TOP TEN COMICS OF 2003: NUMBER NINE
Or, “If you bought one book in 2003, why wasn’t it this one?”
In the closing moments of 2003, I noted that Buffy The Vampire Slayer had won the coveted 13th place in the 100 Greatest Musicals Of All Time on Channel 4 for the episode with songs in it. Well, if something that’s patently not a musical can score highly in the Top Musicals Of, Well, Ever, then surely something that’s patently not a comic can take ninth place in the Top Comics Of One Measly Year. That’s LOGIC.
Which brings us to THE EXTRAORDINARY WORKS OF ALAN MOORE. Which is a book. But it has comics in it, and it’s about comics, so let’s call it a comic. What it actually is is a nice large, graphic-novel-sized Autobiography Of Alan Moore. I say autobiography because it comes in the form of a series of interviews between George Khoury and Moore that span the writer’s entire life from birth to date-of-publication, so it’s mostly Moore talking about his own work rather than an entire community of artists desperately trying to squeeze all their tongues into his arse (like certain other celebratory Moore-is-50 books I could mention). As you can imagine, it’s full of all kinds of tasty insights, not only into Moore’s work but into more general ideas of comics, culture and being a writer. And more often than not, very funny to boot. Not surprising, really, as Moore didn’t get to be the most well-known writer in comics by being dull and Khoury’s undeniable skill as an interviewer means that this all crackles along at a merry, friendly pace without any of the trite, overly-mawkish sentiment that spoiled the other 50th birthday book. (I’m a big fan of Ilya’s, but his bit in that was particularly horrible. While we’re on the subject.)
In other words, this isn’t an endless queue of writers, artists and assorted lining up to suck Moore’s immense bibliography – you?re paying for the man himself to demonstrate visibly in your face why they would, at length and in style. So for God’s sake, when you go off to Border’s to get the “Alan Moore Fiftieth Birthday Thingy”, MAKE SURE YOU BUY THE RIGHT ONE.