Historic Hendon Graphic Novel: Alex Moore

As part of the Historic Hendon project, The RAF Museum has partnered with Middlesex University’s Illustration Course to produce a Digital Graphic Novel. Eleven students from across the First, Second and Third year courses are writing and drawing short stories that re-tell events that bring to life stories of Hendon from 1910 to the present day.


This blog gives an insight into the preparation and work of Alex Moore, who is re-telling the story of Ray Holmes and his daring exploits on 15 September 1940, with an exclusive look at some behind-the-scenes drafts and sketches from the Graphic Novel.


What interests you about the project and your story?


I’ve always loved comics as a storytelling medium and have been keen to explore how digital platforms can be used to tell narratives, so am really excited to be part of this project.


I must confess I’d never heard of Ray Holmes before this but his story is absolutely incredible! I’m amazed someone hasn’t turned it into a film yet. I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading while I was researching it but it’s been really exciting translating it into a comic.

Uncoloured panel from Historic Hendon Graphic Novel showing men at a pub



What are your artistic influences?


Emily Carroll was one of the first artists I came across who really played around with the format of web comics - her story ‘Out the Door’ is a brilliant exercise in suspense. I’m also a big fan of Juanjo Guarnido’s illustrations for the Blacksad series; it’s totally cinematic and his character work is so expressive.

Uncoloured panel from Historic Hendon Graphic Novel showing Ray Holmes falling

What is the most interesting thing you have learned since starting this project?


I picked up Ray Holmes’ autobiography while researching his story and there are so many incredible details in his story. I think the one that really got me were that the Dornier bombers he took down during the Battle of Britain were fitted with flamethrowers!


Uncoloured panel from Historic Hendon Graphic Novel showing WAAFs at work

What do you think makes a comic book a great way to tell RAF stories?


It’s the same thing that makes them such a good storytelling medium in general - anything can happen as long as you can draw it. You can tell a blockbuster story (such as this) on zero budget, or craft something that’s an intimate experience for the reader.


You can find more of Alex's work online here or on instagram, tumblr and twitter.

Historic Hendon is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Joe Sullivan : Heritage Outreach Officer
About the Author

Joe Sullivan : Heritage Outreach Officer

As Heritage Outreach Officer for the Museum's London Site, I am responsible for working with various local community groups introducing the Museum's collection to them whilst assisting them in key events

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