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Monday, October 15, 2012

Horror Marathon Day 16: From Hell (the book)

Now we are in my domain biscuits!  It's the second half of the month and I am stoked to talk about my FAVORITE comic book... well at least horror comic.  (Maus would be my all-time)  First off, some of you might be thinking, "what, comics?? Where's the movies?"  Look simpletons, comics are were it's at.  It's the one media that you can do things and tell stories that you can't anywhere else.  So today we are going to chat about From Hell.

Written by Alan Moore and art by Eddie Campbell, From Hell is a straight-up masterpiece, and I am not saying that lightly.  ANYONE who has spent the time and effort to read it will agree, this is where it's at.
It helps that Moore is my favorite modern writer and this is the book that earned his spot for me.  Sure Watchmen is great, and I love LOEG, but dang-gum From Hell is amazing.

It's the story of Jack the ripper, black and white, over-sized book, which means it looks like a phone book.  Yes it's scary to start reading something that big but the art and words envelop you into a story that to me is riveting.  It's NOT the movie.  It's not action-packed.  This aint the Avengers biscuit.  This is an indie comic in every sense of the word.  It's thoughtful, meaningful and deliberate and it's that level of detail that Moore puts into the scripts that I love. Moore uses some great research out there and some popular theories as to the identity of Jack the Ripper.  What is innovative is the package and how he puts this all together in a narrative.  Creating a story out of research material and being true to both the proposed timelines and murders is pretty amazing when you think of it.  Moore is doing some serious CSI-stuff 1800's style and to the reader if feels like this really happened, even though the proposed theory is still just a theory.  I must make a mention to the art, The line-work is really great, it's atmospheric and detailed, but also has the feeling of the line-work of the times.  He incorporates the lettering and narrative into the art and composes the page brilliantly.

It's around $35 I think retail, you can find it cheaper.  If you know me, I'll let you borrow it, many already have and it's one of those books I think everyone should read, you will have a blast and might even learn something.

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