Alan Moore Knows the Score

And what a sweetheart he is, as charming a chap as you could meet.

(Photo by Deirdre Walsh.) This was all courtesy of Padraig O'Mealoid, who's a great collector of everything Mooreish, on the Friday night prior to Newcon 4 in Northampton. We had dinner and a wide-ranging chat with Alan and his wife Melinda, and what struck me most was how straightforward and free from artifice the great man was. He popped along to the convention later to introduce Iain Banks onstage, stayed around to meet folk and hang out, and was, well, wonderfully who you'd hope Alan Moore to be. I'm still a little stunned, but perhaps not so much as my Agent, who wandered over to join us for dinner without being warned we were in the presence of one of his heroes.

The convention itself was delightful. The venue, the Fishmarket, an excellent conversion from piscine salesplace to arty event centre, contained every aspect of the con in one L-shaped room, from bar to stage to dealers, and transformed successfully to a bands and real ale forum in the evening. The only problem was the acoustics, which didn't serve the panels very well, but that's surely something that'll be fixed for future events. Ian Whates and Ian Watson are to be congratulated for such a warm, fun, shared experience. And it was good to meet a lot of new friends and old in the company of the genial Iain Banks and Ken MacLeod, with whom we dined on the Saturday night. It was a little nerve racking, premiering clips of my radio adaptation of 'The State of the Art' in front of the author, but he was very kind. And hey, I won at Just A Minute! Although I'm still not quite sure how. Much drunken revelry along the way, Friday night especially being a bit of a blur. I'm not sure I can deal with many more weekends like that in a row. So, oh dear, I look forward to seeing you in Manchester on Saturday for the Doctor Who in comics event. And Wednesday sees me on a panel at BAFTA. But that'll be quite sober. Hopefully.

In other news, Captain Britain and MI-13 issue six will be out on Wednesday/Thursday, and as always, this blog will serve as the letters page. You can find the first few pages here:

I'm particularly pleased with how Leonard's drawn those spot-on British policemen.

And the Geek Syndicate have put up that panel I did with Dave Gibbons, et al, on video now:

Ah well, another weekend, another enormous fan experience. I must schedule some time to, you know, write stuff. Until I see you at the next of these, probably in the bar, Cheerio.

28 Response to "Alan Moore Knows the Score"

  • Una Says:

    I enjoyed our panel discussion - even if not everyone else could hear! - and I'm looking forward to meeting you again at the postgrad conference in November.

  • Keir Says:

    Pop Will Eat Itself reference - nice!

  • Tom Daylight Says:

    What's happened to your eye? Half your face looks a Heath Ledger tribute?

  • despotliz Says:

    Excellent Two-Face impression you're doing there.

  • Mark Clapham Says:

    Good coppers! Even British comics artists seem to draw the police in the UK as circa about 1952, with massive helmets (settle down) and little capes. Good to see Mr Kirk doing his research.

  • Bob the Chiropodist Says:

    The minute in which you talked about sonic screwdrivers without repetition hesitation or deviation was a definite highlight, topped only by Ian Watsons talking bollocks!

    Bring on Captain Salford!

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Me too, Una, but I'm afraid I won't be doing the conference now, due to work commitments. Yeah, you lot are funny. Indeed, nice coppers, and ta, but I thought your brother actually won it!

  • DanielW Says:

    Paul I hate to say this, but Jac's burnt arm changes sides - aboard the helicopter, and just as Fazia is checking her out, it's her left. But as she runs from Wisdom, it's suddenly her right.

    Other then that, I'm loving what I'm seeing.

    The story is cracking.
    The characters are great, and you're right, it's good to see "modern Bill" look coppers, and not the sort of folks who'd be hunting Jack the Ripper.

  • Dave Wallace Says:

    Here's my review of #6:

    Great stuff as always.

    And danielw - I didn't mention it in the review, but I noticed the arm thing too... Never mind.

  • govikes Says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that I found issue #6 to be very enjoyable. Keep up the great work!

  • Steve Says:

    Loved the issue, Paul, and what an amazing cliffhanger (which is fast becoming a recurring theme). I also have to pay compliments to Leonard Kirk, who did phenomenal work in this issue. He drew Captain Midlands great and Doctor Plokta just blew me away. I'm also hoping we'll find out what Sid's heart's desire is. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

  • caleb Says:

    uh, wow, alan moore...
    LOVED issue six. i really like where youre going with it, it feels like theres actual substance to the characters. keep going!
    also, megan!

  • Bob the Chiropodist Says:

    I have a website called 'The quite interesting music society'(QUIMS for short) which usually only has music stuff on it - but I enjoyed Newcon4 so much, I wrote it up. Let me know what you think

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Thanks, all. I do tend to write to cliffhangers, so more of those on the way. I think we've got three cracking ones in the Birmingham arc. Ta for the review, Dave. And that post really captured the weekend, Bob.

  • Colin Says:

    Apparetnly, I missed Alan Moore by about five minutes in Tootenham Court Road, the last time I was in London. "Gutted" is a mild way of putting it...

    Incidentally, Paul, have you seen the ridculous fuss that's being made *allegedly* in your name on DWF at the moment?

  • Ian Cullen Says:

    Hi paul,

    Was nice meeting your briefly at weekend. Love the panels. Learned a lot - and had fun while doing so.

    BTW shameless plug.

    Below is my interview with Lee Sullivan for all those that havent read it yet.

    Shameless plug over now. Am off to plug some flash gordon lol.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Paul, David Sexton here. Creator of MYSTIC ARCANA for MARVEL. I am a fan of your work and a friend forwarded me your comment on MA.

    "Thanks, Lou. Stefan: yes, I loved Mystic Arcana, and will take it onboard."

    If you are interested in chatting about MYSTIC ARCANA or whatever you can email me at Cheers! Keep up the good work! David Sexton

  • mezzaninedoor Says:

    I'm so jealous. Alan Moore is the unfettered power behind my love of comics.
    Keep up the good work on MI13 and the world is still waiting for your next foray into hard SF.
    Loved 'Human Nature' btw and hope that Mr. Moffat asks you on board for his supposed Zygon fest s5.
    That picture cheered me up today as a Nottingham Forest fan, football not the actual Forest, though that's actually not a bad copse itself !

  • mezzaninedoor Says:

    I meant to ask if you enjoyed issue 1 of 'The Forgotten', I thought it was excellent and thought that Mr. Cornell ought to get a stab at the IDW Who range some time ???

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Colin: it's not being done in my name. I really find it hard to deal with, and aim not to get involved. David: thanks very much. It's always good when fellow comics bod pop in. Mezz: 'Zygon fest!' I love it!

  • Lindle Says:

    I’m just rewatching Scream of the Shalka for the first time since 2003 - I was so excited when it came out - new Doctor Who! With moving pictures! I’m loving it just as much this time around as well.

    I really like your characterisation of the Doctor and the whole production has a wonderfully creepy atmosphere. The story of the girl killing herself with lava is just horrific! I'm really fond of the whole thing and it’s interesting to see someone else’s take on introducing a new series of Doctor Who.

    I'm so, so glad the show came back to TV but there is still a bit of me that was sad that this storyline for the Doctor never got concluded - but hey - I can make up some excuse about the Time War changing established stories. God bless that Time War - it'll fix any and all continuity problems!!!

    I’ve always wondered how you found the whole project and if it was hard to have it cut short – even for something as wonderful as the revived series?

  • Ian Cullen Says:

    Sadly I never got to see the whole of Scream of the Shalka. I followed it so far - but got preocupied with other things and never managed to get back to it. Though I was enjoying what I saw and thought Richard E. Grants voice work for the Doctor was supurb.

    Thankfully after having just looked I find that it is still available on the net which is fantastic, brilliant, superb. Perhaps I should pick one. Superb, yes that's the one. Then again if Jim Bowen were to become the next Doctor everything would be smashing super great heheh. RTD refferencing the Lion King lol. He's potty he is.

    Sorry about that I was watching the first xmas special and I'm still buzzing off it.

    So what would the chances of The Doctor catching a desease which sort of makes him degenerate through prior incarnations into older versions of some of his past selves - and have it so Tom Bakers Doctor solves the problem hey.

    Sorry that thought just kind of occured to me out of the blue. It isn't a story pitch.

  • Rocko Jerome Says:

    Did you and Alan talk about Captain Britain at all? Or did you (wisely) avoid the topic of Marvel with him?

    Another great issue, I saw the last page coming a mile away but if anything, that made me love it more. I'll like to see where this goes. I like Meggan, but I like seeing what Brian does without her these days as well.

    Black Knight's line about the track suits stung! I have a closet full of them. But mine are more New Jersey wise guy than Miami old guy.

  • Garpu Says:

    Oh wow. Alan Moore. And you got to *touch* him! Cool!

  • Keith Gammage Says:

    So completely off topic...but now that New Warriors is ending, have the chances of Chamber showing up in Cap Brit increased?

  • The Sword Is Drawn Says:

    I'm glad to see somebody else mentioning Chamber. He does become unattached as of January, and as a British Citizen should by rights BE affiliated to MI13. And let us not forget that after his appearance on New Excalibur a while back Pete Wisdom made it very clear that he and MI13 would be keeping tabs on Chamber and Clan Akkaba from now on...

    Just a thought.

    Another great issue Paul. I meant to post a few days back, but decided to wait and see if a specific blog for the issue went up.

    Mr Kirk has really outdone him,self on this one. Accurate British Policemen uniforms, Birmingham Tower Blocks and the clear foreboding sense of sophisticated evil portrayed very well.

    I'm very interested to see where Plokta goes, and if that cliffhanger turns into something more...

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Thanks very much all. Lindle: I have some nostalgia for Shalka, but I'm glad we got what we did. Alan doesn't read current comics, Rocko, so we didn't talk about Cap, but he seemed generally relaxed about everything, and mentioned Marvel without rancour. I'm not so sure about Chamber, I have solid plans now. But you never know.

  • Tom Daylight Says:

    Chamber's in New Warriors now, anyway. (I think.) Although that's about to finish...