What: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Who: By Alan Moore (words) and Kevin O’Neill (pictures.)

When: Originally published as single issues in 1999-2000.

Where: You can find this book anywhere you’d expect to find comics. It’s Alan Moore for Chrissake.

Why: Okay, you might find this hard to believe…but it’s true. I don’t really like Alan Moore. I know, I know. “Blasphemy,” right? It’s like saying you don’t like Stanley Kubrick! (Which we’re not gonna get into…cos I don’t care for him either.) Well, maybe saying I don’t like Mr. Moore is overstating it. Rather, I find I typically don’t like what he writes. Not that it’s bad, or anything like that, just not what I like. There is, obviously, one strong exception I’ve found. And that is The League. “Why this book” you ask? “Why not Watchmen or Swamp Thing” you exclaim! Well, because I haven’t READ Swamp Thing! A-HA!

But really, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a different sort of comic book. It’s almost certainly in the realm of the super hero, but it isn’t shy about tying itself quite strongly to that other thing people read sometimes. No, not Cosmo. Books! Yay books! The League takes it’s primary (and most of its secondary) characters from some of the most famous novels of the 19th century. Characters like Allan Quartermain, Mina Harker, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde to name but a few. So naturally it’s cool. But it’s also good. With a quick, sharp plot, and fun, very memorable art, this book is 6 issues (and more bonus material than I can mention) of literary awesomeness.

What happened to Captain Nemo after Jules Verne was done with him? Well, naturally he teamed up with some of the most extraordinary people in the world to battle threats to the Empire and the Earth itself. Duh. I like comics that build a world for you to immerse yourself in. I fell in love with the X-Men cos I couldn’t wait to get more back issues and find out more of the history of these awesome characters. The same thing happened with The League. But you know what’s fantastic? The back issues are some of the greatest works in English literature. You cannot beat that. What’s that? There’s a Volume Two? Awesome.

Next post I’m going to do the first installment (of what will likely be several) looking at some of the minicomics I picked up at this year’s Small Press Expo. (Yes, JP Coovert is in there.)

Keep reading!