STAFF PICKS :: NEMO: ROSES OF BERLIN :: MARCH 19, 2014

March 19, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: Nemo: Roses of Berlin is the newest installment in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and¬†Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill do it again.¬†¬†The creative team takes us back to 1941 and¬†Janni–Nemo’s daughter (and current Captain of the Nautilus)– gets involved with the military action of WWII. ¬†What makes this book along with all the other LoEG books stand out above other books is the ‘fictional’ world in which these adventures occur. ¬†It is not just populated by the heroes of British Pulp fiction, comic books, radio and TV series, Moore and O’Neill add extra layers to their reality. For example, in the world of LoEG, the Beatles did not exist. ¬†Instead it was The Rutles that changed the musical world in the MOD sixties. ¬†So as we drift back towards Nazi era Europe, it is not Adolph Hitler in charge, but rather Adenoid Hynkel–the title character from Charles Chaplin’s farce The Great Dictator. ¬†This looks to be something special. ¬†Worth the money; worth the effort.

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STAFF PICKS :: LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN OMNIBUS :: AUGUST 28, 2013

August 26, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picks¬†Here at Staff Picks Ltd (A Division of Renzicorp Intl.)–there are two types of books that we are drawn to: either books we recommend for personal reasons–love the characters, fan of the creative team, enjoy a particular storyline, etc. and then there are the books that we believe are indispensable and belong in every serious comic library. The first two volumes of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s¬†League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LoEG) belongs in the latter category; It is a must-read, must-own work of sequential art. ¬†Even if you haven’t read it (yet), you are most likely familiar with the premise– every work of British genre fiction from Shakespeare to HG Wells occurs in the same universe. The LoEG tells the story of an epic team-up of the greatest adventurers from the end of the 19th century. Much has been written about¬†the challenging nature and overwhelming detail of the subsequent volumes (The Black Dossier and the three part Century) but it is these first two story arcs– offered in a single soft cover omnibus at a very affordable price–that will excite and delight any comic fan.¬†LoEG belongs in the same library¬†with Moore’s other comic epics–Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Swamp Thing. And for goodness sake, avoid the LoEG movie at all costs!LeagueofExtraordinaryGentlmen

 

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STAFF PICKS :: NEMO: HEART OF ICE :: FEBRUARY 27, 2013

February 25, 2013 By: Craig Fischer Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

CRAIG’S PICK :: NEMO: HEART OF ICE: When the final volume of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s most recent League of Extraordinary Gentlemen story–Century: 2009–arrived in comic shops last June, it generated some heat. Sean Collins hand-wrung his way through a review on the Comics Journal website, arguing that the exhausted, dispirited tone of Moore and O’Neill’s story (which, incidentally, posits Harry Potter as the Antichrist and Mary Poppins as Yahweh) was a perfect expression of the Bearded Mage’s personal distaste for contemporary popular culture. Meanwhile, the critics at the Comic Books Are Burning in Hell podcast devoted an entire episode to Century: 2009; Matt Seneca claimed that the most significant British authors of our generation are Moore and J.K. Rowling (suck it, Martin Amis!), while Joe McCullough wondered aloud if Moore’s takedown of Rowling has less to do with jockeying for canonical position, and more to do with a persistent strain of sexism in Moore’s work.

Me? I liked Century: 2009 fine, though none of the Extraordinary Gentlemen tales has ever reached the¬†lucid¬†artistry of my favorite Moore pieces, such as “The Anatomy Lesson” (Steve Bissette and John Totleben!), “The Bowing Machine” (Mark Beyer!) and every single solitary panel of From Hell (Eddie Campbell!). Century: 2009 seemed to me a fine second-tier Moore comic, revved up by the taboo-busting that’s always been a hallmark of Gentlemen. After the way the Invisible Man is murdered at the end of LOEG volume 2, and after the irreverence with which James Bond is treated in LOEG: Black Dossier (not to mention Moore’s dredging-up of “The Galley-Wag” from the Empire’s racist Imaginary), did we really expect Moore and O’Neill to treat the Hogwarts-verse with respect? Why would we want them to?

The next LOEG book, a single 56-page comic titled Nemo: Heart of Ice, drops this week. The central character is Janni Dakkar, the daughter of Captain Nemo, who has inherited the super-submarine Nautilus and decides to explore the Antarctic in her vessel. The description of the book on the Top Shelf Comix website blatantly reveals Moore’s inspirations this go-round–we’ll be plunging into the frozen hell of Charles Dexter Ward/Mountains of Madness territory–though I hope Janni will also sing some Brecht/Weill show tunes like she did in the first volume of Century. (It might be tough to smuggle “Alabama Song” into a story that takes place at the South Pole.) And I bet Kevin O’Neill’s draws some mucousy, multi-orificed, calamari/Caligari Lovecraft creatures..!

 

 

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