Nearly two years since the publication of the final issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: The Tempest, and thus Alan Moore's official retirement from the comics medium, the prolific writer has revealed his next publishing venture which reportedly includes a a “groundbreaking” five-volume fantasy series. The creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta has signed "a six-figure deal" with publisher Bloomsbury according to The Guardian, who report that a short story collection and the five-volume series are officially on the way with the former releasing first in the fall of 2022. The fantasy series, titled Long London, will debut its first book in 2024.
In a statement, Moore said he was “bursting with fiction, bursting with prose," and added: “I couldn’t be happier with the new home that I’ve found at Bloomsbury: a near-legendary independent publisher with a spectacular list and a fierce commitment to expanding the empire of the word. I have a feeling this will be a very productive partnership.” Readers familiar with Moore's many furious legal battles over character ownership with American comic companies will know that this statement is some very strongly worded optimism on the part of the Northampton native.
“Alan Moore is simply a legend and it has been such a pleasure to listen to him talk about his ambitious Long London series as well as discovering the range of his shorter fiction,” Bloomsbury editor-in-chief Paul Baggaley added. “These projects have set Bloomsbury alight.”
According to the outlet, Moore's collection of short stories will be titled Illuminations, and includes such topics as the four horsemen of the apocalypse and "the 'Boltzmann brains' fashioning the universe." They quote Bloomsbury as adding that the collection is “dazzlingly original and brimming with energy...beguiling and elegantly crafted tales that reveal the full power of imagination and magic."
As for Long London, the series will begin in the “shell-shocked and unravelled” London of 1949 and move all the way to “a version of London just beyond our knowledge." The outlet says the series will include "murder, magic and madness" with the publisher adding it “promises to be epic and unforgettable, a tour-de-force of magic and history." Readers familiar with Moore's previous prose works, Voice of the Fire and Jerusalem, the series seems to be taking a similar approach, focusing on a fixed location and the people within it spanning across a lengthy amount of time.
Though Moore has retired from comics work, his most recent titles in that arena were the previously mentioned final entry in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, plus Avatar's Cinema Purgatorio and Providence.
(Cover Photo by Kevin Nixon/SFX Magazine/Future via Getty Images)