Alan Moore & Jess Nevins : Their Impact on a Writer.

Greetings.

Last time I wrote about Crisis on Infinite Earths and how it helped me crafting a story.

This time I want to say a few words about the legendary comic scribe, Alan Moore and another talented man by the name of Jess Nevins.

Mr. Moore certainly needs no introduction from me, but what the hell. I am going to give him one anyway.

If you read comics, there is little doubt you know who this man is. If you don’t, I am sure you have seen his works on the big screen. Mr. Moore is responsible for Batman: The Killing Joke, V for Vendetta, From Hell, various Swamp Thing stories, the last pre-crisis Superman story, Watchmen, and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LOEG). That is just to name a few.

It is the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen  I want to touch on.

Forget what you saw in the theaters, LOEG is one amazing piece of work in its singular form and its totality. Moore takes starts out with an assembly of Victorian characters and weaves a mystery story. It gets even better with his other volumes. In other words, Moore created an alternate universe using pre-established and recognizable characters from Sherlock Holmes, the Invisible Man, to James Bond, and later Harry Potter. Moore even created an Almanac for all of the references.

Absolutely brilliant!

When I finally sat down and began typing out the Sidereus Nuncius, it was only going to be a short story with an ambiguous ending. Then it struck me that I should  borrow from the master storyteller.

The lead character in Sidereus is an alien who calls himself Quentin who comes to Earth with a message to the human race of an impending disaster . In the original draft, he falls in love with a human woman and decides to remain on Earth and face the doom with the humans.

Standard fare, I thought as a love story. Thanks to Moore, I started giving Quentin a backstory. Who are his masters and why do they even care about Earth? Are there other protectors/messengers out there? If there are benevolent aliens, then there has to be bad ones, right? Maybe aliens have been coming to our planet all along, helping or hurting us.

These races who lived on other planets needed names.

Suddenly I had a growing universe.

I invented a number of characters from scratch but I also took many from previous legends, myths, fairy tales, and works from well known authors and gave them a new spin. Why reinvent the wheel when there is so much rich literature to draw from?

Opportvnvs Adest is like peeling back an onion. The further along you get, the more characters and worlds you discover. So many that I created an encyclopedia (A-Z) for the all the events, worlds, weapons, and characters. I also put together an Earth time that begins 4.6 billion years ago and culminates in 2020. It took a great deal of research mixing and changing real life events over the centuries to fit my alternate universe, but I have to tell you it was quite enjoyable.

I believe you will feel the same after reading them.

Jess Nevins is an award nominated author and a librarian. He is responsible for annotating LOEG various volumes. This man has successfully identified every character, every building, every veiled reference in the stories. After reading his exhaustive work on Moore, I was completely  sold on the creative talent of both men.

In some ways, the Opportvnvs Adest series is a way of saying thank you to them for unlocking whatever creativity I attempt to claim.

Thanks for checking in.

Have fun because in 2020 Earth will….whoops can’t say that yet!

Until next time.

Crisis on Infinite Earths or How a Comic Book Series Influenced an Author

Hey there.

One frequent question I get asked is: what were/are some of your influences?

I addressed a few of them in some of my other posts but I would be remiss if I did not cite two pieces of literature that had a HUGE impact on me.

Has anyone heard of Crisis on Infinite Earths (COIE)?

If you do not read comics you likely have not. If you are an avid reader of them (like me) than I am sure the name has surfaced in conversations with friends, or at conventions over the years.

Quick background. COIE was a 12 part mini series published by DC Comics in 1985. It contained an appearance of every DC character between 1935 and 1985. Pure genius of DC to have the book come out during their 50 yr anniversary. Written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by the one and only George Perez, it was the industry’s attempt to clean up its so-called “continuity problems. The series is known for the killing off popular characters like the Flash, Supergirl, and the Golden Age Superman. It also eliminated the Multiverse.

By the way, DC brought it all back but that’s another story.

There has not been nothing like COIE before or since. It completely changed comics forever. There was a certain predictability about comics in the past. You knew the heroes would never die and there would always be the status quo.

Not any more.

When Crisis finished its run,  the trail had been blazed for a new era. 1986 saw The  Dark Knight Returns, Mutant Massacre in X-men. Batman: Year One, Daredevil ‘s Born Again, Maus, The Man of Steel, and of course Watchmen. Whew! No wonder 1986  is widely considered the greatest year in comics.

Some other things that made Crisis great was the war to end all wars. Heroes battled for the sake of all creation and not just a bank robbery or a some long standing grudge. The villain of the story was the Anti-Monitor and he lived up to the hype as the ultimate bad guy. As did Marv Wolfman’s promise that “the DC universe would never be the same.”

I went for a similar feel in the Opportvnvs Adest series.  There is  the build up  to a war before all hell (literally) breaks loose. What starts out as a spark later erupts into a cosmic firestorm. A true Armageddon.The feeling of desperation and hopelessness is at the forefront for the central characters.  There is plenty of death too. You cannot have a war without it. Like Crisis, the reader is  not cheated with the elimination of non essential characters.  No one is safe in the story and victory as we know it, is not assured.

I want to tell you more, but why spoil it?

It all starts in Sidereus Nuncius on sale now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I will talk about Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and how it relates to Opportvnvs  Adest this week.

Till next time.

Peace.