Alan Moore and Stewart Lee on “The Festering Boil of My Comic Book Career”



In April of last year, Bleeding Cool got the scoop that Alan Moore was to publish a collection of short stories, Illuminations this month, which will include what is expected to be a dismantling of the comic book industry, with “What we can know about Thunderman“described as a “monumental short story” that “traces the surreal, Kafkaesque history of the comics industry over the past seventy-five years through several sometimes naive and sometimes maniacal people climbing and descending its career ladders , Moore reveals the dark, beating heart of the superhero industry.” If you live in the UKthe UNITED STATES Where Canadayou can forward any proof of purchase to the Bloomsbury publisher and receive a free badge or pin, depending on your nearest territory.

Alan Moore and Stewart Lee, YouTube screenshot from a previous interview

There are also a number of online discussions organized. One with the Guardian newspaper with Steward Lee, ran yesterday. Lee, who first interviewed Alan Moore for BBC Radio 4 Chain reaction at the time, and has collaborated on many projects over the years, including Dodge Logic and Stewart Lee’s comic vehicle. Here are some highlights – they won’t replace the real thing of course.

Alan Moore & Stewart Lee on
Thunderman by Rick Veitch

1. The festering boil of my comedy career.

I would like you to remember that Alan Moore had a very dry, self-deprecating sense of humor, and that he often says exaggerated statements that are meant to be mocking and ironic, and that people who take them as plain text and quoting them that way are usually bad actors on one side or the other. Thus, when Alan Moore talks to Stewart Lee about “The festering boil of my comedy career”. He’s not quite serious. You think you might have understood when he says he achieved some catharsis by writing the What we can know about Thunderman story and now has “less somber whispers” about his time in the comics, when he’s in the bath.

Alan Moore promotes illuminations with online talks and free badge

2. Neurological addiction.

“If I was going to denigrate the comic book industry, I felt I had to explain why people liked to read these comics.” says Alan Moore, emphasizing that it’s not just about bitterness. “It’s a neurological addiction caused by chest emblems and color combinations.” Lee mentions a character in the book who talks about comic book readers as drug addicts. What we can know about Thunderman is divided into chapters with different voices, no omniscient narrator, and includes media snippets like fanzines.

3. Great British holidays.

Alan Moore tells a hilarious story about a recent disastrous vacation he took with his wife, Melinda Gebbie, in the British seaside town of Yarmouth, after making the mistake of telling her about her childhood holidays that brought her joy, only to show up and become immediately miserable. It is this experience that partly inspired Thunderman in his commentary on childhood nostalgia. And he had fantasies of setting fires to the hapless students who worked in the summer dressed as furry cartoon characters on the boardwalk. Then he was in line to get into the wax museum and heard someone in front say, “Oh, I think that’s Hitler” and decided he was going to be fine after all.

4. “I made it up and it all came true anyway” – From Hell.

“I kind of have a habit of making up really nasty things for stories and making them feel real,” says Alan Moore. “And government policy” says Lee as V for Vendetta looks more and more like a documentary. There is also a story in Illuminations about realtors (i.e. real estate agents, Americans) showing people around the property after the world ends.

5. A less than hypothetical lizard.

Alan Moore and Stewart Lee talk about A hypothetical lizard included in the book, originally written in the 80s for a fantasy anthology and adapted into comics by Bleeding Cool’s own publishers, Avatar Press. The story is about sexual identity and identity theft, is way ahead of its time in LGBTQ and non-binary representation.

6. Moon And Serpent, winding towards liberation.

The Bumper Book Of Magic Publishing by Alan Moore and Steve Moore in 2023
The Bumper Book Of Magic Publishing by Alan Moore and Steve Moore in 2023

In April, Bleeding Cool reported that Knocakabout editor Tony Bennett told me there was now a firm release date for The Moon and Serpent Magic Book for 2023, described as “a clear, practical grimoire of the occult sciences that provides endless necromantic fun for the whole family”.

Alan Moore told Stewart Lee that he is currently in the final stages of art and production, including the art of his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen/Cinema Purgatorio collaborater Kevin O’Neill.

7. Not long now, London.

Bleeding Cool also reported in March last year on their five-novel seriesLong London. As a Londoner, I’m probably more enthused by reading Alan Moore’s digs into this beautiful and dirty city than anything he’s written since. From hell. H head has completed the prologue and is three chapters away from the first of the London novels, heavily influenced by the author Arthur Machenpseudonym of Arthur Llewellyn Jones, the Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century, and his horror/fantasy stories. Stewart Lee says “Machen makes living in London an adventure”. Alan sees London as a state of mind, a mythical city in the minds of all who think of it, different from the actual London or reality, and Machen’s idea of ​​a reality behind it.

8. A spoonful of saccharin.

Alan looks at the children’s literary landscape. “Most of the stuff I read when I was 10 doesn’t exist anymore. The stuff that does, I wouldn’t recommend to a 10-year-old now.” He talks about loving Mary Poppins stories as a child, but now finding it full of racism, sexism and classism. And the same with TH Whiteit is Once and future king. He would still recommend Alain Garner, author of The service of the owl, the strange stone of Brisingamen and The stone book yet. And describes Garner’s latest novel Molasses walker so wonderful. As good as Thomas Pynchonit is Entropy and Vladimir Nabokovit is pale fire influence him and some of the stories of Illuminations. “I’ve read young adult literature, and I don’t know who it’s for.” He also talked about his love for comics when he was ten, including the Marvel Comics of Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko before “Marvel has become this world-destroying colossus.”

9. A ghost story for the times.

Illuminations contained a ghost story where he tries to evoke “that MR James feeling” quoting Montague Rhodes James, best known for his ghost stories considered among the best of the genre and redefining ghost history for the 20th century. And that “MR James” lost hearts terrified me as a child.” It may also be worth noting that his daughter Leah Moore and his son-in-law John Reppion wrote the graphic anthology, Ghost stories of an antique dealer, adapting the ghost stories of MR James, for the 80th anniversary of his death. He therefore transmitted love. He also cites Robert Aickman as one of Britain’s leading ghost story writers. “I really like black dog stories, which are a subset of folklore.”

10. Modified Music

Alan Moore also says his favorite band right now is Sleaford Mods. Stewart Lee says he knows them – but it’s a bit more than that. He really knows them and even opened to them. So it went well… Sleaford Mods Jason Williamson too told Alan Moore’s first novel, voice of fire for the audiobook, and released some of his readings on vinyl. So that was nice…

Two other free conferences will be available on Saturday, October 15. The first with Joseph Beth Books Gifts And Foodin collaboration with the Wisconsin Book Festival, at 10:30 a.m. ET. And again with Brookline Bookstore and loudspeaker Matt Bellalso in collaboration with the Wisconsin Book Festival, at 11:30 a.m. ET. You can also purchase copies of the book at the event.

In his first-ever collection of short stories, which spans forty years of work and includes many never-before-seen pieces, the internationally bestselling author and legendary creator of From hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and other modern classics, Alan Moore presents nine stories full of wonder and weirdness, each taking us deeper into the fantastical underworld of reality.

In A hypothetical lizard, two concubines in a brothel for fantasy specialists fall in love, with tragic ramifications. In Not even the legend, a paranormal study group is infiltrated by one of the otherworldly beings they seek to investigate. In Illuminations, a nostalgic old man decides to visit a seaside resort from his youth and finds the past too close. And in the new monumental What we can know about Thundermanwhich traces the surreal and Kafkaesque history of the comics industry over the past seventy-five years through several sometimes naive and sometimes maniacal people climbing and descending on its career ladders, Moore reveals the dark and beating heart of the superhero industry.

From ghosts and otherworldly creatures to theoretical Boltzmann brains shaping the universe at the time of the big bang, Illuminations is exactly that – a series of brilliant and startling tales from contemporary legend that reveal the full power of imagination and magic.

Posted in: Comics | Tagged: Alan Moore, illuminations, stewart lee, thunder

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