Alan Moore Doesn’t Want WATCHMEN Back

No Watchmen 2What would surely have been the biggest piece of news at Comic-Con will likely never come to fruition now.  In a recent interview with, writer Alan Moore reveals DC Comics offered to return the rights to the bestselling property to him, but with certain conditions.

"They offered me the rights to Watchmen back, if I would agree to some dopey prequels and sequels," said the 56 year-old-writer/magician.  “So I just told them that if they said that 10 years ago, when I asked them for that, then yeah it might have worked,” he said. “But these days I don't want Watchmen back. Certainly, I don’t want it back under those kinds of terms.”

I guess that throws my pitch for Tiny Titans vs. 'Lil Minutemen right out the window.

There has been longstanding animosity between Moore and DC Comics, at least partially stemming from DC's refusal to let Watchmen go out of print, thereby contractually returning rights back to Moore.  He has even gone so far as to take his name off any adaptations of his work and refuse royalty payments, instead deferring them to his co-creators.

And speaking of the book that sold millions of copies last year, and is found on the shelf of all good comic book fans? “I don’t even have a copy of Watchmen in the house anymore,” Moore said. “The comics world has lots of unpleasant connections, when I think back over it, many of them to do with Watchmen.”

Wired also got word from DC Comics Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio on the matter, “Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”

Moore's refusal seems to make the project a non-starter, but I can't help but wonder what Dave Gibbons has to say about all this.  His involvement with the Watchmen film was quite public, and he clearly doesn't have the same venom for the project, as well as comics in general, as his co-collaborator.


  1. If they do a sequel or prequel or whatever, I really don’t care. If it’s good I’ll read it, if it’s not, I won’t. It does nothing to the original work, it doesn’t take away its magic, its genius or its importance. I understand that Moore feels the way he does and I give credit to DC for trying to reach out to him. But in the end it is what it is. I still have watchmen on my shelf and will read it again and again no matter what new material does or does not come out.

  2. I guess this means there won’t be a "Watchmen Babies in V for Vacation"

  3. Love that old fellow! Wish I could hug him and hide under his beard!

  4. As much as I dislike Alan Moore as a person, I have to give him credit for turning down so much money over the years.

  5. Thanks to DC for screwing the pooch on the Alan Moore front for decades now. Wankers.

  6. Wow… talk about sticking to your guns.  

  7. The new regime tried to extend the olive branch and get one of the most revered creators in the medium’s history back… and well, Alan Moore decided to get on his soapbox rather than just politely and professionally decline.  Oh well.  🙁


    the Tiki 

  8. A bit of a d-bag move on DC’s part to try and hold an important work hostage like that. Then again, its Moore’s own fault for signing that kind of a stupid contract in the first place. Did he learn nothing from Siegel and Shuster?

  9. go corporate entertainment go !

    there is no honor in money, only profit…

    Mr. Moore has made his choice.

    As a fan that bites, as an intellectual kudos ! 

  10. Remember back when Alan Moore news went like "Alan Moore is writing a new comic book!" and not "Alan Moore did an interview and shittalked DC/Marvel/American comics/all those old comics he wrote that you love but he says they sucked/comics written by other people that you like but he says they suck too/comics in general!"?


    Yeah, me neither.

  11. I’d be cranky too if I blew my creative wad early and had to fall back on being weird and angry.

    What I’m saying is I just went right to weird and angry. 

  12. Actually, I take that back. When Neonomicon was accounced not too long ago, it was all "Alan Moore is writing a new comic book AND he says it sucks!" So that was kind of a twofer right there.

  13. So let me get this straight:

    Someone at DC wanted to bring out the ‘olive branch’ by telling Moore he can only have rights back to Watchmen ONLY if he agreed to the sequel/prequel project? A man, who has so violently been against anything Watchmen related lately, they told him he had to see his baby get soiled by forcing an unnessicary prequel/sequel?

    A) Who the fuck thought this was a good idea on DC’s part?

    B) For once I’ll stand up for Mr. Moore. I’d be a bit offended too that I can only have my ‘baby’ back if I had to see it get tarnished.

  14. When I asked Dave Gibbons about it back in April this is what he wrote back:


    @amirkat Bad idea.

  15. Gibbons rules both as a writer and artist!

  16. Moore’s a nutbar.  Yeah his body of work was incredible, but hes such a bitter cook he probably spends his day screamigng at the invisible people to get off his lawn.  When did he last read a comic ??  How can he constantly bitch about the current state of the comic industry when he admits to not reading a comic in years ?

  17. Not was. Is.

    Didn’t realize Alan Moore wrote an introduction for Planetary. Guess he has love for Warren.

    Go Alan Moore, go!

  18. @tazz: "he probably spends his day greaming at the invisible people to get off his lawn"

    No, that’s completely a projection on your part. Talking on other subjects, Moore always seems like a pleasant person. But when he’s cornered and asked questions specifically about touchy subjects? Yeah, he’ll give you a piece of his mind and not hold back. The reseult of this is that most fans ONLY hear the Moore interviews regarding the superhero stuff, so naturally most people have a skewed view and think of him as a mean person. 

    "When did he last read a comic?"

    He reads comics all the time. Just not mainstream ones.

    "How can he constantly bitch"

    He doesn’t constantly bitch. You just have that impression because the couple soundbytes you hear from him every year happen to be regarding the touchy subjects.

    "when he admits to not reading a comic in years?"

    He’s never said that. All he’s said is that he doesn’t read mainstream superhero stuff anymore. And, yes, that leads him into some prejudicial territory at times–I think his comments about Johns’ GL were unfair–but let’s not exaggerate things.

    Personally, I think the whole thing’s sad. DC didn’t treat Moore right twenty years ago, and now everybody has to suffer for that mistake indefinitely. Part of me wishes Moore would just give in, but on the other hand…Do I even want more Watchmen stuff? No. I doubt it would be good. It sure as hell isn’t necessary. And, more to the point, I don’t think it would challenge Moore as a writer. THAT’s why Moore doesn’t care about super-heroes anymore: because he’s done it all already. There’s no new challenge for him in that arena. And it’s sad to watch a lot of people criticize Moore simply because they want just another comic to put in their shopping cart, y’know? People who are upset with Moore–I’m sure there are a ton of other comics you’d enjoy reading. Me, personally, my comic purchases are much more limited than most people on this site. There’s only a handful of writers I really, really like. Moore is one of those guys, so for me having new Alan Moore superhero stuff would be a very rare treat. Yet I can understand how, from his perspective, it wouldn’t really make sense to do it. It’s kind of just us, and DC, being greedy. He doesn’t want to do it.

  19. DC was saying, “here’s your chance to write a new Watchmen story. Take it, or we’ll get someone else to do it.” Well within their rights to do so. It’s not like they went to the press after he turned it down just to make him look like a dick. Guess they didn’t need to…

  20. oh my god alan! grow the fuck up. such a bore. 

  21. sad that ten years ago we could have had more watchmen….

  22. one of the rare cases where i agree with that kook. 

    i understand dc wanting to get prequels/sequels because that would be huge for comics in general, but I think Watchmen should just be left alone, more sequels and such can only tarnish the legacy. I would probably read them and get mad because I hated the original and pretty much any story that is all doom and gloom with everyone being unlikeable.  

  23. oh my god alan! grow the fuck up. such a bore.


    couldn’t agree more!!!

  24. Wow at the Alan Moore hate here. What did he ever do to you guys?

  25. Strong arm tactics by DC but Moore doesn’t seem like a person who easily budges. Good for him, that must be quite the amount of money that he has refused.

  26. DC’s offer is not an olive branch. Trickery, at best.

  27. If Moore doesn’t want the rights I’LL take ’em! And I’ll agree to all  the sequels/prequels they want…if only to watch fanboy heads explode when the Rob Liefeld Comedien series hots the stands.

  28. Good old DC, a couple of years late, and with conditions. Go Alan Moore!!!!

  29. I want to read a comic about the cocky yet lovable young MBA at Time Warner charged with pitching this idea to Moore.  I know he can be a bit of a grump toward DC, but what did they really expect at this point?

  30. @wallythegreenmonster – When Moore signed that contract, that was about the only way to work in comics. It wasn’t until later that creator-owned works could receive the attention and distribution that they deserved, so he was forced to enter into that agreement. Also, the story was originally intended to involve unused Charlton characters that DC had the rights to, but they asked Moore to create his own characters for the book. So, he changed their names and costumes (slightly). As an aside, Blue Beetle was the only one that ended up being used by DC, if I remember correctly.

  31. "co-collaborator?" is that a word?

  32. Didn’t Alan Moore give his last comic interview a month or so ago?

  33. @ActualButt — DC uses all the Charlton characters that Watchman is based on. Rorschach is The Question who had his own series, Dr. Manhatten is Captain Atom who also had his own series. Nite-Owl is Blue Bettle, as you mentioned.  Silk Spectre, Comedian, and Ozymandias were based on Nightshade, Peacemaker, and Peter Cannon respectively. All these characters appear occasionally in he DCU, usually in the big crossovers. Well…actually I’m not sure about Peter Cannon, I can’t really remember him appearing much at all…

  34. Is this not an artist, with integrity, versuses the corporation, with threats and bulling.

    Mr.Moore does not "owe" us anything, get that straight he owes us nothing. He is an artist whom periodically shares FABULOUS shit with us.

    DC /Time Warner wants our money all of the time.  

    DC is not a bunch of "nice" people. Just like the people at BP, Wallmart or Costco these are corporations they only have an insaitable appetite for more cash.


  35. Alan Moore doesn’t have any "venom" for comics. He has a problem with mainstream comics and how they treat/treated creators and how they handle the medium in general.

  36. Now if they had just pitched him my ‘Watchmen Rock Opera’ idea. . .

  37. Whats with the Alan Moore hate? The guy has morals and standards and he loves comics. He is is tired of seeing mainstream comics fuck over the people that have made them literally made these huge corporations billions of dollars. I’m surprised more people in this business don’t get angry about it. 

  38. @froggulper. Comment of the week. My thoughts EXACTLY! Cheers.

  39. After so many problems, frustration, and disappointment it’s no wonder Mr. Moore would like to forget about work that’s 20 years old.  

  40. Alan Moore is the best. Whether he “blew his wad early” or not, (which he didn’t!) he influenced more writers than I could name on twitter. His Swamp Thing was copied by Snyder, his Superman stories are one of a kind. He told one of the best Joker Stories ever, LOEG is a genius work of art, From Hell is intriguing, V for Vendetta is timeless, and even his WildCATS is good. I know Before Watchmen was/is a success, but Moore gave us what he wanted to give us when it came to these characters in his series, and even though he bitches a lot, he still showed character by choosing principle over money. I think he has a point too with the “surely they can think of something at least as good” part, but wait, they haven’t. @Neochakan, thanks for commenting, I read this on random today, and declined to write, but I saw your comment and you inspired me.

  41. Not sure why there’s so much vehemence for Moore these days. Regardless of his true motivations for declining, I’m guessing he doesn’t need or want the money anyway. As it turned out, Before Watchmen was underwhelming and unnecessarily prolonged.