Stuart Moore:
Blog, Biography, Bibliography

Friday, August 31, 2007



I haven't seen this on any comics sites, but courtesy of Cute Overload: Go here for an extremely charming, funny series of mock-vintage comic strips featuring a cast of hobo cats -- who talk entirely in LOL-cat-speak.

A completely unique idea, and some of the best new cartooning I've seen in a long time. The creator's blog is Hobotopia; he sells originals and merchandise.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

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"Words weren't dull, words were things that could make your mind hum. If you read them and let yourself feel the magic, you could live without pain, with hope, no matter what happened to you."

-Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye

Marvel Comics Presents #1


This new anthology, out September 19th, features the 8-page Spider-Man story "Unfriendly Neighborhood" by me and Clayton Henry of recent X-MEN fame. Preview here.

MCP #1 also features stories by Stuart & Kathryn Immonen, Rich Koslowski, and Dave Wilkins, and a wraparound cover by J. Scott Campbell.

If you read only one Spider-Man story this year...well, let's not kid ourselves, it'll probably be this one. But ours is worth a look too, especially if -- like me -- you always liked the Green Lantern Corps but secretly thought they were, well, kind of silly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wednesday: The Nightmare Factory


Out this week in comic shops: THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY, a gorgeous graphic album of stories adapted from the works of Thomas Ligotti. Includes "The Last Feast of Harlequin" by me and Colleen Doran, and "Dream of a Mannikin" by me and Ben Templesmith. Plus two other stories by Joe Harris, Ted McKeever, and Michael Gaydos.

We're all pretty proud of this one; Ligotti's stories were tricky to adapt, but I'm very happy with the results. From the fine folks at Fox Atomic/HarperCollins.

More at the above links, and IGN has exclusive preview pages from all the stories here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

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"Easy cynicism is no more truthful than easy optimism, though it seems to be so to the young."

-Philip Pullman

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This Is The One


The COMPLETE PEANUTS series from Fantagraphics has been chugging along for three-plus years now, and a new volume isn't greeted as an event anymore. The first seven books showed the evolution of the characters, some false starts (the characters 3,4, and 5 never really caught on), and presented a fascinating collection of never-before-reprinted strips, including an early continuity featuring an out-of-character Lucy in a golf tournament with actual adults.

But THIS is the one. This is where it all comes together. 1965-66 was the absolute height of Charles Schulz's continuity storytelling. It starts off with the finale (continued from the previous volume) of Charlie Brown's agonizing attempts to put off writing a school-vacation book report as long as possible. He can't bring himself to actually do the work, but he can't enjoy a single minute of his Christmas break, either.

Then we proceed to Sally's childlike/adolescent humiliation at having to wear an eyepatch for her amblyopia. Charlie Brown's total humiliation at the spelling bee, after which he screams at the teacher and spends a week of strips dreading his visit to the principal's office. Lucy and Linus's deep sadness when their parents decide to move away from the neighborhood (temporarily, of course). The introduction of beatnik lesbian Peppermint Patty, an ideal foil for the others and a perfectly realized character from Strip One. The first, agonizing, Little Red-Haired Girl strips --and, counterpointing them, the first two summer camp storylines, where we see that even losers can leave their familiar surroundings and, temporarily, become Someone Else.

And near the end, in a horrifying sequence, Snoopy's doghouse burns to the ground. This storyline in particular taps into a lot of genuine fear and dread, from Snoopy trying to sleep on the charred, bowed, fish-skeleton framework of his former house; to Lucy's blame-the-victim insistence that "he was probably smoking in bed"; to Snoopy's frustration with red tape as he tries to build a new home.

Schulz's timing is at its height here, and so are his facial expressions. Incidental panels pop out at you, like Charlie Brown and Snoopy sitting together on a chair, talking; or Snoopy angrily BOOT-ing Lucy clear out of the panel when she suggests his plans for a new home are too extravagant -- "He's only a stupid dog!" There are curiosities, too, like a Christmas strip wherein Linus recites the same verse as in A Charlie Brown Christmas, but in Revised Standard translation, not King James. (The strip, which I believe was published after the Christmas special, takes pains to point out the source version. It must have been important to Schulz for some reason.)

Most of us initially read these strips in scattered, dog-eared paperbacks, the strips shuffled and rearranged. Sometimes this made the continuities tighter -- for instance, Linus's two strips about "the gift of prophecy" appear here hundreds of pages apart, but they're funnier when read together. But assembled in order of original publication, these strips really show a cartoonist at the absolute height of his powers. This is the first volume where the incidental, one-off strips never let you down. Spliced in and among the continuities are such gems as Snoopy waiting in line for the movies with everyone else, proud of belonging, until he reaches the front and realizes "I don't even know what's going on"; Lucy's hilarious non-fight with Snoopy; and Violet -- a much-diminished character by this point -- proclaiming to Charlie Brown, "I'll be glad when I grow up and can move out of this neighborhood...everyone around here bores me!" "Everyone?" he replies. "Especially 'everyone'!!!"

And sometimes, Schulz weaves storylines together in unexpected ways. While Charlie Brown deals with the horrors of the spelling bee in the daily strips, the Sundays feature some of the finest of the surreal, mock-melodramatic Snoopy/Red Baron gags. Then, in the last daily of that sequence, Charlie Brown -- trudging home after "the worst day of my life" -- thinks, "On a day like this, a person really needs his faithful dog to come running out to greet him." Snoopy, of course, sits astride his sopwith camel, wholly focused on his quest for the Red Baron. Charlie Brown just sighs.

One note: Skip the Hal Hartley introduction. Hartley completely ignores this finest period of Peanuts, dwelling instead on (a) lesser strips from a later period and (b) his own films and the critical reaction to same. The piece is both egotistical and out of place; it would have fit much better in a later volume or, preferably, in a drawer. This book deserves better.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Shadrach Stone

Something a little different: Here are a few pages and images from SHADRACH STONE, a project Jon Proctor and I are working right now to place with a publisher. It's a politically-charged drama about the biggest liar in America, who undergoes a horrific ordeal on 9/11 and finds, afterward, that he cannot lie. And that's only the beginning of his initiation into a nightmare of parallel worlds.

Jon's work can currently be seen in AiT/PlanetLar's The Black Diamond.

Comments welcomed...if you click through the Flickr links, you can see larger versions.




All work TM & © 2007 Stuart Moore and Jon Proctor.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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"He is an artist only in the sense that he is not a hydraulic engineer."

-Thomas M. Disch on Ray Bradbury

(I love Bradbury's work, but that quote always makes me laugh.)

The Perfect Prize that Waits Among the Shelves


Tom McLean's Bags and Boards reports on a project I haven't publicized yet: A short prequel comic to the upcoming SciFi miniseries TIN MAN, written by me and drawn by Siju Thomas. TIN MAN, which airs in December, is a hard-edged updating of The Wizard of Oz. It features a great cast including Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cummings, and Richard Dreyfuss, and some really gorgeous set designs.

The comic was a giveaway at Comic-Con San Diego, but Tom reports that it'll be rolled out on the SciFi website and for cellphones soon. Don't read it while you're driving!

Tom has the first five pages up, and SciFi has a very cool TIN MAN website.

And just to clarify: This project was packaged by Virgin Comics, but it's not directly related to the Virgin/SciFi imprint that I'll be editing. More on that soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Now Soliciting: Ghost Rider Annual #1


Pencils & Cover by BEN OLIVER
Meet the mysterious Mister Eleven -- a powerful player with a unique place in the battle between Heaven and Hell! But is he an angel, a demon, or something else entirely? Ghost Rider and Lucifer may find out -- if they survive an epic battle in a snow-covered, deserted amusement park! This story by Stuart Moore (NEW AVENGERS/TRANSFORMERS, MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS) and Ben Oliver (ULTIMATE X-MEN) stands alone, but also introduces an important new character into the Ghost Rider mythos!
48 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

An interesting project...I had an idea for a new character that might fit in with GHOST RIDER, and Axel Alonso liked it. GHOST RIDER has a tougher tone to capture than you might think; it's part horror, part action-adventure, and part comedy. I think it came together nicely.

I also wanted to throw Ghost Rider into snowy New England, since most of his stories are set in the rural south or southwest.

Ben Oliver is mostly known for his ULTIMATE X-MEN work, but he's done this whole book in graywash and it looks really wild. A nice departure from a talented artist.

On sale November 14th.

Monday, August 20, 2007

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A good thought for a Monday:

"All the time you spend tryin to get back what's been took from you there's more goin out the door."

-Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More Ramjet


Preview art for TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: RAMJET, written by me and drawn by Robby Musso, coming from IDW in November.

I really get a kick out of this opening sequence. Just two alien supersonic jets having a nice conversation as they fly all the way around the world.

More info here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

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"Easy cynicism is no more truthful than easy optimism, though it seems to be so to the young."

-Philip Pullman

Friday, August 17, 2007

Now Soliciting: Ramjet Spotlight


TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: RAMJET is a one-shot written by me and drawn by Robby Musso, a talented artist who's done at least one other SPOTLIGHT for IDW. His opening sequence is gorgeous -- he's great with planes, and his work has a really nice sense of motion to it. If IDW's cool with it, I'll post some of the art here soon.

RAMJET spins out of my current NEW AVENGERS/TRANSFORMERS miniseries, where the wiley Decepticon just made his first IDW-Universe appearance. But the Spotlight is self-contained. If you've read NEW AV/TRANS, you'll get more of where the conehead is coming from. If not, you'll just get a good metal ass-kicking story.

And when all is said and done: His name is RAMJET and he has a CONE FOR A HEAD.

What more do you need to know?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Qvote Unqvote - Special Rvdy Givliani edition

"Giuliani combines Bush's foreign policy genius with Clinton's sexual impulse control."

- Reader "DC," from Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo

Yak Yak Yak

Two recent interviews with me, both covering a variety of subjects:

The Comic Book Gazette asks me about favorite writers, characters, and stories, and digs up the first comic book I ever read.

Fractal Matter talks Transformers, Virgin/SciFi, and the Writer/Editor Problem...which I like to think of as comics' own version of the Mind/Body Dichotomy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Last Feast of Harlequin

Another story from THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY, this one adapted by me and Colleen Doran. I'm posting the first two pages, lettered; these are the black and white versions. Colleen has a couple of others in colored (unlettered) form, with commentary, here.

I'm really happy with this book; the other stories are by Joe Harris, Michael Gaydos, and Ted McKeever. Well worth a look when it hits stores, in a couple of weeks. And let me know what you think.

Edit: I just noticed I forgot to use any adjectives like "stunning" or "evocative" or "beautifully detailed" for Colleen's work on this story. My bad. The Ligotti stories are very tricky to adapt because most of the horror is psychological and interior. Colleen did a gorgeous job.



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"Any deviation from nominal magnifies the anxiety."

- Bigelow Aerospace program manager Eric Haakonstad on the launching of Genesis 2, its second privately-built orbital module, 6/28/07

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dream of a Mannikin

Out in a couple of weeks: THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY, a graphic album featuring several stories adapted from the works of horror writer Thomas Ligotti.

One of the stories is "Dream of a Mannikin," adapted by me and the inimitable Ben Templesmith...who's best known for Thirty Days of Night, with Steve Niles, and Fell, with Warren Ellis.

Here are the first two pages. The low resolution doesn't do justice to Ben's exquisite painting, but I wanted to show off the lettering as well.



Tomorrow: "The Last Feast of Harlequin," adapted by me and Colleen Doran.

Soldiers and Bandits

A fond farewell to a beloved villain, on my other blog: Beer and Meat, run by the inimitable Tom "Superfrankenstein" Peyer.

Thank God for Starro


I've written about this panel before, but I just love it so much. For context: It takes place in the old Justice League mountain headquarters, where T.O. Morrow has reanimated a whole pile of JLA foes. The heroes and villains, in the usual Dick Dillin style, are fighting right on top of each other, practically jamming their elbows into each other's eyes. Which makes the "atomic warhead arrow" an even BETTER fighting strategy than it would normally be. I know I'd want to have one on my back if I spent my nights jumping off rooftops.

From JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #65, 1968. This two-part story was longtime writer Gardner Fox's last on the title, and Dillin's first.

Monday, August 13, 2007

San Diego Photo Parade


That's about it -- the museum/ship across the street from my hotel. I don't take many photos.

I do have one observation about the convention: In these difficult times, it struck me as odd how few politically-themed comics I saw displayed. I guess it's the usual reason -- when you have an administration so singlemindedly determined to dismantle all the things that make this country function, people are more interested in escaping that reality than exploring its frightening ramifications. (How's the food supply doing?) And, of course, corporations are afraid to buck the government that they rely on for favors.

But still...there's a growing groundswell of populism out there, and even the timid mainstream media acknowledges it by covering the Presidential candidates far more than they do the actual White House. It'd be nice to see some of that explored in comics. The only project I've seen lately that qualifies is Warren Ellis's excellent Black Summer.

Yes, I know. Do it yourself, right? I have, and I will again.

End of parade (bum bumpa-bum).

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"Start fifty feet underground and at the end of everything -- and then, don't tell them."
--James Tiptree, Jr. on writing
From Barry N. Malzberg, Breakfast in the Ruins



Earthlight is one of my favorite projects. It's the story of a high school class on the first moon colony, in the year 2068...Degrassi In Space, if you will. (Or Dawson's Crater?)

What made the book click for me -- aside from Chris Schons's expressive and detailed artwork -- is the pressure all the kids are under, in this dangerous, experimental environment. If a mistake doesn't kill you, it could still get your whole family sent back to Earth in disgrace. That's a lot to shoulder every day.

Volume Two came out in early July. I was going to put a few pages up here, but almost any preview would give away the shock ending of Volume One. But if you're feeling especially Lunar, Tokyopop has it previewed here. If you register, you get a LOT more pages (and a lot more spoilers).

Volume Three is already written and being drawn for early 2008 publication.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

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"I offered him my mouth, which was dirty with words."
--Julio Cortazar, 62: A MODEL KIT

(DIRTY WITH WORDS was one of my runner-up titles for this blog.)

Can't Kill the Robots


Thanks to Cory Doctorow and BoingBoing for a nice writeup on GIANT ROBOT WARRIORS! This Little Graphic Novel That Could has been chugging along for a few years now, gaining occasional press for its political satire and for the great art by Ryan Kelly (now famed as the artist of LOCAL). GRW, as we call it, is now available from publisher AiT/PlanetLar with a snazzy new over-cover.

I don’t know why Amazon lists it as “shipping in one to three months,” but Barnes & Noble has it available for immediate shipping.

Why "Pensive Mischief"?

Its the handwritten note on the back of a photo taken of me as a child. Probably written by my father. I don't have a scan of it, but I'm wearing my usual shit-eating grin.

And that's as quick an origin as you'll find anywhere.