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The Ballad of Halo Jones Paperback – September 21, 2010
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"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 perhaps the most widely respected comic writer of the modern era, his contribution to the comics world is incalculable. He created the classic Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell – all of which have been made into major motion pictures. Ian Gibson is one of 2000 AD’s most prolific artists, cocreating Robo-Hunter and I Was a Teenage Tax Consultant, as well as regularly illustrating Judge Dredd.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Ian Gibson's artwork is stunning throughout - a great comic book.
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.
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.