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Happy Birthday, Alan Moore
November 18, 2010 10:21 AM   Subscribe

"Alan Moore is a writer and magician from Northhampton. He's a stranger to hairdressers and worships his very own god in his very own way, blurring the lines between religious belief, magic, and the power of the creative imagination. If you film him from strange angles, you can make him look very sinister." It is his fifty-eighth birthday. The beard is pushing 40.

You can celebrate Alan Moore's birthday by watching a 1987 profile from the program England, Their England. Or you may enjoy browsing a collection of occasionally NSFW strips Moore created under the pseudonym Curt Vile, or, as Jill de Ray, some Maxwell the Magic Cat. Or you might want to curl up with your favorite Moore-penned comic book and read along with some annotations. Perhaps you would enjoy Neil Gaiman's spot-on impression of Moore, or Moore's MAD-inspired parody of Frank Miller's Daredevil Previously. Maybe you would like to read a classic Moore yarn from 2000AD or a bleakly prescient collaboration with Don Simpson, , an amusing one-page with the late Harvey Pekar, or Moore's remembrance of Pekar, or whatever the hell this is, with Mark Beyer.

More Mooreana can be found at glycon and fourcolorheroes.
posted by Alvy Ampersand (38 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
Happy brithday cranky snake genius weirdo!
posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on November 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Moore's MAD-inspired parody of Frank Miller's Daredevil

"I betcha think all the houses are made of gingerbread and it rains pistachio ice cream, right? ... What are you, some sorta retard?"

Life imitates art.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:26 AM on November 18, 2010


Oh shit oh shit oh shit I forgot It was today oh shit I have get the pyre and virgins ready oh please don't eat me.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on November 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


There's a lot of detractors, and I don't even follow his current stuff, but I will always think Alan Moore is one of the few individuals responsible for comics being what they are today (in the good way.) He's well on par with the Lees and Ditkos and Kirbys. One of my favorite photographs ever is this shot of Alan Moore and Jack Kirby. I even wrote a blog post about how much I love it and respect the two of them.

Happy birthday you old bastard! May you live to see many more.
posted by griphus at 10:31 AM on November 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


About ten years ago Alan Moore presented a lovely half hour documentary about Northampton on Channel 4's The Other Side series, where he talked about a lot of the events that different chapters of Voice Of The Fire relate to, but I can't find it at all on the internet.

His recent Astro Dick (NSFW) comic is stupid and brilliant, too. I think you can still get that in the second issue of Dodgem Logic.
posted by dng at 10:32 AM on November 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, and if anyone has an attribution for the photographer or a better-quality version, for the love of god hook me up. I want that fucker framed on my wall.
posted by griphus at 10:32 AM on November 18, 2010


You know, I love Alan Moore, but I could never finish V for Vendetta or From Hell. I'm guessing for V it was the art style, and From Hell it was the super, super drawn out exposition.

Am I a heathen?
posted by Askiba at 10:34 AM on November 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't even follow his current stuff

Well, he's pretty much retired-ish* appart from LoEG and Neonomicon.

LoEG continues to be it's own excellent self, though I suspect it peaked with Vol. 2.

I would, on one hand, say that I suspect that Neonomicon is going to be a late classic of his. On the other hand, it's a bit dar and intense and I have a little trepidation recommending it.

...NEVER go with a cultist to a second location...

Anyhowm, if you've only read his 80s stuff you're doing yourself a bit of a disservice.

* Alan Moore has been in the process of retiring from comics for 8 years as of this birthday, and yet comics still pop up from time to time, so when he says something is his last comic it's easy to think that there may be another.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on November 18, 2010


Heh, I keep forgetting the fact that I absolutely devoured LoEG and Supreme. The latter is one of my favorite comics that I keep forgetting to re-read. The stuff I'm thinking of is the ABC imprint, which I almost completely ignored save for LoEG -- Tom Strong, Promethea, etc.
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on November 18, 2010


I didn't know about the glycon livejournal. Thanks for the pointer!

Happy Birthday, Mage of Northampton. If you keep makin' 'em, I'll keep readin' 'em.

One of the happiest occurrences of my trip to London of a few years ago was buying Time Out and seeing that Moore and Gebbie were doing an event for Lost Girls that night. So I got to thank him in person for his work.
posted by Zed at 10:52 AM on November 18, 2010


You know, I love Alan Moore, but I could never finish V for Vendetta or From Hell. I'm guessing for V it was the art style, and From Hell it was the super, super drawn out exposition.

Just watch the movies!
posted by shakespeherian at 10:53 AM on November 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


Am I a heathen?

We're all mad heathens here.

But only some of us have a magical talking snake.

Happy birthday, Mr. Moore!
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:54 AM on November 18, 2010


Damn, I just finished a reread of The Black Dossier. If I'd known his birthday was coming up, I would have timed it so that I read the 3D section with Masonic 3D glasses on the bus, publicly geeking out in his honor.
posted by COBRA! at 10:59 AM on November 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just watch the movies!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

/pod person pointing.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on November 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Moore is like a gateway drug to comics, except you starting with heroin and then move on to bad grass.
posted by Elmore at 11:06 AM on November 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


bollix! "You are".... fuck I'm so strung out...
posted by Elmore at 11:07 AM on November 18, 2010


Just watch the movies!

If you really want to understand Moore you have to start with League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It's astounding.
posted by Elmore at 11:10 AM on November 18, 2010


Will you sign my Watchmen Babies DVD?
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:10 AM on November 18, 2010 [9 favorites]



Just watch the movies!

You are going to hell for that you know. You are literally going to hell.
posted by The Whelk at 11:14 AM on November 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


Man, there's some great stuff here, folks. Even as a Moore fan of some nearly three decades (the first comic of his that I bought was an import of his and Alan Davis' Captain Britain, near the end of their run), there's some things here that I haven't seen, including that picture of him and Kirby.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:45 AM on November 18, 2010


Only this past weekend I was urging people to read Voice Of The Fire - "If you can get past the first 80 pages of ugg language. It gets.... well it's still pretty oblique but you've got to read it!"

I tried to find a picture of the beared-one in a party hat. This will have to do.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:48 AM on November 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some day I will beat the ugg-speak chapter. Someday...
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on November 18, 2010


PWEI time!
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on November 18, 2010


This is a perfect time to point out a friend of mine's Alan Moore Halloween costume.

I should also point out that this is my female friend's Alan Moore Halloween costume. Of awesomeness.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


I am in awe of your friends awesomeness!

I particularly like that the first picture looks a lot like the jacket photo on the old Swamp Thing TPBs.
posted by Artw at 12:05 PM on November 18, 2010


Tomorrows British Lit classics today. Happy B-day Mr. Moore.
posted by buzzman at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2010


If anyone here has only read Watchmen and LoEG, you really owe it to yourself to track down Top 10.
posted by Oktober at 12:13 PM on November 18, 2010


My favorite Alan Moore photo.
posted by Steve Lieber at 12:17 PM on November 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


As far as early works go, I'd really call The Ballad of Halo Jones an essential.
posted by Artw at 12:27 PM on November 18, 2010


Oh my dear lord. Moore did four pages in... wait for it...

the Dukes of Hazzard Annual 1983.
posted by Zed at 1:00 PM on November 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Most interesting thing in this post to me: I now know about someone cool who shares my birthday.
posted by immlass at 3:06 PM on November 18, 2010


Not sure if this has been posted here before, but this is the Alan Moore Interview Index, which has interviews going back to 1984, so it's chock full of reading. The site says that the last update was Feb. 2010, so I hope it's not on its way out.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:24 PM on November 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, I love Alan Moore, but I could never finish V for Vendetta or From Hell. I'm guessing for V it was the art style, and From Hell it was the super, super drawn out exposition.

Yeah, I couldn't get past the first page of From Hell. I know it's supposed to be a masterwork, but Eddie Campbell's cramped scrawl is headache-inducing; even Campbell's autobiographical stuff isn't that illegible. V for Vendetta I never tried. Though I enjoyed the film.

Also, I wonder if Kurt Vile knows about his would-be namesake.

And Moore's Dodgem Logic showcases some real brilliance—even the stuff not personally done by him in there is good. I'm still turning around in my head all of the anticivilization writings I read in the first two issues. And damned if Moore isn't one of those comics creators who still make me look over my shoulder as I'm reading—his works are still genuinely subversive, in a time when most things even remotely deserving of that label have been co-opted in some way.

Oh, and "The Sinister Ducks"—I'd thought that was a Neil Gaiman original. Wrong! Ignore the awful animation on that one; it's the audio that's by Moore.

And re: the current AskMe thread about dreams, try reading Voice of the Fire before bed. Yikes. I got it from a former coworker as a holiday present one year, didn't get to it for about a year after that, and then wow. It's a tough slog just to get through the first chapters, but the effort is so worth it, albeit perhaps damaging to the psyche.

And I can't wait for the grimoire. !
posted by limeonaire at 7:44 PM on November 18, 2010


Only this past weekend I was urging people to read Voice Of The Fire - "If you can get past the first 80 pages of ugg language. It gets.... well it's still pretty oblique but you've got to read it!"

Exactly!
posted by limeonaire at 7:45 PM on November 18, 2010


Somewhere along the way I ended up with a Maxwell the Magic Cat book. Not sure how, but I have loved it for years. It's funny when books find you. That one led me around his other writings--which seems somehow fittingly weird.
posted by pywacket at 8:38 PM on November 18, 2010


His recent Astro Dick (NSFW) comic is stupid and brilliant, too.

Ahhhh ...

(I'm just basking in the warm glow of imagining this as the next cheesy-film-adaptation-of-reasonably-good-comic-book.)
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:53 PM on November 18, 2010


I knew very little about Moore until I got Lost Girls for Christmas a few years ago (pornography recommended by American Heritage magazine, which is amazing in itself). Lost Girls is wonderful on many levels--changed my attitude towards several genres at once. Zed, you were fortunate to be able to thank Moore in person.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:15 AM on November 19, 2010


Two of my favorite people in one room! *swoon....*
posted by lumpenprole at 3:17 PM on November 19, 2010


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