Moore Takes a Step Too Far

This is a quote from Alan Moore’s interview at

It’s the paucity of imagination. I was noticing that DC seems to have based one of its latest crossovers [Blackest Night] in Green Lantern based on a couple of eight-page stories that I did 25 or 30 years ago. I would have thought that would seem kind of desperate and humiliating, When I have said in interviews that it doesn’t look like the American comic book industry has had an idea of its own in the past 20 or 30 years, I was just being mean. I didn’t expect the companies concerned to more or less say, “Yeah, he’s right. Let’s see if we can find another one of his stories from 30 years ago to turn into some spectacular saga. ” It’s tragic. The comics that I read as a kid that inspired me were full of ideas. They didn’t need some upstart from England to come over there and tell them how to do comics. They’d got plenty of ideas of their own. But these days, I increasingly get a sense of the comics industry going through my trashcan like raccoons in the dead of the night.

That’s a good image, isn’t it? They weren’t even particularly good ideas. For Christ’s sake, get some of your own ideas! It’s not that difficult. You used to be able to have them!

I am a giant Alan Moore fan, as many of the iFanbase may know.  I am usually the first to step up and defend the man when he makes his comments that irk so many readers, because after all is said and done, he’s usually not too far off, and he’s written so many great comics that I kind of don’t care what he says. 

But in the interview in question, he really took a step too far in my view.  He’s sort of attacking comic books for being comic books, and having met Geoff Johns and knowing what kind of heart and pride he puts into his comics, I feel it’s a great slight to speak of his work on Blackest Night in such dismissive terms as these, especially when it’s fairly clear that Moore hasn’t even read the offending comics, not that I’d expect him to.  The thing is, he can say whatever he wants about superhero comics, and the way Marvel, DC, or whoever, handle business or market their books, but to describe the work of Geoff Johns as “desperate and humiliating” is entirely unfair, and a grossly erroneous assessment of the work.  I know it’s not for everyone, but what Johns does is build off the things that came before him.  Yet he does it in such a way that he is creating something new from the pieces of the things that came before.  Whether those origin pieces are quality works or not is beside the point if people are liking what he’s produced from them.  Collage can be made from junk, and the value of ingredients does not necessarily equate the value of the finished thing.

Further, it’s been pointed out that Moore constructs or constructed a great deal of his stories from bits and pieces that others that came before.  James Robinson already said it better than I could.  He should be able to do this, and I have absolutely no problem with it, but others should be able to do it as well, and if you’re going to judge the merits of that work, you also have to be familiar with it.

I make no judgments or presuppositions about Moore or how he feels or anything, but I think this particular comment is unfounded, and think it’s greatly disrespectful to Geoff Johns, Pete Tomasi, Ivan Reis, and everyone else involved in putting together comics that are A) selling a great deal and B) entertaining comics and DC fans.

That doesn’t mean I’ll be tossing out my copies of all the favorite Alan Moore or enjoy it any less, but this did rub me the wrong way, and I wish he hadn’t said it.


  1. oooooh Alan Moore scandal (reads)

  2. Wow.

    That’s really not cool. My respect for Alan Moore as a person just went down a long way. 

  3. With each new interview Alan Moore comes across as a crybaby. 

    Has he heard oif ‘continuity’?  Can he not look at Blackest Night and maybe feel a little pride that they considered his eary ideas good enough to expand upon and create an interesting and memorable new storyline?  That newer fans may be encouraged to seek out his older stuff?

     Moore.  Crybaby.

  4. Oh. I’ve read this before, sure sure. He’s an interesting fellow and I’ve learned never to take anything Moore says personally because he’s a tad bitter that DC recycled his old ideas and are profiting off of them. The fact of the matter is, if I were in his shoes I’d probably say similar things if not worse considering bad history between him and the big two companies. I don’t condone what he did but let’s be honest, if you had a falling out from a company and they end up making a cash out from one of your ideas, you’d be furious, and please folk don’t tell me otherwise it’s just initial reaction, he just acted on impulse is what I think, which isn’t professional but understandable.

  5. I think in the context of the full interview it comes off a bit better. He’s in the wrong because he hasn’t read the stories but I think his point was the lack of creativity from Marvel/DC and not the failings of individual writers and artists.

    And Blackest Night, out of it’s self created context, looks like a silly, ridiculous, and stereotypical type of 90’s comic. So yeah…

  6. This looks like the beginning of another great internet circular argument. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  7. Looks like miyamotofreak mentions something I’ve neglected.

  8. Well, the man is entitled to an opinion, but that’s a bit of an unfair judgement of Geoff Johns, particularly after all he’s done for comics.  I think some of this might have a lot to do with some bitterness toward the American industry.  

  9. Usually when there is a furor over something he says, I find he’s entirely justified if controversial and a bit rash. However, while I personally couldn’t care less for Blackest Night, comments like this are just nasty. He is saying things to make you think, but it just seems like he’s worming his way into a comfortable holier-than-thou mindset more and more. This is what happens when no one around you disagrees with you.

    Also I have to say every interviewer who treats him like a deity aren’t doing Alan any favours either.

  10. Really though, this shouldn’t be news, we’re just giving him the current importance he claims to have.

    And despite his misgivings and self-image problems about being the ‘name’ in comics, I don’t think it’s bad in the least to have a creator be ‘the Beatles’ for this industry (who are 40 years split up and selling more than ever lately, but that definitely doesn’t mean there isn’t great music being made today). While it’s different to when Alan was a kid, it’s not unhealthy and in fact shows comics have in fact lasting worth (and not just disposable monthlies). The comics industry is a percentage as big as music and of course when a huge budget film about a highly respected writer who is often the first (or early) buy for newcomers (like the Beatles or Led Zeppelin), he will make up a big chunk of sales. However, he is far from the only old creator who sells a lot on name, and it’s far from just old graphic novels that sell well.

    One of the worst things you can do when you’re out of touch is claim any sort of definitive authority. It’s interesting when he talks about how he’d approach Batman nowadays and how ‘Batman and Robin’ has an element of that throwback playfulness.

    Statements about originality should be considered though, most mainstream super hero stuff is just stale to me (although there are exceptions, and a lot of interesting indie stuff). And his warnings about an inbred creative industry heeded. But when look back at the last ten years of comics, I only see it getting better and better. The enormous shift he’s looking for (rather than the slow positive growth we have), is just impossible (and, from one angle, self-important trumpeting).

  11. Glad to see nobody has wheeled out the bandwagon just yet.

    Thought this one would have exploded by now.

    I think there’s room for both Moore’s thought-provoking, symbol-laden, social-critique in comics as well as John’s great stab at what appears to be a desirable (and repeated) subject for the large publishers, the all singing, all dancing zombie book.

    It would be a drab, heady scene if comics didn’t have a lighter, more dynamic side and also a shallow, confusing one if they all required a checklist and came with endless spin-offs.

    Not a very accomplished interview in it’s entirety if you ask me. 

  12. How dare you.  Bow in shame before the genius of Alex Moore.

  13. However gauche this may be, and however tired Moore’s "i hate superhero comics" schtick may be, I actually think he’s kinda right here.  Blackest night is derivative, and poorly written.  It’s not provocative or interesting at all.  It’s tired, it’s old, it’s crass. and it’s transparent.  And if someone was doing that kind of thing with stories I created, I’d be disappointed too.  

    There’s a reactionary quality to a lot of Geoff Johns’s storytelling that i think is the antithesis of Moore’s project in a lot of ways.  Is Moore being a jerk about it?  Is he being disrepectful to Johns in the particular way he phrases his objection?  Yeah, i guess.  But does he have a point about the failures of Blackest Night as mega-event comic he’s probably never read?  I think he does…

  14. "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants." – Isaac Newton

    Perhaps Mr. Moore would do well to familiarize himself with some of the more famous statements made by his countrymen.

  15. It really seems kind of hypocritical of him to say something about how DC uses rehashed stories when some of his most well known work like The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and Lost Girls are based off of characters that he did not create himself….

  16. Telling stories with past events as a foundation is what comic books do. It’s the entire basis for continuity. Moore used past events to craft his Swamp Thing tales. Why is it OK for him and not Geoff Johns? Sometimes I think Moore just needs to have people pay attention to him so he can remind himself that he used to be far more relevant than he is today. 

  17. I have thought for some time that Moore’s dissenting and condiscending comments are more directly fueled by his disdain for the companies that are producing the story.  I think his ego may have gotten the better of him on this one.

  18. meh, everytime i see Alan Moore has done an interview I just assume he says something along these lines. although this time it seems especially callous and egotistical. But like Josh said this isnt going to make me throw out my Alan Moore paperbacks.

  19. What a grumpy comment, even for Alan Moore. There’s nothing wrong with mining old material and, hopefully, putting an extra spin on things. See For the Man Who Has Everything, Swamp Thing, Marvellman, Supreme  . . .

  20. James Robinson somewhere on the interwebs had a great response to this – basically that a lot of Moore’s most famous work is based around ‘continuity’ – basically other people’s work. as @markbovenzi pointed out above, Lost Girls and LOEG, but there was also Swamp Thing (not his original character), Watchmen (Charleton Characters), From Hell (some book – Robinson explained it better than I can), Supreme (an analogue he didn’t create) – I think there were more.

  21. Is it just me or is Alan Moore forgetting how he made a name for himself?  That thanks to the "big comic companies" and the rehashing of ideas, he is regarded as a great writer.  Wasn’t Watchmen a re imagining of the Charlton Comic characters? It one thing to have an opinion and openly express it but you don’t have to be disrpectful to other peers.  I agree with Josh 100% (Never thought I’d say that!!!)

    @Patman2: I’m beginning to think he just does this to get a rise out of folks and the industry.  It does seem rather egotistical.

  22. respect the work not the man

  23. @JesTr: Yeah, ut despite that fact we cant dismiss he’s still a damned good writer.

  24. Where I think he has gone wrong is to say that the story is, specifically, based on his idea. Unless Alan Moore inventedt he idea of the zombie movie (and he didn’t) it is assuredly not expressly based on his idea. Blackest Night is not deep. Its not thinky. Its not complex. If you look at the base idea its a little cornball. Its just zombie superheroes. The pwoer is in the personal melodrama. I’m not a Geoff Johns fan. Generally he bores me, but Blackest Night is fun and readable to someone who has explicitly avoided his work up until now. Liek Josh, I’d bear Alan’s babies if I could… but this is oddly arrogant even for his eccentric persona


  25. Just a basic question, what story is Mr. Moore referencing when he says Johns "stole" his idea in that quote? 

  26. Over the past few years, it seems that Alan Moore has turned into a comic writer who hates comics

  27. @forestjwp – "In Blackest Night" (Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #3)

    I really liked James Robinson’s response to all this. Alan Moore is chastising the industry for taking part in something that he himself has done in much of his own work. There’s nothing wrong in taking existing elements to tell a new story. That’s what creation is. We think no less of Watchmen because he used existing characters with new names. The same with League. I’m not so angry about his comments…just absolutely perplexed.  

  28. @forestjwp Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill did a 16 page story in a Tales of the Green Lantern Corp Annual #2 about Tygers, in which moore introdoced Sinestro Corp concepts

  29. DAMN YOU PAUL!!!!

  30. Thanks Paul

  31. In my opinion, Alan Moore is somewhat of a prankster when it comes to PR. I wouldn’t take anything he says seriously. Especially scalding comments like these.

  32. I think the point to make here, is that in rehashing things like the Carlton characters for Watchmen, Moore AND Gibbons gave comics something entirely new and original, something that elevated the medium and something, as he states in this interview, that still resonates in most comic book characters today. 

    To put this in context, for Image to do Zombies, then Marvel to do Zombies, then DC to do zombies, it’s hardly raising the bar. There is no originality here.

    Again, I think with a better interviewer, this interview could have read very differently while still raising the same points, maybe a little more aptly.

    @stuclach How about naming some of those giants that aided in Moore’s sight. I’d have thunk Moore qualified as a giant himself, if not, THE giant.


  33. Added a link to the Robinson comments in the story.

  34. @Paul – You actually the wrong issue (I have made that mistake myself).  The issue that discusses the prophecy is actually entitled "Tygers" from Green Lantern Corp. Annual #2.  "In Blackest Night" is about a blind lantern.

  35. I agree with Alan More on this.  And Johns and Blackest Night are way overrated.

  36. @stulach – Good catch. Thanks!  

  37. @Xomneon – I agree that Moore is one of the Giants.  That is what I intended to imply with the quote.  Johns is simply standing on his shoulders (utilizing a great idea he presented).  Just like Newton used the ideas of Euclid, among many, many others.  It happens in every discipline and is reason we have TV’s, cars, an understanding of physics, and comic books of a high caliber.  I don’t see why anyone would be irritated that this is occurring.  It is a very high form of flattery.  

    I would argue that Moore is standing on the shoulders of the great writers that preceded him.  He is hardly the first to take a character on a spiritual journey (a la Swamp Thing), for example (Dante comes to mind).  He is using ideas as old as time, but he used them in a new (and very, very interesting) way.

    I would argue that Johns is using an idea that Moore came up with and is expanding on it to write a very interesting (in my opinion) story that happens to use "zombies".  (I would also argue that he is introducing us to a new type of zombie and is redefining the word.) 

    As soon as I read "Tygers" I thought to myself: "Self, why the hell hasn’t anyone taken this prophecy and done something interesting with it?"  I’m glad someone finally did. 

  38. Sorry for rambling.

    @Paul – No problem. 

  39. Nothing is new under the sun.  Regardless of how many stories comic creators come up with, it’s been either said or done in spoken, written, visual art, or song form.  It’s how you approach the story that makes it unique.  Whether it be conflict, love, human struggles, etc., all stories can be boiled down to certain basic themes.  So Alan Moore can say whatever the hell he wants, because well, he’s Alan Moore, but his opinion on comics that I love and enjoy have no sway on how I feel about them.  He’s an eccentric aging man and has nothing better to do than claim that people are stealing ideas from him.   

  40. "He’s sort of attacking comic books for being comic books,"

    No he’s not.

    "and having met Geoff Johns and knowing what kind of heart and pride he puts into his comics, I feel it’s a great slight to speak of his work on Blackest Night in such dismissive terms as these"

    So just because someone is a nice person you can’t criticize their work? George Bush seemed like an affable fellow too.

    "especially when it’s fairly clear that Moore hasn’t even read the offending comics"

    But he’s criticizing a certain aspect of the comics that he knows full well about. It’s like saying "Well, you can’t criticize the Saw movies unless you sit through every one!" Or "You don’t like X-Men, huh, Josh? Well your opinion doesn’t hold any water unless you’ve read hundreds of X-Men comics–so get out your wallet, and once you spend $500 on X-Men comics, THEN you can have an opinion." … No, you can criticize something without experiencing it as long as the aspect that you’re criticizing is something you know about. And Moore obviously knows about Johns’ debt to the Green Lantern work he did in the ’80s.

    Don’t get me wrong: I like Blackest Night quite a bit. I also think you have a pretty good point about Moore himself using other people’s ideas. Personally, I think Moore is way more creative in his reuse of other authors’ concepts than Johns is (Moore’s pretty much more inventive than anyone, period, though, so that’s not saying anything bad about Johns).

    I think Moore does go a bit too far, maybe, but you guys’ve just gotta understand who the guy is. All really, really great artists and writers are assholes. Maybe people are offended by this because they like to put Moore (and other artists they adore) upon pedestals and treat them like perfect gods. Me, I don’t really have any use for worshipping anyone. Moore isn’t a god in my eyes…and I wouldn’t even say that he’s "like a god of comics" or whatever. That’s the same sort of celebrity worship that so many people go in for–I guess because they love looking up at someone–and then they’re shocked when their favorite famous person does something bad or shocking. Moore’s my favorite comic writer…but put yourself in his shoes. He looks over at the American comics industry today–the place he made his name at–and sees a bunch of writers who compared to him seem very shallow. Guys like Johns and Bendis and the others who rule the roost today–they’re clearly fanboys, raised on tv as much as on comics. I can enjoy their work, but I bet Moore looks over and sees that there’s nothing serious or important going on in the superhero genre today. That’s maybe that exactly true, but that’s how Moore sees it. Moore is the guy who hardly ever wrote a series that didn’t mean something, that didn’t push the boundaries of the medium or say something that had never been said in comics before. Compared to that, Blackest Night–must as I like it–is just like a little boy playing with action figures. I know some people are saying that Blackest Night will build up to "say something about the nature of DEATH in comics". Yeah, sure, and it will be a forced statement that DC will contradict the next time they kill a character. With Moore, his every issue felt profound; you didn’t have to wait and look at things cockeyed to pretend to find some big MEANING to it (the way you do in Final Crisis and now Blackest Night–series I both like, by the way). 

    The comics industry now is ruled by fun-loving fanboys who love pop culture, are obsessed with technology, and who are often irreverent and goofy. I like this community and this artform alright, still, but I can totally understand why Alan Moore would not like them.

  41. Wow, little hypocritical for the guy who wrote League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls, works which take their characters from from source material far more noteworthy then one of Moore’s stories.

  42. @flapjaxx – you’re misinterpreting what I said about Geoff Johns.  I didn’t say it was because he’s a nice guy, I was saying it because he’s not a hack, and he puts a ton of heart, work, and love into the books he writes, and I know this from both reading his books, and talking to him.

  43. @TheFutureManScneitist:  Or reimagines characters from a different comic line.

  44. That quote is kind of laughable. He contradicts himself within a few sentences. He was insprired by the ideas of comics he read when he was younger, but when writers are insprired by ideas in comics he wrote years ago, it’s lazy.

    Alan Moore is becoming the crazy old grandfather figure. He doesn’t want to be paid for his creations anymore, he just wants the occasional soapbox to stand on and hate things in public. Let’s just smile and nod until that beard consumes him.

  45. I’m convinced all comic writers will become cranky or crazy when they get older, if we’re lucky they become both, if we’re even luckier, they get to continue to put out work. In 30 years all the great writers today will become cranky and crazy!

  46. "But these days, I increasingly get a sense of the comics industry going through my trashcan like raccoons in the dead of the night."

    Without a doubt he is right about this. I love Geoff Johns work, but he isn’t anywhere near Alan Moore.

    Sometimes when people talk reckless, feelings get hurt.

  47. @stuclach, that’s all very true, and I totally agree some of the ideas Moore basis his work on are as old as time, and thus are welcome for reinterpretation and the new way in which he employs them. And he reinterprets them like no other.

    However, I still don’t think that this translates over to Johns and DC and their ‘reinvention’ of the zombie, so soon after Marvel’s super-hero interpretation, rolling right off the back of Kirkman’s original and dynamic vision of the potential of a zombie story within the medium of an ongoing comic book series. 

    Nor do I think Johns just ‘happens’ to use zombies. The industry’s following it’s own tail. Zombies are the current trend. There will be more.

    I hope once Blackest Night is done (not that I dislike it), zombies will stay dead for a while. 

  48. Is Alan Moore’s self-loathing so overwhelming that he feels the need to criticize those who love and are inspired by his work every time he’s interviewed?  If what he craves is indifference toward–and not reverence of–his work, why even bother publishing anything at all?  When your work rocks the boat so violently, Alan Moore, you can’t expect that its ripples will have no affect on the world.

  49. Of course I meant "effect".  Just making sure everyone was paying attention.

  50. "When your work rocks the boat so violently, Alan Moore, you can’t expect that its ripples will have no effect on the world."

    That’s friggin’ excellent.

  51. What Johns is doing is far more interesting than mindless zombies. It’s a trend, sure, but his version is so appropriate to the medium and the universe in which he’s playing. Sort of celebrating the history of the DC universe through irreverence. 

  52. So is Alan Moore claiming he ALSO thought of DC Zombies . . . cause I think everyone has at some point.

  53. The above is not a slight on the blackest night story because I’m mostly enjoying it.  It just seems like  a common idea.  Its how you implement it thats key.

  54. Far more interesting than mindless zombies indeed.

    If Image and Marvel had success with angels, let’s say, and not zombies, then Johns would be celebrating the history of the DC universe through irreverence in that way.

    I like the idea of the Black Lanterns. They are appropriate to the medium. The idea behind them is an old one. That said idea is being developed well. I just get the feeling that zombies were decided upon first, and blackest night was written to suit.

    I’d prefer to see it developed the opposite way round, zombies or no zombies. a la. Carlton characters developing into Watchmen.

    It’s a shame that Moore said what he did so clumsily. 

  55. While I usually agree with most of Alan Moore’s opinions, this one has crossed the line a little bit. However, I think he does enjoy causing these kinds of stir ups, so I believe he may be slightly exageratting what he really is intending to say. Even if he does mean every word that he said in this, you cant expect his opinion on everything to be perfect, so I dont have too much of a problem with what he said. This really doesnt change my thoughts on him or his comics.

  56. I don’t get the feeling that Moore is attacking specific writers as such, he’s just lashing out at DC and Marvel, as fans it’s in our nature to overanalyse everything that revered creators say or do.  They’re human after all and therefore flawed.

  57. Here’s the thing, I could understand and even see Moore’s point if DC was coming out with "Watchmen 2!" or "W for Why (the Sequal to V)" or something that was a Moore original work or idea. But it’s a Green Lantern story, a character that is in a monthly continues series. There were stories before Moore’s run, lots and LOTS of stories. Yes Blackest Night is taking seeds Moore set, but he set them in a monthly character with a continuing story. This would be like Chris Claremont doing an interview about how pissed he is that people use the Phoenix or The Hellfire Club, or Denny O’ Neal getting angry about Ra’s Al Ghul being used. An interesting idea was put into a monthly series, yes it’s probably going to be used later, what a shock. Could you imagine Jeph Loeb coming and doing an interview about how upset he is that Paul Dini is using "Hush"? Would people defend that stance?

  58. Also, I believe that this is only as big of a problem as it is becuase it was Alan Moore that said it. If it were any other comics writer out there, we wouldnt even be discussing this.

  59. First, he is "ripping off" Marvel Zombies and then Alan Moore.  I wish people would just let the man write the stories that he wants to write.  Johns is very enthusiastic and excited to write and it makes for good reading.  It like Alan Moore is sayinng how dare he write about something I wrote about once.  This is comic book writing right?  Isn’t that the idea, to build on what happened before? What’s next, are we going to start pointing fingers at Grant Morrison or Brian Michael Bendis?

  60. True

  61. @Patman2: Agreed Alan Moore is a very good writer.

  62. I’ve learned to not care what Alan Moore says.  Someone found inspiration in a story you wrote 25 years ago?  Thought that would be a good thing.  Secret Invasion was essentially Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but you didn’t see Jack Finney’s family making a scene about it.

  63. Alan Moore is an overrated, self-important jackass.

  64. There seems to be a trend here of saying ‘this isn’t just a zombie story’. Yes, in fact it is. Just because these zombies are smart does not make them not zombies. The original zombies of Voodoo myth were quite intelligent. In fact they were almost always osmeone of deep importance to teh person. The term zombies became applied as it currently is thanks to Romero and his contemporaries, those are, from a mythological standpoint, actually ghouls (mindless, flesh devouring dead). There is not just one kind of zombie. There are dozens. They all fall under the zombie genre. If you can’t tell by my handle, I’m pretty into zombie mythos. So, trust me. This story is not a new spin or unique in any way except to people who think they don’t like zombie stories.

  65. I would like to see those 8 page stories and see how similar they are.

  66. Its called continuity and its a big reason why real fans can read books for years at a time.  If Brand New Day has shown us nothing it has reaffirmed the comics industrys love for CONTINUITY.  Revear the old and push the envelope with the new.  That statement is Geoff Johns in a nutshell!

  67. There are a lot of factors at play here. Mainly, one writer who has made his stamp on the medium of comics has stated his concern for genre’s lack of direction. I feel that he made  a very calculated move by commenting on not only a popular story that he gave foundations to, but also involving Johns in it all while putting his name back into the spotlight. Frankly, Johns’ best work is when he is dressing up forgotten stories and characters. His strength is to make what was once dismissed, and breath new life into it. But writing a story that pushes the boundaries of the medium hasn’t occurred recently, and perhaps Moore is merely trying to boast that nothing has changed since he wrote "Watchmen". Personally, I’ll read both authors with the same enthusiasm, and respect their work, and they BOTH seem to be qualified as the lighthouse keepers of this genre.

  68. @racemccloud Overrated no.  Self-important jack-ass yes.

  69. @kalle, i agree, does anyone have them and can post them on ifanboy?

  70. @JFernandes: I think Alan finds all this so silly is because he doesn’t much care for those ideas. That such a big comic event is based off a throwaway piece of mumbo-jumbo (that was probably completely off the cuff) for a relatively throwaway story (at least in his eyes) he wrote two decades ago, is crazy to him (thus the analogy of DC going through his left over trash for ideas). However, he is over-stating the importance of that small bit of backstory, and dismissing everything Geoff Johns is bringing to the table (whether I like Blackest Night or not).

     @jmsnyder: Continuity is absolute fanboy-ish nonsense, and the one of the worst things about the mainstream comics. And at least in that sense Alan is right to be snarky.

  71. No, we can’t post a whole copyrighted story on this site unless DC let us.  You’ll have to go buy it.

  72. The thing that bothers me most about Moore making a comment like this is that he attacks Geoff Johns, and the comics Geoff Johns makes when I can’t remember the last time I read an Alan Moore book. I’m not talking about LOEG, I’m talking about putting out a monthly book. Geoff Johns does this several times a month, and being attacked by a person who isn’t doing that seems ridiculous. "You don’t know how to make comics like I do, you should be embarassed." "You don’t really make comics anymore…are you crazy?"

  73. The sad thing here (in my opinion) is that "Tygers" is a phenomenal story that sets up an excellent foundation for a story describing the fulfillment of the Blackest Night prophecy and Mr. Moore (and some of the folks in this thread) are getting mad at Johns for attempting to tell it.  I would love to hear Alan Moore’s version of this story, but I’m glad to get the Johns version, too.  

    @Zomneon – I think we might agree (in principle), but in the most dysfunctional manner possible.

  74. I enjoy Kanye West’s music but does he always have to come off like a jackass….. Wait… what are we talking about again?

  75. @Stuclach Amen.

  76. Josh, you are totally right. It doesn’t matter if a story is built over concepts that had been there before; rather, the most important thing is that it is done correctly, that it touches the essence that makes those characters great. Geoff Johns’ great writing resonates with us fans because he knows how to reach a character’s heart and bring it forward. Mr. Moore’s magnum opus – Watchmen – was actually based on preexisting characters and concepts, including Steve Ditko’s Question and the rest of the Charlton characters. So why is he knocking writers that are singlehandedly keeping afloat the comics industry? Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern will be someday regarded with the same reverence we hold to seminal works, such as Stan Lee’s Fantastic Four and Claremont and Byrne’s X-Men. He’s reinventing a mythos and bringing new fans over to the medium. For this alone, he should be complimented, not criticized.

  77. You can have an opinion (Frank Zappa said it best: "Opinions are like a-holes, we all have one."), but not an "informed opinion."  There’s a big difference.  I don’t see how one can comment much on anything if they haven’t at least experienced a bit of what they are talking about.  Still, I expect Moore to be eccentric, a maverick, outspoken, etc., which is one of the reasons I find him endearing, not the least of which, is still a good writer.

  78. I wonder what stories he was referring to when he said that?

  79. Opinions are like assholes in moret han one way. Everyone has one and they are also vital to survival.

  80. WOW leave it to Alan Moore to incite nerd rage across the land.


    That said, Johns touched on an a very very tiny event that occured in an Alan Moore story. Something not unheard of in comics. However I feel that the Blackest Night does seem like an updating of the story from the 3 issue Tales of the Green Lantern Corp, which introduced Nekron to the DCU. Does this fact make Blackest Night any less entertaining or Johns any less talented? The answer to that I leave to the readers of Johns work. 

    A great many enjoy Blackest Night as well as other Johns books. DC is making good money on his work and the career of a really hard working writer is being elevated to new heights, all good things. In the end who cares what Moore or anyone else says about a book you like. If you dig it buy it and enjoy it.


    By the way Moore has had the same complaint about comics for many years it’s nothing new.

  81. *insert Bendis Twitter quote here*


  82. Bear in mind that when Moore talks about comics in these situations, it’s in response to prompting by an interviewer…and that subtleties like sarcasm and irony don’t come across in the written word. Me, I can definitely picture him smirking while uttering those words.

    The fact that he’s unwilling to be a Smilin’ Stan Lee-style booster for mainstream superhero comics seems to rankle people to no end…granted, a lot of his statements seem calculated to raise hackles.

  83. Moore stepped out of line loooooong ago when he insulted Stan Lee in the same way.  Anyone who’s actually read Stan Lee’s 250+ early comics (Like me) know that those works are superior to Moores.

    Moore is the Kanye West of comics at this point.

    Every comic he’s done was ripped off of someone else, to the point where there should be plagiarism suits in some cases.  Supreme, Tom Strong, Watchmen, LOEG, Lost Girls, From Hell, Swamp Thing, etc.

  84. Let’s not forget that Moore vehemently hates DC for prior transgressions.  His response about Blackest Night probably has nothing to do with Geoff Johns and his work.  This was just an opportunity for Moore to say nasty things about his former employer.  


  85. Why do we care? The man’s opinions and thoughts outside of his work are irrelevant. He hasn’t had a real connection outside of his own work to comic booking. He’s a hermit and an isolationist and being that way makes a person "off". The more he isolates himself the more he perceives what he’s isolating himself from as twisted and wrong. 

    Appreciate his work, and his thoughts on his work. As for his thoughts on others in his field he’s clearly disconnected and unable to make an informed and considered comment on it. 

  86. This from Alan Moore, the guy who virtually never created any characters for his most successful books?

    I once thought him overrated, but now I see him as an overrated AND hypocritical ass.

  87. @KickAss – I’m pretty sure he wasn’t criticizing Stan Lee exactly, but his character and his unparalleled ability to lay claim to everything. To the detriment of other creators who played massive roles in early Marvel material such as Steve Ditko (including the writing/plotting).

    As a sidenote, it’s interesting to compare the comments here, and those of the actual article… 

  88. Disappointing and hypocritical. Watchmen are the Charlton characters. V for Vendetta was at one time the script of a retooling of Marvel’s Citizen V. His historical work, etc, etc. If I were Moore I’d be flattered someone turned a throwaway line of mine into a such a big idea. Alas…. 

  89. I just noticed that it has been almost a year since a conversation very like this one came up. (If only I had been as eloquent as James Robinson.) I have a feeling we will be talking about Moore like this for decades to come; he has an innate ability to push those buttons.

  90. Is it possible that Mr. Moore has just grown out of comics? Comic books are after all an entertainment product. They were never meant to enlighten, (although some do) just entertain. Perhaps, Mr. Moore’s artisitc ambitions have outgrown what he perceives to be the current comic book market. 

    The rest of the interview is a bit more telling and I think he is poking the companies more than he is Geoff Johns. If what he said is true and 20% of comic sales are from his books than he has a point! It’s time for the comic industry to try something new and fast. 


  91. So wait is this the playful side of Alan Moore? Cause he whines and complains like a fanboy (like me!) I can barely tell.

    Yeah that’s pretty insulting to both Geoff Johns and the industry. You know I can still respect the work he’s done. But you see a guy acting like a jackass then it’s hard to really like him on a personal level. (Believe me I know a thing or two on that)

  92. To me, this is kind of unsettling.  I love Moore’s work, but, to not give Johns his due is very dissrespectful.  Look at Watchmen, Moore was using Charleton characters there.  He was totally intent on using them at one point too.  So him saying that racoon bit, is kind of hypocritical.

    Secondly, Moore seems to have a pretty high opinion of himself, methinks, and his head is too big for his bullocks!  He seems to be stating that today’s comics are supported by throwaway stuff he did a long time ago.  And that only his ideas were original.  I don’t know.  I love Moore, but, this isn’t the best example of the man.

    Anyone call fail?

  93. So josh we know for your interview you can’t discuss about:

    Blackest Night

    DC Comics

    Marvel Comics


    V for Vendetta

    From Hell


    Neil Gaiman

    Geoff Johns

    Doctor Who

    Joe Quesada

    Captain Britain

    League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

    Zack Synder

    Dan Didio

    The state of modern comics

    His influence in the industry

    Other then that, anything is a-okay to discuss!! 🙂

  94. That’s going to be one hell of an interview!

  95. @bcfortenberry: Ha!!!! I’ma let you finsih but Alan Moore had one of the greatest Blackest Night stories of all time.

  96. In that interview, Alan Moore NAILED mainstream comics creators and fandom.  Down with DC/Marvel and their male adolescent power fantasies and sexist huge-breasted porno girls in spandex!  Support the indies.  Support quality, excellence, and new ideas. 

    A lot of people seem mad at him for merely pointing out uncomfortable truths. 

  97. I always had a feeling from interviews that Alan Moore lived in a universe stuck up his own ass so this isn’t at all surprising.

  98. @BrowncoatJedi, no people are mad at him for basically shitting all over Geoff Johns’ work and claiming to the fountainhead for all comics movement in the last two decades.


    The only man capable of properly expressing my rage is one Peirre Bernard.

  99. @Heroville: Do you have a recliner of rage handy? 🙂

  100. I wonder if Alan Moore will read this.  What operating system do you think his crystal ball uses?  Windows (18)98?  Google Scroll?  Crowley 2.0?

  101. Ya I’m pretty sure Green Lantern was a character that Moore used that he didn’t in fact create. And I’m 100% sure that EVERY SINGLE WRITER takes or borrows ideas and forms from those that came before them. Without Shakespeare, Milton, or Virgil writing would be completely different. Authors after them have borrowed from their works on a daily basis.

    Also Moore never wrote an exact plot, he only used the words "War of Ligt" and "Blackest Night". Johns came up with a completely original idea of his own when he began to write the plot of Blackest Night. Moore even borrows these types of ideas in his own work. What would Watchmen be without the Super Heroes that were created before it? Watchmen wouldn’t be, without those heroes. The characters in The League are also based on pre-existing characters. I doubt that Moore is ignorant of this fact, which is why I am confused by this hypocracy.

  102. I’m going all nerd rage of the red lanterns right now.

  103. who cares?

  104. Moore’s becoming the new John Byrne.  A guy who once shaped the industry but who no longer occupies the spot of active prominence that he once did.  So now he’s content to sit in a belltower and take random shots at whoever comes his way.  Such is life.  He’s a hell of a writer though, and I do love to be entertained by his fiction!  His reality, well, that’s entertaining for me too, but in a totally different way!

  105. @rwpos: I would agree on all of that; but the only difference is that Byrne kinda fell off the talent wagon and Moore is still going strong when he decides to write a comic.

  106. Alan Moore coming off a bit Mercury Morris there.

  107. @robbyzwonar: spot on

  108. You guys know that the more everyone talks about this, the more his opinion has weight. While he is a great writer, he doesn’t speak for every comic book fan in "our" community.  He had his say, we "vented" our opinion about it, and we need to move on. Now where did I put my cheesy puffs?

  109. Has anyone here read the 3 issues of Tales of the Green Lantern Corp?

  110. I almost forgot. many of you here are saying Moore used characters created by someone else as an argument. There is a big difference between using existing characters in a brand spanking new story and using plots and story concepts others have created. What you should have used is what Grant Morrison said back in the day about how Moore used a lot of the plot points from a novel called Superfolks by Robert Mayer in his Whatever Happend to the Man of Tomorrow story.

  111. Was just speaking to Obama…..he called him a jackass too

  112. Moore is pushing DC for something better. I guess it’s better to keep DC on their toes rather than letting them rest on their laurels. Criticism is better at stoking the fire than flattery or complacence.

  113. @lobo – I doubt DC did anything except roll their eyes.  Most of their Vertigo line kicks the crap out of LoEG: Century.

  114. Alan Moore is not the Kanye West of comics; stop that. I don’t want to get too into it, but Moore is so much more important to comics than West to music. Kanye is a fad, he won’t have any staying power 20 years from now. This is more like if a member of The Beatles said something like what Moore said.

    Really, what it comes down to is that Alan Moore isn’t reading the comics that he’s bashing. He heard what little he did, saw the connection (or had it pointed out to him, which can cloud the judgement of even the great ‘Extraordinairy V for Lost WatchGentlemen From Hell’ scribe) and spoke on a subject that he is no longer well versed in. He made a faux pas, he is but human afterall… isn’t he?

  115. @ultimatehoratio: Roll their eyes and count all the money they are making off of the Absolutes and hadcover reprints of his work.

  116. Is he human?  Is he?!

  117. Oh man, thanks for this, Josh. After 2 days in the hospital, I needed a laugh.

  118. I had a similar thought when I heard the Kirkman manifesto. What Moore calls nostalgia I call standing-on-the-shoulders-of-giants. Anybody tell Einstein he was just re-doing Newton?

  119. Wait a second … so Alan Moore is a literary genius … and is also kind of an asshole? Wow, that’s never happened before.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read Norman Mailer, Ernest Hemingway, Jonathan Franzen, Truman Capote, JD Salinger, Gore Vidal,  and on and on and on …

  120. As I (fully) supported Kirkman, I also support Alan Moore. Also Robinson’s rebuttal kinda misses the point.

  121. @roadcrew1: first off, that was uncalled for and unnecessary, please don’t do it again.
    @Conor: They totally are, Geoff John fans are blowing this out of proportion. I’m also one who doubts DC caring at all. They are cashing out massively on Moore, so he could say just about whatever he pleases. He became their money train in the early 90’s and throughout the 00’s so I doubt we’ll be seeing or hearing any real resentment from DC. It’s really the american way of life.

    Miyamotofreak’s got the idea.

  122. I think what surprises me about Moore’s comment is the ignorance it shows about his own writing process.  ALL of his ideas are rooted in/inspired by stories that came before.  Such is the essence of writing in poular media, you take a preexisting story idea, improve upon it, and make it your own.  He didn’t invent Swamp Thing, he just wrote it really well.  And the idea of combining famous literary characters and making a super team, while it hadn’t been done in comics, had certainly been done in literature.

     Ehhhh, one of the reasons I rarely read interviews by writers is that I like imagining their not self-important assholes with over-inflated senses of self-worth.  Much easier to just read their stories and pretend they’re more or less like their protagonists.

  123. A tinge of arrogance grasps anyone that has ever recieved a compliment.  Alan Moore has just recieved so many that he has lost sight of the fact that there is no such thing as a story with an idea all it’s own.  They all adapt science and ideas the writer found fascinating either in reality or past stories, changing them just enough to give the reader the intended amount of satisfaction or the intended moral.  Through the manipulation of history and old ideas any writer can claim to have written something entirely their own.  Which is exactly what Moore and all other writers do. 

    No man or woman on the face of the Earth has ever been sitting around and just had an idea that doesn’t either adhere to science or adapt something that has been seen or heard, including the old comics that Moore seems to hold so dear.  Not to mention that, if he had been writing his LOEG when the character’s respective creators were still alive then they could all clamor for the spotlight with a much larger claim than Moore has today.  But, of course he fails to see the hypocrisy that stains his words.

  124. Took the time to read other people’s comments now, and realized I just repeated their crap. So, whatever, I generally don’t like Moore’s work and only pick up several of his books based on his name and the fact that I am supposed to like it. So keep that in mind whenever I mention him. I have ceased caring.

  125.   pdallor hit the nail on the head in my personal opinion.  Alan Moore is an incredible writer, who also happens to be a dick, nothing new there. 

    I would however like to point out that we are dangerously close to descending to typical internet troll status in this thread. 

    One of the things i’ve always loved about this site is that the ifanbase tends to be made of thoughtful and considerant people who don’t engage in the wanton jackassery which consumes most message boards

    so to those who have crossed the line in to such behavior (you hopefully know who you are) i would gently remind you that dialogue should be the order of the day, and that thinking your way of thinking is the only correct one is a very dangerous, weary, and devisive path to go down. 

  126. Alan Moore is not a dick. In every interview I read (including this one) he comes off as very down to earth. 

    But he has everyone reason to be a dick. If you ever read the Twilight of Superheroes proposal you will see how far he was willing to go just to do his stories.

    But the fact is, he isn’t. He takes only a fraction of the money he deserves, he consistently puts out great stories, brings fellow artists to attention, and the only hatred he spews is upon the lack of creativity in Marvel, DC, and Hollywood.

    Of which he is 100% correct.

    Don’t get me wrong, Astonishing X-Men (by Whedon) and Grant Morrison’s Batman have been great these past couple of years, but they are the exception, not the rule. Personally, I think it’s more the fault of you guys, the readers (though iFanboy is one of the best communities!) that we get this horseshit fed to us. Go over to the audio podcast and listen to the voicemail this week. It terrified me.

  127. I don’t think Alan Moore is a dick.  I just didn’t like one thing he said.  That’s all.

    One thing.

  128. Well I think he’s a bit of a dick.  He’s not a complete dick, but he’s no Ned Flanders either.  This whole thing sounds to me like he’s actually crowing about himself… "Oh comics today stink! Look they have to use one of MY ideas from years ago *chortle*".

    Personally I think the dude gets off on being the ‘cool’ guy in the back of the room slagging off everyone else who is having fun. His whole shtick is really a bit tired. 

     @miyamotofreak With all due respect Alan Moore is about as far from "Down to Earth" as you can get.  Buck Owens was ‘Down to Earth, Alan Moore not so much! Watch that Documentary floating around about him and you’ll see that he”s just a bit ‘out there’.  Now this doesn’t make him a bad person it’s just he is not how you describe him. 

    And as for him consistently putting out great stories that is an opinion, and one I certainly do not share… especially after reading the last League of Extraordinary gentlemen book.

  129. Hahahahaha I love Alan Moore!

  130. in other shit alan moore will hate

  131.  @josh admittedly perhaps "being a dick in this instance" would have been the better way to phrase my comment, my bad, and as i mentioned in the words immediately before hand that’s only my personal opinion. i was in no way trying to imply that it was yours as well.

  132. @Hawkboy – "Buck Owens was down to earth, Alan Moore, not so much" = LOL

  133. I would recommend to anyone with a strong opinion here to make sure and read the whole interview, and not just the clipping from above. When I first saw the quote I had a strong opinion that Alan Moore was being a jerk.  After I read the actual interview, I realize in the larger context his quote is more flipant (not necessarily defensible), but less jerky then I first thought.

    I understand what Josh meant by "down to earth", because I didn’t find him talking from the top of a mountain giving commandments.  Specificly he’s frank and critical about his own Killing Joke work at one point, which shows to me more that he’s just being retrospective and at times thinking outloud.

    Mind you, he can still be _wrong_ in his opinion, it’s just I didn’t find him to be all that bad as a person.