Alan Moore’s underground : The formation of a dissident cultural practice

Gray, Maggie (2011) Alan Moore’s underground : The formation of a dissident cultural practice. Studies in Comics, 2(1), pp. 21-37. ISSN (online) 2040-3232

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Abstract

This article addresses Alan Moore’s earliest work for zines and underground papers from 1971 to 1980. It argues that the hippie counterculture was a formative influence not only on his anarchist politics but his approach to cultural production, and an awareness of its significance is therefore crucial to the critical understanding of his oeuvre as a whole. Equally Moore’s experience of the underground augments historical understanding of the UK counterculture itself and the role of comics within it, and challenges dominant chronological narratives that insist on a definitive split between its political and cultural wings during this period. This article considers Moore’s output in illustration, poetry and prose, but particularly focuses on his earliest comics, featured in Embryo, anon. and The Backstreet Bugle. It looks in detail at the Northampton Arts Lab and the underground press as counter-institutions, and spaces in which Moore developed highly politicized aesthetic and creative strategies that he would carry into his later professional work. These included a commitment to the realization of non-alienated and collaborative artistic production, a partisan engagement with key political issues, an insistence on formal experimentation and an emphasis on a demystified and enabling relationship with the reader.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: arts lab, Alan Moore, comix, counter-culture, underground press
Research Area: History of art, architecture and design
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture > School of Art & Design History
Depositing User: Dr Margaret Gray
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2016 09:28
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2016 09:28
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/36783

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