Alan Moore Okays Marvelman Reprints?

I just read at that Rich Johnston just read at that Alan Moore has basically signed off on Marvel reprinting his Marvelman stories. And when I say “signed off”… well, perhaps I’ll just quote the relevant passage:

Kurt Amacker: I understand you were informed about the purchase by Marvel by Neil Gaiman’s lawyer, right after Comic-Con. Have you heard anything else?

Alan Moore: After being initially informed by Neil’s lawyer, I had to think about it for a couple of days. I decided that while I’m very happy for this book to get published—because that means money will finally go to Marvelman’s creator, Mick Anglo, and to his wife. Mick is very, very old, and his wife, I believe, is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The actual Marvelman story is such a grim and ugly one that I would probably rather that the work was published without my name on it, and that all of the money went to Mick. The decision about my name was largely based upon my history with Marvel—my desire to really have nothing to do with them, and my increasing desire to have nothing to do with the American comics industry. I mean, they’re probably are enough books out there with my name on them to keep the comics industry afloat for a little bit longer. I left a message to that effect with Neil. I’ve since heard back from the lawyer upon another issue, and he said that he was certain that would be the case—that Marvel would accede to my request. That looks like the way it will be emerging. And, Neil will be able to finish his Marvelman story because he has a completely different relationship with Marvel than I have with them—or rather, don’t have. The main thing is that I will feel happy to know that Mick Anglo is finally getting the recompense he so richly deserves. And, I will have distanced myself from a lot of the deceit and ugliness that surrounded the relaunching of Marvelman as a character.

(The emphasis is mine, obviously, although I’m told Alan Moore can actually speak in red when necessary.)

It seems like every time I see Alan Moore’s name in print, he is talking about getting it taken off of something. At this rate, decades from now our grandgeeks will be huge admirers of The Collected Works of ____???_____. Alan Moore is history’s greatest Secret Santa.

Nevertheless, there you have it. Apparently, as far as Alan Moore is concerned, these Marvelman trades/hardcovers/venerated objects are a done deal. If you have any interest in the saga of Marvelman at all, it’s worth your while to read the entire Mania interview, in which Mr. Moore goes into extensive detail regarding his connection to the character and all of the double dealings that have swirled around it.

What do you make of all this? Is it time to get excited yet?


  1. That’s nice of Mr Moore and I’m so glad i’ll finally be able to own this work and that it’s finally going to be completed. It’s about time.

  2. When Moore holds a grudge he really holds a grudge! Remind me not to piss him off!

  3. Interesting. But I find two things bigger then what you highlighted.

    A) He thinks the industry is staying afloat because of his name. (Could be a joke but still kinda rude on his part)

    B) Stating Neil Gaiman is most likely going to finish his part of the story.

  4. Alan moores a great writer…but damn is he crazy

  5. Sweet

  6. I’ll believe it when I see a solicit for it. I’ve said this to my friends and i’ll say it again here-I wish Marvel was not involved in reprinting this material, I had hoped it would be an indie pblisher. I certainly will not be purchacing any of it since I own all of this stuff and alredy.

    I can understand Alan’s position completely.

  7. I’ve gotta say, if you can’t get along with an entire segment of an industry (that has its faults true,) it may not be the industry, it may be you.

    I do enjoy his work and wish him the best though. I still would love to see him do some more Marvel or DC stuff. Such is life. 

  8. This will be great if it works out. I’m a huge Alan Moore fan, and would love to read more of his work, so I’m definitly looking forward to this.

  9. I’m just happy that Alan Moore consistently rules

  10. @Crucio- I don’t think it’s Alan. Both of these companies have a history of screwing creators. I think if you get burned enough you get more careful.

    I would love to see his ideas for the Twilight of the Superheroes realised but I don’t think that is ever happening. I also think editorialy DC and Marvel tend to be too stifling for creators like Moore.

  11. @TNC You could make a fair statement that were it not for the "British Invasion of Comics" in the 80s, we wouldn’t have the industry in its current (almost viable) form. Moore’s a little self-serving with that comment, but I mean, I’m pretty sure Watchmen, Sandman and V for Vendetta reprints keep DC in the black. 

    That said, very interesting news. So… Moore’s name won’t be on it (and I can totally understand why in this case.) and Gaiman might be continuing it. Very interesting. I wonder if the rumors are true that Marvel will be relettering the MiracleMan material to Marvelman. That’s more than a bit of a slap in the face to Moore. 

  12. @rush-But the reputation of the big two and their work-for-hire system was well established when Moore started working for them.  He may not like the way that they operate, and that is fine, but they didn’t burn or screw him.

    I am just glad that this looks like one less hurdle in the way of publishing. 

  13. @mikeandzod21
    If by "crazy" you mean "a class act".

  14. @PraxJarvin: I don’t think renaming the book "Marvelman" (which is what they are going to do) is a slap in the face to Moore. I’m sure he would have had liked to have used the original name (Marvelman) if he had been allowed to back then. Marvel are just returning the character to the original name.

  15. @PraxJarvin: I’m not dimishing his credit to the industry. He definitely helped revive interest with comics with his own unqiue style. Even today his work has influenced creators.

    But if were talking about 2009 (or the present) then he’s not……gonna try and correct myself mid post here. He’s a big name in the industry still today. But I don’t think readers (most of them) of this generation care who he is. The only reason he can be still recognizable ironically is the films that are taken from his work.

    I don’t wanna sound negative towards the man. I’m just saying today’s comic book readers probably don’t care about his work with Swamp Thing or even V for Vendetta. Probably just Watchmen and that’s it.

  16. @Conor I mean that it’s a slap in the face to Moore as Marvel was the one who issued the cease-and-desist that created the first of the many legal debacles for Marvelman. The Marvelman/Miracleman naming issue was part of the larger issues Moore had with working with Marvel at all (if not the main one.) Certainly it’s logical to rename it, but I can only imagine it chafes Moore all that more.

  17. I’ll be honest, it’s great to see a guy who is as big as Alan Moore (or at least big in a little industry) doesn’t seem to be all about "Me, me, me". Read any interviews and he’s more then willing to play down his impact and comics and talk about those that came before him. And the fact that he’s open and honest about how he feels but is willing to let these stories get out there with (in a way) his blessing is great to see. Thank you Mr. Moore. 

  18. This seems like cool news. I’ll have to check it out.

    But why is Alan Moore so grumpy? I have read a few interviews about what he thinks about his comics being adapted to movies and he is a very unhappy man.  

  19. @rush "Kingdom Come?" is basically "Twilight of the Super Heroes" with the serial numbers filed off.

    I think that the classiest part of this is the first highlighted bit. Alam Moore is a bitter, angry man with a lot to be angry about, but he’s also apparently compassionate about the right things.

  20. @misterj-I say screwed because of some of things Moore has said in interviews and I tend to believe the creator over the corporation in this case. At the end of the day he isn’t the only one who’s had a gripe with the big two. Neal Adams, Frank Miller and many others have had issues with Marvel and/or DC.


    @The NextChampion-If today’s reader doesn’t care about Moores work except Watchmen is probably due to not really being exposed to it. This man’s ideas are still being emulated and expanded upon by today’s writers. Even the currently popular Blackest Night event has a seed in Tales Of The Green Lantern Corp Annual #2.

  21. @TNC. I think you’re really underestimating the current generation of readers. My local shop can barely keep it’s copies of V for Vendetta or the reprinted Swamp Thing trades on the shelf. Most (if not all) of his work still sells fairly well. They’re backlist titles and keep money flowing in for a lot of shops. We woulnd’t have a lot of the stories we have today if not for his work (or the work of the other British writers that were big during that time period.)

  22. The decision to take his name off was mostly based upon the shit marvel pulled during the Captain Britain reprints.

    Also, @TNC, yes nobody cares about V for Vendetta so much that they are coming out with an Absolute Edition.

  23. Also, why are we disregarding the Todd?

  24. @Quinn-Nice try buddy Kingdom Come is no substitute for the Twilight idea. Kingdom Come has a lot elements from Moore’s Twilight idea but it’s not grity and depressing vision of Moore. I love Kingdom Come but a big part of it was Ross’ love for the silver age heroes. While Moore’s vision was the corruption of these well known architypes.

  25. I don’t think there’s a writer who’s name will sell a book quicker than Alan Moore. If Moore wrote Flash Rebirth, it’d be the #1 book guarenteed. So hell yeah, he’s relevant.

    He makes normally sales nightmares like LoEG exist. 

  26. I can’t decide if Alan Moore’s awesome, or arrogant.  I don’t understand why he would distance himself from a part of the industry that he made a name for himself in.  Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing…are DC and DC is New York, and New York is America.  Just seems kinda weird.  I understand his stance, but, it seems kind of weird.

    I do think he’s aweseome for letting the original creator coup the financial benefits of such a reprinting milestone.  Good on him. 

    I do, however, think that magic has warped his brain. 

  27. An Englishman who is cynical about Americans?  Now I’ve seen everything!

  28. As far as excitement, I think it’s good that this is happening. But I’m confused. Does this mean Moore’s run on MM will be reprinted but his name will be redacted from the credits? Or is this purely a cover treatment issue?

    Look, I understand Moore’s cynicism, but it’s not like he’s unique in his relationship with publishers, movie-makers, etc. It’s a huge money-making, spirit-crushing industry, and writers typically get the short shrift. Frankly it is kind of arrogant for him to stand on his soapbox and proclaim, take my stories if you must, but you will never have my name.

    That said, I’ll be happy if it’s printed but I will be scratching my head if there are big black bars over all the page credits. 

  29. Do you think Moore, Salinger, and Pynchon have a regular poker game where they sit around complaining about the publishing industry between making random statements of genius?  

    "Why won’t they let me design my own covers!"  

    "Very good point, JD.  BTW, I just invented a punctuation mark between the comma and the period. I call it the Pynch. Oh, and can you pass the nachos please?"

    "Certainly Tommy, but if they taste a little Titus Adronicus this evening, blame the wife; she used a pinch too much cilantro."

    -All laugh- 

    "But seriously, I hate the publishing industry." 


  30. @brattyben
    Keep in mind that Mick Anglo didn’t really create anything, he just ripped off Captain Marvel. Also, V for Vendetta was originally published by a british publication. I think the infamous Warior.

  31. V for Vendetta was published at the same time as Marvelman in Warrior I think, or close to it.

    I love Alan Moore.

  32. This is cool news to know, but it doesn’t really make the prospect of reprinting the Eclipse issues any closer to reality. Moore had ALWAYS relinquished his stewardship of the character to Gaiman, as of like twenty years ago. The real obstacle remains Todd McFarlane, because he bought Eclipse.

    -A dozen or so issues were only published by Eclipse, and then only as "Miracleman", not "Marvelman"–so it’s not clear that anyone who owns "Marvelman" could publish something only known as "Miracleman".

    -Some people have said that Gaiman’s hold over the character eclipses (pardon the pun) McFarlane’s. Obviously this isn’t true, because otherwise Gaiman could have just continued to put Miracleman out independently. If McFarlane doesn’t really own anything, then what the heck were all the attempted negotiations between Gaiman and McFarlane about? Personally I think Gaiman is being kind of a jerk now, by insinuating all of a sudden that McFarlane doesn’t own anything; Neil didn’t feel that way ten years ago, and nothing has changed since. Todd still owns Eclipse.

    -I hope it gets resolved, though. McFarlane really is the only hold-out. And, of all the creators and people involved, it’s easy to see that Todd McFarlane is the party least likely to ever do anything good with the character. Gaiman hasn’t done much I’ve enjoyed in…over ten years…but there’s still really no other comic I’d love to read than his conclusion of Miracleman–I mean Marvelman.

    Moore’s disdain for the comics industry is still very amusing to me. I can see where he’s coming from, though. Kind of.

  33. Me and Prax had a big debate last night about what I posted. I wanna be clear that:

    -I am not talking about creators or companies influenced by Moore

    -I’m not talking about any of us on the site. We’re like the Super Soldiers of comic fandom.

    Am I underestimating the general audience of comics with Alan Moore? Maybe I am. But I still find that most people aren’t buying comics because of Alan Moore. Are people buying Batman because of Killing Joke? Are people buying Superman because of Whatever Happen to the Man of Tomorrow? Are people buying Watchmen because of the creators or that a big box office film came out (ironically without Moore credited thanks to him)?

    I just don’t think so. People like Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, and others are using his ideas or techniques to tell stories now. That much is true. But I want to ask a good amount of the thousands (or hundreds of thousands) who buy Jeph Loeb’s Hulk and see if most of them ever heard of Alan Moore.

    That’s not even my issue at all; I’m sorry it went to that with this post. I was just stating that that line about how the industry is still afloat was pretty arrogant on his part.

  34. I cannot believe that Marvel will take Alan Moore’s name of the Miracle Man because Alan Moore sells. With no chance of him coming to work for them there’s no bottom line in taking his name off and therefore no chance of them doing it. He’s very unlikely to go to court over this so Marvel will go ahead and publish with his name on, assuming they ever get to actually publish. 

    I find it strange that these publishers don’t do more to keep onboard with the creatives, the recent Neil Gaiman case seems to be over the Sandman anniversary just seems insane. Surely they’d have made more money agreeing a new deal rather than really trying to get him working at 1980’s rates. I cant imagine Bloomsbury treating JK Rowling so badly. 

    @josh V for Vendetta was definetly started in Warrior. 

  35. @rush-I believe Moore too.  But that is not the point.  What I am saying is that Moore had reason to know that the big two companies ONLY go as far as the contract goes.  All of those conversations that Moore had with the editors or publishers were just that, conversations and not legally binding.  If he thought that he would be treated differently than any creator that came before him, he was mistaken.

    Again, big company lies to little guy to get his creation is NOT news and is not someone being screwed over.  There was a work for hire contract in place, Moore wanted something beyond the language of the contract and instead of getting a new contract that said so, he went off of what he was told.  His reliance on that is his mistake.

    If he and all the creators that the big two did this to swear off those companies, that is perfectly within their rights.  But for them to expect more from the publishers is just naive.

  36. @TheNextChampion, I understand what you’re saying & I think I pretty much agree with you.  There’s no doubt Alan Moore is a visionary in the field, but like so many other visionaries, all the acclaim he’s received has made him a touch arrogant.  Whether anyone wants to argue if, in Moore’s case, this arrogance is deserved or rises to an excessive level, that’s an entirely different debate.

    @Pompster, Publishing is filled with the corpses of dead author/publisher relationships. It’s always difficult to gauge how a new project, even one that seems to be a sure fire hit like a Sandman reunion or Moore’s Marvelman, will actually perform in the market.  With the low profit margins, Publishers are more often than not wary of putting out the big bucks to creatives.  Similar thing happened with Stephen King a few years ago when he left Viking for Scribner’s.  That said, I’m with you; if you’ve got proven talent, best to keep them happy & in-house. 

  37. Whenever I find Moore is being a jerk I always remember him singing that Libby Lu song on The Simpsons. That usually calms any hatred I might have of him.

  38. "I mean, they’re probably are enough books out there with my name on them to keep the comics industry afloat for a little bit longer."

    If this isn’t a joke, I don’t know what is.  

  39. @josh: I don’t think he was joking….

  40. @josh

    It’s definitely a joke. I think if people read the Twilight of the Superheroes proposal, they may understand that Moore is really just a nice guy. 

  41. He was totally joking there.

  42. I guess my brain has lost function on telling how someone is showing their emotion in print.

  43. Who transcribed this? Alan Moore doesn’t say "they’re probably are"

    Also, definitely a joke.  

  44. I wonder if Alan Moore one day takes his name off all of his big works, and then later on in his life realizes that no one remembers him and goes on a campaign to get his credit for all his stuff.

  45. He was joking when he made that statement. Dry British humor folks.

     @MisterJ- I think Moore as well as others expect these companies to act in god faith which may very well be naive. When they don’t we have situations like this. It really is a shame. I think it makes good business sence to keep really good talent happy and on your side as long as that talent doesn’t cost the company more than it’s making from said talent.


    Both V For Vendetta and Marvelman started in Warrior #1. Both look a lot better in their original black and white. The color version lacks the impact of the original. I have read that V For Vendetta was designed originally designed to be black and white. Moore fans definetly track down the 26 issue run of Warrior, it is relatively cheap and worth every penny.

  46. @rush-I totally agree that, in general, keeping the people who are making you money is a good idea.  That much having been said, it has NEVER been an idea shared by Marvel or DC. 

    I am just saying that no creator has had any reason to expect either of the two companies to act in good faith outside the bounds of the contract after what happened to Simon and Kirby in the 1960’s. 

  47. Bendis said it best:

     "Sometimes Alan Moore’s rantings about the industry feel like the black freighter story of my life."



  48. very true MisterJ, very true. Its is an unfortunate thing. To top it off have you read about the artist who’s Ebay accounts were shut down due to Marvel?

  49. @muddi

    Yeah, you’re right about the aping of Captain Marvel.  Forgot about that.


  50. I would love to see an in depth book about the problems Moore has had in his career. That could probably be a very big text if we search deep enough for interviews/research.

  51. Mr. Moore has had enough publisher-related difficulties that "Disputes" is its own subcategory in his Wikipedia entry, although you’ll notice that section has the highest concentration of "Citation Neededs" you’ve ever seen in your life. If even half of it is true, it’s interesting reading.

  52. I’m strangely perplexed… but in some way disgusted… and yet very very curious… touche’ Marvel…. touche’.

  53. Having had another think about it, I don’t think Marvel have any sort of contract with Alan so they might have to take his name off in order to publish. What we need is a lawyer to clear this Miracle/Marvel Man mess up; that would be a good ide…oh hang on.

  54. But hang on he gave away his right…where’s that law degree gone

  55. @Patio: As far as his name goes, he’s really just entitled to do and say what he wants. If he feels his rights were violated and was personally disrespected, then far be it for any of us to really judge him. Whatever the issue (and let’s face it we don’t really know what kind of words were exchanged in closed doors) it’s really just between him and the big industries. If this is what makes him happy, then all the power to him, it’s really not a matter of it happening everywhere, after all isn’t that the problem that needs solving? Being "short shifted" shouldn’t be the norm anyways so we can’t condone it, regardless if that is what happened in this situation or not. These are things to keep in mind when industrial controversy arises.

    @PaulMontgomery: I love how you phrased that sentence man. From now on I’m going to refer to you when I need to know what Alan Moore would say XD!

  56. After reading this and reading the article with industry professionals’ reactions to the Disney purchase. I’ve decided that Alan Moore and Rob Liefeld are each others antithesis.

    Moore: Writer, no discernable drawing skills, amazing at what he does, but talks way too much.

    Liefeld: Illustrator, no discernable storytelling skills, terrible at what he does, and his reaction to Disney buying Marvel was simply: "Wow"

  57. Is Moore the only holding this back though? if he allows this, does it really mean anything? i don’t know enough about the case. the news gets me exicted none the less though

  58. kool

  59. Moore doesn’t go out and say anything. If someone asks him, he tells them what he thinks. But the dude lives off the grid. 

    I find it amazing that so many people are willing to cast Moore as the jerk.   He’s simply a guy who has a code about what he does and doesn’t find acceptable.  He’s not naming names or going out and talking trash about anyone.  He GAVE all his rights and claims to Neil Gaiman.  He said, all he wants is for Mick Anglo to get something out of this, and he’s prefer his name is off the product.  He’s asked for his name off all the products he’s not standing behind, or benefiting from.  It’s not new.  And it’s not like he’s coming up with new crazy things to be mad about over and over. It’s the same thing, and his stance has been steady and firm.  He’s consistent.  Good for him for doing what he believes is right.

    I’d recommend to all of you to go listen to an audio interview of the guy, either on Indie Spinner Rack or he was on Fanboy Radio once, and tell me if you feel that he’s out of line after listening to the man actually speak.

  60. Josh is right.

  61. For about ten years the only comics I read were Alan Moore comics.

    I don’t think I’d be reading comics right now if it wasn’t for Alan Moore keeping me interested in the format.

    Alan Moore is hard to pin down. I read a Wizard interview where he stated that he hated film adaptations of his work but welcomed people creating stories based on his characters.

    Now while I highly doubt he would be cool with someone writing a Watchmen sequel (maybe he would be though), I’ve never heard him complain about Brubaker using Tao in Sleeper or Constantine in Hellblazer or some of his ABC properties being continued.

    Alan Moore rules.

    I think he is the most important creator in the modern age of comics.

  62. Kick-Ass has something to say:

    I told you so! 😉

  63. Until Marvel announces they’re reprinting the Moore run, I wouldn’t count any chickens. Moore has little if anything to do with these decisions since he has no legal stake in anything.

  64. I recommend watching The Mindscape of Alan Moore. You can get it on Netflix.

  65. I’ve seen the interviews and he is a nice man at least during those times.

    But then I read the comments about him wanting to "spit venom at Zack Synder" in regards to the Watchmen film. So I don’t know who I’m suppose to believe in.

  66. @TNC-Listen to actual audio recordings of the man discussing his beliefs or comments you read about online?  Hmmm, tough choice

  67. @drake: That was an actual interview where someone asked him about the Watchmen film. I believe he had to retract those statements because how hostile they were.

    Of course I do subscribe to "Suckers Weekly"….

  68. It’s incredibly easy to take sarcastic comments out of context when written as dry text. Believe me.

  69. Yup.

    Pitch perfect way how to use a creator’s characters: Tao from Sleeper

    The Most Incorrect Way: Sean Connery as Allan Quartermain 

  70. very true Josh. That has happened to me on an iFanboy discussion.

    What all this boils down to is Moore has a right to his beliefs about his work and how it’s treated. Why would anyone want to slam a guy for expresing his beliefs about his own work.

  71. @TNC-Sucker 😛

  72. @drake: Very appalling lack of research for a magazine called ‘Suckers Weekly’.

  73. Alan Moore approves of something?  Obviously this is bullshit.

  74. @ultimatehoratio – that interview was SO obviously ghost-written by Steve Moore.

  75. I tried to take my name off of a paper in college but the prof wasn’t buying it.

    By taking his name off of the reprints, wouldn’t he be taking food off of the Angelos’ table, so to speak?

  76. I did a paper on Alan Moore in college.

    Got a D-

  77. @Mangaman – Alan Moore can and will do whatever he wants to do. He’s in a position where he feels he doesn’t really need to have his name in the public eye. That’s fine. I respect that. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s arrogant.

    And if he’s in a unique position to take a stand against the powers that be, again I say he can and should (and will) do what he wants. A little self-centered and crazy. But then I don’t read Alan Moore’s work because i think he’s a decent, reasonable guy. I read it because it’s fucking awesome.

    Here’s my main concern, though. If he’s going to have his name *removed* from archival material (and I don’t know if that’s actually going to be the case, I’m just wondering) that seems to me to be interfering with the integrity of the work, which undermines the exact moral high ground he’s stood on for years. So, I’m hoping this just relates to the cover treatment and marketing pieces.


  78. @Patio: I agree.

    It may be humorous and a bit off-putting (not to mention extremely unheard of) but I suppose he does it out of some sense of honor.

  79. thats nice of him to make sure the money goes to the creator but that is kinda rude.

  80. Sweet.