Alan Moore Reflects on Marvelman - Part 2 Comments - Mania.com



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TheFuzzyDan 9/10/2009 7:22:14 AM

I must say I was surprised and delighted to read Mr. Moore's comments about his regrets on unintentionally starting the grim superhero trend.  Comics haven't been "fun" for a long, long while.  That doesn't mean they're bad.  But they only way to get fun superhero stories from Marvel or DC anymore is to buy the "all-ages" brands of comics (most of which are really good, by the way).  I have recently branched out into the independent, direct-sales market looking for comics outside the brooding superhero model and I must say the efforts have been quite rewarding.

savagelee 9/10/2009 9:07:09 AM

 It's pathetic to see how much Alan Moore is propping up the American comic industry, and yet year after year, just as he says, they go digging around through his trash, looking for one more concept to run into the ground.

I love Moore's assertion that he was trying to show people the potential of telling different kinds of intelligent stories - he wasn't just trying to make superhero comics all about rape. But sadly, that's all a lot of people take from his work.

Comics need more talents like Alan Moore, but they won't get them unless the industry learns how to appreciate new and individual voices more, rather than just re-training old men to write the same old stories that they've been telling for the past twenty-five years. 

raulendymion 9/10/2009 11:29:50 AM

Well, first off, Kurt, what a nice feather in your cap, eh? I thought you handled the interview well in the sense that you appeared well informed and didn't kiss the guys ass. Something tells me he would've hated that.

I thought this segment of the interview was more insightful then last week, although I gotta question those numbers. There's no question he's the most influential writer in comics, and has been for many years, but 25%? 1 out of 4?

Nevertheless he raises a valid point: where are the original ideas? Brian K. Vaughn is a writer that comes to mind as a young guy with original concepts. And I'm sure there are others but they're not getting the attention ($) or respect they deserve because tights and flights are still all the rage.

Years ago I could understand the appeal. Young guys in an ever-changing world look to something that doesn't change and the good guy always wins. But hasn't the average reader age gone up? Don't we need a bit of a challenge? The dollars and trends indicate not at first glance, but after considering how comics have fallen off since the heyday then it starts to become clear that many a reader has opted for more challenging novel type stuff. Original ideas just aren’t being demanded (notice the sales of Marvel remain consistent even after the price hike).  

One last thought: while Moore can often seem quite the curmudgeon I believe he truly loves the art of creating comic books and truly despises the business of creating comic books. His loyalties become clear after interviews like this, again nicely done.
 

spiderhero 9/10/2009 12:57:29 PM

You know what? I'm sick of this crap about how it's unimaginative to use characters that have been around for years. I understand how some people feel about superhero book, and goodness knows I don't think we need more X-titles. I haven't read X-Men in years. But I like superheroes. That's why I read comics. I want 4-color FUN. I want Spider-Man (before Quesadillia ruined him), and Batman & the Green Goblin on his goblin glider. If they stopped making superhero  comics tomorrow, I'd stop buying comics. Certainly there should be more to comics than heroes, but I can  & do get different stories from books. From comics, I want color, splash, bang, pow & zoom. Some will say Marvel & DC only perpetuate the characters to make money, but so what? That's what I WANT to buy from them. I'm GLAD they make them. Call me small minded if you want because I read comics only for superheroes. Say I'm helping to destroy the industry. I don't go to a steakhouse for a salad, I go for a big slab meat. They may have great salads, but that's not what I want from them. Don't complain to me that I'm not supprting farmers because I don't eat salads. It isn't what I want.

TheFuzzyDan 9/10/2009 1:02:36 PM

"raulendymion" reminded me of something when he mentioned Brian K. Vaughn that illustrates what a good writer can do when he decides to take an established character and continues a story rather than re-tell it over and over.  I am referring to Mr. Vaughn's Swamp Thing series.  Instead of re-hashing what old readers had again and again (a sad trend in comics Mr. Moore speaks briefly about), Vaughn took the character, or his daughter, and continued the story in a way no one had ever seen Swamp Thing done before.  It was fresh and exciting, exactly the way established characters and storylines should be.  There is a reason the Death of Gwen Stacy will forever be remembered by comic readers and why Brand New Day will be forgotten.  One story evolved a character and the other pressed "reset".

As readers, we truly want our beloved charaters to live and grow.  The business of comics, sadly, won't deliver.  I don't like everything Alan Moore has written and I don't agree with all his opinions but I dearly hope every person that reads this article will at least be open to going beyond the establishment and finding some good, independent comics to see what else the art form can offer. 

shac2846 9/10/2009 4:52:11 PM

I love pretty much all of Moore's work. I even loved the killing joke although it sounds like he didn't, it's a great story Alan probably one of the last good batman stories aside from Grant Morrison's run. Having said that I don't think superheroes need to go away or that their time has passed but I agree with more that the characters need to evolve and so do their stories.

You like superheroes Spiderhero, great, me too, but why can't the comic industry producer more talent or allow more talent to take the kind of chances Moore did? Like he said, in Marvelman and Watchmen he was challenging writers to broaden the canvas on where the comic characters could go not darken them. And I always love how people blame Moore for darkening comics when Watchmen is very clearly written by someone who has the utmost respect and love for the medium. Hell his ABC comics was a love letter to classic sci-fi and superhero comics there was nothing dark about them, they were fun and still brilliantly written, no need to check your brain at the door to have fun. Moore is essentially a comic historian, he knows comics the way Scorsese and Tarrantino know movies. And I have seen the borders and amazon sales figures, his graphic novels are always in the top ten be it Watchmen, V for Vendetta, or Swamp Thing. 

I think Moore is right in that WE regardless of how much we love superhero comics are to blame for the fact that their are 100 X-men books. I mean when the Wolverine movie came out the publishers were like "If you don't like this many Wolverine books stop buying them!" And we're certainly to blame when Marvel raises the price of a comic from 2.99 to 3.99. I bought the first issues of the ultimate relaunch Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man comics, they were good but neither were worth 4 dollars when the trade will be twenty maybe twenty five bucks. I think Moore and Kurt are encouraging us to check out some other types of comics. Independent publishers put comics out in all types of genres and that includes superheros, Invincible being a good example. Like FuzzyDan said the death of gwen stacy will be remembered, brand new day is going to go down as the clone saga of it's day and although the sales have dropped they haven't dropped bad enough for Marvel to put Spider-Man back. We have to take some responsibilty for shitty comics and price gauging.  

RunningWithScissors 9/20/2009 7:48:51 PM

What is this?? This can't be serious journalism? Alan Moore says that "these days, I increasingly get a sense of the comics industry going through my trashcan like raccoons in the dead of the night."

Wait. What? Alan Moore is accusing other people of stealing ideas? The same Alan Moore that wrote The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which lifted almost every character from famous literary works? Or Lost Girls which stole all three leads from other famous books? Or Watchmen, which by his own admission are parodies/pastiches of the Charlton Comics heroes? Oh...oh and what about Swamp Thing. Sure, Alan. You totally thought that one up yourself too. LOL!

Mr. Moore sir, you were once a great man and I still have numerous pieces of your work in my collection and for that I thank you but you are being a complete hypocrite!

And I'm floored that Mr. Amacker didn't think to address any of that.

Derekrife 9/23/2009 11:01:26 PM

@ Spiderhero

 

You do not like comics. You like men running around in tights, which says alot about your mental health.

Regularguy 12/5/2009 3:22:36 AM

I don't get it, haven't comics of the last 10-15 years been fantastic? e.g. Road To Perdition, Age of Bronze, (Ennis') Punisher, Chosen, Marvels, Goldfish, Y: The Last Man, Sandman Mystery Theatre, etc. Why is everyone so surprised that Moore's saying the legacy of Watchmen was to simply darken comics? He's been saying that since forever, as was everyone else (to the point that it became a bit of a cliche), and maybe back then they were right. But now we've gone through the supposed 'reconstruction' of superheroes (led largely by Moore and Busiek), and that's become the new cliche.

This interview WAS done in 2009, right? And the comments were thus also 2009, right? Reading the interview, I had to keep reminding myself of that. It was like reading any interview with anyone at all in the early 90s. I mean I love Moore like everyone else, but what I was really surprised by was not that he was saying these things, but that he was STILL saying them.

Regularguy 12/5/2009 3:26:00 AM

Savagelee said:

"It's pathetic to see how much Alan Moore is propping up the American comic industry, and yet year after year, just as he says, they go digging around through his trash, looking for one more concept to run into the ground."

Wait, are you saying that's a contradiction? If not, why's it pathetic? Very hard to follow.

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