With Alan Moore soon to reach 60 (in November), there’s undoubtedly going to be a lot of interest in one of Britain’s most innovative and ground-breaking comic creators over the next few weeks, from both mainstream media and the comics press. So it’s no surpize to learn that Aurum Press will soon be publishing Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore by Lance Parkin.
While there have been several books about Alan’s life, including the superb Alan Moore: Portrait Of An Extraordinary Gentleman by Gary Spencer Millidge, Aurum says Magic Words is the closest to an autobiography of Moore ever published, describing Lance as “a Moore obsessive” since the early 1970s, perfectly positioned to write an Alan Moore biography.
Comics fans and creators have looked to Alan Moore to map out the state of the art of the medium in the UK and the United States for 30 years now. In works such as Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell it’s argued he has redefined the possibilities of the genre, attracting literary plaudits and a mainstream audience far removed from his cult origins. Such is his standing in popular culture that some of the biggest names in Hollywood vie to adapt his books for cinema (often much to his chagrin).
Yet, Aurum tells us, his career is a perfect illustration of grand imagination smashing headlong into corporate mediocrity. “A principled eccentric, rooted in a very English counter-culture, to this very day he lives in the town of his birth – Northampton – professing greater interest in performance art, magic and erotica than he does a business he regards as exploitative and derivative. Moreover, his journey from the punky art labs of the 1970s to the bestseller lists has seen him embroiled in fierce feuds with some of the entertainment industry’s biggest companies.”
Now, in anticipation of his 60th birthday, Moore aficionado Lance Parkin goes in search of this extraordinary gentleman, and reveals a writer quite unlike any other working today.
Lance Parkin, who lives in the US, is best known for writing fiction and reference books for television series, most notably Doctor Who. He describes himself as an Alan Moore completist, having followed the comics maestro’s career since the 1970s, and in 2001 he wrote an acclaimed guide to Moore’s work, Alan Moore (Pocket Essentials), which has since been updated and reissued.
In addition to contributing pieces to magazines such as TV Zone, SFX and Doctor Who Magazine, he is also the co-author of Dark Matters, a guide to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.
• Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore is on sale from 7th November in the UK