The Really, Really Missing Alan Moore

Here’s a list of Alan Moore projects that have been mentioned but never seen the light of day. This doesn’t include work like Nightjar, Lux Brevis, Twilight, the opera with the Gorillaz and so on that has surfaced in a number of places (usually books about Moore like the excellent The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore, Yuggoth Cultures, Kimota! or Storyteller). Nor does it include things that are forthcoming, even if they’ve been forthcoming for a while by this point.

These are the Alan Moore projects that have been alluded to in interviews or merely hinted at. Obviously, some of these didn’t get past the passing thought stage, but a substantial amount of work was apparently completed on others.

As with my article on Moore’s music, this is a work in progress and any and all comments are welcome. Um, yes, it would have been really helpful if I’d included the sources for some of these.

So, in roughly chronological order:

Before he had work accepted, Moore submitted a number of ideas to 2000AD for Future Shocks, as well as drawing up plans for an elaborate space opera (I’d speculate that some of that involved the Qys and Warpsmiths, characters from Moore’s earliest amateur work that ended up in Warrior and Marvelman, but I’d stress that’s a guess on my part).

He had plans for more Doctor Who Monthly back up stories set on ancient Gallifrey and was ‘next in line’ to write the main Doctor Who strip.

Brian Bolland and Moore worked on a Batman/Judge Dredd crossover around 1984, with Moore writing about eight pages.

Halo Jones was originally intended to run for ten books, only three were published.

In Warrior 8, it’s announced that there will be one-off 40 page specials featuring Marvelman and V for Vendetta.

Moore mentioned in a 1985 interview that a V for Vendetta TV series was being prepared for Channel Four. Rumour has it that some footage was shot and lurks in the Channel Four vaults, but I strongly suspect rumour is wrong about that.

When he was working for DC, he pitched/considered writing (with Dave Gibbons) Challengers of the Unknown, Martian Manhunter (which got as far as sketches), Tommy Tomorrow, Captain Marvel; (with Kevin O’Neill) Bizarro World; (with unknown/no artist in mind) Lois Lane, The Demon, Justice League of America and Metal Men.

There’s the original Dodgem Logic, an anthology series that would feature a different standalone story every issue. These would have included a biographical comic about Aubrey Beardsley and a spoof of the comic convention scene, Convention Tension.

Moore and Dave Gibbons talked about a Watchmen prequel series, Minutemen. Dave Gibbons said (in an interview with Paul Duncan for Arkensword 22, conducted on 11 July 1987) that ‘we now have a categorical assurance from DC that they won’t do anything with Watchmen characters unless Alan & I are the ones doing it’. So, that’s that, and I guess Dr Manhattan was wrong when he said nothing ever ends.

Around that time, Moore broke ties with DC. He was under contract to write a Mr Monster/Swamp Thing crossover and was keen to do so.

Moore turned down the chance to write the twenty-fifth anniversary Doctor Who story, and the script for Robocop 2. Whether these count as ‘Moore projects’ is debatable, as he seems to have turned them down flat.

Only the first two issues of the ten part Big Numbers were ever released. A third was completed. Therein hangs a tale too long for this post. Moore scripted five issues, and there’s a detailed plot breakdown in Storyteller. There was also some work done to adapt/complete it for television.

The Battle – another book with Oscar Zarate, mentioned in The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore.

‘A Walk Down the Street In Eight Different Genres’ – a short story discussed with Oscar Zarate which replayed the same events, as seen through the lens of different genre conventions. (Mentioned in The Comics Journal 139)

Moore has ‘thought about’ writing a Twin Peaks comic.

The 1963 miniseries was meant to wrap up with the 1963 Annual, featuring Moore’s characters fighting the stars of the Image books.

Moore apparently wrote a Cerebus script, possibly for issue 301. (see Andrew Hickey’s comment below).

There are two missing novels. The first is Yuggoth Cultures, a Lovecraft-inspired piece.

The second is A Grammar, a psychogeographical work about a path between Northampton and the Welsh border, or a train track between the East Coast and Cardiff, depending which interview you read.

A CD Rom computer game co-created with Dave Gibbons.

Moore promised us a double-CD album of Kaballah-inspired techno dance music in 1997.

An Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman anthology series.

The ‘how to’ guide to magic, The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book is forthcoming. That book appears to be a mixture of comics, illustrations text pieces and so on. Originally, Moore talked in terms of it being a comic book.

There are a number of unmade scripts from Moore’s Extreme Studios period – the finale of Supreme (apparently out later this year); a Warchild miniseries; an unknown number of issues of Youngblood and two issues of Glory.

Moore planned a prose book, Comet Rangers, to be heavily illustrated by Jim Lee and published by ABC.

Three unused Tomorrow Stories serials – Limbo, Pearl of the Deep and (thanks to Greg McElhatton, see comments below), The Soul with art by John Coulthart.

Melinda Gebbie has mentioned a couple of times that she’s done some work adapting the performance piece Angel Passage into comic book form. Moore has mentioned that Jose Villarrubia will be adapting The Book of Copulations (from The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels performance piece).

8 responses to “The Really, Really Missing Alan Moore

  1. Re: Cerebus – Dave Sim has said (I think in an early issue of Following Cerebus) that the plan was to have Cerebus 301 be done by Moore, Bissette and Totelben, the old Swamp Thing team, and have it be a horror comic featuring an undead Cerebus, and that this was something they’d talked about in the early 90s. But when Moore and Bissette fell out, Sim didn’t want to take sides and invite one of them, but not the other, to do it, so it never happened. It was probably never scripted, from the way Sim talked about it, just something they’d talked about being fun.

  2. I think there was even one more Tomorrow Stories serial planned, “The Soul” with art by John Coulthart?

    I have vague memories of an actual piece of art from Totleben for “Pearl of the Deep” but I’m willing to admit that I might have just imagined it. But of the three TS serials that were stillborn, that’s the one I’d looked the most forward to.

  3. I think of all these, the one that its absence saddens me the most is the lack of more Halo Jones. The three books we have remain among my favourite things ever.

    The notion of him doing a Twin Peaks comic is interesting, though.

  4. Following up on Andrew’s comment about Cerebus #301, it was originally mentioned by Dave in the NFTP in issue #79 and then Dave was asked about it in March 2004’s Q&A with the Cerebus yahoo group. For quotes see:

  5. I was under the impression that Dave Gibbons got as far as a finished cover for Martian Manhunter. I’ve never turned up a scrap of art online though, which makes me sad.

  6. I’m only seeing this now, as well! Michael Norwitz and I covered much the same ground here:

  7. I once e-mailed John Coulthart about “The Soul”. If I’m not mistaken, it will be included in some form into “The Moon and Serpent Book of Magic”.

  8. Thanks for this list. I remember some of these projects and it breaks my heart. Ah, sigh.

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