This article originally appeared in Strangehaven issue issue #16, June 2004.
Alan Moore: Portrait of An Extraordinary Gentleman which was published by Abiogenesis Press in May 2003 and announced in these very pages a year ago has raised almost $37,000 for sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease.
Edited by yours truly and Italian website guru smoky man, the massive tome had the dual purpose of raising funds for two Alzheimer’s charities and also paying tribute to one of the greatest-ever comic writers, Alan Moore on the occasion of his 50th birthday. 145 contributors from the world of comics and beyond, such as Terry Gilliam, Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons and Will Eisner paid tribute with stories, strips, illustrations, cartoons, essays and poetry across 352 pages.
The initial printing of the English language version of the book, launched at the Bristol Comic Festival at the end of May and in London at the ComICA! Festival in June, sold out within six months and a second, limited print run was produced (which included a number of minor text corrections). A few copies still remain, but there are no plans for any further reprints, so if you haven’t already got your copy, get your skates on, else you’ll be bidding on eBay for it.
The Italian version, published by Black Velvet was released in November and is likewise almost sold out; and a charity auction of some of the artwork from the book, kindly donated by the creators themselves, raised additional funds for the charities. Pre-tax profits to date have totalled the equivalent of $36,854.45 (US), with the English version raising $24,112.46, the Italian book raising $10,521.87 and the auction adding another $4,101.79.
The book has been well received by almost all concerned, while official recognition has come from two disparate sources, Black Velvet’s edition being nominated for the “Best Publishing Event of 2003” award at the Cartoomics Con in Milan, Italy this March, and the English version being nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for “Best Non-Fiction Book.”
My own contribution to the project, aside from the enormously huge editing job, was a 12-page exhaustively researched, densely written comic strip biography of Mr. Moore, which also appears to have gone down well in certain quarters. Besides being published in the English and Italian versions of the book, it was also reprinted in Darko Macan’s Croatian language Q Strip magazine in a larger format, and most impressively, published oversize in full colour in the prestigious French magazine Bang! earlier this year.
The two beneficiaries of the amounts raised were:
ADI – Alzheimer’s Disease International – www.alz.co.uk
AIMA – Italian Association for Alzheimer’s disease
Alan Moore: Portrait of An Extraordinary Gentleman
(Abiogenesis Press) May 2003 ISBN: 0 946790 06 X
352 pages, part colour, squarebound, $14.99
Bang! #5 (Beau Arts/Casterman) Winter/January 2004
144 pages, part colour, squarebound oversize, euro 19,5
Q-Strip #1 (Mentor D.O.O.) Autumn 2003
64 pages, black & white, Kn 23