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Comicscape - April 19, 2006

The Virtues of Vice: The Alan Moore Interview, Part Two

By Kurt Amacker     April 19, 2006


Alan Moore
© Alan Moore
Greetings, COMICSCAPE faithful, and welcome to another week of watching your credit card bill skyrocket like the national deficit. Yes, I'm hooked, too. So, don't feel bad. You've only got your wife to answer to. This week features the second (and much longer) part of my interview with Alan Moore. Unfortunately, I shortchanged the length last week, so this one's a bit of a marathon. But, I think you'll find it's worth it. Herein, the author discusses sex, politics, and, of course, film adaptations. I hope you enjoy it.

AM: To some degree, no matter when we have our first sexual experience whether it is as somebody very young or somebody in later life to a certain degree, that sexual experience is one of the main marker posts with which we define the end of childhood and beginning of maturity. To some degree, everybody going into their first sexual experience is, in a certain sense, immature. In a certain sense, they are still children. When they come out of that sexual experience and like I said, this can be at the age of 13 or 35 or whatever when they come out, they may not be mature adults, but they're certainly not the children that they went into the experience as. Sexuality is one of the ways in which we define what a mature adult is, you know? We look at things like puberty and adolescence and these are the stages in life that mean we have changed from one thing to another.


KA: What you're saying resonates with me quite a bit. Without going into my whole fking life story, I was seeing this girl for about two years. Basically, our first sexual experience ended our relationship at the beginning of college. It resonates so much with what you just said, because it was a jarring experience. I thought, 'Well, holy hell, we're in an adult relationship now. We're not children anymore.' And, it ended shortly thereafter. I suppose I felt a bit of a pain when you said that.


AM: It's one that's common to all of us. When we enter into that new world, it is exactly that it is a new world. It is a world in which all the things we learned during childhood no longer apply. People are all acting differently. People have different motives. There is a different kind of logic that applies to the sexual world than to the world of childhood. It's very much like the logic of the Red Queen in ALICE IN WONDERLAND. It kind of sounds like it makes sense, but it's completely unfamiliar to any way that you've ever thought before. All of our first sexual landscapes they do become wonderlands wonderful and often scary and disorienting places.


Once these kind of ideas had presented themselves, it was pretty irresistible. I began to see how you could actually tell a wonderful story or series of stories about people's sexual awakenings by using these three characters. Originally, I'd only been thinking about PETER PAN, and that's probably why my thinking hadn't been getting anywhere. The most I could think of was kind of sexualized version of the story, which would have probably been, at best, a kind of smutty joke.


KA: It's also been done before, if I'm not mistaken. I recall HEAVY METAL hawking a book with a similar premise a while back.


AM: That's it, and I didn't want to do that. But when Melinda presented herself, that was a huge breakthrough in that, for one thing, it was the idea of working with a woman, which is still a shamefully rare experience in the comic industry. Melinda remains one of the only two or three women that I've ever worked with, and certainly the only one I've worked with for any extended amount of time. When Melinda presented herself, that seemed to offer a much more healthy kind of energy in the collaboration, because I just feel that if it had been two men doing it or even two women doing it then it wouldn't have been representative. It would've been too much involved with that specific gender. It would've been a male approach to sex, or a female approach to sex. Which, while they've both got a lot to recommend, wasn't what I was going for. I wanted something that was effective irrespective of gender or even of sexuality. I wanted something that was kind of polymorphous. Melinda, with her presence, made that possible. But, it was also her that suggested that she'd always enjoyed doing stories in the past that had three strong women characters. That idea kind of collided with my half-assed Peter Pan idea. I suddenly thought if you could get three women like say, Wendy from Peter Pan, and of course, obviously, Alice and Dorothy suggested themselves straightaway. I began to see what an incredible story you could tell relating to each of those characters and how you could frame this in quite a big, overarching story.


We checked out the publication dates of these stories and worked out a rough, workable chronology that told us what the ages of the characters was. We then worked out that about the only time when they could've met as sexually active adults before Alice was really too old and Dorothy was too young, it seemed to be around about 1913 or 1914. Now obviously, those dates are quite resonate for us over here in Europe, and it struck me that there might be an interesting setting that we could use. And we hit upon the area of called the Bodensee in Austria, which is right on the border of Switzerland and Germany and it's only a hundred miles from the border of France. So, that's right in the heart of Europe, and it was the heart of Europe that was going to be broken in 1914. The story more or less wrote itself from there. Obviously, me and Melinda came up with lots of interesting filigree, like the White Book sections, for example, because we wanted to provide a brief, whistle-stop tour of classy erotica just to have a little book within a book.


KA: I've seen you do that in a number of you works in WATCHMEN and V FOR VENDETTA.


AM: It's something that I am, perhaps, even over-fond of, you know? But, it's nice because it enables you some interesting juxtapositions sometimes.


KA: I had to explain that to my wife, like 'You have to look at what's going on in these little stories and what's happening in the main narrative, because there's some intentional comparison between the two.'


AL: Yeah, there'll be little crossover points. Once we'd hit upon this idea of having Alice, Dorothy, and Wendy meet up in 1913 in a hotel in Austria, the story pretty well wrote itself. We had the whole story in place 15 years ago. I mean, obviously, it has evolved a little bit in various ways in the telling. But, pretty much the whole setup was there, and then it was just a matter of endless polishing and crafting that it took to actually bring the work to its conclusion.


I'm sure that there were many times during those 15 years where me and Melinda thought, 'This is taking far too long.' But, I think the timing of it has worked out quite serendipitously. Given that as much as LOST GIRLS is pro-sexuality, it is every bit as much anti-war. I think that if we had got it finished in a year or two and this had come out in the late '80s or early '90s, it might not have seemed anywhere near so relevant as it does today. You've got, on the one hand, a kind of neoconservative agenda in the world today. On the one hand, possibly because it's seeking to appease the Christian fundamentalists, is very anti the idea of a free sexuality. On the other hand, they seem to be very fond of the idea of endless war. Now, this, to me, seems completely ass-backwards. This, to me, seems like an anti-human position. I cannot see it as any other than that. If the people who are actually pushing those values forward could just stop and think for a minute, are they really saying that sexual acts are filthy, dirty, not to be countenant, but they are quite prepared, for the sake of securing enough fuel for their automobiles, to condemn children in another country to hideous death and dismemberment? Is that what their God has told them that He wants? And, if he has, perhaps they ought to sort of check this God guy out a bit look at his record, see if he's wanted anywhere. That sounds psychopathic to me, and I suspect it would to anybody who was remotely normal. I, more than ever later as I suppose a lot of us have we've had to sit and watch this parade of frankly evil inanities that is the modern world. And, it's as if we've all fallen down the rabbit hole as if we are all working to the logic of the Red Queen. Iraq didn't have any connections with Al Queda I mean, it has now, but it didn't then. It didn't have any weapons of mass destruction. We invaded it pretty much just because Donald Rumsfled and Dick Cheney and Wolfowitz and the rest of them wanted to, and because Tony Blair wanted to hang out with the big important guys.


KA: The 'special relationship'?


AM: Yeah, the special relationship. And that is why we are where we are now, and not one of the men that I've just mentioned has made any major statement over the last five or six years that has turned out to be true. We're all kind of living under the dominion of the Red Queen, or of Humpty Dumpty where words mean what he wants them to mean. It struck both me and Melinda that LOST GIRLS has turned out to be a timely and passionate statement about everything that we personally believe in. We think that sex is good. Call us crazy.


KA: I wouldn't.


AM: Obviously, I'm not saying that coercive sex is good. Of course it isn't, and never can be. But, anything that is not coercive that is entered into by two or more people (or one or more people) in good faith, that's fine. There aren't many really pleasant things about being human, but that's one of them. And, I would advise everyone to explore that as much as they can. And also, it's not just sex; it's the sexual imagination and the imagination as a thing in itself. Yes, we are making quite a passionate plea for the freedom of the sexual passion in LOST GIRLS, but we're also quite passionate about art nouveau and old painters and writers that we like, and beauty. The thing is that all of this is destroyed by war. The art treasures of Europe, and Britain and Europe's youngest and prettiest and sexiest men and women were just turned to hamburger in their millions in the First World War. Don't even get me started on the second one. When we look back when we humans need a pat on the back and remind ourselves that there is a purpose for all of these centuries of struggle and suffering we look back at the artists, and the philosophers, and the brilliant scientists. They are how we measure how well we're doing.


KA: Progress.


AM: That's how we measure our progress! We don't look back and think, 'Oh that was an incredible war!'


KA: Well, some people do.


AM: 'Oh, Hiroshima what a high point in civilization!' Or Dresden, or Auschwitz, or Carthage we don't actually look at the fall of Constantinople like that. I'm sure it was a great military victory, but it plunged the world into darkness for the best part of a thousand years. These are not the ways in which we measure how well we're doing as a species. It is only by the beauty and the culture and the beautiful ideas that we produce that we advance ourselves. This seems to be so obvious that it's kind of surprising that it sounds like such a radical point of view. It's probably a measure of the times we are in that make it sound so radical, whereas in fact, it is pretty box standard human, or at least in my construction of the situation.


KA: Regarding some of the more taboo sex scenes in LOST GIRLS -- namely the presentation of incest and sex with children it seems as if the quantity and quality of the sex acts intensify as the book progresses and they, if you will, climax with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. That's not to say that there's no more sex after that, but would you say that was intentional?


AM: It was intentional in that we thought that if any form of art should build towards a climax, then it should be pornography. So, we decided that the first book I don't think there's any penetration in it. The second book is a bit more unrestrained. In the third book, we are completely unrestrained, and we throw ourselves right into the orgiastic, full-on heart of pornography. I didn't want anyone to accuse us of having cheated, of having done something like, 'Well, you said it was pornography, but it wasn't really, was it?' So, we decided to confront the issue of sex with minors and incest. Those are in the White Book. It's the pastiche of the Marquis von Bayros with a pastiche of a story by Pierre Lou’s. Both of these are fine and acclaimed artists. If anything, I think that we have probably done tamer art than Bayrough did, and tamer writing than Pierre Lou’s did. Not that both of them weren't conspicuous works of art, but they are certainly much stronger than what we have done. What we wanted to do was make the point as we have one of the characters make the point for us during one of the scenes that these are not children. These are drawings of children.


KA: They are depictions.


AM: They are depictions. Yes, I can't produce the birth certificates of these young-looking people to prove that they are, in fact, midgets at the age of 18, or whatever. You're showing images of fictional children having consensual sex. This could be seen as wrong, whereas I, for the past couple of years, have been turning on my television and seeing pictures of actual, non-fictional children with their arms blown off. But, this is okay, because this is collateral damage. And, after all, they have only blown the arms off the children, killed all of their relatives, and left them with no un-blackened skin below the waist. It's not like they've touched them sexually or anything. Frankly, when you're confronted with that kind of vision on the six o'clock news, it makes all of these arguments about what it is permissible to depict in fiction completely laughable almost an insult to our mutual humanity. If we can get so upset about lines on paper, but cannot somehow get upset about real flesh, real blood, real viscera, then what are we? So yes, I suppose that you could see those sections as deliberately provocative. I felt that I wanted to make a point there.


But of course, any coercive sex whether it's between adults, children, animals any coercive act is wrong. That goes without saying. There are two instances of non-consensual sex in LOST GIRLS. They both more or less happen off camera, and they are both treated with, I think, sufficient gravity. There is the rape of Tinkerbell, and there is the molestation of Alice which is what causes her to mentally disassociate herself. Both me and, especially, Melinda have very strong feelings about coercive sex nonconsensual sex. But we also believe in the absolute freedom of the human imagination, as long as you can remember what's real and what's fiction. The only people that do seem to have a problem with distinguishing between reality and fantasy are psychopaths and magistrates. It seems to be pretty clear to everybody else. Like I said, I do not think pornography is an incitement to sexual crime. I think quite the opposite, and I think that all the evidence actually supports that diagnosis.


KA: Frederic Werthaim said the same thing about comic books in the '50s because all of his juvenile delinquents read them, but so did everyone else.


AM: In some of the case histories he mentioned in SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT, there was one of them about a person who had imbedded lots of needle in his crotch. It was kind of suggested that this was the kind of thing you might do if you read too many comic books. He didn't actually mention that the patient he was talking about was the notorious child-killer, Albert Fish. Probably the fact that he was Albert Fish had got more to do with why he did those things than the fact that he might've once read a copy of BATMAN.


We felt that also, because we are bringing such a lot of love and attention and care 16 years of it to LOST GIRLS, we think that our intentions are fairly obvious. We are not trying to turn out a quick, prurient piece of no artistic consequences.


KA: Well, God knows there's enough of that, particularly in the States.


AM: Well, that's it. In the States, for example, I believe that while sex with minors is obviously frowned upon apart from some of those places down South that let Jerry Lee Lewis marry his 13-year-old cousin but other than sort of anomalies like that, sex with minors is generally frowned upon. But, is there a magazine over there called BARELY LEGAL?


KA: There is, but all the girls are 18.


AM: All the girls are 18, but they look 14 or 15, yeah?


KA: I think that's the idea.


AM: It's the idea. And of course, just because they say that all the girls are 18, that doesn't actually mean that they always are Traci Lords, anyone? I can't see what objection that anyone can have to a piece of crayon drawing.


KA: Right, well I doubt that if anyone just wants to have a wank, they're going to sit down with the three hardcover, slipcase edition of LOST GIRLS.


AM: I doubt that there's any kind of sex offenders out there who've got the eighty bucks to spend on what, for them, would be a very boring aesthetic experience. No, this is not going to corrupt any minors. Hopefully, it will encourage people to open up their sexual ideas and realize they are not wrong, they are not perverted, and they are not alone. I hate the idea of people sitting there having perfectly ordinary thoughts and daydreams and thinking that they are the only people who have thoughts like that thinking that they are tragic, lonely, repulsive monsters.


KA: Well, there is an amazing emphasis on sex in American popular culture, but the way it's treated endemic of the repressive attitude you're talking about -- the pressure valve, so to speak. It's not that we don't talk about sex in the States -- we do, and quite a lot. But, it's just not in a very adult way. Especially on the Internet, there's plenty of pornography.


AM: Oh, absolutely -- that's the main thing that the Internet was invented for, apparently.


KA: That's what made home video what it is, too.


AM: Exactly. One of the main things that we wanted to do with LOST GIRLS -- one of the reasons why we wanted to do erotica or pornography or call it what you will that was art -- is because there is a very big difference between the effect of genuine art and the effect of pornography, as it stands. When we see a work of genuine art, it makes us feel less alone. We see something captured in that sculpture or that piece of music or that painting or that book -- it expresses something that, up until then, only we had perceived. We see something like an echo -- something that confirms to us that, yes, our way of seeing things is not wrong. There are other people who have seen things that way, too, and they've just expressed it better than we could.


KA: I think one of the great tragedies of the human condition is that you can't truly share another's experience. We can describe and communicate our feelings and perceptions, but no one can experience anyone else's in the first person.


AM: You can't get inside somebody else's skin. We're all quite lonely. If art has a real function, then surely part of it must be as a way of communicating mind-to-mind, often in ways that language alone can't manage. A piece of music can say things that words couldn't. A genuine piece of art -- we hear it or we see it -- it makes us feel less alone. Now, that is the exact opposite of a work of pornography. A work of pornography generally leads to isolation, selfish lust, and unbearable loneliness. Once the object of the pornography has been achieved, then you can writhe in the sordid and degraded kind of loneliness of your abject existence. That's not the kind of feeling that I prefer to associate with sex. And yet, I think an awful lot of the millions of people who make use of pornography across the world must be regularly plunged into that very unpleasant kind of selfish space. There's no need for that. If pornography could be an aesthetic experience, an intellectual experience, and still be sexy, then it could be an incredibly useful tool that could heal a lot of people in areas where they have problems that they don't even know how to talk about or define. If pornography was used correctly, it could give a kind of forum for discussing sexual ideas. There isn't a forum of that nature in existence at the moment. The only place where sex gets discussed is in these teenage problem page columns where it's generally discussed with an absolute antiseptic lack of sexiness, so that it all sounds very medical -- as if it probably involves tubes and clamps (which I suppose it may, depending on your habits). This is such a big issue. If you ask anyone that's culturally in the know what are the big themes, they'll say, 'Oh, well, sex and death.' I don't see a lot of evidence for that. I mean, death, certainly -- we seem to be completely obsessed with it. If the big themes in art are sex and death, I'd say that sex is woefully underrepresented. It struck me and Melinda that this is a territory that everybody was ignoring, which are always the territories I like best. When I first involved myself with comics, it was a territory that serious artists and writers seemed to be avoiding, which is always a really good reason to go and check something out. You might find that it's relatively undeveloped, untouched, and can be shaped with sufficient talent and ability into something that's viable.


KA: You wouldn't be Alan Moore if there were five or ten of you waiting in the field already. That's a good point.


AM: It's like my interest in magic. Again, it's a field that's yielded some fantastically important contributions to human culture -- including the whole of science -- but which is taboo. But you can't really talk about it without appearing to be mad, which doesn't really bother me. With a haircut like mine, that is one horse that has long since bolted. But sure -- magic, comics, pornography -- these despised areas of culture are where, I think, you're more likely to find the gold. I'm not talking about financial rewards, but the genuine human gold.


KA: Artistic progress, insight, and that sort of thing?


AM: Yeah.


KA: Lastly, a friend of mine asked me to squeeze in a movie question at his behest. Would you mind?


AM: Yeah, okay, I can always just go moodily silent. What was he wanting to ask?


KA: He wanted to know if you read the David Hayter script for WATCHMEN and what you thought of it.


AM: The version that I read -- I thought that it was as close as anyone had got at that point or that anyone would get to writing a screenplay of WATCHMEN. But, even at that point, I hadn't got any interest in seeing such a film. I thought it was a good job that he'd done, and I told him so. Having recently disowned not only the movies but, in fact, all of the comics as well, and while, technically, it was a very good work and he'd done a very good job, I don't think that WATCHMEN should be made into a film. Even if it was a flawless adaptation, how would it be better than the comic?


KA: I don't know if the idea is quite as pervasive in England, but in America, there's this attitude that the zenith of a work is a film adaptation. A book can't just be a novel and you can't just love it and read it over and over again.


AM: It's got to be a set of coasters, a t-shirt, and a franchise.


KA: It's not just, 'This is a great book, I'm going to read it ten times.' It has to be a movie or some other kind of audio-visual medium.


AM: Like, 'If something worked well in one form, wouldn't it work better if we did it in another form? Even though it was completely designed for whatever original format it was designed for?' WATCHMEN couldn't be anything but a comic, and remain as what it was. Even though David Hayter's screenplay was as close as I could imagine anyone getting, WATCHMEN is told in mostly grids of nine panels a page and it has entirely to do with my prose style and Dave Gibbons's wonderful lines. If you take those two things away from it, it's not WATCHMEN anymore. If you take the comic book storytelling away from it, it's not WATCHMEN anymore. One of my favorite books in the English language is Mervyn Peake's GHORMENGHAST TRILOGY -- wonderful! I've been reading them and rereading them since I was 13, and they get better and better. They did a quite big budget BBC television adaptation. They'd got some really good British character actors to play most of the parts. And, they'd done the best they could, and it was rubbish. It hadn't got Mervyn Peake's marvelous prose. And also, there was no space for the reader to contribute anything. The reader, reading through something like Mervyn Peake, they are creating the way that all the characters look and they are creating this marvelous labyrinthine castle in their heads. And, they will come to know it as deeply and as dearly as many of the real locations that they pass through every day in their real lives. And, they will be able to hear these character's voices because they're doing it in their own imagination and they are intimately involved with it. With film, it just washes over you. It's a very bludgeoning kind of medium. That's not to say that there haven't been some wonderful, transcendent films done. There haven't been very many, for my taste, and these days, hardly any. You could suspect that Western culture is pretty much entirely bankrupt.


KA: I've thought that for some time, now.


AM: It's like, 'Let's make a movie out of a movie from the 1980s that got good reviews at the time. Let's make it again. Let's make a foreign film into a dumbed-down American remake. Let's make good television series from the '60s into films, let's make bad television series from the '60s into films.' Comic books, video games, PIRATES OF THE-F-CKING-CARRIBEAN -- theme park rides! We will live to see Johnny Depp playing Cap'n Crunch. I would lay money on it. Breakfast cereal mascots are the next big thing. Get into Tony's back story -- Tony the Tiger. What motivates him? Where did he come from? How did he become the big, ebullient, happy tiger that he is today? Where do we get our next star from? You could lay money behind that! I mean, what, Tommy Lee Jones for Tony? Somebody somewhere will think that this is a good idea. In fact, if you put this in the interview, I trademark the idea. Any breakfast cereal mascot films, I want my cut.


KA: That's hilarious. Well Christ, they're talking about making a f-cking Pac-Man movie. Pac-Man! Pac-Man's not a character, he's a little yellow dot. He just flies around a maze.


AM: And he eats those jelly things.


KA: But, they're making a Pac-Man movie.


AM: Who've they got for Pac-Man? John Candy's dead, isn't he?


KA: I don't know. I think it's going to be computer animated. I've just heard of it. The way Hollywood works, it's like if people have heard of it, they'll pay to see it. So yeah, breakfast cereal isn't that far off. They did it with f-cking video games. Christ, video games have got to be one of the most artistically corrupt mediums of the 20th Century.


AM: Well, yes. One of the first video games that was made into a movie before Lara Croft was SUPER MARIO BROS. with Dennis Hopper, I believe -- that distinguished method actor as the evil level boss. What can these people be thinking?


KA: Money and children -- that's what they're thinking. Well, unfortunately, I've got to go. But, it's been outstanding talking to you.


AM: It's been a pleasure talking to you and it's been a very good interview. Thanks for what you said about LOST GIRLS. I'll tell Melinda that. You're some of the first people who've read it, and if you're not forming actually posse to lynch us, we think that's a good reaction.


KA: Thanks, Alan.

New This Week
By Al Brown and Kurt Amacker

DARK HORSE

Conan #27 (MR) $2.99

Conan Book Of Thoth #2 (of 4) $4.99
Al: Pronounced "Tot," like Tater Tots, Conan heavy Thoth-Amon is named after an amalgamation of the Egyptian gods Thoth, the god of the moon, and Amon, the god of air. That's right: the combination of a moon plus air. Conan's nemesis is a fart joke.
Kurt: Only you could reach that far and emerge with scatalogical humor. You're really something, you know that?

Dracula Asylum Novel $6.99
Al: You mean a novel, like, without pictures? Ew. If I wanted to read books without pictures, I'd learn how to read.
Kurt: What's reading? I just like to look at pictures!

Emily The Strange 11 Oz Heat Sensitive Mug $14.99
Mug: Ow! Stop putting tea in me! That's really hot!
Emily the Strange: You had this coming, mug.

Goon #17 $2.99

Little Lulu Vol 9 Lucky Lulu TP $9.95

DC COMICS

Batman Black & White Statue Mike Mignola $55.00
Al: This collector's item statue was actually made back in the 1930s, before they discovered color.
Kurt: Except, they had color before the 1930s, just not very much. See, now your joke isn't funny! Ha ha ha!

Batman Second Ptg #650 $2.50

Batman Second Ptg #651 $2.50

Batman Thrillkiller TP New Ptg $14.99
Kurt: "Batman's life with the Thrill Kill Kult!" All right, nobody? You guys suck.

Birds Of Prey #93 $2.50

Bite Club Vampire Crime Unit #1 (of 5) (MR) $2.99
Kurt: Man, Bite Club was the reigning king of guilty pleasures. It's like Miami Vice meets Kindred: The Embraced, except not crap.

Catwoman Second Ptg #53 $2.50

Elfquest The Grand Quest Vol 14 TP $9.99

Ex Machina Special #1 (of 2) (MR) $2.99
Al: An adventure from Mayor Hundred's past featuring the origin of Jack Pearson, this 2-parter is meant to introduce new readers to the Ex Machina series. So if you've been resisting this because no matter how cool people keep telling you it is, it still sounds boring...just give it this one shot, man. Would it help if I told you it's the most ass-kickinest book of the week? No? What if I told you Kurt's mom is naked in it? Okay, what if I told you she's naked in all the other books? This is the only book you can read safely without seeing Kurt's mom naked.
Al's mom I taught her everything she knows! My work here is done!

Green Lantern No Fear HC $24.99

Hellblazer #219 (MR) $2.75

JLA Classified #20 $2.99

JSA Classified #11 $2.50
Al: Yes, it is wicked confusing that both JLA and JSA have Classified titles. Since there's only one letter difference between them, here's my handy way to remember which one to get: L stands for Like; S stands for Suck. Happy to help.
Kurt: And you know how to remember the spelling difference between "desert" and "dessert"? Just think, "s for san" and "ss for sweet stuff"! Isn't that handy! Now, I'm going to go stick my hand in the blender!

Justice #5 (of 12) $3.50

Justice League Unlimited Vol 2 Worlds Greatest Heroes TP $6.99

Justice League Unlimited Vol 3 Champions Of Justice TP $6.99

Kikaider Code 02 Vol 3 (MR) $9.99

Man-Bat #1 (of 5) $2.99
Al: Next week: Man-Super! And stay tuned for Arrow-Green!
Dan Didio: Al, have you ever considered a job writing comics? Call me sometime.

Manhunter #21 $2.50

Outsiders Crisis Intervention TP $12.99
Outsiders: Universe, we need to talk. It's about your behavior recently. You've been...well, you've been dragging on labyrinthine storylines for two years, and frankly, we're worried about you.

Red Sonja Claw Devils Hands #2 (of 4) $2.99

Red Sonja Claw Variant Cover #2 (of 4) $2.99
Al: Is it naked? I don't see the point in a Red Sonja variant cover that's not naked.
Kurt: Yeah, but it's the nude Claw variant. Be careful what you wish for, Gary.

Robin #149 $2.50

Scooby Doo #107 $2.25

Sgt Rock The Prophecy #4 (of 6) $2.99

Supergirl Legion Of Super Heroes 2nd Ptg #16 $2.99

Superman In The Eighties $19.99
Al: Wore headbands and legwarmers.
Kurt: And cried to the Smiths! C'mon, who didn't?

Superman Ruin Revealed $14.99

Superman Second Ptg #651 $2.50

Teen Titans Annual Second Ptg #1 $4.99

Testament #5 (MR) $2.99
Al: First arc conclusion.

IMAGE

Coyote Vol 3 TP $12.99

Cyberforce Lee CVR #2 $2.99

Cyberforce Silvestri CVR #2 $2.99
Al: Dudes, this relaunch isn't anywhere near good enough for even one cover. Shut up.
Kurt: Yeah, try getting out another issue of Hunter-Killer, and then we can talk about Cyberforce, okay?

Rising Stars Untouchable #3 (of 5) $2.99

Spawn #1 In 3D $5.95
Al: No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is Spawn #1 in 3D, and it comes with the blue and red glasses. File under "So stupid it's actually come full circle back to awesome again."
Kurt: Man, my childhood's just kicking the door in and sitting on my couch. Too bad I don't read Spawn. Ha!

Witchblade Choi CVR #97 $2.99

Witchblade Lee CVR #97 $2.99
Al: I picture Choi and Lee getting drunk one night and saying "Okay, here's what: we're gonna have a T & A-off, and whoever loses has to buy the next round." You decide! But not by buying either issue. Just check 'em out in the store and then post in the comments section.
Kurt: You don't need cash to enjoy the ass.

MARVEL

Annihilation Nova #1 (of 4) $2.99

Avengers & Power Pack Assemble #1 (of 4) $2.99
Al: Did I miss something about the sales numbers for these stupid Power Pack teamups? Why do they keep popping up? They're like genital warts; I just can't get rid of them.
Kurt: They keep making them because you keep buying up the entire runs.

Book Of Lost Souls #6 $2.99

Captain America #17 $2.99

Daredevil #84 $2.99

Essential Wolverine Vol 4 TP $16.99
Kurt: Hey, it's only been four years since volume three! Who's counting! I'm actually glad to see this, believe it or not.

Fantastic Four Visionaries George Perez Vol 2 TP $19.99

Fury Peacemaker #3 (of 6) $3.50
Kurt: They could do a story with Nick Fury in the future called Fury: Pacemaker. Damn kids!

Iron Man #7 $2.99
Al: Daniel Knauf and Patrick Zircher take over from Ellis and Adi Granov, who wrote one arc that took something like two years to get out. I really enjoyed the arc, personally, when I was able to reread it all at once, but that shipping schedule made Hitch look like the Flash. Hopefully these guys can get it back on track. Knauf used to write for the HBO series "Carnivale," if that means anything at all to you. I didn't watch it because it looked weird. Sticking with "Entourage," thank you very much.

Iron Man Hitch Variant #7 $2.99

Iron Man Hitch Variant Sketch #7 PI

Marvel Adventures Flip Magazine #11 $3.99

Marvel Civil War Panorama Poster $15.99
Al: Oh hooray, a poster.
Kurt: It's like a comic without the words, Al! You should be thrilled!

Marvel Heroes Flip Magazine #11 $3.99

Marvel Spotlight Daniel Way Oliver Coipel $2.99

New Avengers #18 $2.99

New Mangaverse #4 (of 5) $2.99
Kurt: All right, there are way too many imprints and sub-universes at Marvel. I demand they eliminate three.

New Mutants Classic Vol 1 TP $24.99
Al: The very first few New Mutants issues - issues 1-7 and a few others. Since making fun of Claremont is officially off the table for a while, I'll just say that this is some of his stronger work. Fun stuff.
Kurt: So, when Cable shows up around volume 12, will it change to New Mutants: Craptastic?

Nextwave Agents Of Hate #4 $2.99
Al: It's like Shakespeare but with lots more punching!

Sable & Fortune #4 (of 4) $2.99
Al: Apparently Silver Sable is being prepped to appear in the new Heroes for Hire series, kicking off sometime this year and also starring Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Black Cat and Shan Chi (yay!), but also starring Humbug, Paladin, the new Tarantula and Orka (boo!). But that reminds me: Why hasn't Marvel tried a Birds of Prey-esque chick book starring Black Cat, Black Widow and Outlaw? Tell me you wouldn't buy that! Okay, here's the question: Which 3 or 4 Marvel women would you like to see in an ongoing series? The only rule is, they can't be regular members of another team already. Or dead, I guess.

Sensational Spider-Man #25 $2.99

Sentinel Squad One #4 (of 5) $2.99

Spider-Man The Other HC $29.99
Al: Hey, it's the whole crappy 12-issue mess - all at once! You can buy it and then slam yourself in the head with it!
Kurt: Cool! I'm going to buy two -- one for each hand!

Spider-Woman Origin #5 (of 5) $2.99
Al: Spoiler: the end of her origin is she totally becomes an Avenger and stuff.
Butt-Head She should totally, like, get naked and stuff.
Beavis: Yeah! Yeah!

Squadron Supreme #2 $2.99

Wolverine Origins #1 $2.99
Al: YES! Another Wolverine series! Now I can die! Seriously, now I can claw my eyes out and die.
Kurt: And guess what I'm going to do to your skull! Boy, how I've longed for this day.

X-Men #185 $2.99

X-Men And Power Pack Power Of X Digest TP $6.99
Kurt: Fill in your own "Al's a perv" joke here!

X-Statix Presents Dead Girl #4 (of 5) $2.99
Kurt: Fill in your own "Kurt's a necrophiliac" joke here! Oh wait, um, LOOK OVER THERE!

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at comicscape@cinescape.com.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 2 of 2
1 
lracors 4/19/2006 9:11:37 AM
Kurt, You have scored the best interview I have read in years!!! Alan Moore so eloquently explained the huge difference between Art and Pornography in such a way that I’m just in awe of that fact that you got this out of him… awesome man! Also, nice to get him to comment on Watchmen and I love his outlook on video games and even breakfast cereal. Thank you Kurt I really enjoyed this!!!
chinaboatman 5/8/2006 11:21:57 AM
On the subject of video games being 'one of the most morally corrupt mediums of the 20th Century'I would have to describe that as snobbish nonsense. There are many people who would say the same about comics. You know better so you should refrain from making similarly sweeping comments. I would agree that there is very little in the way of 'artistic' computer games but I would point out the vast majority are not intended as art, they intended as GAMES. I assume you have no objection to the idea of GAMES and FUN. Do you demand artistic sensibilities in Scrabble? There are a few examples of artistic computer games however, the Myst series being one good one. They have an approach towards world building as valid and as interesting as any novel or film. There is a lot of artistry wouldn't you agree in creating an immersive, interactive fantasy world? Regarding the issue of pornography and erotica, my understanding of those terms is that 'erotica' is sexual material with artistic or social value and 'pornography' is sexual material without artistic or social value. Thus 'artistic pornography' is a contradiction in terms. As amusing as I found Alan Moore's take on these semantic differences, they are not actually correct. For the record 'pornography with artistic standards' is not a totally original concept within comics. Gilbert Hernandez' 'Birdland' is a good example. It has the same story and art standards as any of his other works but just happens to have page after page of explicit (and often hilarious) sex.Alan Moore's knowledge (and love) of comics has always struck me as vast and i'm certain he will have read it. Regarding the interview generally, I thought Alan made many interesting points, as always but I found the tone the interviewer 'KA' to be a tad pompous and sycophantic. I love Alan Moore's work (in fact i'm obsessed with it) but I would like to see a challenging interview with him occasionaly where he is actually taken
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