Sunday, April 12, 2015

From Hell by Alan Moore

Title: From Hell
Author: Alan Moore
Publisher: Top Shelf
Rating: WARTY!

Art work: Eddie Campbell and Pete Mullins

This is the graphic novel from which the Johnny Depp movie of the same title was derived. I'd recommend the movie as an entertaining bit of nonsense, but I cannot recommend this rambling miasma of absurdity and boredom, which is really no more than a graphic realization of a Jack the Ripper Masonic conspiracy pulled directly from the 1976 book Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution.

The conceit here is that Jack the Ripper was really a doctor to Queen Victoria's royal family, William Gull, who was charged with covering up an indiscretion by an immediate member of the royal family. This is a nonsensical conspiracy theory hasn't a grain of truth to it and is in effect a scandalous libel of Doctor Gull.

The story pretends that Prince Albert Victor one of Victoria's children, secretly married "a commoner" named Annie Crook, with whom he had a child. Annie supposedly had no idea who he really was. When Queen Vic learns of it, she locks up Annie in an institution for the insane, and when she learns that a handful of prostitutes know the truth, she tasks William Gull with covering it up. Gull is supposedly a Mason, and ritually kills the girls for purposes of his own.

The daughter sired by the prince and damned by all is inexplicably not slaughtered, but left with a painter by the name of Walter Sickert (a real person who has also been named as the Ripper by a assortment of writers!).

The story lacks life and luster, and it became so boring when Moore decided to spend page after page after endless page taking us on a tour of London and trying to tie everything into a Massive Masonic Mystery Tour. I felt bad for Eddie Campbell and Pete Mullins having to draw all that crap. I expected Beatles music, which I didn't even get to offset the pictorial disaster. I noticed, also, that Moore is yet another writer who doesn't understand that there's a difference between stanch and staunch (page seven). I can't recommend this one at all.