Fantastic! And in the case of From Hell, decidedly fatal. Today’s 28 Days of Comics sale celebrates the wonderful world of “F,” which is chock full of comic awesomeness. My favorite of today’s offerings is a classic that needs no introduction-but it will be receiving one all the same: From Hell is Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s gripping study of the grisly Jack the Ripper murders. Forget about the film (although I kind of liked it). The original tale is a world unto itself, and this edition from Top Shelf is oversized and contains the full story and appendices. Believe me, you’ll need them, as this is a tale of involved conspiracies, horrors, and psychometamagical musings. Alright, that might not really be a word-but it should be, and I’m coining it as of now to express the ambition and implications of this tale.
From Hell is a grand investigation into the killing spree of Jack the Ripper, the most infamous serial killer of all time. In this interpretation, Alan Moore casts Dr. Gull as the villain and creates a truly compelling and terrifying psychological study. Were this the sum total of the tale, it would be enough. But it is in fact the complex myriad of themes that lie above and beneath, as well as being interwoven throughout the multiple layers of this tale, that make it a masterpiece. In introducing us to Dr. Gull as the villain early on, Moore and Campbell sidestep the easy path of simple “whodunnit,” and ask much deeper questions about the significance of an individual’s actions to those around him, the society he inhabits, and how the zeitgeist (past, present, and future) may be undone through brutality.
“Man. That sounds like a pretty heavy book.”
It is indeed, and I endorse it wholeheartedly to fans of horror, magic realism, historical fiction, investigatory procedure . . . in short, to anyone who enjoys thinking while he or she reads.
However, if you find the brutality of the Whitechapel Murders a little overbearing (entirely understandable), we’ve some other wonderful titles for you. Catch up on the the early career of Mike Mignola with Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, or delve into the surreal and sublime world of Fables. Whatever you’re into, you’re sure to find the fantastic within today’s great selection!
By the by, am I the only person on the face of the planet who enjoyed the film adaptation of From Hell? Mind you, I’m well aware it came nowhere near embodying the scope and insight of the graphic tale, but really, how could it have? Sound off if you agree, or better yet, let us know why you don’t.
And check in tomorrow for “G,” which encompasses worlds of ghosts, arrows of green, and fairy tales which are decidedly grimm . . . and sexy.
Author : Andrew@TFAW