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View Full Version : League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century onwards


Terome
2009-04-28, 06:56 PM
I got mine on Saturday, at the SPXpo in Stockholm, bought it directly from Chris Staros who said I was the second person to have actually purchased one. I was going to wait until Bristol so I could get one freshly signed by Kev 'O Neill, but the first person to ever have purchased one was getting all smug at me, so I hotfooted over to the Top Shelf table and slapped my krona down on some Jeffrey Brown books. It's entirely possible that I was entirely lied to about the whole 'second person ever' thing, but I choose not to verify this so as to keep my story intact.

So I've read it, how about the rest of all of you? It is a very difficult book to discuss with the unblooded neophytes who stand on my present roster of family and friends. Maybe you guys?

It is a fine read, no doubt. Though I think it really helps to know quite a bit about The Threepenny Opera, since for the first time Moore actually writes over an established canon rather than alluding to it or dropping a few wry retcons on its head. It works for the most part, though - 'Pirate Jenny' as an actual event that happens was surprisingly fitting, though a lot of the Jack The Ripper movie references slipped right over my head while I was trying to figure out how MacHeath could have both been in the original Threepenny Opera AND Century. The lyrical changes to 'What Keeps Man Alive' don't really add much, but you really only could end this chapter on a song.

Odd bits were Mycroft Holmes actually leaving the house, Ishmael's bloodlust at the end (though I've only read a quarter of Moby Dick so far, so it's probably my assumptions about his character that were wrong) and Allan suddenly becoming all lyrical and poetic in the 1910 part of 'Minions Of The Moon,' but it felt right to cram another Threepenny lyric in there.
I'm very proud of myself that I managed to spot a Fletcher Hanks character being described, also in 'Minions Of The Moon.' I even managed to spot it before Paul Gravett and Jeffrey Brown went up on stage and told everyone about how crazy-weird Fletcher Brown's (http://lambiek.net/artists/f/fletcher_henry.htm) stuff is.

The rape quotient is impressively high for such a short outing - we've got a brutal gang rape that the story is framed around, Aleistair Crowley-manque threatening to rape Allan, an incidental pirate-rape that I think is played for laughs and Orlando / Bio musing that he would rape himself if he saw himself as a lady. Good show! I might have missed a few.

Speaking of Orlando, he is an utter shit when he's on the job. The tensing up of his and Mina's relationship, and the strange surge of attraction / apprehension between him and Allan is artfully done, with a sad payoff in the 'Story Of O' bit in 'Minions.' Oh, and I'm drawing a complete blank on Vull The Invisible, other than that he was a British superhero of some kind in the 30's.

I suppose I should go and read some Iain Sinclair books now.

Also: Jonah!

Cliffjumper
2009-04-28, 07:09 PM
I so don't keep an eye on this sort of thing... must trawl for scans...

I MEAN BUY THE COMIC OH YES.

Pfff, Alan Moore has enough money.

Denyer
2009-04-28, 07:39 PM
Hopefully my Amazon pre-order's going to come in shortly...

Back then. :)

AndyTurnbull
2009-04-28, 08:47 PM
Yeah waiting on mine as well.

Andy

Cliffjumper
2009-04-28, 08:50 PM
HAH! Terome might have his precious comic, but he's got no-one to talk to about it! MWAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Terome
2009-04-28, 09:03 PM
Jess Nevins says he'll be done with his first round of notes tomorrow... maybe if I hang around his blog I'll get by...

inflatable dalek
2009-04-29, 06:35 AM
As a related aside whatever problems were affecting The Black Dossier being released at mass retail in the UK seem to have been resolved as a mate in Manchester was able to pick up the paperback for a tenner from a large pile of them in the Waterstones there a few weeks ago.

AndyTurnbull
2009-05-14, 06:55 PM
My copy of this won't be coming in until the 27th of May apparently.

Grrrr

Andy

Terome
2009-06-11, 10:30 PM
Okay. You should all have your copies by now. It's also been floating around those villainous torrent sites for ages. Do we have thoughts and feelings and what-have-yous?

Cliffjumper
2009-06-11, 10:44 PM
Bollocks, I've got to remember which disc I burnt that which longbox I put that into now...

Terome
2011-08-07, 05:01 PM
Good day all. I've spent the last week absorbing the latest League Of Extraordinary Gentleman book, noticed a general lucklustre response to it on the web and thought I'd survey the ol' Archive.

Anybody read it? Am I the only person who loved it? And is anybody else finding themselves in the position of having to track down and watch their dad's favourite movies and TV shows? The number of times my dad tried to get me to watch 'Performance...'

And as for the Big Cameo - how did that go down? I'm an outsider to that whole franchise, I'm afraid, so I had to look it up afterwards. I hope it doesn't mean that Moore is going to do the obvious thing and paint Harry Potter as the antichrist. There's charmingly-out-of-touch and then there's low-hanging fruit.

Lastly, a lot of Moore / Morrison comparisons have flared up recently, and I learned on some kind of magic/local podcast the other day that Moore professes to have not read any of Morrison at all, bar from the very early stuff. Wonder what he's bitter about this time.

Denyer
2011-08-08, 06:49 PM
This'd work better released in one go, rather than further adding to the disjointedness of the narrative by introducing big gaps.

I'm liking it, but it's gone past the point of being able to surprise. The basics of the world have been established, we've moved to a point where the references are forced to be more oblique due to IP issues, and the characters are bobbing through the storyline rather than leading... not that they weren't more reactive than decisive in the earlier material, but you got a story in each volume. Authors should be very wary about 'teaching' an audience that closure is a myth, because most people look to books for escapism.

Reducing things to a pool in which Mina's the only semi-sympathetic character and anyone else interesting gets lost in the time leaps doesn't exactly help either.

Cliffjumper
2011-08-09, 04:02 AM
First impression was very boring. It was difficult to follow the thread of what exactly Mina & co are doing - plot seemed to take a back-seat to trying to cram as many references as possible into the book. Plus it seemed to run on shock value - oooh, Mina's getting fingered by a Harry Potter villain; oooh, they both **** Orlando all the time; oooh, Orlando keeps talking about his dick; oooh Mina's ****ing a girl for information; oooh, there's a guy sucking another guy off on the first page. It does remind me of Morrison on a bad day (e.g. most of the Invisibles) - very bratty, very "how controversial can I make this?".

Call me a philistine, but it's lost the tight story-telling of the first two volumes which complemented the fictional conceits so well. It's just a bunch of random shit happening to Mina while Allan and the deeply irritating Orlando do ****-all.

As a Cliffclaimer, though, I was fairly cool about both Black Dossier and the first issue on first reading and liked them better as they went on (even if I still vastly prefer the first two volumes). However, I'm not actually finding much of an urge to actually go back and re-read #2.

Sixswitch
2011-08-09, 08:12 PM
LOEG is an anagram of LEGO.

What? What?!

Terome
2012-06-20, 08:42 PM
I got this today and demolished it in no short order. Now comes the fun part of Googling all the references. Think I got all the big obvious ones.

Overall, I thought everything was handily tied up. It was a lot more direct and focused than the previous Century books though the moon story ended with a bit of a thud.

Weirdly, the ending was quite a bit like the 1999 movie. I guess it is a nice way of tying up Allan's story on any day of the week. Liked the mention of his other two graves, particularly.

Denyer
2012-06-20, 09:23 PM
Cool, hoping for a shipping email from Amazon any time now then...

electro girl
2012-06-26, 03:07 PM
I enjoyed it. Also Swiss Tony.

Denyer
2012-06-26, 05:54 PM
Yay, arrived. May even get chance to read it before the end of the week...

Terome
2012-06-27, 02:29 PM
Mindless Ones have the first round of annotadiscussions up:

http://mindlessones.com/2012/06/26/league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen-century-2009-thoughts/

Prefer Nevins' more thorough annotations myself but according to his Tumblr he's not got a copy yet. Jess!

EDIT: Totally didn't get Thunderbird-10 there in Q'mar. That makes the whole scene so much more horrible... that the efforts of International Rescue has been wholly appropriated in that way is somehow more upsetting than Orlando snapping and massacring everyone.

Denyer
2012-06-28, 06:44 PM
Nice find. Not going to be as complete, but the style's engaging. Looking forward to having chance to re-read the books as a set and go through the annotations alongside.

Thoughts on what Haddo was referring to by "subtle game" ?

Terome
2012-06-28, 10:02 PM
Nice find. Not going to be as complete, but the style's engaging. Looking forward to having chance to re-read the books as a set and go through the annotations alongside.

Thoughts on what Haddo was referring to by "subtle game" ?

I took that to be the punchline to all the John Dee / Subtle punnery in the Black Dossier. Haddo recognised Orlando and Mina as what they were - agents of Prospero. Prospero has somehow turned Haddo's strange new age of the 21st century into his own, which I think is Moore's version of a happy ending.

The fact that Mary Poppins is at Prospero's command (or at least his suggestion) is more than a little bit unsettling.

It was a line that certainly got my mind spinning about what the long-ruminated over LOEG: 3000 could be like...

I don't know much about The Books Of Magic - is there anything to suggest that our antichrist here something of a portmandeu of Potter and Hunter and possibly that other one from 2000AD... Luke Kirby? I've not read the Potter books but my girlfriend scanned over those school wanding pages and told me that some of the characters weren't analagous to anything she recognised.

My favourite background detail though was probably the skeleton of Thomas The Tank Engine outside Hogwarts.

Can't shake the feeling, though, that the central premise of Century was kind of misguided. The idea that our collective imaginations and cultural heritage has declined is flat out nonsense, in my opinion.

Denyer
2012-06-30, 02:18 AM
Possibly more that we're running out of scope (volume of material produced has multiplied more rapidly over the past century, much of it slight variations) and rushing past most of it in without being affected or engaged, or protagonists harmed in anything other than symbolic (even if fatal) ways. Moore generally offers a more visceral experience that doesn't shy away from consequences and alternative readings, and the characters have a realism even when fantastic.

Bit of a long shot, but possibly Prospero was aiming to delay the moonchild until a point at which Mary Poppins (seemingly this universe's The Authority godhead) wouldn't suffer it to continue - i.e. a modern teenager rather than a less objectionable evil spawn of yesteryear?

Liked Orlando a lot more in this entry than the last two.

Potter's already a fairly generic absorption of earlier "magic school" fiction, including the Worst Witch books I read as a kid. Nevins is starting to build references now -- http://jessnevins.com/annotations/2009annotations.html

That Mindless Ones blog is a neat find; it's always nice to have some opinions and digression with the detail-spotting, even if accuracy isn't the first priority.

Terome
2012-06-30, 12:58 PM
Yess! Nevins goodness. As the only human being who has never seen The Fast Show, this was a valuable lesson.

Possibly more that we're running out of scope (volume of material produced has multiplied more rapidly over the past century, much of it slight variations) and rushing past most of it in without being affected or engaged

That's probably a better way of looking at it. I'm sure I read somewhere once that remakes and sequels and 'safe' media are pretty closely correlated with economic downturns. If that's true, it's pretty canny to have the recession populated by all these Bond-clones and catchphrase characters. I guess what rankles me is that everyone, Moore included, seems to assume that most culture today is a rehash or a sequel without offering any data. That's almost certainly an example of me spectacularly missing the point, however.

Bit of a long shot, but possibly Prospero was aiming to delay the moonchild until a point at which Mary Poppins (seemingly this universe's The Authority godhead) wouldn't suffer it to continue - i.e. a modern teenager rather than a less objectionable evil spawn of yesteryear?

I'm been puzzling over what exactly Prospero was doing this morning. I think the key is Excalibur. Excalibur seemed to summon Poppins. Orlando was needed, as its wielder and someone who Prospero could easily manipulate and Mina was needed as someone who could get Orlando to focus and carry out his orders.
Incidentally, I loved how Potter recognised Excalibur and thought it was cool. That was a very neat moment amongst the Akira-like carnage of the climax.

So if that specific time and place was vital to Prospero's exceedingly long game, was he behind the failures of previous moonchildren too? Rosemary's baby and Damien are referenced as antichrists that never got off the ground.

Potter's already a fairly generic absorption of earlier "magic school" fiction, including the Worst Witch books I read as a kid.

I knew it was a trope but I wasn't quite aware of how far-reaching it was. I missed just about all of that as a kid. I think I arbitrarily decided on being in the science fiction tribe quite early on.

Was the character who Haddo was inhabiting - the Hogwarts administrator, I think - a reference to anyone? It would make sense that a dispirited and exhausted Haddo would jump into a nobody after Voldemort, but I'd have thought there was someone who fit the bill.

I had a fanciful notion that perhaps Poppins took Haddo's head back in time to hang up in Orlando's room for him to hack at lazily in the opening chapter of the Woolf book. That would be worth a chuckle.

That Mindless Ones blog is a neat find; it's always nice to have some opinions and digression with the detail-spotting, even if accuracy isn't the first priority.

Yeah, they are great fun. I tend to absorb most of my information through listening in on online discussions so a well-coordinated and relatively focused version of that is right up my alley.

Denyer
2012-07-01, 06:37 PM
http://www.comp.dit.ie/dgordon/League/loeg0023.html

^ I don't think he's taking aim at all modern culture, but "most" would be a fair target IMO. Besides what passes for TV or bestsellers these days, even mash-ups that achieve a glimmer of popularity such as "zombies meet classics" have become conveyor-belt produced.

(Odds on the Nemo book actually making it out this year?)

Haven't seen comment elsewhere on a Tetsuo analogue, but it jives with the showdown... apophenia's a wonderful thing. Excalibur's been seen previously -- possibly we're meant to take the fact that it's been under wraps for a long time as therefore having greater power because it hasn't been over-exposed. Or possibly, like Fables, recognition gives some ideas more power in certain contexts.

Although the series works as a personal journey for the main characters, I think Moore's gone overboard with the subtlety and abdicated filling in much of a story. The big bad is almost an irrelevance and most of the plot has been passive or negative, rather than injecting much sense of wonder. It's an interesting sprawling mess, but no less a mess.

Terome
2012-07-01, 07:26 PM
I guess really I'm just sort of leery of what someone who disdains the internet and computer games on a point of principle has to say about the state of fiction. But then I suppose you're right in that Moore does seem to be mostly talking about the bestsellers and blockbusters, which I'd agree are certainly in a dire way with very few exceptions.

apophenia's a wonderful thing

That could be the phrase that sums up just about everything Moore has done.

Excalibur's been seen previously -- possibly we're meant to take the fact that it's been under wraps for a long time as therefore having greater power because it hasn't been over-exposed. Or possibly, like Fables, recognition gives some ideas more power in certain contexts.

Hadn't thought of it that way. There was very clearly something different about Excalibur this time as opposed to when it being used to slash up pirates. (Didn't Orlando said she'd pawned in back in the 70s? Or was she just saying that to wind up Allan?)
Maybe there's some punnery to do with how Excalibur featured in the original Arthurian legends. I know next to nothing about any of that.


(Odds on the Nemo book actually making it out this year?)


I was in on that Pekar memorial interview - it's available online now, but I seem to recall him saying that 'O Neill had started on the artwork. I'd expect it at around February 2013.

Although the series works as a personal journey for the main characters, I think Moore's gone overboard with the subtlety and abdicated filling in much of a story. The big bad is almost an irrelevance and most of the plot has been passive or negative, rather than injecting much sense of wonder. It's an interesting sprawling mess, but no less a mess.

That's something I quite liked about Century, though I am partial to messes. There does seem to be a whiff of contempt towards the by-the-numbers adventuring of the first volume but there's never been any doubt that Moore generally writes this stuff primarily for his own amusement.

Terome
2012-07-02, 07:18 PM
More from Mr. and Mrs. Mindless Ones:
http://mindlessones.com/2012/07/01/league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen-century-2009-thoughts-plus/

They get right stuck in!

And there's a guest appearance by Kieron Gillan, who I only just realised is Kieron, that guy who is always on the next table over at comics conventions. He's a nice chap.

Denyer
2013-01-13, 11:25 AM
Not long until the Nemo book now...

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/09/04/nemo-heart-of-ice-by-alan-moore-and-kevin-oneill-for-february-cover-and-description/

edit: And I'm just getting around to reading their breakdown. :up:

Terome
2013-01-13, 04:29 PM
I look forward to this coming release.

Denyer
2013-01-13, 11:06 PM
Still a bit annoyed it takes annotations to get all that much out of Century. Hoping this next slice is more focused.

Terome
2013-01-13, 11:42 PM
Not fussed really, I honestly find the discussion to be a big part of the fun.

Terome
2013-01-13, 11:50 PM
Also, this will be a good motivator for brushing up on my Lovecraft. (Fnarr?)

Denyer
2013-01-14, 07:11 PM
I'm assuming there'll be flashbacks, so there'll be some trad adventure, and Nemo was always a favourite. Modern fiction struggles to be as interesting unless it's heavily new-concept-based, personally... and it'd be nice if we got characters enjoying themselves a tiny bit before they get assaulted with creatures from beyond.

Immortals whine too much.

edit: I mean, I'm pretty sure I could easily fill a few centuries.

Cliffjumper
2013-01-14, 07:30 PM
TBH, the more I re-read anything this side of Vol 2 the more self-indulgent it all seems. The first two minis function as agreat adventure stories with decent characters and backgrounds packed with fun details for those into that sort of thing. BD and Century (which, to be fair, I kicked into orbit after the shower of shit that was 1969) seem to be just trying to check as many boxes as possible with a healthy dose of orchestrated outrage (Bond the **** [blah blah Fleming whatever], Tom Riddle the rapist, Mandingo Golliwogs) and seem to have forgotten having a good story or even really any decent characters in there (we find out everything worth knowing about Orlando after, what, two frames?).

Terome
2013-01-15, 12:59 PM
TBH, the more I re-read anything this side of Vol 2 the more self-indulgent it all seems.

I'd agree with that and the idea that plot structure seems to have fallen completely by the wayside. There are a lot of wasted panels and irrelevancies in 1969 and 2009. Which is odd, coming from Moore, as his scripting is usually a masterclass in structure.

But I like an arch muddle of tick-boxing as much as I like a tightly-plotted romp. The main reason why I like them, I think, is because it seems to get the imagination moving in a pleasing way - hence why the discussion and the theorising is an important part of the book for me.

Denyer
2013-10-03, 08:29 PM
League: The Roses of Berlin, Providence and other projects:

http://comicsbeat.com/interview-with-alan-moore-part-1/

Terome
2013-10-03, 10:42 PM
Cheers, Denyer. Some nice information there. Jerusalem sounds a bit like something Adrian Mole might write.

We didn't talk about Heart Of Ice when it came out. I thought it was great stuff. Nothing mind-blowing but solid through and through. Definitely cast in the mould of Volume Two.

Denyer
2013-10-03, 11:14 PM
Yeah, main drawback was it feels rather slight, but the text story at the end helps. I'm sure that with the next couple of shorts it'll round out into a good Janni arc, although I'd have liked more of crew members to have survived, having taken time to establish them.

Could really do with reading She before going back and seeing if the Ayesha bits feel less superfluous -- I enjoyed King Solomon's Mines quite a bit.

Also, have never watched Citizen Kane. Most of Moore's recent League stuff has been drawing from periods that don't have quite the same personal appeal as v1/v2/BD.

Terome
2013-10-04, 05:11 PM
Hmm, I didn't think much of the text story. Seemed a little bit too transparent about its function in drawing a family tree. Looking forward to more of Janni and Jack and friends.

And see, I loved the Ayesha bits. All of those furnishings with Kane as a 20s supervillain was worth the price of admission for me.

Haven't read She but King Solomon's Mines was stupidly good for something written in a few days. It's a lot like Citizen Kane in that every scene has been stolen or homaged for something you probably have come across.

Denyer
2014-04-14, 10:04 PM
Roses of Berlin was... alright, I guess? That's a bit unfair, as mostly I think it's just that the length forces a certain linearity.

Not a fan of how they've put it, but some gripes about the plot conveniences that stand up;

http://mindlessones.com/2014/03/06/league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen-roses-of-berlin-the-review/

Useful as ever -- http://jessnevins.com/annotations/rosesofberlin.html

Black Dossier vinyl -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3auDJEsy9gM

Terome
2014-04-16, 12:27 PM
I liked Roses of Berlin but it was a step down from Heart of Ice in my opinion. The main problem I'm finding in both of them is the fact that the clever ideas have all been presented already in The Black Dossier and The New Traveller's Almanac.

Is the writer of that Mindless Ones piece a crazy person?