Eisner Award-winning comic writer and novelist Alan Moore is not really retired, and I have proof. I just finished reading the third issue of Neonomicon. As opposed to Neo‘s predecessor, The Courtyard (also good), Neo is not based on Moore’s stories. It is scripted by Moore himself and immaculately drawn by Jacen Burrows, and definitely worth a read.
Black Dossier seems less a celebration and more an indulgence into Moore’s impractical world views and towering intellect. And although Moore certainly has these former traits in spades, they are not, nor have they ever been the only things that make his work so transcendent, and perhaps more disappointing still: Moore is intelligent enough to know this, and he is neglecting his obligations as a story-teller in this book.
The Black Dossier marked a time when I was particularly fed up (but still jealous of) Mr. Moore’s brilliance and idiosyncratic narratives. Even I, a huge fan of William Lee, did not the highly enjoy the style-copy in the book. Put shortly: for a comic, Dossier had a lot of text, and for a text narrative, it was slow and not in the spirit of his previous work on League. I enjoyed Moore’s second follow-up to League, entitled 1910, but I didn’t say anything about it to anyone but my friend Ed, who didn’t even read it.
Now I’ve read Neonomicon (published by the wonderful Avatar) and I’m crowing from the rooftops: All Lovecraft and Moore fans with a sturdy stomach should enjoy this series. Yes, I said Lovecraft. Moore has been writing about Lovecraft and referencing Lovecraft throughout his career, and Neonomicon represents his most powerful telling of the mythos yet.
Jacen Burrows is at his best here. His art so clearly and richly delineates the characters, and he portrays the horror unflinchingly. It has been a pleasure watching Mr. Burrows develop into a true storytelling force over the past years. In Moore and Burrows is Lovecraft reborn into a metaphysical, metafictional nightmare. Go read it.