There are a lot of tough ladies in science fiction – Robert A. Heinlein’s Friday, Tanya Huff’s Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr, David Weber’s Honor Harrington – and I love them all, but when push comes to inevitable shove, I have to say that my favorite is Alan Moore’s Halo Jones – whose adventures in England’s legendary 2000 A.D. have been collected into graphic novel format by 2000 A.D./Rebellion A/S.
Some of the most iconic figures in comics history have been published by 2000 AD: Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, DR & Quinch and Strontium Dog among them. Known for their cavalier attitude toward such niceties as ethics, morals and even the law, these characters have provided fans with unfettered action, seriously demented satire and enough pure adventure to satisfy even the legendary Joe Bob Briggs. For the first time, these iconic characters will be available in North America, as Rebellion Publishing announces the upcoming US launch of iconic British comic 2000 AD’s US Graphic Novel list this June.
Following some, yes, extraordinary adventures, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman [still led by Mina Murray – no thanks to Sean Connery…] have moved with the times in this, the first chapter of a six-part graphic novel. Captain Nemo is dying and his rebellious daughter, Janni, has run off to find a life for herself on land; Murray and Allan Quartermain have been joined in their unusual pursuits by gentleman thief A.J. Raffles, the omnisexual immortal, Orlando and Thomas Carnacki, Ghost Finder.
Carnacki’s frequently clairvoyant nightmares have the group on edge because of an apocalypse that may – or may not – be centered on Kings Crossing. Apparently a dead man and a suspected Jack [the Jack!] could play a role. And what is a Moonchild – and how do you make one? As Mina and her team of adventurers seek aid from a man bound to London, but not to time, and Sherlock Holmes’ smarter, fatter brother, a Brechtian lyric winds through the tale adding its own macabre mood as it springs from the lips of several different people – but always in sequence.
Originally a short film by Dez Vylenz for his film school thesis, The Mindscape of Alan Moore is an expanded ramble by Moore on various subjects – from Watchmen to the reasons he one day decided to tell his friends and family that he was a magician.
The format is incredibly simple: Moore sits on a comfy chair in his living room and speaks for almost ninety minutes. Given that he comes across as your favorite eccentric professor – the on whose lectures you never miss – this is not a hardship. Moore is an engaging speaker and is always witty and direct.
As he speaks, director Vylenz uses various means to enhance Moore’s subjects. There are some good old-fashioned psychedelic lightshow effects; CG animations that illustrate points Moore makes about concepts like “ideaspace,” and even live-action recreations of moments from some of Moore’s best known comics work: V for Vendetta [V putting on his unique mask], Watchmen [Rorschach perched on a rooftop looking out over the city], three instances of a blond guy in a trenchcoat, smoking as he wanders the streets of London [yup, it’s Constantine – though we only find that out in the end credits and the director’s commentary.
If you’re wondering what all the fuss about Moore is, The Mindscape of Alan Moore will give you a glimpse of his genius/madness – whichever you may take it to be. If you’re already a fan, it will give you some insights into the man that may actually enhance your enjoyment of his writings.
Features: Disc 1: Scene Specific Audio Commentary by Dez Vylenz; Making a Mindscape – a narration-free video diary of the film’s making; Director Interview – Dez Vylenz – Producer/Writer/Director; Interview: Brian Kinney – Special Make-Up Effects; Interview with Drew Richards – Music composer/Sound Designer; Trailer 1 [Lustmord St.], and Trailer 2 [Drew Richards St.]. Disc 2: Interviews From the comics World – Melinda Gebbie [The Lost girls w. Moore], Dave Gibbons [Watchmen], Paul Gravette [Author/Comics Historian], David Lloyd [V for Vendetta], Kevin O’Neill [League of Extraordinary Gentlemen], and Jose´ Villarubia [Promethea].