Alan Moore's The Courtyard
A timeless tale of Lovecraftian psychological horror
This is an Alan Moore Chtuhlu myths short story, beautifully adapted for comics by writer Anthony Johnston and artist Jacen Burrows. FBI agent Aldo Sax is investigating a number of unconnnected but identical murders committed by the most unlikely of
This is an Alan Moore Chtuhlu myths short story, beautifully adapted for comics by writer Anthony Johnston and artist Jacen Burrows. FBI agent Aldo Sax is investigating a number of unconnnected but identical murders committed by the most unlikely of suspects. All of them candidly confessed to the murders they committed, but no more. All of them were spotted speaking similar gibberish and were probably buying and using drug from the same Courtyard... Follow agent Sax as he uncovers what is behind the murders and stumbles upon much, much more than he expected. This book is downright scary and, in typical Alan Moore fashion, touches upon many hemes at once, adapting them to his sensibilities and making them relevant and poignant. At some level, this is a story of urban decay and hash social commentary. The neighbourhood Sax is conducting his investigation in is squallid and drugs seem the only real escape from its murdering depression. On some other level, this is a Lovecraftian horror tale, but it is brilliantly executed and would make Lovecraft proud: The Boston writer and his literary peers often visited each others fantastic worlds, and Moore does nothing less here, paying homage and at the same time bringing his ample palette to the picture. Lastly, this is typical Moore because it is another hymn to the power of language, another look into its many facets and recesses, this time boldly going into almost non-human territory (again, Swamp Thing readers would say :-). A lot of merit also goes to ANthony Johnston for choosing this stunning format based on a grid of two vertical panels per page, which really gives Jacen Burrows' artwork the deserved room to breathe, while avoiding to turn this into a spalsh page slugfest or a simple illustrated prose story. So Burrows' considerable illustration talents are once again out to great use and turned into storytelling brilliance. My favourite pages are the last ones, as Sax receives three hits of the mysterious aklo drug and the artwork becomes incision-like (when he takes the drug) and the art breaks the basic panels pattern to delve into two 3-panels double page spreads and a full 2-page spread for the drug induced vision, before going full circle and showing the first panels of the story again, but with a decisive, perverse twist. This book come with my highest recommendation to all fans of the crime and horror genres this book mainly belongs to, to all fans off poignant social commentary, and to all fans of the authors.