Alan Moore comes out of retirement to attack Boris Johnson in powerful Grenfell message

The famed comic author has published a poem lampooning the politician

Jack Shepherd@JackJShepherd
Tuesday 21 August 2018 13:01
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Boris Johnson and the burqa row: what do his constituents in Uxbridge think?
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Alan Moore – the author of the iconic books Watchmen and V for Vendetta – has briefly come out of retirement to criticise Boris Johnson over the Grenfell Tower Fire.

Moore, who announced he was “pretty much done with comics” two years ago, wrote the illustrated poem as part of a forthcoming comic anthology, 24 Panels, which will raise money for those affected by the devastating fire last year.

Titled “If Einstein’s Right …”, the comic features a drawn black-and-white mugshot of Johnson with the poem written either side.

It reads: “That same year a Bullingdon club clown

swears that he’ll leave fire services alone,

then, three years later, cuts them to the bone,

says, ‘Get stuffed’ as ten stations are closed down

and twenty-seven engines fade from view,

he also shall endure forevermore.

His treacheries caught in time’s amber, for

disgrace and shame are both eternal, too.”

Moore’s contribution to 24 Panels is illustrated by the author’s wife, Melinda Gebbie, and has been described by the curator of the project, Kieron Gillen, as “one of the most politically charged pieces in the book”.

“Obviously having a contribution from Alan and Melinda is a huge deal,” the Eisner Award-nominated Gillen told The Guardian.

“It’s essentially an illustrated poem which is about trying to offer comfort to those who need it, and a controlled and precise anger at the establishment.”

24 Panels includes 12 works from well-known writers and illustrators – including Antony Johnston, Laurie Penny, Paul Cornell and Dilraj Mann – as well as 12 from open submissions. Published on the 21 November, the collection is intended to promote “hope, community, positivity and unity,” says the organisers. All proceeds will be donated to the Trauma Response Network, which provides support for those affected by mass trauma.

Gillen says of the charity and Grenfell: “It didn’t just end there. With such a huge disaster, there’s a very long tail emotionally. The thing about a disaster like Grenfell is we see the images and we are very aware of the enormous immediate physical harm. What we don’t often think about is the shadow, as in how long it lasts, how people live with it for ever. That’s why the work of people like the Trauma Response Network is so important and needs to be funded.”

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