The collected Volumes I & II of TLOEG were early reads for me as I re-discovered graphic novels as an adult a few years back (with thanks to Andrew Petrozzi and a visit to a Vancouver comic shop for re-igniting this interest). Both are hands-down classics, IMHO. The basic idea: bring together a bunch of characters from 19th. C. literature (Mina Murray from Dracula, Jeckyll/Hyde, The Invisible Man, Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, etc.) that Moore is free to use and interpret as his creativity sees fit, given that all are part of the creative commons - no longer controlled or held by copyright holders. His interpretation of each of these characters is robust and fascinating, as he wraps in other players and story lines from 19th C. classics of sci-fi and adventure lit (e.g. Wells' 1898 'War of the Worlds'). Again, how the film bungled this simple and winning premise is as baffling as it is unfortunate.
|Vols I & II|
I give it full credit for the story arc and now wait patiently though expectantly for Century:2009. But...
A little more of the magic and quality seems to have eroded. I just didn't sink as deep into this one, despite being entertained all the way through it. O'Neill's art is great, but still a thin effort in parts. Ultimately, I think its biggest hobble is the limitation created by the 1969 setting. While Moore has generic surrogates for the Rolling Stones and other contemporary figures, the need to 'allude to' rather than seize these characters is a new feature of the franchise. The story suffers for it. While you can take a character like Quartermain and turn him into a burnt out heroin punk because nobody owns a piece of him as intellectual property, it's a little more tricky to do it with characters like Tom Riddle, whose peeps might be rabidly litigious.
Again, the references/characters/plot facets were obscure or went unrecognized in several places, though catching a broad Robert Anton Wilson nod in the plot line was gratifying.
Very enjoyable all around, but it gets further and further from the Top-End Cadillac efforts of Vols I & II...
|This handsome devil is Alan Moore.|