Robot 6

‘Back when I wrote Watchmen I still trusted the viperous bastards’

Alan Moore

Alan Moore

Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, collaborators on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in separate interviews share the horrors of their experiences with Hollywood. And, in Moore’s case, with American comics publishers.

Moore, to Total Film: “We had one particularly dense Hollywood producer say, ‘You don’t even have to do the book, just stick your name on this idea and I’ll make the film and you’ll get a lot of money -– it’s… The League Of Extraordinary Animals! It’ll be like Puss In Boots!’ And I just said, ‘No, no, no. Never mention this to me again.’”

O’Neill, on the LOEG movie script, to Times Online: “They sent me a screenplay. I read the first few pages and I thought, ‘I’ve got the wrong one. I don’t recognise any of this — the Bank of England, Venice.’ The character names were similar, but they added Tom Sawyer. It was a bit of an odd thing.”

Moore, of course, reserves some of his sharpest words for American superhero comics:

Back when I wrote Watchmen I still trusted the viperous bastards, I had a different feeling about American superhero comics and what they meant.

I’ve recently come to the point where I think that basically most American superhero comics, and this is probably a sweeping generalisation, they’re a lot like America’s foreign policy.

America has an inordinate fondness for the unfair fight.

That’s why I believe guns are so popular in America – because you can ambush people, you can shoot them in the back, you can behave in a very cowardly fashion. Friendly fire, or as we call it everywhere else in the world, American fire.

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Comments

19 Comments

Pretty big words for someone who’s done much of nothing lately. Black Dossier? Garbage.

Lost Girls didn’t come out that long ago.

ElCoyote's Prophet

February 12, 2009 at 10:04 am

“Pretty big words for someone who’s done much of nothing lately. Black Dossier? Garbage.”

Moore could never do anything ever again and Watchmen and From Hell alone tower over most writer’s output.

That said, I agree that Watchmen should never have been made into movie, but that final comment sounds bitter cranky and kind of idiotic.

Americans like guns because guns are what made this country a country. Period. Guns are what separated us from the a monarchy.

It’d be like complaining about Brits liking some doddering old inbred woman for no reason other than she came from an inbred family of idiots.

He has been doing plenty. You’re just offended by his words. Just say it outright instead of making stuff up.

I’d say those were pretty big words from someone who’s career even exists because of the “American superhero comics” industry and whose audience is probably made up of a majority of American readers. And seriously, that last bit about guns? Was that even necessary or relevant? I totally forgot that there’s no murder or villainy of any kind in the rest of the world. Must be nice to live in the utopia the world outside of the U.S. has become.

ElCoyote's Prophet

February 12, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Is it me or does Moore’s foreign policy comment sound like something that some young European writer would say to make some street cred bones about five years ago?

It’s just so…beneath him. All he needs to say is that “I’ve seen what Hollywood does with my work, I don’t trust it. I see nothing in Zack Snyder that makes me feel any different. And word is they’ve changed the ending to something conventional which kind of ignores the whole point of it all, and why do people even expect this to be watchable let alone good?”

He has EVERY REASON to be bitter about Hollywood’s continued raping of his work, but that slam against the whole country seems a bit odd.

I’m not even on his lawn!

“He has been doing plenty”

Besides being a total crank and an outright git?

I didn’t see it as a slam against America as a country but specifically, their foreign policy, which to be fair has had ‘unfair fight’ written all over it for the last 50 odd years.

“I didn’t see it as a slam against America as a country but specifically, their foreign policy”

Except for the bit where he says guns are popular in America “because you can ambush people, you can shoot them in the back, you can behave in a very cowardly fashion” which basically translates to “American’s are a bunch of gun-crazy, sneak attack, cowards.” Other than that, no, he didn’t specifically slam America.

Which again, is a fairly accurate description of American foreign policy *shrugs*

I’m no conservative hawk or anything, but wouldn’t “sneak attack cowards” be a more appropriate reference to suicide bombers and their ilk as opposed to soldiers with guns?

Actually the quote makes a bit more sense if you go read the actual interview.

I love Alan Moore so much. He’s one of the few independents that has primarily stayed independent. In years to come, I predict that most writers will become as earnedly bitter as Moore. Straczynski will more than likely become this way, as will a bunch of writers who wrote under Queseda and Didio.

What? Americans *are* a bunch of gun-loving assholes. Except for me, I’m awesome.

Isn’t “ambush-happy cowards with guns” the last demographic you should be insulting? ;)

Folks, in case I’m the only one who has read a lot of recent work and interviews by Moore, let me spell it out…

Alan Moore intends to be a very eccentric, very cranky old man. This is not an accident or a sad decline on his part. ;) Ironically I think he would probably be just as happy (could be wrong here) to be a cranky, eccentric old hermit… but given that people are going to keep contacting him for interviews, probably for the rest of his life, he’s not going to brush them off. (He doesn’t do conventions, but he ain’t Steve Ditko, either.)

And for what it’s worth, accusing Alan Moore of becoming bitter…? Has anyone ever read “V for Vendetta?” (Or his introduction in the collected edition?) I’m pretty sure that he has actually become a good deal more cheerful (if a cheerful, eccentric old grump) in recent decades.

Regardless of his political views (and there’s no denying that he’s always been a cranky bastard), Alan Moore is a hack.

With the exception of one concept, Promethea, I don’t know of a single project that he’s worked on that wasn’t centered around one single concept: placing well-known characters in new contexts. Watchmen, Marvelman, LOEG, Lost Girls… all featured characters that either belonged to other companies or were in the public domain.

And for those who say the same is true for Geoff Johns or anybody who works for DC or Marvel: those people are working under contract to continue storylines for those characters under the supervision of the editors. Moore likes to play with other people’s toys, but doesn’t like playing by their rules.

I’m not sure how “guns are what separated us from the monarchy” has any relevance with today’s world… So we broke off from the bullies. Now, and it’s been this way for decades, we’ve become the bullies instead. Hopefully that’s going to change under the new administration, but it’s not hard to see that we’ve been a nation that practices diplomacy by the barrel of a gun. Sometimes the line between us, now, and the UK we broke away from is a blurred one.

Oh, and I don’t recall Moore saying life outside the US is a utopia, but you can look at murder rates in the UK vs. the US and I think that pretty much speaks for itself. That said, it’s not like Moore’s a total pacifist anyhow… I mean, just read V For Vendetta!

Anyhow, while I haven’t read anything from Moore in years I’d have to say writing Watchman, V For Vendetta, The Killing Joke and Swamp Thing is more than enough accomplishment for one life. I am looking forward to the Watchmen movie, but I appreciate where Moore’s coming from and I think the guy’s amazing.

“With the exception of one concept, Promethea, I don’t know of a single project that he’s worked on that wasn’t centered around one single concept: placing well-known characters in new contexts.”

From Hell, V for Vendetta, Brought to Light, Maxwell the Magic Cat, Mirror of Love, The Ballad of Halo Jones, DR and Quinch, The Bojeffries Saga, Big Numbers, A Small Killing, Tom Strong, Tomorrow Stories, or Voice of the Fire might meet your strict criteria for non-hack work.

That’s notwithstanding the incredible storytelling potential of using established characters in new contexts.

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