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Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel

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Eclectic British author Alan Moore (b. 1953) is one of the most acclaimed and controversial comics writers to emerge since the late 1970s. He has produced a large number of well-regarded comic books and graphic novels while also making occasional forays into music, poetry, performance, and prose. In Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, Annalisa Di Liddo ar Eclectic British author Alan Moore (b. 1953) is one of the most acclaimed and controversial comics writers to emerge since the late 1970s. He has produced a large number of well-regarded comic books and graphic novels while also making occasional forays into music, poetry, performance, and prose. In Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, Annalisa Di Liddo argues that Moore employs the comics form to dissect the literary canon, the tradition of comics, contemporary society, and our understanding of history. The book considers Moore's narrative strategies and pinpoints the main thematic threads in his works: the subversion of genre and pulp fiction, the interrogation of superhero tropes, the manipulation of space and time, the uses of magic and mythology, the instability of gender and ethnic identity, and the accumulation of imagery to create satire that comments on politics and art history. Examining Moore's use of comics to scrutinize contemporary culture, Di Liddo analyzes his best-known works--Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell, Promethea, and Lost Girls. The study also highlights Moore's lesser-known output, such as Halo Jones, Skizz, and Big Numbers, and his prose novel Voice of the Fire. Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel reveals Moore to be one of the most significant and distinctly postmodern comics creators of the last quarter-century.


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Eclectic British author Alan Moore (b. 1953) is one of the most acclaimed and controversial comics writers to emerge since the late 1970s. He has produced a large number of well-regarded comic books and graphic novels while also making occasional forays into music, poetry, performance, and prose. In Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, Annalisa Di Liddo ar Eclectic British author Alan Moore (b. 1953) is one of the most acclaimed and controversial comics writers to emerge since the late 1970s. He has produced a large number of well-regarded comic books and graphic novels while also making occasional forays into music, poetry, performance, and prose. In Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, Annalisa Di Liddo argues that Moore employs the comics form to dissect the literary canon, the tradition of comics, contemporary society, and our understanding of history. The book considers Moore's narrative strategies and pinpoints the main thematic threads in his works: the subversion of genre and pulp fiction, the interrogation of superhero tropes, the manipulation of space and time, the uses of magic and mythology, the instability of gender and ethnic identity, and the accumulation of imagery to create satire that comments on politics and art history. Examining Moore's use of comics to scrutinize contemporary culture, Di Liddo analyzes his best-known works--Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell, Promethea, and Lost Girls. The study also highlights Moore's lesser-known output, such as Halo Jones, Skizz, and Big Numbers, and his prose novel Voice of the Fire. Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel reveals Moore to be one of the most significant and distinctly postmodern comics creators of the last quarter-century.

30 review for Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Felix

    A very interesting read and a must for all scholarly-oriented fans of Alan Moore's works. Di Liddo's is one of the few (if not the only) scholarly work dedicated entirely to Moore. Her writing is fluid and good to read, neither theory-laden nor lacking in conceptual depth. Still, I find her analyses a bit disappointing sometimes since the sheer amount of primary works she considers (all of the major graphic novels including "Promethea" and Moore's run on "Swamp Thing") results in a lack of space A very interesting read and a must for all scholarly-oriented fans of Alan Moore's works. Di Liddo's is one of the few (if not the only) scholarly work dedicated entirely to Moore. Her writing is fluid and good to read, neither theory-laden nor lacking in conceptual depth. Still, I find her analyses a bit disappointing sometimes since the sheer amount of primary works she considers (all of the major graphic novels including "Promethea" and Moore's run on "Swamp Thing") results in a lack of space for each individual work. While she succeeds in analysing Moore's technique and does come up with sparkling insightful gems on some exemplary panels and/or pages, at other times I wished for a better cultural contextualisation of themes and motifs. As an example: maybe I'm nit-picking but I did find it strange that in discussing the final panel of "Lost Girls" (the only work of Moore's that gets a whole chapter for itself), Di Liddo doesn't even mention the significance of a poppy in the English remembrance of WWI, but keeps talking about a (nonspecified) "flower". Still, Di Liddo definitely deserves merit for being the first to approach Alan Moore and his oeuvre in a book-length study and she succeeds in her aim "to map out one of many routes into the work of a writer and artist [...:] whose complex aesthetics and cultural discourse have not yet been thoroughly examined" (p. 14).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ramon

    Nothing too groundbreaking if you're already A) an attentive reader, or B) a big enough Moore fan that you read a lot of other material on him and his work already. But interesting enough. And you learn some academic jargon! Be the life of your next party!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steen Ledet

    Good introduction and overview to Moore's work.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark Jerrett

    An excellent overview of the themes and techniques utilized in Moore's work, though I disagree on the author's assessment of Lost Girls. Di Liddo claims it's main fault lies in its repetition of graphic techniques from earlier Moore works, specifically Watchmen, and that reading Lost Girls after having read Watchmen can be a boring and tedious experience. I read Lost Girls first, so maybe that's why I found some of Watchmen a little unpalatable (particularly the Tales of the Black Freighter sect An excellent overview of the themes and techniques utilized in Moore's work, though I disagree on the author's assessment of Lost Girls. Di Liddo claims it's main fault lies in its repetition of graphic techniques from earlier Moore works, specifically Watchmen, and that reading Lost Girls after having read Watchmen can be a boring and tedious experience. I read Lost Girls first, so maybe that's why I found some of Watchmen a little unpalatable (particularly the Tales of the Black Freighter sections). As well, it would also have been nice to hear more about The Black Dossier, which the author references several times, but these references come across almost as an add-on just before publication; her insight into the previous League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was spot on and very interesting, and it's disappointing that The Black Dossier didn't receive more attention. That said, I highly recommend this book to any fans of Alan Moore who are looking to have their understanding of his work expanded.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Mills

    There are a couple of things about this book that really appeal to me. While there's a ton of writing about Alan Moore, there is surprisingly little that's dedicated to him alone and to his entire body of work. The other thing is that I'm in this book; well, a piece I wrote a decade ago is mentioned in the text and the bibliography. I feel a little guilty that I haven't read it yet, but I'm honestly really excited about it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fugo Feedback

    Ya me compró con el título. Ahora habrá que ver si se deja leer o si es un bodrio megacadémico. Y si se consigue, claro.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Odette Cortés

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chad Brock

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Burley

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wanderer

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bob Cat

  13. 4 out of 5

    Raisu

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kenzie Townsend

  15. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Møane

  16. 5 out of 5

    Will

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jan-Erik

  18. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

  19. 4 out of 5

    Derek Frasure

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Jacob

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  23. 5 out of 5

    Asher Green

  24. 4 out of 5

    Glen Parks

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Weller

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joey

  27. 5 out of 5

    mārcis g.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jose Rubio

  29. 4 out of 5

    callmewhatyewwant

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eugene booker

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