Alan Moore Knows The Score?
It really is tough to see one of your heroes become the proverbial old man who stands on his porch, yelling at the kids to get off their lawn. And it’s happened to me so many times now I’m beginning to worry. Harlan Ellison, well, he’s ALWAYS been an old crank (And by the way, you can buy some of his STUFF from his own personal collection now, housecleaning sale). William Gibson still types out novels on a typewriter (so I’m told, correct me if I’m wrong). Dave Sim became a head case declaring all women to be a spiritual Void while practicing his own mashup of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Several other comic writers whose stuff I admired when I was younger are now working for extreme right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart. Steve Albini has always decried digital, but now it’s almost fundamentalism. Prince just this week declared the internet “over.”
So it was maybe not so surprising, but still rather disappointing to see Alan Moore, one of the main reasons I’m here blogging at you today, give an interview to the rather expensive magazine Comic Heroes (written by an acquaintance of mine, Michael Molcher) declaring, in tandem, that:
“We’re in 2010 and it seems a bit of a poor show if there hasn’t been anything as progressive as a comic that came out in 1995.
“I haven’t read a comic in years but I’ve not been tempted to. Other than those by friends and loved ones I’ve not seen anything that has made me want to pick up a comic book.”
The first one, by itself, would be fair criticism.
The second one, by itself, would be fair criticism.
Put them together, and… oy. Depressing, saddening, and maddening.
So, Alan, how does a learned man such as yourself become like so many Anonymous cranks on the Internet that you so despise? Bashing something you haven’t taken the time to read? Does this sound like the words of someone whose mind-blowing and consciousness-expanding works influenced generations, for good or for ill?
His hurt at the comic industry is 90% justified. To bash the artform like that is horseshit, frankly.
Nothing progressive since 1995? Wasn’t that when you were doing hack work for Image, Alan? So what was this uber-progressive comic out fifteen years ago that’s become the standard by which you hold all things accountable? Do you really mean to tell me you’ve missed out on:
Phonogram. Casanova. The Nightly News. Transmetropolitan. KICK-ASS. The FLIGHT and POPGUN anthologies. The influence of manga. The influence of manhwa. The resurgence of bande-desinee. I would say webcomics, but we already KNOW you missed that boat.
In fact, I daresay there’s more progressive, forward-thinking comics work being produced now than there was in 1995.
To prove it, I’m sending Alan Moore a copy of A Fistful Of Comics. With 17 different stories, and over 30 new and emerging talents, I defy Moore to say there’s NOTHING progressive or forward-thinking in the book.
Unless, of course, he doesn’t read it because none of us involved are friends or loved ones.
So, as Pop Will Eat Itself once sang, does Alan Moore know the score?
Not anymore, friends, not anymore.
(And I just want to point out: Moore is still one of the best writers the business has ever seen, and this is in no way a personal attack on him. I talk with his son-in-law John Reppion on Twitter fairly consistently. But those quotes, put together, I take umbrage with.)