Another Suburban Romance
by Alan Moore, Antony
Johnston, Juan Jose Ryp
(Avatar, 2003)

Let's analyze an abbreviated back-cover blurb: a graphic novel (1) from the writer who defined modern comics (2), Alan Moore. Moore's play Another Suburban Romance lavishly illustrated as full sequential stories (3). Comprised of three major pieces, adapted by collaborator Antony Johnston (4), illustrated by Juan Jose Ryp (5). From the 1920s Chicago-style killings in "Old Gangsters Never Die" to the ruminations on modern life in the namesake "Another Suburban Romance" (6), this powerful work is one that no Moore fan will want to miss (7)!

1: Closer to a prose poem, and lacking the length and major attributes of novels (like in-depth characterization), this is a graphic play.

2: Hyperbole -- Moore did not define modern comics by himself.

3: Sequence, except for theme and in its art, is missing herein.

4: Here is this critique's major flaw; because brief captions play as counterpoint to the art, readers can't know how detailed were the instructions given to the artist by the adapter, and because most readers haven't seen the play, it is difficult to know who deserves the most praise or criticism, Moore, the collaborator or the artist.

5: Incredibly detailed and reality-based, this is among the most magnificent comic art ever printed. It adds visual continuity to this otherwise intentionally disjointed, frightening dream.

6: A more obvious companion to the opening third of this paper play. ASR is a horrifying nightmare of Hell on Earth. Less a structured story than a terrifying vision, it is an irrational, gut-wrenching walk through cities stripped of all aspects of civilization, of man as animal with no saving grace.

7: Another Suburban Romance is very highly recommended for adults not disturbed or offended by graphic violence, profanity and nudity.

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 15 November 2003

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