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View Full Version : Alan Moore Drops the Mic


KCar
01-11-2014, 02:19 PM
In an interview regarding recent twitter accusations of Moore's work, Moore defends himself, roasts Grant Morrison, and then suggests that this may be one of his last interviews, if not his last. (http://slovobooks.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/last-alan-moore-interview/)

It's a pretty electric read. I think Moore is at turns insightful and unreasonable here, but 100% Done With This Shit.

Rascally Badger
01-11-2014, 07:27 PM
I am finding it remarkably easy to take him up on the suggestion that if I like Morrison's work I shouldn't read his.

blinkpen
01-11-2014, 07:33 PM
Alan Moore is my favorite crazy wizard.

Googleshng
01-11-2014, 07:36 PM
The middle segment was particularly entertaining, with regards to Batman Scholarship and comprehension of certain themes.

JDS
01-11-2014, 07:40 PM
i clicked that link so hard

Guy
01-11-2014, 07:45 PM
I am finding it remarkably easy to take him up on the suggestion that if I like Morrison's work I shouldn't read his.

Sprite
01-11-2014, 09:21 PM
I stopped reading when the interviewer asked him to respond to the assertion that maybe it wasn't the place of two white dudes to "reclaim" the golliwog as a character, and he said that he found the attitude that a white author should never write black characters to be ridiculous and limiting, and what if Charles Dickens couldn't write about poor people, and blah blah blah blah

Why yes, Mr. Moore, that attitude is ridiculous, and also has nothing to do with the question about the use of a specific character which has become shorthand for racism.

Mightyblue
01-11-2014, 09:46 PM
He goes into it in some depth using that point where you stopped as a segue into it.

blinkpen
01-11-2014, 10:25 PM
It's a long and wearying read, I can't blame anyone for not going all the way into it. What I will take away from it and can pass on to anyone who desires a TLDR is that no, he's not racist or misogynist, but he is definitely still an eccentric old crank!

Sprite
01-11-2014, 10:36 PM
I don't think he's racist, but I do think his justification for using the golliwog is stupid.

KCar
01-11-2014, 11:04 PM
I don't think he's racist, but I do think his justification for using the golliwog is stupid.

I read it less as a justification for using the character, and more an argument against assuming that any use of the character automatically equals racism. I'm not familiar with the work in particular, but I'm also reasonably sure Moore is smart enough to do some work towards deconstructing a racist character without simply reinforcing it.

I mean, there are problems with what he's saying, but there is a tendency in internet criticisms to punish based on surface readings and assumed equivalence (the golliwog is a racist caricature, therefore any works that examine this racist caricature must also be racist). I think this is what is getting the old man's goat.

Evil Dead Junkie
01-12-2014, 04:37 PM
Alan Moore is apparently the world's greatest one handed typist since he did this whole interview with his middle finger hoisted in the air.

I may not care for any of his post Promeatha work but man that guy can talk.

JDS
01-12-2014, 05:23 PM
personally i think that moore has been so numbed a lifetime of sexual oversharing that he's completely lost perspective on the associations people draw from his power-relationship/sexuality pet theme. he's a guy who's spent a good deal of his life being a northhampton geek version of will ferrel's hottub guy. moore's more of a sexual being than most people in the field, leading to much TMI in terms of his personal life and an uncommon willingness to use sexual abuse as illustration of the malevolent nature of fictional social dynamics.

a lot of media is devoted to coming to terms with the act of murder, for better or worse; moore himself made his name by having kid miracleman torture the entire city of london to death. with that in mind, moore is perfectly correct in pointing out the naivete of flexing nuts over the depicition of rape -- historically, others in the field have dished rape out for shock value, then downplayed it or choose not to address it again whatsoever. this is probably much worse for comics in the long run. at the very least, we should give moore points for consistency in addressing rape in a medium with so much unspoken psychosexual baggage even when the upshot seems weird or wrongheaded.

the disconnect between writer and community occurs because moore gives rape the same lingering, repetitive and thorough treatment in his body of work that he gives, say, real-world geographic anomalies and some people mistake it for a very unfortunate fetishism where it's probably just a guy being clinical about a world most people make it a point not to explore. the way this clinic-ism expresses itself leads to an impasse: many fans fail as readers by making moore's attitude out to be a Damning Irredeemable Character Flaw and peacock for blog hits so as to be seen caring very hard in public about stuff, and moore fails by failing to establish any sort of maturity narrative. contrast it was his attitude towards, say, Murder -- transcending comically bloodthirsty tendencies in the early 80s and rising to new artistic heights treating the act with a appropriate degree of seriousness and fascination. owing to many factors he's fallen just short of giving the appearance of seriousness to Rape, and when an opportunity presents itself his eccentric storyline choices can give the appearance of subverting the trauma of the act. (i'm not casting a damning judgment or anything, but man, sally jupiter effing the comedian willingly years after he tried to rape her deserved more justification than to be one of many offscreen occurrences. i mean, it's nowhere near as bad as brad meltzer dishing out a rape because THIS AIN'T YOUR DADDY'S COMICS but as a plot point spectre/comedian is unique in the watchmen chain of events in that it just doesn't seem to add up on a human level whatsoever)

there's a line with every creator where the consumer has to draw a line about how far they're willing to follow him into his own head -- as an occasional comic reader i find sexual abuse entirely inappropriate fodder for a self-proclaimed "pornographic" work and think moore using a lengthy rape scene in his dumb horror book for a schlocky ultra-violence peddler sent entirely the wrong message about the seriousness in which alan moore the man regards the act of rape. i part company with many comic fans in that i don't think this understanding with myself somehow makes me superior to alan moore.

tldr version: i have no doubt that alan moore is upstanding in his personal relations with women but that doesn't make neonomicon read any less like some hard shit from heavy metal magazine.

alllll that said he is a living god, watchmen is no less watchmen because of the bungling of the sally jupiter character, and i'd be way more comfortable w/ the "community" if they treated him with more respect instead of an opportunity to clown on him because of magic or make their social justice warrior bones. i've always found morrison's attempt to make a feud out of what appears to be a very unhealthy obsession to be as offputting as apparently moore does irl, but i don't have any plans to boycott morrison in the near future.

Parish
01-12-2014, 07:34 PM
I saw this interview the other day and it reminded me that the best way to enjoy creative works on a long-term basis is to never, ever learn anything about the vile little creatures responsible for them.

Vega
01-12-2014, 08:18 PM
sally jupiter effing the comedian willingly years after he tried to rape her deserved more justification than to be one of many offscreen occurrences. ... as a plot point spectre/comedian is unique in the watchmen chain of events in that it just doesn't seem to add up on a human level whatsoever

I always interpreted that Sally Jupiter became pregnant with Laurie in the rape flashback and Moore got Laurie's age in 1985 wrong. Did Moore say that went back to the Comedian, off camera, about 10 years after he raped her? That would be weird.

Rufferto
01-12-2014, 08:23 PM
It's implied, but the issue is pretty black and white. You'll recall that the Silk Spectre embraces her picture of the Comedian when she finds out he's died.

Sarcasmorator
01-12-2014, 08:25 PM
It's been a while, but I thought the Comedian beat her but was stopped by Hooded Justice before he could carry out the rape.

Behemoth
01-12-2014, 08:31 PM
I saw this interview the other day and it reminded me that the best way to enjoy creative works on a long-term basis is to never, ever learn anything about the vile little creatures responsible for them.

This is increasingly my philosophy as well. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm frequently flummoxed that people want to meet the creators of the works they so admire. That proposition can only end in disappointment.

Vega
01-12-2014, 08:34 PM
It's implied, but the issue is pretty black and white. You'll recall that the Silk Spectre embraces her picture of the Comedian when she finds out he's died.

Yeah, but that's because she was proud of how Laurie turned out. Sally didn't seem to fully forgive him any earlier. If she had returned to the Comedian a decade after the rape, that would have meant she forgave him at that point, or at least somehow came to feel safe around him again, probably wouldn't have been as likely to dump him for Mr. Shexnayder, and wouldn't have tried to keep teenage Laurie away from the Comedian. Doesn't Laurie's anguish at the end of "The Darkness of Mere Being" come not only from the fact that The Comedian is her father, but that she was conceived by a rape? If the sex that conceived her was consentual, it would lessen the impact of that chapter. It certainly doesn't feel like Moore hid Sally's return to him in 1950 in there.

Rufferto
01-12-2014, 09:24 PM
Doesn't Laurie's anguish at the end of "The Darkness of Mere Being" come not only from the fact that The Comedian is her father, but that she was conceived by a rape? If the sex that conceived her was consentual, it would lessen the impact of that chapter. It certainly doesn't feel like Moore hid Sally's return to him in 1950 in there.

It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure Laurie explicitly calls out her mother for going back to the Comedian after he tried to rape her.
Also see above comment by Sarcasmorator.

As for this comment:

It certainly doesn't feel like Moore hid Sally's return to him in 1950 in there.

There's a ton of hints strewn throughout the book. Now that it's been pointed out to you, if you reread it, there will probably be clues you think are obvious that you missed on the first reading - I think this phenomenon is called "hunter's eye", or somesuch.

JDS
01-13-2014, 01:10 AM
laurie is not the product of the rape. check the first flashback of chapter 9.

madhair60
01-13-2014, 05:22 AM
Calling out infantilisation? The bulk of Alan Moore's work has involved superhero (or other Silver Age kids' genres) stories aimed at adults. I think his last superhero work came out in 2005 or 2006, unless you count LOEG, which draws on Justice League/Avengers-type team ups and a vast overarching shared universe (among other superhero tropes) for its initial conceit, featuring many characters drawn from childrens/young adult literature... but aimed at adults.

Watchmen is indeed an outstanding piece of literature, which was originally about a group of Charlton kids characters, but now... you get it. A piece of work that builds on the ideas of others, stretching back decades, much like LOEG & Lost Girls (although they go back centuries). But it's somehow immoral for DC (for example) to now use elements he introduced into Green Lantern continuity 30 years ago, in a story that was building off the 1959 GL origin story 30 years prior. For a man who has such strong principles, he's got incredible double standards.

Then there's his belief that he came up with every idea in mainstream comics, and everyone else has been ripping him off (in the interview, he even tries to take some sort of credit for mixed race superhero couples!). I don't know how he's so certain about this if he hasn't read any mainstream stuff for thirty-odd years, myself. But this is a massive disservice to his late 70s/80s contemporaries. Moore might have been the best at it, and got the broader public breakthrough because of it, but he was far from the only person pushing at the boundaries of comics, taking them to places they hadn't yet dared to go. Just look at the other stuff that was going on in 2000AD, for example, by Pat Mills, John Wagner, Peter Milligan etc. Even the Big Two had writers like John Byrne, Don McGregor, Steve Gerber and Chris Claremont maturing the form in the late 70s beyond the breezy and inconsequential. In 1981, Chris Claremont even addressed an insane and insanely callous rape plot by a fellow Marvel writer... in an issue of Avengers!

I'm surprised the internet seems to be focusing on the Morrison stuff, or Moore's reiterated claims about the state of the industry, at the expense of the stuff about race and rape. Now, I think Moore has justified the use of the latter in some of his work, other instances less so - that's not my issue here. Instead, I was shocked to see Moore dismissing any possible objection to his work, but especially his use of rape. Where's his compassion? The hoary old "what about murder? Isn't that far worse?" chestnut, which no-one was buying from Mark Millar back when he tried it on for size. Later on he groundlessly calls Sneddon's feminism into question. And over and over again, he concocts hateful ulterior motives for these people, diminishing them, their beliefs and experiences.

He also engages in "why are you objecting to this whilst there are babies dying in Africa?"-esque cunt's trickery, a la Richard Dawkins and 'Muslima'. It's possible to care and campaign about many things at once.

BŁge
01-13-2014, 09:28 AM
Watchmen is indeed an outstanding piece of literature, which was originally about a group of Charlton kids characters, but now... you get it. A piece of work that builds on the ideas of others, stretching back decades, much like LOEG & Lost Girls (although they go back centuries). But it's somehow immoral for DC (for example) to now use elements he introduced into Green Lantern continuity 30 years ago, in a story that was building off the 1959 GL origin story 30 years prior. For a man who has such strong principles, he's got incredible double standards.

I was under the impression that he didn't think it was immoral so much as rolling his eyes at recycling specific plot elements instead of coming up with new ones.

madhair60
01-13-2014, 09:47 AM
I could well be misunderstanding.

BEAT
01-13-2014, 12:39 PM
I have long believed that Allan Moore is exactly as crazy as Frank Miller, but in profoundly different ways.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-13-2014, 03:25 PM
alan moore is crazy in interesting ways whereas frank miller is sadly mostly crazy in boring ones.

actually all you ever need to do to understand everything wrong with frank miller is read the afterword to the second martha washington trade, where he explains that yes, you have just finished reading an utterly sincere and straight-faced homage to/pastiche of atlas shrugged.

blinkpen
01-15-2014, 02:03 AM
Alan Moore writes genuinely good stuff, unlike Frank Miller who only occasionally touches upon genuis by flinging so much crazy out into the stratosphere. Watchmen is a genuine cultural touchstone, it says so much about human nature and our obsession with the idea of superheros that it's actually strange that Alan Moore, the cranky old kook that he is in real life, finds it weird that grown people in this day and age still idolize them.

Superheroes are the new greek gods. Scoff at that if you like but it's so seriously fucking true.

Googleshng
01-15-2014, 03:01 AM
To the best of my knowledge Athena never became a 15 year old Korean girl thanks to an alteration of the timeline and was only restored to normal after being killed and brought back to life.

And don't you go trying to throw Persephone in my face.

Evil Dead Junkie
01-15-2014, 09:21 AM
alan moore is crazy in interesting ways whereas frank miller is sadly mostly crazy in boring ones.

actually all you ever need to do to understand everything wrong with frank miller is read the afterword to the second martha washington trade, where he explains that yes, you have just finished reading an utterly sincere and straight-faced homage to/pastiche of atlas shrugged.

I am seriously embarrassed how long I gave the argument that latter day Frank Miller comics were actually gonzo metafictional critiques of the genre ala the latter day DePalma films.

I can still remember the dawning horror of reading Holy Terror and realizing. "Oh shit he totally means it."

BŁge
01-15-2014, 12:35 PM
If you'd ever read his public statements on any political issues, you'd have realized that already.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-15-2014, 02:30 PM
I can still remember the dawning horror of reading Holy Terror and realizing. "Oh shit he totally means it."

this is kind of the point we're arriving at with Mark Millar I think.

Evil Dead Junkie
01-15-2014, 02:48 PM
If you'd ever read his public statements on any political issues, you'd have realized that already.

Politics alone cannot explain All Star Batman And Robin.

I genuinely hope that hot mess gets finished one day.

BŁge
01-15-2014, 02:56 PM
I'm afraid you'll have to settle for Batman: Odyssey instead.

Pombar
01-15-2014, 08:22 PM
To the best of my knowledge Athena never became a 15 year old Korean girl thanks to an alteration of the timeline and was only restored to normal after being killed and brought back to life.

And don't you go trying to throw Persephone in my face.

Yeah, but few superheroes turn into animals to get freaky while their significant others aren't looking. They have their own brand of weird, but they're still both dysfunctional-yet-idolised cultural symbols.

Reinforcements
01-16-2014, 06:14 AM
Yeah, but few superheroes turn into animals to get freaky while their significant others aren't looking.
There was that horse that turned into a human and tried to have sex with Supergirl.

ajr82
01-16-2014, 02:14 PM
Oh, it was way weirder than that.

Comet was Supergirl's pet horse and, while in his human form as Bill Starr, her brief boyfriend. Comet also had a brief romance with Lois Lane in her comic book.

As he described to her telepathically, he was originally a centaur in ancient Greece named Biron. The witch Circe gave him a potion to turn him fully human after he prevented an evil sorcerer poisoning her water, but by mistake made him fully horse instead due to the Sorcerer. Unable to reverse the spell, she instead gave him superpowers, including immortality. The Sorcerer asked his teacher to help him against Biron and they were able to imprison him on an asteroid in the constellation of Sagittarius, which he had been born under. However when Supergirl's rocket passed it broke the force field, enabling him to escape. Later, after meeting Supergirl, he went on a mission with her to the planet Zerox, where a magic spell was cast that turned him into a human, but only while a comet passes through the solar system he is in. As a human, he adopted the identity of "Bronco" Bill Starr, a rodeo trick-rider, whom Supergirl fell in love with.[1]

Octopus Prime
01-16-2014, 04:27 PM
this is kind of the point we're arriving at with Mark Millar I think.

"Arriving at"?

Paul le Fou
01-16-2014, 06:46 PM
Yeah, that's pretty fucking worthy of the Modern-Day Greek Myth mantle.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-17-2014, 08:24 AM
"Arriving at"?

That's a pretty conservative choice of tense, yes.

The other day I was straightening the shelves at work and flipped open the Kick-Ass 2 trade. I got to the foreword, which appeared to be two pages of a guy talking enthusiastically about jacking off to the following contents, and put it away.

Sanagi
01-19-2014, 04:55 PM
Fandom seems fixated on determining whether we, as modern, liberated minds, should be offended by Alan Moore. I don't see why we bother. His whole M.O. is based on taking readers into the most disturbing of places. If he was socially acceptable, he wouldn't have written Miracleman, let alone From Hell.

I also don't see the comparison to Frank Miller. Miller seemed to be doing a pastiche of macho violence porn, when actually it turns out he just likes macho violence porn. That was disappointing. But we should not be surprised when we look into Alan Moore's mind and find troubling things there.

True, some of his writing has aged poorly, revealing his prejudices. But to approach him now and ask him to defend it is foolhardy - especially if you think you're going to get a straight answer. Hell, I'd be disappointed if he did give a straight answer. Not as disappointed as when I read LXG Century 1969, though. Now that was a reason to complain.

Rascally Badger
01-19-2014, 05:29 PM
The comparison to Frank Miller mostly comes from them being the most popular becoming popular at roughly the same time.