I'm not a fan of comic books. Not that I have anything against graphic novels as such — it's just that I never really got into them. I've read Watchmen, seen the film, and enjoyed both, despite a certain ambivalence towards the superhero genre. I also have a couple of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series which I've yet to get to.
I didn't know what to expect of Alan Moore, though I was aware he is revered by many. I have to admit that the twenty-minute poem he proceeded to read to us on Sunday afternoon at TAM London 2010 left me cold. Maybe if I'd been more attuned to his oeuvre, or even his voice, I would have got something out of it. (I should point out that for me poetry in general is a bit of a blind spot, so I'm not qualified to assess its worth, and my comments in this regard are probably worthless.)
After the poem we were back to the discussion format, with Alan Moore in conversation with Neil Denny and Josie Long. My overall impression was of an expectation that the audience would be at least partially familiar with the subjects discussed, which I was not.
But you win some, you lose some. I know that there were people attending TAM London for whom Alan Moore's appearance was the highlight of the weekend. Alas, I'm not one of them.
The 2010 TAM London was a different animal from its predecessor. I've already mentioned the preponderance of discussion panels — a format that's fine in moderation (excuse the pun), but I would have preferred fewer of them and more of the structured talk format. I also noticed a shift towards an atheistic emphasis. This isn't something I'm against, because it fits with my own skepticism, of which my atheism is merely a subset. I suspect, however, that there will be some who feel that skepticism should not necessarily imply or assume atheism.
On the whole TAM London 2010 was highly successful and I'm glad I went. I look forward to the DVDs and to the announcement of the speaker line-up for TAM London 2011. And I'll finish with a couple of shots of the man himself wrapping up the weekend:
Teller on how magicians "alter your perceptions"
17 minutes ago