Trade Paperback collects single issues 1-6
Publisher: Wildstorm (USA), Titan (UK).
Plotted by Alan Moore
Written by Leah Moore and John Reppion
Art by Shane Oakley and George Freeman.
A few years ago, a couple of friends of mine used to own a comic shop. I”ve spent many lovely Saturdays hanging with my fellow geeky mates in this shop, and I hold one of the owners as single-handedly responsible for some of the best titles that make up my collection.
When the batch of Albion TPs arrived at his shop he immediately pointed them to me. Not that I needed much encouragement, because when I saw the words Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman on the cover my heart missed a beat. Whilst flipping through the colourful pages of this book I couldn”t wait to go home to read it.
As soon as I arrived home and settled my butt on a comfortable chair I grabbed Albion for a closer inspection. This was when I experienced my first disappointment. Neil Gaiman”s sole contribution to this project was the introduction and not a very good one either. There is no disputing that Gaiman is one of the best active writers but all he does here is blabber on and on about old British comic heroes he grew up on, which as it goes are the protagonists of Albion.
The second disappointment I experienced was when I realized that Alan Moore just plotted the story. Still I was hopeful because if there is a guy who can plot a good story, Alan Moore is one for sure. But when the whole plot revolves around a bunch of old British comic heroes locked up in a castle and someone is on a quest to let them loose you get the feeling that any guy with an average IQ of a rock could have plotted this one, while sipping a cup of tea and watching an episode of EastEnders.
The fact that publishers of this title had to resort to such gimmicks to sell the book did not bode well, but I chose to be optimistic. After reading through the first quarter I was bored, placed the book down, switched on the internet and looked up stuff which I really shouldn”t be telling you about.
To be fair I have absolutely no knowledge of old British comics, and hence none of the characters of Albion were familiar to me. Consequently, try as I might, I simply couldn”t like this book. It”s not that there”s something particularly wrong with it, but it really could not hold my interest and I had to struggle to finish it.
The only thing that I can recommend here is the artwork, which I found pleasing, and the fact that the TPB contains some old comic strips featuring some of the main characters was also a nice touch.
The bottom line is: if you are familiar with old British comics, then this could be a nice trip down memory lane, and chances are you”ll get much more from this book then I ever did. If not, my advice is to go for something else.
I was lucky enough to get my copy openly signed by Leah Moore and John Reppion, so if you”re interested in buying it send me a message.
Chris Le Galle