Before there was CSI: Alan Moore’s From Hell

From HellFrom Hell is my second favorite Alan Moore novel, only surpassed by V for Vendetta. Moore takes the same zealous for research that he used in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and applies to the Jack the Ripper killings. However, it’s more effective in this historical novel. The tale is engaging and Moore’s relentless research makes it more than just another real life, re-told slasher tale. Moore’s notes, which appear at the end of the collected novel, are a wonderful addition to the text and definitely worth the read. (I chose to read them while going through the story itself. As we already know all the “spoilers” for this history, Moore’s notes don’t ruin the story.)

Eddie Campbells’ dark pencils and ink illustrations bring the horror of this tale to life. It’s certainly graphic — both with sex and with the murders themselves — but Campbell’s lines keep the graphic nature a little tamer than it might’ve been. Especially if they’d chose to do From Hell in color. Continue reading “Before there was CSI: Alan Moore’s From Hell”

Universal Constants in the Virgin Project

The Virginity ProjectThere’s no doubt that our society has a fixation on loosing one’s virginity. Everyone has an opinon on when, to whom, and how is best for one to loose their virginity. The Virgin Project: Real People Share Real Stories by K.D. Boze and Stasia Kato takes a clear, and in many ways, refreshing look at how a diverse, variety of people lost their virginities. The stories and accompanying art doesn’t judge. Not anymore than the person telling it wants to judge themselves.

Some stories are shocking. Some are sweet. Some are horrific. Others are funny and some seem almost meaningless. The art itself is very tasteful, especially given the subject matter.

The book is intriguing because everyone enjoys being a voyeur and knowing everyone else’s business. But it’s also intriguing to read a story and relate to the experience. To know that you’re not the only one. Or to say, well, I’m definitely not like that one.

At the end, the reader is left saying that maybe loosing one’s virginity isn’t as important or big as society makes it out to be or maybe it is, in that there’s a whole graphic novel about it.