Apathy Jack writes:From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
You may remember the movie version of this Jack the Ripper tale, where Johnny Depp played psychic detective Abberline in a racing whodunit, leading to the big revelation at the end.
Well, the prologue for the graphic novel establishes firmly that all psychics are hoaxers, and by chapter three (of sixteen) we are told who the Ripper is, and we spend much of the rest of the story following him as he dispenses his murderous task.
Paraphrasing a comment Moore once made concerning this movie, he said he was pleased: thousands of movies are made every year that aren’t based on his work, and he never sees a cent, however; the producers of the Depp film made a movie that wasn’t based on his work, but wrote him a huge check...
Warren Ellis once said this of From Hell (wherein; for all you fans of modern sci-fi, he references the old Battlestar Galactica):
When you talk about movies, there’s always that which bookstores live by; the book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore’s best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It’s hard to describe just how much better the book is. It’s like, “If the movie was an episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is ‘Citizen Kane’ with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end.” That’s how much better it is.
This six-hundred-odd page beast of a thing is exhaustively researched – there is a forty-two page appendix explaining story and art references - and it weaves together Masonic conspiracy theories, British history, and compelling pieces of Ripper-lore to build a complex and remarkably compelling read.