What I thought of Cinema Purgatorio #4

Thoughts about #1#2 and #3.


A simply beautifully fearsome cover from Kev O’Neill welcomes us to issue 4 of Cinema Purgatorio and a very disturbing King Kong inspired story from Alan Moore and O’Neill.


In this strip Moore has Kong speaking the words of Willis O’Brien, the animator who brought Kong to life, and this creates a weirdly unsettling feeling. It’s a narrative that ends up playing out just as unsettlingly as Moore’s previous Cinema Purgatorio stories.


Next up in Garth Ennis’s Code Pru we find out more about our paranormal-Americans, or monsters as we’d know them. Turns out most of them are just like us when it comes to getting a little bit of help.


As for the Pokemon Go that’s never going to happen, Keiron Gillen’s Modded is vying with Moore’s dark stories of cinema in terms of my favourite strip here.


A More Perfect Union finally sees American civil wars soldiers and giant ants do battle at last.


Lastly, The Vast comes lumbering at the reader with more giant mutated monsters.

cinemapurgatorio21After four issues the stories are settling down. My favourites are Moore and O’Neill’s weird strips alongside Modded, with Code Pru coming up next. The other two strips are fine but I’ve grown to not be too bothered if they end, I’d be pissed off if we lost Moore and Gillen’s material, plus it’s always great to read new Garth Ennis. As we head into issue five things are looking good for hopefully a lengthy run of this wonderfully varied anthology title.

What I thought of Cinema Purgatorio #3

Thoughts about #1 and #2.


There’s something very Blue Jam about Alan Moore’s work for the increasingly interesting Cinema Purgatorio. All his stories so far have had a trippy, dark, horrific feel but are still funny in a twisted way very much like that series was so if Moore is drawing influence from Chris Morris I’m not complaining. In this issue we have Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill  sort of coming back to superheroes, albeit one in an 1930’s type serial. It’s unsettingly funny.


Next up is the Garth Ennis strip, Code Pru, which is bloody, messy and monstrous this issue as it takes a bit of inspiration from Alien for this episode’s monster.


As for Modded,it’s barring Moore’s strip, it’s the best of the comic.It’s best enjoyed thinking this as a kid’s cartoon but with more blood.


A Better Union is an odd little beast set as it is during the American Civil War and is a mix of historical war comic with some giant ants.


While The Vast treads some old ground but does so well.


Cinema Purgatorio has settled into a nice pace with all the strips hitting a good head of steam. Only Max Brooks’s Civil War strip needs to really get going otherwise it’s all good stuff that is worth looking at even if you’re not an Alan Moore completist.

What I thought of Cinema Purgatorio #2

Thoughts about #1.


The second issue of this promising anthology title again starts with Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s opening story which centres round the stars of a old Roman epic who realise they’re on a film set and more. It’s an unsettling little tale and more subtle than the first issue’s more visceral story from the pair.


Next up is Garth Ennis’s Code Pru, which after dealing with vampires last issue move onto another classic monster.


This episode expands on the world Ennis has created where classic monsters are real, and suffer bigotry and beatings from the police who despise them. It’s not especially hard to work out the analogy Ennis is spinning here.

Next up is Keiren Gillen’s twister take on Pokemon, Modded. This is a fun, and utterly bizarre strip that fits what Moore’s trying to do with the entire Cinema Purgatorio idea perfectly. It’s also gloriously fucked up.


As for the Max Brooks American Civil War story, A More Perfect Union, that takes an odd turn after nearly two episodes of building up what looked like a historical war story into something else.


As for The Vast written by Christos Gage it still remains the weakest story in the comic though it’s still a decent read.


Cinema Purgartorio is proving itself to be a successful anthology title, with Moore and Gillen’s stories in particular standing out as being odd things that probably wouldn’t work outwith of this comic. A couple of the stories need beefing out a bit but none of them are truly terrible as is often the case with anthology titles, and I’d recommend jumping on board now while the chance is there.

What I thought of Cinema Purgatorio #1


As the blurb for this new comic from Avatar Press won’t let us forget, the anthology comic is something readers in the US at least seem to be contemptuous of. In Europe we’re used to such things thanks to the likes of 2000AD and Heavy Metal, but in America in the modern era it’s fell by the wayside hence why Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill decided to bring back the concept with Cinema Purgatorio; an attempt to do something different with the format.

From the off this feels different, almost grubby as Moore and O’Neill set up the idea of one of those filthy little cinemas that used to infect the UK decades ago that’s show anything from horror films, to porn, to melodramas, basically anything. In this case it’s a worrying pastiche of old silent comedies.


Moore and O’Neill start this as a zany silent film but it quickly becomes something more real and grimmer while still keeping the conventions of silent comedy.It’s a horribly effective and disturbing story that works to set the tone, and having the stories as part of a cinematic programme dispenses with having a Crypt Keeper or Tharg type character introducing the stories.

Next up is Garth Ennis and Raulo Caceres Code Pru. A story about a paramedic, not someone you see as a leading character in comics, but this is a paramedic in a world where vampires are real…


As an establishing episode it’s pretty good, but this isn’t any more than just setting up the concept that vampires are real, people know about it and Pru’s not one of them.

The third story is Kieron Gillen and Ignacio Calero’s Modded. This is a post-apocalyptic science fiction tale set on a ravaged Earth and I’ve seen this concept more times than I’ve taken a piss in my life, This though is something a wee bit different that feels like a post apocalyptic version of Pokemon with a touch of Final Fantasy.


So far it feels very British and very 2000AD in places, especially Gillen’s story, but Max Brooks and Michael Dipascale’s A More Perfect Union gives a chance for a more American voice to be heard in this crowd of noisy Brits.

Set during the Battle of Gettysburg, A More Perfect Union is a historical tale that stands out as there’s nothing seemingly supernatural in this but there’s something interesting about the story as the historical war comic is a nearly extinct species.


It’s back to a more SF/horror tale with Christos Gage and Gabriel Andrande’s The Vast. A kind of Pacific Rim story of giant monsters and the people trying to stop them. It’s the thinnest story in terms of plot, but it’s fun stuff, even if it’s been done over and over before.


Cinema Purgatorio is a nice revamp of the anthology format. It doesn’t especially change anything here as it’s really taking the idea of the old British weekly comics as it’s inspiration but the entire thing is enjoyable, not to mention, interesting enough to read on to see where the various creators take these stories. The stand out stories are Moore’s Gillen’s and Brooks. Ennis’s story is fine but feels like he wrote it on automatic, and Gage’s is OK, but it’s nothing really special.

This isn’t a cheap comic however don’t let the cover price put you off. There’s some excellent stuff in here and it’s also nice to see artists that can draw and not just that, draw in black and white. Too many mainstream comic artists don’t seem to have grasped these basic talents.

So good first issue. Certainly interesting enough to pick up the next couple of issues. I’d give it a try if I were you….