Alan Moore and Brian Catling on Imagination | How To Academy

Mon, 17 January 2022

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Alan Moore and Brian Catling on Imagination

In Conversation With Robin Ince

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The comics legend and Oxford sculptor turned literary novelist come together to explore humanity’s greatest superpower: imagination.

Few figures make such a seismic impact on their artistic medium that they transform its reputation from childish pulp entertainment to a vital and exhilarating creative form, capable of exploring the great mysteries of metaphysics, science, and the human spirit – but Alan Moore is one.

A modern-day alchemist who transmuted comic books into literary gold, his works not only inspired a later generation of authors who are now household names, from Neil Gaiman to Susanna Clarke, but filmmakers, artists, and storytellers in every medium. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez quotes him online; the Occupy and Anonymous movements adopt the mask of his hero V; and Time magazine honours Watchmen as one of the 20th century’s greatest works of literature.

A sculptor, poet, performance artist and professor at Oxford’s Ruskin School, Brian Catling’s creativity transcends any given form. Late in his career he turned his attention to the novel, reimagining its possibilities from the ground up to produce one of the most startling rich and strange works of fantasy ever produced: The Vorrh.

Now he returns to the literary world with Hollow: the mesmerising tale of a band of mercenaries journeying through the grotesque, monstrous landscapes of Hieronymus Bosch to deliver an oracle to the monastery at the foot of the Tower of Babel.

Coming together to celebrate the magic of human creativity, this unmissable conversation will restore your faith in the power of art to transform life.

Praise for Alan Moore:

“A work of ruthless psychological realism, it’s a landmark in the graphic novel medium.” – Time (for Watchmen)

“A masterpiece representing the apex of artistry.” – Entertainment Weekly (for Watchmen)

Praise for Brian Caitling:

“Brilliantly wrought… Wonderful… Catling’s expertise, imagination and linguistic flair are well matched by his wit and enthusiasm. Hollow is never less than tremendous fun… Catling is a great and wild talent… a raucous novel that thrills and unsettles in equal measure.” – TLS (for Hollow)

‘Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts.’ Terry Gilliam (for The Vorrh)

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Alan Moore

Author, Performer, Magician

Alan Moore, born in Northampton in 1953, is a writer, performer, recording artist, activist and magician. His comic-book work includes Lost Girls (2009) with Melinda Gebbie, From Hell (1991) with Eddie Campbell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (for which he won a Bram Stoker Award in 2000) with Kevin O’Neill. He has worked with director Mitch Jenkins on the Show Pieces cycle of short films and on forthcoming feature film The Show, while his novels include Voice of the Fire (1996) and his epic Jerusalem (2016). He lives in Northampton with his wife and collaborator Melinda Gebbie.

Brian Catling

Performance Artist and Sculptor

Brian Catling was born in London in 1948. He is a former Professor of Fine Art at the Ruskin School, Oxford, and is an acclaimed performance artist and sculptor. His Vorrh trilogy is followed this year by Earwig, which is being filmed by Lucile Hadžihalilovic.

Robin Ince

Comedian and co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Robin Ince is the co-presenter of Radio 4’s multiple award winning The Infinite Monkey Cage. He spent 2019 appearing across the world in the Universal tour with Brian Cox – travelling from LA to Oslo, Wellington to Aberdeen and ending up in Reykjavik after shows at the O2 and Wembley Arena. Robin co-wrote How to Build a Universe (part 1) with Brian Cox and authored other works including The Importance of Being Interested – Adventures in Scientific Curiosity, and his most recent book, Bibliomaniac: An Obsessive’s Tour of the Bookshops of Britain.