Alan Moore & Jacen Burrows - Neonomicon
Moore takes some liberties with Lovecraft's stories, but as ever, does a grand job of it
While we wait impatiently for the final instalment of the latest The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century (see our review of part two), we have this new graphic novella from the grand magi of comics to be going on with. Neonomicon is Alan Moore’s take on the weird tales of HP Lovecraft and this volume collects the four-part comic of the same name and its two-part prequel from 2003, The Courtyard.
That’s the provenance established. The two stories, which dovetail neatly and are both nicely illustrated by Jacen Burrows, are a modern take on the Depression-era horror stories about secret cults and unspeakable monstrosities living on the edge of our existence that Lovecraft made his name with. Fans will appreciate the myriad of references to the writer’s work. Beyond these, Moore has, mischievously, perhaps outrageously to purists, also included more risqué material he believes Lovecraft self-censored deriving from his racism and sexual phobias.
And Moore once again interrogates the fine line between fact and fiction by introducing the kind of metafictional plotting we’ve seen in much of his work, most recently in The League series. In the grand scheme of Moore’s output, this is a modest addition to his canon. But anything Moore puts his hand to is worth reading, and Neonomicon is no exception.