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Wednesday, May 01, 2019

The TEMPEST - Penultimate issue!

I blogged about Cosmic Comics in my previous post; a comic reprinting some of Kevin O'Neill's earliest mainstream work. Now let's look at his very latest work, with a preview of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest No.5 which is out now, jointly published by Knockabout (UK) and Top Shelf (USA).

Anyone who thinks today's comics are inferior to those of the past clearly isn't looking very hard. Kevin O'Neill has produced detailed, top quality work throughout his career, and teamed with writer Alan Moore, comics don't get much better than this. 

Admittedly, your enjoyment of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest will be more enriched if you've followed the whole series. The comic is sophisticated and complex, but each issue is also a great deal of fun in itself. This isn't a throwaway five minute read like many comics. The story requires the reader to focus, and will reward them more with subsequent re-readings (and the forthcoming collection). 

Kevin's artwork brings us surprises and unexpected cultural references with every turn of the page. There are homages to literature, movies, comics, and more in a giddy mixture of the surreal, - and then things go 3D, and back again, and it's barmy and clever and you've never seen a comic like it. 

As regular readers will know, The Tempest features a homage to a different style of old British comic on the cover of each issue. This month Kevin has done a perfect spoof of Alan Class comics, right down to the "full 36 pages" and hand-lettered price (which due to inflation is 85 times what the one shilling Alan Class comics cost 50 years ago, but it's worth every penny). 

This issue also features a tribute to the late Denis McLoughlin. It's admirable that Alan and Kevin are doing these little essays on artists that most readers of their comics may not have heard of. The stories are always tragic, and reveal how publishers treated such great artists, but these stories need to be told, and I hope readers check out the work of the artists covered in this series. 

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest No.5 is in comic shops now, or you can buy it directly from Knockabout at their eBay store

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