Oprah Time: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill

Reading Time: 2 minutes


In common with the previous volumes of LOEG, Moore and O’Neill have come back with a strong interpretation of a ficitonal world based on fictional characters co-existing in the same era, a Wold Newton-type technique.

This time the era is the 1950s, a post-Big Brother totalitarian UK that reminded me of Moore’s V for Vendetta and resonates with a modern war-on-terror Britain and US.
I don’t think its an accident that this story brings back Moore’s criticism of authoritarian regimes seen in The Watchmen and V for Vendetta.

The book moves away from between a standard graphic novel format and writings in the style of authors from PG Woodhouse to Jack Kerouac and even a Tijuana Bible (an eight-page blue comic that was popular in 40s and 50s America) and a 3D comic.

Part of the fun is trying to work out the literary and popular culture references as Moore mixes the well-known with the obscure to cook up a heady story. James Bond changes from blond beef-cake Daniel Craig, to the ruthless psychopath that Fleming originally intended. In Moore’s story Bond’s character has an additional dimension: treason.

Now for the bad news, according to reports around the web, The Black Dossier isn’t going to make it to the UK because of copyright considerations. However the high production values also mean that it would be very expensive to publish a UK edition. Thankfully books don’t incur VAT and can be imported via Amazon US.