Sunday, 8 April 2012

The League of Extra Ordinary Genteleman by The Duo of Unorthodox Graphic Creatives - Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil

By utilising and enlarging upon a cast of characters that existed in various other works of fiction, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil have managed to capture, with some warmth and affection, the feeling of the originals but at the same time have also managed to breathe a new life into them.

Here we see gathered:  Allan Quatermain  Captain Nemo, Mina Harker. Doctor Jekyll, Professor Moriarty, The Invisible Man, Fu Manchu, John Carter of Mars plus Sherlock's big brother Mycroft.

Moore has a naturally instinctive ability to hone in on old works of literature and to be able to bring them very much to life and with all his legendary story telling talent. O'Neil's art work is simply the perfect vehicle to best describe Moore's narrative on this series with its quirky and parallel Victorian images full of odd looking machines and Dickensian type people.
It is of course 'steampunk' and all the better for it.

These books are still very much in the spirit of the age they were created in, they are still fun to read. They smack of a 'Boys Own' type adventure but have the high octane spark of contemporary fiction. There are some scenes that certainly would not have been printed in Victorian times but that in itself is part of the charm. There are some scenes of quite a graphic and violent nature but then again, if you recall many of the books, the original story's were often violent too.

The absymal, dire and quite awful film should not put you off. Moore refused to have anything to do with the film and also turned away a large amount of money just so as not be associated with such a tawdry effort.These 'graphic novels'/comics are well writen, fun to read and well worth every penny you need to buy them. Thus far there have been three volumes:

The fourth is currently 'in production' but should be published very shortly.

As with anything that Moore ever does, the research and detail of the book is painstaking. Not just the historical research he does but also the detail that he creates and wraps around the parallel worlds he manufactures. These tales have a depth of history. Also, quite amazing, is the way he takes such tenuous threads and spins them into a cohesive whole; a universe all of their own where these fabulous characters live, breathe and ultimately die.

I cannot praise these tales highly enough. Spiffing good yarns! The first comic in the series was published in 1998 and continues to this day.

. . . Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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A Utility Fish Shed Blog