Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Book Week Review: The Black Dossier

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen got it's start ass a six issue miniseries published by America's Best Comics in March 1999. Set in England in 1898 the league is a group of men and women whose names are quite familiar: Alan Quatermain, Mina Murray( until recently Mina Harker), Dr. Henry Jekyll, and Captain Nemo.These are the living breathing versions of our literary favorites, drawn together to prevent a major Martian Invasion  of London. This initial series led to the graphic novel Black Dossier.
In the Black Dossier it is now London 1958 and Mina Harker is on a mission to steal one of her former employers secret document The Black Dossier. Succeeding the eternally young Mina and Alan Quatermain are on the run, reading the Dossier and learning secrets hidden in some of England's greatest works of fiction.
This is a beautiful book. It is an exploration of several of English writers works like Fanny Hill and Orlando, this book really made me want to read a lot of these classic works. I also enjoyed seeing Alan and Mina again, two of my favorite characters from the series.
The price and format of this book make it targeted towards an adult comic fan. The book was primarily released in the direct comics market ie: comic book shops and some bookstores. The challenges to this book came when it was introduced to the library system. I write in depth about this on the comic site under the title "Banned Book Week, Why Comic Fans should Care"
I agree that there are some mature themes in this book and i would recommend it for 16 years old or older. The banning of the book shows a need for an Adult Graphic Novel sections in libraries. Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill are doing incredible work with this series. All of these collections are available at your local bookstore and hopefully your local library!


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