Alan Moore (writer), Eddie Campbell (artist).
Alan Moore’s well-researched, 500+ page graphic novel theorizes that the Jack the Ripper murders were in fact a conspiracy to get rid of a royal’s illegitimate child who posed a threat to the Victorian lineage. I can’t say enough good things about this book. I am a huge fan of graphic novels, and this is one of the best, right up there with Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Dave Sim’s Cerebus and Joe Sacco’s Palestine. The intricate plot involves Masonic conspiracy, Victorian sexual mores, 19th century surgery, insanity, and a blood ritual resulting in transcendental time travel. Eddie Campbell’s art does a wonderful tight-rope act in putting order to chaos. His scratchy inks burst with emotion–I can’t imagine a better artist for this story. I actually wonder if some of Moore’s other work (V for Vendetta, Watchmen) would resonate deeper with me had an artist of Campbell’s caliber (Bill Sienkiewicz or Mike Mignola, possibly) worked on those books. I doubt it though. I always recommend this book to persons who don’t think graphic novels are literary. I won’t loan it out though. I don’t want it to go MIA.
(By the way, the Hughes brothers-directed movie adaptation of this novel, starring Johnny Depp, IS NOT the same story at all. I know, hard to believe that Hollywood could screw up great source material, but nonetheless true).