Alan Moore signed copies of Fashion Beast at Waterstones bookstore in Piccadilly, London early today, the graphic novel directly adapted from his nineteen eighties screenplay, written with Malcolm McLaren.
He seemed to rather enjoy the experience. Certainly those in line were very happy, even if it started with them waiting under the bus stop outside the store, joined by people who were actually waiting for the bus.
One had brought a T-shirt to give to Alan, which he was rather amused by.
Some were in awe and found them unable to do anything but express that, which Alan greeted with a gentle smile and, on one occasion, the quote in the headline. There were lots of smiles.
It probably helped that there was no Watchmen. No Killing Joke. There was a notice that Moore would only sign Avatar titles, but a few Lost Girls and From Hells sneaked in there. But nothing that might upset the very genial mood.
It was as if Alan was taking a small throne in the store as Waterstones’ staff ran the event with military precision. They even gave Alan a couple of immaculately dressed minders to ensure the signing went smoothly.
Alan himself was also dressed to impress, a purple suit, with some rather fine pointed shoes he was keen to show off. His rings of choice have reduced of late, they went down to just the one, his wedding ring that he designed, for his marriage to Melinda Gebbie, and they have added to that since. That’s him with Avatar publisher (and publisher of Bleeding Cool) William Christensen above.
Among those queuing to get books signed was the granddaughter of 2000AD letterer Tom Frame who introduced herself much to Alan’s delight and he shared stories about getting drunk with Tom on a semi-regular basis, including one night in Kings Cross when two pool sharks tried to hustle them both when they were very drunk, only for Alan and Tom to win the game even though, as Alan pointed out, he couldn’t see the table. Alan described Tom as “one of nature’s gentlemen”.
I had the opportunity to chat with Alan afterwards. We talked about children, and comics and his recent Jimmy’s End films. How he found himself filming with clowns and burlesque dancers in the club, during a wake. Which initially seemed rather inappropriate but ended up with a wake to remember. And then gave us the full history of Metterton and Matchbright’s career and how it leads up to a bonus film based partly on Peter Cook and Dudley Moore‘s Derek And Clive tapes.
Everyone went away smiling. See, that’s the way things are meant to be.