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The Ballad of Halo Jones Paperback – August 1, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Paperback, August 1, 2005
$138.48 $15.00

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Back in print after far too long away, graphic novels as good as Ballad of Halo Jones don't happen often." -- Waterstone's (UK) Enigma Magazine July 2001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alan Moore is one of the most respected and admired writers in comics today. Among his many projects Moore is perhaps best known for the groundbreaking Watchmen series and Batman: The Killing Joke. He is currently working his own ABC line of comics, including Promethea, Tom Strong, Top Ten and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (all published by Titan). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401205909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401205904
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,390,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Ballad of Halo Jones is one of the more extraordinary things ever to have been published by the British comic 2000AD; it exemplifies much of what was good about that publication (subversiveness, risk-taking, an openness to new ideas) whilst at the same time marking a significant break with its usual biases and...um...proclivities. To whit: this is a story about women, told as the epic "ballad" of one emphatically ordinary woman: a story in which women go into space, go to war, fall in love (sometimes with each other, as one superbly subtle and tender scene reveals), get disappointed, get betrayed, get older...if the vividness and depth of Moore's Mina Harker (in _The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen_) impressed you, remember that he's been writing humanly believable, *real* female characters for a long time. Halo Jones is one of his best.
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Format: Paperback
THE BALLAD OF HALO JONES is a wonderful story about an ordinary woman who rises from hazardous poverty in a slum on Earth to genuine - but quiet - heroism in and after an interstellar war. Like Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN series, it's a collection of short stories with an overarching plot, where seemingly minor incidents and characters turn out to be incredibly important later. The moral of the ballad seems to be that there *are* no minor or unimportant people (or even unimportant rats). And if you don't like comics, close your eyes and have someone read "I'll Never Forget Whatsisname" to you. Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on December 22, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The "Ballad of Halo Jones" is one of Alan Moore's earliest works, and orignally appeared in serial-form in Britain's 2000AD magazine during the early 1980s. Ballad is set in the far future, and chronicles the eponymous heroine from the age of 18 to 35. The great strength of this series is the strong and diverse characterization of the mostly female cast. Frankly, I think that sympathetic female characterization has been a problem with Moore (look at his masterpiece, Watchmen, where all of the female characters are neurotic at best), but in this early work, Moore does an outstanding job. The storyline is also very strong and poignant with a beautiful ending.

Overall, Ballad isn't quite Moore at his best (Watchmen and From Hell), but it's ranks with his "2nd tier" work like Miracleman; and it's head and shoulders over more recent fare like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. One negative: this trade from Titan reprints the full storyline in the original black and white, and format-size, which is much larger than the standard comic book format. During the late 1980s in the US, this series was reprinted in color and in standard size. I wish that this format had been retained...frankly, this is a big book on the bookshelf.
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By Gecko on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Someone's got to be making a movie of this. Read it before it is reduced to that. I read this for fun. Though provoking story with surprises. The "different drummers" foreshadowed the 'boom boom' cars of today. Delves into the human condition. Excellent sci fi (with a strong, yet normal, female lead). Highly recommended, one of the best.
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Extremely likeable comics novel from the 1980s that could easily pass for one of the Robert Heinlein "young adult" science fiction novels from the 1950s (like the two mentioned above, or TIME FOR THE STARS, or HAVE SPACESUIT - WILL TRAVEL, etc.). In each of the Heinlein stories, an adolescent hero leaves home to struggle through a series of traumatic and otherwise character-building experiences that ultimately transforms him or her into an adult.
Such things happen in this story to young Halo, who trades in the futilities and disappointments of her childhood Welfare State environment for adventure in outer space -- which of course proves to have futilities and disappointments of its own.
The last third of the novel deals with Halo's experiences in the military --like Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS or SPACE CADET -- although Alan Moore's take on space combat is decidedly less gung-ho than Heinlein's. Closer to Joe Haldeman's THE FOREVER WAR.
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Yes, the writing's distinctly crafty as only Moore can pen, but the pacing and thematic development of The Ballad of Halo Jones is really a treasure, a clinic for aspiring writers needing a lesson in concise simplicity. Along with his Future Shocks, this is likely one of the works I imagine Alan Moore knew from the get-go that he had the goods to become his future current self.

It's impressive to read how these seemingly disparate installments appearing in various 2000AD progs are feathered together to form this bittersweet ballad. Indeed, as this collection is universally hailed as classic space opera, the slow momentum from which it begins seems anything but. It starts with an all too common motif, the boredom and need for wanderlust in and for a distant future when even space itself has not only been conquered but hotly contested. Swiftly though, it changes to something more complicated, as life is wont.

Refreshingly, this is not a superhero story. It's hard science fiction, cosmically emblazoned within the sharpened panels characteristic of 2000AD's art and galaxy building. It's not necessarily speculative on our future (other than our cetacean friends reclaiming Earth upon our folly) but on the human condition, that specifically after another few millennia or so, human nature (the best and worst, of course), still won't change much. Written with subtle strength from the female vantage, as so many top sci-fi stories have been, Halo Jones is ultimately and believably not super, but heroic nevertheless.

But with all Moore's clever plotting and the roguish, keen sketching from Ian Gibson, this is the story of no one, or perhaps anyone who at the seductive scent of adventure, is brave enough to claim their own future, accepting the good and not-so-good outcomes with each step.
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