Alan Moore Retirement Pensketch “Comics Writer No More”

Comics Writer No More pensketch cover – about 8.5″x11″ pen on paper in Sketchbook 78

(Sorry for infrequent posting – find my art on Instagram and Facebook)

Last week, in my Sketchbook #78, I did another pensketch cover inspired by my favorite comics writer Alan Moore. In mid-July, Moore’s more-or-less last comic book came out: The League of Extraordinary Gentlmen: The Tempest #6.

I write “more-or-less last” because though Moore has self-consciously proclaimed Tempest #6 as his last comic, he left the door open with statements like “I’m not ruling out the possibility that in five years’ time I might come up with an idea that is only appropriate to comics, and which only makes sense told in comics form. I’m just saying that I’m not currently expecting this to happen, and that at the moment I’m hoping to distance myself from the comic world…” (from a 2016 interview on pages 336-337 of Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s Mud and Starlight.)

Also, there are a few Moore-scripted comics written earlier that haven’t been published yet. Also, there are Moore’s new film, a long-anticipated magic book, and hopefully more.

Anyway – Moore retired, so I did a comics cover about it.

I’ve done quite a few of my silly Moore-inspired covers earlier.  See this one for  Splash Brannigan’s comic-within-a-comic Sarcastic Thug. There are plenty more in my sketchbooks over the years. Some day I plan to staple them together as a self-published zine, under the tentative title Moore! Moore! Moore!, but don’t hold your breath for that.

And as with other Moore-inspired silliness, there are annotations. I’ve hidden a bunch of things in the piece:

  • The snake is a cobra standing in for Moore’s snake-puppet diety Glycon – which would be a sock-puppet snake with hair.
  • Inside the snake are symbols and letters (much of it barely decipherable) referencing quite a few of Moore’s comics: MarvelmanWatchmen, DC, V for VendettaPromethea2000ADSkizz, ABC, SupremeLost GirlsTop Ten, HPL, LoEGHalo JonesMaxwell the Magic Cat, and Crossed+100.
  • There are LoEG question marks in the snake’s tail, and the smoke from Moore’s joint.
  • “Famously late features” is from cover of Tomorrow Stories #8.
  • The tree of life is from Moore’s explorations of mysticism, especially prominent in Promethea, but also touched on other works. I included it in a take-off of the Comics Code Authority bug.
  • The upper left Alan Moore portrait is copied from Kevin O’Neill’s portrayal in The Tempest #6. (Above it are my initials JRL.)
  • The whole cover is a homage to an iconic early Marvel comics cover: Spider-Man #50 drawn by John Romita.

Spider-Man #50 cover by John Romita

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