Alan Moore needs no introduction to avid comic book readers as he is rightly hailed as one of the most influential and original writers in the business. But for those who have yet to discover this prodigious storyteller, don’t be fooled in thinking his books could only appeal to geeks who like to read “funny papers”. As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Moore belongs in the same literature pantheon as Edgar Allan Poe and George Orwell (two of my favorite novelists).
If you haven’t read ‘From Hell‘ but are familiar with the title, it might be because you have seen or heard about its atrocious cinematic rendition. If that is the case, I beseech you to not judge this book by its filmic counterpart.
I would also warn you not to accept the premise of this historical fiction as the “truth”. Although both author and illustrator (Eddie Campbell) have painstakingly researched the theories and lore concerning Jack the Ripper, the result of their ten-year collaborative effort is, first and foremost, a story. And a damned good one, at that.
Furthermore, those who enjoy reading about the creative process and are eager for enlightenment about what was going through Alan Moore’s gray matter during the birth of this masterpiece would be well served to pick up ‘The From Hell Companion‘.