- Posted by Johanna on November 23, 2007 at 9:57 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O'Neill
- PUBLISHER: DC / WildStorm; $29.99 US
I did not like this book. There was not enough comic to it.
I’m past the point where it’s fun to read comics that feel like homework. The lengthy text sections, mimicking the styles of other, well-known writers, I skipped entirely, because they were overwhelming. I was quite pleased to see, when I went to read the annotations immediately afterwards, that Jess Nevins had done the same thing on one section.
It felt like a book that needed Nevins’ Cliff Notes to be enjoyable, or maybe I was just hoping that if I got the references and in-jokes, I’d find a reason to enjoy it. I didn’t, although the Night character needed the outside explanation to make sense. (That’s a flaw.)
There was also, and this seems like an odd thing to say, too much sex in it. I’d already read Lost Girls, so I didn’t particularly need to see more of Mr. Moore’s fantasies about unrestrained (or restrained, in some cases) women and their excessive amounts of sexual adventuring. Here we get both Fanny Hill and Orlando, who is a man part of the time, in sections that read like outtakes from that other book. (At least rape was not a prominent plot point this time around, unlike in the previous LoEG book, which was outright distasteful.)
I also, and I cringe at the potential response to this but I’m going to say it anyway, outgrew this kind of fanfiction years ago. When I was a kid, my impulse was to match up the casts of favorite TV shows (because I was a child of the 80s). It’s not that much more clever when Mr. Moore does it with literary figures, except in his case, you need a scorecard to recognize some of the more obscure ones. It’s also not very creative to think that simply having character A from book series B meet character C from TV series D makes for sufficient story. It doesn’t.
You know, I read this twice (once plain, once with annotations) three hours ago and now I don’t remember the ending. Oh, yes, right, it was one we’d already seen in Promethea, about all the fictional worlds opening up into a land of imagination … only this time, in 3-D. Which is silly, because the obsessives waiting for this book aren’t going to open up the glasses and read it the way it’s designed. (I know I didn’t.)
I did like the opening Underground map for credits, with the puns and the jokes about artists being late and the ABC line ended. But that’s because I have a board game based on the real map that I played for years, so I was already familiar with the source material. Which seems to be a prerequisite.
Stop being so clever, Mr. Moore, and write stories with real plots with your own characters.
(A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)