Review:The Mindscape of Alan Moore

Cover of The Mindscape of Alan Moore.

As I am looking in to comic-book writer and artist Alan Moore, I felt that a obvious entry of source information would be the 2003 documentary The Mindscape of Alan Moore, which chronicles the artist’s life and work.

Review: Alan Moore presents the plot of this documentary chronologically starting with his natural development as an artist from childhood to adult, then gradually working on to his infectious impact that caused him mainstream success in the comic-book world. It also features motion-comic adoptions of his most famous work such as V for Vendetta, Watchmen and Hellblazer. Along with including interviews from the man himself, along with fellow collaborators such as Dave Gibbons, Melinda Gebbie and David Lloyd.

Touchingly, Moore begins this documentary where he recalls at an early age comic books had a prominent role in his life, and how from secondary school onwards he rejected his life in school and so deciding to leave; and eventually, after obtaining several dead-end jobs he landed his first comic writing job. During this part, Moore goes in to detail about the high risk of leaving his day job and starting his life as a writer/artist and claims that ” It was a fool’s leap, a shot in the dark, but anything of any value in our lives – whether that be a career, a work of art, a relationship – will always start with such a leap. And in order to be able to make it you have to put aside the fear of failing and the desire of succeeding.” Indicating that Moore is an individual that considers all walks of life, something that can definitely be seen in his imaginative works.

Although this is a solely Alan Moore based documentary, it is strange to see that his comics are only briefly mentioned and explored with little detail, which unfortunately is somewhat of a disappointment. It seems as though Dez Vylenz’s documentary of the multi-talented artist is based on a majority of beliefs and magic, particularly with the idea that magic in its earliest form is art. He also feels that such artists like sculptures, painters and writers were the earliest ideas and examples of shamens, which, we luckily have plenty in our contemporary world.

The overall idea of Mindscape seems to be this surreal take on spirituality and art, even in the way in which the film is shot. It is as though Dez Vylenz wanted to capture the essence of Moore’s ideas and care-free but concept personality. Although this documentary gives the feeling of Moore’s cinematic embodiment of his own persona, I found the overall idea of this to be rather disappointing. I felt as though this would be a great source of research if someone wanted to look in to Moore’s early life and comic book influences, however to myself this section of the film seemed rushed and vague, especially when looking in to Moore’s comics. Despite this, Vylenz captures the complex and considerate tone behind all Moore’s beliefs on life. I feel that from watching this film, I have a better sense of Moore’s upbringing and what influenced him to start writing and drawing comics. I also feel that the motion-comic editions of Watchmen and V for Vendetta and Hellblazer, as it is an alternative approach to the “classic” graphic Novels that brought Moore to mainstream success.

Below is an extract of the Watchmen Motion Comic that can be found on the DVD.

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