DC Solicitation: Relive one of legendary writer Alan Moore's early triumphs with this new edition of his science-fiction classic SKIZZ, featuring art by frequent Moore collaborator Jim Baikie (TOMORROW STORIES)!
Zhcchz is a Tau Cetian interpreter traveling home through the stars; Roxy is just a Birmingham schoolgirl heading home after another boring day. When the two collide, their lives will change forever!
Now Roxy must protect her new alien friend "Skizz" and try to find a way to send him home. To help, she's got Loz, the laconic biker, and Cornelius, the slow-witted, unemployed pipe-fitter. But standing in their way is obsessive Government alien-hunter Van Owen!
On sale Feb 9  o 7.375" x 10.1875" o B&W, 104 pg. $14.95 US
This volume reprints:
Skizz Book I, 23 episodes, progs 308-330 (March to Aug. 1983). Story by Alan Moore, art by Jim Baikie.
Skizz was the first regular ongoing series in 2000 AD from Alan Moore, and it's become a minor cult classic. It's overshadowed by his other big 2000 AD strips, but Skizz is hugely rewarding for its humanity.
Moore had started his comics career in the late 1970s via fanzines and alternative newsweeklies, often under the pseudonym "Curt Vile," while looking for better-paying jobs. He broke through in the summer of 1980, selling back-up strips to Marvel's Doctor Who Monthly featuring some of the villains and aliens from the TV series, and to 2000 AD with a variety of four and five-page strips which ran under a number of different umbrella titles, such as Tharg's Future Shocks, Tharg's Time Twisters and Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales.
Within two years, Marvel had rewarded Moore with regular work on the series Captain Britain. Moore's contributions to the series began in Marvel Super-Heroes Magazine before it was transferred over to a different anthology called The Daredevils. Even before that, however, Moore's partner from the "Curt Vile" days, Steve Moore, had struck an alliance with Dez Skinn at Quality Comics. These three were the driving forces behind Warrior, a monthly anthology which featured several very popular Alan Moore series, including Marvelman, V for Vendetta and The Bojeffries Saga.
In short, 2000 AD was quite late in giving Moore the opportunity to really shine. It wasn't until March 1983, a full year after Warrior's launch, that Moore was given space for a proper series in 2000 AD, and even it was more of a mandate than an invention. Rather thandeveloping his own characters and situations as he had done with Abelard Snazz, a character who reappeared every few months in Moore's 2000 AD one-shots, Moore was instructed to write something earthbound about a stranded alien, to capitalize on the then-unreleased-in-England film E.T.
Other critics have suggested a comparison with The Boys from the Blackstuff, and they're absolutely right. Skizz feels like what you'd get if Alan Bleasdale had written E.T.: the magical childhood business wouldn't be there; instead you would feel the real humanity of the characters, and their desperation and unemployment, as informed by their relationship with this strange alien who can only speak a few words of English. Skizz himself is almost a plot mcguffin, despite how interesting his design and his reactions to people are. You read this series to see Roxy's relationship with her parents, and to see Cornelius, uneducated, unemployed, bound for a life of poverty, and so determined and unbent that bullet wounds do not bother him. "I've still got my pride!" means as much to 2000 AD readers as "Gissa job?!" meant to television drama fans of the day.
Skizz has been overshadowed by almost all of Moore's other 1980s work in England. It was not compiled in America for ages, and that was in the Quality Comics reprint anthology which Dez Skinn initiated, with poor reproduction and color. A decent TPB was finally issued by Titan in 1989, perhaps too late to capitalize on the success Moore found in the US with Saga of the Swamp Thing, Watchmen and the American continuations of the cancelled Warrior's strips, and long out of print.
Jim Baikie, the story's artist, has returned to write Skizz twice for 2000 AD, and has worked with Moore on a number of subsequent projects, including Vigilante for DC and The First American and U.S. Angel for America's Best Comics/Wildstorm.
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