Arise, Old Gods, ARISE! ‘Neonomicon’ by Alan Moore
Review by Comix
Alan Moore looks like a caveman. I’m just throwing that out there right now. The man looks bat-shit insane. Long, wiry beard, long hair, and fingers adorned with rings. Mr. Moore is the epitome of mountain man. That being said, he is awesome! He has penned some of the most notorious comic books this side of Superman – works such as From Hell, Watchmen and V from Vendetta have seen big screen adaptations, and have further spread the lore of Moore. He’s even made a guest appearance on The Simpsons singing a delightful rendition of Little Lulu. Neonomicon, though not nearly as popular as some of his other works, is just as dark and brilliant as anything else he has put out.
Published by Avatar press, Neonomicon is four issue limited series that pays homage to H.P. Lovecraft. Deeply embedded in Cthulhu mythos, Neonomicon starts with FBI agent Aldo Sax deep undercover in Brooklyn investigating a series of ritualistic murders. With no foreseeable relationship between the different killers, Sax follows the only clue that the three shared, a club called Club Zothique. As he wanders the club, he picks up a tip about a new drug in town called Aklo. The thing with Aklo, though, is you don’t take it, you listen to it. Sax decides to try the drug out and notoriously trips balls. I mean, he’s hearing dead languages… fucked up. Needless to say, he loses his shit hard and goes on a fantastic murder spree, leaving two dead, and one crippled for life in the same fashion as the murders he was investigating. This, in turn, sparks an investigation into the drug by two more FBI agents who – well let’s just say it’s a shame what happens to them. As they dive deeper into the world of Aklo, they begin to uncover a world of Old Gods, sex cults, and mind tripping skips through dimensions.
Neonomicon is a fantastic addition to Cthulhu mythos. The story gets so unbelievably insane that I’m sure even Lovecraft would have to appreciate it. One of the things I loved about this series is that Moore made tons of references to not only Lovecraft’s work but to old sci-fi and horror authors as well, even throwing some occult practitioners in there for good measure. Club Zothique is a nod to classic sci-fi writer Clark Ashton Smith and his short story work centered around the last human continent, Zothique, in the distant future. (Fun fact: both Smith and Lovecraft worked at Weird Tales at the same time, something I’m assuming is not lost on Alan Moore.) Another reference is to Ambrose Bierce and Robert W. Chambers, both old sci-fi/horror authors, who Moore named a character after, Carcosa, after a fictional island found in their works. While he weaves a web of a tale, he also weaves together a web of strange authors that actually existed and have actually worked together. It’s like a story and a history lesson all at once.
The only thing that bums me out is that he only wrote four issues and he did it because he needed money. Apparently he had some taxes he had to pay or something, so he created a sequel to his two issue series named The Courtyard that he created in 1994 and became a comic in ’03. By the way, The Courtyard is pretty sweet as well and is also published by Avatar Press. But forget that whole tax thing. What we have is a brilliant book of deranged proportions! The artwork is provided by Jacen Burrows (Crossed), and he adds a great dimension of insanity to the already amazing writing. Either he was high while drawing some of this or his what-the-fuck train left the station miles ahead of him, because some of the work is downright bananas. I love it! His color work is also top notch and really brings the book alive.
Grab this book while you can because it is hot, hot, HOT! Alright, not that hot, but still pretty hot. There are currently two versions out, one soft-cover and one hard-cover, but no real difference between the two. They both include a cover collection in the back from the single issues. If you’re a fan of Lovecraft, or just good, solid horror I can’t recommend this enough. But beware, for what you read may bring about the Old Ones and destroy all that you hold dear.