Friday, April 19, 2013

The Quarterly Volume IV, with essays by Leah Moore and John Reppion, daughter and son in law of Alan Moore

Here is the latest volume of my book The Quarterly,
this one has contributions by Alan Moore's daughter and son in law,Leah Moore and John Reppion,
The first volume was personally approved by Chris Ware,the second had an interview and essay by Gary Panter,whilst volume three had a cover by John Porcellino,
my many thanks to both Leah and John for contributing,
I hope you enjoy.

Volume 4
Leah Moore and John Reppion
Hello and thank you for reading volume IV of The Quarterly,I have very much tried to improve upon my writing every year,and become more prolific, which I feel I have succeeded in many aspects,though there is always room for massive improvement,
This book of mine is what I would loosely call an anthology,I reached out to my friends in the literary and art community to see if they would like to contribute in any way,
I have been more than glad that they accepted , and feel very humble that I have worked and collaborated with me in any way whatsoever,For the first volume, Longtime correspondent and friend, cartoonist and illustrator Chris Ware gave me his blessing to dedicate the first volume,which I m still coming to terms with,
Whilst the second volume had an essay and interview with 3 time Emmy Award Winner and well known artist
Gary Panter,
The third volume had a cover by Independent comic book pioneer
And King Cat creator,John Porcellino
The fourth volume you now hold in your hands has a contribution by husband/wife writing team and daughter and son in law of the legendary writer Alan Moore,

Leah Moore and husband
John Reppion are making quite the name for themselves as co writers,
They have written quite a number of prose stories which have been enjoyed by a wide audience, though their main avenue of interest is of the comic book and
graphic novel kind,
Leah first started writing comic books at age 24 years of age,firstly in a short story in her father s series Tom Strong s Terrific Tales,which was illustrated by the great and legendary prolific creator Sergio Aragones, this was only the beginning and Leah has certainly made out on her own path,
Following in the this is one of those kinds of books, nuanced storytelling is seen throughout, and plain fun to read, Leah and John tell the tale of little known heroes for a new generation, character motivated plot and intelligent dialogue, the hallmarks of a terrific graphic novel,

Alan Moore who is without a doubt the finest and best comic book
writer ever,to follow in the family footsteps of such a legendary figure in comic book and literary history of the 20th and 21st centuries is daunting to say the least,most would not even attempt to do so,trying to carve a niche and always to be compared to the best,
Leah and her husband John have since the mid 2000s co-written most if not all their work together,
At various companies, DC, Dynamite and Image Comics, Dark Horse, among others,

Each year this pair have continued to add to their own mythology,created their own reputation.
Leah has even been commissioned to write a short story for Britain' s
Royal Mail.
And John with Fortean Times,a famous and quite different type of magazine,
What I myself have enjoyed is their take on the eternal  fictional detective mcharacter
Sherlock Holmes, be it in
graphic novels, two volumes which have thus far been released,and even an upcoming game based on the character coming out soon from Frogwares company,
They too have done their take on Dracula,Alice in Wonderland as well, and currently Damsels,which is sort of a Wold Newton and League of Extraordinary Gentleman type of series which one would compare from the outset though after the first issue Leah and John make new territory in which I hope is only the beginning of more volumes, famous and timeless
public domain fiction.

Tony Solomun s Sunday Book Review


By Alan Moore,Leah Moore
and John Reppion.

One of the earliest works of Leah and John is the graphic novel, Albion,

This graphic novel has British superheroes galore, Indeed, many of whom hadn t been seen in any form or other for many many years, I quite enjoyed reading the book even If I didn t necessary know about the characters much,
One of the main goals of any book is to be accessible to any reader, and not feel encumbered by decades of needless backstory and continuity,in this book,Leah and John have done their best and succeeded to a high extent
the rich history of British Comic Book fiction,there are characters too numerous to mention,but you feel at home and instantly fall in love with the characters and enamoured and interested in what will happen to them,doing such a book is taking a risk,
there have been numerous takes on British fiction and trying to spin them or retcon them into the  21st century without any success, Albion goes wildly against the grain,and you can certainly feel that Leah and John have given their best in executing this book with such flair and no gimmicks as is often seen in current superhero storytelling,
A superb graphic novel,

Grade .A-,

Leah Moore and John Reppion are flying the Moore flag proudly without having to rely on name only,Leah has certainly proved that in the many years since she has started professionally writing,in her partner in life and in writing,
John Reppion,there is a co existent understanding and a marriage of words,the writing duo are inseparable, I have enjoyed their work for many years now and am constantly surprised by their output and
the quality is exceeding any expectation that can be held.following Alan Moore's footsteps is tough,but Leah and John are doing it well,and that 's what anyone can expect from these two writers,

Here are Leah Moore's and John Reppion's contributions especially for this book,my eternal thanks to the duo for their essays,

John Reppion’s essay:

Looking back I now see that I’d wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. My grandfather read to me each night from a very early age and we worked our way  through Enid Blyton’s, C. S. Lewis’, and J. R. R. Tolkien’s back catalogue (him doing the hard work, admittedly). I was so obsessed with the Hobbit that we got started on Lord of the Rings I insisted on writing  my own sequel. When I say writing; I actually dictated and  my granddad was good enough to write it down. Perhaps thankfully, the manuscript no longer exists but there was definitely a wizard called Fladnag in it.

Although I’d read UK humour comics like Beano and Dandy for many years was, it wasn’t until my uncle Martyn lent me The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns sometime around 1989 that I was introduced to US comics properly. This was around the same time that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had become a global phenomenon and this was enough to get me interested in creating my own comics. Again, it is probably a good thing that none of these have survived but, by way of an example of the quality, I can remember that I had attempted to answer that age old question of what would happen if one of the walking dead bit a lycanthrope with my imaginatively titled story “Were-zombie” (tagline: “have the undead won this time?”) .

In my early teens I read a lot of Richard Laymon, James Herbert, a bit of Stephen King but – although I do remember writing a carnivorous giant rat story in an English exam sometime in the early 90s – I had largely become more interested in music and drawing rather than writing.

Having left school after my A-levels and not gone on to higher education I made a number of attempts to get into all of Liverpool’s three universities when I was in my late teens. I didn’t last long on any of the introductory courses but having (temporary) access to a university library, I checked out a complete works of Poe which really captivated me. After reading and re-reading the volume I started to go back to those novels I’d been reading five years or so earlier (which seemed like a long time then) and revaluate them, and then to start reading other stuff, discovering H. P. Lovecraft and M. R. James and really just being amazed at how wonderful and immersive some writers can make their prose.

Fast-forward to 2003 when Leah and I were living together and she had already written a couple of ABC stories. Bouncing the ideas round for the series that was to become Wild Girl just felt natural at the time but when it came to actually co-writing the book it was a bit of a jump in at the deep end. I was very conscious of not wanting to be “the fella going out with Alan Moore’s daughter who they let co-write something even though he’s never written anything in his life” and wanted to get something of my own in print  before the series came out. As well as reading me bedtime stories, my grandfather also used to regularly take me on little adventures to these weird and wonderful little sites – a fairy glen, a ruined monastery, a Victorian park – and it was once of these places that was the inspiration for my first piece of published work. The article concerned John Middleton, a 16th century giant whose grave in the nearby village of Hale my granddad and I often visited. The piece was accepted and  published by Fortean Times a few months before the first issue of Wild Girl arrived on the stands.

Folklore and history are themes that crop up again and again in my comic work, my factual writing, and the few pieces of prose fiction I’ve written. I’m fascinated by the strange and ancient things we seem to take for granted in our day to day lives – be that the prehistoric past of the roads which link  our daily destinations, or the little rhyme we almost subconsciously recite when we see a group of magpies – and I am blown away by writers like Ramsey Campbell,  Arthur Machen, James, and of course Lovecraft, who manage to mix the cosmically weird with the wholly mundane so plausibly. I love the interweaving of  fact with fiction to create an eerie place where you’re left wondering whether more of what you’re reading might actually be true than you first imagined.

Leah Moore’s essay:

I think that most people who write started off with a love of reading. I devoured any book I could get my hands on, and had a long row of favourites even when I was only seven or eight. I read loads of classic children's books, but also just anything  I found laying about and could get into. I also had a very pro-book household, so we were read to lots, we got books as presents all the time, it was just normal.

I did want to be a writer when I was a kid, but I also wanted to be an artist, and save the planet, and write songs on my guitar, and about a million other things too. I used to write little stories, and especially dialogue, little conversations between characters. I used to draw little comics, lots of autobiographical stuff, where a funny thing would happen and I'd draw it up. I have lots of them still, and it’s fascinating the details that are there in the comic that you would otherwise forget and leave out if it was just an anecdote. Of course there are some which are completely not interesting now, because I am no longer ten, like the thrilling one page comic about a boy at school borrowing my friends pencil and then like, not returning it. If anyone out there doing online autobiographical comics ever feels like they might just be over-sharing, or boring the arse off everyone, then at least they did not do the Unreturned Pencil story. I did this right into secondary school and even Uni, making sense of things by putting them down as a comic. writing a story for my own entertainment and to turn it into a tangible thing. I think really that must be the thing that made me really want to be a writer, the idea that I would just make stuff up and mess about, but that at the end there would be a real object in people's hands, and on their shelves.

The thing that I love, and I think all comic writers love is getting pages through, where you see what the artist has done with your script, and how they have brought it all to life. So the coolness of having a real artist actually draw my story was a big motivation for me. I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of amazing artists over the years, and the shine never goes from that experience.

The things that keep me writing, and keep me inspired are reading other people's good stories, watching good films, good TV, enjoying beautiful artwork. I want to be a part of that, I want to show what I can do, and to play with those same toys. I am inspired by the people we meet who have enjoyed our work, there is nothing so nice as somebody just getting what you were trying to say. it’s a fantastic feeling knowing they have enjoyed it and all the things you tried to put in have worked properly. I am constantly inspired by the ways other writers and artists do things, even on similar subjects, they vary so much and there will often be times we will say "let’s do this bit the way X would" because they do it so well.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say that the other major inspiration is the same as for any writer which is the bills need paying and the money monster needs feeding. We suddenly have a large family, and the idea of our output not generating enough income is the biggest inspiration of all! Balancing the need to write anything at all in order to pay the bills, and writing things we really really care about and love as projects is one of the hard parts of the job. Luckily we are in a place where a lot of our output fulfils both at the same time, which has to be the aim for any writer.

Tony Solomun's The Quarterly Weekly List

Best British Writers in any Genre,

1. Alan Moore
2. Neil Gaiman
3. Clive Barker
4. Steve Moore
5. Michael Moorcock
6. Jasper Fforde
7. David Norton