Monday, February 24, 2003

Alan Moore's The Courtyard, Issue One, written by Alan Moore, artwork by Jacen Burrows, sequential adaptation by Antony Johnston and Alan Moore

These Avatar Press minis keep popping up with Alan Moore's names on them, so like the slavering Pavlovian mutt that I am, I pick them up on sight. I'm not really sure what Avatar's deal is, or how long they've been around--I haven't paid much attention to comics companies since the Image boom of the mid-90's temporarily killed off all my interest--but they look to have some interesting releases coming up; more Moore, lots of Warren Ellis, even some Joe Lansdale. Stop me if you already know all this. I was a bit leery, because I'm really not sure what "Sequential Adaptation" is supposed to mean or who this Antony Johnston fellow is. Sure he's a nice guy, loves his mother and all that.

The Courtyard is Alan Moore's contribution to the Lovecraftian Mythos, set in a gritty near-future where things like Farrakhan Day are celebrated and the drugs have names like Aklo and the dealers wear veils. A deep cover federal agent named Sax is investigating a spate of ritual murders committed by three unrelated suspects, and the clues point towards a band called The Ulthar Cats.

This is issue one of two. The black-and-white art is clean and captures urban drabness, although everyone seems oddly tall. I didn't know this was a Cthulhu story until partway through, and I must admit I was disappointed to discover it. I like Alan's original stuff better. But then it's tough to judge the whole based on half, so I'll be looking for the second issue.


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