Robot 6

Alan Moore rejects DC rights offer: ‘I don’t want Watchmen back’

Alan Moore

Alan Moore

Alan Moore, whose tumultuous relationship with DC Comics is legendary, claims the publisher offered this week to return the rights to his most famous creation — in exchange for a concession.

“They offered me the rights to Watchmen back, if I would agree to some dopey prequels and sequels,” Moore told Underwire today. “So I just told them that if they said that 10 years ago, when I asked them for that, then yeah it might have worked. But these days I don’t want Watchmen back. Certainly, I don’t want it back under those kinds of terms.”

Rumors circulated earlier this year that the departure of Paul Levitz as president and publisher of DC cleared any in-house obstacles to further use of the Watchmen characters. However, Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee tell Underwire the company “would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”

Moore, who created the groundbreaking 1986 miniseries with Gibbons, stopped working for DC in 1989 following disputes about Watchmen royalties and a proposed age-rating system. When WildStorm, which published Moore’s America’s Best Comics line, was sold to DC in 1998, the writer was assured of an editorial firewall protecting him from the parent company’s interference. However, there were still conflicts, most infamously the pulping of The Legion of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5, which contained an authentic vintage advertisement for the Marvel-brand douche.

Moore, who has refused royalties from film adaptations of his work, says he no longer even has a copy of Watchmen in his house. “The comics world has lots of unpleasant connections,” he tells Underwire, “when I think back over it, many of them to do with Watchmen.”

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Comments

157 Comments

DetectiveDupin

July 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm

C’mon Moore, this is just ridiculous.

alan moore was never my hero, but he sure is no.

Now. I meant now.

And for all of you complaing, shut up. I haven’t seen this much integrity in years.

There’s stubborn… and then there’s Alan Moore. Hurm.

Can someone clear up why DC can’t publish prequels and sequels if Moore doesn’t have the rights?

Miguel, out of the respect DC does still have for Alan Moore and fanboy backlash.

They could do whatever they want with Watchmen and we all know it, but the potential backlash from us is too huge for them to attempt it.

They can. They are just choosing not to.

They could, but would you really want it?
They could plunge into a real hornets nest by trying a stunt like this.

Stubborn? Why, because the man is sick and tired of seeing his creations, his life’s workings, butchered and dissected for the greater glory of Hollywood, Warner Bros., and goons like Dan DiDio?

As said above, the man has INTEGRITY. “Watchmen” certainly does NOT need a sequel nor a prequel, but I’m sure we’ll get them; only at least two years too late to capatalize on any kind of attention the movie garnered the franchise, which was sadly mostly negative unless you count increased sales on the original’s TPB. So why not leave it alone, then? Why not allow an entirely new generation of fans enjoy the incredible book’s contribution to the industry, rather than immediately negate its power by creatively vomitting all-over its legacy with unneccesary “additions”?

The “Watchmen” feature film did enough to alienate purists and Alan Moore alike (not that he wasn’t already completely alienated), and while I enjoyed it, can’t we just look at the Box Office numbers, leave well enough alone, and move the hell on? Does Mr. DiDio REALLY want his legacy to include not only the white-washing of DC’s characters, needless death of supporting characters, and “Rise Of Arsenal”, but sooner than later he’s going to take a gigantic, steaming, sacreligious bowel-movement on arguably the most important comic book of the past 30 years?

You do that, Dan. Go right ahead. I’ll just be taking Mr. Moore’s que and ignore your B.S.

thank god for you alan moore. dont let these haters influence you to come back and water down your own work

Why are you people complaining?

Now I know why the industry is falling apart. Because so many people on any side of it, fans and creators included, don’t know anything about integrity or place any value on their work and self-worth. Ugh.

“Can someone clear up why DC can’t publish prequels and sequels if Moore doesn’t have the rights?”

They can, but they want his name attached to the project. So they offered him the rights back if he would agree to be involved in some creative capacity, probably as writer. Not being interested, he declined.

awesome points. history has proven additions to landmark books do not fare well. i’m sure dc has offered as much money to moore as they did to frank miller to do a sequel to “the dark knight.” while moore, for whatever reasons, has resisted the temptation to do so, miller could not. in doing so, readers were stuck with a sequel that most fans felt was half-assed in both writing and art. some of the pages were less than halfway illustrated. that being said, i don’t believe it tarnished the importance of the original books, nor took away from the love readers have for that story.

Nothing whatsoever in this affair has anything to do with me in the least, but I feel compelled to chime in with some sort of comment because I love entering text in boxes and clicking on buttons! C’mon, who’s with me?

Wheeeeee!!!

;-)

i applaud alan moore for sticking to his guns. one of the points left out of this discussion is some people know when to leave well-enough alone. look at the aforementioned frank miller, chris claremont and john byrne. these men have never been able to capture lightning in a bottle again.

So they offered to give Moore control of his own story in exchange for his permission to exploit that story forever.

I am glad that Alan Moore is willing to give up so much money in order to stand as a bulwark of integrity against the likes of Time Warner and Disney.

It is bad enough that they are talking about Grant Morrison getting free reign to make a quasi-sequel to Watchmen using the actual Charlton characters. Hell, that means he and DC will get to butcher the works of Moore AND Ditko in one fell swoop.

punkrock warlord

July 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm

i’m torn about this. he says 10 years ago he wanted to do prequels/sequels for it but they turned him down. so i want to see what he would do with the characters. but at the same time having the integrity to wash his hands of the people who butchered some of his works (i don’t think watchmen was butchered but V for vendetta was blasphemous), shows that he sticks to his guns and won’t be swayed. so i’m proud but bitter.

ThunderMonkey

July 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm

You gotta admire a guy who sticks to his principles.

Just awesome. How many people would refuse film royalties they richly deserve to continue making a point? As has been said he’s got integrity.

Ok, Just wondered as evil a corporate empire as DC is… why they would offer the rights back in the first place.

“would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons”

Wow, that’s an interesting statement. And It translates as “we can now publish the sequel written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Mark Bagely, that will be the big summer cross-over of 2011.

Lackshmana said:

“It is bad enough that they are talking about Grant Morrison getting free reign to make a quasi-sequel to Watchmen using the actual Charlton characters. Hell, that means he and DC will get to butcher the works of Moore AND Ditko in one fell swoop.”

So do you believe Moore’s Watchmen is butchery of the Ditko/Charlton characters? Seriously asking.

I’m sorry that the comics industry has treated him so badly.
I say he has the right to do whatever the hell he wants.
I’m 100 percent behind him on this.

So tired of Moore and his other mind thinking, as well as all of you who agree with him because you’re just as lost. He owes DC everything anyway since if his original Charlton mess had been allowed it wouldn’t mean nearly as much except to ruin what wasn’t his to ruin. He created a nice set of characters because of DC. He might as well let DC keep the rights since he can’t write anything that’s not sick anyway.. As far as a follow up more power to DC should they do it. To be fair to all you Moorenuts it couldn’t be any more of a mess than what they’re doing to the Archie heroes and now the insult ( see I’m not a DC pawn ) done to the Thunder Agents and JC’s grave.

How very brave of you to anonymously trash someone on the internet, “BB.”

Alan Moore is a strange bird but I have to agree that I wouldn’t want my own creations be butchered by the lacks of Hollywood and other people besides some of these prequels and sequels are getting out of hand.

In a world of cynicism and greed, Alan Moore is a breath of fresh air.

Grant Morrison and Charlton characters? Sweet-my fav writer working on my fav Blue Beetle. I’d buy that.

Thanks BB. A few of your facts are incorrect:

Alan Moore CAN write things that are not sick. Here are some examples:
Supreme
Tom Strong
Tomorrow Stories
Promethea
Top 10
Wildcats
Youngblood
1963

Alan Moore doesn’t owe DC ANYTHING. DC didn’t create the Charlton characters, their respective creators did. So, maybe Alan Moore owes Steve Ditko etc something for inspiration. The fact is, ANYONE can legally create a “homage” character the way that Rorschach is a homage to The Question, but since a comic book character is just a costume and set of powers, maybe we should all realize that its the WRITER that gives that character life?

There is no Question movie, or Blue Beetle movie, or Son of Vulcan movie. There’s a Watchmen movie, based on a story that was breathtakingly constructed by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, not some faceless corporation answering to their board of directors.

It is so seldom that you find brilliant creators with so much personal integrity. I love Alan Moorea all the more for sticking to his decisons. Alan Moore and Bill Watterson are role models to artists who fight tirelessly to prevent their characters from being exploited.

i never liked watchmen, characterization was lacking in that series.

More power to the man, most people would crack and forget about what they believe in just for the money. Not Moore, he stands by his word and downright refuses to budge. If anyone else can say they wouldn’t have taken the royalties and rights… I don’t believe you. Moore is a very unique individual and I salute him for it.

Sir Manley Johnson

July 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm

He is one of the few human beings who says what he means, and as an anomaly is vilified, misunderstood and alienated. The fact remains that he is an man who owns his own soul in a world riven with zombies, vampires and ghouls. Can you look at yourself in the mirror? I mean really look? A vampire has nothing to see. Catch the metaphor?

Rokkenhorse… Your a disgrace, why are you even on this site?

Wow. Amazing. Alan Moore throws another tantrum against DC. Guess what folks, Alan Moore signed contracts with DC that spelled out what rights he had and what rights DC/Warner Bros. had. Watchmen was not a creator-owned property, Alan Moore has never claimed it was. No, he just likes to annually get a bug up his arse because nobody knelt down and bloody well layed lips on his bum and begged for his blessing to make money off the result of his work. Guess what, From Hell sucked as a film as well, but you do not hear him pissing and moaning continuously about that fiasco. It’s about time someone has the bollocks to confront him about that one. He is a great writer of comics, on that I will not argue, but his works do not translate well into film, which is a shame. He has to come down off the bloody pedestal he has put himself on and take some responsibility for his failings.

DC wants to do a PREQUEL and a SEQUEL to Watchmen?!?!?!?!

HOW LOW CAN THEY SINK?!

They already butchered the damn thing by making a movie of it.

Sir Manley Johnson

July 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I forgot to mention the fact that on top of it all he has written some of the most thought provoking and literary comic book stories i have read. That obviously comes from somewhere.

Sir Manley Johnson

July 21, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Did you rad the article T J James? Moore has been giving DC his rights for years. He is turning away money. Who is on a high horse I wonder?

“Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.”

The internet: the land where people with uncompromising morals are accused of having ‘temper tantrums’.

Michael Sacal

July 21, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Alan Moore: No DC, I do not want Watchmen back. I do not want to own a property from which I could make tons and tons of cash out of movies, action figures, t-shirts, comics, video games, etc, etc.

Must be nice to be independantly wealthy like Alan Moore to say no to something like this.

Sarcasm aside, there is a fine line between integrity and stupidity.

Is Moore still working on Century volume 2 or is he fully retired? cause I was hoping to read that.

Alan Moore is wealthy? Maybe he just has integrity.

Clayton Hutsler

July 21, 2010 at 6:25 pm

If you want to see/read a prequel to Watchman, then pick up the role playing games that were done in the late 1980s. They were done with Moore’s blessing.
The whole question of creator’s rights in the graphic medium has two important voices that are “crying in the wilderness”. By that phrase I mean willing to walk away, rather than beat their head against the wall. Those two are Alan Moore and Bill Waterson (creator of Calvin and Hobbes). I don’t think most people realize what Bill Waterson was offered to merchandise his characters. The man turned down Speilberg to make a hollywood project of his creation. He could have made Calvin and Hobbes into a bigger pop culture phenomenom than Peanuts, but he chose not to allow his vision/art to be sacrificed for money. Moore, and many other big names in the industry simply want to be treated with the same financial rewards that are given to proven artists in the publishing world. Watchman should have reverted back to Moore and Gibbons in 2006 as their property, allowing them to renegotiate with DC over their share of the royalties and future publishing options for the property.

I’m not anywhere near independently wealthy — I’m actually as deep in debt as any other average American — but there is still a very long list of things I won’t do for money.

That line isn’t where you think.

It makes me sad – just in the sense that comic books basically drove Alan Moore away.

That said, I don’t care so much about Watchmen sequels or prequels…I would love for him to come back and write more Tom Strong and Promethea…but the way he ended it was awesome.

I hope he finally completes the LOEG books….

@TJ

So, alan moore is not that great of a writer because his comics don’t make translate that well into movies?!?!

He makes comics for comics. Not comics for movies.

I agree with Moore for not wanting the rights back under those terms….buuuut he’s still one crazy SOB

Yes, Sir Manley, I rad the article, I even read it as well. Moore has not “been giving DC his rights for years.” He never had rights to give!! He signed a bloody damn contract to write and create for DC, Marvel, Maximum, Image, and everyone else he worked for, with the exception of Top Shelf, every one of those companies has had to listen to his pissing and moaning. How many people have found out that they are suddenly lower than dung to Moore for a reason known only to Moore? Read the interview with Steve Bissette and how he went from being a friend of Moore’s to someone Alan refused to be in the same building with, for a reason still unknown to Steve. I love how childish ignorance and insipid arrogance are attempted to be celebrated as integrity and uncompromising morals.

Under those conditions, I wouldn’t want Watchmen back either. Instead, I’d argue that I’d take Watchmen back… if they could undo the changes they’d made in company policy in the last 25 years. Let THEM sweat out the little details over THAT Faustian bargain.

Michael Sacal

July 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm

@Mike-EL

I was being sarcastic, I even said so.

DC is offering Moore a gold mine and he is passing on it.

Moore has children, right? Oh well, 20 years from now they can sue DC over Watchmen like Siegels’ heirs are doing now over Superman.

You folks are missing the whole point. Alan Moore IS a great writer, one of the best. However, his works do not translate into movies very well. That is a huge shame as his works could serve as a gateway to bring people into comics. However, instead of realizing that there is an issue with the translation, Moore chooses to vilify the companies that he created the work for and piss and moan about how he has been injured by the actions of these companies. He was involved with From Hell and it sucked. Where was his rantings against the director and Top Shelf? Where was his public announcement that his name be removed from movie? That movie was as “Hollywood-ized” as Watchmen, although nowhere near as atrocious as LOEG.

jimmyfakename

July 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm

To be fair, the watchmen were based on charelton comics characters owned by DC. Alan Moore was made to change the names and costumes of the characters, but all the same, his moral right to ownership is not as set in stone as most would believe or claim.

Here is the where thinking has taken a wrong turn. Watchmen was brilliant. It was brilliant BECAUSE of Moore and Gibbins. DC (and for that matter Marvel and all of Hollywood) seems to believe that characters stand on their own. If DC (and for that matter Marvel and all of Hollywood) wants to capture lighting in a bottle again, get Moore and Gibbins to write SOMETHING NEW. Watchmen 2 or 0 or whatever is not the key to bringing fans and acclaim back; a new original project that is as original as Watchmen will bring acclaim back.

Tom strong was solid reading. Promethia was weird and beautiful. Neither were based on Watchmen characters (or anything beyond genres of the superhero/heroine), both were visions from amazing creators.

As far as a talented/hot creator taking a franchise in a direction that falls on its face: Byrne’s Superman, Anyone’s X-Men since Byrne/Claremont… Re-creating brilliant moments is not as easy as DC (and for that matter Marvel and all of Hollywood) seems to think.

Michael Sacal

July 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm

@jimmyfakename

Indeed

His characters are works derivative of intelectual property owned by DC, no different from Impuls being derivative of Flash.

@ TJ
His comics work is great BECAUSE it doesn’t translate well into movies and takes advantage of tools unique to comics.
It’s too bad that a lot of people feel that movies validate comics somehow.
I’m guessing if Moore were interested in making movies he would’ve gone to film school.

Folks are making way too much of this.

DC asked. Moore said “no.” Both were perfectly within their rights to say what they did. End of story.

If he had said “Yes”, most of you would be singing a completely different song. Would have loved to see it, but it’s fine since I won’t.

Really? Alan Moore turned DC’s offer down? Big surprise there!

May they go on to make hundreds of prequels and sequels and threequels without him. Given the right creative team, I’d be down for a Rorschach/Nite-Owl ongoing set in their heyday.

DetectiveDupin

July 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

They wouldn’t want to do a prequel or sequel with anyone else short of Grant Morrison. No one would care if Moore didn’t write it, and the other writer would have some massive shoes to fill.

If Alan Moore hates the industry so damn bad why does he still do it? Why not get out of the business and shut the hell up. So he hates DC? This is news?

Michael Sacal

July 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm

@DetectiveDupin

Isn’t Morrison ripping off Watchmen for the Charlton chapter of Multiversity (or however that is called)?

Michael Sacal

July 21, 2010 at 7:15 pm

“Or they may want a Charlton “Watchmen” style of book, if someone could sustain that type of writing. I couldn’t. ”

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=21104

Well, there you go, Morrison can’t write Watchmen comics.

Alan Moore IS out of the mainstream comics industry. Anything he’s done since LOEG: The Black Dossier has been indie.

Grant Morrison could never write a Watchmen sequel in the same tone as Moore’s. For one thing, they don’t get along. For another, Moore is very cerebral, and Morrison is very spastic. Both are good for what they do, but neither can be each other, and I don’t really care to see each other try.

That having been said, DC wants to do a prequel and a sequel to Watchmen? ARE THEY INSANE? Any additional Watchmen material would dilute the original book. It would, if anything, diminish profit!

While I’ve never believed it to be the alpha and omega of comic books, I liked Watchmen when I read it as it was published in the mid-1980s—though I found the finale a bit of an anticlimax, especially after the extended wait for it. I’m glad DC wants to keep Watchmen in the hands of its creators—probably a bit mercenary since only Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons could “sell” Watchmen prequels and/or sequels. However, Moore’s exasperation with the comic book industry (and the films based on his work) has left “integrity” behind and crossed the border into “petulant hissyfit.” Frankly, he makes me tired these days.

I should add that prequels and sequels to Watchmen is a dumb idea; it was complete.

All this hoo hah so far, and not ONE COMMENTER has mentioned the DC Heroes RPG module based on the Watchmen, and the DC Heroes RPG sourcebook for the Watchmen.

I do believe both had extra material contributed by both Gibbons and Moore.

The adventure relates the first adventure of the Crimebusters, which parallels the overall plot of the original story, and the sourcebook has a ton of material and expands on the universe. They were very hot eBay items around the time of the movie.

Yep, and Moore and Gibbons also considered a Minutemen prequel soon after the initial success of Watchmen. Later on, as is their prerogative, Alan (at least, I dunno about Dave) changed his mind.

THe RPG is also a game and a marketing thing; it’s hardly a canonical addition to the story.

And to Ratified, of course his exasperation has crossed the line for you and he makes you tired. He’s Alan Moore. He’s always going to get interviewed, and for whatever reason, he’s always going to be asked the same questions. Do you really expect his answers to change just because reading them over and over exasperates you?

Vectorsigma asked:
“So do you believe Moore’s Watchmen is butchery of the Ditko/Charlton characters? Seriously asking.”

No. Though I am certain that had the internet existed ta the time a huge argument would have been made that it was.

Moore has a respect for Ditko’s work that is so profound I don’t know that the man would be able to butcher the Charlton characters even if he aimed to do so.

If he takes it, he’s a sellout. If he doesn’t, he’s stubborn.

Who cares. I’m looking forward to Grant’s Earth-4 take. Watchmen was great but deconstruction is so 1985. Morrison has done a great job putting back together the superhero genre with All Star Superman and Batman. I’d like to see a revere-Watchmen that does reconstruction.

The RPG may have been a game and a “marketing thing” but it was also literature and it’s a pretty damn slick bit of it.,

TJ James:

Alan Moore has frequqnetly trashed the From Hell movie.
Your argument that he has not done so is completely wrong.

Did you not even attempt to look that up before you made such falacious claims?

Alan Moore has also refused royalties (his rights) from the films based on his work. He has done so numerous times. The contracts he signed guarantee him money for the use of his works and he has consistently turned it down or insisted that it be given to the artist.

Pretty much everything you have claimed is factually wrong.

DC is pretty pathetic for this. If it wasn’t for Geoff Johns they’d be long out of business by now. Just sad that they have to run back to Moore every time the well runs dry.

Joe Cokl: Exactly. Moore loses in the eyes of a number of fans whichever way he goes.

To me, I don’t think we can get into Alan Moore’s head – we don’t know the man beyond the interviews, and there’s a lot missing from interviews, such as tone and emotion. Those who know the man mostly have nothing but good things to say about him, but of course, they know him, after all. So I think a lot of it is us projecting ourselves into the man’s words.

Those who are crying “integrity” may be right. Those who are crying “petulant” may also be right. We don’t know, and I think our opinions say so much more about us than it does about Moore himself.

Mr. Saxon: Moore was doing the reconstruction of superheroes and the industry in general since he did Supreme in 1996. The ABC books are great example of it.

These fly under the radar since everyone turns to Watchmen, but they’re well worth checking out. Along with Morrison’s JLA, Waid’s Flash, and Busiek’s Avengers and Astro City, these were incredible and had nothing to do with deconstruction. I highly recommend them.

Squashua: As slick as the RPG may have been (I dunno, I’ve never seen it), it’s also not canonical and could only add to profit. A direct prequel or sequel to Watchmen might possibly (and I think likely) hurt the sales of the TPB.

Fan entitlement is a disease. I’m really disheartened and appalled by a good number of the comments here.

Moore is showing a quality called “integrity.”

I think the only possible usage of the Watchmen characters will be in Grant Morrison’s Multiple Earths project that is destine to be published after Grant wraps up the bulk of his Batman work… this project has been long announced though the actual alternate Earths to be explored remain a mystery…. definitely wouldn’t shock me to see Gibbons as the cover artist or even interiors to give it the creator seal of approval…

DetectiveDupin

July 21, 2010 at 8:19 pm

@ Michael Sacal, I don’t believe Morrison is going to rip off Watchmen. At this point it’s way too early to even say that as a rumor. We have little info on the project.

@ ComicsCube- I disagree. I think Morrison and Moore are writers of equal caliber, but their stories vary in tone. Much of Morrison’s work seems more uplifting and positive, where as I’ve found Moore’s to be dark and pessimistic. I know that it isn’t always the case, but I’m speaking of their work as a whole.

Urbane Turtle

July 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I’ll be the first to say that Moore is crazy and bitter, and this headline seemed to be more of the same. But I wouldn’t agree to these terms, either.

Dupin, you don’t disagree. You agree. They’re writers of equal caliber, but they’re very different in tone and style (although I think your perception of Watchmen colors your view of Moore as a whole; he has far, far more optimistic works than pessimistic ones). As such, I don’t really care to see one ape the other.

Anyone who says Moore is crazy should actually go out and meet actually crazy people.

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 21, 2010 at 8:44 pm

@ Faux Wit Cha: Are you sure DC Comics had anything to do with making the movie? Other than endorse it?

I agree, though, that a sequel wouldn’t work, because the Watchmen story has been told.

A prequel might work, if the story’s based on the Minutemen rather than the Watchmen.

@ comicfan: Moore and O’Neill is still working on the second book of Century, but of course, it’s been pushed back to 2011, and the third book has been moved to 2012. Kevin O’Neill is rather a slow artist and all three books are supposed to run to 80 pages each.

Tom Fitzpatrick: I wouldn’t mind a Minutemen prequel. I also don’t think it would contribute anything relevant to comics in general, so I don’t see the point of doing it.

Watchmen was good but it certainly is not my favourite comic of all time. I get a lot of slack every time I complain that a movie or another book doesn’t live up to my expectations set forth from the source material so I’m going to pass on the advice that’s always been given to me:

No matter what happens, no matter who gets involved and no matter when, if another Watchmen book is made, it’s OK because you will always have your original Watchmen story. You can just choose to ignore all the others. It’s really that simple.

Me, I like comics, so I’ll probably check it out at least and if I don’t like it, I’ll ignore it and maybe go re-read the original…or, I don’t know, leave it in the past and buy something new.

muffinpeddler

July 21, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Calm down everyone. This isn’t a shock. And I honestly think Watchmen is just too good for ancilliary treatment. It stands alone and it’s better for it.

Ty Templeton on Keiren Smith’s Facebook: “We give you back the rights if you do what we say with the characters? I’m not sure how that’s “getting back the rights” if you’ve lost the right to not work on a sequel. You go, Alan. At this rate, DC comics will be closing their doors for good in a few months anyway, and the rights will revert to Alan for pennies on the dollar at the bankruptcy sale. ”

Yep, pretty much.

ComicsCube said: “I don’t think we can get into Alan Moore’s head”

Well, many have tried, but they were all lost in and consumed by his Mystic Beard.

I usually think Alan Moore is a very talented asshole but I think he’s right on the money with this one. It’s a bad deal that’ll serve to tarnish how great the original mini-series is. I’m actually a little proud of the hairy mage.

Alan Moore is at the stage in his career where he can do whatever he damn well wants, and doesn’t particularly have to care if the majority of anyone else likes it. He can’t change his past contracts, but he has every right not to sign any new ones. Any trolls out there at this point are just jealous at his amazing, amazing freedom when it comes to these kinds of choices.

That said, any sequel or prequel to Watchmen written by anyone else would be like King’s Feature Syndicate continuing to print Calvin and Hobbes with different writers and artists, or a sequel to, say, Gone with the Wind or Citizen Cane, or The Birds.

Alan Moore is a hero. And who would want to read Watchmen prequels and sequels anyway??

“As slick as the RPG may have been (I dunno, I’ve never seen it), it’s also not canonical”

You haven’t seen the materials, then you’re speaking from a point of ignorance. Of all items written for the RPG, the Watchmen-related RPG materials were co-written by Alan Moore in 1987 and from all accounts I’ve read they are considered canon within the Watchmen universe.

“At the time the original comics came out, Mayfair games did a role-playing game that Alan helped write bits of, and it’s completely canon, so this game uses a lot of that less-well known material,” said Gibbons to Eurogamer.

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/56766

A little research helps.

To say I don’t do my research is about as ignorant as it gets, quite honestly. I do extensive research as much as possible before I post such things. I can’t afford to be lax in the research.

I have never seen the RPG, because I do not own nor can I afford a copy. I KNOW and have known since I discovered the material almost ten years ago, however, that at the time it came out, Moore and Gibbons considered it canon. My contention is since very few people have seen it, and since it’s not in the collective consciousness of most fans who read it, it shouldn’t count as canon. I apologize if my wording misled you.

Even if we count it as canon, as you say we should, the Mayfair Games RPG came from the minds of Moore and Gibbons at a time when they were still running on the creative juices of Watchmen. Doing a prequel or a sequel with anyone but the Moore and Gibbons of THEN is not quite the same thing.

In sum: the book stands on its own, not a lot of people (relative to those who have read the comic) have even seen the RPG or are aware of its existence. A direct, highly publicized sequel/prequel by DC Comics would be a completely different story.

It is now over 20 years later and Moore does not want to do additional Watchmen material. To say that “Hey, why won’t he do additional Watchmen material when he did some over 20 years ago” is irrelevant. We should just respect his decision. It’s his prerogative, and may even get the rest of us to look for new material instead of want new things with the same material, which would be good for us overall.

Nobody said DC was evil for maybe/probably creating “Watchmen” sequels and/or prequels in the near future; or at least none that I saw. Evil is shooting someone in the face for a buck, publishing horrible comics is just silly and head-shake-inducing.

Quite honestly, calling Alan Moore’s response to DC’s quivering attempt at a peace offering anything BUT a shining example of integrity is most likely wrong. Or at the very least, the old boy still has enough respect for himself and his own works to give the same Corporate Monster that shat upon his hard work in the past – and indeed is the same exact Monster, only operated by new PuppetMasters – one gigantic, Chaos Magik-enfused middle finger of Doom.

I called Mr. Dan DiDio a goon, and that’s pretty much all I can tell he is at this point in time. He rose to a certain level of power within DC (knowing all the right people helps), gave some very creative people a whole lot of leeway to do what they wanted with slumbering Franchises (Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, et-al), and proceeded to shove his own goofy ideas into the fray and hoped they would somehow become runaway smashes, or nobody would remember their tremendous failures. Now, I’m not saying Mr. Alan Moore shares this opinion or even knows the name of Dan DiDio – first or last – but is most probably doing as he pleases, creating masterworks of occult genius in pulp ficition format for our pleasure, gladly ignoring the day-to-day going’s on within “The Industry” as it’s known today. Moore has paved his path, he’s quite literally built his castle; there is no honest reason the man should give a second thought to maybe considering giving a damn about “Watchmen”, for it’s been over 20 years since he’s has any measure of control over something he and his friends put so much good, wonderful work in to. Mr. Moore has watched as again and again, old men in suits disguised as cheerful comic book people come to him, or more popularly ignored his opinion, in regards to the soulless merchendising of his works, only seeking to bleed the stones dry in the name not of creative expansion, but money. Because SOMEONE, if not Alan Moore or his partners, SOMEONE stands to make money off “Watchmen”, or “V For Vendetta”, or “League Of Extrordinary Gentlemen”, etc. etc. etc.

My point, again, is that Alan Moore seems to want us to leave well enough alone, especially if it involves the workings of men who never intended for looks into the before or after. People have been bugging him about “Watchmen” for so many years, the poor man can’t even enjoy it ever again! Think about it, the visionary masterpiece that changed an entire industry’s perspective FOREVER and the man who wrote it can’t bear to look at its cover.

Make your lousy, cheap cash-ins, DiDio. Assign to them to Johns, Morrison, Quitely, Lee, Finch, JMS, Simone, all your All-Stars, and I will admit…I’ll most likely read them someday, because they’ll probably be pretty good reads. Just take a hint already, and stop knocking on Alan Moore’s door and pleading for his forgiveness, because your company doesn’t deserve it and should you go ahead with any future “Watchmen” comics, they should NOT be vindicated in any way, shape, or form, even if Mr. Dave Gibbons comes along, because he’s just been a damn good sport this entire time.

Slaughter some minorities, crush a baby to death, allow rape to become a popular plot device, (will probably) shit on “Watchmen” legacy. Boy-oh-boy Danny, that’s going to take some heavy polishing when the day certainly comes you’ll be needing to type-up a resume.

Well said, sir! To be honest, rejecting this offer could be as simple as Moore wanting nothing to do with the company ever again, which I certainly don’t blame him for.

Moore’s pride and sense of ethics definitely can get in the way of what usually can be good business.

And even he’s the first to admit it. He knows he’s become the “Get off my lawn” old crumudgeon of comics and while he admits its not always a good thing, he’s got no plans to change the attitude.

So its not always “Way to go Mr. Moore”. A lot of time its “Grow up Mr. Moore. You’re acting petulant again.”

Just remember folks, the reason he’s got an ego the way he does, is because WE fed it.

There’s nothing petulant about this, in my opinion. “Getting the rights back as long as you do these things” is not getting the rights back. The only difference would be money. Which I doubt he needs.

Sometimes it’s about sending the right message. If you’re gonna get the rights back, then fricking hell, get the rights back. Don’t go into it all half-assed.

It’s “way to go, Mr. Moore” for me this time around, I have to say.

“Integrity” is a word (and a moral concept) that the major comic book companies don’t know.

“Money” is their Holy Graal, their Holy Saint Writtings. And I hate it…

I approach Moore, the man, as anyone else: in reading the Watchmen. Since, I have discovered a serious universe with a lot of plots in all his books.

And I was angry when DC had put a knife in his back. It was the time of the new moto: “money at any price”.
The god “Money”. The Gold Beast.

I understand the position of Alan Moore and if I was in his situation, I will react exactly the same.

Alan Moore is the integrity. And I respect the man, the moral concept.

In the years to come, I want to be a comic book writer/artist, but not at any price.

For things like that I have tremendous respect for Alan Moore. I’m sure I, personally, would agree to these terms if I was him (since, c’mon’, “Watchmen” could be one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, indie comic book title/franchise in the world), but I totally understand why he wouldn’t agree.

It’s hard not to appreciate his integrity.

If they wanted to get on his good side, DC should just give him (and Gibbons) the rights back and say “We’re sorry for the guys who screwed you over years ago” and not screw around like they do now (what? he’s supposed to write a prequel or a sequel to Watchmen, so he can get rights to HIS book back? Frakk that!).

Fred Manson:
“”Money” is their Holy Graal, their Holy Saint Writtings. And I hate it…”

I’d rather say it’s their Holy Baal ;D

And, at this stance, I’m with Moore. Integrity is a scarce property nowadays so I’m glad there’s a bit of it somewhere around (I lost a job for defending a few valuable co-workers that my ex-boss wanted to fire, so yes, I appreciate the no-sellout attitude)

As stated by others here before, it’s his prerogative to say no, and personally, a second-rate sequel/prequel the last thing comic book readers need: Why doesn’t the industry believe in the magical power of creating new series/characters?!

Look at Scott Pilgrim , look at Invincible: hey, folks! NEW CAN WORK!

I want to see a Watchmen prequel! Hell, wouldn’t be cool to see The Comedian in World War II kicking some nazi asses? Or Black Silhouette dating with Marlene Diettrich? What about Dollar Bill fighting against evil bankers during the Great Depression? The more I think about it, the more I want it!

:)

Sick rings, dude.

I hate DC

The Mad Monkey

July 22, 2010 at 5:37 am

Someone made a point of saying that Frank Miller did DK2 because DC offered him a big wad of cash.
As I recall, Mr. Miller approached DC with the idea of doing the book and DC just cut him a cheque.
It seems to me that Mr. Miller doesn’t really need the money, but felt that he had a little bit more of that story to tell.
In the case of Alan Moore, I don’t believe it’s so much that he doesn’t need the money…he just doesn’t want it. If that is what is in his mind, then it just adds to his integrity that much more.

I do feel that his interviews have become nothing more than repetitive quotes and do come off as “tantrums” more often than not. Honestly, I’d get a little cranky too if I got bombarded with the same questions asked over and over again for 2 decades. Perhaps the solution is that he adopt the Steve Ditko way and just not talk about it anymore. He is very obviously a man of principle. Whether we like it or not, he’s the only one who can truly decide what’s best for him. If that means completely washing his hands of Watchmen, then so be it. I would love to see some new Watchmen material from him and Mr. Gibbons, but I completely respect his decision on this. DC needs to just leave him alone, leave Watchmen as is, and just walk away.

those right belong to moor. how does DC even dare to offer him that? they should give him what he have earn by hard work!

wouldn’t it make more sense to take the money (the money he’s turned down over the years) and donate it to the CBLDF or better yet give it to other writers/artists that DC has screwed over over the years.

For a time in 1989 or so, Moore was open to Watchmen prequels. I heard there was talk of a book focusing on the Minutemen 1940s adventures. So, in theory, I don’t think prequels would automatically dilute or destroy the original works, since Moore himself was okay with them previously.

But any prequels would have to be by Moore. Moore isn’t interested. End of story. DC should just move on and forget about Watchmen.

I would have loved to see them. Actually, I also would have loved to see Moore’s take on Marvel characters (it also almost happened in the early Quesada days), but some things are just not meant to be.

Clayton Hutsler

July 22, 2010 at 6:23 am

Some thoughts on the Watchman role playing game (RPG), and why I believe Moore allowed it and lets it stand.
In one of the Swamp Thing issues, Swamp Thing attacks Gotham City. That issue was the first time that the Gotham City map from the Batman RPG was used in a comic (as far as I know). I had read the RPG, and was really amazed to that Alan Moore had also read it and considered it part of continuity. So Alan Moore was aware of the RPG games based on DC comic book material. I do not believe that DC would have let a Watchman RPG game be created without permission and imput from Moore and Gibbons. Moore set the standard for the importance of RPGs in the DC universe, and he would have understood that the RPG would have to be respected (if possible) in any future Watchman Universe stories.
That is my take on the Watchamn RPG. If possible, DC should include it an any future Watchman Omnibus collection.

Here is a little bit more about Taking out the Trash; excerpted from http://fourcolorheroes.home.insightbb.com/free.html

There is a link that follows to a CBZ file.

The World Of The Watchmen
“This essay originally appeared in the Watchmen game module “Taking Out The Trash” published by Mayfair Games in 1987. While trying to write the story for the game module, Ray Winninger (the module writer) had several conversations with Alan Moore about the Watchmen and their world. This essay is a result of those conversations and is credited to both Ray Winninger and Alan Moore. If you’re on a Windows based computer please download and use the Comic Book Reader to view this story. If you are a MAC user you must save the files to your hard drive and use a ZIP program to extract the files.”

..

Alan Moore is the true keeper of the Jack Kirby legacy.

He wants to think about NEW material. He doesn’t want to wallow in 1986. Do YOU?

Rather than hire competant writers to tell adventure stories they employ TeeVee clock-punchers to sell “EVENTS” like soap on a store shelf.

It’s the STORY, Dandio. Not the number of killed and wounded. Not the “edgy” reinvention of some lovable childhood friend (Wonder Dog, anyone?).

Alan Moore is a Creator, not a comic book writer. That’s what Bob Haney was.

..

Michael Sacal

July 22, 2010 at 7:49 am

@DetectiveDupin

Michael Sacal, I don’t believe Morrison is going to rip off Watchmen. At this point it’s way too early to even say that as a rumor. We have little info on the project.

Odds are high that he will.

Creetive incest has gotten so bad in super hero comics that even Mark Waid has stopped them after getting tired of reading the same story 100 times.

You know, D.C. is just playing this all wrong. First you give the mea culpa, and say “oh, geeze, didn’t sally in accounting give you all this stuff back? we’re sorry, here you go.”

Then after ward you approach and say, yeah you know I always wanted to see more with those classic characters you created, any ideas?

Sure you’re taking a gamble there, but really, it’s a better gamble than the extortion route. Really they stand a much better shot at getting a quality product out of Moore that way, then trying to “trick” him into writing a prequel. I mean, heck if moore had a bit more of a sense of humour he might have took the deal and then did an intentionally lousy job on it.

The fact that DC (mainly Didio, most likely) would even consider prequels and sequels of Watchmen shows just how bankrupt the company is when it comes to new ideas, and why comics in general continue to suffer a loss of regular readers despite some very fine writers now being in the game. There simply is no need whatsoever to add onto Watchmen. It’s a stand-alone gem and any attempt to spin something off from it would inevitably suck in comparison no matter what writer(s) DC might choose to write it. Alan Moore has literally turned his back on millions of dollars by refusing to participate in revenues from film adaptations (all of which also sucked) of his works due to his integrity. Once again he is to be commended.

Squashua: That site from almost eight or nine years ago is exactly when I found out about the RPG, but thanks anyway.

Either way, whether the RPG is canon or not canon, it’s not relevant to this discussion. Moore wanted to make prequels THEN. He does not want to make prequels NOW. The decision should be respected.

Good for Alan sticking to his guns and saying even though he has stated he would love the rights back to watchman since he always felt dc stole watchman from him. and saying no way will i accept a deal to get the rights back only to okay unnessary sequels or prequels . as for why dc has never done those things mainly because they do not want the fire storm from fans of the original and also have Alan moore start spewing fire and brimestone over such an idea.

Some things just shouldn’t have sequels, Watchmen, is a project that doesn’t need a sequel and shouldn’t ever get one.

118 comments and I’m the first one to notice the “Legion of Extraordinary Gentlemen” typo?

Is Alan Moore related to Mel Gibson?

Oh he’ll get the rights back. Soon as he screws a goat, then sacrifices it to Satan in order to curse DC.

His work is overrated and he’s pretentious. I actually agree with his decision, but who cares. Watchmen as a comic does not deserve the praise it receives. I read it when it came out (sucked) and reread it before the movie and it still sucked. V was much better, and the movie was decent. League movie sucked but the first 2 books were good, third and Lost girls sucked. I understand what he wanted to say with each, i just don’t feel they needed to be said.

Furthermore a pre/sequel won’t hurt the integrity of the original, As mentioned DK2 not so good, but the original Dark Knight is still a great book, and people still read it.

Get off his jock, and form your own opinions people

Watchmen is probably the best statement that can ever be made. On comic books, on super-heroes, on the time period it covers. To revisit it in any way is to diminish the statement and message it makes. A prequel or sequel would be an incredible waste and pointless. It stands out because, in a sea of ongoing stories, it told a complete, self-contained story in twelve issues. It stands out because it had an ending. It did what most other books and characters refuse to do. End.

“Get off his jock, and form your own opinions people”

That’s the thing. You’re entitled to your opinion but you have no evidence that what people are saying ISN’T their actual opinion. You just don’t WANT it to be their actual opinions. Get off your own jock and let people speak for themselves.

See, that’s another thing. People who don’t like Moore will attack Moore defenders for “not having their own opinions” as if us agreeing with Moore means that we’re incapable of independent thought. What a crock. I find it funny and telling that it’s the people who don’t like Moore and call him crazy that seem to be unable to actually debate without going down to personal insults.

For me personally, it’s not about what it will do to Watchmen – although that does piss me off – it’s the perpetuation and continuation of the industry practice of screwing creators over.

Stuff like this always gets my goat, because it’s clear that a bunch of fans don’t care at all about creator’s rights. They think that the company should do what the company should do in terms of business, ethics and morals be damned, and continue perpetuating the practice of chewing up its creators, milking them for all they’re worth, and then spitting them out. The same practice that ensures Gene Colan lives in poverty, that Siegel and Shuster lived in poverty, that Bill Finger got no credit.

And for what? Fan service? That we may see the Watchmen universe again? So we can get our fix of characters that lived and died 24 years ago? For a book that was so innovative and changed the face of comics FOREVER, we sure do want to stick to the sandbox and not create or discover anything new. All these fans see is the surface of the work – “Oh great, look, it’s a great comic!” – without looking underneath it – “Look at how new and revolutionary it is!” – and continuing to pioneer and supporting new things. For all that, just so we can see Nite Owl fight Moloch, it’s okay to say “screw you” to the creator and his wishes, as if we’re entitled to preferential treatment, as if he should live his life and make career decisions in accordance to our demands. We are not entitled to any damn thing.

Thank God Alan Moore has integrity, because a bunch of us certainly don’t.

Way to go Alan Moore!

Shocking that DC approached him.
One small prop to DC (don’t slam me for this), at least they “tried” to “keep” the integrity of the story and character, unlike the garbage going down over at Marvel. $$$

DetectiveDupin

July 22, 2010 at 10:28 am

I very much doubt Morrison will rip off Watchmen. But we’ll just have to see.

So Moore is not above doing a sequel just not now because Watchmen brings back bad memories. Good riddance, he can go back to crying in a corner. At least we still got Gibbons who can act professional and not like a child.

It’s funny to me how the people who are so against it and call Moore petulant are the ones acting petulant. They call Moore a child, they call his defenders ass-kissers.

Anyone defending Moore here has in general been defending him with grace and not resorted to name-calling. The Moore detractors have been throwing out imperious insults and demands all over the place.

Like I said, I think where you stand on this says way more about where you stand than anything it could possibly say about Moore. Are you for creator’s rights, or are you about the big corporation? Will you make your point known in a civil and diplomatic manner, or are you going to insult anyone who disagrees with you because that’s REALLY the best way to get them to change their minds?

Tsk.

I am impressed by Moore’s conviction, but a lot of people are getting far too up-in arms about the situation.

DC is a business, not some “evil empire”. They see a chance to make money for both them and Moore and they’re offering that chance. Comics creators work for their employers and what they create is owned by their employer -they get paid to create. If something makes a huge splash, like Watchmen has, then why should the creator have any more ownership of that than they do of some crappy characters that no one cared about?

DC is conducting business. Moore doesn’t want to work under their conditions. That’s nice to stick to his convictions in the chance to make lots of money, but it doesn’t make him a hero or noble any more than it makes DC the villian.

Your argument would have a lot more weight if DC (and Marvel, and the industry in general) didn’t have a long and storied history of screwing creators over.

To say they’re not an evil empire is to say it with ignorance of 75 years of history. Book writers get way better treatment.

I don’t understand hiw greedy some people are. Just because you enjoy a book, it doesn’t mean you’re owed anything.

Alan Moore has been asked the same questions over and over againg for over twenty years. You’dd get cranky and tired at answering them aover and over again. It sounds lik he has finally moved on to create new things, not wallow in old ones. His whole ABC line was fun and exciting because it was so different compred to what he was doing in the eighties.

Also, that swipw at Bob Haney. No fair! Metamorpho was awesome!

Was Moore “screwed over”?
He created these specific characters and story while working for DC and based off of existing characters. He was paid for his work. Am I wrong to believe that creators understand that the work they do for a company is the property of that company?

It would be nice if a business rewarded creators that create money making stories and characters, even retroactively… but I’m a cynic and I know that’s not the world we live in.

Yes, BOTH Moore and Gibbons were screwed over. They signed a deal saying that if Watchmen ever went a year without being printed, the rights would revert to them. This was at a time when no TPB stayed in print – not even the Dark Phoenix Saga. NOT EVEN. The Dark Phoenix Saga. There was a verbal understanding that they would eventually get the rights back – you can see it in interviews at around the time. Moore and Gibbons even talked about some prequels under the caveat that they’d get the rights back. So of course, DC made sure Watchmen never went out of print. To this day, it still makes the top 50 lists.

So legally? No, Moore and Gibbons weren’t screwed over. Ethically, morally, and in any way that actually matters? Yes, they were.

Really, based on Moore’s statement I don’t think he’s completely against the idea of reexamining his creations. He’s just not interested in being dictated to, which if you’ve read anything on Moore, let alone been a part of his legal battles, DC should have known that.

If DC wants Moore, the only way to do it is give him complete content and publishing control. D.C. doesn’t want to do that, so why keep going back to the well?

D.C. should either give him the rights, and see if Moore decides to come back to the characters on his own, or just give the universe to somebody else, maybe a young writer looking for his big break (I am available) or somebody who has a pressence as large as Moore’s to start with and let them go wild in Moore’s world (Moore certainly can’t complain, that’s pretty much what he does to every other writer out there now).

But even coming to Moore with a half a deal was just asking for him to throw it back in their face.

Mr. Pants, I applaud you, for you’re exactly right. Except for one thing. Moore has not “finally” moved on. With Big Numbers, From Hell, Brought to Light, and Lost Girls starting in the late 80s/early 90s, he was ALWAYS moving on.

Way to go Alan. You chose your path and stuck to it. That to me is way better then acquiescing for the quick buck and letting any number of things happen such as some stupid “Watchmen Academy” or somesuch lame spinoff book come out, or heaven forbid Zack Snyder getting his hands on it and making another movie where he again forgets to hire a competent cast.

If it were only about the money to Moore, he would have done this deal years ago. Other hands are stirring what’s in this pot which is what he obviously hates. If I were Alan Moore I know I wouldn’t want my name anywhere near that movie.

His story hasn’t changed in 25 years when it easiuly could have. That is commendable. Alan Moore for president!

@Michael Sacal

In the provided link to the CBR interview with Grant Morrision (thank you for that, btw) I don’t think Morrison is saying that he can’t write a Watchmen style book. I think he is saying that he couldn’t do it as an on-going. I think that is why he says “sustain.”

Oh Dan Dan Dan, anf Jim. You dorks. Have you not read interviews with Alan about this in the past? You wanted his involvement in sequels? After all the bile he’s shared with the world over the issue and money he’s pass over on principle? Common guys. Played right into his hands though – gave Alan something hit worthy to talk about while he’s promoting his new Unearthing spoken word project, wonder how many comics fans actually pass though the links to see that was the context of Alan outing himself on his rather predictably high minded refusal.

You know objectively i don’t think it would be a huge moral crisis if Alan or someone played with the watchmen cast some more, i would hope they would take the care to make sure the work is up to the job, but it’s just freaking comics. But to go to the man and ask him to do this, after all the times he’s expressed just how much it burned him dealing with DC over the years. I frankly think some of it is a bit over blown, more by fans than anyone. But i also know first hand what it’s like to be burned by a publisher and It’s irrelevant to me whether whether there is any objective moral problem, what’s clear is they are subjectively a bit blind to pitch him such a deal, with terms that sound like they were designed to be refused by Alan Moore the man of ideas and principles.

“Hey Alan, i know you’ve spent all this time building up an identity that is rooted in stanch creative integrity and opposition to vapid commercialism, but how about we just put that aside, burn your brand, and take a wake at these old jems of yours eh? Hm? No?

What say you what?”

They are not giving back the rights so they can make prequels and sequels. They are withholding the rights make prequels and sequels as a condition to giving Alen the rights back.

What I don’t understand is all this Moore hate. He doesn’t have the rights to anything he wrote for DC and he isn’t trying to stop DC from doing anything with those stories. He is just a crazy old dude who doesn’t want anything do with DC anymore. Thats is it. There is nothing more to it then that.

Beyond the agreement that he and Gibbons would eventually get the rights back, Moore was also cheated out of contractually-agreed upon royalties related to Watchmen merchandise. He’s cited this royalty dispute, and DC’s conduct in regard to it, as the primary factor (with the ratings system and the related firing of Marv Wolfman as a secondary factor) in his break with the company.

Anyone crying “it was work for hire and he needs to shut up” doesn’t know what they’re talking about (what a surprise there…); all the origins of this dispute go back to the violation of Moore’s original contract on the part of DC.

Notice that they also only offer him back the rights -after- the mega-budget movie and all of its related merchandising have come out and run their course, and they’re only looking for a way to squeeze the last few dollars out of the property it might have left. Classy.

It’s also ironic how many fans are willing to attack creators for for displaying the honesty and personal integrity that those same “fans” claim to admire in the fictional creations they’re obsessed with. Sticking to your guns and personal sacrifice in the name of a personal code of honor are applauded only when safely confined to the pages of Batman, apparently. No wonder Moore doesn’t want anything to do with you people.

If that’s integrity then integrity is overrated. Give me lying bullshit any day of the week.

Alan Moore is the strongest possible argument against creator rights. He’s the best writer in comics, but as a person the man is a ridiculous joke. Any intellectual property he’s involved with will become deadlocked over some imagined sleight or personal issue, no matter who he works with.

Michael Sacal

July 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Watchemen is an example of a writer taking what someone else created, changing the names and aesthetics, and making it far more successful than the original ever war.

Think Invisibles and Matrix.

If Morrison did anything Watchmen-like, it would turn him into a huge hypocrit.

READ THIS BEFORE THE TROLL BASHING PLEASE

First, I love Moore’s work. He is an indescribable brilliant writer. If my work was tarnished the way it was when translated into other medias, I would be upset too, but hey….that’s Hollywood.

My only gripe, and I know I will hear it out there but I respect your rebuttal; may not agree with it, but i have to respect you will have a feeling about what I am going to say, as I hope you have some educated understanding of what I feel:

Moore needs to stop being a martyr

That’s it. Every now and then we get an interview with him, and it starts out the same: the interviewer describes the dark tone of the setting and then physically describes Moore’s appearance and actions at the settign of the interview. The interviewer asks him about his work, the big two, and Moore preaches like an evangelist on how the comics world is corporate crap, Hollywood sucks, and on and on

What I never see in the 20+ years of interview I have seen of this talented and master writer is his attempts to change or fix a system or entertainment media/genre he vehemently says needs to be repaired. Where is his rallying cry? Where is his charge? Anyone can be a Monday morning recliner seat quarterback, but he rants and raves on the industry for over 20 years is getting old. Now he may think because of his reputation of creating wonderful masterpieces of fantasy fiction (and THEY ARE WONDERFUL, if you think otherwise then you really need to get into all his work and see the master at work) give him the right and entitlement to taunt from the sidelines, then I have to say he is wrong. YES i know he still puts out work, but he is no Mark Waid. Mark Waid, another brilliant mind in comics, and when the big two would not let him get his way, he joined up with a company that would and became the driving force in an up and coming publisher.

Lesson: people can stay mad and angry and isolated, or they can take the same anger and animosity (come on, who hasn’t seen Waid’s remarks about how is FF, Capt America, and various other visions have been altered or denied in the last 20 years) and make a difference. RIght now, Moore is still doing work periodically and complaining how it gets destroyed by Hollywood. Waid is taking his ideas and making a difference today.

Please go easy with the bashing, I may not agree with your opinions, but I do have to accept that you have them, just you may not agree with me, but have to accept that I feel Moore needs to stop being a martyr and self proclaimed victim of the big two.

“As a person, the man is a ridiculous joke”? Really? That’s your answer? There are no perceived sleights – he WAS sleighted and anyone who would have been in his position would have seen that. What people don’t seem to understand is that he was sleighted MULTIPLE TIMES.

Moore quit DC after a series of disagreements, begrudgingly went back to work for them in 1999 under ABC, AND THEN QUIT AGAIN BECAUSE DC WOULDN’T STOP INTERFERING.

Sylar, perhaps the reason Moore keeps giving the same answers in interviews is because people KEEP ASKING HIM THE SAME QUESTIONS.

As for where Moore’s rallying cry is, he was right there with Frank Miller changing the face of comics in the 80s, and he was right there with Frank Miller when he quit after a series of disagreements because he did not like the direction DC was going in. He started Mad Love Publishing hoping he could run a publishing house the way he wanted it to be run, and when that failed, he went to Image because he wanted to make a statement for creator-owned comics. He did ABC – and HE EVEN WORKED FOR IT UNDER DC, FOR THOSE OF YOU CALLING HIM A PETULANT CHILD – and he left not after one DC strike, not after two, but after THREE. Do you know what DC did regarding the 3D stuff in the Black Dossier? Look it up, and you can understand why Moore doesn’t work with them anymore.

You say Mark Waid makes a difference – sure. But Moore could be making a difference, if we paid attention to the stuff he was doing. The thing is we don’t want to.

You know the difference between Alan Moore and everyone else? He does what he wants, and he creates what he wants. A novel? He’ll do it. A performance? He’ll do it. A magazine? He’ll do it. He continues to push himself to all possible creative limits, but because he won’t write all these preexisting characters or won’t go back to Watchmen, we all cry.

We’re not fans of art, creativity, or innovation. We’re just fans of superheroes, and we just want Alan Moore to write superheroes for us. As if we’re entitled.

It’s not always about money, damn it. For a bunch of superhero fans, who read about these characters with morals who aren’t driven by money, we seem to not share the same values.

Comics Cube: Don’t worry, people silly/foolish enough to call Mr. Moore a “petulant child” will most certainly be enjoying a plague of exploding horned toads falling from the sky above their homes, soon enough.

Soon enough.

The ironic thing is that the people who are calling him a petulant child are the same people resorting to name-calling and being annoyed that THEY don’t get what THEY want.

If I was in Mr. Moore’s shoes I would do the same thing, it’s like your best friend f***ing your girl sluting her out and then trying to make amends by saying you can have her back. DC needs to just acknowledge and accept that Alan Moore wants nothing to do with them and just move on.

So the bad thing here is that DC was willing to ask Alan Moore at all? Probably cause he is very predictable in how he handles mainstream comics these days. He has explicitly stated he will not work with them (Marvel, DC, etc.). Was there respect for deciding to speak with him or were they baiting the bear? Since the first days of me hearing about Alan Moore it was that he is difficult. Probably only difficult if he doesn’t respect you cause he will always speak his mind. He has an artist’s integrity which is not something I overly enjoy seeing (the work is immutable, only the artist’s interpretation is the right one, blah blah blah). He also has a healthy ego (as I recall him mentioning something along the lines of him being asked to save American comics again when he was asked to work on more projects or have his name attached to something). He has been burned but I don’t think more than others with bastardizations of their work making it to Hollywood. He just screams louder when the heat hits him.

I like Alan Moore’s work. My first childhood memory turns out to be reading an issue of his Swamp Thing. The guy getting impaled by a swordfish flying off the roof of a car has stuck with me for 30 years. I also believe DC should not do a Watchmen sequel/prequel/tie-in that wasn’t done by Alan Moore. So I’m glad they asked him despite the predictable response. Sadly I think they will continue forward some day anyways.

Michael Sacal

July 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm

If they produced a sequel, it should explore deeper themes of heores in a real world setting, but odds are that it will just be a poor rehash of what came before or a story with the same character that doesn’t do anything new with them.

“There are no perceived sleights – he WAS sleighted and anyone who would have been in his position would have seen that. What people don’t seem to understand is that he was sleighted MULTIPLE TIMES.”

How come so many other creators are able to work with the big two? They realise that comics is a business. In life sometimes you have to compromise. Moore won’t and hasn’t. He has to hold on to his precious moral values, and the result is that the fans, and other creators he works with, suffer.

It’s incredibly selfish of him, to value his principles over the benefit of others.

Yes, it’s incredibly selfish of him to think of himself instead of fans want him to do! For shame that he should live his life in such a way that HE’S comfortable, that HE’S happy! It has to be in accordance to what the fans want!

The creators he has worked with have NEVER suffered, ever. Why do you think he went on to continue ABC even when Wildstorm was bought by DC? So he wouldn’t screw over his artists. And for shame that he should turn down the movie royalties and HAVE HIS SHARE FORWARDED TO THE ARTISTS. The creators SURE suffer!

If people want to work with Alan Moore, there are many opportunities, as there have always been, because Alan Moore doesn’t just write superheroes. But that’s the thing – there are a bunch of you folks who aren’t Alan Moore fans; you’re superhero fans who just happen to like the way Alan Moore does them, and you think he’s wasting his time doing stuff that he wants to write (a highly enviable position in life) instead of writing what YOU want him to write. If he’d followed that line of thinking, we would have never had From Hell. We would have never had Promethea. We would have never had Lost Girls. We would have never had Jack B. Quick. We would have never had Big Numbers.

Moore keeps doing comics and not just comics, and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy his work and work with him. But you’re all miffed because he won’t do Watchmen sequels or prequels. Because he won’t live his life according to YOUR dictates.

Fan entitlement, as said by a poster above, is a huge disease. We’re not entitled to anything and Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison and Mark Waid and James Robinson and Garth Ennis and Steve Ditko and whoever else aren’t obliged to give us what we continually clamor for. They should write what they want to write, and let it find its audience, instead of producing work specifically suited to the tastes of a bunch of fans who can’t seem to appreciate the fact that writers have their own wishes and their own desires. That, my friend, is the very definition of hack work.

While it MAY be selfish of Moore to withhold this from his fans (it’s not, in my opinion), it’s far more selfish of fans to be pissy about it, because Moore won’t write in accordance to their demands.

Just wanna share this, courtesy of Pol Rua:

When he first signed the deal with DC, it was agreed that rights would revert after the book was out of print for 12 months. 24 years later, DC has not let print runs of Watchmen ever go out of print.
Alan Moore was the better man and said, what the hell, that’s business.

When DC made money of Watchmen merchandise – posters, badges and whatnot, Moore, Gibbons and Higgins asked that they be given a share of these profits. DC claimed that the items (which were being sold) were ‘promotional materials’ and therefore the creators were not entitled to a share of profits.
Alan Moore was the better man, and didn’t push the issue.

When DC bought up Wildstorm Publications (chiefly in order to obtain the publishing rights to Moore’s ABC line), Moore could have just screwed over his co-workers like Rick Veitch, Jim Baikie, Chris Sprouse, Kevin O’Neill et. al. and pulled out of the deal altogether…
But Alan Moore was the better man, and once arrangements were made, he went back to work making money for DC.

When DC went back on their agreement not to interfere with the running of the ABC line by pulping issues of ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ and censoring a ‘Cobweb’ story in ‘Tomorrow Stories’…
Alan Moore was the better man, and kept working for DC.

When he was accused of conspiring to rip off another writer’s work and passing it off as his own with the ‘LXG’ trial, he was annoyed that DC/Warners settled the case, which he saw as an admission of guilt (partly on his behalf).
Alan Moore was the better man, and continued working for DC.

When he asked DC editorial to arrange for his name to be taken off future film projects involving his work, and they refused point-blank to do so until he was forced to go over their heads to get it done…
Alan Moore was the better man, and continued to work for DC.

It wasn’t until Joel Silver lied in print about Moore’s contribution to the ‘V for Vendetta’ film and DC Editorial refused to contact Warner Brothers and seek a public retraction on his behalf that he severed ties with the company for good, and even then…
Alan Moore was the better man, and agreed to produce the work he had been contracted to do before taking his property elsewhere.

Yeah, he’s an absolute prick all right. What an unreasonable bastard!

Just my own opinion and everything, but Mr Moore ought to be allowed to serve them with a “Leave me the hell alone” order. And if they transgress they ought to be sold up and him given the proceeds.
They must KNOW that nothing they offer him has any worth to him, just as they know they have done wrong to him morally, over decades. Anyone with an ounce of sense watching from the sidelines must know that their is nothing they can say now to make it up to him, so of course they are aware too.

For the sake of their own greed, they continue to annoy the man and waste his valuable time. Something a lot of people ( non-productive ones usually ) don’t seem to think about, is an hour, ANY hour, of his life is potentially worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. He MAKES wonders with his hours. Just reacting to their amoral, duplicitous and faithless advances to him, costs him extremely valuable hours of his life. Not to mention the obvious stress it adds to his life.

Just think of your life, but with a very disappointing and damaging period in it 30 or so years ago. Now imagine that the damaging party just WON’T LEAVE YOU BE.

The Acme of US business practice. Scum.

All said and done about integrity why wouldn’t Moore accept royalties from The Big Bad corporation and simply donate the money to charity. That way he would be screwing Warner Brothers out of his rightly deserved royalties and still maintaining his so called integrity by doing something useful with the money. R.A. Heinlein describes this during his writing career how fans always want more of the same familiar characters even though they would be watered down. J.K Rowling has managed to do pretty well maintaining some control over her beloved characters in movies and video games. Yes I admire Moore’s work and lifestyle but would any of us in the same boat not prostitute our ideas for the almight dollar. Frank Miller did not create Daredevil but look at the fantastic work he did on a second or even third tier marvel character at the time. Did Moore himself not take liberties with other author’s creations in the league of extraordinary gentlemen. I think DC did a very generous offer to mend fences with Moore and let him have back his property. Do the Watchmen Characters not cry out for more prequels and sequels? In my opinion they do there is a whole universe there that could be explored and who knows maybe even improved on. I would love to see the whole break down of mothman and Hooded Justice backstory. Love it or Hate it I know I would buy and read it all.

Scott Rowland

July 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm

@Lackshmana

“Moore has a respect for Ditko’s work that is so profound I don’t know that the man would be able to butcher the Charlton characters even if he aimed to do so.”

So profound that he took his analogue of Ditko’s signature character, presented by Ditko as epitomizing rationality, and wrote him as insane. That’s about as profound a case of disrespect for Ditko’s work as I can imagine.

Regardless of the quality of the story Moore told, to claim that he showed respect for Ditko’s work in creating his story is absurd.

A lot of you on this thread must have never had relatives that tend to come over to visit only when they want something…otherwise,you’d see how “generous” DC actually is. They’re not offering him the rights out of goodwill and peace, they’re offering him the rights back because they want something from him, namely sequels/prequels that they know they can’t do without backlash. That, and you can just smell the idea that they’re thinking sequels for the Watchmen movie and Moore, I’m sure, is cutting through all this BS and seeing what they’re really up to. I mean, some idiot said it best, “Fool me once, shame on… shame on you. Fool me…you can’t get fooled again.”

BTW, I bet you the same people that question Moore’s integrity (and sanity for not taking the money) would call him a sellout in a heartbeat if he took the money after saying point blank that he can’t stand DC.

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