Born today in 1953 in Northampton, England, Alan Moore grew up to be a giant. His impact on comics is so vital and apparent that even reporting on his accomplishments feels both daunting and profoundly unnecessary. Widely regarded as the best comics writer of all time, Moore's influence is without question; his presence an articulate line of demarcation carving up the medium into two decidedly different eras. Moore is a juggernaut, monolithic in both influence and intractability, with a true legacy even greater than his supposed one.
Somewhere, Alan Moore’s beard is tingling. Zack Snyder’s cinematic adaptation of the iconic Watchmen comics by Moore and Dave Gibbons divided fans, some sticking with assertions of the source material as “unfilmable,” others acknowledging the film’s effort. That conflict may end up sparked anew, now that Snyder has reportedly met with HBO for a Watchmen TV series.
This week saw the release of the Multiversity Guidebook, a sort of map for a series of one-shot stories that has inspired a lot of contemplation, examination and confusion among comic fans.
To offer an even deeper look into the universe-spanning series and its meaning, ComicsAlliance spoke with writer Grant Morrison about everything we could manage in half an hour: where the idea for The Gentry comes from, Morrison's commentary on Watchmen in Pax Americana, the idea of dangerous knowledge, how these seemingly standalone stories tie together, and just how this sprawling project will wrap up.
This is a fun clip. It’s from a recent appearance from actor, comedian, and author Patton Oswalt (whose new book, ‘Silver Screen Fiend,’ all about his obsession with movies, will probably be of great interest to ScreenCrush readers) at the WORD Bookstore in Jersey City, where he did a public conversation with actor Patrick Wilson. Oswalt is a hardcore comic-book nerd in addition to his passion for film, and Wilson starred in one of the most polarizing comic-book adaptations of all time, Zack Snyder’s slavishly faithful version of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ ‘Watchmen.’ When a fan asked a question about the movie, both Oswalt and Wilson shared their honest feelings about the project, which you can watch above.
The fourth issue of the series, Pax Americana with art by Frank Quitely, colors by Nathan Fairbairn and letters by Rob Leigh, is probably the most widely anticipated of the series, and certainly the most-hyped. It's Morrison's attempt to update and revise the structure of Watchmen, but applied to the original Charlton characters, as that Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons work was originally intended to in its first pitch. While Watchmen followed a strict nine-panel grid structure (some panels would be bisected or extended, but that was the general latticework on which everything hung), Pax Americana goes for eight, resembling not only harmonic octaves of music and colors of the rainbow that make up much of the multiversal structure Morrison is working with but also the "Algorithm 8" that allows President Harley to perceive the underpinning structure of the universe and use it to his advantage. That algorithm is, of course, the eight-panel grid (and the 8-shape made by one's eyes while reading the page) that forms the comic book universe he lives in.
The book moves backwards in eight color-coded sections, which I'll denote, that correspond to the evolutionary stages of humanity/a single person espoused by Don Beck and Chris Cowan's spiral dynamics, or, more specifically, Ken Wilber's later integral theory, which incorporated it. I'd never heard of it before this book, and from all research I've done there's a reason for that; it seems to be widely accepted as bunk pseudoscience by any academic institution, which makes it a perfect evolution of the original Question and Rorschach's stark black-and-white Randian Objectivism, while also tying into not only Pax's obsession with the number eight but its role in the Multiversity series as a whole, both due to the nature of music in octaves which makes up the structure of the DC multiverse as well as the colors of the rainbow that form the Source Wall.
This is a long one, so with no further ado...
Cosplay always goes mainstream at Halloween, with the witch and ghost and vampire costumes of yesteryear making way on the streets, and at parties and bars, for the sort of pop culture costumes we're more used to seeing at conventions. These days, everyone wants to be Iron Man. But a lot of comic fans take pride in going the extra mile at Halloween, and nowhere is that more true than at Toronto's annual Snailoween Party, organized by local retailer Silver Snail Comics. Cosplay photographer Paul Hillier was on the scene to capture some of the finest outfits of the night, and he's agreed to let us share them here at ComicsAlliance.
Comics have seized center stage at the venerable British Library in London this summer in an exhibition celebrating the history of British comics and the work of British creators. Subtitled, 'Art and Anarchy in the UK', the Comics Unmasked exhibition places an emphasis on protest, outsider culture, and anti-authoritarian voices.
Curated by Adrian Edwards, Paul Gravett, and John Harris Dunning, Comics Unmasked draws heavily on the British Library's own collection to establish and define Britain's relationship to the comics art form -- stirring up nostalgia, scandal, and some surprising discoveries along the way. And Kieron Gillen's giant head.
One thing that you can say about San Diego's Comic-Con International is that it provides plenty of unique opportunities to meet with your favorite creators, and definitely a lot of pricey pieces of merchandise to remember those occasions. This time, though, IDW Publishing may have topped it with their new "Artifact Edition" of Watchmen, the classic 1986 story by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Similar to the publisher's line of Artist's Editions, the 12" x 17" hardcover, published in cooperation with DC Comics, will feature over 100 story pages from Watchmen, reprinted from the original artwork at full size, with numerous extras. An extremely limited run of 25 copies is being produced specifically for Comic-Con.
This SDCC-exclusive limited edition Artifact Edition will be sold for $500, or roughly the cost of fifteen complete runs of Punisher 2099.
Of course, while $500 is a pretty serious chunk of change (one and a half PlayStation 4s or one eighth of a foam replica of the Batcave's giant penny for your house, minus shipping), it's actually not a bad deal, mainly because the offer also includes dinner.
Graphic novels and comics are the focus of this year's Banned Books Week, which starts up September 21, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is getting a head start on the festivities with its new handbook for the occasion, which features a cover by Bone writer/artist Jeff Smith.
The CBLDF's Banned Books Week Handbook not only offers up a list of a few comics that have been banned in US schools and libraries -- including Bone, Fun Home, Watchmen, Sandman, Blankets, and Persepolis -- and the reasons why, but also debunks some of myths surrounding banned books.
See what's new in today's link roundup.