surrounding himself with cats and familiar spirits, he continued to produce extraordinary art while developing a magical philosophy of pleasure, obsession, and the subjective nature of reality.

Today Spare is both forgotten and famous, a cult figure whose modest life has been much mythologised since his death. This groundbreaking biographical study offers wide-ranging insights into Spare’s art, mind and world, reconnecting him with the art history that ignored him and exploring his parallel London; a bygone place of pub pianists, wealthy alchemists and monstrous owls.

This richly readable and illuminating biography takes us deep into the strange inner world that this most enigmatic of artists inhabited, shedding new light while allowing just a few shadowy corners to flourish unspoiled.”

You may also be interested in reading the review of the book by Phil Hine.

Of course, there’s also the Austin Osman Spare section at the library, which you may want to check out as well.

Dr Dee: An English Opera on July 1st-9th at Palace Theatre, Manchester UK

I’m pretty sure I posted about this opera to the Fb feed a while back, mainly due to the fact that Alan Moore had been involved (before dropping out) and there was some of Moore’s script available online; but, here I find that the show has actually opened.

So, Dr Dee: An English Opera [via] is at Palace Theatre, Manchester UK through July 9th.

You may also be interested in Alan Moore working with Mike Patton, and with the Gorillaz on opera about John Dee, Alan Moore is not writing an opera with Gorillaz. Boo!, Damon Albarn Is Going Ahead with the John Dee Opera Without Alan Moore, and and the full text of Alan Moore’s unfinished John Dee opera is available in Strange Attractor Journal Four.