Okay. Here’s the conclusion of my lengthy interview with Alan Moore conducted in October, 1997. When last we left off, Alan was talking about the World of Mind. Let’s jump right in there?
Moore: [The mind] is probably the only important territory that to even try and explore it, you have to step into increasingly mystical territory. That’s how you get people who start off studying psychology, like Carl Jung. It increasingly treads into mystical territory. Until you almost reach a point where the two become inseparable. So magic?at least how I define it?has sort of dominated things for me for the past four or five years. It’s opened up new avenues of inquiry and new possibilities.
Meth: Well, I’ll look forward to reading the output that ensues from all of this new input.
Moore: It will all be trickling out over the next few years.
Meth: Is there any additional comics work coming?
Moore: In addition to Supreme, me and Kevin O’Neill will be bringing out The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which is a sort of horror-Victorian romp. What we wanted was the world’s first superhero team. So the basic concept is a Victorian England?unlike the precisely researched Victorian England of From Hell, this is a Victorian England that would have existed if all the Victorian fiction was true. So it’s 1898: Sherlock Holmes is dead; he died at the Rickenbacker Falls from Moriarty. At least he’s presumed dead. The great detective is dead. Miss Wilhelmina Murray, after certain events in the previous year, is divorcing her husband and has taken back her maiden name?this is Mina Harker, basically, from Dracula. And at the behest of British Intelligence, she puts together this group of people who include the former Seik Indian Prince turned techno-pirate called Captain Nemo. There’s Henry Jekyll after events of Jekyll and Hyde. There’s Mr. Griffith, The Invisible Man, who is hiding out at a girl’s school.
Almost every character who even gets a walk-on in it? [laughs] This was something that was purely for my own fun because I know that 90% of the readership won’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about, but nearly every character that walks on is a character from Victorian fiction. You can’t pass a clergyman in the street who isn’t. Any character that’s mentioned by name is a character from Victorian fiction. We got things from Anthony Trollope and HG Wells. I realized how much fun I was having with it when sometime during episode one I realized that I was having Emile Zola’s nanna murdered by Mr. Hyde on the Rue Morgue. I thought, yeah?this is fun [laughs]. So there will be six issues of that. The first storyline will cap the first six issues, after which we’ve got another book with the same characters worked out.
Meth: Sounds like your fans will have as good a time annotating it as they did Watchmen. Or T.S. Elliott’s “Wasteland.”
Moore: Yeah, I hope so. You’ve got to keep these people busy and occupied else they’ll be out on the streets.
Meth: Do you have access to the web yet?
Moore: I avoid it like the plague.
Meth: Well, that’s it then.
Moore: Do give me love to Harlan [Ellison].
Meth: Are you a friend of his?
Moore: I’ve spoken with him once on the phone, but I’m a great admirer of his work. I never leave the country and never get over there, and Harlan hasn’t been over here for some time. He was a big hero of mine when I was a kid and he’s stuck to his guns. He’s one of the immortals.
© 2004, Clifford Meth