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Alan Fucking Moore.

Alan Moore is probably the most influential comics writer of the last 50 years, he is to me at least. He's like a death metal Gandalf but with a fountain pen instead of a staff.

Is he going to write a genre smashing epic or sing a song about burning churches?


I don't want to write about his work within the superhero genre except to say that genre would be totally different without him. I DEFINITELY don't want to write about Watchmen because nothing I could write would do it justice, I'll just say that it's still kind of a horror story about the psychopaths that end up ruling over society and the seemingly ever present threat of nuclear annihilation that I'm slightly too young to really get.

Oh, there's also some brutal body horror and existential dread thrown in.



Horror comics are my bag and I'll stick with them here.


From Hell is about Jack the Ripper and delves deep into the horror of Jack the Ripper's reign of terror in Victorian London. What makes it truly terrifying is Moore's meticulous attention to historical detail (not gonna lie, Victorian London was fucking grim) combined with Eddie Campbell's hauntingly beautiful illustrations. The relentless pursuit of the killer, the gruesome depictions of the murders, and the underlying sense of dread that builds with every page make Moore's exploration of the human psyche, the dark underbelly of society, and the unknown horrors lurking within us all just horrible, HORRIBLE! But in a good way.


But wait, there's more!


The killer was Sir. William Gull, physician to the royal family and high ranking Freemason. His motive? Covering for a prince that fell in love with a commoner, married her and fathered a child with her.

He considered it his duty to the crown to kill the five prostitutes who were aware that Prince Albert married a Catholic prostitute and fathered a child with her.


I'm not going to tin foil hat it here and make allusions to events from my lifetime where commoners that a prince fell in love with come to grisly ends COUGHprincessdiCOUGH. Or where people with knowledge of Very Important People's philandering with young girls COUGHepsteinandprinceandrewCOUGH also come to grisly ends. But I'll instead sum up by saying From Hell is about people in power doing everything they can to distance themselves from us lowly commoners and the psychopaths they employ to maintain that distance.


Psychopaths run the world, psychopathy gives you an edge when it comes to making money.

The type of person holding the knife in the picture below is the same type of person that would buy up water sources in a developing nation and then price bottles of that water higher than the tasty carbonated beverage they are selling.

OI! You got a loicense for that knoife?



Onto Swamp Thing...


Dying science man Alec Holland falls into swamp full of chemicals and gets plant powers, great job everyone, you can all go home early.


Alan Moore: "Actually, no."


What was originally a fairly silly plant powered hero becomes a gut wrenching piece of psychological and existential horror in Moore's hands during The Anatomy Lesson arc.

Driven by a desire to unravel the mysteries of his own existence, Swamp Thing seeks out the renowned scientist and former adversary, Dr. Jason Woodrue. WOODRUE THEN PERFORMS A LIVE AUTOPSY and uncovers the truth that Swamp Thing is not Alec Holland transformed into a super plant man, but rather a Theseus' ship type of deal where the chemical filled swamp just made a copy of him in weird plant man form with Holland's memories and I'm pretty sure this is how the aliens in invasion of the body snatchers took over the world.


The bit that gets me is the human body does this too, all the time, just a constant turnover of cells being replaced by copies of those cells being piloted by a fleshy hard drive that's constantly overwritten with new data. 7 years is the commonly held belief for a complete turnover of your cells.


"He's half the man he used to be", if it's been three and a half years then yes, you're scientifically accurate.


If you drowned in a swamp and the swamp made a perfect copy of you with plant cells, you wouldn't be you any more but you wouldn't know it. Alec Holland knows it, poor guy.

And you can be damn sure Alan Moore knows it, the evil bastard.


I know it too, in fact the me that first understood this isn't even the same me as I am now because it's been more than 7 years since I read it.


SO WHY DO I STILL THINK ABOUT IT SO MUCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WHEN I CAN'T SLEEP?


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