Monday, March 18, 2013

The Best Graphic Novels Ever #3 -- From Hell

Looky, looky, folks. Today we break the top three!

3. From Hell
by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
Published by Top Shelf Productions

Before I even begin, yes, I did like the movie. But no, it's not remotely like the book, nor it is as strong a piece of fiction as the book.

From Hell has all the classic Alan Moore trademarks and signatures: stories within stories within enigmas within even more stories; using panel layouts to signify singularly important moments in the script; historical rabbit trails and wild goose chases; rampant nods to counter-cultural high (and low) points; and bucketloads of just plain weirdness and wallowing in the filth.

It's filled with all the same stuff his readers look for in Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, but here he does it better.

In From Hell, you get what I consider to be the pure, unadulterated Alan Moore. This is Alan Moore off the leash, with no corporate handlers to box him in -- even a little (or just piss him off to the point that he screws up his own story to return the favor). This is Alan Moore seen through the eyes of a genius like Eddie Campbell. This is Alan Moore with liberal sprinklings of even more Alan Moore on top of an Alan Moore icing.

In short, this is Alan Moore before he lost his freakin' mind.

This book makes you think. Makes you wonder. Makes you go "hmmm..." in all the right ways.