Voice Of The Fire
I drew this about 4 years ago, inspired by an overdue re-reading of Moore’s first novel, Voice Of The Fire. First published in 1996, I remember finding my copy in a remainder shop in Leeds, shelved alongside many unwanted copies of Bill Drummond & Mark Manning’s Bad Wisdom. A copy of each cost £1, a bargain, but it’s only Moore’s book that has endured several house moves and berserker clear-outs over the years. The Alan Moore I started reading in 2000 A.D. and Dr Who Weekly could not have written this book, but the Alan Moore who thwarted a mid-life crisis by announcing he was a sorcerer dedicated to the worship of a Roman snake god, that man could write this book that successfully conforms to Iain Sinclair’s maxim: “Is it mad enough?”. The world is a better place for Alan Moore having gone slightly “mad”, and this novel pisses all over anything offered up by the Booker Prize mob. Set firmly in Moore’s home town of Northampton (“and environs”), the interconnected stories span 5000 years of British history, from our distant pagan sub-lingual origins, through the tumult of the Middle Ages, right up to the late 1990’s, where Moore himself walks onto the stage and ruminates upon the repeating motifs of the book – blood, fire, black dogs and skulls. It’s impossible to improve upon Robert Mason’s original cover painting, but I wanted to at least express something that captures the darkness and intensity at the heart of the book. Moore’s next novel – the long-promised and insanely-ambitious Jerusalem – is due to be released in early 2016, and based on the evidence of his first novel, I’d suggest it at least deserves the attention of the prepared reader.