22 October, 2021

Fallback Fiction – The books we never, ever tire of reading

The Birth Caul by Alan Moore

I remember the first time I read The Birth Caul. I picked up my stack of weekly new comics and hidden amongst them was a new comic by Alan Moore that I knew nothing about, other than that it was drawn by the same guy (Eddie Campbell) with whom he had collaborated on From Hell.

I remember diving in on the first page, expecting to read it at the same pace as the others in my stack. Thirty minutes later, I had scarcely read a third of the book and my mind was forever blown. Adapted from a spoken word piece created and performed by Moore on the occasion of his mother’s death, The Birth Caul incisively takes apart the fictions of adulthood and slowly deconstructs the reader back to the moments before conception. Sounds ambitious? Well, it is, and every consecutive re-read (50? 100? I’ve lost track) yields new fruit. Comics may come and go, but there is only one Birth Caul. I am richer by far for having incorporated into the works that changed my life.

~Rob Vollmar

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