In a Guardian exclusive (although the news was inadvertently leaked on Amazon last week), it was announced that Alan Moore has signed a “six-figure deal” with the famed Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury to bring a number of the former comics writer’s prose novels to the world.
The deal will see Bloomsbury publish Moore’s latest works, including Long London, a five-volume fantasy epic, and Illuminations, a short story collection. Illuminations is scheduled for an Autumn 2022 release, with the first part of the Long London quintet planned to be released in 2024.
According to the Guardian:
“Two years after announcing that he had retired from comics, Alan Moore, the illustrious author of Watchmen and V for Vendetta, has signed a six-figure deal for a “groundbreaking” five-volume fantasy series as well as a “momentous” collection of short stories.
Bloomsbury, home to the Harry Potter novels, acquired what it described as two “major” projects from the 67-year-old. The first, Illuminations, is a short story collection which will be published in autumn 2022 and which moves from the four horsemen of the apocalypse to the “Boltzmann brains” fashioning the universe. Bloomsbury said it was “dazzlingly original and brimming with energy”, promising a series of “beguiling and elegantly crafted tales that reveal the full power of imagination and magic”.
The second acquisition is a fantasy quintet titled Long London, which will launch in 2024. The series will move from the “shell-shocked and unravelled” London of 1949 to “a version of London just beyond our knowledge”, encompassing murder, magic and madness. Bloomsbury said it “promises to be epic and unforgettable, a tour-de-force of magic and history”.”
Bloomsbury editor-in-chief Paul Baggalay told the Guardian:
“Alan Moore is simply a legend and it has been such a pleasure to listen to him talk about his ambitious Long London series as well as discovering the range of his shorter fiction. These projects have set Bloomsbury alight.”
Moore himself seems in good spirits about the news:
“I couldn’t be happier with the new home that I’ve found at Bloomsbury: a near-legendary independent publisher with a spectacular list and a fierce commitment to expanding the empire of the word. I have a feeling this will be a very productive partnership.”
While best known, revered even, for his seminal comics work on the likes of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, From Hell, Promethea ( ….we could go on), this is not Alan Moore’s first foray into prose. Moore released Voice of the Fire, a short novel, around 1996; the novel was later republished by Top Shelf in 2004. More famously, in 2016 Moore released his 1266-page behemoth Jerusalem from Knockabout. Since then the elusive Moore has been relatively quiet – especially after concluding his Cinema Purgatorio anthology and, once again, publicly retiring from comics in 2019. Clearly he has been feverishly busy at the keyboard (or typewriter?).