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I went to GOSH, the EXCELLENT Comic Shop this lunchtime, and was rather guiltily leafing through "Countdown: Arena", which is pretty much the HEIGHT of Utter Fanboy Nonsense. QUICK VERSION: they've just brought back the DC Comics MULTIVERSE, which means that there's 52 different versions of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, each universe having it's own Planet Earth, and most of these Earths having their own versions of the DC Superheroes. Cleverly they've made a lot of these Universes the setting of one of their Classic Series - Earth 31, for instance, appears to be where The Dark Knight Returns happened, Earth 9 is The New Frontier etc etc. This opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities for interaction between these formerly seperated works of LITERATURE, and it also opens up the chance for these different versions of classic superheroes to be brought together. AND TO HAVE A BIG FITE!

So, I was looking at this, thinking "I know it's stupid... but I also want to buy it" when I heard an Oddly Familiar voice behind me. I turned around and there, stood in the entrance of the shop, was ALAN MOORE! ALAN MOORE! One of my absolute all-time OH MY GOODNESS HEROES! ALSO arguably the most influencial British ARTIST currently alive and still working in ANY artform - ALAN MOORE!!

You know how in Situation Comedies people tend to FAINT at this sort of moment? That is EXACTLY how I felt. Looking around I saw other people look over, appear STUNNED, and then try to act nonchalant, and the whole shop rang to the sound of quiet CASUAL HUMMING and people trying to contain the urge to scream "OH MY GOOD GOD! IT'S ALAN MOORE!"

When I told The Panels In My Page Layout about this later she asked "Are you sure it was him?" Well, he was with Melinda Gebbie, he had a Northampton accent and everybody called him Alan. Oh yes, and he was A NINE FOOT TALL WARLOCK TRAVELLING THROUGH THE IMAGISPHERE ON A MAGIC CARPET! ALAN! MOORE!

I wondered whether I should go and say hello, or even to just say "Thank You", but from past experience of meeting My All Time Heroes (e.g. nearly falling over when meeting Billy Bragg and then RUNNING AWAY) I thought I'd leave it. The shop owner soon came up and took him and Melinda downstairs, at which point the whole shop VISIBLY RELAXED, and there were outbreaks of NERVOUS GIGGLING.

As I paid for my comics I felt vaguely ashamed - I've not bought "Lost Girls" yet (tho i did get "The Black Dossier" last week - REVIEW: dead good, needs another read, gave up on the Beat Poet bit tho) and here I was buying "Countdown: Arena" instead? Thinking about it, it's probably a good job i didn't say hello, he might have punished my foolishness by turning me into a FROG or something.

Alan Moore tho! I think I'd better have a lie down...

posted 7/12/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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