Friday, 17 November 2017

Happy Birthday, Alan Moore! (November 18th)


We've been attending the Oxford Literary Festival every year since 2009 and in the spring of 2012, I
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attended a discussion called "What's the Point of the Arts and Humanities?" with Simon K√∂vesi, Josie Long, Philip Pullman and Alan Moore.

I was aware that Alan Moore very rarely made public appearances and at one point I thought there was no better way of meeting him than a book-signing or talk at his hometown in Northampton. So I was very pleased when I heard that he was coming to Oxford. To be honest, I felt that the event was a little hush-hush. Sure it was included in the festival guide but I thought they'd make a bit more buzz about it because you know, it's Alan Moore.

As the discussion focused on the arts and humanities, I was also curious what Mr Moore would say about the films that were based on his works. I heard in the past that he didn't approve of his work being translated into the big screen. He did say during the discussion, "I heard that the Watchmen film apparently cost $300M. Now I don't believe that it's actually as good as the comics" (the crowd applauded - he added he hasn't seen the film). From his biography "Alan Moore Storyteller": "Rumor had it that with some of the profits from his work on Swamp Thing and Watchmen, Moore had bought his dad a house. The truth was a little less extravagant – it was a greenhouse for his back garden." So as not to be repetitive, I'm directing you to my full article about the event here.

The book-signing that followed the discussion wasn't announced so it was no surprise that there were only around 20 people waiting in the queue. I brought some books from home and had them all signed. We bought Alan Moore's biography from the festival bookshop, the aforementioned "Alan Moore Storyteller," hurried back to the queue and requested for him to address the book to M who was then only 17 months (she kept turning her back, probably got scared of the author's beard hehe. Seriously, though, Alan Moore is a lovely man!). Later, I saw that the pages on "The Lost Girls" are very explicit. But then, brilliant Mr. Moore got it that my then toddler wouldn't read this book anytime soon anyway and wrote her this amazing "time capsule" message (see photo below).

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Loved what he wrote for our little girl.

My other books that he had signed were Watchmen, Batman the Killing Joke, one comics issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta. I suddenly remember that Alan Moore began writing V for Vendetta on the Isle of Wight whilst on working holiday (I found this information interesting as I recently posted photos on Instagram of our memorable boating trip to the Isle of Wight during a bonfire night weekend many years ago). His introduction to the book sounded so heartbreaking, sad, and just worried about the future of England under Thatcher. I'm glad he didn't leave Northampton, decades after he wrote that.

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