Neonomicon COMICS REVIEW
Scared? You will be…
WRITER: Alan Moore
ARTIST: Jacen Burrows
There’s never been a take on HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos as horrific, arousing, disturbing, provocative and brilliant as this. What was to Lovecraft and his writer peers (Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleth, Robert E Howard, among others) a collective literary game about ancient evil gods, eldritch languages and bizarre rituals becomes, in Alan Moore’s magisterial hands, a twisted, truly weird tale. Neonomicon manages to titillate in all sorts of uncomfortable ways and at the same time fill you with the kind of dread that has you looking over your shoulder while reading.
The collection’s first segment, ‘The Courtyard’, is an adaptation of a 1994 prose short story of Moore’s and sees a racist FBI ‘anomaly theorist’ become dangerously over-immersed in his undercover investigation into Cthulhu-inspired cult killings. Much the same happens in the four issues of Neonomicon itself, a sequel to and expansion of ‘The Courtyard’, written by Moore as a proper comic, in which two more federal agents are embroiled with a sexmagic ring conducting monstrous orgies in a basement in Salem.
Nothing can prepare you for the beautiful brutality and eroticism to be found in these pages, nor for the cruel, witty glee with which Moore unwinds his own literary game, playing with metafictional conceits and both parodying and celebrating Lovecraft’s darkly inspired oeuvre and its many repressed undercurrents. Jacen Burrows, as artist, has all the nerve, attention to detail and strength of composition that a Moore script demands. His ability to draw explicit sex and gore in a precise, unflinching manner renders him the perfect visual interpreter.
Above all, Neonomicon makes one wish that Moore would stop faffing about with epic novels about Northampton and do more of what he does so sublimely well: writing comics that are as far above the norm as mglwínafh wgahínagl dho-hna wza-yíei Rílyeh fhtagn.
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