Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pages From Hell

Treat this as a graphic-novel equivalent of those “cherished extracts” I sometimes post. Here are two pages from one of my favourite passages in From Hell, from a chapter that contrasts the day-to-day lives of London’s privileged classes (represented here by Sir William Gull, the Queen’s physician) with those of the poor women of the East End (Jack the Ripper’s victims, the prostitutes of Whitechapel), living in the most squalid, unhygienic conditions.

Gull wakes and stretches languorously in his plush bedchamber, while the unfortunates of Whitechapel sleep in the cold, sitting up against a wall, with a rope stretched out in front of them to prevent them from falling forward. (In the morning, when it’s time for them to get up and go about their work, the rope is pulled away, rudely awakening them – as depicted in the third panel of the first page.)

(Click the images to enlarge)

Update: for more illustrations from the book (especially from the "symbols of London" section), artist notes and other work by Eddie Campbell, see his wonderful blog.


  1. Treat, treat, Treat.

    Your blog!

    (with respect)

  2. You might find this useful:

    It's Eddie Campbell's blog, where he posts script excerpts, reference pics and other lovely stuff. It's good.

  3. hi jai,

    i think it makes sense to spend time with 'from hell' on dvd, considering most bookstores have yet to bring in the complete edition. even borders, which i just checked an hour ago, had none. the surprising thing was it had around 12 copies of 'watchmen'. very strange.

    p.s. an interview with eddie campbell really could be very interesting :)

  4. No Sympathy for the widow's son?

  5. Aditya: thanks. Had seen the blog once before, but forgot all about it.

    DD: sources tell me you have a hardcopy of this book somewhere in your home. Expect a break-in soon.

    Lindsay: I wouldn't know what to ask him. The interview could probably be summarised in a panel depicting the two of us sitting across each other, me gaping at him idiotically.

    But I really would like to know what intensity of artistic collaboration is required to produce something like From Hell. Moore and Campbell must have been completely drained by the end of it.

  6. maybe sarnath banerjee could talk to him. any idea how 'the barn owl's wondrous capers' is?

    on another note, if i can find you a hard copy of 'from hell' (a used copy, i'm afraid, because i earn next to nothing as a journalist), i'll email and ask for your address so i can mail it to you *fingers crossed*

  7. hey, i like your work.
    im writing a paper on Alan Moore's work focussing on three novels -
    V for Vendetta
    and From Hell.

    Im based in Delhi and having a hard HARD time locating a copy of From Hell.

    Could you please help me out with any clues to this elusive book?