Previewing Alan Moore's "The Hypothetical Lizard"

Tomorrow, February 2nd, sees the release of Alan Moore's "The Hypothetical Lizard," the short story come to comics via writer Antony Johnston and artist Lorenzo Lorente. Avatar Press has provided CBR News with a six-page preview of issue #1 for you to look at.

"The Hypothetical Lizard" was a short story Moore penned back in 1988. It received much acclaim, even winning the 1988 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella. Since 1990 the story has been out of print, until now. We spoke with Johnston last October about the series, the challenges of adapting a short story from Moore and various and sundry other subjects.

"'The Hypothetical Lizard' is about Som-Som, a very special prostitute in the fabled House Without Clocks, who's undergone radical surgery in order to serve her clients," Johnston told CBR News last October. "Specifically, she's had the membrane that connects the two halves of her brain severed, and with it the connections between thought and action. She can see and hear, but not speak or act - at least, not of any conscious volition. Som-Som, you see, is a whore of wizards - a paranoid bunch at the best of times - and in this way, any secrets her clients may inadvertently reveal in the throes of their passion are completely safe. Som-Som is simply incapable of passing on anything she learns.

"But here's the thing, and one of the reasons it's such a good story - it's not actually about that at all. Sure, Som-Som is the narrator, and the principal character. But at its heart, 'The Hypothetical Lizard' is actually about relationships, love and betrayal. It's about what happens when you have a close friend blindly enter into a self-destructive, abusive relationship - and there's nothing you can say to convince them that it's wrong, that they need to get out of that relationship before they're lost inside their own guilt and self-pity.

"The friend in question is another young prostitute called Rawra Chin, a homosexual transvestite who left the House five years ago to pursue Her dreams of acting on the stage. And by all accounts, She's become enormously successful. But when She left, Rawra Chin broke the heart of Her lover, Foral Yatt. For five years, he's been inconsolable at Rawra Chin's departure. And now, at last, Rawra Chin is back, and wants to resume their relationship.

"But you can never go back, as Rawra Chin is about to find out... And Som-Som watches it all unfold. She knows it's bad, knows the pain and guilt is going to destroy the person Rawra Chin once was, but she can't say anything. She can't do anything. All she can do is watch."

Read the original interview here or simply click the images below for a preview of issue #1.

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