Comics legend Alan Moore gets his Lovecraft on, and Royal Nonesuch takes a look!
Credits & Solicit Info:
(W) Alan Moore (A) Jacen Burrows
The all-new all-Alan Moore horror series spoken of only in hushed whispers for years is finally here! From the award-winning master of comics, Alan Moore, comes a brand-new tale of Lovecraftian horror that will leave you too afraid to close your eyes, but more afraid to open them! NEONOMICON, the sequel to THE COURTYARD graphic novel, is slithering its way onto shelves to take its place as a Great Old One of comics terror! Illustrated by Moore's favorite demented artist, Jacen Burrows, NEONOMICON pulls no punches as every full-colored page is covered in nightmares brought to gruesome life! The story begins some years after the chilling events of THE COURTYARD, in a world where two young and cocky FBI agents are investigating strange--- and familiar murders. They think they've seen the worst monsters in America, but as they pull up to the maximum security asylum where one Aldo Sax speaks in strange tongues, Agents Brears and Lamper may be beginning to suspect that they're about to see something so much worse. But they cannot begin to imagine the creeping insanity that has already begun to pull them under... Alan Moore's Neonomicon #1 is available with regular and Wraparound covers by Jacen Burrows, a special rare 'Book of the Dead' retailer incentive, and an ultra-scarce retailer incentive Remarqued edition with an original sketch by Burrows!
Back in 2004, Alan Moore wrote a short story called "The Courtyard" for an HP Lovecraft tribute anthology. That story was adapted to a graphic novel with artist Jacen Burrows and now, Moore and Burrows have re-teamed for the sequel, entitled NEONOMICON.
The story involves a team of federal agents looking for the perpetrator of a series of grisly murders that have some connection to similar murders from the past. The main characters, agents Lamper and Brears start off this issue visiting a psychopathic murderer (and former federal agent) named Aldo Sax trying to find what that connection is.
Frankly, it's a bit hard to believe that Moore and Burrows created this first issue. It's not a bad issue, but it doesn't seem particularly ambitious or up to their strengths. Moore's signature densely layered writing style is foregone in favor of a rather straightforward crime procedural story with a few Lovecraft allusions sprinkled in. Despite some references to a sexual addiction on the part of one of the agents, the characters are rather broad and not particularly interesting. There is not much to define them. In fact, the issue as a whole is really not very engaging until the last few pages, where things take a creepier turn. Before that, it's a middling at best cop drama.
Jacen Burrows, one of the Avatar artistic stable that usually features highly detailed artwork, here turns in some stiff wooden artwork that doesn't particularly distinguish itself anymore than the writing does. It's technically proficient, but the storytelling is dull. The panels rarely change shape, so it all seems very monotonous. There is some good design work and the Brooklyn cityscape feels authentic enough. Other than that, the world really isn't defined enough.
The idea of Alan Moore doing his own comic book spin on the works of HP Lovecraft is a pretty exciting one, but this first issue of NEONOMICON is not a whole lot to go by. It feels like it was written by a newcomer to comics, not one of the industry's greatest legends. NEONOMICON #1 is not a bad book, but it is a thoroughly unexciting one. Hopefully the rest of the series shows the promise of its own premise.
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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch
As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well. You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.
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