Well, coincidentally, it reminded me of a book written in a similar style to, well, all of the LoEG tales. This would be, as Mr. B and I were discussing in a different context this past weekend, John Myers Myers' Silverlock*; Philip Jose Farmer is far from the first author to have a go at literary mashups of heroes fictional and historical. The following contains spoilers, so if you haven't read Black Dossier yet, avert your eyes...
It's 1958, and Airstrip One is England again, with Ingsoc having been turned out and replaced by, seemingly, a Tory government whose leaders somehow escaped being liquidated by the followers of BB during the dismal ten years after
In addition to packing the frames with so many references to British cartoons of the 1940s and 50s that you can't sort them out without a scorecard (which the invaluable Jess Nevins and his online helpers have once again provided), the cast of The Black Dossier draws in characters from spy novels, pulp fiction, TV and movies in a sometimes bewildering crossover that does leave one in awe of Moore's mastery of English popular culture. At the same time, though, there's a smoldering (or should I say smouldering?) anger underlying all this, as though something has gone terribly, unjustly wrong. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but there were a lot of places in Black Dossier that reminded me of the unhappy, depressed country described by Simon Winder in The Man Who Saved Britain as well as the increasing unease in England WRT where New
All things considered, I don't really know what to think about The Black Dossier just yet. I wish we'd seen more of what Alan and Mina had been up to when they went rogue from MI5 and freelanced in America during the 1950s****, and more detail on just how MI5 managed to wedge O'Brien out of power. (Guess we'll have to wait for Century to see that. Or not.) The Wodehouse pastiche was wonderfully well done, but most of the other sections of the dossier were wasted on me, at least on first reading. "Orlando" was good, "Fanny Hill" amusing, and "Workbelt Crimepoke" pretty hilarious, but the rest of it- not really my cup of tea, especially the 3D section which I'm just not equipped to appreciate since 3D glasses have never worked for me. Will you like it? Hard to say. If you picked it up expecting more of what you saw in the original League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I think you're going to be disappointed. If you're comfortable with the radical multimedia approach that LoEG toyed with in the first two volumes and want to see more of that as opposed to a straightforward graphic novel, then you'll probably really like this.
*Now available in hardback from NESFA, with a lot of added explicatory material.
**No, the former PM.
***Better known under his pen name.
****Yes, there was a Kerouac pastiche, but I found it just as unreadable as the original.