Writer: Steve Moore
Artists: Greg Staples. Paul Johnson, Siku, Simon Davis, Paul Johnson, Dean Ormston, Carl Critchlow, Stefano Cardoselli, Jon Haward, John Stokes, Clint Langley, David Kendall
Colours: Rita Gorgoni, Angus McKie
Letters: Steve Potter, Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville, Tom Frame
Tales of Telguuth created by Steve Moore and Greg Staples
Steve Moore (11th June 1949 – 16th March 2014) was the creator of not just Tales of Telguuth but also one of my favourite characters from Marvel UK’s Doctor Who Weekly, Absalom Daak, Dalek Killer. You can read my review of another story he wrote for 2000AD, Red Fang.
Not only a writer that brought enjoyment to me and many others in childhood Steve Moore has had a far reaching influence on British comics. He mentored the young Alan Moore, no relation, and became a life long friend. Alan Moore has written a two page introduction to this volume. Many other writers will cite Steve Moore as an influence, not least Alan Moore’s daughter Leah.
Telguuth is a world at the centre of the galaxy, at the Galactic Hub. This causes the world to be very different to that of ours, however the major intelligent lifeform is Human, as Human as we are.
One of the stories in this book, The Colossal Wealth of Karn Foul-Eye, can be downloaded, in a zip file with other scripts, from the 2000AD website, here is a link to the page with the download, look under the heading for Artists Submission Guidelines. In the intro to that script you can read Steve Moore’s own description of Telguuth to the artist.
The stories in this vol;ume are very varied, the whole world was a sandbox so there were few limits. Less so as the setting is fantastical, there is magic and the walls between other dimensions is thin. This freed Moore’s imagination, perhaps more than a Future Shock could do. Yes, there are similarities between these Tales and Future Shocks in so far as most have a twist in the tale. They are however less constrained by the need for the twist.
Moreover as this is a world, no matter how diverse, reading these Tales gives the reader a sense of continuity even though most of the stories are completely unconnected. This is because we know it is the same world we have visited before. The Magic is varied but the rules that it follows seem to make sense within the setting. Similarly though the characters and cities vary there is still a world feel to it. Some consistency.
Artists were encouraged to use their imagination, as seen in the introduction to the script for The Colossal Wealth of Karn Foul-Eye where he says:
“That said, our humans can be bizarre … in fact the overall visual look I’d like is one of bizarre, begemmed exoticism. Our characters can have tattoos, jewels, strange hairstyles, deformities, sumptuous costumes, etc. Please let your imagination run riot … similarly, architecture, carriages, etc., can be as weird as you like, within the confines of a non-technological civilisation. And as most stories will be set in different places, we don’t have to worry about consistency of style from one story to another.”
So the artists were free to put things into the story as they saw fit. They had the ability to add to the look of the story much more freely than some ongoing stories. This freedom for the artist can only assist the reader.
Steve Moore was a master script writer. He entertained and informed me more than I realised at the time with his earliest works. We may not see scripts exactly the same again but his influence on those srtill writing to entertain us will pass on his legacy to others.