Alan Moore's The Courtyard

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Alan Moore's The Courtyard
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Cover of Alan Moore's The Courtyard  (2004), trade paperback collected edition. Art by Jacen Burrows.
Publication information
Publisher Avatar Press
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Genre
Publication date January – February 2003
Number of issues 2
Creative team
Writer(s) Alan Moore (original story)
Antony Johnston (adaptation)
Artist(s) Jacen Burrows
Creator(s) Alan Moore
Jacen Burrows
Editor(s) William A. Christensen
Alan Moore
Collected editions
Deluxe Hardcover Set ISBN 1-59291-017-3

Alan Moore's The Courtyard is a 2-issue comic book mini-series adaptation of a 1994 prose story written by Alan Moore, published in 2003 by Avatar Press. It was adapted for comics by Antony Johnston, with artwork by Jacen Burrows, and Alan Moore as "consulting editor".

Publication history[edit]

The original 1994 prose story had first appeared in an anthology The Starry Wisdom: A Tribute to H. P. Lovecraft (Creation Books, 1995, ISBN 1-871592-32-1).

The comic book adaptation was planned to appear in Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths, but it was published as a limited series by Avatar in January and February 2003.

Plot summary[edit]

Aldo Sax is an FBI agent specialising in "anomaly theory," a method by which he correlates seemingly unrelated data into a cohesive whole, and currently investigating three seemingly unrelated ritual murder cases around the US. His investigation leads him to a nightclub in Red Hook, where he hears of a drug called Aklo, peddled by a man with a lisp and a veil named Johnny Carcosa. Sax sets up a meet with Carcosa at the dealer's apartment building, where Sax is given an hallucinogenic white powder as a prelude to the Aklo. Carcosa speaks an unknown language to Sax, who experiences visions of spectral planes and hideous primordial creatures, while understanding the truth that Aklo is not a drug, but the language Carcosa spoke to him. The visions given to him by the Aklo drive Sax to murder his neighbour using the same MO as the murderers he was investigating.

Collected editions[edit]

The series was collected in a trade paperback in 2003, a second version (the Companion) was released in 2004, which contained annotations by Lovecraft scholar N. G. Christakos and reprinted Moore's original short story. A limited edition hardcover set of the two volumes was also released in 2004. In 2009 a full color version was released separately, as well as in a collection with Moore's sequel series Neonomicon.

H. P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu Mythos connections[edit]

  • The action takes place in Red Hook.
  • The blatant racism of the protagonist mimics the inherent racism of Lovecraft's original "Red Hook" tale.[1]
  • The plot revolves around Aklo.
  • The drug dealer is named after Carcosa.
  • A band is named "The Cats of Ulthar".
  • A nightclub is named Zothique.
  • Paintings by an artist named Pickman make an appearance.
  • The protagonist receives censored FBI reports of an incident years ago; the events described events therein match those related in The Shadow over Innsmouth. (Johnny Carcosa also offers to sell him "a cock ring from Innsmouth".)
  • The mystical visions feature portrayals of many recognizable Mythos entities, including Cthulhu, Y'Golonac, Tsathoggua, a Mi-go and probably others.
  • More Mythos names can be found in the drug-induced "gibberish", including Nyarlathotep, Glaaki and Lloigor.

Sequel[edit]

Alan Moore has written a 4-part sequel to The Courtyard called Neonomicon, the final issue of which was released by Avatar on 23 March 2011.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lin Carter, Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos, p. 46.
    H. P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters vol. 2, p. 27; quoted in Peter Cannon, "Introduction", More Annotated Lovecraft, p. 5.

References[edit]

External links[edit]