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Alan Moore: Storyteller [Hardcover]

Gary Spencer Millidge , Michael Moorcock
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £25.00
Price: £20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Aug 2011
Alan Moore: Storyteller is the first serious examination of the life, career and work of one of the UKs most distinctive and popular creative voices. It traces Moores creative development from his modest contributions to Northampton Arts Lab fanzines and local newspaper strips to the very top of his field, writing some of the most widely read and critically acclaimed comics and graphic novels ever produced: Swamp Thing, Watchmen, From Hell, Lost Girls, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta. The book provides an unparalleled insight into the mind and work of this enigmatic and at times controversial creator. Moores extraordinary body of work is examined in depth, with rare and previously unseen material, glimpses into unfinished and abandoned projects and new light shed on overlooked masterpieces. With co-operation from Moore, and full access to his archives, Gary Spencer Millidge has written a book which will not only be essential reading for Moores many fans, but for anyone interested in contemporary literature and pop culture.

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Alan Moore: Storyteller + Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: ILEX (1 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907579125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907579127
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 28.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Spencer Millidge is the creator of the critically acclaimed Strangehaven comic book series. Born in East London, barely a stone's throw from where the infamous Whitechapel murders took place, in 1961 (which puts him in the clear). Millidge attended Southend Art School and was involved in UK comics fandom in the late 1970's and early 1980's. He also began playing bass for hippy-rock outfit Sorcerer, culminating in a gig at the penultimate Stonehenge free festival. He got himself heavily into debt by opening a comic shop in 1985 and frittered away his free time by playing soccer and resuming his music career with a number of local rock bands, including the embarrassingly named Rebel, and 'The' Watchmen, who very nearly made the big time. Honest.

Millidge finally hung up his guitar and began writing and illustrating the comic book series Strangehaven which he self-published in individual comics and collected 'trade paperback' editions between 1995 and 2006. Strangehaven has been translated into several different languages, none of which Gary can speak, and while Gary has gained many industry award nominations for his work, he's terribly bitter at having won only one. Millidge has also contributed to and published the hefty Alan Moore tribute book, Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman and has had stories published in Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror and Negative Burn among others.

Personal circumstances and a miserable spiral of self-pity caused him to shelve the self-publishing thing and instead he took on various commissioned non-fiction books to supplement his meagre income including two how-to-draw books (in collaboration with James McKay) Draw Fantasy Figures and Draw Dragons, the obsessively thorough 2008 coffee table tome Comic Book Design and the visual biography Alan Moore: Storyteller.

Strangehaven is set to resume serialisation in 2014.

Millidge resides in Leigh-on-Sea in the south east of England where he plays cricket, catches butterflies in his net and eats scones and jam at tea-time every day.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars no hurm done 1 Aug 2011
By P. Rowe
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As someone who encountered Moore at just the right age- I remember picking up Warrior issue 1 as a teenager and it being a revelation, I've inevitably followed his work for good (From Hell) and bad (his Image and Awesome work). In recent years I've often found the Moore interview as entertaining a read as any fiction he might have come up with. He is always worth listening to even if he is blathering on about magic (or should that have a y in it?) or the fact it is his principles that have led him to fall out with all of the major comics publishers. Moore is a terrific raconteur and Milledge gives him plenty of opportunity to do just that. The simple prose means you can hear that Northampton accent with extraordinary clarity as you gallop through his body of work.

It serves as a good companion to the Twomorrows book The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore: Indispensable Edition and Milledge's book celebrating Moore on his 50th birthday a few years back. As another reviewer comments, it isn't a full biography, but in many ways it is enough to draw a picture of the dope smoking hippy who has an innate ability to combine words and pictures so that they are as as powerful as some the finest works of fiction of the last century.

All it is perhaps missing is getting Moore to reflect that he may have, on occasion, overreacted to situations and that there are artists/ editors (Dez Skinn excepted - he really is a shark!) that he no longer considers friends that really, if everyone could be a little more grown up, might be collaborators with him again. However, Alan Moore is important because of his humanity and who said humans ever had to act rationally?

One final word of warning, whilst a handsome coffee table volume, remember to put it on the top shelf when the in-laws visit, otherwise they may get slightly confused by the pages on his Lost Girls books!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I come not to bury Caesar, but to praise him." 27 July 2011
By Ian Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In other words, don't expect anything in the way of criticism or of critical analysis of Moore's works except for those expressed by Moore himself. You won't find a bad word said against the Great Man except, of course, for those uttered by himself. This is a clear work of hagiography a word which is defined as "a biography of saints or venerated persons" and "idealising or idolising biography" and I certainly think Alan Moore fits into both categories. Once you accept that, Millidge (a long-standing friend of Moore's) has done a pretty good job.

(Incidentally, don't get me wrong. I am a big fan of Alan Moore's work and have been since the days of Warrior. I have many of the original comics [such as Swamp Thing and Watchmen] and also have them in absurdly expensive editions as well. Hell, on the wall just above my head I have an original page of Watchmen artwork! I do think he's something of a genius who revolutionised the comics industry. But I don't think the sun shines out of his fundament and am of the opinion that he may be somewhat curmudgeonly when he feels he's been slighted.)

That said, for what this book is which is a survey of Moore's work, its origins, how it came to be created, and his battles with publishers, it's hard to beat. It's certainly authoritative as Millidge was pretty much able to consult with Moore on anything and everything to do it. Visually, it's a feast with massive amounts of rare or unpublished material, including family photographs. It's also highly readable. For anyone wanting to know about Moore's writing and work in other media this is terrific.

Where it does skimp, however, is about Moore the man, the father, the husband, the friend. We never see any real glimpse of the private face of Alan Moore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational book 26 Aug 2012
By Truman
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I greatly enjoyed this book and found it to be incredibly inspirational. As an aspiring writer (not of comics but novels and short stories), I took two important lessons from this book; One - if you feel the need to create then just do it and don't let anything stop you, and; Two - don't compromise on your vision, even if it hurts you financially and professionally. Moore may have fallen out with just about every single comic publisher, perhaps justifiably, perhaps not, but just consider what works resulted from the realisation of his uncompromising vision...

The book covers Moore's writing all the way from its very beginnings up to the latest instalment of his on-going series, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century. Any good book about Alan Moore needs plenty of graphics and images to support the text and this book is certainly not lacking in this regard: the pictures enhance the text immensely, demonstrating just what makes Moore stand out from the pack. I could have read a book twice this length but that's not to say that it feels lacking, more that the subject is so interesting. True, I didn't particularly have much interest in Moore's non-comic work, but these sections were still a good read and provided a fuller picture of the man.

The best way to measure the success of a book like this is whether or not it causes the reader to revisit the subject's work. For the past few days I've been frantically catching up on the Moore comics I've either never read or had any intention of reading, and I can't wait to go back over my favourites.

A great read, thoroughly recommended.
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