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Skeletons From My Stack: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The League of Extraordinary Gentleman

I’ve always been a huge fan of Swamp Thing. After reading the first few volumes of Saga of Swamp Thing, I became a huge fan of Alan Moore. I’ve since read a large chunk of Moore’s bibliography, but there’s one title I’ve shied away from. That title is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Allow me to explain why. I don’t tend to watch movies that are adapted from specific books I’ve read and enjoyed. Conversely, if I see the movie version of something first, I rarely care to read the book it was based on. That’s what happened with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I saw the film in theaters, not knowing it was based on a comic book. I’ve since seen it again more times than I can count. I’d re-watch it every time it was on cable (which was, and probably still is, often).

So how did the graphic novel wind up on my to-read stack? I won a gift card to a local book store last year. They had a small graphic novel section, mostly Marvel and Superman trade paperbacks. Then I noticed the first volume of The League of Extraordinary and decided I’d at least buy it to add to my graphic novel collection. It’s sat on my stack for eight months. Now I’m dusting it off for this newest installment of Skeletons From My Stack.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a historical fiction comic series with steampunk elements. Writer Alan Moore fills the story with characters from classic literature. The series opens with Campion Bond, working on behalf of the mysterious Mr. M, tasking Wilhelmina Murray with recruiting a group of eccentrics and outlaws. The group, the eponymous League of Extraordinary Gentleman, is given a mission to retrieve a substance known as Cavorite before it can fall into the hands of England’s enemies. The story itself hasn’t aged well. That’s saying something considering it was originally published in 1999. There were many times where it seemed like Moore chose the most offensive bits of history even though they weren’t essential to the actual plot. It makes for a gritty story that skews closer to offensive than historically accurate.

I was surprised by the appearance of several literary figures not used in the film, including Auguste Dupin, Dick Donovan, and Mycroft Holmes. There’s also a plethora of minor references to many other works of literature, by authors such as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Anthony Trollope, H. Rider Haggard, Russell Thorndike, Johnathan Swift, and James Fenimore Cooper. I’m an avid reader, who has perused many of the classics, so I had a great time searching for the literary Easter eggs scattered throughout the issues. The series was also much gorier than I expected, but this just made the action scenes that much more exciting. This collected edition of the first arc also includes a short story written by Moore and featuring Quartermain.

Kevin O’Neill draws the book in a rather abstract style. For a period piece, I thought the colors were a little bright. The colors fit the art style, but didn’t necessarily fit the setting and themes of the story. The Illustrations are impressively detailed, though sometimes almost to too great an extent. This makes it hard to tell what’s going on at certain times while at others the details make for gorgeously rendered scenes. The various city-scapes are especially impressive. I also liked that the line work and hatching gives the images a sense of depth and texture.

Honestly, I think The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is one of the rare examples of the film being better than the book. I did enjoy the nods to science-fiction within the book’s plot. It fits the narrative better than the standard bombing plot used in the film. I also preferred the comic’s version of Alan Quartermain over Sean Connery’s portrayal in the film adaptation. Yet of the two, the movie was all-around more enjoyable than the first volume of the comic. Having finally read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and finding I prefer the film, it turns out this comic probably should have stayed a skeleton on my to-be-read stack.

Story: Alan Moore Art: Kevin O’Neil
Color: Benedict Dimagmaliw Letterer: Mr. William Oakley

Story: 2.5 out of 5 Art: 3 out of 5 Overall: 2.5 out of 5


Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXology

Preview: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 4 The Tempest

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 4 The Tempest

(W) Alan Moore (A/CA) Kevin O’Neil
In Shops: Jan 08, 2020
SRP: $29.99

After an epic twenty-year journey through the entirety of human culture-the biggest cross-continuity “universe” that is conceivable-Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their equally legendary comic-book careers with the series’ spectacular fourth and final volume, The Tempest. Tying up the slenderest of plot threads and allusions from the three preceding volumes, The Black Dossier, and the Nemo trilogy into a dazzling and ingenious bow, the world’s most accomplished and bad-tempered artist-writer team use their most stylistically adventurous outing yet to display the glories of the medium they are leaving; to demonstrate the excitement that attracted them to the field in the first place; and to analyze, critically and entertainingly, the reasons for their departure.

Opening simultaneously in the panic-stricken headquarters of British Military Intelligence, the fabled Ayesha’s lost African city of Kor, and the domed citadel of “We” on the devastated Earth of the year 2996, the dense and yet furiously paced narrative hurtles like an express locomotive across the fictional globe from Lincoln Island to modern America to the Blazing World; from the Jacobean antiquity of Prospero’s Men to the superhero-inundated pastures of the present to the unimaginable reaches of a shimmering science-fiction future. With a cast list that includes many of the most iconic figures from literature and pop culture, and a tempo that conveys the terrible momentum of inevitable events, this is literally and literarily the story to end all stories. Originally published as a six-issue run of unfashionable, outmoded and flimsy children’s comics that would make you appear emotionally backward if you read them on the bus, this climactic magnum opus also reprints classic English super-team publication The Seven Stars from the murky black-and-white reachers of 1964. A magnificent celebration of everything comics were, are, and could be, any appreciator or student of the medium would be unwise to miss The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: The Tempest. Welcome to the story to end all stories. Two decades of literary League lunacy have all been building to this, the most ambitious meta-comic imaginable.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 4 The Tempest

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest #1 Sells Out with a Second Printing to Come

Top Shelf Productions and IDW Publishing have announced that The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol. IV): The Tempest #1, the first issue in the final miniseries by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, has already sold through its first printing at the distributor level, less than 24 hours after its release on July 11th.

The Tempest has attracted considerable interest not only as the grand finale of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen saga but also as a swan song for Moore and O’Neill.

Retailers may reorder The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol. IV): The Tempest #1 using the Diamond Comic Distributors order code JUN188003.

Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill go out with a bang in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. IV: The Tempest

After an epic seventeen-year journey through the entirety of human culture – the biggest cross-continuity ‘universe’ that is conceivable – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill will conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their equally legendary comic-book careers with the series’ spectacular fourth and final volume, The Tempest.

Tying up the slenderest of plot threads and allusions from the three preceding volumes, The Black Dossier, and the Nemo trilogy into a dazzling and ingenious bow, the world’s most accomplished and bad-tempered artist-writer team will use their most stylistically adventurous outing yet to display the glories of the medium they are leaving; to demonstrate the excitement that attracted them to the field in the first place; and to analyse, critically and entertainingly, the reasons for their departure.

Opening simultaneously in the panic-stricken headquarters of British Military Intelligence, the fabled Ayesha’s lost African city of Kor and the domed citadel of ‘We’ on the devastated Earth of the year 2996, the dense and yet furiously-paced narrative hurtles like an express locomotive across the fictional globe from Lincoln Island to modern America to the Blazing World; from the Jacobean antiquity of Prospero’s Men to the superhero-inundated pastures of the present to the unimaginable reaches of a shimmering science-fiction future. With a cast-list that includes many of the most iconic figures from literature and pop culture, and a tempo that conveys the terrible momentum of inevitable events, this is literally and literarily the story to end all stories.

Commencing as a six-issue run of unfashionable, outmoded and flimsy children’s comics that will make you appear emotionally backward if you read them on the bus, this climactic magnum opus will also reprint classic English super-team publication The Seven Stars from the murky black-and-white reaches of 1964. A magnificent celebration of everything comics were, are and could be, any appreciator or student of the medium would be unwise to miss The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: THE TEMPEST.

Issue #1 is scheduled for June 2018.

Co-Published by Top Shelf Productions (US) and Knockabout (UK).

Around the Tubes

The weekend is here! I’m going to a comic/game shop to get my geek on with a signing and some gaming!

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – Bryan Singer Wants Nightcrawler & Gambit for ‘Age of the Apocalypse’ – Very cool!

CBR – “Queen & Country” Movie Finds Its Director – Going to be a huge hit.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Daredevil #1

BlogCritics – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1

The Economist – Polina

Talking Comics – Sex Criminals #5

BlogCritics – Survive! Inside the Human Body Vol. 1

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Comic Based Movies

It’s Monday and that means a brand new Facebook Fandom spotlight where I look at the statistic of Facebook users when it comes to some part of geek fandom. With so much buzz recently about comic book movies and casting, I thought it might be interesting to look at various comic-based movies and how they did individually and as a series when it comes to gender.

The first thing that stands out to me is that both Catwoman and Elektra have women as the majority of their “likes.” Men in Black as a franchise does well, but though it shows women as a majority, they are most likely just under 50% due to Facebook’s returning fuzzy results with large numbers such as this.

But, what also stands out is Superman Returns being split exactly 50/50 when it comes to men and women. Director Bryan Singer has spoken about how he wanted a movie that would appeal to women as well as men, and it looks like he achieved that according to these numbers.

Many movies on this list came out well before Facebook existed, but overall the results are interesting to me.

Constantine which will soon be a television series does shockingly well when it comes to gender, with 45% women, and the recently rumored Fantastic Four casting had me interested in those results, which was some of the worst when it came to women with 16.67% for the franchise.

comic movies

 

 

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are folks looking forward to?

Around the Tubes

CBLDF – Should Graphic Novels Be Required Reading? We Say Yes! – The answer is yes.

Bleeding Cool – Meltdown – The First Comic Shop To Take Bitcoin – When the market collapses…

CBR – Marc Webb Reveals B.J. Novak’s “Amazing Spider-Man 2” Role – Huh.

Gigaom – Why Jason Kilar’s rumored “Hulu for magazines” startup probably isn’t going to work – Intreresting.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW

Seattle Pi – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1

Comic Vine – The Punisher #1

Talking Comics – Superior Spider-Man #26

Comic Vine – X-Men #10

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting?

Around the Tubes

The Beat – George Perez, now exclusive to Boom, the latest to leave corporate comics Interesting….

The Hollywood Reporter – Alan Moore’s ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ Gets Put Pilot Order at Fox Also interesting…..

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – Ballistic #1

Bleeding Cool – Batman #22

Comic Vine – Batman #22

CBR – Batman #22

Comic Vine – Injustice: Gods Among Us #26

Talking Comics – Quantum and Woody #1

Comic Vine – Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted #1

Best-selling LEAGUE: CENTURY trilogy reaches explosive finale!

Top Shelf ProductsThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century trilogy reaches its apocalyptic finale!

“A stunning return to form.”
“Marvelously layered.”
“Among the finest works in Moore’s oevre… Fast-paced, visually dense and wildly imaginative.”

These are just a few of the rave reviews Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill have received since bringing The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen  “Century” trilogy to Top Shelf & Knockabout. It’s also been Diamond Comics’ #1 bestselling graphic novel in America, with each new book — even hitting the New York Times Bestseller list!

Now, at last, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century trilogy reaches its apocalyptic finale!

In this third and final chapter, our narrative draws to its cataclysmic close in London 2009. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past hundred years has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised aeon of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended starting with North London, and there is no League, extraordinary or otherwise, that now stands in his way. The bitter, intractable war of attrition in Q’umar crawls bloodily to its fifth year, away in Kashmir a Sikh terrorist with a now-nuclear-armed submarine wages a holy war against Islam that might push the whole world into atomic holocaust, and in a London mental institution there’s a patient who insists that she has all the answers.

It’s a spectacular finish that must be seen to be believed.

Pre-order your copy now in the current April DIAMOND PREVIEWS!

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (VOL III): CENTURY (#3 of 3) “2009”
by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill

— 80-page softcover
— 6.625″ x 10.125″, full-color graphic novel
— For mature readers (16+)
— ISBN 978-1-60309-007-0
— Diamond DM code: APR12-1232
— $9.95 (US)
— Shipping to stores in June!
— Co-published by Top Shelf Productions (US) and Knockabout Comics (UK)

ALSO AVAILABLE:

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (VOL III): CENTURY (#1 of 3) “1910”
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (VOL III): CENTURY (#2 of 3) “1969”

Top Shelf Products Top Shelf Cyber Monday

Top Shelf is getting into the Cyber Monday bonanza with 30% your order online. Just enter the code CYBERTSP at checkout to get 30% off your entire order. The sale ends Monday night.

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED COMICS FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR GIFT LIST!

For those who love furious action and incredible artwork: Infinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod, and The Homeland Directive by Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston

“The great strength of [Infinite Kung Fu] is its originality, but equally impressive are McLeod’s extraordinary illustrations and compelling narrative… one of the 10 best graphic novels of the year.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Homeland Directive: an addictive page-turner that feels like an edge-of-your-seat theater experience.” — MTV Splash Page

For moms who still know how to have a good time: Underwire by Jennifer Hayden

“Hayden’s cheerful profanity and scratchy lines give the work a homey, intimate feel… Hayden’s stories are like comfortable, lived-in jeans–not the most stylish or flattering, but the ones you want to spend time wearing.” — Publishers Weekly

For small-town folks, family members, or hockey fans: Essex County by Jeff Lemire

“A rich tapestry … Mr. Lemire infuses his characters with vivid details that make them burst to life.” — The New York Times

For fantasy fans & animal lovers: Owly by Andy Runton & Korgi (including the new Book 3) by Christian Slade

“The art, storytelling, pacing, and world [Christian] Slade has created is fantastic and you don’t have to be a kid to appreciate it.” — About.com

For 20-30somethings with mixed feelings about growing up: Any Empire by Nate Powell

“Powell’s exceptional visual-storytelling gift transforms a potentially obvious antiwar parable into a ravishingly beautiful, emotionally resonant, thoughtful, and provocative work of art.” — Booklist (starred review)

For middle schoolers (and middle-schoolers at heart): Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken by Ray Friesen

Pirate Penguin: Each panel is punctuated with so many quips and jokes that they don’t work to form a narrative so much as they collectively embody an extended Abbot and Costello routine.” — Graphic Novel Reporter

For early readers, or kids who love to hear books read out loud: Johnny Boo & Dragon Puncher by James Kochalka

“Just the right blend of sarcasm, silliness, and action to appeal to both child readers and to adults reading this with their kids.” — School Library Journal’s Good Comics For Kids

For young lovers and those who remember young love: Blankets (deluxe hardcover edition) by Craig Thompson, and Lucille by Ludovic Debeurme

“Reading Blankets is like reliving your youth as you wander through the artist’s personal trials of fundamentalist religion and teenage heart-break in small-town America… The Best Graphic Novel of the Decade.” — Paste Magazine

“Debeurme gets underneath what makes these young lovers tick, and is realistic enough to realize that they’re too inexperienced and impulsive to fix each other. Still, the love affair in Lucille burns bright, illuminating two lives.” — The AV Club

For savvy hippies and pop-culture vultures: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century and Alan Moore’s Dodgem Logic (full set)

“Fans won’t be let down by the latest instalment of this clever, lurid saga.” — The Guardian

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