Every once in a while, I attempt to document all the forthcoming work from Alan Moore that I know of, with previous attempts at the end of 2008 and in the middle of 2010, so I felt it was time to have another go at it. This is not without difficulties, as you might imagine. So, to keep it within the bounds of reason, I try to stay within certain self-imposed guidelines: they must be works or projects that have been announced by Moore himself, or a publisher, and if possible have some sort of online presence I can point at, like a page on a website, or at least a listing on some sort of online retailer. Although, having said that, I’m also including related work like biographies. I do list some rumoured projects at the end, as well as things that seem to be lost or terminally held up. And I mostly try to avoid anything that’s just a reprint of earlier work, although there are several exceptions to that rule, as well. Actually, the more I write this, the more I realise that pretending that I have any sort of personal guidelines is nothing but a sham and a lie, so let’s get straight to it instead…
Unearthing (Top Shelf/Knockabout)
Unearthing started as a 45-page piece Alan Moore wrote for the Iain Sinclair edited London: City of Disappearances (Hamish Hamilton. London, 2006). It’s a biography of his old friend Steve Moore, and it has since taken on something of a life of its own.
It was released by Lex Records in an audio version, read by Alan Moore, in 2010, either as an MP3 download, or in a super-deluxe for-obsessive-collectors-only edition. (I have one myself, and it’s very nice.) Now, you can buy it in book form, with colour photographs by Mitch Jenkins, and it comes in three different versions, according to the Top Shelf website: a deluxe softcover edition, a special oversized hardcover edition of 1,500 copies, and a special signed and numbered oversized hardcover edition of 300 copies (which is the one I’ve bought for myself, predictably). The Top Shelf site says this is to ship in January 2013, although the on-sale date on Amazon is either the 7th of February (UK), or the 5th of March (US). Gosh! in London are hosting an event with Moore and Jenkins on the 26th of February
Nemo – Heart of Ice (Top Shelf/Knockabout)
Having finished the three parts of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century, Moore and Kevin O’Neill are now going to produce a few – probably three – short one-off stories concentrating on individual characters from the League stories. The first one to appear is about Janni Dakkar, daughter of Nemo, who we have previously met in Century. It’s 1925, and she’s finding her father’s legacy hanging heavily, so she decides to go to Antarctica. She’s followed there by three scientific inventors, set on her trail by an angry newspaper magnate. Lovecraftian things ensue, and lives are lost. I’ve been lucky enough to read this already, and it really is good and, if I may say so, very much back on form after the somewhat patchy Century. There. I’ve said it. Century wasn’t as good as it could have been. But this is, I think.
This will be published as a 56-page hardcover by Top Shelf/Knockabout, depending on which side of the Atlantic you live on. The website says February 2013, but I’ve just been told by Tony Bennett of Knockabout that the publication date is actually the 5th of March. and, if you’re in London, Moore and O’Neill are doing a signing in Gosh! on the 9th of March.
No, I don’t know what the other one-shot volumes are going to be, yet. I might know what volume 4 of the League is going to be about, though. And, while I’m on the subject of the League: I wouldn’t normally report on foreign language editions of Moore’s work, as that way lies exquisite madness, but it’s worth noting that, while there isn’t currently a date for a collected English language edition of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century, it has already been collected and published in Italy by BAO Publishing in a single volume, which you can buy here.
From Hell Companion (Top Shelf/Knockabout)
I’m really looking forward to this one. Eddie Campbell, the artist on From Hell, has written a book about his time working on that book, which includes, according to the website, ‘original scripts and sketches … copious annotations, commentary, and illustrations … first-hand accounts of the project’s decade-long development, complete with photos, anecdotes, disagreements, and wry confessions.’
This is a 288-page softcover book, including 32 pages in full colour. The Top Shelf site says May 2013, although Amazon says 11th of April.
Absolute Top 10 (DC Comics)
DC have collected together all of the Alan Moore scripted Top 10 stories – Top 10 #1-12, SMAX #1-5, a story from America’s Best Comics Special #1 and the graphic novel Top 10: The Forty-Niners – into one hardcovered and slipcased 592-page volume. I should really be muttering darkly about DC continuing to rake over Moore’s back catalogue to try to squeeze a few more cents out of it’s by now ravaged corpse, but I actually really want this one. How easily our principles are bought! According to the website, this is due on the 15th of May 2013, with Amazon largely in agreement.
Bread & Wine (Fantagraphics)
Although this has previously been published, and the only input by Moore is the introduction is the introduction, I make no apology for listing it here. For a start, this has been out of print since it was originally published in paperback by Juno Books of New York in 1999 (under the longer title of Bread & Wine: An Erotic Tale of New York, and it’s about time it was brought back into print. Fantagraphics have stepped up, and are re-issuing this as a 72-page hardcover. Briefly, this graphic novel is Samuel R Delany’s autobiographical telling of how he met the man who became his partner, illustrated by Mia Wolff, and the new edition features a new interview with writer and artist, as well as all the things that were in the original edition. It’s that old old story of a black gay science fiction writer meeting a white gay homeless Irishman, and them falling for one another. The book is, coincidentally, also in black and white. What’s not to love?
The Fantagraphics website says this is due in May 2013, and both Amazon sites essentially agree.
Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff (Fantagraphics)
Another book from Fantagraphics, and another May 2013 release. This time it’s a collection of odds and ends by Peter Bagge, which is a good enough reason in itself to want this. However, for those of you like myself who yearn to own all of Alan Moore’s output in bookshelf-friendly editions, this also includes the 4-page ‘Kool-Aid Man’ story ‘The Hasty Smear of My Smile…,’ which originally appeared in Hate #30, published by Fantagraphics Books in June 1998, written by Moore and with art by Bagge, which has not been reprinted since, to the best of my knowledge, although it’s to be found in several places on the internet.
The website says it ships in April, and both Amazon sites have on-sale dates in the middle of May.
Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1 (Dark Horse)
Way back at the beginning of his career, some of the very earliest work that Alan Moore did was for Marvel UK’s Star Wars comic, The Empire Strikes Back Monthly. He wrote five strips for them altogether between November 1981 and July 1982 (by which time the magazine had changed its name to Star Wars Monthly) – The Pandora Effect, Tilotny Throws a Shape, Dark Lord’s Conscience, Rust Never Sleeps, and Blind Fury! These were collected in the two issues of Dark Horse’s Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds in 1996, along with two stories by Steve Moore. However, this is the first time they’ve been collected in any sort of shelf-friendly volume, along with a huge amount of other difficult-to-find Star Wars stories from all sorts of places, and all sorts of people. Altogether, there’s 480 pages of this, in hardback, for a really very reasonable $24.99.
Publication date, according to the website, is the 29th of May 2013, although Amazon says the 25th of June. Who knows, with these things?
And that’s the end of the material I actually have verifiable dates and links for, and the beginning of where I start to strike out into less well sign-posted territory. Starting with…
Jerusalem (Top Shelf?/Knockabout?)
Alan Moore’s vast sprawling novel all about Northampton. The last three times I interviewed him, in 2008, 2009, and 2011, it’s two years from being finished. It does seem that he’s finally drawing to the end, though and, although there isn’t currently a publisher attached to this on either side of the Atlantic, it’s very likely that it’s going to be published by Top Shelf and Knockabout, I imagine. The flyer on the right, which was being handed out by Gosh! in London when Moore and O’Neill were in signing copies of Century: 2009 there in June 2012, gives a publication date of Autumn 2013, which may actually be true, because Gosh! have close links with Knockabout, and indeed with Alan Moore. We shall all just have to wait and see. In the meantime, here’s a link to Moore reading chapter 24 of the book at The Guildhall in Northampton in March 2012.
The Bojeffries Saga (Top Shelf/Knockabout)
All the previously published Bojeffries Saga stories collected together – as they were by Tundra Publishing Ltd in 1992 – but this time with a new story, a sort of last Bojeffries story, called After They Were Famous. I’m particularly looking forward to this, as the Bojeffries Saga is one of my favourite of Moore’s creations, and the only work of his from the Warrior days which remains unsullied by contamination by big American comic companies.
This has been listed by Top Shelf as being forthcoming for over two years now, and I know the script has been finished since at least 2009, and at this stage they’ve stopped putting a release date on it, just referring to it as ‘A Future Release!’ So, your guess is as good as mine. Soon would be good, though.
The Moon & Serpent Bumper Book of Magic (Top Shelf / Knockabout)
A 320-Page Super-Deluxe Hardcover, co-written by Alan Moore and Steve Moore, with a cover design by John Coulthart, and illustrated by various luminaries from the comic book field, including Melinda Gebbie and Rick Veitch. This is another one that has been lost in the wild for a good while now, but is moving along a tiny bit at a time. Eventually, we’ll get to see it. More information here.
Melinda Gebbie is supposed to be doing a comic book adaptation of the spoken word CD Angel Passage, akin to the two adaptations Eddie Campbell has done, of The Birth Caul and Snakes and Ladders, but hasn’t actually started work on it yet, to the best of my knowledge.
When Laura Sneddon, of this parish, interviewed Moore in November 2011, he told her, ‘Melinda is about to start working on – she’s getting to the end of her autobiography she’s writing – and she’s probably going to be taking up, doing the visual adaptation of the William Blake piece that I wrote about ten years ago now; it was the thing that I performed at Angel Passage, it came out on a CD and I performed it at the Purcell Rooms as part of their William Blake celebration, she’ll be doing that.
However, a date for this is anyone’s guess, especially if you bear in mind that Lost Girls took sixteen years.
Fashion Beast (Avatar Comics)
Presumably there’ll be a collected edition of this and, knowing Avatar, probably some sort of super-deluxe hardcover version with the original script as an added extra. Which, in fairness, wouldn’t be a bad thing.
The Show is the overall name for a multimedia project which includes short film Act of Faith and Jimmy’s End – both on the Jimmy’s End website, but which will eventually also include a soap opera that the characters in The Show watch, called Wittgenstein Avenue, and a computer game which Moore has been developing with his youngest daughter, Amber. There’s more information here. No idea on dates, but things are happening, and this really does seem to be moving along.
Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril (DC Comics)
Written by Peter Hogan, and drawn by Chris Sprouse. Hogan tells me: ‘As to what it’s about … Tesla’s life is in danger, and the only thing that can save her is only to be found on Terra Obscura … But Tom discovers that Terra ain’t what it used to be, is now in the grip of a terrible crisis. Dot dot dot …. No date set as yet, but Chris Sprouse wrote about it in July 2012, when he was working on it. No date, but hopefully sooner rather than later.
Alan Moore Biography (Aurum Press)
Lance Parkin, who has previously written The Pocket Essential Alan Moore (Pocket Essentials. 2001), is writing a full-sized literary biography of Alan Moore, due to be published in November 2013, to coincide with Moore’s 60th birthday. I’ve read bits of this, and it’s going to be very good indeed. He explains a bit about it here.
Kimota! The Miracleman Companion: The Definitive Edition (TwoMorrows Publishing)
An updated and expanded hardcover edition of George Khoury’s excellent book on the story of Marvelman/Miracleman, with new interviews with include Neil Gaiman, Dez Skinn, and others. This was scheduled to appear in August 2010, but is still lost out there somewhere. I think they might be holding on until Marvel announces some news about Marvelman. On which note…
Marvelman (Marvel Comics)
I was idly tidying up old mail in my inbox, as you do in the small hours of the morning, when I came across correspondence I had with some of the management at Marvel Comics about Marvelman just about two years ago. Pretty much on a whim, I decided I’d write to them again, to see if they could tell me anything. Specifically, I wrote to Arune Singh, Marvel’s Director of Communications, Publishing & Digital Media. And this is how it went…
Me: I’d written to you a few years back now, about a book I’m writing on Marvelman. The book is still ongoing – well, I keep finishing it, then something else happens – but I still have a whole load of questions I’d like to ask about this, if anyone could answer them for me.
Can I ask, are there any actual plans right now to move forward with this? I have been compiling a list of Marvel’s replies to questions about MM, and any other announcements – here – which doesn’t make for cheerful reading. But, really, more than anything, I really want to see something resolved with this, and ideally to see Alan’s work republished in a hopefully recoloured and relettered format, and to see Neil get to finish the story he was telling. My own opinion, however, is that this is not going to happen. But, if you can honestly tell me that I’m wrong, you will make me a very happy man.
Arune Singh: No comment.
Me: Can you even comment on whether there are any actual plans?
I have one other question, so, before I retire. Can you tell me specifically what Marvel bought when they bought what was meant to be Mick Anglo’s rights to MM, which I believe was actually bought from Jon Campbell of Emotiv Records, who had bought Mick Anglo Ltd from the late Mick Anglo and his wife Minnie? Because, in all my research, and all my digging, over several years, I have so far completely failed to find anything that explains to me why Anglo had any rights in the Marvelman property. So far, the closest I have got is the equivalent of ‘because we say so,’ and I was hoping you could perhaps give me something a bit more concrete to go on.
Arune Singh: No comment.
Me: Is there any news about MM that you can tell me? I’ve been waiting an awfully long time to get to read the end of Neil’s story! Can you tell me, for instance, if we can expect an announcement of any kind at any point in the near future?
Arune Singh: No comment.
So, no news there, I’m afraid. Sad, but unsurprising.
The Book of Copulation
I heard that José Villarrubia was working on adapting one of Moore’s spoken word pieces, so asked him about it. He told me, ‘Yes, there is truth… a few years ago, I started adapting –The Book of Copulation from him… I did a lot of work on it for a couple years, but was not convinced of the direction it was taking, so I put it on hold. I may restart it this coming year, since I am on sabbatical leave from my school. I will keep you posted…
The Book of Copulation is one of the pieces on The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels CD, released by Cleopatra Records in 1996, and you can read the text of it here.
And that’s everything I know about, with the exception of Occupy Comics, which I can’t seem to find any clear information on.