Neonomicon

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Neonomicon
Publication information
Publisher Avatar Press
Format Limited series
Genre
Publication date July 2010 – February 2011
Number of issues 4
Creative team
Writer(s) Alan Moore
Artist(s) Jacen Burrows
Colorist(s) Juanmar
Creator(s) Alan Moore
Jacen Burrows
Editor(s) William A. Christensen
Collected editions
Hardcover ISBN 1-59291-131-5

Neonomicon is a four-issue comic book limited series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Jacen Burrows,[1][2] published by Avatar Press in 2010. The story is a sequel to Moore's previous story Alan Moore's The Courtyard and part of HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. On March 2012 it became the first recipient of the newly created "Graphic Novel" category at the Bram Stoker Awards.[3]

Publication history[edit]

Moore talked about the genesis of the project in an interview with Wired Magazine: "It was just at the time when I finally parted company with DC Comics over something dreadful that happened around the Watchmen film [...] I had a tax bill coming up, and I needed some money quickly. So I happened to be talking to William [A. Christensen] from Avatar Press, and he suggested that he could provide some if I was up for doing a four-part series, so I did. So although I took it to pay off the tax bill, I’m always going to make sure I try and make it the best possible story I can."[4]

Moore wanted to elaborate on some of the ideas presented in The Courtyard while at the same time telling a modern story that didn't rely upon a 1930's atmosphere. Another idea was to use some of the elements he felt Lovecraft himself and pastiche writers censored or left out of the stories, such as the racism and sexual phobias. Moore explains: "Lovecraft was sexually squeamish; would only talk of ‘certain nameless rituals.’ Or he’d use some euphemism: ‘blasphemous rites.’ It was pretty obvious, given that a lot of his stories detailed the inhuman offspring of these ‘blasphemous rituals’ that sex was probably involved somewhere along the line. But that never used to feature in Lovecraft’s stories, except as a kind of suggested undercurrent. So I thought, let’s put all of the unpleasant racial stuff back in, let’s put sex back in. Let’s come up with some genuinely ‘nameless rituals’: let’s give them a name."[5]

Plot synopsis[edit]

FBI Agents Lamper and Brears visit former Agent Aldo Sax at a psychiatric hospital, where he has been detained since committing two murders. They are investigating a copycat killer, and want to question Sax about his motives. Sax speaks unintelligible gibberish. After studying Sax's previous investigation, Lamper and Brears decide to track down drug dealer Johnny Carcosa in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Carcosa escapes into a mural in the courtyard of his apartment building. The agents track Carcosa's disturbing sex paraphernalia to a specialty shop in Salem, Massachusetts.

Going undercover as husband and wife, they attend an orgy hosted by the owners of the shop, members of the Esoteric Order of Dagon, who regularly indulge in sex rituals to attract the sexual attention of a race of fishmen. Lamper and Brears are exposed as agents and Lamper is killed by the cultists. The cultists lock Brears in a room with a fishman, who rapes her continuously for several days. Brears has a vision of Johnny Carcosa, who reveals himself as an avatar of Nyarlathotep, one of the Great Old Ones.

The creature drinks Brears' urine and determines that she is pregnant. It helps her escape through the sewers into the ocean. Brears returns to the city and contacts the FBI, instructing them to raid the Salem specialty shop. They find that the cultists have been killed by the fishman, who is gunned down by the agents in the raid.

Three months later, Brears visits Sax and is surprised that she can understand his gibberish as Aklo, the language of the fishmen. She tells him that she is pregnant with the child of the fishman. She realizes that the events in Lovecraft's fiction are actually premonitions of a future apocalypse that will be heralded by the birth of her child, Cthulhu.

Collected editions[edit]

The series was collected into a single volume, available in both hardcover and softcover. Both versions include the coloured edition of The Courtyard.

Reception[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Jacen Burrows on Alan Moore's Neonomicon – Avatar Interview of the Week". Bleeding Cool. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Webb, Charles (1 July 2010). "Jacen Burrows: Neonomicon Rises – A Lovecraftian Tale". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Davidsen, Keith (1 April 2012). "Alan Moore Accepts First-Ever GN Bram Stoker Award for Neonomicon". Avatar Press. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Thill, Scott (9 August 2010). "Alan Moore Gets Psychogeographical With Unearthing". Wired. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Gieben, Bram (1 September 2010). "Choose Your Reality: Alan Moore Unearthed". The Skinny. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 

References[edit]

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