Review: The Ballad of Halo Jones / Author: Alan Moore / Artist: Ian Gibson / Publisher : Rebellion / Release Date: Out Now
The Ballad of Halo Jones first came out as a serial in comic-strip anthology 2000AD back in 1984. Since then, collections of this seminal science fiction tale have been intermittently reprinted, and this new edition comes with an eye catching cover and an introduction from Clark Award winning writer, Lauren Beukes.
The series is considered to be one of writer Alan Moore’s finest works. The titular character is not a superhero or skilled warrior; she’s just a woman trying to grow up in a tough galaxy. It is a tale of identity, independence and coping with a huge and uncaring cosmos. It has themes of unemployment, possessiveness and war and it exciting and engaging in equal measure. If you don’t have a copy on your bookshelf, this new edition is a perfect opportunity to correct that; it really is essential reading for any comic book fan and if you’re looking for a way into graphic novels, this is a great place to start. It’s a powerful story about people and the world they live in. It’s Alan Moore at his finest and Ian Gibson’s artwork is striking and perfectly well pitched for the piece; even the most outrageous characters have a lived-in, down-to-earth feel and the world Halo Jones practically breathes with every turn of the page.
It seems strange that this well loved, well known, popular, female lead tale has not yet been adapted into a TV series and given that there was recently an excellent stage production of the same story it can only be a matter of time. If you haven’t read it, it’s back in print now and you really have no excuse. Go out. Pick up a copy. You will not regret it.