If you were wondering why Alan Moore's comics output has slowed in recent years, it's in part because he's been busy writing a book ... a really big book.
Moore, one of the most acclaimed and influential comic-book writers ever, has never been known for brevity. Anyone who's read his massive opus From Hell knows that he likes to really dig deep with storytelling, and anyone who's read one of his comics scripts knows that he positivitely swamps his collaborators with details. There are a lot of ideas in the head of the Great Bearded Wizard of Comics, and over the past eight years (at least) -- while also still producing comics, developing a digital comics app and, well, being a magician -- he's been working to get many of them out in his massive second novel, Jerusalem.
Like Moore's first novel, the time-spanning 1996 release Voice of the Fire, Jerusalem is set in his hometown of Northampton. It was always intended to be huge, an exploration of his own family's past that also merges different genres, fantasy elements, times, dimensions and literary styles, but perhaps even Moore didn't realize just how huge the novel would be until he finished it. Moore's daughter Leah announced via Facebook on Tuesday that the first draft of the book was done, and that finishing it was now simply a "small matter of copy editing a more-than-a-million-word document."
Yup. Alan Moore's long-awaited, mind-expanding novel is more than one million words long.
As The Verge notes, that's more than twice the length of The Lord of the Rings, and as The Guardian notes, it's more than 200,000 words longer than the Bible, and nearly double the length of the novel many of us think of when we think of Really Long Novels, Tolstoy's War and Peace. That's a lot of book.
As for what exactly we can expect when Jerusalem finally does reach readers (it apparently has no publisher at the moment), we don't entirely know. We know to expect Northhampton, some bits of Moore's own family, and lots of different storytelling styles, but that's about it. In past interviews Moore has teased everything from a chapter about his brother exploring the fourth dimension to chapters inspired by the writing styles of John Dos Passos and Samuel Beckett to noir stories and ghost stories.
So, basically, this is probably the most Alan Moore thing Alan Moore's ever done.