The beast carved up women, and set London's poverty section afire with fear.
He was well and rightly feared.
While letters poured in to the news outlets of the day claiming responsibility, only one letter seems to have with it authenticity. It was not sent to the media. It was sent to the leader of the neighborhood watch. It was accompanied by a newly hacked out kidney of a woman with Bright's disease, a common ailment of the women the Ripper preyed upon.
And from that letter, Alan Moore took the name of his work about the Ripper.
Alan Moore is a comic book writer, also a writer in many other formats and genres of literature. He chose to adapt the concepts of who committed the crime from the book JACK THE RIPPER THE FINAL SOLUTION by Stephen Knight. The writer used previously considered theories but made them fit the acts of crime committed by Jack the Ripper, with Sir William Gull and associates being used to clean up a royal conspiracy involving Prince Eddy. Rightly aimed, or wrongly, both From Hell and JTR The Final Solution are brilliant works. It is demonstrable proof that, if you are a great enough thinker and writer you can take a theory, and make it work, regardless of if it is actually true.
TOP SHELF sent me THE FROM HELL COMPANION within which are the pages and pages of notes, images, texts, from the non published archives regarding the work FROM HELL. IF you loved FROM HELL you will go bongo over this. Alan Moore is nothing if he is not a thorough thinker, investigator and detail oriented writer. If a poet thinks big picture, Alan Moore is the opposite, seeing every detail in such fine degrees as to let nothing escape his view.
From the publisher's description: " Now, Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics present THE FROM HELL COMPANION, an astonishing selection of Alan Moore's original scripts and sketches for the landmark graphic novel, with copious annotations, commentary, and illustrations by Eddie Campbell. Here for the first time are a set of pages, including some of Moore's greatest writing, which have never been seen by anyone except his collaborator. Joining them are Campbell's first-hand accounts of the project's decade-long development, complete with photos, anecdotes, disagreements, and wry confessions. Arranged in narrative order, these perspectives form a fascinating mosaic, an opportunity to read FROM HELL with fresh eyes, and a tour inside the minds of two giants of their field."
Now, I've been told that some people find this work exhausting, because of the extraordinary detail. Alan Moore and his partner in telling this crime Eddie Campbell did tell the whole story, and it cannot be a flaw that people can't take in the whole view. It is, seriously large. So, for the completist, this work is perfect. For the detail oriented person who wants to know everything there is or was to know about this book, this work is perfect. For the person who didn't understand FROM HELL and wants to know more, this might help. For the person who hates footnotes, doesn't care about details and thinks the work was icky, there is always Justin Bieber.
Do not miss out buying this work if FROM HELL was on your list of best works or favorite works.
If I were to give grades, 98%. A, bordering upon A +.
AUTUMN PAINTED RED
You might have noted that I tried to give a number of possibilities for who committed the crime. While I fully acknowledge the brilliance and perfection of FROM HELL (not the movie of it however), I've read well over 25 accounts, and a vast number of articles upon the subject of the Jack the Ripper slayings. IF it wasn't the first serial killing, it was easily the most famous for many, many years, if not into the future for generations. I am not convinced that the solution in JTR The Final Solution, or FROM HELL is the solution. As a thinker and writer I thought, I am a poet, what if I wrote from the mind's eye of Jack the Ripper. I tried to get into the mind of him. In the Victorian era when JTR lived and committed his acts, poetry would have been a venue for such a mind. However while the formulations in my mind were happening I came across a brilliant book... The Secret of Prisoner 1167. It examines a variety of sources and arrives at a person who was mentally ill in such ways as the Ripper would have been, had resources to move about, had killed and hated women, and was known to Scotland Yard and has his documents/records sealed. James Kelly was his name and whether he did it or not, I don't know, but of all the possible names I've seen, I am convinced he is the best candidate. So I chose to write as him. And my work, accompanied by the works of K. Nichole Porter, Jason Moser, Bobby Wilson, Kurt Wilcken, Joe Hilliard, and Daniel Mann is an account of the Ripper.
Why am I telling you this? Am I trying to get you to spend your money on my work instead of FROM HELL? No. They are vastly different works, and I have no misconceptions over the quality of Mr. Moore's work versus my own.
However, I do think if you are interested in the JTR killings you would find my work of interest.
I am offering a contest where in the first respondent to Alexanderness63@gmail.com and in the comments here, saying gimme gimme gimme, will get all the books here, except for THE FROM HELL COMPANION.
The contest starts the moment you read this, and the winner is not the first person responding here. It is about who gets the message into my inbox first. The comment here is just to get you to do two things to get a shitload of books. Yes, I said shitload. I am not assuming many people reading this are offended after having seen the image of Mary Jane Kelly, and being interested in JTR.
NEWS FROM ME
I have a few things holding me back from getting into the return of my column, but, when I do, there will be reviews and commentary. I lost my mom in October 2012, my car in an accident in January 2012, and had unrelenting, chronic diarrhea since 2011. In February 2013 I fell on the ice and dislocated my hip, and injured my spine, and then, everything got worse. I lost 65 pounds, not on a diet. I bled, from places you don't want to know. And the pain was insane. I am not trying to garner your sympathy, I am trying to explain why, although I want to return, it has been slow going.
I have surgeries scheduled soon, and, God willing, when I return I will try to get this into a monthly or twice a month affair. I will review print form games, comics, movies and books. I will try to do so in a fashion that is timely. But health is its own beast, and I cannot promise anything more than that.
You can write me at AlexanderNess63@gmail.com
My writing and thoughts can be seen at:
My poetry blog
A list of my published works
A series about poetry by me, at the Outhouse.