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A Disease of Language is the critically-acclaimed collection by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, originally published in 2005. It brings together the studies of magic and rebirth The Birth Caul and Snakes and Ladders, plus an interview with Alan Moore from Egomania.
Originally a performance piece by Alan Moore and Tim Perkins, The Birth Caul is a shamanism of childhood, a journey from the present to the past, back into the womb and beyond. The magical creation theory story of love, death and resurrection Snakes and Ladders was also a performance, entwining the disinterment of Oliver Cromwell and Elizabeth Siddall, the visionary nature of Arthur Machen’s experiences after the death of his wife and Alan Moore’s magical traveller John Constantine. In Eddie Campbell’s self published magazine, Egomania, he interviewed Alan Moore at length to produce the most informative and fascinating insights into the creative process and Alan’s study of magical realities.
“The Birth Caul is possibly the most affecting thing Alan’s yet written. It fulfils the promise of his novel, Voice Of The Fire, and of Big Numbers and the best bits of From Hell. This is Alan Moore summoning his powers and finally delivering a pure burst of the way he sees things, divorced from genre and postmodern gameplay and any of those other touchstones by which we habitually identify Alan Moore’s work.” – Warren Ellis
“On the day I was forty, I decided I was going to become a magician. That was on November 18th. On January 7th, the following year, that was when all of a sudden the lightning hit.” – Alan Moore
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•Comic and graphic novel shop
“One of the most remarkable aspects of Eddie's work here is the context - the degree to which one feels oneself part of the original audience sitting in that Courthouse with the bearded shaman looming out of the darkness from the judicial throne, delivering his judgement. The balance between these atmospheric anchors and Eddie's own visual interpretation of the words is perfect. The structure of each page is fresh and varied, with spots of photography amongst the grey wash well-chosen for relevant impact, and the whole thing charges ahead with a dynamism I could never have anticipated.”
Ready Steady Book
•Book review website
“A Disease of Language collects between the same covers two lesser known collaborations from the creative team behind From Hell. Sidestepping the usual writer-artist relationship, Alan Moore gave Eddie Campbell complete freedom in adapting the texts of his performance pieces to comics form. Not a huge gamble on Moore's part. A superbly complementary pairing, The Birth Caul (1999) and Snakes and Ladders (2001) are ecstatic monologues on the implications of art and the imagination.”
The Comics Journal
•American comics magazine
“Moore is speaking in tongues here — as a student of art, history, literature, modern theoretical science; as a post-grad in mysticism; as a day laborer up to his armpits in the world’s treasures and detritus; as enthralled paramour — but first and foremost, this is an intoxicated poet’s monologue.” – Rich Kreiner