on 7 February 2001
Alan Moore is God.
This is one of the best books I have ever read let alone comic (and I have been reading them for over 20 years). I lent this to a friend who is totally anti-graphic novels and they could not believe the intelligence and involvement of From Hell.
Although some of the theories are not exactly new the structure of the story more than compensates. On first glance the illustrations look scrappy and lazy but the more you get involved the more you realise that the style is just what the story needed - dirty and sharp but detailed.
Perhaps the most important graphic novel ever.
on 5 October 2003
No amount of hyperbole can do this book the justice it deserves.
Quite simply it is stunning, gob-smacking, fantastic, gripping, repulsive, compelling, hilarious, shocking, chilling...(add any extra superlatives you like)...
Impossible to summarise just how much of an effect this book had after the first time I read it. You won't so much read From Hell as experience it, it is just that good.
If you've seen the film and were not impressed please ignore it, the book has so many layers that can be peeled back and enjoyed with repeated readings.
Also do take the time to read the comprehensive appendices at the back that detail the considerable amount of research that has been made in the production of what I feel is a modern masterpiece.
One warning, it's not for the faint of heart, containing a chapter that I feel is more violent than any film I've ever seen.
Another triumph by Alan Moore, can the man do no wrong?
In conclusion, buy it, buy it, buy it, buy it, buy it.
(I am not a representative of the Alan Moore fanclub either).
on 20 June 2004
You might think a lot of the other reviews for this book seem a little bit over the top, but they are absolutely true. This really is a magnificent piece of work; some of the chapters, for example those concerning the deaths of Mary Kelly and Sir William Gull leave you breathless. The combination of the forboding, superbly detailed artwork and the daring, ingenious writing gives the story a real power which you don't come across very often.
Even if you don't like the idea of reading a graphic novel, do read this book; it has more of an understanding of why we are still reading and writing about Jack the Ripper more than a century after the crimes than any of the more conventional books on the subject.
on 21 June 2002
This graphic novel, in more ways than one, is a work of art. It deals with the whitechapel murders and the infamous Jack The Ripper and is the inspiration for the movie of the same name. From the opening page it grabs you, the detailed drawings douse your mind in imagery of the time, you almost feel as though you are in Victorian London. The words do not dissappoint either, Moore has written an excellent piece on the subject and the story examines the murders, victims and possible suspects throughout its 700 + pages. There is an excellent reference section at the back of the book which clarifies many issues and gives a more detailed reasoning behind some of the actions of the characters. For anyone interested in the whitechapel murders or indeed for those who generally like murder mysteries, this is unmissable, buy it - the best graphic novel in the world... possibily ... the best Ripper story in the world... definitely...
on 8 June 2009
The most distinguishing way in which Alan Moore has influenced the Comic medium, is the way he manages to convey more than a book can, yet infinitely more than a pulp comic manages to the reader. Just like other seminal work from this incredible author, From Hell leads the reader into a truly chilling story encompassing victorian decadence, masonic tradition, madness, corruption and social change.
It's quite a long read, and at points does drag on, but unlike so many other authors, Moore has taken the Jack the Ripper murders from just another notorious killing spree into the catapult that launched the western world from the Victorian era into the Modern one. Unmissable and Dark.
on 13 July 2007
What makes FROM HELL such an extraordinary example of sequential art is the fact that both the script and the art work are faultless and fantastic on their own but even better when combined. Moore's superb story and Campbell's incredible black and white are a match made in heaven. The novel is essentially a piece of "Victoriana" peppered with artistic, historical and literary references to the period creating an overall reality effect ( the voices of the characters sound real and genuine) that contrasts greatly with the fantastic aspects of the work ( the masonic conspiracy and the introduction of a whole cast of period personalities such as Wilde, the Elephant man and Queen Victoria herself). The art work is sensational and so appropriate that it makes one wonder if Moore and Campbell are not twins separated at birth. Campbell's style is sketchy (I believe that he worked in the fashion industry) which allows him to create a whole world of characters and urban landscapes in an energetic and very dynamic way. The characters are so well defined and yet on occasion they are nothing more than impressionist etchings. And Campbell's visual representation of Victorian London and its architecture is simply formidable.
on 31 July 2000
That this book is described as 'Comics- Humour' says everything about the way comics/ graphic novels are still viewed by the mainstream . This is a work that is as far away from the world of 'Whizzer'n'Chips' as it's possible to get . Moore, one of comicdoms finest evr writers, is joined by the equally brilliant Eddie Canpbell, and together they take us on a dark journey to the very depths of the human psyche . That the central idea is one of the dodgier Ripper theories should not get in the way of the appreciation of this work . A carefully constructed web emeshes us, and we are pulled into the lives, and sad, horrible depths, of the victims . It is too often the case that studiers of the crimes treat the victims as commodities - Moore and Campbell make them human beings. By the end, even the murderer himself has become a pathetic figure, his death as pointless as those of his victims . This is no comic, it is perhaps the first truly great work of graphic art.
on 29 January 2002
This story manages to bring so many sub texts together that are as relevant today as they ever were!
It offers a glimpse of a truth, or a perspective,.... who knows?
The background research that Alan Moore has done is extensive, and so he offers an excellent possible solution to the mystery of "who was JTR?"
If you are interested in JTR, the secret societies of the "Brotherhood", the Masonic custodianship of a deeper knowledge, then this book offers interesting connections, & demonstrates a synchronicity that is hard to argue against.
Definitely more than just a graphic novel.
on 24 July 2000
According to Amazon's handy suggestions, this book is classified as "humour". Well, I suppose there are a few black laughs in it, but on the whole it's relentlessly dark. Campbell's art is an acquired taste, but captures the mood of the period perfectly (for actual humour, check out his solo work "Bacchus"). Moore is, of course, comic's greatest writer, and this is possibly his best work yet: painstakingly researched, jaw-dropping.
on 15 September 2000
Alan Moore's career has been punctuated by a series of highlights. First, it was the brilliant V For Vendetta, then the superb Watchmen and now From Hell. From Hell is ingenious, possibly his densest and most intelligent work to date. But don't let the length put you off: Moore and Campbell have created a vivid, disturbing Victorian London and in William Gull a deranged but strangely human figure. At no point does Moore claim that this is 'the truth', merely an extrapolation of the facts and rumours that exist and one possible solution. The Ripper is a figure that has been an unhealthy public obsession for over a century and Moore delves into it with rare skill and style. The film may not capture it so I would recommend that anyone who enjoys quality modern fiction, comics or otherwise, should pick this up.