News on Upcoming Volumes:

6th February 2012

"Nemo: Heart of Ice"

Alan Moore participated in a prolonged video Q&A  as a fundraiser for Clevelandís proposed Harvey Pekar statue, including the announcement of the forthcoming League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen spin-off Nemo: Heart Of Ice, a 48-page one-shot heís working on with artist Kevin OíNeill. That bookówhich finds the work of Jules Verne and H.P. Lovecraft colliding in 1920s Antarcticaóis due before the end of the year, to be preceded by Juneís other League project, Century: 2009.


25th July 2011

"Alan Moore: an extraordinary gentleman Ė Q&A" in The Guardian

What is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 all about?

Alan Moore: When we started the third volume of League, we got a vague idea of how the plot would progress and would enable us to use characters and situations from respective Leagues Ė 1910, 1969 and 2009. But as the book has actually progressed as it has been written, the prevailing thing about it seems to be a critique of culture. And the most noticeable thing is the decline if you like Ė diversification. It's always the most healthy thing for a species and it's probably the same for culture as well.

When we start out in 1910 we have a fairly rich background to draw from Ė we've got Brecht's Threepenny Opera which was set around that time, we've got all of those wonderful occult characters that were being created around then. By the time we get to 1969 we've got some equally interesting characters but they're a kind of different category. They're more often drawn from popular culture, because of course popular culture has expanded incredibly in the 50 years since 1910 when culture was still largely the preserve of an educated elite. But changes in society over the first 50 years of the century meant that by the middle years culture had changed. Certainly by 1969 where pop culture was predominant and previous culture was perhaps in danger of becoming increasingly marginalised. And by the time we return to the League story in 2009, it's a much bleaker cultural landscape still.

So I suppose inevitably you're going to find in this book that there are contrasts that are going to arise between the different eras. And there's also a marked sense that culture is possibly contracting in certain areas. There is the thing of the richness of the Victorian or the Edwardian era. That the range of characters and ideas to draw upon have nowhere near the same breadth that they seem to back in the day. This is something that has purely emerged from the story. Wasn't anything that we necessarily set out to write. But it seems to be the case.

Each of these eras have got their own particular atmosphere and of course whipping through all three of them Ė when we finally get the third issue out Ė in something like 230 pages, I think it will be quite a shock to see how far culture has come in only a hundred years. Which is not a long time.

And I think Kevin would probably agree with me. I know that he was worried about the 2009 book simply because the modern world doesn't really have quite so much to offer visually. But since he has remembered that we are not dealing with the actual modern world Ė only with the fictional modern world Ė he's got into his stride. And the artwork on the third book is probably the best of the bunch. In the third book he will rise to the challenge of what is a fairly bleak and barren modern landscape culturally speaking.

Why 1969 particularly?

AM: For plot purposes it gave us access to a number of interesting historical events that happened in the counter culture around that time. It also gave us access to a number of interesting fictions, notably the number of excellent crime films that were being made around that era, including oddities like Donald Cammellís Performance. With Jack Carter and all these various characters that we could refer to. I liked the idea of a turf war between four or five fictional gangsters of the period. All of whom were surrogates for Ronnie Kray. I liked the idea of including Jake Arnottís Harry Starks, Harry Flowers (who was the Ronnie Kray surrogate in Performance) Vic Dakin (the Richard Burton character, also a Ronnie Kray surrogate in Villain) and Doug Piranha (who was one of the Monty Python surrogate Kray brothers). So I thought the idea of having four or five surrogate Ronnie Krays involved in a turf war in east London Ė that was entertaining.

It was also an interesting period because Ė as best exemplified by Performance Ė it was a period in which the underground meant several different things. And there was an overlap between the psychedelic pop underground and the actual underworld in the criminals who were very flattered to have celebrities amongst their retinue. And of course through the pop and hippie connection youíve got a connection to occultism. Whether that be Robert Plant and Jimmy Page having their flirtation with Aleister Crowley and occultism or the various occult posturings that a number of pop performers made back then. So 1969 was in a Venn diagram of crime, pop music and occultism. There is a very nice overlap in 1969 that made it a useful period for the purposes of our developing occult plot line that we had commenced in the 1910 volume.

The series is packed with details and references. Do you have fun letting readers discover them?

AM: What I take the most pleasure in is being able to have fun myself and with Kevin to have fun with his equal number if not greater number of contributions on the visual end. Itís important that we have fun with that stuff. But Iíd hate to think that the references ever overwhelmed the story. So that somebody who didnít catch all the references was missing out. Obviously, if you do see all of the references Ė and there are some in there that even I have to ask Kevin about Ė then it will be a richer experience. But youíre going to get some of them. And even if you donít, the plot will still be completely comprehensible and lucid. And we also have the excellent Jess Nevins providing his annotations.

Why donít you do your own notes for League like you did for From Hell?

AM: Because Iím much much too busy. With From Hell I thought that it was important to write the notes and explain which bits were invented and which bits were actually taken from supposed evidence in the case. With the League it would be like explaining the joke. It would to some degree spoil the experience. It would certainly be a lot less enjoyable for me because the only reason for doing it with something like the League would be to explain how clever me and Kevin were being. Whereas, since weíve got Jess Nevins who can explain how clever weíre being then we can get that over without appearing conceited. So itís a much better arrangement. Also, Jess is very thorough and he sometimes picks up wonderful connections that were not actually there but which I really wish that I had thought of.

Do you think the League books could offer the reader a richer experience online through hyperlinks, or on a tablet device?

AM: Iím certainly thinking along lines like that and certainly the League would be ideal to have links in the text. I have nothing against putting it on one of those devices per se except that it would require a complete rethink of that actual medium. The way the comics companies I believe are producing online comics is that they are old comics uploaded online and made available. That I donít think is the way to do it, because comics storytelling is entirely predicated upon the print technologies of the late 1930s. We have six panels of page on average because that was the optimum numbers of panels to put on a page in a periodical of something like 32 pages. This is what has formed the very language of the comic book. The fact that you turn over the pages. And you can time it so that turning over a page will be the moment of some big revelation. Which you wouldnít want your reader to have spotted on page 24 just because itís opposite page 23. And subtler things that really affected the way that a comic story should be told.

So what Iím saying is that I donít think these devices are quite there yet but they have some very interesting possibilities. But before we would be thinking about putting something like the League into that format, I would want to think long and hard about the possible advantages of that new medium and the ways in which my storytelling craft would have to be adapted to best effect from this new medium. Much the same as when comics were just a 24-page thing that you drew on pieces of paper. I was always trying to find what the medium was capable of and to push it as far as possible. Like I said Iíve been having some thoughts about this. People shouldnít be too surprised if they were to hear something about me working in this kind of area.

Where does the series go after the final part of League volume three?

AM: There are a couple of possibilities. We have a little story that would jump back a few years to 1964. There are a couple of little hints in 1969 as to how that story might unfold. I have also got a book four in mind. Which is something that occurred to me at a particular point writing the last part of book three. I got myself and the characters into bit of a fix. And I didnít know how they were going to get out of it and I was going to get out of it. And I thought of quite a radical measure which worked beautifully with the plot. And then I thought of the ramifications of that radical solution. It wonít be the last League story. But if it was, it would be a really good one. It would be set in 2011. There might be a miniseries which would jump back to 1964 and fill in a little bit of backstory. And it would actually resolve a number of hanging questions and unresolved loose ends that were raised, notably in the Black Dossier where there was a subtext in the fake William Shakespeare play and couple of the other pieces that related to the original formation of the League. And material about Prospero. And I thought how this could come together in a surprising and explosive way and enable us to take the League into the future in the way that weíve always wanted to.

Because of course there are, as well as the fictional histories of periods like the Victorian era, there are also enormous quantities of stories written about the future. So the fictional universe reaches back in time but it extends forward. And it would be nice to be able to explore the basic concept of the League in that kind of territories as well. That would definitely be volume four. Whether it will be the next adventure of the League to be made available, I donít know. Me and Kevin are still deciding. And of course in the future, weíve got the whole of time to play with Ė to still do stories based around the Prospero group or the Gulliver group. We could do stories potentially with Orlando that go back to ancient Thebes 3,000 years ago. So we have hopefully charted our connected world of fictions and weíve got it so thoroughly mapped that we do really have the entire universe of fiction to play with. So thereís no reason other than me and Kevin getting increasingly old and feeble why League should ever end.

How was it working with Kevin OíNeill and Todd Klein?

AM: It is an absolute pleasure to work with Kevin. He is one of the finest and most distinctive comic book artists this country has ever turned out. Also, he is the only one of my mainstream collaborators who is from a similar background to myself and who has ever taken my side in any of my bust-ups with the comic companies. This is why Kevin is the only person that Iím still working with. During the unpleasantness with DC, he was taking the brunt of it. Because Iíd walked off and he still had to finish the book. They were very angry that we got sick of them and were taking it to another publisher. He is as good an individual as he is an artist.

As for Todd Klein, if you want a letterer then itís Todd Klein. There is nobody as good as him. The ideas he comes up with himself, for instance the colouring on the psychedelic bubbles during the trip sequence, they almost hurt the eyes but they were beautiful. And the way that he is so sensitive to sometimes drop part of what somebody is saying to lower case which gives a slightly different feel to the rest of the sentence. And itís always where it should be.

Also, Ben Dimagmaliw as a colourist. Heís masterful at giving a distinctive feel to the colour of each era. Weíre so lucky to have had these guys as part of the team practically from the outset.

Do you find it liberating to work with independent publishers?

AM: This is the way that I always wanted to work as a creator. The book will be ready when itís ready. When Kevin was finishing the Black Dossier, [DC Comics] imposed a ridiculous arbitrary deadline and told Kevin youíve got to do a page a day even if it isnít any good. And Kevin said Iím not going to do that because there is absolutely no reason for me to meet your deadlines and itís how the book will look in 10 years time when people arenít concerned about whether we were working on time. Thatís the important thing. So the book that came out was the book that we wanted to do. This is such a pleasure Ė to give the work the time and attention is deserves.

The same thing goes for my novel Jerusalem. Which I donít have a publisher for, I donít have an editor for. Except for Steve Moore, who is one of the best editors in the business and is going through it and making corrections.

Do you miss anything about not working with a DC or a Marvel?

AM: Believe me, there is nothing that I miss about it at all. I only wish that I had been able to make this jump earlier in my career. I wish I hadnít wasted so much time working for those people. Iím very distanced from the comics industry. I love the comics medium but I have no time for the industry.

It has abused and mistreated creative people for decades. It has never treated people fairly. And there is something a bit odd about people who spend their every working hour depicting the exploits of superheroes Ė of people who always stand up for the underdog and fight against the oppressor, the tyrant, the supervillain Ė and who have never once when the artists and writers that they professed to admire are taken out and put to the wall. This is an industry where if you mention the idea of, say, forming a union, youíll just get shrill nervous laughter in reply.

Youíre not a big fan of superheroes, but have you got any plans to do them in your own way?

AM: The superhero is not high on my list of priorities at the moment but there are possibilities. If I should get the time then Iíll perhaps be exploring them. But my main thing at the moment is Jerusalem. Then there is this film project thatís unfolding into all sorts of interesting areas.

What is the film project?

AM: In the second issue of Dodgem Logic (the Northampton-based magazine Moore was publishing), we had a wonderful photo feature upon some burlesque ladies. These are burlesque performers we know and are friends with. Mick Jenkins, who Iíve known for years and is one of the worldís most in-demand photographers, had suggested doing this burlesque shoot. It went down really well and Mick was nominated for a national documentary photography award for that feature. He called around to say he was planning to put together a 10-minute film as a show reel. I asked him if heíd like me to write a screenplay and I wrote this thing called Jimmyís End. Which is shot in the St Jamesís end or Jimmyís End of Northampton. Itís a 10-minute strange little drama. But it will probably be followed by a feature film and a spin-off TV series. We are starting shooting in three or four weeks and imagine it will be out in October.

What else are you working on? Have you finished Neonomicon?

AM: I finished Neonomicon five years ago. The artist (Jacen Burrows) did a very good job but it took him a long time. That was something I did when I was in a very bad mood, just after having parted company with the mainstream comics industry. And finding that due to the lateness of payments I was badly in need of a few thousand pounds to settle a tax shortfall. Having said that I donít do anything just for the money. I really did give it everything that I got.

They asked me for a horror story. They had gone out of their way to say that I could go as far as I wanted. And I thought Iíll do exactly that, Iíll do a horror story that is really horrible which has got sexual elements in it but perhaps not in a titillating way. Itís one of the most genuinely unpleasant things that Iíve ever written, but I stand by it. Itís a good horror story that touches on some very unpleasant things. As a horror story should do.

The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book on Magic is also progressing slowly but me and Steve Moore are halfway through it.

And Iím working on chapter 30 of 35 of Jerusalem. I had an 18-month break from writing it while I was producing Dodgem Logic. Which was just as well because I had finished writing a chapter in a simulated Joycean language. I needed an 18-month lie down after concluding that. Iím expecting to get this finished by early next year. When Jerusalem passed the two-thirds mark it was over half a million words, which is actually longer than the Bible. Iím really proud of that. Iím hoping everybody will confuse quantity with quality. Jerusalem might one day be known as the really Good Book.

Why is Dodgem Logic on hold?

AM: Our initial plan on it was to do everything backwards and see what happens. Letís insist upon really high production values, really low cover costs, letís pay all the contributors a decent page rate, letís not have any advertising. And so consequently we never broke even and made an enormous loss. Which is OK. I was prepared for that. I wanted to the magazine the way I wanted to do it. But you canít carry on making losses like that. So we put it on hold and moved it to the web. But we are trying to get it back on track as a bigger magazine on slightly cheaper paper, slightly higher price and a much lower print run. We were selling around 15,000 copies, which is more than what a lot of magazines sell. Dodgem Logic volume 2, with a bit of luck, should be appearing early next year.

You have some of the most dedicated fans. How do you react to them?

AM: I genuinely like the people I meet at signings or the bits of public talking that I do. I donít go to conventions because I didnít like the relationship. I donít like being the object of adoration because it distances you from people. I believe Iíve got some genuinely intelligent fans. Itís nice when people come up in the street and want to shake your hand or tell you your workís affected them. Of course. My only problem with fans is when they turn pro. For example, when all the professional writers were fired by DC in the 60s, they brought in a generation of comic book fans who would have paid to have written these stories. When I started out I was writing for 9-13-year-olds with maybe a few 18-year-olds. These days, the majority of the comic book audience is 40-somethings who are not necessarily interested in comic books as a medium or panel progression or sequential narrative. They are probably interested in Wolverine. There is a large nostalgic component in there and thereís nothing wrong with it. But if those people then begin to influence the books themselves or increasingly the movies or the television series then they will want their story to refer to stories that they remember. It becomes very incestuous and over a few decades you get a very limited dwindling gene pool. And you get stories that have become weak through inbreeding.

I saw footage of you recently campaigning against the closure of your local library. What are your thoughts on the cuts and the situation weíre in?

AM: I think itís completely indefensible. I think I understand what has been happening economically, pretty much since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Itís the bankers and financial institutions who have knowingly got us into this mess. Either they did knowingly or they were unbelievably stupid and incompetent. This is not even capitalism any more. Capitalism employs a rough and ready Darwinian survival of the fittest. The banks have become like monarchies. They are too big to fail, too big to punish. They are above parliament. Banks are treating themselves as if they were a new class of fiscal royalty. The kind of royalty they most resemble is Charles I. He was above parliament and not accountable for his lavishness. He put the pinch upon the country to the point where the poor people simply starved.

No, this cannot be tolerated. You cannot have libraries, schools and things that people need for a basic standard of living taken away while George Osborne is making deals with companies to allow them to make better use of tax havens because they are threatening to take their business elsewhere. There are alternatives. We are not all in this together.

Iím all in favour of anti-cuts demonstrations. And itís always very pleasing to see so many V for Vendetta masks in the crowd. Iím very proud of those boys and girls.


21st July 2011

Alan Moore Takes League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to the í60s in Wired


Pop-Culture Referential Overload, Imminent!

Wired.com: Letís talk about 1969, the comic and the year. Both were quite a head-trip.

Alan Moore: Well, thank you very much, Scott. Kevin and I hoped that it would have some of the authentic flavor of those years. We wanted it to feel like the fictional equivalent of those times and their drugged extremities. Itís probably the first era in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemenís chronology for which we actually have memories. Yeah, we did the League in 1958, but I was five, so I wasnít really taking a great deal of notice of the unfolding culture around me. But 1969 is a bit closer to our time, so we tried to be authentic in the way we imagined the í60s.

Wired.com: Much of the fun reading the League comes from mapping the intersecting coordinates of popular and literary culture and history. And 1969 has so many great ones, especially in regards to the death of The Rolling Stonesí Brian Jones ushering in an era of satanic supremacy, with Mick Jagger as its literal Dark Lord.

ĎIt is an incredible amount of fun not so much referring to these things, which anyone can do, but also tying them all together.í

Moore: Kevin and I have an incredible amount of fun. At this point, I should make it clear at this point that Kevin is responsible for half of the obscure references. I was doing an interview recently and was forwarded a question from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen annotator Jeff Nevins asking if 1969 was an attempt to kill him. And I fielded the question saying that it might be an attempt to kill him, but that Kevin was probably more responsible for his ultimate demise. Iím trying to pass the blame to my collaborator, you see.

But however many suggestions I include in my scripts, there are always going to be some characters in the background when I get the artwork that Iím going to be on the phone to Kevin asking, ďWhoís that guy? He looks kind of familiar.Ē And Kevin will always tell me, although Iím sure there are some that I havenít spotted. So the readership should be heartened if there are some references they are not spotting.

But hopefully the story is strong enough, even if you donít get all the references. Thatís the way we tried to make it. But it is an incredible amount of fun not so much referring to these things, which anyone can do, but also tying them all together. The way that a rough edge on one story from maybe a film or television can me made to fit almost perfectly with a rough edge from another. You can get some surprising and amusing juxtapositions as a result, which is always a huge part of the fun. Especially in 1969 as well as the forthcoming 2009, of which Iíve seen about a quarter of the artwork and which is even better than 1969 . Kevin just continues to improve, like a fine wine.

Dropping Acid for the Astral Showdown

Wired.com: OíNeillís art really is stunning, especially in that acid-trip showdown in the astral plane during the Stonesí post-Jones concert in Hyde Park. That was something else.

Moore: As background for that scene, it should be remembered that this writer had actually experienced psychedelic derangement at the Hyde Park festivals, although not the Stones concert. I was actually at the Canned Heat concert, which followed after the Stones a couple weeks later. But Kevin, on the other hand and to the best of my knowledge, has never imbibed any form of drug in his entire life. Which makes one sort of worry when you see what heís actually done in 1969.

All right, yeah, I was kind of providing suggestions for the melted-looking layout and echoing speech bubbles. But when I saw what Kevin had done with it, that wonderful double-page spread with the statue of Hyde, and reality forming into a tunnel around the edge of the pages, it was just fantastic.

Moore: Kevin and I have an incredible amount of fun. At this point, I should make it clear at this point that Kevin is responsible for half of the obscure references. I was doing an interview recently and was forwarded a question from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen annotator Jeff Nevins asking if 1969 was an attempt to kill him. And I fielded the question saying that it might be an attempt to kill him, but that Kevin was probably more responsible for his ultimate demise. Iím trying to pass the blame to my collaborator, you see.

But however many suggestions I include in my scripts, there are always going to be some characters in the background when I get the artwork that Iím going to be on the phone to Kevin asking, ďWhoís that guy? He looks kind of familiar.Ē And Kevin will always tell me, although Iím sure there are some that I havenít spotted. So the readership should be heartened if there are some references they are not spotting.

But hopefully the story is strong enough, even if you donít get all the references. Thatís the way we tried to make it. But it is an incredible amount of fun not so much referring to these things, which anyone can do, but also tying them all together. The way that a rough edge on one story from maybe a film or television can me made to fit almost perfectly with a rough edge from another. You can get some surprising and amusing juxtapositions as a result, which is always a huge part of the fun. Especially in 1969 as well as the forthcoming 2009, of which Iíve seen about a quarter of the artwork and which is even better than 1969 . Kevin just continues to improve, like a fine wine.

Dropping Acid for the Astral Showdown

Wired.com: OíNeillís art really is stunning, especially in that acid-trip showdown in the astral plane during the Stonesí post-Jones concert in Hyde Park. That was something else.

Moore: As background for that scene, it should be remembered that this writer had actually experienced psychedelic derangement at the Hyde Park festivals, although not the Stones concert. I was actually at the Canned Heat concert, which followed after the Stones a couple weeks later. But Kevin, on the other hand and to the best of my knowledge, has never imbibed any form of drug in his entire life. Which makes one sort of worry when you see what heís actually done in 1969.

All right, yeah, I was kind of providing suggestions for the melted-looking layout and echoing speech bubbles. But when I saw what Kevin had done with it, that wonderful double-page spread with the statue of Hyde, and reality forming into a tunnel around the edge of the pages, it was just fantastic.

Kevin was also responsible for one of the most poignant images in the book, which was one that I hadnít thought of. The section right at the end of the aforementioned Hyde Park festival when we see the previously established Jacob Epstein statue of Mr. Hyde from above, and there is a leftover balloon from the festival with the word Love on it floating up to the sky. Beneath us, the statue of Hyde is reaching up with his hands, as if to capture this escaped balloon, which is a perfectly lovely image for the end of both that sequence in the comic as well as the í60s themselves. That was something that I didnít ask him to do, but he picked up on it. There are an awful lot of those little moments.

But yeah, I did particularly enjoy the trip sequences and the astral battle, all set to the background of contemporary pop music. It was quite a heavy scene, although it was very colorful, bright and fluorescent in places. Which of course sets you up for the last three pages that take place in punkís í70s, which are a bit of comedown or a bum trip, as we used to say. So it worked in all sorts of ways. I couldnít be more pleased with the job Kevin has done.

Talking Lots of Shit, Folding Like Bitches

Wired.com: I was going to ask you about that Love balloon, and the part of the book where Mina describes ďhippie fascism.Ē I recently watched Adam CurtisĎ excellent All Watched Over By the Machines of Loving Grace, and while heís not the first to talk about the failed dreams of the í60s, I am particularly fascinated by how that generation, and its technophilic children, have come to create our surveillance state.

Moore: From my perspective, when writing 1969, I was having to come up with a simulacrum of a time I actually did remember and have emotional connections with. In 1969, I was, what, 15? That was the age at which I began my short-lived psychedelic career, which also ended my school career in the bargain. So my view of that time was a very formative one. Itís an era for which I have an immense amount of fondness. However, I am not 15 anymore, not by a long shot. [Laughs] Not by about 42 years.

So my perspective upon that era has changed. You can find that in bits of the dialogue, such as when Mina Murray tries a bit too hard to embrace the í60s. As she, Allan Quatermain and Orlando make their way to the Hyde Park festival, she says that they are all looking to the future and being incredibly progressive. And Orlando, whoís been around a lot longer than Mina, points out that no, theyíre not. Theyíre just nostalgic for their own childhoods. Which, looking back, was a big part of the í60s. It was reflected in a lot of the haunted nursery rhymes of that period, especially in the music of Pink Floydís Syd Barrett. 

So my actual feelings about the í60s are that, yes, of course we had limitations. We talked a lot of shit, and we didnít have the muscle to back it up. For the most part, we had good intentions. However, we were not able to implement those intentions. And when the state started to take us seriously and initiated countermeasures, the majority of us folded like bitches. Not all of us, but a good number. We werenít up for the struggle that had sounded so great in our manifestos.

And so, as is reflected in the end of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1969, within a handful of years the optimistic and ostensibly progressive hippie counterculture had all but disappeared and had been replaced by the punk movement. Which was full of incredible energy, but largely borne of anger, frustration and disappointment. And however fantastic those first couple years of punk are, even in retrospect, it was of course a movement largely centered around nihilism. Famously, thereís not really anywhere to go after nihilism. Itís not progressing toward anything, itís a statement of outrage, however brilliant.

And part of punk was its understandable rubbishing of the values of the culture that had preceded it. At the time, I can remember being around 25 and thinking that punk was a movement that was determinedly anti-hippie, and yes, they had a point to a degree. We certainly didnít do all we said we were going to do with the world, and we had left them a mess.

My position on punk was that I loved the music and I wanted to be involved in it. But unlike some of my associates, I wasnít going to go out and get my haircut or spiked up. This was their generation, they were all much younger than me, and they deserved to explore it in their own way. Of course, I found out later that John Lydon was about, what, eight months younger than me! [Laughs] And I think that a couple of The Stranglers were nearly as old as my dad. So actually looking back on it, the í60s generation, for all its faults and idiocies, was still about the only youth movement that actually resulted in what was, for a time, as intended as a genuine counterculture. It is the only youth movement that I can remember that wasnít predicated upon rage and destruction! [Laughs] 

In Jeff Nuttallís wonderful book Bomb Culture, he talks about how, as a reaction to the vaporizing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the generation that followed World War II represented a kind of nuclear nihilism. Over here in England, we had teddy boys slashing cinema seats and police faces. Over there in America, you had the picturesque juvenile-delinquent culture, as represented by The Wild One and Rebel Without a Cause. These were both in many ways simply reactions to the new state of the world after the development of nuclear weapons.

So I think that even if the movement of the í60s never amounted to a genuine counterculture, it was at least an attempt at one. That is the only positive response that a youth movement has since made to the questions of our viability raised by the disruption of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So I see the faults, but also the genuine bravery of those times , which have probably received more flak than they deserve. So I call for a balanced approach. Without having seen the new Adam Curtis documentary, although I really enjoyed The Power of Nightmares, I canít really comment upon it.

Wired.com: Itís very good, although not as amazing as The Power of Nightmares.

Moore: I remember that phrase from Richard Brautiganís poem, ďAll Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace.Ē I was a big fan of his in the early í70s. And I think I can remember similar sentiments from the excellent Michael Moorcockís run on New Worlds, which was the most forward-thinking magazine that science fiction has ever produced. A lot of the critique of our growing mechanization was actually at its strongest, and arguably at its most perceptive, during the late í60s.

I remember people like the wonderful John Sladek, who was doing endless amounts of incredibly funny sci-fi stories that seemed to have an obsession with codes and encryption. Of course, at the time, I thought, ďWhat do codes and encryption got to do with the future?Ē Well, as it turns out, rather a lot!

And the New Wave over here certainly had a thematic connections to the New Wave over there, which would have included Philip K. Dick, who was kind of reaching the end of his line by then. His suspicions ó well, letís call a spade a spade here ó his paranoia [laughs] regarding the shifting multivalent realities that our technologies would soon make available to us, was way ahead of the game. It seems to me that whatever the flaws of the í60s, its counterculture has various pockets of very astute and acute perceptions.

From Surrealism to Social Realism, via Patrick McGoohan

Wired.com: How do you play on these perceptions of the technologic future in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 2009, if you can discuss it?

Moore: Well, in some ways, that is what the whole of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century is about. On a purely plot level, itís about all sorts of things we flagged in the 1910, the ageless occult satanic agenda whereby diabolical operatives are hoping to realize some kind of moonchild or possible Antichrist. We started those themes in 1910, they develop significantly in 1969 and come to a conclusion in 2009. But that is just the plot. The major subtext of Century is right there in the name: We are looking at 100 years in the continuity in our world of fiction. Weíre not looking at the real world, but rather our dreams, what was on our minds during those periods. Which is an interestingly close reflection of real events, at least as Kevin and I are pitching it.

And I think that one of the things that is going to be most noticeable, when all three chapters can be continuously read straight through, is the extraordinary impact of change upon our fictional world, and by extension the real world that produces those fictions.

You can most noticeably see Ö well, I want to be careful how I phrase this, because I donít want to be needlessly critical of all modern culture. But in terms of its flamboyance, its freedom, its expressiveness, itís difficult not to note a decline. When you are starting off in 1910, youíre only about 12 years away from the high Victorian extravaganza that we explored in the first two volumes of the League. There is still a strong echo of that world, because the 20th century didnít really start until World War I. It was all hangover from the previous century before that.

By the time we get to 1969, thereís a plethora of wonderfully fascinating characters and film references. But theyíre not as liberated and unfettered by reality as the great creations of the late Victorian era. I suppose that in the í60s we were beginning our uneasy relationship with realism, in terms of mass culture. It was uneasy because we had things like Patrick McGoohanís excellent The Prisoner

Wired.com: Man, I seriously miss that show, and McGoohan. Rest in peace, Patrick.

Moore: The Prisoner is one of my favorite television shows of all time. In its basic setup and tone, McGoohan was asking a lot of questions about how much we could trust our government, our institutions and even ourselves. It was a profoundly powerful piece of work. In one sense, in its political perceptions, you could say that The Prisoner did smack of realism. By being a more paranoid vision than what the secret services were probably up to ó although it was based upon a real village that existed up in Scotland during World War II ó The Prisoner expressed a type of realism even though it is memorably one of the most surreal visions of that era.

There was a conflict going on in the í60s, and we were striving for realism. For every Our Man Flint, there was The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. There was John le Carrť, who was trying to redress the balance of the fantasy superheroes that had come to populate the spy genre.

Realism was starting to bite down, and you werenít getting characters like The Invisible Man, Mr. Hyde or Captain Nemo. You were getting characters like Michael Caineís Jack Carter, or any of the other characters we referred to in 1969. There were interesting characters, but by no means as unfettered in their imagining. They were working to a new kind of social mandate.

By the time you get to 2009, I think there will be little disguising of the fact that Kevin and I are perhaps not that fond of the current era and its culture. Weíre informed about it, so yes there are tons of references as you might expect. But in looking over the three books, readers are going to see a contraction of culture into a much more mean, starved and possibly diminished state than when we started Century in a great blaze of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. I think that will be one of the most striking things about Century, once you can read it straight through.

I mean, one hundred years is not long. As I get older, it seems less and less longer to me. Itís basically a slightly extended human lifespan. There are plenty of centenarians even now, and there will be even more in the future.

League of Extraordinary Futurists, From 2009 to 2109

Wired.com: How do you regard the role of technology in that centenary evolution, or devolution, if you like?

Moore: Look at where weíve come. That movement of ourselves as people, the movement of our psychological states and the culture it has produced, is all predicated upon the movement of technology. The world is changing around the Leagueís characters at staggering speed. I think the look on Orlandoís face when heís stepping off a bus in London in 2009, after not having seen the country for a number of years, will say everything about mine and Kevinís response to the current culture. Iím not dismissing it out of hand; there are some brilliant parts to it.

But the overall legacy of the first decade of the 21st century has been one wherein culture mirrors what was going on in our politics during those years. We had a form of politics that was concerned with spin and surface at the expense of any kind of moral or even rational content. In keeping with our well-spun political landscape, I think a lot of contemporary art, if it has a concept it is a concept in the advertising sense. Itís a little mental pun, something that you can use to sell cars or burgers. But in terms of art, once youíve got the idea of joke, if you like, there is absolutely no need to ever look at those works again.

For me, art is more about something that could be revisited, something that was ageless at its best, something that would offer another layer of meaning every time you looked at it. But that oceanic depth of art and culture has dried up, where even the youthful and productive creators are very often left flopping around like dying fish. This was one of the prevailing things we have been trying to address in Century. Weíre trying to chart the course of culture over the last hundred years, and the readers can decide for themselves whether that course was the most productive one we could have chosen.

Wired.com: I like the metaphor of debilitated oceans and desertification, because I was going to ask you if you had any plans to do 2109 after 2009. Given the latest science, that year seems destined for serious environmental catastrophes.

Moore: Well, we do have some ideas along those lines. At the moment, our ideas tend to run toward a little backtracking, after Kevin is done with 2009. We revisit an area we talked about but never really explored. But then Iíve got an idea for what would be the next sequential story of the League, and it would be set in around 2010 or 2011. And I think it would quite dramatically answer your questions.

So yeah, weíre definitely going to do this, if we both remain alive long enough. It wouldnít be the last story of the League, but it would be a great conclusion to an awful lot of the little subplots and strands that weíve been raising from the first volume to The Black Dossier. It would also send the present-day League into an entirely new direction, to not just 2109 but dates in our future that are a lot more advanced than that.

You think of the worlds of science-fiction, and how long some of these histories project the human race into the future ó Iím thinking of Cordwainer Smith and his future history of mankind, as well as other authors ó and in our usual way Iíve seen a way in which we could connect all of our stories so that they made sense as one history, with a little judicious editing and a sanding down of the rough edges. But we would be able to come up with the fictional world of the future, which is obviously our ultimate aim, to some degree.

This is why we brought the League up to date with 2009, because we wanted to show that they donít all have to remain in the past, although we have obviously really enjoyed referring to all these glamorous bygone eras. They have given us some fantastic furniture to play with. But we wanted to show that the League was a strong enough concept that it could exist in the present day.

So, yes, this hypothetical volume set after 2009 would answer an awful lot of your questions and also set the League into an entirely new direction, while still allowing us to go back and revisit early periods. I mean, weíve got a timeline that extends back to ancient Thebes, so weíre hardly going to be short of material. Weíve got several thousand years of fiction to actually play with, although it has been mostly terrestrial. Youíll notice that in the backup story, weíre fleshing out our fictional solar system a bit by talking about the moon. Weíve already mentioned Mars, which is a planet weíll returning to in our flashback side project to see what it looked like in 1948, when all the Martian races had died out and the planet had been colonized by Earth, at least according to the science-fiction of Ray Bradbury from around that period.

We want to expand the Leagueís reach. Weíve already covered the entire surface of the Earth with The New Travellerís Almanac. Weíve defined what the fictional worldís geography is like. With the Orlando story in The Black Dossier, we provided a timeline that goes back 3,000 years. Now weíd like to roll out the Leagueís cosmos into the actual cosmos, to be able to include the fictions of other worlds. That would be something we would be looking at very strongly.

Superheroes Make Way for Metatemporal Detectives

Wired.com: Mina, Orlando and Quatermain are some great examples of metatemporal detectives. Can you explain how they fit into the detective tradition, which goes back to Poe and further?

Moore: That is a phrase, as with many things in 1969, that is borrowed from Michael Moorcock. His multiverse work has got a kind of Sexton Blake surrogate called Sir Seaton Begg from The Metatemporal Detective, who wanders around the multiverse of Michael Moorcockís imagination.

In terms of 1969, we had a conceptual problem right at the beginning. We realized that other than the immortal characters ó Mina, Orlando and Quatermain ó we were not going to have many characters who survived from book to book. So I thought that a very handy character to have around acting as a kind of cerebral Greek chorus would be my friend Iain Sinclairís character and surrogate self, Norton the prisoner of London. Heís defined in Sinclairís book Slow Chocolate Autopsy as a figure who cannot leave London, but can travel anywhere within that metropolis irrespective of the date. He is unaffected in time, even though he is constrained in terms of his geography. Sinclair and Moorcock are great friends, so the idea of a metatemporal detective is something I borrowed from one and cobbled together with my travestied portrait of the other.

Wired.com: From the increasing cross-continental popularity of Doctor Who to Grant Morrisonís time-traveling Batman, metatemporal detectives are ascendant, probably because time travel is still a murky fictional frontier. But any thoughts on the state of superheroes themselves in our new century?

Moore: There is still obviously a need for these characters as movie and game franchises, where they are more popular than ever. But in terms of comics, they seem to be on their last legs, from my perspective. Superheroes have been something that I have been thinking about quite a lot. When they were first invented in the late í30s, they were wonderfully naive and optimistic. They were the creation of young men and, in some cases, teenagers who were on the peripheries of science fiction and who wanted to create wonderfully fresh and extravagant ideas. This was the version I fell in love with when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I loved them because they were incredible treasure troves of the imaginary. They opened up my own imagination into areas it had never been before.

But what superheroes have become since those times is something I think is very different. Prior to the mid-í60s, at least at DC National Comics, their backbone was supplied by a raft of very gifted science-fiction authors, who included John Broome and Gardner Fox. All of these were grown-ups, men who wrote, especially in Foxís case, dozens of pulp paperbacks in a variety of genres under a variety of pseudonyms. Steve Moore had almost a complete collection of Gardner Fox, which had historical romances, pornography, science-fiction stories, hard-boiled detective fiction, westerns, every genre that he could make a sale on.

These were real writers. Iíve got the greatest of respect for those men of pulp tradition who endlessly spewed out ideas for a penny a word on ridiculously tight deadlines. What happened in the mid-í60s is that those writers who had created the vast majority of DCís superhero characters had all redefined them after the original creators had left. Around that time, I understand that a group of these creators noticed that they didnít have medical insurance or pensions, even though they were doing most of the work. So they went to the heads of DC to address this and suggested that maybe they should form a kind of union to negotiate with the publishers on an equitable level. At which point, the publishers told them they were fired.

Why Fanboys Should Not Take Over a Faltering Industry

Wired.com: What happened after the industry fired who you consider to be comicsí most ambitious writers?

Moore: They then immediately imported a new raft of writers who were comics fans, who were delighted to be working on the characters that they loved from their childhood and would never dream of doing anything as anarchic or potentially evil as forming a union. They were very glad to be working on Batman and the Justice League. And this has contributed to the state of present comics.

Wired.com: How do you mean?

Moore: When I started reading the superhero stories in 1959 and 1960, I was 7. So the audience for comics when I started work in the beginning of the í80s was perceived as being mostly between 9 and 13 with a few significant outliers in the range of their late teens and early 20s. Which is a difficult and demanding audience; theyíre very discriminating. In the current market for superheroes, I understand that the average age of the readership is between their 30s and 50s. Now I can only assume that since the content and quality of the comics has not noticeably changed since those decades, although there have been a few stylistic flourishes, then thatís a dwindling audience.

Back in the í50s, even a third-string publisher like Lev Gleason could expect that one of his third-string titles, such as the original Daredevil, to sell something like, what, 6 million copies a month? Compare that to todayís comics, which at the moment are if not dead then at least coughing blood, which have pitiful sales figures and which are largely aimed at an audience of 30- to 50-year-olds who are mostly in it for nostalgic reasons. They want that connection to their vanished childhood.

Thereís an awful lot of that about at the moment, and I understand it. I donít think any of us grew up into the world we were hoping for or expecting. So I completely understand the need for people to connect to these icons, but they donít mean the same thing that they used to mean.

And one of the things that strikes me most about superheroes as they currently stand, is that these are heroes, as the term implies. These are people who stand unflinchingly against tyrants and oppressors, who protect and support the underdog, who are fearless and noble in everything that they do. Iím starting to feel that the most significant part of the superhero makeup is that part which is not talked about, the fact that these triumphant paragons are being created by an industry of people who are frightened to ask for a raise, the rights to their work, and, especially after seeing what happened to Gardner Fox and the others, to form a union.

This is why I split from the comics industry. The way it had handled The Black Dossier certainly propelled me into other directions away from comics, to the point where the League is my only expression in the comics field and is likely to remain to so for the foreseeable future. When that happened, the nearest we got to supportive comments from the rest of the industry was along the lines of useful advice like, ďDonít bite the hand that feeds you.Ē Iím not expecting the writers and artists of the industry to go out and struggle with Galactus, should he turn up suddenly and threaten to eat the world. Of course Iím not. Iím just asking them to show a little bit of ordinary human courage. I think that if they had done that, then the industry would probably not be in the state that it is.

The Rise and Fall of Superheroes

Wired.com: DC is rebooting its major series. Marvel is now owned by Disney. Itís a different industry entirely, and seems mostly geared towards production outside of print or even digital comics.

Moore: I do have a feeling, particularly in this last decade, that some of the appeal of superheroes that originated in America ó who has done them better, with a few exceptions, than the rest of the world ó has become symbolic of American impunity. You have to start wondering how brave somebody who comes from Krypton and is invulnerable to all harm, or someone who has an adamantium skeleton, can actually be. I know ordinary people who put far more than that on the line every day, and donít expect to be called heroes. [Laughs]

So is it heroes that weíre really talking about? Or is it invulnerable bullies from a culture of impunity, which also shows signs of being on the wane? That was a very big part of the first decade of the 21st century, from which I think weíre only just emerging and getting perspective on what it meant for us.

In terms of the current manifestation of superheroes, I donít have any interest in them. Fan writers have contributed to a kind of literary incest. And God bless fans! This is not a condemnation of comics fans. But they are comics fans who have got into the exalted position of controlling the destinies of their favorite characters, and what they mainly want to do is refer to some story from their childhood, which itself probably referred to a story 10 or 20 years before that. Or given the, what, 80 or 90 years of continuity of some of these characters, there is all these incredibly sprawling incidents that fan writers are going to refer to.

And this is going to result, as in any case of incest, in a depleted gene pool. Youíre going to have stories that are less and less relevant to a diminishing readership, that refer to a story that referred to a story that tied up some bit of continuity that appeared in some issue of Action Comics published way before we were all born.

I think the current state of superhero comics could be squarely laid at the door of the comics industry. I think they donít quite realize what they had, and they tried to strip-mine the concept in all sorts of ways, and didnít put anything into it. They removed the genuinely creative people from the mix, who had provided all the ideas that both companies are still trading on all these years later. And gave custody of the industry to people who were fans of those who had just been fired. Over here, we might call that scab labor, depending on how we felt. These are my basics thoughts on superheroes.

Yes, I suppose you could say there is a connection with our earliest fireside stories in which we invented the idea of gods and champions, but if these are our new gods, then god help us. Because I generally think these are pallid creatures invented to entertain children 60 or 70 years ago, and they were perfect at that. I think it would be unusual if youngsters of today were to remain infatuated with characters created in the early years of the last century. That would be a bit odd. I mean, Romantic poetry had its heyday when people like Lord Byron were kicking it large. But you try and make a living as a poet today, and youíll find itís very different! [Laughs]

Everything has its season, and I think the season of superheroes has probably endured a lot longer, at least in its current form, than it should have. Yes, if superheroes could somehow return to that incredible rush of invention that once existed when they were originally created, then yeah Iím sure the world would delight in the concept. But in its current form, I think itís a disgrace on all sorts of levels.

And some of the people producing superhero adventure should probably ask themselves whether they have some kind of responsibility to be as morally virtuous as the characters they are talking about. Iím not they do, I think that just something that they should ask themselves. But it might be a question the comics industry should ask itself. I hope thatís not too downbeat of an answer, Scott.

Wired.com: No, I think itís a realistic question to ask an industry that traffics in the hyperreal.

Moore: Itís something Iíve been thinking about quite a lot, and of course itís just my opinion. I certainly donít mean to upset anybody, you know? They are my opinions, based upon my experiences.

Wired.com: Well, thatís why I ask to talk to you: Because I both value your opinion, given your considerable comics resume, and because you speak about the side of the industry that is always buried in its press releases. Plus, comics fans need to grow up. When David S. Goyer had Superman renounce his American citizenship in Action Comics #900, I never heard so many whiny fanboys in my life hypocritically cry about losing an invented alien from another planet.

Moore: Well, I see very few films. But I did see Gareth Edwardsí sci-fi film Monsters, which I thought had much to recommend it. I was certainly impressed by the fact that between Edwards and his two actors, Whitney Able and Scoot McNairy, they seemed to have created the entire film very much by themselves. And one of the most striking things in the film was a view of a fortified America, from the other side of the wall. There have always been stories where the powers-that-be decide that itís in their interest to have, say, Green Arrow sidekick Speedy develop a heroin habit or to have a black character. Imagine how astonishing that must have been when it was first pitched. But essentially this can all be unwritten, just like the many deaths of Superman, if it doesnít seem to be working out.

I think that characters owned by big corporations will also revert to an essentially conservative default position. Whether thatís the initially anarchic, spiky and spiteful Mickey Mouse becoming a pants-and-shirt-wearing suburbanite within a decade, or whether it is Superman, who in his first adventures was a New Deal Democrat punching out strikebreakers and throwing slumlords over the skyline. [Laughs] You only have to imagine what the late í30s were like to see what Superman was originally a symbol of.

Those were Great Depression streets filled with people largely dressed in shades of gray and sepia, if the newsreels of my childhood are to be believed. They were trudging through those streets looking for jobs, and Superman was on their side, dressed in vivid primary colors, and could leap above those streets and circumstances. It was an aspirational figure for the ordinary man, and for Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who grew up in Cleveland. That was what Superman was meant to be. And yes, theyíll try any variation, if they think thereís a readership there.

But I canít help but feel that maybe those characters have come too far from their origins and become increasingly irrelevant. Itís a museum piece; itís archival. The approaches to these superheroes are already looking like something youíre going to be seeing under glass in 10 years time. This is a new century and demands completely new approaches to all of our forms of entertainment and icons. You neednít expect me to be writing the Justice League of America or Fantastic Four anytime soon.

Forget the Bible, Jerusalem Is the Really Good Book

Wired.com: Fair enough, my friend. So what can we expect you to be doing, other than the excellent League?

Moore: Well, other than talking to you, Iíve just finished up another big essay for Dodgem Logic, which will be up and running online soon. Iíve also been working upon background notes to characters for a project that photographer Mitch Jenkins and I are embarking upon, which will be quite large. Itís getting out of hand in the best possible way, and might be expressed in any number of media, and across platforms. So weíre going to start shooting that in August, so expect a release date before the end of the year at which point Iíll be able to tell you much more about it.

Iím also working on Jerusalem, which is now about five chapters away from the end, and all coming together beautifully. I wondered if I was going to be able to keep up the level of invention for these last chapters, so I decided to step it up. Because by this point, my readers will have been trudging through about 1,500 pages.

Iím doing a lot of performances at the moment. I appeared at the Hammersmith Apollo as part of Robin Ince and professor Bryan Coxís roadshow for their program The Infinite Monkey Cage, and curated a day of the Cheltenham Science Fair, which was a lot of fun. I also signed some book plates for the new edition of Austin Osman Spareís The Book of Pleasure.

So Iím trying to keep one foot in the science world and another in the spooky world of occult magic, with a little standup comedy on the side (below). Which is kind of working out for me. But Jerusalem is still the main project. Itís getting close to completion. Itís possible that I will have a very tight first draft completed by the end of the year.

Steve Moore and I are still progressing with the The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic. So there are lots of things happening at the moment; it feels like a very busy and productive time for me. I seem to be working much harder than I have in a long while. 

And that is partly due to the fact that when the British government decided to stop broadcasting an analog signal, I decided over some point of principle ó which I have now completely forgotten! [Laughs] ó that I wasnít going to be pushed into buying a digital box or television set. I think there was an announcement in the early 21st century that by 2011 everyone in the country was going to have a digital television set. And I thought, well, I wasnít consulted. [Laughs]

And I really, really donít like to be told that Iím going to do something. So I decided ó out of sheer awkwardness, which is how I actually make most of my decisions ó that I was going to forgo television. it was a bit odd at first. I particularly missed the news, until I decided that I missed it about as much as I missed Lost.

Wired.com: Zing! Damon Lindelof is probably not going to like to hear that, although he should be used to it by now. Heís already smarting over Game of ThronesĎ George R.R. Martin saying Lost choked.

Moore: When people came up to me and told me Osama bin Laden is dead, I said that I didnít care what is down the hatch. Itís all going to turn out to be a load of nonsense. I donít care where the polar bear came from. Theyíre making this stuff up as it goes along. It has no relevance to me or my life.

Wired.com: Or does it? No, Iím kidding. It doesnít.

Moore: I still keep up on the news, but Iíve come to realize what a great distraction 90 percent of any given news broadcast actually is. [Laughs] When it comes to entertainment, I no longer think, ďWell, Iím sitting here having my dinner and I canít read anything while Iím eating. Letís see whatís on television! Oh, itís an episode of CSI: Miami that Iíve already seen before. I guess Iíll just watch it while Iím masticating my food.Ē I donít do that anymore, which is kind of great.

If I do want to watch something, there are plenty of excellent television series that are available on DVD, and my television still works fine for those. Iíve just finished watching the Danish series Forbrydelsen, which translates as The Killing, although I was told that there was someone working on a really lame American version at the moment.

Wired.com: Of course! You didnít think weíd come up with our own original series, did you?

Moore: Well, I would advise people to watch the Danish version instead with the subtitles. Itís great. No, itís not quite as complex as The Wire, but few things are. But it is approaching that kind of watchability and complexity, so Iíd recommend it.

Iím becoming quite detached from almost all culture, but Iím getting a lot more time in the evenings if Iíve got nothing to do. If Melinda is out, or I donít have a box set to wade through, I just go to the typewriter and carry on working, because I enjoy my work. It doesnít matter to me if I finish at midnight or 4 a.m. As long as Iím enjoying it, there is no place Iíd rather be than at my typewriter. Having foregone television, I think people could legitimately expect me to be productive from now on, and not quite as lazy and lackluster.

Wired.com: Very funny, but also crazy. I used to think that Jerusalem would be your Gravityís Rainbow, but after what youíve told me, I think Voice of the Fire was your Gravityís Rainbow.

Moore: I was at a recent Hammersmith performance, and someone asked me what I was doing, and I told them I was still writing Jerusalem and that when it was about two-thirds done I did a tally of Jerusalemís word count and found that the narrative was already well over a half-million words. At which point, the eminent geneticist professor Steve Jones said to me, ďYou do know that is longer than the Bible, donít you?Ē Which I didnít, but Iím kind of glad that I didnít.

There has been a suggestion that, when Jerusalem is produced in the single volume that I want it to be produced in, I print it on Bible paper. And I can kind of see that. Iíve got a couple of Bibles that Iím looking at right now that date back to 1776. These are the ones that when Melinda first moved in Iíd point to and say, ďLook at those books! Theyíre older than your country!Ē [Laughs] So that might be an option. But I am kind of glad Jerusalem is already longer than the Bible. Iím hoping that in the future, in whatever format we put it out, that Jerusalem will become known as the Really Good Book. [Laughs]


4th January 2011

Todd Klein on Lettering for Moore and O'Neil

Above is a photo of the script for the second 80-page issue of THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY, this one dated 1969. Itís due out later this year, probably not until summer at latest report, but Iíve finished the first round of lettering, have sent color proofs to everyone, and am waiting for any further corrections or rewrites. Actually, this is not even the whole script, as it doesnít include the six text pages at the end, but you get the idea. A lot to read and consider for artist Kevin OíNeill, colorist Ben Dimagmaliw and myself. Fortunately, it goes to Kevin first, and he does complete art on the pages before I get them for lettering, so I donít have to study the entire script in detail, but can concentrate mainly on the dialogue and captions.

Alan doesnít usually include many notes on lettering. In fact, Kevin is the one who decides where things should be in upper and lower case, as seen above.


Kevin sends me lettering placements as well, and I work closely with him, sending batches of lettered page proofs in black and white as I finish them, which Kevin goes over and gives me any corrections or changes he wants. We also work closely on the design of the covers and inside text pages.

Mostly, Alan gives us everything he can think of that might be relevant in the script, then lets us get on with doing the rest of it. So, when Alan does include lettering notes, I try extra hard to come up with something I think heíll like. There are a couple of examples in this issue.

Without giving too much away, and I think one has to almost expect it, thereís a psychedelic drug trip in the story, one undertaken by Mina Murray. As it first appears in the script, Alan writes:


Okay, nothing about the lettering there, but the dialogue has a repeated word effect, and in a side note, Kevin writes: ďThis is deliberate spelling, see page 47 for LSD effect.Ē

15th October 2010

Cover to 1969 and solicitation


CHAPTER TWO takes place almost sixty years later in the psychedelic daze of Swinging London during 1968, a place where Tadukic Acid Diethylamide 26 is the drug of choice, and where different underworlds are starting to overlap dangerously to an accompaniment of sit-ins and sitars. The vicious gangster bosses of Londonís East End find themselves brought into contact with a counter-culture underground of mystical and medicated flower-children, or amoral pop-stars on the edge of psychological disintegration and developing a taste for Satanism. Alerted to a threat concerning the same magic order that she and her colleagues were investigating during 1910, a thoroughly modern Mina Murray and her dwindling league of comrades attempt to navigate the perilous rapids of Londonís hippy and criminal subculture, as well as the twilight world of its occultists. Starting to buckle from the pressures of the twentieth century and the weight of their own endless lives, Mina and her companions must nevertheless prevent the making of a Moonchild that might well turn out to be the antichrist.


1st April 2010

Top Shelf Announces 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1988'' 

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - America: 1988

When war-hero-turned-handyman Kesuke Miyagi is found drained of blood, it becomes clear that the occult gang known as the Lost Boys are targeting the only individuals that can stop them from complete domination of America. It's the perfect case for the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen--except that their government contact, Oscar Goldman, disbanded the team in 1979 after they defeated Mr. Han's army of the living dead.

Now, disgraced scientist Emmet Brown has to put together a new team to combat the growing threat of the Lost Boys and their leader, a newly resurrected vampire kingpin Tony Montana: Transportation specialist Jack Burton, ex-commando B.A. Baracus, tech wizard Angus MacGyver and the mysteriously powerful femme fatale known only as "Lisa." But will Brown be able to stop the Lost Boys before time runs out?



(This was an April's Fool joke, but it would have been glorious).

1st March 2009

Kevin O'Neill interview in ComicBookResources.com


28th Febuary 2009

Kevin O'Neill interview in The Times newspaper


27th Febuary 2009

Alan Moore interview in Wired.com


Thanks to Chris Barnard for spotting this interview.

20th Febuary 2009

Preview of first nine pages of Century in Indy Comics


Many thanks to Ross Byrne for pointing this link out to me.

11th Febuary 2009

Alan Moore Interview from PREVIEWS.COM


19th December 2008

Kevin O'Neill Interview on Groonk about Century


Thanks to Charlie Beck (http://www.undertoadcomics.com/) for pointing this out

19th December 2008

Todd Klein's Site



Thanks to Charlie Beck (http://www.undertoadcomics.com/) for pointing this out

15th December 2008

Alan Moore Interview from January 2009 "SPECIAL PLATINUM EDITION" issue of Wizard magazine


17th September 2008

Alan Moore Interview from Los Angeles Times


17th July 2008

Cover of LoEG III: Century and Inside Page posted on Entertainment Weekly




16th July 2008

Alan Moore Interview from Entertainment Weekly


13th June 2008

Alan Moore Interview with PŠdraig ” Mťalůid


11th February 2008

Alan Moore Interview from The Word


6th January 2008

Alan Moore Interview from Wizard


26th November 2007

Alan Moore Interview from Wizard


16th November 2007

Kevin O'Neill Interview from Comic Book Resources


14th November 2007

14th November 2007

Alan Moore Interview from Comic Book Wire


7th November 2007

Alan Moore Interview from Mania Comics

Opening the Black Dossier: The Alan Moore Interview, Part One


Opening the Black Dossier: The Alan Moore Interview, Part Two


22nd October 2007

Preview Pages of Black Dossier from EW

below as pdfs -- warning: very slow

below as images -- I got fed up with the speed of loading the pdfs, so converted them into images


17th October 2007

Alan Moore Interview from Comics Britannia


13th August 2007

Rich Johnston (Lying in the Gutters)

There has been quite the fallout since last week's column broke the "League" story. DC responded releasing what must be their shortest press release ever, citing international copyright issues and "related issues" as to the book's limited distribution to the USA only.

There can be no more legal issues outside the USA than there were in the first two League volumes, which featured extensive characters from the library of HG Welles and others, out of copyright in the US but still in copyright in much of the rest of the world.

And there are plenty of other works that have taken classical in copyright characters and used them to their own ends without legal issues. "League's" reinterpretation and recontextualisation is both an artistic and legal defence.

In the recent Tripwire Annual, Alan Moore mentions that he is unsure if the solicited Tijuana Bible section will be published. May there be some customs considerations regarding this section?

Jess Nevins, author of "League" commentary works, wrote on the DC message boards "There's a lot more going on here than you know aboutÖ"

I understand that a number of UK shops have already been arranging their own personal deliveries for customers, and that international orders for the standard hardcover and next year's Absolute edition at Amazon.com have been rapidly rising.

6th August 2007

Rich Johnston (Lying in the Gutters)

I understand that the long awaited "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier," described once by author Alan Moore in this column as "not my best comic ever, not the best comic ever, but the best thing ever," will not be published outside of the USA by America's Best Comics, an imprint of Wildstorm/DC Comics, or distributed in those territories by DC's distributor Diamond Comics.

DC sources inform me that the reasons for concern are over issues concerning copyright and trademark of certain literary characters referred to in the book, some that are public domain in the USA but not in other territories who have different copyright laws.

The US states that if a work was published before 1923, or it is 70 years since the death of the author, then it is in public domain. The UK has a similar rule, without the 1923 proviso, leading to a number of creations published before 1923 but not yet out of copyright. Canada, New Zealand and Australia also have no 1923-style ruling, but wait till 50 years after the author's demise, although Australia now has a 70 year policy for work created since 2005.

It was this difference that led to the suspension of the publication of "Lost Girls" until January 2008 in the UK, as only then will it be 70 years after the death of Peter Pan author Barrie.

However, previous "League" books have used characters and creations that are not yet in the UK public domain, such as HG Wells' Martians and The Invisible Man, and Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes and Moriarty.

I understand that the new book goes at length to disguise or hide contentious characters, such as a British spy in the fifties who reports to "M" goes by the name "Jimmy."

However, just as with "Lost Girls," it is unlikely that the book will remain within the US shores, and that UK and other territories will be able to acquire copies through the "grey" market, distributed not illegally but not through official channels. Comic stores in the US will order on behalf of comic book stores in contested territories, even though this action is not permitted under Diamond's terms.

It is unlikely, however, that any of these copies will be distributed outside of the direct sales market, officially or otherwise. DC's redistributor to the UK bookstore market, Titan Books, will not be able to publish or distribute the book.

The book will be distributed in the USA as scheduled.

17th July 2007

From Alan Moore's Exit Interview by Bill Baker

"And after that, me and Kevin would probably like to get on with some individual stories, some Tales of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that could focus upon, say, one character. Orlando is a very tempting character to do a one-off special based upon, especially after you see the way that we've treated him/her in The Dossier. And there's also another character that we introduce to The League in The Black Dossier; the first black character in the League, and, of course, a controversial one. But he is also such a fantastic character discovery that we're very tempted to do a special based on his adventures."

10th July 2007

From Todd Klein

"Here's a listing of things I'm working on now ó subject to change, of course. ."



with thanks to Steven Ford for pointing me to this page...

3rd May 2007

From Jess Nevins

"Oh, I think you'll see something about the School of Night in the next League book..."



3rd February 2007

From Top Shelf Comics

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume III): Century

Co-Published By Top Shelf Productions & Knockabout Beginning In 2008

The third volume detailing the exploits of Miss Wilhelmina Murray and her extraordinary colleagues is a 216-page epic spanning almost a hundred years and entitled Century. Divided into three 72-page chapters, each a self-contained narrative to avoid frustrating cliff-hanger delays between episodes, this monumental tale takes place in three distinct eras, building to an apocalyptic conclusion occurring in our own current twenty-first century.

Chapter one is set against a backdrop of London, 1910, twelve years after the failed Martian invasion and nine years since England put a man upon the moon. With Halley's Comet passing overhead, the nation prepares for the coronation of King George V, and far away on his South Atlantic Island, the science-pirate Captain Nemo is dying. In the bowels of the British Museum, Carnacki the ghost-finder is plagued by visions of a shadowy occult order who are attempting to create something called a Moonchild, while on London's dockside the most notorious serial murderer of the previous century has returned to carry on his grisly trade. Working for Mycroft Holmes' British Intelligence alongside a rejuvenated Allan Quartermain, the reformed thief Anthony Raffles and the eternal warrior Orlando, Miss Murray is drawn into a brutal opera acted out upon the waterfront by players that include the furiously angry Pirate Jenny and the charismatic butcher known as Mac the Knife.

Chapter two takes place almost sixty years later in the psychedelic daze of Swinging London during 1968, a place where Tadukic Acid Diethylamide 26 is the drug of choice, and where different underworlds are starting to overlap dangerously to an accompaniment of sit-ins and sitars. The vicious gangster bosses of London's East End find themselves brought into contact with a counter-culture underground of mystical and medicated flower-children, or amoral pop-stars on the edge of psychological disintegration and developing a taste for Satanism. Alerted to a threat concerning the same magic order that she and her colleagues were investigating during 1910, a thoroughly modern Mina Murray and her dwindling league of comrades attempt to navigate the perilous rapids of London's hippy and criminal subculture, as well as the twilight world of its occultists. Starting to buckle from the pressures of the twentieth century and the weight of their own endless lives, Mina and her companions must nevertheless prevent the making of a Moonchild that might well turn out to be the antichrist.

In chapter three, the narrative draws to its cataclysmic close in London 2008. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past hundred years has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised aeon of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended starting with North London, and there is no League, extraordinary or otherwise, that now stands in his way. The bitter, intractable war of attrition in Q'umar crawls bloodily to its fifth year, away in Kashmir a Sikh terrorist with a now-nuclear-armed submarine wages a holy war against Islam that might push the whole world into atomic holocaust, and in a London mental institution there's a patient who insists that she has all the answers.

Drawing from the fiction, theatre, film and television culture of the twentieth century as artfully as the preceding volumes drew upon the literature of the nineteenth, this first installment of the League's adventures to be co-published by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout takes our familiar cast of characters Ö plus several previously unfamiliar Ö and propels them into a new age, a new world every bit as strange and savage as the colourful Victorian era they were born to. More than this, with its third volume the League's exploits move into a different realm of format, artistry and story-telling as this remarkable series sets out to explore the full limits of the vast fictional cosmos that it has marked as its territory. A unified field theory of fiction as much as a comic-book story, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume III): Century is sure to be like nothing you have ever read, and will be co-published in three lavish, full-color individual volumes by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout, commencing in 2008.

Published as three deluxe, 72-page, full-color, perfect-bound graphic novellas, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill. SHIPPING IN 2008! ISBN 978-1-60309-000-1


1st February 2007

Bill Baker interviews Alan Moore on The Black Dossier

Bill Baker: How would you describe The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier?

Alan Moore: Imagine a source book that has got lots of interesting snippets from here and there in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's three or four hundred year history. But, these are presented in some unusual ways. For example, when we want to talk about the founding of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which involved Prospero, then we include a lost Shakespeare folio for a play called Fairy's Fortunes Founded, which Shakespeare commenced to write in 1616, which was the year of his death, and thus never completed. So we have got the opening scenes of Fairy's Fortunes Founded reproduced in the manner of a Shakespeare folio as part of The Black Dossier, fully illustrated and featuring some pretty good Shakespeare, if I say so myself.

And when we're detailing the 18th century League, the Gulliver group, then this is done in the form of a sequel to John Cleland's Fanny Hill, it "Being the Further of the Adventures of a Woman of Pleasure," with lots of text and full page illustrations, like in the illustrated Fanny Hill that the Marquis Von Bayros illustrated. So, there're those things. And there's lots of things that you might expect in a source book, like a really neat double page cutaway of the Nautilus. There's a twenty-five page comic strip history done in the style of those great old full color English comic strips that we used to have in Boy's World, or things like that; stuff that was painted, like Dan Dare was painted.

This history is, essentially, a twenty-five page "Life of Orlando," which tells the entire life of Orlando from his birth in the City of Thebes in 1190 B.C. And then, basically in the life of Orlando, we give the timeline for the entire The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's world, up to the Second World War. And we've got every famous fictional character and event that you've ever heard of in there.

It turns out that Orlando has slept with absolutely everybody. And the ones he hasn't slept with, he's waged terrible war upon. If he was a he at the time, you know? He's posed for the Mona Lisa, and he's fought at Troy. He was personally responsible for the Renaissance, he believes. That was a lot of fun. But, that was just twenty-five pages.

There's a Beat Generation novel, allegedly inspired by the activities of The League in America during the 1950s, as written by Sal Paradise, who was the surrogate for Jack Kerouac that appeared in On the Road. And it's a Beat novel called The Crazy Wide Forever, which has got The League teaming up with Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty against the villainous Dr. Sax, from another Kerouac book, as he was a kind of cross between Fu Manchu, The Shadow, and William Boroughs. So, yeah, we've got Dr. Sax in there.

There's an immense amount of stuff in the Dossier. A prospectus of London, features upon previous versions of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Les Hommes Mysterieux from France, and Der Zweilicht-helden from Germany. There's an account of The Surrogate League that British Intelligence tried to put together in the 1950s, and which was a complete disaster. There's everything that you could ever want to know about any incarnation of The League. And this is the source book material; this is the actual Black Dossier.

And, wrapped around that and running through that, there are these very lengthy sections of comic strip which tell the story of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, such as it is, basically retrieving the Black Dossier from British Intelligence in 1958. They basically steal the Black Dossier that has got all of these things that British Intelligence know about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen contained in it. Members of The League break into British Intelligence in 1958, steal the Black Dossier, and then try to escape from the country while being pursued by a trio of deadly British agents, who are trying to get them and the Dossier back.

And, as you might expect with The League, there is nobody who appears anywhere in these books who is not somebody that you probably should have heard of or heard about from literature, or from films or comics or from some other cultural source.

But, I don't want to tell you who's in it. For one thing, as I'm sure you can imagine, the closer we get to the present day in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the more intricate the dance around the minor matters like copyright has to be. Victorian characters are fair game. They're all public domain. Even so, you occasionally get someone like Sax Rohmer who, I believe, didn't have the decency to die until sometime in the 1940s or 50s, which meant that we couldn't use Dr. Fu Manchu in The League. So we just used an oriental mastermind who was known as the Doctor, and who was controlling Limehouse, but everybody knew who it was.

And that's the technique that we're approaching some of the characters with in this Dossier. There are some very famous characters in there who we can't actually spell out who they are, but everybody will know who they're supposed to be, because we make it completely obvious. We do everything but spell it out.

And the actual material in that comic strip is much, much more interesting than the actual wonderful material in The Dossier itself. It's got this sort of fascinating flight across England, touching upon a number of interesting English fictional characters of the 1950s, and, it ends with probably the most spectacular sixteen pages you have ever seen in any comic. I'm saying this before Kevin's actually drawn them, but, I know what they're going to be like. There are a lot of little extras that we put in this, as well.

BB: How about the multi-media aspects of The Black Dossier?

AM: Well, part of the book, which is set in 1958, remember, deals with the residual influence of George Orwell's Big Brother Government. That book was originally set in 1948. But the publisher said, "Well, George, nobody's going to understand this. Let's change the last two numbers around, and we'll say it's happening in the future." And so, instead of being called 1948, it was called 1984. So, by the time our book opens in 1958, the Big Brother Government has already been over for a number of years. So we've got a lot of references to Orwell's world, and we tie that into our world in a way that makes perfect sense.

As one of the little extra giveaways, we've got a book produced by Pornsec, which, in Orwell's book, they're working for the Ministry of Truth, the Ministry of Propaganda, and they produce these little pornographic comics. And so, one of the giveaways is an eight-page Tijuana Bible, as dreamed up by Orwell's Thought Police. So it's Thought Police pornography. And that is something that will fall into your lap like subscription cards when you open the book.

There is a pair of 3-D goggles that will be included as well, that will be necessary for one section of the book--quite an important section of the book, actually.

And there is a 45 [RPM] vinyl single that is supposedly by a 1950s band on a 1950s American record label, both of which are fictitious, but which are taken from other sources. That's part of the fun of The League, you know? The band is called "Eddie Enrico and His Hawaiian Hotshots," which, I believe, were mentioned very briefly by Thomas Pynchon in his excellent The Crying of Lot 49. But it's double-sided, it's a single with two sides. One side of which is "Immortal Love," and the other side of which is "Home with You," which are kind of League-themed 1950s pop songs. And so, yeah, there'll be a lot of little extras in this. It's going to be a very handsomely produced volume....

BB: Just out of curiosity, who did the music?

AM: Who did the music? It was me and Tim Perkins, pretending to be a 50s American rock and roll band. I've discovered, at this late stage in my life, that I am, in fact, an Elvis impersonator. But you'll have to wait and listen for yourself, you know? [His voice assumes an Elvis Presley-like drawl] "Uh huh, thank you very much."

So there'll be a lot of little goodies, because me and Kevin like that. We like having lots of nice little things in there. It reminds us of British comics of our youth, where there were always these kind of cheap giveaways included. But we've got some quite expensive giveaways in this one.

BB: And porn, too!

AM: Absolutely. It is 1984 Newspeak totalitarian porn, so it's kind of depressing, but also kind of funny. [Laughter] It's George Orwell's 1984, told as an 8-page tale in a Tijuana Bible pornographic comic strip, which is kind of funny and dreadful at the same time. But that's just a minor bauble to fall into the reader's lap.


30th January 2007

From Jess Nevins, regarding The Black Dossier

The book is finished on Moore & O'Neill's end, and is in DC's hands, but they have to do production on the 3D chapter.

So the publication date remains unknown, but at the least it will be the October date Amazon and DC are providing, if not sooner.

Also--it's looking like the vinyl single will only be a part of the Absolute edition, not the first trade.


28th September 2006

From Wizard #181, Alan Moore interviewed on The Black Dossier

"We commenced in prehistoric, pre-human times and talk about the Great Old Ones and the various gods - Crom and Cthulhu and various other ones"

"Then you've got a 25-page comic which tells the story of the mythical Orlando from his/her birth in about 1100 B.C., and it brings you up to through every major event in fictional history up to the Second World War. And you've got what Orlando was doing at Troy, or at Camelot"

"We detail Prospero's Group - that was the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"

"There's a sequel to Fanny Hill that's in a special sealed section, so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands, detailing the Gulliver group."

"Then we talk about Miss Murray's team and what they did before, during and after [volumes one and two]"

"We've got a couple of pages detailing the pathetic, failed surrogate League that was set up in the '50s, and it's a complete disaster."

"And we detail the various foreign groups that are set up as counterparts to the League, like the French version, Les Hommes Mysterieux, and also the German counterpart Die Zwielichthelder, the Twilight Heroes"

"We've got a character who...his name is...Jimmy. And he does seem to be carrying that cigarette case that Campion Bond had"

26th September 2006

From SilverBulletComics.Com on The Black Dossier

We have an update; DC has decided to resolicit the book at a later date and it will now include a recording with Alan Moore involved in some capacity.


20th September 2006

From ComicBookResources.com with Top Shelf Productions publisher Chris Staros

What does the success of "Lost Girls" mean for your first "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" book, which I don't even believe you have scheduled yet?

We don't have it quite scheduled yet, but I did talk to Alan last week about it and he's started writing the script and he's very happy with the way the story is coming along. We're probably looking at a 2008 release on that, more than likely. Obviously "League 3" is going to be a really big release for us and another big release for Alan and Kevin O'Neill as well. We're gonna just get behind that one in a big way. DC recently announced they'll be pushing their final volume "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier" back to 2007, when it was originally scheduled for release at the end of this year.

Does that delay affect your publishing plans at all?

Not at all. Our production will be independent of that. Right now Alan is writing the script, and once that's done it'll be passed on to Kevin O'Neill to illustrate.

Has the success of the "Lost Girls" format got you thinking of different formatting or anything like that for your first "League?"

What Alan wants to do is release League Vol. 3 as three, 72-page prestige format comics and then collect it as a trade paperback afterwards. So we're going to release "League" in somewhat of a traditional format to be consistent with the other "Leagues" in the past.


11th September 2006

From Newsarama.com

In another news revealed at DC's retailer presentation, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier graphic novel, which was solicited for an October release, has been delayed indefinitely. According to DC, a new in-store date will be announced as soon as possible. As a result of the delay, the book will be made returnable for retailers at a later date. The will be the last League of Extraordinary Gentlemen project publish through DC/Wildstorm/ABC before Moore moves the property to Top Shelf, publisher of his current Lost Girls graphic novel.

"With Black Dossier Kevin O'Neill is producing the work of his career," Wildstorm's Scott Dunbier told Newsarama in response to the news. "Unfortunately, due to his intense eye for detail and the complex nature of the book, it is also turning out to be the slowest project he has ever done. Wildstorm, through its ABC imprint, will be publishing the book in 2007. Alan and Kevin hope readers who have waited so patiently will feel it's worth the wait, I know I do."


7th September 2006

From Jess Nevins

The Black Dossier is not going to be on sale on Oct. 25. It may be on sale *by* Christmas, but more likely it will be on the shelves sometime early next year. Impossible Territories is now slated for an August 2007 release, with advance copies still on sale at San Diego next year.


2nd September 2006

From Jess Nevins

"The working title of my next League companion is:

"Impossible Territories: An Unofficial Companion to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."


21st August 2006

From The Current Vicar of Dymchurch

Did you know that in Dymchurch we have a "Day of Syn" over the August Bank holiday reinacting Dr Syn every two years

This year we have a talk on Dr Syn at the Anglican church at 6.30pm On Sunday at 3pm we have a church service where Dr Syn and the cast appear in period costume On Monday starting at the Bowery Hall we reinact scenes from Dr Syn and during the day along th Dymchurch shoreline and in the Ocean pub.


21st August 2006


Alan Moore interview:

JPK:The idea of using famous literary characters is something you've done before in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Which came first, Lost Girls or that?

AM: "The three Lost Girls are actually, in a way, the parents of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I'd been having such a lot of fun with these three public-domain characters in a pornography ó it was making all sorts of things possible in the storytelling and it was so rich that it occurred to me that "Hey, maybe you could do this with a bunch of adventure characters as well.'"

JPK: Are there any other characters in the public domain that have caught your fancy?

AM: "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen does actually touch on all of my requirements in that area. In the forthcoming Black Dossier, we give a timeline to the world of fiction included in the almanac in the second volume. There's a 25-page comic strip done in the old British quality boys' comics style, one of those posh painted bookish comic strips from the 50's which is just the life of Orlando - in which we've created a life and timeline for him which includes the Virginia Wolff version of the character, but the one created by (Italian poet Ludovico) Ariosto in the 15th century. So we'll have a timeline, which reaches from 1189 BC to, the present day and then that can continue into the future. "And actually, whether characters are in the public domain or not is becoming less and less of a problem as we become more skillful at just making allusions and relying upon the readership's vast knowledge of these characters and all the trivia surrounding them. "This proves very useful in the Black Dossier where the overarching story into which the dossier is sighted is in 1958 and we've used a lot of the characters from specifically British literature and television and movies that seem to belong in 1958. That creates copyright problems, but there are ways around these things. Any character that seems interesting, there's probably a way that I could fit it into The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen without too much difficulty."

JPK: What's next for you after the Black Dossier?

AM: "The Black Dossier will be my last comic work that comes out from ABC/Wildstorm/DC Comics. The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen will, however, is continuing. Kevin and I will be producing it for Top Shelf, simply because it's such a good idea and it can run forever ó or at least as long as we're interested in it. "There's just so many ways we can change the settings, the characters, the theories, that I can imagine we'll be interested in it for a while yet. "We've got the fourth volume already planned. At the moment it looks like it's going to be three 72-page books so that each one will fit in to a broader complete story arc, they will all be very self-contained stories. This should help to ease the readers' torment at long gaps between issues."

JPK: What's the timeframe for this next League project?

AM: "The first story will be set in 1910, the second story will be set in 1968 and the third will probably be set in 2007 or 2008. We'll get started on that as soon as Kevin is finished with the Black Dossier."


15th August 2006

From Comic Book Resources

There have been enquiries as to the status of the audio element to "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier" that had previously been discussed but not on the solicitation. I understand that due to size constraints and Moore not wanting the product on CD, it will be released on vinyl as part of the "Absolute" edition next summer.


28th July 2006

From Alan Moore in Wizard #179 (September)

Alan Moore said about The Black Dossier:

"Kevin is putting the last few touches to it at the moment. It's got none of the things in it that anyone would ask for, but after they've seen it, it will have been all of the things that they secretly wanted. It's this wonderful compendium of stuff, and there's all kinds of cute give-away things including a 7-inch vinyl single and a 3-D section at the end, which I think will hopefully astound people. You not going to believe this, this has got everyone in it. It's not Book 3 of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; we've yet to start that, but that will be coming out sometime next year from our new publisher Top Shelf."

28th June 2006

From Wildstorm



Written by Alan Moore; Art and Cover by Kevin O'Neill

Acclaimed writer Alan Moore once again joins forces with artist Kevin O'Neill for THE BLACK DOSSIER ó a stunning original hardcover graphic novel that is the next chapter in the fantastic saga of THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN!

England in the mid-1950s is not the same as it was. The powers that be have instituted some changes. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have been disbanded and disavowed, and the country is under the control of an iron-fisted regime. Now, after many years, the still youthful Mina Murray and a rejuvenated Allan Quatermain return in search of some answers ó answers that can only be found in a book buried deep in the vaults of their old headquarters ó a book that holds the key to the hidden history of the League throughout the ages: The Black Dossier. As Allan and Mina delve into the details of their precursors, some dating back centuries, they must elude their dangerous pursuers who are hellbent on retrieving the lost manuscriptÖand ending the League once and for all.

THE BLACK DOSSIER is an elaborately designed, cutting-edge volume that includes a "Tijuana Bible" insert and a 3-D section complete with custom glasses, as well as additional text pieces, maps, and a stunning cutaway double-page spread of Captain Nemo's Nautilus submarine by Kevin O'Neill. Don't miss what's sure to be one of the most talked-about books of 2006!

America's Best Comics | 208pg. | Color | Hardcover | $29.99 US | ISBN 140120306X | Mature Readers On Sale October 25, 2006

28th May 2006

From Amazon.com

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier (Hardcover) Americas Best Comics

Release Date moved to Oct 25th 2006.


Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier (Absolute) Americas Best Comics

Release Date moved to Jan 30th 2007.


24th May 2006

From Jess Nevins

On the Wildstorm Message Board Jess Nevins said "It's definitely not coming out this month--I think I can say that without betraying any secrets"


15th Feburary 2006

From Newsrama.com

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier is due for the fall and covers the entire secret history of the LoEG. It starts with the first League, goes into the 1950ís, and right now looks to be about 185 pages of story.


15th Feburary 2006

From Comic Book Resources

The "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Black Dossier" by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. It's an original hardcover and "one of the more revolutionary books the industry has ever seen," said Dunbier The book follows the history of the group from its "very early" origins to the 1950s. Having 185 pages of actual story, it's larger than either of the original miniseries. "Kevin has been doing a fantastic job," said Dunbier. The book will use different types of paper for different sections and 3-D effects. While 3-D "normally (consists of) throwing balls at the camera; this one has real meaning and is incredibly complex. The way Alan wrote it and Kevin draws it is unique and fantastic. Alan has called it 'the most fabulous book in the history of the universe,' and he isn't far wrong."


3th Feburary 2006

From Amazon.com

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier (Hardcover) Americas Best Comics (May 30, 2006)


Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier (Absolute) Americas Best Comics (September 30, 2006)


5th December 2005

Cosmic Comix News

"The final Alan Moore and Kevin OíNeilís LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN will be a hardcover book entitled THE BLACK DOSSIER. It is rumored to have a 3-D segment to the book. "


8th July 2005

cyrille Mey on the Millarworld.com Forum

"I've just talked with Kevin O'Neill about the new LoEG, "Dark Dossier", which will be a big story jumping all over the place from the dawn of time to the 50's. Remember the first "new" LoEG announcement where Moore mentioned he was going in a recording studio? It's for a record which will be sold with the book, including songs performed by (50's) characters of the book, Moore does the singing, ŗ la Roy Orbson, american accent and all"


23rd May 2005

Rich Johnston (Lying in the Gutters): Alan Moore cuts ties with DC Comics and expected date of Black Dossier

Alan Moore, co-creator of the "V For Vendetta" comic, has publicly disassociated himself from the upcoming Warner Brothers movie project based on the comic book and written and produced by the Wachowski Brothers.

And as a result, he has cut his remaining ties with DC Comics, including future volumes of the "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen." Moore has promised future "League" comics will be published by a US/UK collaboration between Top Shelf and Knockabout.

Moore's last remaining "League" for DC is all but completed and due this year. This is "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier," a hardcover graphic novel coming from Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill later this year from ABC/Wildstorm/DC Comics. Moore tells me this "will slip in between volumes two and three" of the "League." Moore described it to me as "not my best comic ever, not the best comic ever, but the best thing ever. Better than the Roman civilisation, penicillin..." The human brain? "Yes and the human nervous system. Better than creation. Better than the big bang. It's quite good."

He continues, "It will be nothing anyone expects, but everything everyone secretly wanted." It's unusual to hear such hyperbole from one more commonly associated with self-deprecation. It's nearing completion and Moore tells me he was in a recording studio last week, working on part of it. Yes, that intrigued me too, though Moore refused to be drawn past the tantalising glimpse he'd deliberately dropped. Then after that, volume three of the "League" will be published by Top Shelf/Knockabout a year to eighteen months later, in a totally new format. And future volumes will continue from this publisher collaboration


19th Febuary 2005

Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier says at WonderCon

"Moore and O'Neill are at work on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume 3, with an eye on a 2006 release."

"Also from MooreÖor technically, Moore and offspring, the veteran writer joins with his daughter Leah and John Reppion for the debut of Albion 1 in June."

"As Newsarama has reported, the miniseries will feature many of the classic IPC characters in a Moore-plotted revival. The six issue miniseries will be illustrated by Shane Oakley with covers by Dave Gibbons, and feature the likes of Robot Archie, Steel Claw, Captain Hurricane and the Spider."

11th January 2005

Jess Nevins says about the Dark Dossier Announcement

"The press release is wrong on just about every count. Best to ignore it and act like it never appeared. "

28th December 2004

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier

Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier is a hardcover graphic novel from Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil due in late 2005. The story is set primarily in the 1950s when the League and the British government no longer see eye to eye. Surviving League members infiltrate MI:5 to steal a closely guarded book, the Dark Dossier compiled by MI:5 over hundreds of years, detailing the League, who the members are, what they do, what they've done, everything about them. As the story unfolds in 1950's London, the main characters - whose identities are a closely guarded mystery - peruse the Dark Dossier while eluding the agents of MI:5. The story takes place in the 1950s, the teens (1911 - 1919), in the 1800s, 1600s, and possibly one story is set in 2000 BC.

18th July 2004

Alan Moore says about Volume III, (From 'A Blazing World')

"Itís always possible that there might be something, I donít know what, but that thereís the possibility of something before League volume 3. There are all sorts of things we could do with the League. People should just keep their eyes peeled and watch this space for further announcements...

...So there will certainly be a League volume three. And four, five, six, who knows? After that, as many as I have the time and inclination to write, and that Kevinís got the enthusiasm to draw. But like I say, League volume three might be quite a way in the future. We might be talking about a couple of years...

...There might be other things that to occupy and while away a couple of happy hours between now and then. But Iím as excited and enthusiastic about the League as I was when I started it. In fact, more so...

...When volume three does come out, Iím still not sure exactly what itís going to be like. At least a significant chunk of it is going to be set in 1910 and will be set in London in 1910, during the coronation of King George, when Halleyís Comet was passing overhead. Thereíll be some interesting new characters, some interesting old characters. Youíll be seeing Captain Nemo in the 1910 adventures, although I donít want to say much more than that. There are all these things that we might well pick up on. Les Hommes MysterieuxĖIíve still not quite worked out how to do that one yet. Itís a bit too obvious. Itís an obvious idea, the clash between the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their opposite numbers, itís a bit too comic booky. Thereís an obvious way of doing it, so until I can think of a non-obvious way of doing it I shall perhaps be leaving that one alone. Although, who knows, Iím talking about a couple of years until book three shall be a possibility, by then I might have the entire Les Hommes Mysterieux storyline completely hatched. These things happen...

...Itís conceivable that we might suddenly release something in a non-episodic form, purely as an album, and then the next thing after that might be episodic building to an album in the way that the first two series have"

1st June 2004

Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier says about Volume III

Scott Dunbier stated a guarantee there would be no delays on the third series, and that Kevin O'Neill is well into it. He also gave a guaranteed no-Tom-Sawyer clause.

18th July 2003

Kevin O'Neill says about Volume III

At Comic-Con International 2003, he said that he will re-team with Alan Moore for a third volume. According to O'Neill, the third volume will jump to the year 1920 and will feature new League members, although Mina will still be around.

"We'll also go back and jump forward as well, around the 1950s," O'Neill said. "Alan has some dazzling ideas. It's going to be sexier than earlier volumes."

O'Neill said there will be a break between the second and third volumes. "Alan's promised to continue with the League," O'Neill said. "He enjoys it as much as I do and the reaction from people has been encouraging."

10th April 2003

Kevin O'Neill says about Volume III

In an interview with "Comix" a portuguese comics magazine, he says they're currently working on a short story featuring a previous incarnation of the League. He doesn't specify which one. O'Neill then says that they're preparing for a story with the French League, with much help from Jean Marc L'Officier. O'Neill also says that over 90% of the adverts seen in the issues of the League are genuine, he chooses them.

10th April 2003

Alan Moore about Volume III

The 1950s League

"I had a really perverse idea the other day ... it would be funny to have one series set in the 1950s where you have Sal Paradise from Jack Kerouac's On The Road and his crazy wired-up driver friend, Dean Moriarty, who of course is the great grandson of James Moriarty, or I could say that he is. Then there'd be Doctor Sax, a Kerouac character based on William Burroughs and The Shadow but who owes a lot Fu Manchu. You could set it in Interzone with the Burroughs centipede people appearing all over the place. You could even have a couple of members of the Victorian League still around."

10th April 2003

Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier says about Volume III

"...tentatively called TALES OF THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Right now it is being planned as a six-issue mini-series. Each issue or two will focus on a different League prior to the 1898 version--and one a bit in the future, a few years before World War I ..."

"... While not wanting to stir up any Tempests in teapots, I'm sure that readers will take a Swift liking to the new series. I think they'll be especially pleased to see the return of an old friend..."