An exclusive “selling exhibition” of art from Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen saga opens later this month in various continental locations.
In close collaboration with Alan Moore, acclaimed writer of Watchmen, From Hell and V for Vendetta, Kevin O’Neill visualises an alternative history in which a team of famous fictional characters live real lives and tackle terrifying threats to humanity.
Rich with literary and artistic allusions, O’Neill’s meticulous pages conjure up a fantastical parallel London from fog-shrouded Victorian mysteries to 1960s psychedelia and 70s punk. This exclusive selling exhibition at Galerie Champaka, Brussels and Galerie 9eme Art, Paris, running 15th – 30th December 2011, offers the first ever opportunity to purchase O’Neill’s artwork from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, and from the first two volumes of the new LXG trilogy, Century: 1910 and Century: 1969, the latter recently published in French by Delcourt.
In League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill apply the American comic-book tradition of superhero teams to classic characters from nineteenth-century fantasy literature and combine their worlds into one fresh yet familiar continuum. So Miss Mina Murray, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, recruits: Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo; H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain; Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; and H.G. Wells’s Invisible Man. Murray and Quatermain become immortal and maintain the League’s world-saving role by inviting fresh fictional characters to join their ranks.
The League’s first two missions unfold in Victorian London and pit them against the Chinese villain Fu Manchu and the Martin invasion from Wells’s The War of the Worlds. In subsequent ‘cycles’, the now-immortal Murray and Quatermain maintain the League’s world-saving role by involving fresh fictional characters to join their ranks.
The separate sourcebook The Black Dossier is set during the aftermath of George Orwell’s dystopia from his 1948 book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and reveals the now-disbanded League’s secret history, incorporating thinly-disguised versions of James Bond, Emma Peel from TV’s The Avengers and others.
The third volume, subtitled Century, spans one hundred years of London in three instalments dated 1910, 1969 and 2009, each reflecting the tumultous events and imaginative culture of their period.
Based in London, Kevin O’Neill is best known as the co-creator of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with Alan Moore, as well as Marshal Law with writer Pat Mills for Marvel’s Epic line, and Nemesis the Warlock for the British weekly 2000AD, also with Pat Mills. With one of the most unique and detailed styles in comics, he has deservedly earned an enormous worldwide audience of admirers.
It is in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that Kevin O’Neill reaches the apogee of his draughtsmanship and graphic storytelling. His pages evoke the intense detail and crosshatching of nineteenth-century illustration and combine a lavish sensuality with many witty references to the literature and artistic imagination of each book’s respective era. His detailed artwork reveals new delights with every viewing. O’Neill is truly in a ‘league’ of his own.
• Monday and Tuesday: by appointement
• Wednesday to Saturday: 11.00 to 18.30
• Sunday : 10.30 to 13.30
Galerie 9e Art
• Tuesday to Saturday: 14.00 to 19.00 and by appointment