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Alan Moore: Storyteller Hardcover – 1 Aug 2011
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"The hardcover monograph spans Moore's entire career, from his early performance pieces and comic strips to his emergence as one of comicdom's most brilliant and esoteric voices. Along the way, we gain insight into his process and can even see pages from his work-in-progress notebooks and scripts... A lovely "objet d'art" and tribute to this essential voice of 20th (and 21st) century narrative." Boing Boing "This new volume by him is a very interesting-looking piece of Mooreana: an authorized biography (mostly organized by project) that has tons of quotes, script excerpts and artwork, as well as a CD of Moore's musical performances." "Comics Alliance ""This hardcover book is very cool, its full of color images and TONS of information on Moore's career. Its a great book for any fan and anyone interested in comic book history." BookLegion.com "The definitive book on Moore and his trailblazing works of visual storytelling, Alan Moore is a must-have for his fansi
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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!
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.
(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. Then again, I suppose, the title is Alan Moore Storyteller not Alan Moore the Private Life. I mention this because I feel that this unseen aspect is also a part of the artist, a more subtle perhaps even undefinable part but a part nonetheless and that's why I'm only giving it four stars.
But for what it sets out to do it does superbly and is (despite my minor reservations) unreservedly recommended to anyone interested in Northampton's greatest son.
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