Wednesday, 27 July 2011


An Amazon review. 4 stars.
Title: "I come not to bury Caesar, but to praise him."

In other words, don't expect anything in the way of criticism or of critical analysis of Moore's works except for those expressed by Moore himself. You won't find a bad word said against the Great Man except, of course, for those uttered by himself. This is a clear work of hagiography a word which is defined as "a biography of saints or venerated persons" and "idealising or idolising biography" and I certainly think Alan Moore fits into both categories. Once you accept that, Millidge (a long-standing friend of Moore's) has done a pretty good job.

(Incidentally, don't get me wrong. I am a big fan of Alan Moore's work and have been since the days of Warrior. I have many of the original comics [such as Swamp Thing and Watchmen] and also have them in absurdly expensive editions as well. Hell, on the wall just above my head I have an original page of Watchmen artwork! I do think he's something of a genius who revolutionised the comics industry. But I don't think the sun shines out of his fundament and am of the opinion that he may be somewhat curmudgeonly when he feels he's been slighted.)

That said, for what this book is which is a survey of Moore's work, its origins, how it came to be created, and his battles with publishers, it's hard to beat. It's certainly authoritative as Millidge was pretty much able to consult with Moore on anything and everything to do it. Visually, it's a feast with massive amounts of rare or unpublished material, including family photographs. It's also highly readable. For anyone wanting to know about Moore's writing and work in other media this is terrific.

Where it does skimp, however, is about Moore the man, the father, the husband, the friend. We never see any real glimpse of the private face of Alan Moore. Then again, I suppose, the title is Alan Moore Storyteller not Alan Moore the Private Life. I mention this because I feel that this unseen aspect is also a part of the artist, a more subtle perhaps even undefinable part but a part nonetheless and that's why I'm only giving it four stars.

But for what it sets out to do it does superbly and is (despite my minor reservations) unreservedly recommended to anyone interested in Northampton's greatest son.

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