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Lost Girls S&N Edition
Top Shelf Comics)
May 9, 2006

Official Press Release

Alan Moore's LOST GIRLS Signed and Numbered Edition

Hey Comics Fans,

Big news in Top Shelf land. After 16 years in development, the complete LOST GIRLS by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie has finally shipped to the printer, and will be hitting stores in August!

This will be the most expensive book Top Shelf has ever published, with the first printing costing us almost $200K. Why so expensive? Because Lost Girls will be published as three, 112-page, super-deluxe, oversized (9" x 12") clothbound hardcover volumes, each wrapped in a beautiful dust jacket, with all three volumes sealed and shrink-wrapped in a gorgeous slipcase. The entire epic published -- all at once -- as an art object for the ages.

And to help raise the money to pay for this print run, we've decided to offer a Signed & Numbered edition, limited to 500 copies, that will be autographed by both Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie. This is a Top Shelf website exclusive, and the money raised through this advance sale will allow us to finance the project.

Advance orders of this special edition will ship out as soon as they arrive from the printer. But please note that this special edition will likely sell out before the summer release date, and quite possibly within days of this announcement, so pre-ordering is highly recommended.

To see what the slipcase and volumes will look like, click on either edition below and then click on PREVIEW.

LOST GIRLS (Signed & Numbered Edition, limited to 500 copies)
-- $150.00 (US) + Shipping, FOR ADULTS ONLY, A Web Exclusive

LOST GIRLS (Regular Edition)
-- $75.00 (US) + Shipping, ISBN 1-891830-74-0, FOR ADULTS ONLY




by Alan Moore & Melinda Gebbie

For more than a century, Alice, Wendy and Dorothy have been our guides through the Wonderland, Neverland and Land of Oz of our childhoods. Now, like us, these three lost girls have grown up and are ready to guide us again, this time through the realms of our sexual awakening and fulfillment. Through their familiar fairytales they share with us their most intimate revelations of desire in its many forms, revelations that shine out radiantly through the dark clouds of war gathering around a luxurious Austrian hotel. Drawing on the rich heritage of erotica, Lost Girls is the rediscovery of the power of ecstatic writing and art in a sublime union that only the medium of comics can achieve. Exquisite, thoughtful, and human, Lost Girls is a work of breathtaking scope that challenges the very notion of art fettered by convention. This is erotic fiction at its finest.

-- $75.00 (US), ISBN 1-891830-74-0, FOR ADULTS ONLY


Brett Warnock and I would personally like to thank everyone for helping us get this project off the ground, as this is, without a doubt, the single most important graphic novel we've ever published. And with a decade of publishing and 150 literary graphic novels & comix to our credit -- including From Hell and Blankets -- that's saying something.

Why is this release so important? Because it does something that's never been done before: reinvent pornography as something literary, thoughtful, exquisite, and human. A singularly unique and layered story, Lost Girls is a commentary on the intimate wonder of human sexuality, the undeniable value of free speech, and the vulgarities of war. In an era and political climate when most would shy away from taking such a stand, this graphic novel champions freedom of expression and puts that ideal to the test. As a tightly knit community of fans, creators, retailers, publishers, distributors, and press we all believe that the pen truly is mightier than the sword, but we also know that the power of the pen lies not in the author so much as the audience. As such, Lost Girls need the support of all of us.

It has often been said, "If it's worth reacting to, it's worth overreacting to," and you can be sure that this fully-painted epic will get a reaction from everyone who reads it -- and more than its share of over-reactors as well. The literary, political, social, and sexual aspects of Lost Girls are going to challenge our system to live up to itself. Get ready. Lost Girls is coming in August!

And to hear what Alan Moore has to say about the project, just click here to read the amazing 2-part interview Kurt Amacker of Cinescape did with him, where Alan addresses every issue one could have with this work: http://www.topshelfcomix.com/news.php?article=147

Your friend thru comics,

Chris Staros
Top Shelf Productions PO Box 1282
Marietta, GA 30061-1282

chris@topshelfcomix.com http://www.topshelfcomix.com


Moore supports housing council
Norman Adams
Defend Council Housing have taken to creative fund raising, and it doesn't come much more creative than this, Alan Moore has agreed to produce the art work for a poster that the campaign will sell to help fund the campaign in Northamptonshire.  Norman Adams and Chris Pounds, both council tenants and leading members of the housing campaign group in Northamptonshire 'Defend Council Housing', were with Alan on Friday at his Northampton home to see the work in progress. The original will be put on Ebay for Moore Fans world wide to bid for.

Norman Adams said "We hope this will send a message to the councils in Northants, who are hell bent on conning tenants out of their secure tenancies with the bait of a new bathroom or some other bribe, that tenants will with the help of other tenants hear both sides of the story.  We hope that the sale of this run of 100 very collectable posters will make it possible for us to be financially able to get our message though every council tenants door, and to hold meetings across Northamptonshire" 
The campaign believes council housing should stay with councils, and says "councils up and down the country have been falsely painting a rosy picture of what tenants will get if they transfer their homes to an Housing Association."

Norman Adams said "We are very pleased that Alan is showing support, he knows that councils are spending vast amounts of money to put there one sided argument across, and that 'Defend Council Housing' has to try and compete with this and give tenants the facts.  Where this is done with a well run campaign tenants tend to see though the glossy professional propaganda and spin that is put to them, and vote to stay with there council"

Chris Pounds said "We are well aware that South Northants, Daventry District Council and Wellingborough will have well oiled and overpaid public relations consultants running their offensive, making offers that may not materialize.  We will have tenants talking at meetings who have first hand experience of the post-transfer nightmares.  We take heart from the fact that of the last 11 councils to put this to a vote of tenants recently, 8 have been won by the "don't sell off council homes - stay with your council argument".

Norman Adams added  "when it's said that tenants will be balloted, people need to ask will the ballot be fair?  Lets look at the facts, one side of this debate has unlimited resources, they have the names and addresses of the electorate, they employ professional consultants and they determine when the ballot is held and they push privatisation.  The other side has no resources except its support from tenants and belief in its case.  It fits in campaigning around picking up the kids from school, outside of everyday work and in supporters limited free time. On any democratic criteria you apply that is not proper and not very balanced, we wish to put people in the picture".   

If you are a council tenant in Northamptonshire and you wish for more information from 'Defend Council Housing' phone (01604) 764797 any Alan Moore fans that wish for more details of the poster can also contact the above number.


V For Vacation
Comic Book Resources (Lying in the Gutters)
March 13, 2006

This week, a V For Vendetta special. England may well prevail, but I'm in South Africa at the moment, so bear with me.

In interviews, Jim McTiegue, director of "V For Vendetta," has expressed ignorance about Alan Moore wishing his name off the book."I don't know whether he really doesn't want it made. Obviously the rights were out there for the film to be made. So at some point he wanted the film to be made."

When DC Comics bought the rights to "V For Vendetta" from Alan Moore, David Lloyd and Dez Skinn, the graphic novel/trade paperback market was in its infancy. The rights, including movie rights, would have reverted to the original owners after a period of time after "V For Vendetta" had gone out of print.

That never happened. And no one at the time would have predicted that twenty years on the book would still be in print.

"The graphic novel is great, we made a great adaptation of it, but it is a film. You cannot make a word for word adaptation of a graphic novel." Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez may disagree.

Last word from Jim "So I hope that in the end he's happy with it."

Here's the extended interview with Alan Moore from this week's Culture Show and a discussion by him of the movie.

It's not going to happen, is it? As to Moore's request to have his name removed from the project, it's been agreed to by Warner Bros. Apart from on publicity outside of the US and the UK, it seems. Or on the novelisation. Or on the novelty bubble bath bottle... (okay, I made that last one up, but come on, merchandising people, I want my matey with a V mask, okay?) I now hear that Warner Italy have destroyed their print run of "V per Vendetta" posters in order to remove the Alan Moore credit. There is still a promotional poster listing all the four poster images, where you can just read "Alan Moore," but the final posters have the credit removed. Will any other countries follow suit?

Probably the biggest change from comic to movie is thematic, the central dichotomy of Fascism Vs Anarchy, one presented as the only alternative to the other. A challenging political-philosophical point to make, it's reflected in V's devil-may-care attitude to the consequences of his actions, being an end in themselves. The movie rejects this theme, positing Fascism Vs Democracy, a much simpler and easily resolvable dilemma. Indeed, that the two aren't contradictory, defeats that central thematic point.

Already there's a movement being organised (I know, I know) by anarchists to protest this change in the movie, including leaflets to be distributed outside cinemas, talking up the politics of the book and encouraging people to learn more about anarchism. Website soon.

But yesterday the noted Observer film reviewer Mark Kermode called the movie "the closest thing I'd seen to a big-screen advertisement for anarchy in the UK."

The Observer is the Sunday sister paper to The Guardian. The Guardian Newsroom gallery is also showing original art from the series, as well as colour proofs, original sketches and other V paraphenalia. I was honoured to be invited to the preview night, and took a few Ellisian photos... it was attended by David Lloyd, Glenn Fabry, Ilya, David Hine and more.

Check out those V snacks! It was also wonderful to see the art in its original form. Highly recommended. The exhibition runs until Friday 17 March. Admission is free. The Newsroom is at 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R.

There's a real-world political aspect, too... two weeks ago, gossip column Popbitch (from which I draw much of my inspiration, reported):

N for Nepotism

How to blow up the Houses of Parliament

Two years ago, Richard Curtis was refused permission to film in 10 Downing Street for "The Girl In The Cafe." Government officials said they were sorry, but it was a government building, not a film set. Yet last June, "V For Vendetta," the Wachowskis' new film, which opens here this month, managed to get Whitehall shut down for four nighs to film the Tube and Houses of Parliament getting blown up by a bomber dressed as Guy Fawkes.

So either the Prime Minister's people are huge fans of the "Matrix" and fantasy movies, or they're less sniffy about granting access to parliamentary buildings if Euan Blair is given a job as a runner by the producers...

Popbitch also ran one of my old stories about "Superman Returns" this week... I should give them the full scoop.

Talking of British politics, the week before I left had one government minister declaring a huge increase in street cameras all across the UK to catch motorists on mobile phones, as well as camouflaging speed cameras.

A number of comic book stores, as part of publicity for the movie, have received posters, masks and inspiring stencils and chalk. Expect the sidewalks and walls near your favourite comic shop to get a little more anarchic.

Talking of which, and I'd hate to encourage any illegal behaviour, but if you "see" any new V signs aerosoled on walls, do take a photo of your-- of the perpertrator's work-- and email it to this column.

A nephew of Patrick Moore???

There's also allegations of illegal subliminal advertising for "V" going on in Saturday Night Live.

In a Natalie Portman sketch, one blogger reports blips of V appearing within. He's put up a frame-by-frameable Quicktime version on a link, and told people where to look in the sequence. A few frames are cut into the clip of a grafitti outline of what appears to be V.

Is this of dubious ethical standing? Or in keeping with V's subversive politics?

Still, if all this nonsense is making you less keen to see the film, let's put a stop to that with the V For Volume:

The Drinking Game.

Every time they use bullet-time lines, when the original comic declined to use such comic book stylings, take a swig.

Every time they use a sledgehammer to make a subtle point, glug.

Every time they say "eggy in a basket", finish the glass.

Every time they refer to the company "FedCo" finish the case.

Every time they portray anarchy as everyone dressing up in the same outfit, slide under your chair.

See? Even if you hate the film, you'll at least enjoy yourself.

Nevertheless, even without alcohol, and sarcastic asides aside, I reckon I'm going to enjoy the film very much.

And to finish, a mashup video by myself and a writing colleague, based on the V trailer and footage from... well... another film.

Please enjoy "V For Vera Drake"... then send it round the world.

Note: This item of news is based on a "traffic light" rating (green = reliable, yellow = possible, red = unreliable), and has a "traffic light" rating of "yellow".


Moore's vendetta against V For Vendetta
New York Times, Petter Ricci, various AMFS fans
March 13, 2006

The online version of the New York Times contains an article on Alan Moore by Dave Itzkoff. The article covers Moore's career in comics, as well as his involvement and feelings overing film adaptations of his work, in particular, V For Vendetta.

Here are some excerpts:

Moore at DC

"Alan was one of the first writers of our generation, of great courage and great literary skill," said Paul Levitz, the president and publisher of DC Comics. "You could watch him stretching the boundaries of the medium."

But by 1989, Mr. Moore had severed his ties with DC. The publisher says he objected to its decision to label its adult-themed comics (including some of his own) as "Suggested for Mature Readers." Mr. Moore says he was objecting to language in his contracts that would give him back the rights to "Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta" when they went out of print — language that he says turned out to be meaningless, because DC never intended to stop reprinting either book. "I said, 'Fair enough,' " he recalls. " 'You have managed to successfully swindle me, and so I will never work for you again.' "

Mr. Levitz said that such so-called reversion clauses routinely appear in comic book contracts, and that DC has honored all of its obligations to Mr. Moore. "I don't think Alan was dissatisfied at the time," Mr. Levitz said. "I think he was dissatisfied several years later."

On consulting for the V For Vendetta film:

"I explained to [Larry Wachowski] that I'd had some bad experiences in Hollywood," Mr. Moore said. "I didn't want any input in it, didn't want to see it and didn't want to meet him to have coffee and talk about ideas for the film."

But at a press conference on March 4, 2005, to announce the start of production on the "V for Vendetta" film, the producer Joel Silver said Mr. Moore was "very excited about what Larry had to say and Larry sent the script, so we hope to see him sometime before we're in the U.K." This, Mr. Moore said, "was a flat lie."

"Given that I'd already published statements saying I wasn't interested in the film, it actually made me look duplicitous," he said.

Through his editors at DC Comics (like Warner Brothers, a subsidiary of Time Warner), Mr. Moore insisted that the studio publicly retract Mr. Silver's remarks. When no retraction was made, Mr. Moore once again quit his association with DC (and Wildstorm along with it), and demanded that his name be removed from the "V for Vendetta" film, as well as from any of his work that DC might reprint in the future.

The producers of "V for Vendetta" reluctantly agreed to strip Mr. Moore's name from the film's credits, a move that saddened Mr. Lloyd, who still endorses the film. "Alan and I were like Laurel and Hardy when we worked on that," Mr. Lloyd said. "We clicked. I felt bad about not seeing a credit for that team preserved, but there you go."

To read the entire article, click here. (Note: you may have to login.)

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