- Paperback: 572 pages
- Publisher: Top Shelf Productions; New Ed edition (May 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0958578346
- ISBN-13: 978-0958578349
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.6 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 196 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Hell Paperback – May 1, 2004
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The mad, shaggy genius of the comics world dips deeply into the well of history and pulls up a cup filled with blood in From Hell. Alan Moore did a couple of Ph.D.'s worth of research into the Whitechapel murders for this copiously annotated collection of the independently published series. The web of facts, opinion, hearsay, and imaginative invention draws the reader in from the first page. Eddie Campbell's scratchy ink drawings evoke a dark and dirty Victorian London and help to humanize characters that have been caricatured into obscurity for decades. Moore, having decided that the evidence best fits the theory of a Masonic conspiracy to cover up a scandal involving Victoria's grandson, goes to work telling the story with relish from the point of view of the victims, the chief inspector, and the killer--the Queen's physician. His characterization is just as vibrant as Campbell's; even the minor characters feel fully real. Looking more deeply than most, the author finds in the "great work" of the Ripper a ritual magic working intended to give birth to the 20th century in all its horrid glory. Maps, characters, and settings are all as accurate as possible, and while the reader might not ultimately agree with Moore and Campbell's thesis, From Hell is still a great work of literature. --Rob Lightner
As ambitious and affecting as anything ever rendered in pictures and word balloons. --Salon
At once a meditation on evil, a police procedural and a commentary on Victorian England ... an impressive piece of work. --The Los Angeles Times
My all-time favorite graphic novel ... an immense, majestic work about the Jack the Ripper murders, the dark Victorian world they happened in, and the birth of the 20th century. --Warren Ellis, Entertainment Weekly
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Top customer reviews
This book is a perfect reason why someone, somewhere, needs to do what Eddie Campbell gives us a taste of here and that's start publishing the COMPLETE ALAN MOORE SCRIPTS. To Quote from E.C.'s introduction,
"These scripts are rich with incident and information that didn't always, or couldn't find its way onto the printed page... Some very fine writing is buried in these scripts, and nobody has ever read
it except me." (pg 12)
Details like the color and rational for the color of clothing, (in a work that he knew would be done in B&W) the psychological underpinning for buildings in the background, amazingly details which is up to the artist to portray in a way he finds possible. (E.C. addresses this in his text, what he kept and what he couldn't)
Frustratingly this is only a taste of what it could have been. As E.C. describes, "I have selected what I find to be the most memorable pages, ninety out of a possible five hundred and one..." (pg 12)
If this isn't enough for you you can try to hunt down a copy of "From Hell: The Compleat Scripts"  but they're rare and only include the scripts for the first three chapters.
From Hell is about the Jack the Ripper. Saying it's about Jack the Ripper isn't the full story, it's much more. It not only covers the murders, but the victims and the one who people thought were Jack the Ripper. It covers the people trying to solve the murders too. In this book we know who Jack the Ripper is half way threw, unless you read the appendix. The book also covers history of Victorian England and occult history as well.
As I just said we know who Jack the Ripper is in this comic. He is a mad man part of the Freemasons with an obsession of the occult. Everything he does with the murders is in a pattern according to occult laws. Towards the end of the comic Moore pulls a Paradise Lost type of feel with Jack the Ripper. You almost can understand why he did what he did. It's really cleaver how Moore writes this book.
I will say this book as a lot of graphic sex and gory violence. Yet if you're picking up an Alan Moore book and don't know that then you clearly don't know what Alan Moore does. Yet like Lost Girls and Watchmen, the violence and sex is necessary. This is about Jack the Ripper!
Even if you don't know anything about Jack the Ripper and want to read this for whatever reason, go right head. I knew most about it because I get obsessed with this kind of stuff (I'm a Scorpio), but some of the stuff I didn't know much about at all. Thankfully Moore or Top Shelf were nice and wrote a appendix. This comes in handy for history buffs and people who want to know what the heck is going on. And if that's not enough, there a part two to the appendix which gives you even more information.
This comic book is historical fiction, but like I said it reads like a novel novel. Still baffles me how this was made into a movie. Never seen the move and now I really don't ever plan on watching the movie. I'll stick with the comic book. I could see this made into a TV show n Netflix or something because each chapter is set up like an episode, but then again it's not the same.
If you're a fan of the Jack the Ripper murders then this book is a must. Even if your a fan of Alan Moore or Eddie Campbell this is a must. Hell, just read this to experience what a good comic book is even about.
However, I read this on the Kindle for (1st gen) iPad app. I found it to be a disappointing experience. The reproductions of the comics pages do not look nearly as good as the same pages from the digitized novel available through at least one popular digital comics sales website. Those pages with this version are usually slightly blurry and the lettering is difficult to read. Additionally, the captions for individual photos and drawings don't always appear on the same page as those photos and drawings, so you have to flick back and forth to see all the information. (The e-book edition from a leading competitor has similarly bad comics images, but the captions do appear alongside the photos and drawings at least.)
So one star removed for a disappointing experience reading this on Kindle for iPad. It's possible a later version of the iPad or a real Kindle may provide a better experience for you.