Alan Moore’s ‘Unearthing’

Leave it to Alan Moore, subject of the disinformation documentary The Mindscape of Alan Moore, to go against the grain with his latest project, a tribute of sorts to another British comics pioneer, the unrelated Steve Moore. David Itzkoff interviewed Moore for the New York Times:

Typically, the appearance of Alan Moore’s name on a comic book has been a harbinger of heady, consequential writing inside: a promise of mighty champions empowered through mystical or superscientific methods and whose conflicts would challenge the reader’s perceptions of heroism and humanity.

So perhaps the first indication that “Unearthing,” a new work by Mr. Moore, is not typical of his pioneering graphic novels, like “Watchmen” and “V for Vendetta,” is that its subject is not a costumed adventurer, but a friend and fellow comics writer named Steve Moore, who inspired him to enter the business.

The second sign is that “Unearthing” is not a comic book at all, but a lengthy spoken-word recording accompanied by an atmospheric musical soundtrack and a book of photographs.

Despite the radical change in format, the “Unearthing” project is no less significant to Alan Moore, a prolific (and prodigiously bearded) 56-year-old resident of Northampton, England. To him it is a tribute to a colleague and mentor, and a demonstration that he has transcended the boundaries of the graphic novels for which he is best known.

“After all those years of working within the comics industry and quietly going mad, this is what erupts,” Mr. Moore said in a telephone interview.

For all of his protests, “Unearthing” is also an affectionate retelling of the history of British comics — a nostalgic look back, through the prism of a friend, at the genre he says he is moving beyond…

[continues in the New York Times]

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