From Hell - New Cover Edition Paperback – Jun 10 2004
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The mad, shaggy genius of the comics world dips deeply into the well of history and pulls up a cup filled with blood in From Hell. Alan Moore did a couple of Ph.D.'s worth of research into the Whitechapel murders for this copiously annotated collection of the independently published series. The web of facts, opinion, hearsay, and imaginative invention draws the reader in from the first page. Eddie Campbell's scratchy ink drawings evoke a dark and dirty Victorian London and help to humanize characters that have been caricatured into obscurity for decades. Moore, having decided that the evidence best fits the theory of a Masonic conspiracy to cover up a scandal involving Victoria's grandson, goes to work telling the story with relish from the point of view of the victims, the chief inspector, and the killer--the Queen's physician. His characterization is just as vibrant as Campbell's; even the minor characters feel fully real. Looking more deeply than most, the author finds in the "great work" of the Ripper a ritual magic working intended to give birth to the 20th century in all its horrid glory. Maps, characters, and settings are all as accurate as possible, and while the reader might not ultimately agree with Moore and Campbell's thesis, From Hell is still a great work of literature. --Rob Lightner
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Top Customer Reviews
I've never experienced anything close to what FROM HELL delivers in the admittedly short time that I've been reading comics. Alan Moore writes with the ear of a novelist and the eye of a portraitist. He packs this well-researched story of the Jack the Ripper murders with a wide and observant representation of life.
This graphic novel isn't just a retelling of the facts of the Jack the Ripper case (though it does an extraordinary job of that). It takes it all to the next level, and examines the reasons for examining such things.
It's not so much a suspense story (you know who the killer is right from the beginning) but rather one of internal discovery. A fascinating work of art and work of literature that should be read by anyone who wants to see just what comics are capable of.
In so short a summary, a premise of that sort sounds like typical comic book fodder - in the worst possible way. But From Hell is no penny-dreadful account of a mad doctor slashing wildly at buxom streetwalkers. Moore refuses to exploit any of his characters: the prostitutes who are to become the Ripper's victims are shown as strong-willed individuals trying to make a living under truly hideous conditions; Gull is a brash, brilliant man, typical of the Victorian upper classes, whose underlying prejudices are grotesquely brought to the surface after he suffers a stroke early in the novel. No character here is a caricature - they're all real people, right down to relatively minor supporting figures like Gull's harried, ambitious coach-driver Netley.Read more ›
If you've seen the movie, forget the psychic detective, forget the whodunnit story. If you wondered where the film's brains were -- well, they were left on the comics page.
The black-and-white graphic novel is an exploration of Jack the Ripper -- his crimes, conspiracy theories, the police investigation and a lot of insight into the mind of the Ripper (whose identity is not kept secret). This book goes off into so many wonderful tangents about philosophy, history, little period details, all kinds of stuff that you couldn't fit into a movie's length. Yet it keeps very human characters.
Alan Moore's writing is superb as ever. Eddie Campbell's art is a bit stratchy but perfectly sets the mood.
The book also contains an length collection of Endnotes that will show where Moore's getting this stuff from and suggestions for further reading. And there's the history of Ripper studies in comic book form too.
Not for the faint of heart ("Jack" murdered and maimed viciously) or those with a short attention span (lots of artsy and intellectual stuff here, not a slam-bang actioner). But for those who want smart, well-written, well-drawn, insanely well-researched comics, this is the collection to buy.
Most recent customer reviews
Simply brilliant. Incredible detail, storytelling and the scratchy artwork fits perfectly. So dark. This is s breathtaking piece of work.Published 7 months ago by wjanthony
c est pour un ami, il a adoré, c est long, sombre et bien agencé, y a beaucoup de texte, c ets en noir et blanc et faut s y connaitre en anglais quand mêmePublished on Dec 19 2012 by Eretzvaju
In light of the applause given to this particular author, the Freemason research - "a couple of Ph. Read morePublished on June 19 2004 by Philip Livingstone
The pages can get quite ugly; ink splotches, grotesque dissections et al. All this was very necessary, but the story, however, was homogenous- it was a dark and intelligent epic,... Read morePublished on April 2 2004 by Kay A. Ching
Alan Moore's incredible "From Hell" is wonderful for many reasons. The first is Alan Moore, who all of this can be blamed on. Read morePublished on Feb. 8 2004 by Ellen Pellnat
You really don't realize just how amazing this book is until you get to the end and read the appendices. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2003 by Amazon Customer
I was a big fan of the Watchmen and Top Ten, though I haven't enjoyed all of Moore's work nearly as much. So I picked up this collection without overly high expectations. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2003
Firstly, if you're new to comics, stay well clear of this little baby. Secondly, if all you've ever read is comics, stay well clear of this little baby. Read morePublished on June 18 2003
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