It seems that LULU Book 1 has moved up in ranking at Amazon--it's now at #132,504 in Books. (that's among ALL books Amazon sells) Please push it higher! Buy your copy now! (also available at Amazon UK & Europe--links here) If you're looking for a serious, intelligent comic for grown-ups that is not sci-fi, superheroes, or zombies, you will love this. And even if you are, why not try something a cut above for a change that you will NOT find in stores? (and if you're a fan of opera, theatre or silent film, you will definitely love this)
You can also buy at Createspace--it still counts toward ranking, but at a
higher royalty. Thank you to all buyers so far! Be sure to review it
and rate it on Amazon and support independent publishing! Show them that
corporate characters are not the last word in what this medium has to
Side note: Some of the original art (and other stuff from my collection) is now up at Ebay and I've slashed the prices; for one thing, Buy It Now prices are as close to Bid Price as Ebay will allow. Buy yourself something great now! (I also have a bunch more LULU original art available directly via Paypal, including pieces Ebay won't let me list, in the Bottomless Studio photo album at Facebook here)
The actual translation that I'm doing LULU(the first half, anyway) from. This continues in Pandora's Box. I am doing a lot of modernizing and adaptation with the dialogue, but trying to stick as close as I can to the plot, and any changes are trying to at least stay in the spirit that was meant. As you'll see, a lot of this is in very archaic and coy terms. You'll also notice I cut the prologue and substituted a different(wordless) one. The reason here? Well, I just didn't think it works off the stage. Some may differ on that. I'm pretty much going by the same rules here I would if I were adapting it for the stage or for film.
Sadly, though, I don't know German so I have to stick with this as my basis. If I could, I'd love to use Stephen Spender's translation(or Eric Bentley's, of the first version of the play, back when it was just one and not two works), but that's still under copyright so I don't.
Alban Berg's LULU, the opera, starring Christiane Boesiger. Sorry, no subtitles, but quite interesting visually. And to show you my treatment of the content of the work (especially the nudity) is entirely in its tradition.
Martin Pasko & Steve Pugh on LULU Book 1 (Now Available)
A couple of testimonials on my new graphic novel:
"LULU translates into graphic storytelling terms Wedekind’s meditation on sexual repression and its role in facilitating exploitative seduction with all its disturbing ferocity intact." Martin Pasko (Action Comics, Batman: the Animated Series, E-Man, Saga of the Swamp Thing)
"Own this beautiful thing." Steve Pugh (Hotwire, Animal Man, Hellblazer, Crisis)
You should follow the good taste of these talented men. Lulu waits inside her paper covers for you to discover her. Buy it here! Not in stores though, only at Amazon (US, UK and Europe) & Createspace!
But recently I came across some pictures of the original film Lulu, Asta Nielsen (also known for another film by PANDORA'S BOX director G.W. Pabst, THE JOYLESS STREET) in 1923's ERDGEIST by Leopold Jessner. Which I cannot find a copy of; if anyone knows where I can, tell me so in the comments below. At the time I was designing my Lulu, I had not seen these photos. In the third one down, a publicity shot for ERDGEIST, you can see she looks a lot like the later Louise Brooks version (so I suppose Brooks did not invent that hairstyle as many think) but in the first two, by complete coincidence, she resembles my version rather closely--especially in the first. Which is weird.
Some of you might not know Frank Wedekind, who is also known for the play SPRING AWAKENING. Well, LULU has in fact quite the pedigree. To refresh your memory, here's the famous film version with Louise Brooks, G. W. Pabst's PANDORA'S BOX, which adapts the second of the two plays.(also, if you know French, you can watch the rare 1980 version by Walerian Borowczyk here)
As Alan Moore has over the years instilled in me a serious awareness of weird coincidences, I was pleasantly surprised and a little weirded out to see that, in the midst of his restaging of The Threepenny Opera(which he and O'Neill do as though born to it, but Moore has always had a serious Weill influence), he brought in--nearly precisely--the ending of the play "Pandora's Box," and made what is in the play, literally, Jack the Ripper, Macheath in the midst of Moore's new version of that song we all know well. And this Lulu is of course based on Louise Brooks. Anyway, I liked the sequence so here it is(though the new twist to "Pirate Jenny" is pretty awesome, but that would be too many pages):
Basic setup: It's London, and Macheath has returned, and Lulu is walking the streets, having gone through(fatally) a number of husbands, and ended up from wealth and status to this. (Not really through any fault of her own exactly. Men just destroy themselves around her)
And here we have an altercation with the first lesbian in Western fiction, Countess Geschwitz, obsessed with Lulu and rejected by her, and getting a bit tired with only having an old painting of her to cuddle. But Mackie's not having that.
And we say farewell to Lulu. Though there is this back cover, and there are any number of paintings just like this from the turn of the century. Depictions like this of women were very popular with middle-class salongoers.
(all three images (c)2009 Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill)
I would add that an even stranger additional coincidence was the recent release of the "Tales of the Black Freighter"(which I liked) which has the "Pirate Jenny" song, quite central to LOEG, playing over the credits. But the imagery in that song is something that goes deep in Moore.
By the way, for fans of "the Ruling Class"--which I am--the 14th Earl of Gurney also plays a central part in this. Also Iain Sinclair's Billy Pilgrimish Norton from "Slow Chocolate Autopsy," who can travel in time but not in space and is trapped in London, flashing between eras, and Moore does a great pastiche of Sinclair. It also has Crowley, sort of, as usual with Moore these days. And in retrospect Orlando turns out, in our first good look at him/her since the bits in BD, to be a real douchebag, and the only thing I really dislike about the series, except his origin story in Black Dossier, which should have been the last of him. He's stayed awful, really--he's just an annoying namedropping twat who they've literally spent a century with.
That's right, the collected LULU Book 1 will soon be available in print (through Amazon & Createspace exclusively) and possibly digital as well. I also have the very great honor of an introduction written by the legendary Martin Pasko, and it's quite a rush having an intro written by a comics (and TV) writer I grew up reading; E-Man and Saga of the Swamp Thing in particular. In the meantime, go here to read the first chapter for free! Keep visiting here for updates. In fact, just keep reading period.
I've started doing some freelance work for West Coast Prints.(and please visit them at that link, and ask them to have me do your design!) Here are a few variations done on the first job. By the way, I'll be happy to make images for you as well. See my portfolio here, and a full list of past projects with examples here. That's posted to the Bay Area Craigslist but actually I'll do designs, commissions and other stuff for y'all anywhere. That's what the web is for! Also find my ELance profile (via which you can hire me or commission me) here. ___________________
Apropos of nothing, here are recent pictures of my cat Artemis(who some of you might recall from this post, and she's much better now, thanks) and Sunny. I'm in one of them. By the way, they need to be fed, and as it happens, I'm available for hire and commission. Read all about it here! ___________________
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson