From Hell (1988-98)
FROM HELL (2001)
Alan Moore has shaped and refined the art of comic book storytelling in a way that no other creator can claim, and may arguably be the mediums only true genius.
NORTHAMPTON scribe Alan Moore was the first modern writer to approach the comic book medium with the same intent and thoughtfulness expected of any successful novel or theatrical production. In an art form that is often dismissed as juvenile, Moore explores adult themes and challenging subjects, but also experiments with form, creating different ways to combine text and image. By adding his own highly tuned sense of playfulness, Moore creates a nexus where readers can embrace some of the deepest aspirations of humankind while exploring the heritage of the comic book universe. From Hell, a post-modern grimoire of Jack the Ripper written by Moore and studiously illustrated by Eddie Campbell, is an exhaustively researched magnum opus, both a baroque conspiracy story and an intricate dissection of the Victorian era. As the Ripper cuts and slashes the "warm corpse of history itself," Moore examines the burgeoning black library of Ripper lore for the facts, then rearranges them in a yarn that transcends the source material.
Starting work on the project exactly a century after the killings it portrays, Moore plays with the idea that the 1880s were a sort of microcosm of what was going to happen in the 20th century - scientifically, artistically, and politically. The point is not to solve the murders; instead, he is interested in how the crimes have become part of a cultural psyche. Jack the Ripper, in a very real sense, never had a physical existence; he was a collage-creature, made from crank letters, hoaxes, and sensational headlines. Right from their inception, the murders entered the realm of fiction, and the reality of the case has rarely been anything but a sideshow. From Hell presents its Ripper as physician Royal Sir William Gull, commanded by Queen Victoria to suppress the evidence of a bastard born to Prince Albert Victor. Gull decides that he is a magician and that the murders will be acts of social magic, surmising that history itself has a structure, with Freemasonry its architect.