Thursday, September 09, 2010

Response to Alan Moore's Interview

I just read this new interview with Alan Moore. According to Moore, the medium was dying before he wrote Watchmen and he revived it, but everything since has been terrible, and now there's not even any "bottom-flight talent" in the industry.

And even though the Watchmen film was a financial failure, DC is scheming to get the rights to make sequels and prequels across all media because the Batman "movie films" are going downhill shortly, and DC has no other other properties to work off of, even though at Vertigo alone there's been an explosion of great creator owned stuff over the past twenty years.

Not to mention the fact that he can't understand why Marvel would reprint Marvelman when according to Moore it's one of the only valuable works in the entire medium, and objectively, it makes sense to have historically significant works in print. Why have Citizen Kane available when people should just be making good new movies.

And, all I've got to say is it's not a real thank you when you force someone to call to say "Thank you," and then refuse to speak to them ever again when they don't do so.

I still love his work, but Moore, not matter how justified he is on certain things, just sounds like a bitter, paranoid and dissolutely negative person.


Mercer Finn said...

I would agree with you. Moore probably has legitimate reasons to feel this paranoid about the industry. But his inference that nothing has happened in comics since Watchmen is really unfair.

Bob Temuka said...

Moore's sense of humour is often lost in print interviews, and he can often come off sounding a lot harsher than he really is. He certainly comes off as a bit.... old in that interview.

He also sounds paranoid, but if I'd been consistently fucked over by big comic companies like he has, I might start to think they were out to get me too.

And while bitching about the terrible work of other creators is bad form, it's nothing we haven't all done at some point. Nobody wants to see Jeph Loeb's Doc Manhattan ongoing series, and if Moore is doing anything to stand in the way of this possibility, I'm fine with that.

After all, considering the talents pumped into other high-profile relaunches of moribund properties like those First Hood and Red Wave things, it doesn't take much for the characters and concepts to lose their shine.

Patrick said...

The thing is, he has been fucked over by companies, sometimes legitimately, but sometimes it's over nitpicky stuff. The Watchmen contract is something that was unforeseen, but at the same time, DC never violated the contract, and I'm sure he's seen plenty of money from its success.

I'm never one to advocate on behalf of a corporation over an artist, but the fact that he's alienated virtually every company he's worked with, and so many key collaborators makes it hard to believe he's always in the right.

I totally agree with him about not wanting to see Watchmen spinoffs, but I don't think that's something that comics fans are clamoring for. And, for DC to publish Watchmen spinoffs doesn't indicate creative bankruptcy, it just means that Watchmen was such a huge success, it makes sense to try and exploit that property, from a financial standpoint. Though, I agree that they'd probably launch big, then collapse like those relaunches you mentioned.

I don't know what really happened on the business side, but it bothers me that he'd say that everyone, companies or creators, are just trying to remake Watchmen, when through Vertigo, DC has consistently supported some of the most artistically and financially successful original works in comics history. Books like Preacher, Transmetropolitan or The Invisibles are all actually original concepts, unlike Watchmen, which is riffing on the Charlton characters.

Of course, when he says 'mainstream comics,' Moore may only mean superheroes, but even there, books like All Star Superman and even Geoff Johns' Green Lantern have done a good job of freshening up old icons and bringing in lots of new ideas and concepts.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Enter the Void? It's out in the US.

Patrick said...

I actually haven't seen it yet, despite two attempts to go! It was sold out last week and last night. I'm going to try again tomorrow and see if the third time's the charm.