Alan Moore’s Ongoing Rants…..

28 Jul

Like most comic book fans from the last thirty years, I respect that Alan Moore is the greatest comic book author of all time.  I have loved everything I have read by him.  He brought a maturity to comic books that few, if any others, have met.  Watchmen, Killing Joke, and a few Superman books changed how I see comic books.  But I must confess, I am getting tired of this Before Watchmen mess. 

For those who don’t know the deal, Alan Moore wrote Watchmen, widely regarded as the best example of a graphic novel.  I can accept that notion.  It’s a classic book, brilliantly written, introducing an unusual cast of characters.  According to Moore, he and David Gibbons had a contract stating that when the book was done in print, they would assume ownership of the characters and rights to the book.  So, according to Moore, DC has kept the book constantly in print, so they could continue to own the rights.  He has fussed about the movie (I don’t blame him as it was abysmal) and now has created a huge uproar over the prequels.  Now, he routinely fusses that undeserving hacks write new stories using characters he created or put his stamp on. 

I have a few problems with this theory though.  First off, this is his side of the story.  Gibbons, meanwhile, gave lukewarm approval to the prequels.  This week he came out and stated the he felt that it was a different version of the characters than his and Moore’s seminal work.  I respect that and I haven’t read any of the books because I currently don’t see a reason too.  Like Moore and Gibbons have both stated, their story was complete.  I enjoyed THEIR story, but I didn’t appreciate Moore stating anyone who read the prequels wasn’t the type of fans he wanted anyway because they weren’t faithful to his thoughts. 

The biggest problem I have with Moore’s arguments though is the one that gets stated by most people.  Moore has become famous (some would say infamous) writing other people’s characters, which he now fusses that others do.  His Superman stories, while the best written, are Superman stories.  As was basically his Supreme work.  Joe and Jerry created those characters almost 80 years ago.  Likewise, his Batman/Joker classic piece was based on Kane and Finger’s characters.  His one creator owned book that he still works on is based on classic literary figures.  And even Watchmen, the source of so much of his consternation, was based on DC characters for DC. 

Moore has become famous for writing truly brilliant works using other people’s characters.  Meanwhile, he has drawn a line in the sand stating that no one can write “his” characters.  This is patently hypocritical.  As he has gotten older, he has become more and more pretentious about it.  He would be much happier if he did like he claims he has and just ignore the whole situation.  Instead, every few months, he does a big interview in which he states how much he hates the whole media form now and has completely the situation behind him.  Would I love to read a new Moore story on characters he made his mark on?  YES!  And I would have loved to read his Twilight maxi-series he had planned.   But at this point, I would just assume he stick to his novels.

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2 Responses to “Alan Moore’s Ongoing Rants…..”

  1. superdefective July 29, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Wow that’s interesting he does projects with other peoples characters but won’t let people use his own. that is very strange.

    • jaymzsc July 29, 2012 at 12:21 am #

      Yeah, I struggle to wrap my head around the logic, but the man is brilliant.

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