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
No. of issues 2
Creative team
Created by Alan Moore
Jacen Burrows
Written by Alan Moore (original story)
Antony Johnston (adaptation)
Artist(s) 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 two-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".

Plot[edit]

Aldo Sax is an FBI agent specializing 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 USA. 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 a 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 neighbor using the same Modus Operandi as the murderers he was investigating.

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.

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.

  • Alan Moore's The Courtyard (Avatar Press, softcover, 56 pages, 2004, ISBN 1-59291-015-7)
  • Alan Moore's The Courtyard Companion (Avatar Press, softcover, 72 pages, 2004, ISBN 1-59291-016-5)
  • Alan Moore's The Courtyard Deluxe Hardcover Set (Avatar Press, hardcover, 128 pages, 2004, ISBN 1-59291-017-3)
  • Alan Moore's The Courtyard (Color Edition) (Avatar Press, 56 pages, 11 March 2009, ISBN 1-59291-060-2)

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" and sings "The Music of Erich Zann", the same title as a story by Lovecraft.
  • 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 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. Moore's 2015-17 comic Providence is a further continuation in the series.

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.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]