Thursday 21 December 2006

Alan Moore's London. part 1

I just found a stash of the From Hell reference photos I promised to dig out back on Dec. 4th. These are mostly the pictures Alan took or had taken while on at least two separate tours around the major places of significance in Fom Hell, mainly for my use in Chapter 4, which is the one that called for all the architectural stuff.
Above is John Bunyan's tomb at Bunhill Fields. While working on the drawing I noticed that the date of death on the tomb is two hundred years to the day before the death of the first Ripper victim. Below is a general shot of the graveyard from the same page. I wanted to head into this without a hint of menace. It's a pleasant morning in London, the sun-dappled foliage is almost abstract in its cheerfulness, and the presence of the gravestones underplayed. The Bunyan picture was at the foot of the page, changing the sense of scale rather abruptly.

In addition, the page also had Defoe's obelisk and Blake's headstone, with photos for each, so you can see that there wasn't a lot of room for mucking about.

I appear to have changed the light-source on the obelisk for compositional reasons.

Alan had a few shots of himself taken on the steps of Christ Church, Spitalfields, our principal centre of interest. The one I based my drawing on was a separate photo. Alan was moving away from the camera in increments so I could judge scale and distances, as you can see by comparing the two images. I was also very interested in the way the light was bouncing around on that portico. I made the drawing as a frontispiece for the collected Alan Moore scripts volume 1, another of those sad muddles that punctuate the history of From Hell, but that's another story.

ps. I don't know if it was I or Alan who made the mistake of running Christ Church into one word like that (as in the town in New Zealand. I believe it was a review by writer Iain Sinclair that drew attention to our error.)
pps. If anybody ever gets back to doing the scripts collection they'll be screwed. I just dropped the bundle of approximately 1500 loose sheets of From hell script all over my studio floor.
part 2 tomorrow.



Blogger drjon said...

I just dropped the bundle of approximately 1500 loose sheets of From hell script all over my studio floor.

Somewhen, an academic is cursing your guts ;}P>

21 December 2006 at 01:43:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see the photos especially in color alongside the artwork.
Maybe you could sell individual script pages on eBay. One page per buyer and make life really hell for academics wanting to research your work.

E Nala

21 December 2006 at 02:57:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey cool. It's like reading the making of Hergé's Tintin albums.

21 December 2006 at 03:21:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Aaron F. Gonzalez said...

I have that first From Hell Compleat Scripts book. It's fantastic.

I really wish that project had continued because I found all of the From Hell details fascinating.

Perhaps when you guys do Dance of the Gull Catchers 2 you could include all of this stuff you've been posting on the blog? It's exactly the type of stuff fans want to see.

21 December 2006 at 10:41:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Hawthorn said...

It's amazing how little Whitechapel has changed from 1888 to the present.

We did some form of Ripper tour there with a class a few years ago. It was after I'd read the book, so the experience was a bit jarring.

But anyway here's our guide leading us around talking about how back then Whitechapel was all of the underprivilaged foreigners and social pariahs of the Victorian period, while all we see around us is the same, just translated for the 21st century.

Different ethnic groups, same situation. Our tour had to be rushed past the site of Mary Kelly's house because our presence had interrupted a carjacking. Amature sleuths in blackface traded for invading tour groups.

21 December 2006 at 11:43:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Roly Allen said...

I'm loving this blog.
Eddie - don't worry about the sheets. Wittgenstein's posthumously published "On Certainty" was cobbled together after a similar debacle with a box of papers, and is apparently very influential.

"Apparently." But given From Hell's understanding of the relationship between history and myth, I don't think it really matters if it's true or not.

And: pound for pound, "Angry Cook" is the best thing I've ever read.

21 December 2006 at 12:03:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Hawthorn said...

Actually, I think the messier the notes are, the happier the academics putting them back together are, in the long run. You probably did them a favor.

21 December 2006 at 13:41:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Kelly Kilmer said...

One of the reasons I love your blog, Eddie is just for posts like this one. I love the 'side by side' comparisons. Plus the commentary. It's just like having a DVD director's cut ;)
Ack-go find a teenager to do some "pick up" and "sorting" work for you. One that needs credit or somethin' for school (or cash always works good with kids)...

21 December 2006 at 14:35:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fast becoming my favorite blog, too. I really appreciate the consistent, interesting, and imformative posts.

Eddie- just what is the legal status of putting out Alan's scripts now? Can Disney still veto that, or what? This is a natural- we need these! Any chance Bissette & Borderlands could still be involved, or is that just too much water under the bridge?

Ron Swintek

21 December 2006 at 16:38:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Rod McKie said...

Great blog, with fantastic artwork. Your reputation as a famous carmudgeon is in danger.

21 December 2006 at 19:49:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disney have NOTHING to do with FROM HELL any longer

29 December 2006 at 23:15:00 GMT-5  

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