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Quote of the day | Erik Larsen on the indecency of Before Watchmen

“Some really good people are working on Before Watchmen and it saddens me to see that. I won’t be supporting it in any way. I just can’t. And in all honesty — I can’t help but feel a little bit less for every creator who works on these books. Have you no decency?”

Erik Larsen, wading into the continuing controversy surrounding DC Comics’ sprawling prequels
to the seminal 1986 miniseries by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

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153 Comments

Oh, good lord. Have you no sense of proportion?

Wow imagine how he’d feel if they’d done something really criminal or actually…indecent.

Glad Erik has a personal code of ethics. A thing rarer and rarer these days (a concept, in fact, that is all but alien to many people these days)

As for the 2 comments above – some people have no concept of what it is to create art – and then have that art bastardized

@Wampa well said.

So he’s saying this in the same month that Supreme comes out – continuing a story that Alan Moore wrote? No issues there…..

I think every one has a ” personal code of ethics”. I think you mean to say people are alien to what you see as a code of ethics. The fact of the matter is that DC owns these characters and has every right to do with them as they please. There is nothing unethical or indecent about it.

Glad to see creators against what I will melodramatically call a “travesty.”

A comic book was created. A comic book for crying out loud. Also, the art came from Dave Gibbons who is okay with this. The Watchmen in the hands of a lesser artist would have been one more forgettable, gloomy, dystopian mess.

The whole entire history of comics is bastardization, wampa. This is nothing new. Why not hold this standard across all characters? What makes Allan Moore more special than Bill Finger, or Chris Claremont, or any other creator who made something memorable?

There’s two sides to this story:

The DC Side- Watchmen is a story, and making new stories is a part of comics. DC owns the rights, and they can do whatever they want with the story. They want to make good comics, and adding to a great writer/artist like Moore/Gibbons is their goal.

The Moore Side- Watchmen is not like other comic books, and it was designed to go against everything we see in comics. This includes films, sequels, and spin-offs. Moore is very mad that DC is doing everything he dislikes. Watchmen is meant to be left alone, and by making these prequels, it diminishes the importance of the book.

There’s no right or wrong here, it’s a matter of what you believe. I think I swing more towards Alan Moore, but I’m not complaining about these books.

I’m with Larsen on this.

@Adam

Nope. The agreement with Watchmen was different than nearly all other comic deals. The agreement was the rights would revert back to Moore and Gibbons, and not stay in DC’s hands.

But I suspect you already know this

I have a lot of respect for Larsen, but I’m sorry, didn’t he come to prominence in the comic book world by working on books like Amazing Spider-man and other Lee/Ditko/Kirby Marvel creations? He should get off his high horse. It was okay for him to work on other people’s creations because he was starting out, but these guys can’t because they’re established? And I don’t want to hear that it’s different from Spider-man or other creations because “it’s Watchmen and Alan Moore doesn’t want it” because we all know how poorly a lot of those early Marvel guys were treated. The defense of Marvel has always been that Kirby and those guys were doing work for hire. Well, so was Moore.

I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but in 1986 there were self-publishing/independent routes that Moore and Gibbons could have gone if they wanted to control Watchmen. Look at TMNT or Elfquest. They chose DC because they would get more copies in print and get paid more money. That’s the trade off of not getting to control the property.

Larsen is right

I can;t believe these creators working on Before Watchmen would dare go out and destroy every single copy of the original Watchmen so it no longer cant be enjoyed by anyone…

What, you mean the oiginal Watchmen series can still be read and enjoyed on it’s own? Before Watchmen isn’t in any way preventing people from reading it as a standalone story?

Carry on then.

I wonder what the creators of the original Charlton characters that all the Watchmen characters were bastardizations of would have to say about Moore’s handling of those characters? There’s no reason for Watchmen to be put in a box and never touched again, anymore so than all the Golden Age characters Erik Larsen used for his “Next Issue” project. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion but this strikes me as a little bit of a mole hill being called a mountain.

@Alfredo

I guess, if you try to look at a code of ethics like a glass. Where some people have a glass nearly full, and some only 20% full (for example)

But if your glass is 99% empty, then you really have nothing in your glass do you

Why hasn’t this been done before now? I mean you would think it would’ve happened in the 90’s, with hologram covers. I wouldn’t buy them even if Alan Moore edited them himself. It’s just a way to get some publicity, for a second place company. Who cares about Watchmen, can’t we think of something else to do??

Well said, Erik, well said.

It’s good see some people still have class.

@Hutchimus

If you can’t see anything a little slimy about these Before Watchmen creators making a big paycheck by working on a project that they KNOW Moore opposes, then you are being intentionally naive

When you’re paraphrasing Joseph Welch, you already have a rhetorical problem. And considering Erik Larsen admits to actively trying to sabotage a corporate character he was paid to write, I don’t hold his personal code of ethics to be particularly high.

so its ok for Moore to steal the “Watchmen” ending from outer limits?
or the basic premise from “From Hell?”
or the entire cast from “League of extraordinary gentlemen”?
Use his lost girls from children’s book in porn?

Have you no decency Mr. Moore?

wampa, as an artist, i’ll say it sucks, but focusing on one of your pieces is a rookie mistake. your career is a combination of many pieces and types of art.

in this case, of course, there’s money involved and that’s pissing Moore off even more. but your argument about art being sacred to a creator is completely false if you’ve ever created art before. that’s what happens, people get ripped off, homaged, robbed, etc. It’s not indecent, it sucks, but you accept it. If you don’t , you turn in to a bitter asshole no one will work with. That’s why you always keep creating.

Larsen is such a fucking tool. This is the guy who once said comics don’t need writers anymore. Fuck off.

Bicycle-Repairman

April 17, 2012 at 10:40 am

gl3600: “So he’s saying this in the same month that Supreme comes out – continuing a story that Alan Moore wrote? No issues there…..”

It’s not the same situation. Alan Moore didn’t create “Supreme”. Moore was hired by the creator of “Supreme” to take over the writing. “Supreme” wasn’t intended to be a limited series like “Watchmen” and to my knowledge Moore isn’t opposed to the idea of further “Supreme” stories.

@E Wilson

Why do you need Larsen to be your moral barometer? Can’t you take a stand based on your own ideas

I agree with Larson.

@kyle

good point

The great thing about the internet is that it lets every idiot weigh in on subjects they are clearly uninformed about. The bad thing about the internet is that it lets every idiot weigh in on subjects they are clearly uninformed about. Some of you people seem to have no clue what you are talking about in relation to Larsen’s history as a creator or the contract that Alan Moore signed with DC regarding the rights reversion but it’s great that you’re willing to open your mouths and let everyone know what idiots you truly are so we don’t just have to guess at the level of your stupidity. Seriously, every single time this issue comes up people comment without knowing a damn thing about the specifics of THIS issue and instead just throw in idiotic generalizations.

@Wampa

…Uhm, I *don’t* hold Larsen as a moral barometer. That…that was kind of the point. And my stand about Before Watchmen is oh my God I don’t care.

Will never understand the Moore “screwjob”

Moore signed the contract. DC never lied or misrepresented that term, Moore just had his own naive understanding of how it would work. Moore did not sign out of duress and signed it of his own free will.

Then when DC chooses to actually exercise their rights under the contract, it’s a crime against humanity.

I mean, i GUESS Moore could argue unilateral mistake, but that shit never works.

So really, DC screwed Moore because, what, they were just supposed to let Watchmen fall out of print despite all the $$$ it was making to do Moore a solid? Why? The whole reason that term was in their to begin with was so that DC could make money. That should’ve been crystal clear.

There was no contractual screwjob. Moore signed a contract of his own free will that he shouldn’t have and decided to understand a term in the contract according to his own pre-conceived notions of how things worked, as opposed to reading the term for what it was.

Legally, there is no screwjob. Hence, there is no screwjob.

I’m a fan of Eric Larsen. I haven’t read “Savage Dragon” in years, but I sincerely respect the fact that he grew up doodling comics on notebook paper and ended up becoming a successful comic writer/artist himself. I begrudge him absolutely zero for the success he’s earned.

Having said that, “STFU, Eric Larsen!”. This isn’t about *decency*, this is about *money*. It’s about money that DC wants to make by selling product, and the artists and writers who DC paid for doing the work.

I know about DC’s deal with Moore and Gibbons, and how all that turned out. Let’s not rehash that here. This is about Larsen’s comment.

Finally, I’ll be the first one to stand up and acknowledge “Watchmen” as art…but it’s *commercial* art, okay? I mean love the story, characters, but I also have the portfolio, DC RPG modules, and unpainted lead figures that were produced after the fact. All created to make money, all (tentatively? I admit not knowing for certain) approved of by Moore/Gibbons back in the day. How is “Before Watchmen” functionally any different?

Why would you deny one of your talented fellow scribes or artists a chance to ply their wares for something that will likely sell well and get them more recognition? Where’s YOUR decency, sir?

AJ : You’re actually making a reasonable argument. I’m pretty sure that violates some Internet law.. I do disagree with you on one thing. Watchmen was not meant to be left alone. There were role playing games, and the idea of followups were tossed around, and I believe Moore was involved in Terry Gilliam’s early attempts to make it into a film. The passage of time has, for some folks, placed Watchmen on some kind of shrink-wrapped pedestal as a kind of holy text that “MUST NEVER BE TOUCHED”!!!.

Wampa : Your statement “The agreement with Watchmen was different than nearly all other comic deals. The agreement was the rights would revert back to Moore and Gibbons, and not stay in DC’s hands.” is incomplete. The rights only revert back to them if the book is no longer published. They didn’t see that happening and in the end, DC benefitted greatly from it. It’s the risk/reward that comes with arrangements like this.

I’m angry about comic books and posting a comment will solve all of my problems.

watchmen is overrated anyway. (by 80ies nerds who got nothing better to read for a long time)

I’m ambivalent about these books, choosing to wait till they come out before I judge them… (either as brilliant or blasphemous, depending on the product) but I dislike hypocrisy enough to say that…

Alan Moore, one of my all time favorite writers, is just being a hypocrite on this one.

Maybe if he didn’t write League of Extraordinary Gentlemen during which he made use and modified some of literature’ other characters who themselves belonged in finished tales, extending their stories.

If anything, he himself proved it CAN be done right when he did LXG. But if he thinks this is morally wrong, then he should examine his own actions before casting stones.

If it is deemed classless and indecent for DC and these creators to go on with this, then it must also be considered classless and indecent for Alan Moore to resurrect Griffin, the invisible Man and then visually show him raping women at a convent. Or for Moore to alter the lives and stories of guys like Dr. Jekylly, Alan Quartermaine, Captain Nemo and such, all without the approval of these’ characters’ original creators as well.

Unless of course there is a double standard that protects Alan Moore from all criticism.

Decency. What a great concept. So I guess it was totally decent of Alan Moore to have one literary character he didn’t create (Mr. Hyde) sodomize another literary character he didn’t create (the Invisible Man) to death in the pages of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

@ Joe Williams

Instead of ridiculing all of the idiots, why don’t you educate everyone on what they’re so misinformed about? That’s what bugs me about the Internet and message boards – people are so quick to call someone an idiot from behind the anonymity of keyboards, but then never explain their position with facts, effectively allowing the “idiots” to continue being idiots through bullying.

I believe in Mark Waid’s take on this controversy and saying there was blame on both sides, which went into more detail.

I also note the CBR article on the role playing game background stuff Moore and Gibbons were working on, which included more Watchmen original material. So I don’t believe Moore’s current retcon position that it was a stand alone story.

I do feel sympathy for Moore though,as it seems he engaged into an agreement that he thought was materially different. Which is different from him being responsible for entering that agreement.

In a related note, the check that bought the Superman rights just sold for $160,000. Siegel and Shuster were angry at DC for decades. I think they were even fired from the comic they created. DC finally threw some small amount of cash at them so they wouldn’t make bad publicity before the 1978 Superman movie, and their bitter legal battle continues today.

And to add to the postmodern moral relativism, DC added insult by hiring a British writer (NOT EVEN AMERICAN!) to finally kill many of the characters and elements that Siegel and Shuster helped create in a 1985 story called “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow.” Even more than the creators on “Before Watchmen”, shouldn’t those who created this travesty of a story (that even killed Krypto!) be ostracized?

I’m not reading Before Watchmen.

Not because I side one way or the other on it, but because there’s so many of them….all 3.99. You’ll wind up paying MORE for Before Watchmen than you ever will on just reading Watchmen.

@gl3600 – Not only is bicycle-repairman right on the legal-ethical issues, but Image reached out to Moore over the use of his final script and had what Larsen described as a “very cordial” conversation with him about it. I suppose if he objected he might have mentioned it, since he doesn’t seem particularly averse to using his bully pulpit.

Larsen’s comments in context – http://comicbook.com/blog/2012/04/03/supreme-after-alan-moore-erik-larsen-on-drawing-and-following-a-legend/

michel foucault

April 17, 2012 at 10:58 am

I stand with Moore and Erik on this and others should too. Nothing is preserved nowadays from the cultural reproduction of capitalism’s lust for avarice and profit. Art is no longer seen separate and whole, it is sucked into the vast vortex of a postmodern condition that reproduces itself perpetually with no regard for the artistic context that art is originally created in. . . .

Bicycle-Repairman

April 17, 2012 at 11:00 am

Scott:”The defense of Marvel has always been that Kirby and those guys were doing work for hire. Well, so was Moore.”

“Watchmen” wasn’t created under a standard work-for-hire agreement. The rights to “Watchmen” were supposed to revert back to Moore and Gibbons if the book went out-of-print. Moore also complained about late or missing royalty payments from DC.

@Monel – well-played on the Superman joke. Love it.

I do think the RPG is a bit different, though; there was never any attempt at the time to illustrate the notes he gave to Mayfair and release them as a stand-alone story. I believe that Moore understood the need to have a little more clarity in terms of character motivation in order for players to enjoy the role-playing game properly, since the nature of the role-playing game is primarily superhero combat. That wasn’t the nature of Watchmen, of course, and none of that information (or this information being turned into DC stories) is necessary to understand or enjoy Watchmen.

@Bicycle-Repairman

I appreciate your letting me know that, as I didn’t know those details originally. That being said, the book never went out of print. If Moore thought that was a possibility, why sign it?

Hey, Scratchie: explain how it’s disproportionate to question the decency of and “feel a little less for” individuals getting paid to go against the express wishes of a fellow creator regarding his own creations, which were appropriated from him.

Hey, Shawn: explain how it isn’t actually indecent to get paid to go against the express wishes of a fellow creator regarding his own creations, which were appropriated from him.

Moore, or his attorneys negotiated the reversionary rights- something that wasn’t generally granted by DC- so DC is not to blame for following the letter of that agreement. Moore messed up. I am a huge Moore fan and have almost all of his work.
As for Erik, I’m also a big fan of his and love the Savage Dragon. If he’s so outraged, he will do everything in his power to make sure that Image never does business with any of the “Before Watchmen” creators. Yeah, let’s see Image pass that up.

Watchmen is one of the greatest graphic works of our time. That is without hyperbole. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (and everybody else who worked on it) should be incredibly proud of their work. But it’s their work. Before Watchmen is not their work. The characters, in a strictly legal sense, are not theirs. The characters themselves aren’t even original works, having been derived from the Charlton characters.

I can’t thank the creators of Watchmen enough for what they’ve done, and i was fully against the idea of revisiting that universe. However i have no power over what DC does with the characters they own, so now i have three choices.
1) I stubbornly refuse to read/buy these books that will most likely be huge (partly because of the controversy),
2) I download the books online and read them for free so i still get the stories and DC doesn’t get a dime from me,
or 3) I bite the bullet and buy the books and let them stand on their own merits, rewarding the creators of the books i like with continued purchasing, like i do for comics in general.

And i’m sorry, but Brian Azzarello writing Rorschach is too awesome an opportunity to pass up. In a recent interview Azzarello even mentioned that he and Lee Bermejo talked about it and they concluded that this was going to happen regardless of what the creative team ended up being and they wanted to make sure it was done well, so they accepted the job. These guys care about Watchmen, too.

And finally, this is a prequel, not a sequel. I feel that is slightly more justifiable, because they are not adding anything to Watchmen. They are most likely not changing the story we all know and love in any way (because even DC would have to realize that’s an unacceptable deal breaker). They are not messing with Moore’s and Gibbons’ work. The Watchmen movie probably did way more to attempt to alter Watchmen than this will (NO ALIEN SQUID?!?!?!).

I respect both sides of the argument. I respect the opinions of the original creators as well as the ones doing Before Watchmen. And ultimately i’m going to give the books a shot.

@Rick

Being unhappy, and blacklisting fellow artists, are 2 completely different things

But, I really just had to point that out to you didn’t I – geez

Larsen is right.

I applaud Larsen for taking a stand.

However…

Larsen owns a comic book shop, Fantastic Comics, in Berkeley. Will he be carrying BEFORE WATCHMEN? Based on what he says here, he shouldn’t. We’ll see.

dc isn’t messing with the bible you know larsen…..

@ AJ
That’s not entirely true. For one, Moore has stated numerous times that the main reason he was upset with DC over the Watchmen business was because he got a raw deal ie he didn’t get the rights back so that he and Dave could do a prequel and own all the rights to it. Essentially. All DC is doing is what Moore planned on doing anyways. And he was given the opportunity to do just what he planned, and all DC wanted from him was for him to accept the complete rights to Watchmen back. How “indecent” of DC.

Also, Moore seems to be contradicting himself with his current statements that the goal of Watchmen was to do something that hadn’t been done with comics before. In earlier interviews he stated that the purpose of Watchmen was to do something ONLY comics could do, to show why they’re a legitimate medium. Guess what one of those unique aspects is? You add to that idea that he was also planning on doing prequels of his own and Moore starts looking like he’s lying through his teeth.

Erik, I like you, but you couldn’t have timed this comment any worse. Also, who the hell are you to judge what DC and these creators are doing? Like Image has done so much to improve comics. Some success with indy creators that neither you nor any of the other Image founders had anything to do with (other than Liefeld, who seems to be seeing a lot of success with just handing off his old ideas to people and letting them run with it, and one of which happens to be drawn by Larsen. the first issue was good, but lets see what happens to the quality now that he’s out of Moore scripts) does not give you the moral high ground in comparison to guys like Adam Hughes or JMS – for christ’s sake, you guys nearly destroyed the industry by fueling the boom-bust of the 90s! Have YOU no decency by having the gall to call yourself a legitimate comics creator after what you’ve done?

The sheer hypocrisy of the creator of the “Next Issue Project” complaining about anyone working on a Before Watchmen project astounds me. Larsen isn’t fit to carry Azzrello and Risso’s jock

Condemnation on lack of decency onto other creators coming from the man who once put a character called Dung (who shot feces out of his arm cannons) in his Savage Dragon comic. 

Yeah…okay.

Look people, we’ve got bigger problems. The freakin’ SITUATION is going to star in his own comic book. If that doesn’t make people want to run screaming from the industry, I don’t know what will.

…….these are TRULY the end times! ;D

Rahadyan Sastrowardoyo

April 17, 2012 at 11:46 am

I can’t throw stones about creators or purchasers of “Before Watchmen” since I’ve purchased post-Kirby comics featuring the Fourth World characters at DC, and post-Kirby issues of The Eternals

Mr. High And Mighty lost me at Godland.

Didn’t Kirby get royalties for his DC work?

Whatever one may think of Larsen, he’s absolutely dead-on correct here, and it’s a shame so many fans of superhero comics don’t see that. Not only will I not be buying any BW books, but it will be hard for me to purchase any books by the participating creators from here on out. I was all set to build a hardcover collection of “100 Bullets,” a series I missed the first time around, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that now. Lucky for me, there are plenty of other wonderful comics out there right now.

“The Next Issue Project” features characters in the public domain.

Before Watchmen features characters that are owned by DC.

Your point?  DC offered Moore everything but his own planet to be involved in this project — including money.  Even if Moore was taking payment in some fashion, “Before Watchmen” bashers would still bash.

Wonder if there’d be such an uproar over Before Old Testament.

Totally agree with Erik. If karma really did exist, all the creators involved in this project would end up homeless and covered with scabies. Can’t support anybody who gladly assists the company vs the creator.

Created by Alan Moore, who is alive, and whose objections to the project are a matter of public record.

How do those of you who are defending this Before Watchmen thing sleep at night? I’m sure there are enough of you to make it a sales success, though, and I really am pretty damn sad about that.

And almost every single one of you is missing the point when you bring up other Alan Moore, Erik Larsen, etc., using public domain characters, but I also doubt that any of you are smart enough to figure out why.

I would buy every issue of a comic about the Situation ten times before I buy a single one of these morally bankrupt Watchmen spin-offs.

So what you’re telling me is that you have no right to find something morally objectionable as long as somebody offers to give you a lot of money to be involved in it. Extraordinary. 

Integrity is a horrifying thing to comic book fans because it interferes with their enjoyment of the brand. That’s what it’s been about since the beginning and it looks like that’s what it’ll be about until the bottom falls out. 

If you guys spend all your rage now, you’ll have nothing left when Geoff Johns announces he’s writing the SEQUEL to Watchmen at ComicCon this summer.

HellBlazeRaiser

April 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Alan Moore who complains about everything because he’s a bitter has-been. 

The Watchmen characters were not created by Alan Moore. They are the Charlton Heroes. 

I’d rather read a Situation comic, than one put together by Erik Larsen.

Who’s the Situation anyway?

Mr. Larsen, do you think all the professionals, including yourself, who worked on caracters co-created by Kirby have no decency too? At least Moore earned a lot of money with royalties while Marvel kicked Kirby’s ass.

Luckily for you, I’ve bought those 100 Bullets hardcover collections to replace the trade paperbacks I bought years ago. So my money covers both of us, right into Brian Azzrello’s wallet, where he can cry himself to sleep because Erik Larsen said he didn’t have integrity.

Also, let’s be honest, Larsen basically takes every possible opportunity to shoot barbs at DC and/or Marvel over anything and everything.

Well, dude, I work in comic book shop, and every sale of Before Watchmen that I make means I GET PAID, so I will handsell the thing if I have to (which I wont, because interest has been HUGE)

Moore signed a contract that no one forced to sign and that no one misrepresented except for, possibly, Moore….to himself.

There is no screwjob.  

Well, unless you’re delusional enough to believe that DC, a business, should have just chosen not to have exercised their contractual right, and forfeit tons of money, just to do Alan Moore a solid.

Sorry, but that’s not the real world.  The only person who screwed Alan Moore is Alan Moore for misunderstanding a contract, signing it anyway, and not having a legal advisor vet it.

I sleep at night because Moore’s signing a contract and the preconceived notions he had about that contract were what’s responsible here.  I also sleep fine at night because I don’t live in a fairytale world where businesses forfeit tons of money and publishing rights for no reason beyond doing someone a favour according to some subjective, idealistic notion of “what’s right.”

Love a hypocrite who defends Alan Moore but will sell Neil Gaiman down the river with the whole McFarlane lawsuit.

Pot. Kettle. Black. Hypocrite.

 Dave, are you on crack?  Really?  The characters were not created by Moore???  Have you ever actually READ Watchmen?  And who in god’s name would hire you to work in a comic store with your obvious lack of knowledge??

I’d love to see how high and mighty Larsen would be about these creators taking good paying jobs if Larsen had to live solely off the sales of the Savage Dragon as opposed to what ever money he makes being one of the founding 7 of Image.  He got lucky once and has been coasting ever since.  He’d kiss whatever ass he had to, to stay in comics if he hadn’t gotten that one gift handed to him.

Like no one EVER appropriated the Bible

Moral decency is different than creative decency.

one is worse than the other.  Larsen only faulted on one, while the creators involved with with both.

You might be right on the moral decency Frere, but hey, eveybodies gotta make a living and it’s only comics.  The defense coming from a stooge like Larsen, who’s claim to fame is basically riding on greater talents coat tails is laughable though.

 Comments like this confirm it: Disqus needs a ‘Dislike.’

at least its not Liefeld
,i bet if its him,this will got longer comments :D

 Owned by DC, anyway.

Not to mention, like every other Image founder, he eventually saw sense and went back to the sweet, loving embrace of work for hire anyway, and TANKED Wolverine.

The Watchment characters are inspired by the Charlotn Heroes. This is fact

The title should read  “Eric Larsen wants attention to help ignite plummeting Savage Dragon sales”

That comment suggests he’s just jealous as he wasn’t asked to work on any of the titles!

This comment thread managed to be even dumber the second time around.

“Didn’t they read the contract?”
“Well, that’s an asshole eighth grade observation.”
– Luck; Season 1, Episode 4

So he’s like every other failed writer. He wouldn’t be bitching if DC offered him the work

 But that’s NOT what you said, monkeyboy.  You said the characters were NOT created by Moore.  They WERE created by Moore and in actuality, his heroes were based more on archetypes than actual Charlton Heroes.  You do know this info is readily available everywhere and that, as a comic book shop “worker”, you have a responsibility to be able to talk to your customers from a well informed position, right? 

Is there a variation of Godwin’s law that covers “he’s just jealous”?

By that logic, characters like Thor and Hulk were not created by Lee and Kirby. *Eyeroll* 

Obviously you know very little about Larsen. How is he a failed writer? Because he’s not writing books for Disney or Warner Brothers? He’s doing the book that he’s always wanted to do. Haters. You wish you had his career.

Not disputing any of those points. But this is an industry that was built on taking someone else’s work and expanding / rehashing it. While I admire Moore as a creator, and certainly respect his right to not be happy about it, the entirety of the objection to BW seems to be “you’re hurting Alan’s feelings”.
(And I say this as someone that’s generally indifferent to BW. )

Some guy GENERALIZED on the internet?!  NO NO HELL NO!!  Better get online and call him out cause I can’t handle any statement unless its 100000% literal!!!!

Don’t be an ass. It’s hardly generalization. The Dave dude’s flipflopping.

I don’t particularly care about whether Moore is being disrespected by BW, or that Larsen is in no position to be saddened by it. I’m more saddened by the fact that DC is putting out this grand project, treading on waters nobody asked to be retread, putting so much energy into getting people to think this is a ‘good idea’, instead of taking all that energy and all that money and using it to put out some new ideas for comics out there, or putting more attention in their current books that need it.

(inb4 “the market can’t support new comic book ideas”…that makes the entire thing even sadder.)

Brought this up yesterday, but comment disappeared. Anyway…

Will Larsen stock BEFORE WATCHMEN in the comic shop that he owns?

Captain Librarian

April 18, 2012 at 9:08 am

Agreed, the way in which Watchmen is treated like a sacred text is astounding. Given how many unintentional negative effects can be attributed to people trying to imitate it, I’m almost to the point where I hope some of this has a demystifying effect on the work.

His career? No. And yeah, I’ve spoken about this on other boards, and this is not an argument for here, but I generally feel,  that if you’re not working for Marvel or DC, why bother. No one sets out to be the best in the Minor Leagues, you know. As I said – thats my OPINION. 

Now you are just trolling. There are many people who PREFER to work outside of Marvel and DC. Don’t be so silly, it makes your other valid points seem completely bogus.

Seriously? Wow. The guy LEFT Marvel on his own will to make millions on his own creation. He works for himself.  Ask these people why they bothered:  Kevin Eastman, Jeff Smith, Mike Mignola, Eric Powell, Robert Kirkman, Brian Vaughn, Todd McFarlane, Dave Sim, Marc Silvestri, 
Bryan Lee O’Malley, Ed Brubaker, Frank Miller, and Stan Sakai…

It mystifies me how you can defend a business over a creative individual. Yes, Moore made a mistake. He’s a human being. He believed that DC would give him the rights back. DC saw an hole in the original deal and took advantage of it by continuing to keep it print.

They’ve made a shitload of money on an author’s creative production, and now their exploiting it for even more.

DC is a business. They have no other purpose than to take your money. That is how their success is measured.
Alan Moore is an artist. The success of an artist is based on how well they are able to communicate to a large audience, which is translated into sales.

Posts like yours demonstrate why have pigheaded asshats who follow brand names instead of individuals, missing the entire point of an art-form and vital messages they carry.

Ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Oh my God. You know how people always throw out that hoary old cliche, “you’re what’s wrong with the comic book industry?”

You are ACTUALLY what is wrong with the comic book industry. 

I believe, and this is just my OPINION, that Ed Brubaker and Mark Silvestri are currently working for both Marvel, and their own little projects, and not just one

Perhaps it’s not so much defending a business over an individual but accepting that Moore, as you freely admit, made a mistake and is having to live with the consequences of that mistake (and a pretty glaring one. I can’t believe the possibility that they keep printing it didn’t cross Moore’s mind, even back in the comic landscape of the mid 1980s. The very nature of those terms suggests that if this was successful, DC would be keeping ownership).

Your second paragraph seems to contradict your point. According to you, DC is measured by how much money they make (i.e. sales). So is an an artist. Yet they should be held to different standards?

By the way, if there’s one thing this whole BW “controversy” demonstrates, it’s that Alan Moore is as much a brand name as DC and has marketed himself just as well, if not better than them. People would not be getting this upset if this was “Property X by Joe Nobody” instead of “WATCHMEN!!!” and “ALAN MOORE!!”.

 Well, Dave, if it makes you feel even better, I made sure to CANCEL both my v1 and v2 orders today for the 100 Bullets HC.  So, since you covered Matthew with your order, I’ll cover you with mine.  And as a matter of fact, I’ll do you one better – I’ve also cancelled my orders for Luthor, Joker and Noel!  Phew!  Thank god we got THAT squared away!

The fact that Brubaker & Silvestri are currently working on books for Marvel is “Your Opinion”??  Really??  Is it “your opinion” also that Dick Clark is dead?  So here’s a question for you – what’s your reading on Robert Kirkman?  Since he’s obviously not working for DC or Marvel, can we assume that you consider him a failure?  Is he “bush league” since he’s not with “the big 2″?  I wait with antici….PATION for your reply, “sparky”.

I think it’s great you’d prefer to see a guy unemployed, says a lot about you as a person. 

Rob Kirkman – the guy who Marvel thought wasn’t good enough to write Spider-Man, so he took his ball and went home. The guy DC never went near, despite the fact they’re gainfully employing HOWARD MACKIE. If he wants to get Nick Spencer to write his books while AMC make a bad version of his overrated TV show, thats fine, and I hope he’s happy. But he left Marvel. He wasn’t happy being on the same level as guys like Jeff Parker and Dan Slott, and now they’re writing the franchise books.

For the record: I stopped reading Walking Dead when he killed the wife (a better fate to the way he treats her on the tv show, I guess), and Invincible when it became obvious it was pisspoor Spider-Man fan fiction. I sold my trades when he came out with that nonsensical manifesto demanding all Marvel creators quit their books to go do creator owned books for no guaranteed money, and I haven’t looked back since. 

 Wow. Your logic is flawless.  So I should buy every book out there so as to make sure I keep these writers/artists in business, right?  You keep flip-flopping and digging your hole deeper and all you come up with are replies my 5 year old nephew would be ashamed of.  You want to know who I’d like to see unemployed or at least in ANOTHER field of work?  You, bub.  Because god KNOWS how many well intentioned comic readers have been sent down some dark and badly written comic path by you in the interests of keeping some writer employed.  I can see it now – “No, you’ve gotta read this Dan DiDio book!  It’s amazing!  and he needs the money!  Buy it!”.  Maybe it’s true what they say – The Road To Hell Is Paved With Dave O’Neill’s Intentions.

If Dan Didio wants to do a creator owned work to sit beside his work for hire projects, fine. If Didio buys into Bob Kirkman’s bullshit that creators can make a living solely off creator owned books at Image, THEN he’d need to take a long hard look at himself in the mirror. As do you, for calling for another comic fan to lose his job and livelihood

 You’re acting as if the comic world is going to live or die by the sales of BW, Dave.  “every sale of BW that I make means I GET PAID”?  So are you telling me Forbidden Planet is going under unless BW is a smash success?  Or are you saying that you won’t be able to face another sunrise if it fails?  Or have you specifically been tasked with making sure BW is a success at FP?  Just curious.  Inquiring minds want to know.   (and by “handsell”, do you mean you’ve been instructed to give a handie to anyone who’ll buy the books?  one more reason not to buy into BW…..)

Well what else is going to be big this summer? DC aren’t doing a summer crossover, an idea I find baffling, and the law of diminishing returns says AVX sales will be lower come July. How dare DC put out something that, wait for it, MIGHT ACTUALLY SELL! Oh Boo Hoo Alan Moore doesn’t like it – fuck him. 

And yeah, it might actually benefit shops- you know, those Bricks and Mortar places where people go to buy comics, before the pirate assholes and Comixology tried to ruin us?

And seriously, man, lighten up – it’s only comics. Thats the third comment of your I’ve redflagged to the moderators.

 Whoa, sparky!   Kirkman’s “bullshit” that creators can make a living solely off creator owned material??!!  What part of that is bullshit?  Kirkman seems to be living pretty high off the hog thanks to Walking Dead, Invincible and soon Thief Of Thieves.  Not to mention his other various books.  And Dave, I care about you.  I really do.  Because someday you’re going to recommend the wrong book to the wrong person and they’re gonna come back to the store, hunt you down and make you pay for introducing them to the latest piece of garbage you’re pointing readers towards.  Seriously.  Tell me the truth – you’re only working at FP because they won’t hire you at the dress shop down the street, right? 

I do think artists and businesses should be held to different standards. Maybe its because I romanticize artists and see business as soul sucking money vacuums, so my heart and sympathy will always lie with the artist.

And actually re-reading my post, yea, I do contradict myself huh. I think it should read “The success of an artist is based on how well they are able to communicate to a large audience, which SHOULD be translated into sales.” I should have taken into account that sometimes the most honest of works aren’t always so popular. Money isn’t everything; the artists voice and message are.

You bring up a good point of Alan Moore as a brand name, but I don’t think its same. DC and Alan Moore have different goals as also demonstated by this debate. The people involved in the production & DC of BW aren’t taking any new risks that prompt congrats. Taking an existing property, which was as-close-to-“perfection” in its entirety, and expanding on it without approval from Alan is an exercise in frustration for fans, critics, and the comic book industry at large. Jim lee has stated that he wants Watchmen to remain relevant, but it always has been and will be. Maus and a Contract with God haven’t lost any of their impact or importance over the years, and this espicially holds up for Watchmen, as it’s influence is still evident everywhere within the Superhero comics community.

Lastly, sorry for such previous hostility. I got a little hotheaded. You responded rationally and like an adult who’s actually in a conversation. I apologize. This isn’t 4chan. :)

How much is Nick Spencer getting from the Thief tv project? About the same as Tony Moore for the Walking Dead, I guess. And considering how much Walking Dead we sell in the shop -how fucking dare you suggest I’d ever try to stop someone buying it.

*SIGH* Reading your comments, I can see what we are dealing with here. I’m not going to waste my breath on your retarded logic. I can tell that you are so far up Marvel’s ass that there is no return. Enjoy the next big cross-over event to end all crossovers! Also get ready for the next exciting major character death, and the next All-new all-different rebooted title!

Actually, I’ve cut back on pretty much all my comics – I’m reading two of the DC’s much vaunted “New 52″, and Marvel helpfully cancelled a ton of books that I liked, and I haven’t replaced them. The indy books I do buy are all established creators (Hickman;s new stuff, Saga) – but if I don’t know the creators, I’m not touching it.

And frankly, I’m not pushed about the Watchmen books. The Azzrello book I’ll buy – BECAUSE IT”S AZZRELLO. If he was writing the Erotic Adventures of Hercules I’d read it. 

But I think you’re going to be disapoinnted by the early sales numbers. 

Uncanny Avengers # 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So awesome! Right,  bro? Can’t wait for Wolverine to fight Spider-man and the Phoenixto inhabit and kill a hero. All the amazing original stories flowing from the house of ideas! 

how is it a gift? He created the character, it wasn’t given to him. He has stated time and time again that the one book he want’s to work on is Savage Dragon ( a character he created when he was a kid). He is now working a second gig on Liefeld’s Supreme. I know a ton of other writers that would love to use him. IF he wanted the work he could find it, but he’s doing what he loves–his own book. A lot of these comments sound like pure jealousy to me.

Nothing to do with the fact that the last time he graced the real world of work for hire it sucked……SUCKED!

Whatever dude. If it wasn’t For Image Comics, Marvel couldn’t raid all of the talent they have over the years. So did Bendis, Faction, Remender and the like ride on  the Image founder’s coat tails by getting discovered by their Image Comics work?

Well, Axel Alonso has said that he noticed Fraction after his Last Of The Independents book, which came out through Larry Young, and Remender was, gee, I dunno, working for Marvel, back when Busiek was doing Avengers.

Always find it funny when the Image fans say they’re trying to save the comics industry, when it was the founders decision to abandon Marvel that nearly killed comics stone dead.

you forgot to add your favorite tag-line: “I believe, and this is just my OPINION…”  Enjoy running a register at a comic book store. Maybe someday you will get to write your own funny book.

 Ok, THAT’S it.  I have sat here and watched you destroy his name so many times I have lost count – His name is BRIAN AZZARELLO!  If you are going to sell his books and slobber on his altar, AT LEAST SPELL HIS F@$KING NAME RIGHT!   And you only buy established creators??!!!  Holy hell, what kind of a lame comic “Worker” are you?!?!  If I only read “established names”, I never would have discovered Sixth Gun!  or Beanworld!  Or any number of other GREAT books out there!  How DARE you!  You have no business working in a comic store.  NONE.  Wow, you stun me, sparky.  Heaven knows how many great books you’ve steered people away from because they weren’t “ESTABLISHED” names.  You sad excuse for a comic reader.  (Let me guess…. you consider Dan DiDio an “established” name, right?  Even though I’ve read Letters To Penthouse that had more emotion and better storylines than his writing.)

Ok, I’ll TRY, and clarify. My reading habits are, mostly confined to the books, and characters I know, and yeah, the creators I know. I try and check out new stuff in the shop

You’ll “CLARIFY”??  I think you
already did when you said
“if I don’t know the creators, I’m not touching it.”  Sounds pretty straightforward to me, sparky.
Seriously, Dave.  You’re flip-flopping again.  Back & forth.
One moment you’re left, next you’re right, then suddenly you’ve fallen off the staircase.  Which is it, Dave!! FOR GOD’S SAKE, MAKE UP YOUR MIND!  Cuz we’ll all go utterly insane until we hear YOUR definitive view on whatever topic it currently is.  No, really.  You’re DA MAN, Dave.  You instinctively know what’s good, what’s bad and who isn’t even worth paying attention to in the writing world.  Thank god you’re here is all I’ve got to say.  (Actually, as you can tell, I’ve got LOTS more to say but I’m just having a little moment here and enjoying it thoroughly at your expense.)

Before Watchmen Good, Moore Bad, Larsen an asshole. Thats my mind made up. You, I haven’t decided yet. But hey, if you’ve got such a problem with bricks and mortar comic stores, with employees with a mind of their own, I’m sure Comixology will pirate something for you without having the nerve to like the corporate books we all grew up with.

And for that matter, answer me this, and if you give me a well thought out, reasoned answer, I might actually be more convival – when did it become a crime to like work for hire, corporate comics? I grew up with Spider-Man. I’ve known Spider-Man since I was five. I want to read Spider-Man comics. Why is it a crime that I’m willingly paying for  a spider-man comic, instead of something like The Sixth Gun? Give me a straight answer, and I’ll talk back the same. Might as well make something of this.

 Whereas I was wholeheartedly into this earlier, I’ve now gotten bored with this exchange.  (and dammit, it’s CONVIVIAL!  i thought you people invented english hehe)  The short answer to part of what you asked is:  You’re cheating yourself out of a world of possibilities just because you want to tow a party line and suck shaft at the Altar of the Big 2.  That’s fine.  There are enough smart readers out there like me who understand there is an entire world of great reading out there if you’ll just take the road less traveled.  oh my god this space is getting tinier… i don’t think i can breath for much longer…. ack! 

Ok, so let me ask you this. I have money to buy one comic this week – one is say…Prophet, and the other is Manhattan Projects. I pick MP, because its written by John Hickman and I know thats a mark of quality. Presumably you have a problem with my line of thinking?

 Then I would SAVE that money and wait for something worthwhile.  What – you HAVE to have a book or you’ll die?  No, you won’t.  So wait.  I wouldn’t read either of those two titles.  There are NO writers who I will buy sight unseen.  NONE.  Everybody writes a piece of shit sometime.  Ennis, Ellis, Millar and on and on.  They’ve all written something stupid or pointless to someone.  And BTW – I’m one of the guys responsible for killing retail shops – I buy all my books online and I trade wait.  Screw monthly issues.  Screw uninformed staff at local comic shops.  And screw writers & artists who can’t meet deadlines.  Which is actually what killed monthlies for me for good.  Got tired of the crappy excuses and even crappier output.  And Comixology?  Well, I’m an old school paper book person.  I have a collection of over 600 graphic novels and tpb/hc collections and would never convert it to digital over paper.  On the other hand, I do carry scanned versions of some of the books around on my iPad.  It’s my right, in my opinion.  I bought the books therefore I should be able to read them on any device I so choose.  So I either find the torrents or hand scan them. 

Sorry, thought you were PK. My point still stand though.

But they didn’t become established successful creators until they had published most of their work through Image. How come you didn’t address Bendis hmmmm?

And that’s the only way to deal with this ‘controversy’ if you’re a fan of Moore’s work.  Bickering with his detractors is pointless.  Some people hate the man and his work and you’re wasting your breath (or keystrokes) trying to change their opinion.  I dropped over ten monthly ongoing titles from DC and seriously debate picking up anything new from them from this point on (Vertigo more or less excluded, at least until iZombie wraps up).  I’ll avoid the work of the creators involved in faux-Watchmen going forward regardless of who publishes it. 

Larsen’s right, vote with your wallet, not with your outrage.  Like his work or not, he got out of the ‘gotta do what the suits want, got bills to pay’ mentality 20 years ago.

Bottom line is, it’s marketing — Before Watchmen is DC’s big 2012 ‘event’ to counter Marvel, and they needed a really big gun to overpower all the buzz from the Avengers film.  They already rebooted their entire main continuity as a surprise last year, so in order to go up to 11 they really had to go out on a limb — and they need material to work from in order to get another Watchmen film going, so that kills two birds with one stone. 

What’s up for next year?  Probably the revelation that the pre-Flashpoint DCU still exists and the New 52 takes place on Earth-52.  Or that the pre-Crisis continuity still exists. Or that they all exist and now they can do alternate series set in multiple continuities, with an extra little numerical icon on the cover so you can tell which Earth you’re looking at, if the costume variations of the characters aren’t that obvious.   Whatever will shock people more and create more ‘buzz’, because DC’s strategy is one big showy event after another, instead of just consistently publishing good comics that don’t spark an internet frenzy.  No free publicity in that . . .

No, you’re a liar, because you completely ignored my point  -Fraction did SOME work for Image – not all of it. Remender did SOME work for Image, then saw sense and took Fear Agent to Dark Horse, and Bendis started at Caliber. There is not one created who has made an entire career off of creator owned books. Indeed the most successful creators, are, wait for it, the ones who combine both – such as Warren Ellis,  Mark Waid, Brian Vaughn, Mark Millar, Greg Rucka

Oh my god! Tell me about it! how do I red flag him too!?! haha…
He has made so many mean and hateful comments just because people dont agree with his opinion.
He’s coming across like a bitter jaded little man who has nothing else in his life….
 

*SIGH* I was going to reply, but you are so thickheaded, I don’t even think you understand what you are trying to say or respond to. Never did I say that creators should ONLY do creator owned stuff. I think Robert Kirkman may be the only one who has said that from Image. I’m done with you. I honestly can’t believe you work at a comic shop. Simply amazing.

Jeebus Christmas Eik Lartsen it’s a f*cking comic book! “Have you no decency?” How about “Have you no sense of porportionate response?”

No you didn’t.

Thankfully, Larsen and Moore have chosen to use characters where the creators are deceased and unable to object.
 

@Green Lantern: You’re not doing yourself any favors claiming to be a big fan of someone WHOSE NAME YOU CAN’T EVEN SPELL RIGHT. It’s EriK LarsEn.

Hey, read the comments! Have to agree with DIRT. Larsen is a tool. And all you idiot fan boys can go jump in the lake! Before Watchmen is a COMIC!!!! Read them or don’t . No one cares! Moore is also a tool with his head up his own …. HE WRITES COMICS….. Hello? Comic books! Moore worked on Batman, Swamp Thing, Superman…. All characters HE DID NOT create. Idiots!

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