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Danger
Jan 4, 2004

all desire - the thirst for oil, war, religious salvation - needs to understood according to what he calls 'the demonogrammatical decoding of the Earth's body'

Gonna preface this with Alan Moore's opinion about superhero poo poo, which is for children, is entirely on point and the loving awful Watchmen HBO series and it's ilk pretty much proves his point.

But anyways, after he wrote fairly definitively about that he spent 10 years writing something called From Hell which is absolutely his magnum opus and an enduring examination of the 20th century and the sort of politics and culture it will engender.

Its meticulously researched, beautifully inked, poignantly scripted, it's effusive and ultimately self-aggrandizing; but always self-aware. It knows that the media ghouls that will ultimately devour it will poo poo it out as chum for the brain poisoned liberal shark tank used to diffuse any revolutionary notions or spirit it might have once had. Moore himself said that in writing it, he came upon such a profound spiritual realization that he had to reorganize his entire life around it. So they took that and turned out some Johnny Depp schlock.

Anyways. I've read this thing several times and every instance come away with the same deep conviction that it was written for this moment. So I was hoping other people wanted to talk about it and might put up a frequently updated framework about it. It's not so hard to read.

It's 14 chapters long, with a prologue and epilogue . There are 2 appendices. The first has meticulous end notes about every chapter. The second is a complete deconstruction of the entire book's premise and a pretty sobering realization. The end of the second appendix is, especially in more modern light, the most haunting and enduring image of the entire thing.

I was hoping someone would be interested in this. It's more certainly relevant today, and not just because we are in that time of year of the murders, but that the underlying premise of the book: that history has an architecture, that there are very real gods manufactured through human consent, that political actions and events reverberate backwards and forwards in time in the way they might shape material conditions and the way history is created out of the fiction they engender. Make no mistake, history is a fiction and Moore's ultimate take that if that is the case, then magic has a place in it's creation is apt as all hell.

I haven't put much thought into where to go from here so just thought I'd put down thoughts and understandings of the chapters I've had as a weekly progression.


Prologue
The prologue most definitely sets the strong thesis of the work. It was written over a decade and the relevancy of this thesis stands the test of that even to today:



Here we see the main investigator, Abberline, talking with one of the only other ones who knew the conspiracy, Lees. Lees is a psychic who led Abberline to the murderer. Here, before the story or theory of the murders even begin, he admits he made everything up. He made it up but it came true anyways. If that's not some 2020 poo poo then go gently caress yourself.

But that's what this book is about. It's about the very nature of time and history and how malleable those things really are.
Maybe you saw the movie, but feel free to completely disregard it as it shed ever revolutionary or philosophical notion that is central to the book. You know the entire conspiracy and killer by the end of the 2nd chapter. The remaining 12 chapters are something loving else.
Chapter 1
Pretty much the entire conspiracy.
Chapter 2
What is the fourth dimension? (this chapter is a refrain you will see again. it's important)
Chapter 3
Oh yea, poor people exist and most murder fiction is a predation upon them
Chapter 4
an architecture of history
Chapter 5

Chapter 6
Abberline
Chapter 7
Jack the Ripper
Chapter 8
There's a loving skyscraper in this one
Chapter 9
Some fake news bullshit and the ghost of the flea
Chapter 10
you kind of just have to read this one. describing it won't help
Chapter 11
yea some real epstein didn't kill himself vibes
Chapter 12
Abberline finds the killer due to zero police work
Chapter 13
You could literally take this chapter out. It's Abberline discovering the entire conspiracy but its loving impotent and pointless. That's the message.
Chapter 14
Gull Ascending
Epilogue
There's going to be another war.
Appendix 2
That last loving page...

Danger has issued a correction as of 02:42 on Oct 30, 2020

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paul_soccer12
Jan 5, 2020




First

StashAugustine
Mar 24, 2013

Do not trust in hope- it will betray you! Only faith and hatred sustain.









yeah seconding this, From Hell is fantastic and extremely cspam. i know this is just scratching the surface of the work- it's basically what Lees says in the opening- but the combination of an increasingly insane occult conspiracy with the epilogue's conclusion that we don't know what loving happened except that four people died horrible deaths and millions more were just as desperate and impoverished as they lived is real poo poo for these times

Clear off now wit' ye! Clear off back to Hell and leave us be!

dead gay comedy forums
Oct 21, 2011




From Hell is a loving magnificent and full of terrible/terrifying grandeur

anyone who likes frying their brains with stuff like Ghost Stories for the End of the World is going to love it imho

edit:

loving loved his take on William Blake, being completely fearless and portraying him as the terror he was

Stairmaster
Jun 8, 2012




this is one of the greatest manga ever written.

DMCrimson
Jan 2, 2005



Nap Ghost

Echoing everyone that From Hell is a top three comic ever. I ordered a used copy of this and the complete Bone back in college and, as someone who didn't really read comics before, did not expect just how physically giant these books were. Eventually I sold it off since it was too big to take with me while apartment-hopping.

I should really pick up a digital copy and start a re-read in the current political climate.

DMCrimson has issued a correction as of 16:31 on Oct 30, 2020

Malkina_
May 13, 2020
Probation
Can't post for 3 days!


Danger posted:

Gonna preface this with Alan Moore's opinion about superhero poo poo, which is for children, is entirely on point and the loving awful Watchmen HBO series and it's ilk pretty much proves his point.

The way he articulated himself on this view is hauntingly timeless



Yeah and skip the Johnny Depp movie its real bad

dead gay comedy forums
Oct 21, 2011




Malkina_ posted:

The way he articulated himself on this view is hauntingly timeless

pity that the man is so withdrawn from public life (for completely valid reasons and I think he is totally correct in his reasons for so), because I would absolutely love him doing more cultural commentary/essaying given how eccentrically sharp he is

the man is a legit anarcho-communist esoteric Marxist and the left could use a few more active mages lmao

A Russian troll farm
Jul 11, 2012

And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

i tried to buy it at the book store last week but it was loving 80 dollars. gently caress you!

Victory Position
Mar 15, 2004

Don't call me a hero.









if the prologue is supposed to make me think about Waiting for Godot, it did an extremely good job of it and make light of its subject by saying we just waited for the hell of it

yeah I want to read this

gh0stpinballa
Mar 5, 2019



the footnotes at the back of the book also make for exceptional reading.

the sequence where gull explains the architectural symbolism of london basically anticipates all the hosed up epstein poo poo like the island temple, the crooked spirals on the devil mask, the weird crop circle pattern at Zorro ranch, etc.

StashAugustine
Mar 24, 2013

Do not trust in hope- it will betray you! Only faith and hatred sustain.









gh0stpinballa posted:

the footnotes at the back of the book also make for exceptional reading.

the sequence where gull explains the architectural symbolism of london basically anticipates all the hosed up epstein poo poo like the island temple, the crooked spirals on the devil mask, the weird crop circle pattern at Zorro ranch, etc.

my favorite aside is Moore mentions the artist didn't want to make queen Victoria the bad guy lmao

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Yes! Enthusiastically and unironically yes, we can talk about this!

Danger
Jan 4, 2004

all desire - the thirst for oil, war, religious salvation - needs to understood according to what he calls 'the demonogrammatical decoding of the Earth's body'

gh0stpinballa posted:

the footnotes at the back of the book also make for exceptional reading.

the sequence where gull explains the architectural symbolism of london basically anticipates all the hosed up epstein poo poo like the island temple, the crooked spirals on the devil mask, the weird crop circle pattern at Zorro ranch, etc.

this is definitely an iconic chapter and I absolutely love how it destroys the pacing of the book, upending it. like chapter 1 sets up the plot, chapter 2 is a little odd but continues the story, chapter 3 more so, then what the absolute gently caress is chapter 4?

I also think it tends to overshadow the following ones a bit, chapter 5 especially has some of the most evocative imagery up to that point (that will later on even be eclipsed further).

I kinda intend on writing up thoughts and posting excerpts weekly I think. I just did a book club with some friends so have a bunch of notes and other sources already out together.

Danger has issued a correction as of 19:15 on Oct 30, 2020

Danger
Jan 4, 2004

all desire - the thirst for oil, war, religious salvation - needs to understood according to what he calls 'the demonogrammatical decoding of the Earth's body'

StashAugustine posted:

my favorite aside is Moore mentions the artist didn't want to make queen Victoria the bad guy lmao

compare how Victoria is drawn compared to like any other deity or god or person. shes literally haloed in darkness

Aglet56
Sep 1, 2011


i own a copy of this and to be honest i kind of bounced off of it the one time i read it. it was obviously very meticulously researched and i can't argue with the basic moral premises, but the second half left me a bit cold. the bit where gull is chopping up the last girl and sees a vision of modern-day london was a little on-the-nose, i felt.

however!

the architecture chapter (chapter 4) really is incredible, and perfectly readable on its own. so if you're on the fence, check out that chapter

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

Regarding Jahbulon, the thing Gull has a vision of:

quote:

Non-Masonic authors have alleged that it is a Masonic name for God, and even the name of a unique "Masonic god", despite repeated statements by Freemasonry's officials that "There is no separate Masonic God", nor a separate proper name for a deity in any branch of Freemasonry.[1][2] It is this misinterpretation of a "Masonic god" that has led to debates about and condemnation of Freemasonry by several religious groups, notwithstanding the fact that it has been proven to be pure speculation by those who seem to know neither the Bible nor history. In England, no ritual containing the name has been in official Masonic use since February 1989.

"That deity was made up by people who don't like us. Also, we haven't invoked him since a very specific timeframe."

jarofpiss
May 16, 2009

WHITE COMFORT MATTERS


okay i bought this yesterday on your recommendation and on like page 6 there's a lady jackin a dude off and then full p in v penetration. i didn't expect this to be such an artsy book but i am looking forward to reading it

animist
Aug 28, 2018

yeet



gonna read it, looks neat

dex_sda
Oct 11, 2012




Malkina_ posted:

The way he articulated himself on this view is hauntingly timeless



Hell yes

Victory Position
Mar 15, 2004

Don't call me a hero.









Malkina_ posted:

The way he articulated himself on this view is hauntingly timeless



Yeah and skip the Johnny Depp movie its real bad

but of course, Magneto and the dream of Israel and Zionism

gh0stpinballa
Mar 5, 2019



Danger posted:

this is definitely an iconic chapter and I absolutely love how it destroys the pacing of the book, upending it. like chapter 1 sets up the plot, chapter 2 is a little odd but continues the story, chapter 3 more so, then what the absolute gently caress is chapter 4?

I also think it tends to overshadow the following ones a bit, chapter 5 especially has some of the most evocative imagery up to that point (that will later on even be eclipsed further).

I kinda intend on writing up thoughts and posting excerpts weekly I think. I just did a book club with some friends so have a bunch of notes and other sources already out together.

i look forward to reading this if you do it, i love reading takes about from hell

jarofpiss
May 16, 2009

WHITE COMFORT MATTERS


just finished chapter 4 & 5 and that owned

jarofpiss
May 16, 2009

WHITE COMFORT MATTERS


gh0stpinballa posted:

the footnotes at the back of the book also make for exceptional reading.

the sequence where gull explains the architectural symbolism of london basically anticipates all the hosed up epstein poo poo like the island temple, the crooked spirals on the devil mask, the weird crop circle pattern at Zorro ranch, etc.

should i be reading the appendix/footnote stuff as i go or is that something to save and go back through after i finish the story? i bought the master edition im really glad this thread got made because this wasn't something that was ever on my radar

Farm Frenzy
Jan 3, 2007



thank u for reminding me to read this op it was really fun

jarofpiss posted:

should i be reading the appendix/footnote stuff as i go or is that something to save and go back through after i finish the story? i bought the master edition im really glad this thread got made because this wasn't something that was ever on my radar

its mostly about the historical influences moore drew on which are really interesting but not critical to the plot or anything

Danger
Jan 4, 2004

all desire - the thirst for oil, war, religious salvation - needs to understood according to what he calls 'the demonogrammatical decoding of the Earth's body'

jarofpiss posted:

should i be reading the appendix/footnote stuff as i go or is that something to save and go back through after i finish the story? i bought the master edition im really glad this thread got made because this wasn't something that was ever on my radar

reading the end notes as you go along is nice. when I first read I would just take a peek if something stood out to me or seemed odd and I wondered if it was based in fact. chapter 4 is a great one to read all the way through. dont read appendix 2 until you finish, it is intended as a coda.

I plan on putting up a bunch of my notes on chapter 1 and 2 tomorrow probably, otherwise welcome others thoughts still.

StashAugustine
Mar 24, 2013

Do not trust in hope- it will betray you! Only faith and hatred sustain.









i read it all after but i had a virtual copy and it sucked to flip back and forth

Maya Fey
Jan 22, 2017




gh0stpinballa posted:

i look forward to reading this if you do it, i love reading takes about from hell

I hated every goddamn minute of it.

I hated the cramped, schizophrenic writing that made my eyes cross. I hated the stark, sketch-y drawing that were so vague you couldn't ever tell who was who. I hated the gore and the period-"appropriate" racism and classism. I hated all the charactersthe flippety-gibbet women and the cold cruel calculating men and everyone in between. I hated the inexplicable worlds-within-worlds twistiness of the myriad occult subplots. I hated the bleakness. I even hated the massive heft of the goddamn book itself, which was impossible to hold comfortably in any position, especially outside on my stoop, especially on the subway, especially anywhere except I guess sitting in a massive velvet armchair in some vast dark-wood-paneled drawing room where rich white men drink sherry and chortle over their monocles. Or something like that, I don't loving know.

Alan Moore is a very insane man, and although I was blown away by Watchmen, this book made me never want to read anything else he's written ever again. I'm not totally sure I even finished it, although I do think I remember some very unsatisfying closing scene with two old dudes on a bluff talking about how no one ever found out what they'd done? Did that happen? I don't loving know, it's two years since I read it and I think I blocked most of it out.

gently caress this book, is what I'm saying.

Dreddout
Oct 1, 2015

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.


Maya Fey posted:

and the period-"appropriate" racism and classism.

Would you prefer they depict Victorian England as a woke society?

bvj191jgl7bBsqF5m
Apr 16, 2017

Í̝̰ ͓̯̖̫̹̯̤A҉m̺̩͝ ͇̬A̡̮̞̠͚͉̱̫ K̶e͓ǵ.̻̱̪͖̹̟̕


I thought the movie was fun

StashAugustine
Mar 24, 2013

Do not trust in hope- it will betray you! Only faith and hatred sustain.









I have to agree that I had a hard time telling people apart

Hodgepodge
Jan 29, 2006


Maya Fey posted:

I hated every goddamn minute of it.

I hated the cramped, schizophrenic writing that made my eyes cross. I hated the stark, sketch-y drawing that were so vague you couldn't ever tell who was who. I hated the gore and the period-"appropriate" racism and classism. I hated all the charactersthe flippety-gibbet women and the cold cruel calculating men and everyone in between. I hated the inexplicable worlds-within-worlds twistiness of the myriad occult subplots. I hated the bleakness. I even hated the massive heft of the goddamn book itself, which was impossible to hold comfortably in any position, especially outside on my stoop, especially on the subway, especially anywhere except I guess sitting in a massive velvet armchair in some vast dark-wood-paneled drawing room where rich white men drink sherry and chortle over their monocles. Or something like that, I don't loving know.

Alan Moore is a very insane man, and although I was blown away by Watchmen, this book made me never want to read anything else he's written ever again. I'm not totally sure I even finished it, although I do think I remember some very unsatisfying closing scene with two old dudes on a bluff talking about how no one ever found out what they'd done? Did that happen? I don't loving know, it's two years since I read it and I think I blocked most of it out.

gently caress this book, is what I'm saying.

in terms of historical accuracy, it was being nice to victorian london

pogi
Jun 11, 2014



I read the book + appendices over the weekend thanks to this thread. It was bleak and heavy and filthy, and reading it felt like picking up a huge lump of coal and getting the dust all over me. I didnt like it nor did I enjoy it, but I appreciated what Moore had to say.

The panel of Polly so exhausted that shes sleeping on the clothesline confused me at first, and then horrified me when I got context from the appendix. Thats the image that I think is going to stick with me from the book, the systemic abuse that allows for something so devoid of simple human dignity - ESPECIALLY since its directly contrasted with her killer waking up in a comfortable bed in a beautiful house.

I have more thoughts later maybe! Interested in what other people have to say.

forkboy84
Jun 13, 2012

I thought the redtext someone dumped on you was in bad taste and a bit much so here's a corgi instead.

I need to re-read this as it's been years. Thank you for the inspiration OP

Honest Thief
Jan 11, 2009

mão na bola

Finished Providence recently and is his closest to From Hell, it's just as meticulously researched, just as dense, every issue backmatter are handwritten pages from the MC's diary and can be just as big as the comic.

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

Providence was great and this blog is basically an appendix for it.

Honest Thief
Jan 11, 2009

mão na bola

Animal-Mother posted:

Providence was great and this blog is basically an appendix for it.

You know that picture on the painters chapter that is an actual photograph produced for the book? I swear I've seen a similar picture from the early 20th century only i can't place it

Danger
Jan 4, 2004

all desire - the thirst for oil, war, religious salvation - needs to understood according to what he calls 'the demonogrammatical decoding of the Earth's body'

Maya Fey posted:

I hated every goddamn minute of it.

I hated the cramped, schizophrenic writing that made my eyes cross. I hated the stark, sketch-y drawing that were so vague you couldn't ever tell who was who. I hated the gore and the period-"appropriate" racism and classism. I hated all the charactersthe flippety-gibbet women and the cold cruel calculating men and everyone in between. I hated the inexplicable worlds-within-worlds twistiness of the myriad occult subplots. I hated the bleakness. I even hated the massive heft of the goddamn book itself, which was impossible to hold comfortably in any position, especially outside on my stoop, especially on the subway, especially anywhere except I guess sitting in a massive velvet armchair in some vast dark-wood-paneled drawing room where rich white men drink sherry and chortle over their monocles. Or something like that, I don't loving know.

Alan Moore is a very insane man, and although I was blown away by Watchmen, this book made me never want to read anything else he's written ever again. I'm not totally sure I even finished it, although I do think I remember some very unsatisfying closing scene with two old dudes on a bluff talking about how no one ever found out what they'd done? Did that happen? I don't loving know, it's two years since I read it and I think I blocked most of it out.

gently caress this book, is what I'm saying.

I straight up dont get the criticism of the art. I never found it challenging to tell people apart and think the style is a really important part of the story. most definitely scenes unravel into the next and are juxtaposed with the solid lines of the architecture depicted.

also underlying the entire theory of historical narrative is a premise of materialism but I guess it wasnt woke enough?

one thing recently with Moore Ive found funny, having to do with that interview on modern superhero stories quoted a few times already, is that Ive seen plenty of folks chide Moore for that take while claiming Watchmen is the best thing hes done in the same breath.

Danger has issued a correction as of 00:22 on Nov 3, 2020

Hodgepodge
Jan 29, 2006


Danger posted:

I straight up dont get the criticism of the art. I never found it challenging to tell people apart and think the style is a really important part of the story. most definitely scenes unravel into the next and are juxtaposed with the solid lines of the architecture depicted.

also underlying the entire theory of historical narrative is a premise of materialism but I guess it wasnt woke enough?

one thing recently with Moore Ive found funny, having to do with that interview on modern superhero stories quoted a few times already, is that Ive seen plenty of folks chide Moore for that take while claiming Watchmen is the best thing hes done in the same breath.

imagine if instead of some type of music or final fantasy games or something actually useful instead of just harmless, you became irrationally emotionally attatched to superhero comics and you never matured out of the phase where this one dumb thing is a part of your identity that you felt you needed to defend at all costs and then rich people devoted billons of dollars to giving your warped sense of self worth lots of social proof and temporarily replicating all this in lots of people who at this point probably just don't want to think about superhero movies except to vaguely remember liking them

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Danger
Jan 4, 2004

all desire - the thirst for oil, war, religious salvation - needs to understood according to what he calls 'the demonogrammatical decoding of the Earth's body'

Hodgepodge posted:

imagine if instead of some type of music or final fantasy games or something actually useful instead of just harmless, you became irrationally emotionally attatched to superhero comics and you never matured out of the phase where this one dumb thing is a part of your identity that you felt you needed to defend at all costs and then rich people devoted billons of dollars to giving your warped sense of self worth lots of social proof and temporarily replicating all this in lots of people who at this point probably just don't want to think about superhero movies except to vaguely remember liking them

I mean I even get that but like the entire premise of watchmen shits all over comic books and super heroes, so this unique combination of takes: Moore sucks for criticizing this but the same thing he said 20 years ago rules; I find funny.

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