Necronomicon Comic Mini-Series

Comic Book Resources has this article about BOOM! Studios‘ latest comic book adaptation, a mini-series centered upon the Necronomicon. William Messner-Loebs has this to say about his take on Abdul Alhazred:

Since Abdul is not a real Arabic name, I think Abdullah is the actual name. So I thought it might be interesting to actually have this particular ‘Mad Arab’ be actually a mad Englishman who is wandering around, sort of like Lawrence of Arabia.

So the mad Arab isn’t really an Arab, but an Englishman who can’t get his Arabic name right. I have to say that’s a new one. The author adds:

I have a sort of German monk getting shipwrecked and eventually converts to Islam and is just wandering around just trying to find the meaning of life and poking in to all these places over in Yemen, like the Nameless City that Lovecraft talks about, where you’re never supposed to look, and ends up writing all these things down. So that’s one of the things I’m looking at in the book.

So, if you need to know whether the mad Arab was English or possibly German, this is probably the book for you. And it could be a good story. I don’t know.

UPDATE:  Travis disseminates scurrilous propaganda by pointing out that Abdul is actually a real Arabic name.  He is simply not aware that Messner-Loeb’s evidence can be found in groundbreaking essays written for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game and quoted by reputable authors like Simon, and is therefore beyond reproach.

Published in: on June 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. well Abdul is a real Arabic name. Yes it is more commonly a prefix to a more descriptive name of Allah, but it is still a valid Arabic name. Still interested in the comic though.

  2. Messner-Loebs has done some really good stores (especially outside of the superhero genre) so I’m hoping that this could be a really good thing.

    Some of the stuff he wrote for “The Wasteland” for DC (I think it was under the ‘Paradox Press’ label) waaaaaayyyy back when were pretty tweaked…. in a good way

  3. Travis – If I remember correctly the argument about the innacuracy of the Mad Arab’s name has hitherto been that “Abdul Alhazred” contains two instances of the definitive article “al” so would properly either be “Abdul Hazred” or “Abd al-Hazred”. I’m not entirely sure about this argument myself – a quick Google also finds many contemporary Arabs going by the name “Abdul al-something”. For example Hamas leader Dr. Abdel al-Rantissi. His full name is Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi – therefore could the Mad Arab have actually been Abdul al-Hazred? Perhaps that which he was a slave (abd) to was too terrible to name!

    From looking at a few Arabic names I think that Abdullah Alhazred wold be valid too – for example: Abu Abdullah Al-Battani (9C astronomer), Abdullah al Ryami (modern playwright).

    Just my 2p for the sake of argument – not knowing anything at all about Arabic grammar or naming conventions I’m sure someone will put me straight.

  4. Ah, my use of angle brackets in my last post meant that one line was not rendered correctly – firs para, penultimate line:
    “… therefore could the Mad Arab have actually been Abdul (something) al-Hazred?”

  5. I would assume there would have to be another name in there to be valid. Middle eastern countries have a history of really long names (not that some europeans, this not too long ago). al-Battani’s full name, for example is:

    Abu Abdallah Muhammad Ibn Jabir Ibn Sinan al-Battani al-Harrani.

    To this day most middle easterners have a lot more to their name. The shortening is a western convention. Anyhow, Abdul Alhazred is a completely valid “part” of a name, but the idea that a Mad arab walking the hills of Roba El Khaliyeh 1300 or so hundred years who doesn’t have about 4-10 other family related names in his name is almost unconceivable. Of course, I usually prefer to just leave this topic at Lovecraft made it up, but hey, this discussion is fun too 😉

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