19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Moore's Neonomicon
As a longtime fan of both Lovecraft and Moore, I was extremely excited when I first heard about this series. However, as I hadn't yet read The Courtyard, I waited until it was collected to read both works as a whole.
Together, I found these works phenomenal. It is nuanced with references to Lovecraft that are both subtle (such as the graffiti on the fax booth...
Published 23 months ago by J. Trey Williams
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Moore at his worst
Many of the positive reviews posted here unduly dismiss the negative reviews as uninformed, close-minded, or prudish. I've read H.P Lovecraft and I've read most of Alan Moore, and while I recognize what Moore is going for here, the execution is heavy-handed and ultimately lazy, repeating some of Moore's worst storytelling habits. Yes, Moore writes a ranging homage to...
Published 7 months ago by Clifford
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Moore's Neonomicon,
This review is from: Alan Moore's Neonomicon (Hardcover)As a longtime fan of both Lovecraft and Moore, I was extremely excited when I first heard about this series. However, as I hadn't yet read The Courtyard, I waited until it was collected to read both works as a whole.
Together, I found these works phenomenal. It is nuanced with references to Lovecraft that are both subtle (such as the graffiti on the fax booth that Sax uses that says "In Madness You Dwell," a reference to Metallica's song "The Thing That Should Not Be," which is based on Lovecraft's works "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," if I remember correctly) to the plot's very overt references to the Cthulhu Mythos.
Now, I've heard and have read that Moore wrote Neonomicon essentially just for the paycheck (this was mentioned in an interview in Wired Magazine, from an issues in August 2010, if memory serves), but that doesn't mean that it's any less of a work. Personally, I loved every page of this book, from Jacen Burrows' hyper-detailed art (which to me straddles the line between typical comic book (i.e. superhero) and realist) to Aan Moore's dedication to the source material (little notes such as one of the bands being called "The Rats in the Malls," etc.) But, what really struck me personally in this book was that fact that it addressed Lovecraft from a more historical sense. While many post-Lovecraftian stories depict him as some sort of otherworldly prophet or messiah, this book addresses his as more or less simply a writer, but an unknowing subject as to his own influence or the worlds he described.
But, as much as I personally loved this book, it is most certainly not for everyone. Moore explores the blatant racist of some of Lovecraft's works, and focuses heavily (as post-DC Moore seems to usually do) on explicit sexual content, and while it brings this up as a contrast to Lovecraft's aversion to sex in his stories, it is still quite explicit and therefore not for everyone.
Like I said, the one point that I cannot emphasize enough is that this book is not for everyone. If you enjoy Lovecraft and/or Moore, and are not easily offended by sex, violence, and racial/ethnically insensitive content, then I highly recommend this. But, if you're not on board with a fairly copious amount of each of those (especially the sexual content), then maybe pass on this one. Or perhaps borrow it from a friend before you commit to buying it. If you're looking at it from an art perspective, let me put it this way: if you liked Jacen Burrows' work on Crossed (and weren't offended by it), then you should have no problem with Neonomicon.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Moore + H.P. Lovecraft = Whoa!!,
This review is from: Alan Moore's Neonomicon (Hardcover)This book contains two stories from Alan Moore that are homages to the great horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. The first story is The Courtyard and is followed directly by Neonomicon. The Courtyard leads directly into Neonomicon. Both of these stories involve FBI agents investigating some strange murders that appear to lead to some sort of a Satanic Cult that operates out of a Nightclub. I don't want to give away anything about these 2 stories because the way Alan Moore reveals the plot and characters is really well written. WARNING! This book contains graphic violence, graphic nudity, sex, & rape! It is not for the squeamish! I've seen a very large amount of horror movies and I was still even a little shocked at some of the things that happened in this book (shocked in a good way). This is a really good and campy horror comic book/graphic novel.If you are a horror comic fan, an H.P. Lovecraft fan or an Alan Moore fan, you will probably enjoy this book. If you are easily offended or easily grossed out, you probably want to stay away from this one.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Lovecraft,
This review is from: Alan Moore's Neonomicon (Hardcover)I have quite a few of Alan Moore's graphic novels, and this is my favorite. It is a mobius strip type story, and the way Alan reveals the plot makes for a very interesting read. And the art is incredible. The graphic novel is so vivid it is very much like watching the movies of David Cronenberg. There are some very strong connections between Neonomicon and Videodrome. It also reminded me quite a bit of the movie In The Mouth of Madness. The lisping lead character rendered on the cover wearing a veil is a unique creation. Many of the subplots like the female FBI agents peccadilloes and her interaction with her partner add volumes to the story. When they discuss a certain matter, and she explains it was because she hated them, there is such a sense of truth it is chilling. Yes, the nudity, the sex, like in the movie Videodrome are very disturbing. This is not a book you leave laying around where anyone could pick it up; some people would be offended in the extreme. But there is a reason for all of it, and the story makes a small group of humans seem almost monstrous in their perversion, and the monster (it is vicious), is given very maternal, loving nuances culminating in great personal sacrifice to its character. And the story is wrapped around the myth and legend of H.P. Lovecraft, his life, works and his fans.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Moore at his worst,
Part of what makes Lovecraft's fiction so distinctive and resonant is its technique of suggestion and implication. The Neonomicon, on the other hand, works as ugly exploitation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neo-Moore,
This review is from: Alan Moore's Neonomicon (Hardcover)"Neonomicon" follows up "Alan Moore's The Courtyard" which was a comic book written by Antony Johnston based upon a short story by Moore, and drawn by the incomparable Jacen Burrows. This time Moore takes over writing duties and Burrows returns to once again lend his enormous talent to the art.
Not that you need to purchase "The Courtyard" as it's included with "Neonomicon" picking up the strand where it ended ambiguously on the face of the protagonist who has looked into the strange world beyond this one. It turns out he went mad, killed a load of people and is now safely locked up in a prison for the criminally insane, speaking an incomprehensible language.
The Mulder and Scully combo that follow up his case get taken back to the setting of "The Courtyard" and into a strange underground society based around the work of HP Lovecraft - or is the world Lovecraft described actually real?
"Neonomicon" is the most entertaining Alan Moore book I've read in a while. He's finally come back from his weird Tom Strong trip and put together this bizarre Lovecraftian story that's pretty damn good.
While some of the dialogue was a bit unrealistic - Moore choosing to shoehorn esoteric references to early twentieth century black magic practitioners and obscure fantasy writers into casual conversation between two federal agents between scenes - it was a minor point that could be overlooked (thought kind of ironic as Moore has one of his characters say that Lovecraft wasn't much of a writer).
Jacen Burrows' artwork continues to be entrancing, he really made the book come to life. His designs of Lovecraft's world were flawless and the gallery at the end of the book just shows that someone who isn't publishing his work with Lovecraft's is missing a trick. His choice to draw the book in four horizontal length panels per page really paid off - it felt like watching a movie at times.
This is an excellent comic book of fantasy and horror that references the work of one of the best horror writers of all time, hopefully renewing Lovecraft's work for new readers curious to see where Moore drew his inspiration from.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovecraftian Meta-Horror,
This review is from: Alan Moore's Neonomicon (Hardcover)Allan Moore's no stranger to meta-fiction. His Top Ten was a superhero meta-story in which everyone in the world is a costumed superhero and in Promethea he uses a superhero as a vehicle for a lesson in magical traditions of the West. Most famously, of course, Watchmen deconstructed the entire genre of superhero stories and many consider the origin of the post-modern era of comic books and graphic novels.
Branching out from superheroes, Moore now tackles Lovecraft with a vengeance. A word of warning before I continue, however: there are graphic depictions of violence, sexuality and sexual violence in this book. When I say graphic, imagine the sort of thing that the Saw series would consider too offensive. This is not for the faint of heart. Everything that Lovecraft would have simply hinted at, Moore and Burrows depict with relish.
Given that proviso, and without indulging in spoilers, the plot is broken up into two pieces (originally published as separate stories). The first follows a racist FBI agent who has single-handedly invented his own branch of deductive investigation based on eliminating the typical evidence and looking only at the anomalies in seemingly disconnected elements of the case. This part of the story, originally published as The Courtyard is a loving send-up of Lovecraft, right down to a clear poke at Lovecraft's racist views. The style of writing seems a bit stilted, and it is: it's done in Lovecraft's verbose style. To Lovecraft fans, very little in this story will be surprising, but surprise isn't the point. Moore is trying to channel a very specific style and explore why it so captivated its fans. He does this brilliantly.
In the second part, we follow various other agents who are investigating the same case. This part of the story isn't done in the same style, and is more of a riff on the X-Files than anything else. There's some extended segments that dwell on topics that comic books aren't expected to dwell on. I advise caution, here, but frankly it's Alan Moore doing Lovecraftian horror, so you really should not be shocked. Remember that Watchmen was the story that gave Saw the idea for the big climax in its first movie and as with Watchmen, the violence isn't the point, it's the punctuation.
Overall, I think the fist part is a better story, but the second part is definitely solid for the genre, and plays with the meta-narrative a bit more in ways I definitely was not expecting. Well worth a read if you enjoyed the 19th and early 20th century fiction that gave rise to the modern horror genre.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Moore parodies himself in this terrible, dull story,
This review is from: Alan Moore's Neonomicon (Hardcover)If a comic book writer has a a more dedicated army of fanboys than Alan Moore, then I sure haven't heard of him/her. Thanks to his time on Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta and Watchmen, which are about the only books 90 percent of his "fans" have read, he has established himself as unfallible and perfect in the minds of many.
Well, for those who aren't knee-jerk Moore fans, I'll tell you that Neonomicon sucks, at best it is unintentionally hysterical. Moore essentially rehashes the same things he's known for ... women characters being subject to sexual abuse, dialogue that tries to sound intelligent but doesn't really say much of anything, sexually dysfunctional characters, characters who are nuts for no particular reason, etc. etc.
The book is about a couple of FBI agents, Lamper and Brears. Brears is an attractive blond woman who can't seem to stop talking about her "sex addiction" mentioning it about every time she has a line of dialogue. Lampers is a black guy who doesn't say or do anything memorable, until the second part of the story where he is stripped naked and is shown to have an absurdly small penis. Anyway, they go investigating a cult as they try to figure out what's behind another FBI agent committing a couple of murders.
Apparently they needed the story to be less dull so they threw in a rape scene that lasts several pages. It's not that the rape scene is disturbing or unbearable ... no, it's just absurd. When you start reading it, you're like "of course there's a rape, whenever a woman shows up in a Moore story, you know there's going to be a rape." So after this absurd scene finishes, you go back to a dull story in which nothing really happens except a bunch of verbal masturbation over H.P. Lovecraft.
Do yourself a favor and skip it. Your time would be much better spent reading "Dungeon Quest." While "Dungeon Quest" is absurd in its sexuality, it doesn't pretend to be anything more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Defense,
Although much of the horror in Neonomicon does depend upon the reader's sense of revulsion towards the explicit physical and sexual acts contained within, that revulsion towards the physical body and the manifestations of its functions are the very things being examined by the story. This book is about Lovecraft and what drove his horror stories. Lovecraft, as many have noted, was asexual, and much of his horror appears to reflect his revulsion towards sex and the human body. THAT is the very point being made and played upon by Neonomicon. If you are uninterested in exploring the very nature of horror in its physical sense, or if you have no interest in Lovecraft, then this book is well avoided. But that does not mean that the sex and violence is "gratuitous" (it's just the opposite) or that the story lacks depth. It's just a message that may fall upon deaf ears, at least for those who cannot get beyond the shocking nature of its more explicit scenes. Moore takes what Lovecraft hides beneath the surface of his horror stories and brings it to the forefront. The problem here is that if you're not interested in Lovecraft, or a story exposing the psychological motives underlying them, and you don't appreciate the shocks in and of themselves, that aspect of Neonomicon will fall a bit flat.
Secondly, it IS a horror story. I believe it demonstrates far greater talent to build horror upon mood, or to create psychological horror than it does to go for the gross-out. In that, I agree with the story's critics. For these reasons I far prefer Moore's work on Swamp Thing. But there is some validity to horror based upon the gross-out. It can be done well, and it can be done badly. I think they pulled it off quite effectively here. Keep in mind that sex is a very powerful drive, and there's sometimes no horror greater than the horror we feel towards ourselves and our own drives, or the perversion of those drives by others (for in them, we recognise some form of our own). Both psychological and physical horror have something to do with the loss of control. Thoughts can be escaped. Even the physical actions of others (as in typical slasher fare) can be escaped. But we cannot escape the very flesh that we're made of, and there are aspects of our flesh that ARE revolting, and once we become horrified by our own flesh, we are trapped. There's a reason for the female leads backstory.
And for those who object to the fact that they aren't flawless Supercops, welcome to reality. Sure, Moore's agents do not come anywhere close to The Wire in sophistication of their portrayal, but, come one, don't go to the oppostie extreme and give me this crap that law enforcement people don't make mistakes and are perfect examples of humanity, and suggest that failure to portray them in any other way is unrealistic.
As for the artwork, it is competent enough, but it reminds me of why I miss the stylistic flare of previous generations of comic artists like Bissette and Totleben.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
1. This book is not for everyone. Graphic violence, nudity, sex, rape, etc. are contained in these pages. If none of that offends you, (or if you're twisted like me, and like that sort of thing, lol) read on.
2. If you know nothing about H.P. Lovecraft's mythos or haven't read many (or any) of his stories, than this comic probably won't be one of your favorites. You simply HAVE to at least have read Lovecraft's more famous works to get the most out of this book. Read "The Call of Cthulu" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", at the very least, before picking this novel up.
If you HAVE read Lovecraft's work, this book will be one of your favorite graphic novels, I promise you that. I don't want to give anything away, but the way this book ties into Lovecraft's universe couldn't have been more masterfully done. I give it a solid 5 stars.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Joyless, Squalid, and Brief,
Moore apparently believes that the best way to build upon Lovecraft's legacy is to add long episodes of truly horrific sadism and sexual violence.
In general, I'm deeply put-off by Moore's fascination with such material, and his tendency to dwell at length on wicked characters doing really monstrous things. I do not object to such portrayals in fiction if it's done to some purpose, but Moore gives the impression that he simply enjoys it; or rather, that he is obsessed with it, and can't stop himself from returning to the scene of the crime, to stare repeatedly at some great wound in the human heart.
Readers looking for the epic postmodern architectonics of Watchmen will find a work of much more modest scope - it contains enough plot for a short story of about eight pages in length. There are some strong ideas in it, but on the whole I found the experience of reading it stomach-turning and entirely without joy.
I was also not impressed by the undistinguished, cartoonish artwork, which did little to convey the shocking intensity of Lovecraft's creations.
Where Lovecraft created extravagant new worlds of imagination and suggestion, Moore offers a stomach-turning confrontation with human brutality. The fantastic elements merely amplify his banal vision of garden-variety sadism.
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Alan Moore's Neonomicon by Antony Johnston (Hardcover - November 8, 2011)
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