I had a couple of posts planned--a review of the new Prince of Persia game, book reviews, and maybe a thinky post on Dollhouse--but then I found out that Alan Moore did another interview, and his delicious bitter flavored crazy is like candy to me. Soul and tooth enamel destroying candy. And this means I get to share it all with you!
I'm picking and choosing my favorite questions and answers, and there is one in there that I'm convinced was meant just for me, but we'll get to that later, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone.
Word: You're very scathing on the state of today's superhero comics. Did you watch Heroes?
Moore: I was persuaded to watch it by people who said it nods to Watchmen but God, what a load of rubbish! It's a late-70s X-Men at best and full of terrible ideas and characters who've all been done to death. Beyond death. And the writing shows such contempt for the viewer. The climax, a man who is going to explode is carried off into the air by his brother... did anybody bother to compare the effects of a groundburst with an airburst nuclear explosion? I'll take the former over the latter, thanks. This is supposed to be the sort of thing that superhero stories are good at. I tell you, if we are ever threatened with a scenario like that in real life I hope the superheroes aren't American because we'll be sunk.
So does Alan Moore like anything? Although to be fair on this, Heroes does like to smack its viewers around, as seen by season two and the first half of season 3, and possibly the second half, although I'm holding out hope.
Moore says that this is supposed to be the sort of thing that superhero stories are good at, but what is he referring to? Avoiding nuclear explosion? General world saving? Be more specific, Alan Moore. Also, this is the second interview that I've seen where he blames America for everything. Dude, buddy, your books still sell over here, so maybe could you lighten up just a tad? Possibly tone down the bitterness just a smidgen? Or, you know, just go off on another crazy rant. That's good too, I guess.
Oh, and he ended his response to that question with this: This is why I don't work in movies or TV. It is almost physically impossible to tell a real story there. Well, that and you are a gigantic snob whose beard keeps eating the producers.
Word: Graphic novels like Watchmen, V For Vendetta and Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns were supposed to usher in a new era of comics for adults. What went wrong?
Moore: Ah yes, the new era of grown-up comics! That worked out, didn't it? There really should have been more to comics than 20 years of grim, nasty remakes of Watchmen. The comics world was very optimistic in the late 80s and maybe what we thought was the beginning was actually the high point......And the other side of the comics industry, the achingly trendy, avant garde books, they're mired in a teenage worldview too. All they provide are comfort eating comics about neuroses and the emptiness of modern life and fear of dying alone.
So Alan Moore really does hate everything, or at least everything that he hasn't written. What does Alan Moore consider to be a grown-up comics? Superhero comics were and still are considered to be aimed at children, and due to the long continuity and various freaking unnecessary company wide events, I can see understand Moore's argument that there are not any story lines with depth or lasting effects.
But the indy comics he's talking about, well, I have to disagree. Sure, I can see how his argument might apply to Blankets (and this where Darcy will yell at me), but there are some books, like Alcoholic and Funhouse, while working as a visual memoir, are explorations of family and self, and are much bigger than they appear.
And, hey, Alan Moore, I know that you've worked with those themes you cite up there, so are we including you on this list now?
Alan Moore had this to say about Battlestar Galactica: I have seen the first half of the final series of Battlestar Galactica. It's well done, but I'll reserve judgment until I've seen the final episodes, because it could, as with so many of these things, end up as a bit of a mess. ... I feel that the big problem with most of these programs is that people start off with the good beginnings of an idea. That is disastrous because that is enough to get a show commissioned. So you've got the beginnings of a good idea and if it's not brought to its conclusion properly, it won't be a good idea at all; it'll be a waste of everybody's time.
I'm a little surprised by this, because BSG is so dark and grim and unhappy that I though Alan Moore would use his warlock powers and immigrate to the show. I just like how bitter he is here: "that is disastrous because that is enough to get a show commissioned." Oh, Alan Moore, you hate everything connected with Hollywood, don't you? I think some of this might stem from the fact that his beard is not photogenic.
Moore: Frank Miller, I haven't been able to read him for some time. Have you seen his latest idea? It is - and I can hardly believe this - Batman vs Al Qaeda. What can you say to an idea as absurd as that? This is our response to the Iraq war? Miller's trapped in a teenage world of macho violence. Look at Sin City. Every woman is a bloodthirsty, semi-naked whore; every man is a indestructible killing machine. It's nasty, misogynist, Neanderthal Teenage, but it sells.
Oh, Alan Moore, you are a bitter, crazy, be-bearded mountain man after my own heart. And by that I mean please don't take my still beating heart for your collection.
I really want Frank Miller to respond to this because it would eventually escalate to a cage match between the two and then we'll see Alan Moore's beard release it's full rage on poor, hapless, INSANE Frank Miller and it will be awesome.
We have now reached the point where Alan Moore becomes a caricature of himself and I am totally vindicated:
WORD:You've now dedicated yourself to the practise and exploration of magic. Does it work? Do you use it to a purpose: "I curse you, DC Comics, for nicking V For Vendetta off me" and so on?
MOORE: Well if I had I wouldn't tell you, would I, ha ha! I do have a few personal rituals which I pursue from time to time and all I can say is, my personal wellbeing and belief system are in pretty good shape. I do have quite an old and rare book called The Grimoire Of The Spirit Of The Place which purports to be written by "an old sea captain" and details how you can summon up and capture the local spirit using a pig - although apparently if you have the book you don't need to kill the pig, which is good. I might give that a try soon; it fits with my interest in psychogeography and the locality of Northampton. I like my magic to be public. That way, if it's ridiculous, people know.
So when I said you were a warlock, Alan Moore, I was mostly joking, and yet you actually own grimoire written by a drunk old sea captain. Like John Hodges said on The Daily Show, it's emergency Christmas and this is my emergency Christmas present! Thanks, zombie Jesus!
I had to discuss this with Darcy and we both agree that Alan Moore is just a tiny step away from becoming a super villain. It's a good thing he doesn't actually accept any money from the movies they adapt from his work, because then he would buy an entire island fortress and a space laser and threaten the United Nations every other week.
Alan Moore will basically become Dr. Doom and start referring to himself in the third person: "Alan Moore demands that no one but Alan Moore writes comics. Alan Moore wants America to admit its a little bitch and to just give up. Alan Moore demands more pigs for Alan Moore's dark rituals. Alan Moore's beard thirst for the flesh of the innocent. Alan Moore demands the finest velvet hats are made especially for him."
It's only a matter of time before Alan Moore gets his hands on a thermo-nuclear weapon and holds the world hostage. Also, his beard will become more elaborate and wild until it covers his entire face and no human weapon can so much as dent its impenetrable hair.
I don't know about you folks, but I for one welcome our new bearded overlord.
Go here to see more of Alan Moore's interview.