Overview

Alan Moore?s Hypothetical Lizard #1

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Alan Moore?s Hypothetical Lizard #1

Credits

  • Words: Alan Moore (adapted by Anthony Johnston)
  • Art: Lorenzo Lorente
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: N/A
  • Story Title: Alan Moore?s Hypothetical Lizard
  • Publisher: Avatar Press
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Feb 2, 2005

Alan Moore’s novella about the inhabitants of a fantastical house of prostitution makes its way into the format of sequential art with the assistance of Antony Johnston and Lorenzo Lorente.

The story is told through the character of Som Som. At a young age she is sold by her own mother to “The House Without Clocks,” a house of ill repute that services the characters of fantasy: witches and warlocks, wizards and various other similar archetypes. Like those that frequent the house, those that work at “The House Without Clocks” are also rather unique characters, and because of Som Som’s station at the house, she becomes a sort of confessional for all of them. There is a contortionist, a type of acupuncturist, a hair covered man beast, a girl that can go into a corpse-like state, and the character who seemingly will propel the action forward, a she-male named Rawra Chin. 

This story, coming from a novella, is very vivid. The descriptions are intense almost to the point of being poetic. Each character is unique, especially as seen through the eyes of Som Som. Something must be said for Moore’s choice of her as the focal point of the story. Her view of the world brings out the strange dichotomy existing within all the characters and make for an incredibly interesting way to see their world. This should all go without saying when concerning an Alan Moore story. It may also be a product of its origins as a novella and originally not having the benefit of matching illustrations.

This is the second Alan Moore short story that Antony Johnston has adapted to the medium of sequential art and he continues to do the job well. He breaks the story down in a way to highlight the prose and it makes it seem to flow lyrically. He also knows how to pace the panels so that none of them gets overloaded with description. And his choice of what should be shown in each panel never confuse the reader, as Johnston has made it clear that the reader will see what he needs in order to fully compliment Moore’s writings.

Artist Lorenzo Lorente works incredibly well with this story as well. Early on, he captures the wide-eyed imagination of the young Som Som. The reader is easily caught up in her curiosity as she explores this new world. As she grows older, her view of the world becomes more jaded, and because of her position in the house, her view is fractured in half. Lorente does not miss a beat. Somehow he captures this view perfectly with his panel layouts and designs. His artwork captures this world of fantasy while remaining realistic and it never goes far into an expressionistic style.

Avatar Press knows it has a good thing with the rights to these Alan Moore short stories. It’s obvious that Johnston and Lorente see this world as Moore envisioned it when he wrote it. Their work on this story provides an exceptional first issue and little doubt the rest of the story will come across just as well.

- Sam Moyerman

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