Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Alan Moore Creations: From Hell

From Hell is a series I hold in incredibly high esteem. It's a very complex and layered story that Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell attempt to tell. They start with stark facts, the history of a series of atrocities, stark and frightening enough on it's own, and they start to ply on ritual, metaphysics, majik, literature, mythology, the highest and lowest of human ideals muddled together in a story that leaps out of the 19th century and binds itself both with the primeval and the the modern states of mankind. I love the footnotes at the end of each issue. Very often they show you very directly how Moore was thinking as he wove along the back alleys of Whitechapel, picking up inference and inspiration from all points in time and culture like an occult magnet.

Eddie Campbell's art pairs so well with the story. I love the kinetic energy in the drawings, with stray lines and messy knots of black clustered around in the muck and the blood and the ash. It suits the time period so well and allows for the beautiful lotus of idea to grow from the festering cesspool by first illustrating the filth and degradation of the place itself. From Hell will probably always amaze me with the depth of its meanings. It is labyrinthine and a reader can run down one of a dozen paths each time the story is read.

Anyway, enough of my rambling on. This drawing here I did of one of my favorite parts in the story, when Sir William had Nedley the carriage driver lead him on an esoteric tour of London. They survey the perverse architecture of the Hawksmoor churches, kneel at William Blake's tomb, ask a blessing from John Merrick and pass by Cleopatra's Needle. All the while speaking of the rites of Dionysus, the old Gods and the world within the world. It's an incredible carriage ride and a great piece of writing that lights up my mind whenever I read it. So, this is my little drawing of the ride. Done with little Prismacolor pens on a piece of sketchbook paper. Not for sale, I'm afraid.


Brandon Padgett said...

Can't decide if this is an excercise in patience or insanity! Fantastic linework as always, but this one takes your usual proclivity to another level!

Jeremy Brooks said...

This is just fantastic, Henry. It would have taken me months to do this.