Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Alan Moore’s Neonomicon Hornbook
Moore & Burrows
This comic is essentially the zero issue (or the preview issue) for the sequel to Alan Moore’s The Courtyard. The comic contains only nine pages of story and another five pages of script for the cheap price of $2. The issue gives enough story to show some promise for the latest horror story from the comic book legend.
Whether you read The Courtyard or not this issue fills in gaps of either your reading selections of the past or your memory. Aldo Sax is locked is up for committing some heinous murders. The twist is that he’d previously been a government agent when he snapped. Now two new agents, Brears and Lamper, pay Aldo a visit to gather some information.
The interview is more of a one-way conversation as Aldo is less than coherent. However, this awkward behavior reveals a lot about his state. His silence at the end of the issue also provides some clues for the investigation that led Brears and Lamper to him in the first place.
The issue is a good one because it essentially recaps much of what you need to know from the previous series. It also manages to establish the frame of mind and motives of the three chief characters. We may not know much about the case that the agents are working on or what role Aldo will eventually play in all of this but the ball has certainly begun to roll.
The five pages of script shows, in this particular issue, why Alan Moore is generally regarded as a comic book genius. If you have ever read scripts in other comics you probably recall the typical format. Usually you see some descriptive panel layout with some art direction and the dialogue. Moore’s script does that and much more. He takes painstaking lengths to describe the character’s behavior, thought process, position of the environment relative to the characters, position of the word balloons and much more. There are plenty of novels that don’t push across this level of detail that are held in high regard. Printing these script pages was worth the two bucks alone.
The artwork looks stunning. This issue takes full advantage of Moore’s description of the story. Let’s face it, the bulk of the issue takes place in an asylum of some kind so you need to be convinced that the patient belongs there to sell the whole set up. The art does that and also manages to push across the emotions and body language of Agent Brears specifically.
This preview does a good job of selling the story and the characters with less than half of a full issue of content. This looks like it will be a great story. Too bad we have to wait a few months for it to kickoff in full force.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles