Jason Aaron vs. Alan Moore

The Internet is in an uproar over Jason Aaron's latest column, in which he takes Alan Moore to task for comments made in a recent interview. Moore said, in part:

Alan MooreWhen Dave Gibbons phoned me up, he assured me that these [Watchmen] prequels and sequels would be handled by ‘the industry's top-flight talents'.  Now, I don't think that the contemporary industry actually has a ‘top-flight' of talent.  I don't think it's even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent…

At the end of the day, if they haven't got any properties that are valuable enough, but they have got these ‘top-flight industry creators' that are ready to produce these prequels and sequels to Watchmen, well this is probably a radical idea, but could they not get one of the ‘top-flight industry creators' to come up with an idea of their own?  Why are DC Comics trying to exploit a comic book that I wrote 25 years ago if they have got anything?  Sure they ought to have had an equivalent idea since?  I could ask about why Marvel Comics are churning out or planning to bring out my ancient Marvelman stories, which are even older, if they had a viable idea of their own in the quarter-century since I wrote those works.  I mean, surely that would be a much easier solution than all of this clandestine stuff?  Just simply get some of your top-flight talent to put out a book that the wider public outside of the comics field find as interesting or as appealing as the stuff that I wrote 25 years ago.  It shouldn't be too big an ask, should it?  I wouldn't have thought so.  And it would solve an awful lot of problems.  They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago.  It would be insulting to think that there weren't.

Aaron responded, in part, by saying:

Apparently it's my fault, as a modern-day comic creator, that poor Alan Moore continues to be so bedeviled by Marvel and DC. If I just didn't suck so bad, along with all my peers, then comic book companies wouldn't have to keep making Moore so miserable.
***
As a fan, I'd just rather not support someone who so blatantly insults me and my friends.

I know comics has always had and will always have its share of bitter old men. And usually those guys have every right to be bitter as the industry has a long track record of fucking over creators. But I've never had one of them actually blame me for their problems before.

Jason Aaron is ticked off with Alan Moore, and I understand where he's coming from. He acknowledges having been a huge Moore fan up until these comments, and a lot of us know from experience that what your idols say carries a lot more impact than, let's say, something coming from some random Internet denizen. To the point where maybe sometimes we read more into their comments than is intended.

Aaron sums up Moore's comments as blaming the current generation of comics creators for his troubles with DC and Marvel, but I think he's being somewhat facetious there. Alan's anger is pretty clearly directed towards the companies who he feels have disregarded his rights as creator but have continued to exploit his work for profit for decades. In the process, that anger splashes over and manages to make some rude insinuations about people who aren't involved. But I don't think anyone really believes that Moore is saying "All these troubles I've had with the companies over the years are the fault of today's creators."

WatchmenWhich brings us to Aaron's real complaint, that Moore is being insulting towards today's creators. Well, at the very least, he's being dismissive and a bit rude. He's trying to make a point that the companies should stop feeding off of his old work and start relying on new creations, and does so in the form of a challenge with a harsh and sarcastic tone. It's the equivalent of trash talk on the basketball court ; "You ain't got nothing!" I agree that it isn't entirely fair to make comments that appear to dismiss an entire generation, just because you're angry at their employers. But sometimes that kind of confrontational language is needed to get your point across. If he'd simply said "I wish they would stop exploiting my work and rely on new stuff," we wouldn't be discussing his comments at all, would we? And this is an important discussion to have.

So, to address Moore's central question, why CAN'T the companies turn out something today that achieves the success and acclaim of Watchmen? Vertigo author G. Willow Wilson says, "We may indeed all suck, but we’re also writing in a much more cynical, conservative, and oh yeah BROKE era. If Alan Moore started writing today, I’m doubtful he could have achieved the same prominence. Esp with his politics. Market is gun-shy." I think that's strikes at the heart of it; Watchmen was as much a product of its era as it was of its creators. There might BE the next Watchmen out there, but because of the distribution system and long-term strategic errors on the part of the publishers, it would have a much harder time of garnering the attention that Watchmen did. I suspect that Moore is aware of these subtleties, but again, he's being somewhat glib and sarcastic in an effort to get his point across. Is there more the publishers could be doing to promote new material instead of relying on the old? Yes, but it would take someone in charge with a combination of vision and resources to do that, and it seems most publishers have one or the other these days, but not both.

ScalpedIs Alan Moore bitter, as Aaron suggests? That's hard to argue with. He's been through a lot with these companies, too much to recap here. He's definitely angry and probably not a little disgusted with what he sees as morally and creatively bankrupt behavior on the part of those companies. Yet I think bitterness implies some sort of long-term preoccupation with a subject, and we can't know that; for all we know, he passes his days happily in Northampton, and doesn't think about Marvel or DC until some comics journalist asks him for an interview.

Aaron's conclusion is that he won't support Moore's work anymore, because of what he sees as insults directed towards him and his friends. That's certainly his prerogative, as it is the right of every consumer. Yet I think if I were Aaron, I wouldn't take it so personally; Moore is up front about not reading current comics, so he can't possibly be passing judgement on them. At worst, they're innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire of the justifiable anger of someone who's contributed more to the medium than most alive today. I think some angry comments can and should be forgiven.

I think though, more unfortunate than Aaron or other creators not supporting Moore's work, is the thought that in the midst of his anger at DC and Marvel, Moore has been so turned off comics that he really isn't aware if there is anything truly good out there. I like Andy Diggle's suggestion to send him some of today's best indie comics, but I'd expand upon that.

Those of us currently reading know there ARE still great comics being made today (both indie and mainstream) and who wouldn't love to say they were able to introduce one of the masters of the medium to a great new comic? What if we could send Alan some of our favorites, and maybe even get his thoughts on them? I know I for one would love to hear what Alan Moore actually thinks of current comics. Because I don't think we yet have.

 


Matt Adler votes for Scalped to be the first comic sent to Alan Moore.

Comments

  1. craigcpowell craigcpowell says:

    It’s like a comic book soap opera.

  2. Diabhol Diabhol says:

    I swear, when a journalist talks to Alan Moore, somewhere in the world a fetus miscarries.

  3. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    Battle of the beards. I think both of them have good points, and you summed it up perfectly, Matt. If nothing else, Moore’s gripes get people thinking about and discussing the current status quo of the industry, and that always a good thing. Even if it is painful at times.

  4. Slockhart Slockhart says:

    Alan Moore has a good point, but the blame is misguided. The talent is at blame, yes, but so are the publishers and audience for being unwilling to take risks. Without the opportunity to make new things, of course the talent’s going to keep going back to the well.  The industry is a broken system, but the only people with enough power to do anything about it are either closing their eyes or they’re not recognizing all the causes of the problem and putting all the blame on one aspect of it.

  5. At first, like Mr. Aaron, I was quite angered by Mr. Moore’s words, but your article has indeed caused me to see both perspectives. I now think that Moore was more likely having a (sarcastic) go at companies who fail to reconise new talent, which is inaccurate, but not entirely untrue.

    On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with revering old stories. Even if Marvel or DC was putting out comics that rivalled Watchmen every week, I’d still read Moore’s old stuff.

  6. If I see the next League book in Jason Aaron’s hand then I’ll get angry!

    So much pent up rage for a guy who does rants like this all the time. Does anyone not know he’s just a cynical old man or did Aaron really forget that? 

  7. OnASunday OnASunday says:

    Now, I don’t think that the contemporary industry actually has a ‘top-flight’ of talent.  I don’t think it’s even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent…”

    That offends me and I’m just a reader. Moore’s a dick.

  8. AMuldowney AMuldowney says:

    I’m pretty glad that the creator who finally decided to punch back was Jason Aaron. 

  9. NOK NOK says:

    I really hate the term “bitter old man” it makes me cringe. What does his age have to do with it? would some one say “bitter young man” no they would say your bitter. Jason Aaron you just let me down the same way you feel let down by Moore’s always relevant yet reactionary comments. I will no longer buy your work!

    Ok I’m kidding, I don’t care what opinions creators have as long as they put in good work.

    @MattAdler I totally agree with you. There is a point to made here: Fans and creators alike need to come out of their caves. With all the movies coming out we are going to have our fifteen minutes of fame and we need to show people that we have something for everyone: young or old newbies and veterans.

    Just simply get some of your top-flight talent to put out a book that the wider public outside of the comics field find as interesting or as appealing as the stuff that I wrote 25 years ago.  It shouldn’t be too big an ask, should it?  I wouldn’t have thought so.  And it would solve an awful lot of problems.  They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago.  It would be insulting to think that there weren’t. 
     
    I don’t think he means to say that what is out there is not good enough, but that most of it does not relate to a wider audience. Too many writers play it safe by catering to the same group of people that they know will buy their shit and don’t take the risk. Cheers to those creators who do take a risk, you are the ones who make me proud to be a fangirl.

  10. Rhymer Rhymer says:

    I don’t think one should send comics to the man. He shows contempt to what we like. And our answer is to send him some books to convince him that we or the books we like are worthwhile and sometimes brilliant? Such a behaviour seems kind of humiliating to me. If he wants to ignore comics just let him. It’s his decision to judge about things he cannot have a real impression about because he hasn’t read them. What to we care about that?

  11. Chris Rohling Anson17 says:

    Saying Aaron hasn’t taken risks in his writing surprises me. Scalped is one enormous risk. It’s a damn shame it doesn’t sell well. 

    Also, can this be known as the Battle of the Beards? 

  12. Matt Adler MattAdler says:

    @Rhymer  Well, personally, I always get a kick out of introducing people to new comics. And however offensive his comments may have been, they can’t negate his contributions to the medium; getting Alan Moore hooked on a new comic would be like convincing Orson Welles to go to a movie he wound up digging (Welles said his share of obnoxious things, too). There’s no guarantee he WOULD read something he was sent (or even that his reps would pass it on to him, assuming they read this) but I think it’d be worth a shot.

  13. Rhymer Rhymer says:

    @MattAdler  I respect that, of course. But I don’t think, this man (who has written some of my favourite books out there) has the necessary open-mindedness to read anything, for example by DC or Marvel, without being utterly biased. If he had, he wouldn’t give statements like that.

  14. Has some of the sentiment of Kirkman’s ideas that pissed off a lot of people.

    Personally, I think Alan Moore is a literary great among the ranks of the greatest writers in history.

    I don’t think I’d put any other comic writer there other than maybe MAYBE Warren Ellis.

    And after thinking about it for a second, not even Ellis.

    Even in this current comic market that is filled with outstanding writers, I don’t think they can produce the equivalent of his masterpieces.

    My big problem with his argument is this dismissive attitude towards his own work that he seems to feel is not that great cuz it was created 25 years ago. Art doesn’t keep getting better with the years. Quality comes and goes and comes again.

    The industry as a whole is much more sophisticated than it was when Moore was producing literary masterpieces.

    He should acknowledge that.

    Alan Moore is also a sorcerer.

  15. Asking Alan Moore about modern comics is like asking Roger Ebert about videogames. Pointless bullshit meant for clicks.

  16. djd djd says:

    I feel like I get where each guy is coming from, even if I don’t totally agree. Moore is tired of all the hassles he’s had with DC, and thinks, “Why do they keep bugging me about Watchmen? Hasn’t anything else come out since then that they can work with?” Seems like a legit feeling, but he phrases it in a way that makes it seem like he’s saying, “If these new guys could just produce something worthwhile, I wouldn’t have all these hassles.” And I can see how a hard-working, talented creator would be upset by that, even if I myself can just brush it off.

  17. NOK NOK says:

    @Anson17 I am not saying Jason Aaron does not take risks, I love Scalped too! 

  18. JesTr JesTr says:

    Great article!!!! Moore makes some good points but he always comes off as an asshole. Then again, maybe he uses that to get his point across. It’s understandable why Aaron is mad but if he picked apart the article like you then maybe he wouldn’t take it as personably.

    Moore says, “They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago.  It would be insulting to think that there weren’t.”

    There are several creators out there that put out top notch work, equivalent or better than Watchmen. However, even though that is the case, DC and Marvel exploit his old stories becasue they can make money.  It’s that simple and yes it sucks for Moore but that is any company in any media. The families of Shuster and Schultz could say the same thing about Superman and they have to some extent.

  19. Alan Moore quote, (for those claiming he hates “us”): “I’ve always said that I will probably love the comic book medium forever.”

    Taken from the same article.

    Moore needs to step away from comic media/industry completely. He is letting it dull his usually sharp intellect and ruin old friendships with other talented creators.

    (Some of his arguments are flimsy and I’m not down with him having other creators have to kiss his pinky ring in thanks for film money . . .)

  20. kmob181 kmob181 says:

    I think they both have excellent beards.

  21. djd djd says:

    @JesTr  Great point! I remember reading that Alan Moore threatened to kill some DC editor (jokingly, I’m sure) if he didn’t get to write the ‘final’ Superman story. (“Whatever Happened to the Man from Tomorrow”). So he too has written stories for other creators’ classic characters.

    Having said that, I personally would rather not see any Watchmen sequels.

  22. kirkjt kirkjt says:

    I love creative people.  I love talented people who make things that others enjoy consuming.  However, why is “creator’s rights” such an issue in the comic book world?  How many of you work for a place either creating software, designing products, selling solutions etc. and retain no ongoing rights to that prduct?  If I want to own the rights to everything I do then I need to go out on my own, find my own financing and take all the risks.  If I want to work at a Fortune 500 company and do that same thing then my risks are minimal but also I do not retain the rights to any of it.

    That is the corporate world, the end.  Alan Moore, you should have written Watchmen as an Indie comic and retained your rights.  There is a good chance it would have sold 5,000 copies and never gotten the exposure it did, but it would be all yours.  However, you didn’t so deal with it.  Someone else owns it, they financed it, you did the work for hire and they own it.

     

  23. tschafer tschafer says:

    Moore comments to me sound like a challenge to the current writers…back handed, but still a challenge

  24. AmirCat AmirCat says:

    @MattAdler  – really like the points you make.

    Personally I feel what Moore is saying is that DC and Marvel is just rahashing the same characters over and over without creating new ones. I don’t think he is putting down people like Kirkman or anyone who produces indie comics (which includes part of Jason Aaron.) But Moore needs to read comics if he is going to insult them. Vertigo owned by DC publishes some amazing comic books.

    Alan Moore is just a grumpy old man who complains, he happens to be heard more cause he is the greatest comic book writer ever. Jason Aaron is one of my favorite writers and people in comics, but he needs to relax. :)

  25. AmirCat AmirCat says:

    BTW if you ever hear or see Moore talk, you’ll notice he says tons of stuff in jest. Some of the quotes from him that get misconstrued are said in a Jokey way …

  26. “But could they not get one of the ‘top-flight industry creators’ to come up with an idea of their own?” …says the “creator” of Wonder Woman Promethea and Charlton-Character-Murder-Mystery.

  27. OliverTwist OliverTwist says:

    Great article, The point “  If Alan Moore started writing today, I’m doubtful he could have achieved the same prominence.” , where would the industry be if he hadn’t injected these ideas which  helped evolve an industry. When any industry wasn’t as open to opportunity as it is today.
     I thought Alan’s comment was directed at the big two. Hell, he’s doing a book through Avatar press.

    Honestly, do we need a prequel or sequel to Watchmen, we get the inference. We may get a scenario like Astro city, where a lot of people were disappointed by the Dark Ages.

  28. Alan Moore is the Royal Tennanbaum of comics “I’m an a##hole…thats just my style” …you just can’t get offended with what he says, because his M.O. is to piss people off. 

    I don’t think the Big 2 would publish the Watchmen today. I think its been written about in the past on this site, but with the current state of comics, the Big 2 (excluding Vertigo) are less interested in creating new things than they are harvesting new ideas with old, established (and marketable) characters that they already own.  

  29. SirCox SirCox says:

    There’s a ton of creative, boundary pushing stuff being released today. I think it’s unfair to say there isn’t. I mean Watchmen was huge when it came out and it is a masterpiece but people act like Jesus walked out of the book and started throwing around miracles when it came out. The reason there hasn’t been a book with that much effect in a while is for a few reasons. Off the top of my head, one of the biggest is the fact that comic sales are a quarter of what they were back then.

  30. dgazzuolo dgazzuolo says:

    Great article.

    Moore could have easily just said, “You want prequels to a beloved story made years ago?…Watch the Star Wars prequels again, then get back to me.”

    365 Days of Comics

  31. OliverTwist OliverTwist says:

    @SirCox, lol good name, I think this whole discussion keeps coming up because the industry wants those numbers. There wouldn’t be any talk of prequels or sequels if the sales weren’t a problem.

  32. fanbla72 says:

    both of these clowns can stick to writing and less speaking and we’ll be saved the embarrassment of watching them trip over their massive egos.

  33. Unoob Unoob says:

    It’s like the only thing we get out of Moore is “Pissy Pissy whine whine” condescension lately. Dude the world doesn’t work the way you want it to. Sorry. Yeah you made some great fucking comics, but if you’re done, shut the fuck up. You signed the shit you signed and if anyone is doing anything contrary to whatever you signed, then take legal action. If not, don’t expect the fans and the industry to have our collective tongues up your ass, and also stop expecting us to treat your work as the Tablets Moses brought down off the fucking mountain. Good Lord you would think he was the only one that has ever come up with an original idea. Part of comics is to build on past stories….. You know what? It’s not worth it. I just about threw my iPad against the wall writing this, and his bizzaro shit storm aint worth the 600 bucks it’ll take to replace it.

  34. lukehopkins lukehopkins says:

    i just hate that he turned my favorit superhero into a heroin addicted jazz critic without any powers.

  35. Moore is up front about not reading current comics, so he can’t possibly be passing judgement on them.”

    He’s clearly making a judgement on them, since he says he doubts that the industry nowadays even has a bottom-talent, let alone a top. To me, Moore talking about that without even looking at some of top talents today is almost more insulting than if had his finger on the pulse at all. Hell, if he had read anything that wasn’t published before 1978, that might actually give more credence to his argument. It just sounds like a blanket insult to, yes, a bitter man who’s openly pissing on the people that he had inspired. 

  36. kennyg kennyg says:

    Moore’s right. He created original stuff and didn’t exploit works by Jules Verne, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shakespeare…

    Oh. Never mind!

  37. adickhead says:

    jason aaron is such a baby.

  38. How is it that everyone is giving Moore a pass when he clearly took a shot at modern creators by saying, “Now, I don’t think that the contemporary industry actually has a ‘top-flight’ of talent.  I don’t think it’s even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent…”

    That is the statement Aaron has a problem with. Sure, Moore is rightfully pissed about how he’s been treated by the publishers. But the publishers aren’t who he’s attacking in that comment. I mean, he’s said it himself, he doesn’t even read comics anymore. Yet he claims there is no “top-flight” talent in comics today?

    I think Aaron is spot on, and Moore is just a cranky, seemingly ignorant jerk-off in regards to this specific comment.

  39. Matt Adler MattAdler says:

    It’s a snarky comment to be sure, but again, it’s the equivalent of trash talk on the basketball court. I doubt he actually believes there is no talent left in comics, any more than someone who says “My momma could dunk on you” believes that. He may be painting with a broad brush, but in the context of his anger over the idea that some alleged “top flight talent” is ready to start work on a project that he has long-standing personal objection to, I understand it.

  40. I think Alan Moore read Batwoman on Detective Comics. You know he likes J.H. Williams III and gay people. 
    I am imagining it right now…

    Moore is the only person who should be able to do a prequel to Watchmen but he can’t. Why? because the big two have failed us both.

  41. AmirCat AmirCat says:

    @fanbla72  haha true dat!

  42. For all you talking shit, I hope he puts a hex on you.

    Still want iFanboy to go for the Alan Moore interview.

  43. Just really looked at the title of this article.

    Alan Moore: Watchmen, V, Swamp Thing, From Hell, Top Ten, Promethea, League

    vs.

    Jason Aaron: Scalped

    Love me some Aaron, but there is really no versus in this matchup.

  44. wayne2001bc wayne2001bc says:

    Instead of sending Moore a Scalped trade, Aaron should cut off his beard and send that to him.  That’s keeping it real.

  45. jmstump jmstump says:

    How is this any different from when he started talking shit about blackest night not being an original idea? If I remember correctly another big fan of his, Robinson came out against him then as well.  I tend not to listen to Alan Moore anymore because all he does is talk shit when I read an interview.
     

  46. TheMaestroX TheMaestroX says:

    About time someone put Moore in his place.
    Just because the man wrote some stories we enjoyed, doesn’t mean he is an infallible god.
    Moore is an example of one man believing his own hype.
    I’m glad Aaron has the balls to stand up to him. EVeryone else is too scared to say what they think.

  47. Andrew Andrew says:

    V For Vendetta is one of my favorite pieces of literature of all time and I fucking love Watchmen, but at this point in my life I enjoy Scalped more than either of those works. Strangely, it doesn’t affect how view this tiny tiff.  Alan Moore has proven himself clueless on the current greatness in contemporary comics, so when he pops off it doesn’t bother me any more than if my grandmother made a crack about the funnies we read. 

    What I find most interesting is that a big time creator is bold enough to publicly nay-say the god of comic books, knowing thousands of fans will mock and criticize him. I think we’ll forget about all this in a week (or a day).

  48. Crucio Crucio says:

    Watchmen and V for Vendetta are both 10 out 10 books. So`s Scalped, personally I give the edge to Scalped, I think it`s better.

    I said it and stand by it. 

  49. Alan Moore’s comments were predicated off of the fact that DC claimed “top flight creators” will be working on watchmen prequels.

    Moores comments were not” i am great, everyone sucks” but rather…

    if dc currently has employeed the “top flight creators” that they claim, why not have them publish their own works?

    logically it can be for only 2 reasons:

    1. no such “top flight creators” exist.

    2. DC is not willing to let these “top flight creators” publish daring new works like watchmen.

    if the “top flight creator” comment is true, i do not think you can argue with the logic.

    Moore’s actual point, I believe, was 2 fold:

    1. to show DC comics as a money grubbing corporation that pretends to make art.

    2. to rile up current creators to demand the freedom he fought for at the 2 large companies.

    I dare say he was successful at both.

  50. muddi900 says:

    You know that is a rather misleading headline. Jason Aaron’s post was a rant, like Moore’s interviews, and it was very one-sided.

    I understand why Jason Aaron is angry. But he’s a writer, a very good one, and he could have come up with a better way to express it. As it is, he sounds like a teenager with daddy issues.

  51. muddi900 says:

    Also, I think commenting on Alan Moore’s crazy rants is pointless. He lives in his own bubble and his rants are very useless. Irrelevant even.

  52. When are people going to realize Moore has been like this almost his entire career? And also, when are they going to realize that most of what he says, as annoyed in tone that they are, that they do have a good amount of truth to them?

    This will all disappear by the start of next week and people will love Alan again. Wouldn’t be surprised if Aaron does some sort of ‘apology’ next week for what he said. 

  53. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    @TheNextChampion  I don’t think he’d recant. He strikes me as someone that is pretty measured with his words.

  54. Now, I don’t think that the contemporary industry actually has a ‘top-flight’ of talent.  I don’t think it’s even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent…

    I think this pretty much states that comic book writers have no talent.

    Isn’t this original article from August 2010?

  55. Nick Fovargue Bootmobile says:

    When this interview with Moore was published I seem to remember a lot of creators took it as an insult, so Aaron is not off the mark or alone in feeling that way. 

    Whether Moore was deliberately trying to take a shot at current creators or not, the fact is he did and I believe he meant what he said, even if they were not his target. Also, that interview with Moore was actually a fair while ago so this wasn’t just an off the cuff, knee jerk reaction from Aaron. He has had time to really think about his feelings on the subject. 

    Alan Moore is off his nut and has been for some time. The problem only gets worse with time. The comic world would do well to ignore and forget the Moore of today and just enjoy the work he did in the past. “Fuck that guy,” may be a bit extreme but it is not unprovoked or unjustified. Given how freely Moore has always been about badmouthing people in public, in my book, he isn’t getting anything he doesn’t deserve.

  56. @bootmobile: Yes let’s ignore League: Century and the rest of the sequels he does. Which is usually 95% better then what comes out for comics.

  57. This is why I don’t care or read what creators say.  

  58. Mangaman Mangaman says:

    @jashcraft1014  now now. This is entertaining. I just need some popcorn and some soda and this’d be perfect.

  59. Mangaman Mangaman says:

    Also, I really enjoy Moore’s political viewpoint. They are very unamerican which is refreshing from the drivel some of the ocean of docile bodies spew out. And I’m not alone, there are more of us out there, just maybe not on Sam’s soil.

  60. @jokingofcourse, thanks, saved me from having to write that, that’s exactly what Moore was doing.  I’m surprised Aaron, who I like a lot, didn’t see that for himself.
    And to those who say that League is exactly the same as someone doing a Watchmen prequel…madness.  Do any of you really think any prequel they make of Watchmen will have any of the innovativeness, style or intelligence that Moore put into League?  Really?
    There are of course top creators at DC and Marvel, but instead of doing Watchmen Jason Aaron does a Wolverine and Spiderman team-up whilst Bendis, who has the chops and the most power, does Avengers sitting around eating pizza.

     

  61. syngar98 syngar98 says:

    a few things that come to mind….

    1) since when has “it’s the truth” been an excuse for dbaggery? If a school teacher called your child an idiot, you’d be ranting and pushing to get them fired, at teh very least you’d consider no longer supporting their school via funding

    2) why is “that’s just the way he is” a defense for his commentary. Someone mentioned the royal tennenbaum and said you can’t get angry about it, uhhh actually tennenbaum was a jagoff and people hated him for it. NO ONE blamed them for it either.

    3) I personally can’t stand hero worship. Alan Moore is a very able writer, but creativity is NOT the same thing as originality and vice versa. If Arthur conan doyle was alive today would he say “why can’t this hack create his own characters and not rehash something I wrote a century ago?” Obviously that’s tongue in cheek, but the point stands, the crochety old limey is hypocritical, far too egotistical and acts far to entitled. He should be grateful, that in a very unrewarding field, he has been as successful as he has been. 
    Frankly with his poor attitude I’d rather have a Claremont.

  62. Nick Fovargue Bootmobile says:

    @TheNextChampion Fair enough if you are still enjoying his recent work I would amend the statement to say let’s ignore what the man has to say outside of his work.

    I don’t have any particular beef with any of his work, I just find his consistently crank-like behaviour to be disappointing and aggravating. The man has the right to act in any way he chooses but we would be better off, I think, if we stopped paying attention.

    He could be an elder statesmen and ambassador for the industry and comics in general. He could be passing on something to the creators who have come after. He doesn’t owe anybody those things of course but how he conducts himself instead is a pretty dick move to a lot people who have done nothing more to him than appreciate and buy his work.

    One of the let downs of fandom is that liking the art doesn’t always mean liking the artist.

  63. OliverTwist OliverTwist says:

    @syngar98, lol… He’s pissed as well, thanks you tube.

  64. muddi900 says:

    I am with Bootmobile. To give an example of another outspoken creator; Bill Willingham. I love Fables, but I dont really like the guy behind it.

    I do think that Moore’s recent out put has been better than any of Aaron’s work, especially with Marvel, so if it’s a case of quality of output…Moore wins.

  65. Muady Muady says:

    I think that Jason Aaron needs to put on some big boy pants, you know? His article comes across as rather petty, the kind of rant that would appear in the Newsarama forums and would be swiftly forgotten if he didn’t have any sort of moderate renown.

    In the first place, he tries to validate his own rant by characterizing Alan Moores statement as a “rant”. Which it by no means was at all. Moore was being interviewed on the topic and he answered, and he is the type of man who give robust answers. Most people are ready to accept that Alan Moore is just being a cranky asshole because that is the default perception of him they’re ready to have.

    But aside from that b/s, Aaron’s main offense seems to be Moore’s dismissal of todays crop of creators working in comics. Alan Moore clearly clarifies that his dismisal is a rheotrical supposition wondering why, if there were such “top-flight” creators, is it so desirable to relegate their talents to producing lame derivative works of a dated work?

    Even if Alan Moore does personally think that Aaron’s work is crappy without even reading it, so what? If he’s so serious about his work, then some flippant criticism shouldnt phase him at all, and he should just carry on not feeling the need to a publicly cry about what some other guy said about him.

  66. tylerw says:

    I enjoyed Morrison’s comment about how the large majority of Moore’s work is dependent on the creations of others and that maybe he should chill out.

  67. Wyndall says:

    I like the suggestion of sending Moore comics of great stories by today’s writers. However,  I think it is likely he wouldn’t give them the time of day. But wouldn’t it be something to hear his feedback on them? I mean, what if he actually read a few? But he more than likely would set them ablaze with his magic wand, put on his wizard’s hat and go visit Frodo.

  68. Shakespeare’s work was just as derivative and if you do not see the genius in it, you have basically thrown away any chance you have for a valid opinion on Western literature.

    Comic work by its very nature of company characters and continuity is dependent on the creations of others.

    Therefore, if that is how you attempt to dismiss Alan Moore’s work, you might as well dismiss the majority of comic book creators.

  69. djd djd says:

    @ScorpionMasada  I can’t speak for everyone, but I think a lot of the people talking about Moore’s work’s dependence on that of others aren’t criticizing him for being derivative, but for being a hypocrite. They’re saying that he can’t dismiss the current industry for being derivative of his work without dismissing his own work as well. So, they would agree that the dependence is ubiquitous, and that it diminishes everyone (or no-one).

  70. I’m sorry but when you compare the two and the only ‘edgy’ thing Aaron has ever done is Scalped…..then Moore automatically wins.

  71. Big difference taking public domain characters and reimagining or placing them in exotic situations and taking a comic and writing prequels and sequels.

    How about they let Loeb write the high school years of Dashiel Bad Horse.

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  72. And perhaps (and I think I might be reading too much into this) Moore is trying to shame current comic book writers into not touching one of his masterpieces and like I said in my first post doing a Kirkman-like verbal push to get cats at DC and Marvel to do more risky creator-owned work or at the very least some nonstandard comic booking.

  73. Albiet in not the most classy way . . . ahahaha

  74. djd djd says:

    @ScorpionMasada  Well, I was just trying to explain the argument, not defend it. And I did say earlier that I’d rather not see Watchmen sequels.

    Having said that, I think that ‘transforming public domain characters vs. creating a comic book sequel’ is a bit of a false dichotomy. There are lots and lots of ways to write stories for existing characters. Is anyone likely to do something as creative and transformative for the Watchmen characters as Moore did for the Charlton characters in Watchmen? Of course, I’d guess no. But I don’t think the attempt would be so different in kind from what Moore himself attempted.

    Especially if it’s this: http://io9.com/5176983/grant-morrison-writing-watchmen-follow+up-kind-of

    I should add that I like your “Kirkman-like push” theory.

    Also, I would definitely check out a Loeb Scalped prequel, heh.

  75. Never said they were mutually exclusive.

    I’d say there is a definite difference. The story was not being continued or filled in with the Watchmen. It was a new creation. They didn’t let Moore use the Charlton characters . . . they were just his models.

    Usually there is a lot more creativity going into the creation of a comic book like Proof then just some new creative team continuing the adventure.

    Key word usually.

    Thanks for the link to the Morrison thing. I agree with you on that one. Moore shouldn’t have a problem with that series, especially if the name Watchmen and his name are not connected to it in any way.

    hahaha, I’d check it out too but for all the wrong reasons.

  76. djd djd says:

    @ScorpionMasada  Well, I think we can agree on this: unless a Watchmen pre/sequel was really, really, really, really, good, it would be a major disappointment. And the former seems unlikely.

    Next month in “The Untold Adventures of Rorschach”: Rorschach chops up a jaywalker’s cats!

  77. I’d read that too!

  78. TwitchBlues says:

    The real question in all of this, is whether or not anyone really thinks Watchmen needs to be picked up again, especially by someone other than the original author.

    I firmly believe the answer is no. Watchmen was a story with a beginning and an end. It was not meant to be the chronicle of a constantly reimagined and retouched world as most on-going books are (On-going in the sense of leagacy characters). As a reader, it depresses me that publishers don’t really listen to creators. As a consumer, I want good work to be recognized for being good, so that it continues to be produced. Unfortunately, publishers like Marvel and DC don’t seem to see it the same way, as they chase off great talent with situations like this.

    If DC manages to get these Watchmen stories off the ground, I won’t touch them and I likely won’t touch any of the other work of whoever does.

    Afterthought: Would it anger you if someone, not the author, amended your favorite classic novel?

  79. NathanNicdao NathanNicdao says:

    Mr. Moore has a point, but as great as a writer as he is, he comments like he doesn’t think much about it, in a way that he is taken out of context, but I don’t think that has any other meanings to it, that’s quite brutal. But surely, no amount of grumpiness can make me hate Alan Moore.

  80. As long as the original work exists as intended, I don’t give a fuck what is added or adapted by others.

    But if I were the creator of said work, I might have a different opinion.

    I don’t think Watchmen can be tarnished by a movie or additional comics.

  81. sinsear sinsear says:

    okay. after 3 years of sitting on the sidelines and “watching” the chaos and regular verbatium go back and forth I have to say I am finally convinced to :
    A Join up and have my say and
    B: make my presence felt. and
     C: whilst moores works are groundbreaking and relevent for the time. the time of now is all about instant gratification.
     What do I mean by that?
    why is the most popular iTunes downloads for 2010 Glee.
     why has Direct comic book sales declined so much in 2010
    why are the most talked about and so called established architechs of the various universes still messanger boxes for an unheard few pumping their “wisdom” to the consmers on irrelevent levals ie web media.

    why have I decided to break my silent vigalence when compeltely on my way to being paraletic on a saturday night?

    Why are we even making this an issue.

    to quote Jeph Loeb ” what is is”meaning that one should not waste time with complaining about a situation, but accept the situation as it is, so that one can either move on or do something about it.

    gotta love the askani ‘son.

    feel free to rip me apart I am quite drunk after all.

  82. KRYPTOTIM KRYPTOTIM says:

    Allan Moore has no reason to be pissed at DC , I am sorry to say . He entered into a contract with them with his eyes wide open .It was’nt like the deal with Siegal and Schuster entered into . I wonder if he would be as bitter if his stuff had not done as well as it did .Would he be bitching so much if DC had printed his books and they failed financally .
      I love the man’s work but as far as the man he is a bitter arrogant putz and the less press given to this blowhard the better off we all are .

  83. skin says:

    The problem is that Jason Aaron got hold of the dick from the wrong end and unfortunely came all over himself. Simply because what Alan Moore is saying is this:

    If the top two (Marvel/DC) within the comic industry have great or good standard writers (Which OFF CAUSE they do…ALAN MOORE does not deny that) then what the hell are they making them do? Other then to GRAVE-ROB past great works…INSTEAD of making them or Commissioning them to write great present actual works that relate to TODAY’S society…other then rehashing works of the great writers of the past (whose works where revoluntionary for those audiences of past generational societies {i.e. It related to them because it was done at the time of THEIR GENERATION}, Whereas ALAN MOORE is saying BOLLOCKS to that Grave robbing).

    And the sad fact is that the GREAT gifted present young and not so young writers such Aaron, Burbaker, Ennis, Michael Bendis, Geoff Johns, Waid, Ellis, Busiek, Morrison, Dan slot, Peter David, Straczynski, James Robinson, Paul Dini, Q.Miller, Gail Simone, Kieron Gillen and so fucking on… For none, of them as YET…no matter how much I love their works…”and man do I”.(and I put that in there as a hope that they will), have come up with a piece of work unto itself that has captured both socially politically religiously the PRESENT MODERN 21st GENERATION for both the comic reader and more importantly the none comic reading public, a book that brings in all the aesthetic anguishes of the every person dealing with the NOT so every person. A comic book that is a work sustained of itself and no other… in other words a BLOODY Novel.

    For to DO that! One must not raid the bleeding past but rather the FUCKING present…And THAT’S what Alan Moore has been saying for years…STOP grave-robbing, stop working with material that’s already been done and dusted with…for come up with your own shite and with that in mind just maybe just maybe by sheer skill and a wee bit of luck you might just be able to produce a piece of comic book literature as GREAT as the greats have done in the past.   

    As for if Alan Moore was a young writer today? Well he would be the comic book genius writer of the early 21st Century rather then the genius comic book writer of the late end of the 20th Century. Genius is Genius no matter what colour or century it lives in.

    And the thing is Jason Aaron knows all this shite, but he did what he did because he wanted to generate publicity for himself, so therefore he can get certain works from certain comic book publishers at the start off this New Year while then jacking up the his price tag, and he did all of this by twisting what Alan Moore had said in an interview that had NOTHING to do with him. But hay, if you are that desperate to get a gig and raise your price tag in the bargain too …… well I guess that’s just Jason Aaron ways of doing things. As for Jason Aaron saying “Am gonna stop reading Alan Moore” that’s the same as Ron Richards saying “AM gonna stop reading the X-MEN”….yeah right! nuff said   

  84. LostArtist LostArtist says:

    comics have become caniballistic by nature now, catering to fanboy wishes to see this old character redone or brought back or whatever, but this is how the big 2 are, and Alan needs to get over the past, it’s been what 25 effing years????   and he got paid for it, he has some kind of rights to the characters, ask creators in the 40′s – 80′s how they’d feel about his whining, he got paid to make something, done deal, move on!  oh, and I don’t have a high opinion of watchmen, but I like V and swamp thing so I can’t say Alan sucks, but. . .    damn man, the business is the business, deal or no deal. has anyone asked Alan why he hasn’t had any more successful products since Watchmen?   so who’s lackluster now?   :-P     enough smack talk for ya?    

    okay, I’m done now, alan more is now on the list of no buys, well, he has been for awhile 

  85. rockingeek rockingeek says:

    I love Alan Moore.

  86. Alan Moore is awesome why are people crying about this?

    @KRYPTOTIM  

    Allan Moore has no reason to be pissed at DC , I am sorry to say . He entered into a contract with them with his eyes wide open .It was’nt like the deal with Siegal and Schuster entered into . I wonder if he would be as bitter if his stuff had not done as well as it did .Would he be bitching so much if DC had printed his books and they failed financally . 

    The concept of a “trade paperback” was invented to contain the 12-issue Watchmen series. After a year out of print (comics never remained in print at the time) the rights were to revert to Moore and Gibbons. However the story was so successful DC invented trade paperbacks and thus it was continuously published and never went out of print. Thus screwing Moore and Gibbons out of lots of money and rights for their creation.

  87. Teddet says:

    I realize several people have said essentially this, but I had to echo it.  Isn’t it weird for a creator whose best known work is derivative — of charlton comics, sci-fi/fantasy classics, or comic book characters created by others (swamp-thing, superman, etc) to complain about a lack of creative energy if DC and Marvel want to do the same thing with his works?   It just seems very hypocritical to me.

  88. The short answer to your question is no.

  89. lmiller31 lmiller31 says:

    Hey, wait… What exactly did Alan Moore create that was original? Off the top of my head “V for Vendetta” is the only thing I can think of where he didn’t use somebody else’s ideas/characters as a jumping off point. (And he might have with that, I just don’t know about it.) “Watchmen,” “Swamp Thing,” “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” “Marvelman,” and “Captain Britain” were all originally created by other people. (I know he’s done tons of other stuff, but that’s just what I can see on my bookshelf right now and think of at the moment.) Obviously he had a lot of original and awesome ideas and stories with that stuff, but I don’t see how he thinks a company saying “Hey, write an awesome story with these preexisting characters” to him is different than saying it to anyone else.

  90. iSpiderMan says:

    SCALPED rocks. Love, love, love, love, love, love SCALPED. Will buy hardcover SCALPED when & if DC decides to get off their asses.

  91. OliverTwist OliverTwist says:

    @iSpiderMan,I agree, Scapled is a step in the right direction for comics, but I collect it in trade unforunatley. I look at that book among comic book story tellling as a great example of the  meduim of comics in the right direction.

  92. syngar98 syngar98 says:

    And for the record since when is original the end all be all of what’s good?

    P.s. “proof” is not original, a dozen other versions of “cryptid” agencies and hunters has been written over the years.
    Hell even secret saturdays comes to mind, and it has better art.

  93. Tork Tork says:

    I always saw V for Vendetta as basically “Winston Smith went off and became the Bill Finger/Bob Kane Batman.”

  94. Tork Tork says:

    I agree Jason Aaron.  Alan Moore needs to stop saying today’s creators suck every time somebody wants to interview him… because a lot of them don’t.

  95. syngar98 syngar98 says:

    Moore is your typical primadonna, haute art comic books indeed

  96. Asteraceae Asteraceae says:

    good story! nice one Alan Moore, top industry darling-baiting action there from Northamptonshire’s 2nd greatest writer and a fellow magician of no meagre estimation

  97. syngar98 syngar98 says:

    @Asteraceae  I know all the words meanings individually, but I have no bloody clue what you just said.

  98. Asteraceae Asteraceae says:

    @syngar98  that was my Dominik Diamond impression–i’d just watched some old Gamesmaster episodes before writing that.

  99. APoetSomeday APoetSomeday says:

    DISCLAIMER: OK, this thread is two year’s old now, but I just read it and wanted to weigh in.

    Firstly, I love Alan Moore’s work.

    Like everyone on this site, I have a well-thumbed and much-loved ‘Watchmen’ paperback on my shelf, along with ‘V For Vendetta’ ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ ‘Promethea’ ‘Halo Jones’ ‘The Killing Joke’ and all the others. I believe that Mr. Moore is one of the best writers, in any medium, that my country has ever produced (which puts him up there with the best of all time). The man is a genius, an undisputed master of the form.

    However, I really think he is losing a lot of ground by making careless and stupid blanket statements about the industry and its top creators. Especially in the last few years.

    Most comic books are serials, meaning that the story is ongoing and with no discernible ending point, like a soap opera. The characters live on because of constant reinvention, fan support and new creators taking the reigns.

    Mr. Moore did not create the Green Lantern Corps, nor did he create The Joker, nor did he create Swamp Thing. What he did was build on the work of other creators to make something new and interesting, just as the new generation of creators are now building on his work to create something new.

    Frankly, every time he says something along these lines, I cringe. Especially with his more recent umbrage regarding ‘Watchmen’ and its Prequels/Sequels. It is common knowledge that the ‘Watchmen’ characters were based upon pre-existing characters from Charlton comics in the first place and were never entirely original. So when he talks about the “25 year gap” and the apparent lack of originality from contemporary writers in that time span (due to their ‘dependance’ on his creations), I believe you’ll all note that there was an even longer gap between the original adventures of Charlton luminaries like ‘The Question’ ‘Blue Beetle’ and ‘Captain Atom’ and those of their ‘Watchmen’ counterparts. So it just doesn’t make sense to get this angry about it. Did the Charlton creators get mad at his “lack of originality” back in the 80′s?

    Personally, I’m not in favour of ‘Before Watchmen’, largely because there is no artistic need for it (as the original book itself is entirely all-encompassing, detailing both past and future stories succinctly). Therefore, I simply haven’t been reading it.

    Again, when he takes exception to new writers taking on his characters (I believe he once wrote a threatening “hands off!” letter to a young Grant Morrison, who had just been offered a big break on ‘Miracleman’ after years of trying to make it in comics), I find it to be hypocritical in the extreme. Does he honestly think that Lewis Carroll would approve of his porno version of Alice in ‘Lost Girls’? Moreover, how does he imagine Jules Verne, H.G Wells, Bram Stoker or the other creators who gave us the ‘League’s extended cast might react when they see Mr. Hyde raping the Invisible Man to death, a sexually threatening Rupert the Bear or Mina Harker urging Allan Quartermain to “f**k her”?

    Serials, by necessity, build on what has gone before. Last month, I read a comic that featured Hal Jordan, a character written by Geoff Johns, but invented decades earlier by John Broome & Gil Kane (who was an updated version of a character created a decade or so earlier than that by Bill Finger & Martin Nodell). Frankly, it is quite arrogant and short-sighted of Mr. Moore not to acknowledge the debt he owes to earlier creators like Steve Ditko and Peter Morisi.

    By claiming that contemporary artists are not being creative he is completely missing the point. Take ‘Blackest Night’ for example: a series that spanned out of one of Moore’s ‘Green Lantern’ stories way back when; it was not a shallow imitation of Moore’s story, but rather it built on his initial idea and spawned it into a vital and (hopefully) enduring epic in the mythos of the character. Likewise, Grant Morrison wasn’t ripping off Mike W. Barr when he ‘re-created’ Damian Wayne in ‘Batman & Son’, nor was he re-telling the character’s appearance in ‘Kingdom Come’, he simply built on an existing work. Just like comics are supposed to.

    To say that the industry isn’t doing anything new is both pointless and asinine. Firstly, serials ALWAYS repeat themselves. Batman’s origins will be retold/recapped/added to every few years in order to update them, and all of these stories will feature the same basic elements as seen in the original tales. Secondly, I think we’re seeing a lot of new and interesting developments in comics. For a year, Dick Grayson was Batman, now Doctor Octopus is Spider Man, all the major companies are putting out new characters and stories, right now. ‘Mind The Gap’ has been awesome and ‘The Black Beetle’ is ludicrously cool. Meanwhile, ‘Hellboy’ didn’t even exist until a few years ago.

    Yes, a lot of comics (especially superhero comics) are simply retreads, but that was true in Moore’s heyday as well. Did Denny O’Neill not say that he wanted to return to Bob Kane & Bill Finger’s Batman when he took over in the 70′s?

    Like I said, I love Alan Moore. It just makes me sad to see a writer who I respect so much talk such a lot of crap.