Thursday, 28 June 2012

THE MOORE THE MERRIER...?



I've only ever met ALAN MOORE twice. The first time was in 1984 at a
comic mart in the MOIR HALL in the MITCHELL LIBRARY in Glasgow,
and the second was in 1985 in the 2000 A.D. offices in KING'S REACH
TOWER in London. On that first occasion STEVE MacMANUS gave me
my break into the comics industry and, afterwards, the 2000 A.D. team,
Alan Moore, BERNIE JAYE, various other comics people and myself,
 invaded the CENTRAL HOTEL for a chat and a little light libation.

On the second occasion, Mr. Moore brought his daughter up to
the twentieth floor of KRT to meet THARG THE MIGHTY. In both
instances, the writer was polite, affable and soft-spoken - seemed like a
perfectly nice guy in fact. I very much doubt he would remember meeting
me - or, in fact, even know who I am. No surprise - there are many
millions who qualify in the latter category so you'll understand when
I say that it's not something I'm about to lose any sleep over.

I only mention this so
that you don't think I've
any cause to hold a grudge
against the man. He wasn't
rude to me, he didn't laugh
at my accent, nor did he do
or say anything to which I
could take exception. As I
said - a perfectly nice guy.
When it comes to his writing,
I've liked some of it and
either not liked or been
indifferent to what I've
seen of the rest. I'm of
the opinion that when Mr.
Moore works within 'Comic
Code' approved guidelines,
he turns out a nice little
tale or two; however, when
he's given the freedom to
indulge himself, I find that I
have little interest in what he has to say. He can certainly write, but that doesn't
mean that everything he writes (I'm talking subject, not prose) is worth reading.
(A charge that can no doubt be levelled at myself when it comes to this blog.)

Which brings me to the point of this post. I recently watched Mr.
Moore's HARDtalk interview, in which, affable as ever, he came across
as - it pains me to say it - a bit of a tit. A charming, eccentric tit, true - but
still a tit. (I say that in the full knowledge that if ever someone stuck a camera in
my face and asked me a few questions, I'd more than likely make a tit of myself
too.) Surely he must have friends - good friends - whose opinion he trusts - who
can be relied upon to stop him making a public spectacle of himself whenever
someone waves a microphone in front of his heavily-bearded gob? You know,
the sort of friends who'll watch 'his' movies for him and then tell him how
bad they are, to spare him the ordeal of doing the groundwork when it
comes to forming an opinion for himself.

Have none of those friends got the spuds to tell him that he's severely
damaged his credibility as a 'principled' individual by claiming, on air, that
he accepted dosh for movie options on his works only because he believed
they would never be produced? Prepared to take money for nothing in other
words, and seemingly without a shred of embarrassment about publicly
admitting it. (One would think he'd have realised that, after the first
movie was made, the chances of the others similarly seeing
fruition were distinct possibilities.)   

And what about his self-
indulgent whinging about
DC COMICS using his
WATCHMEN characters in
new stories? It may have
escaped his notice, but he's
made a fairly good living
from doing exactly the same
thing for years, with the likes
of SUPERMAN, SWAMP
THING, MARVELMAN,
CAPTAIN BRITAIN, and
a whole host of others he
didn't create. There's
absolutely no difference
between him writing tales
for these characters and
other writers crafting new
stories for his creations. In
fact, as the Watchmen
heroes were thinly-disguised reworkings of former CHARLTON properties, he can't even lay a firm claim
to them to begin with. And don't get me started on what he's done to the iconic
literary creations of famous, long-dead authors who would doubtless be
incensed by what he's done with them.

As I said, Alan Moore appears to be a likeable-enough bloke. (Although,
by all accounts, that LOST GIRLS stuff is decidedly dodgy. Isn't it a crime
to possess or make such pictures of minors? I'm surprised that him and his
missus haven't had their collars felt by the local constabulary yet.) I'm sure
you'd all hate to see 'Affable Al' opening his mouth and putting his foot in
it yet again as much as I would, so - if you're a pal of his, do him a favour.
Next time you hear he's about to make a pronouncement on some subject
or other - tell him to stick a sock in it. Or better yet, stick one in for
him. You know it's for his own good.

(And in case any nasty spells are going to be coming my way, I
should warn any angry wizards who may be reading that I'm protected
by the Mystic Mirror of Moogamoto - it reflects spells and curses
right back at where they came from. So there!)

15 comments:

ace said...

Dear Kid

This is an interesting and provocative post; I like the way you are not afraid to raise your dukes and start swinging even though you may be hopelessly outnumbered in this skirmish. I have just poured about a gallon of coffee down my neck and my spinning head cannot compose a coherent response at this time. I will say that the clown conducting the interview Paxmanned his way through a deplorable hectoring session and must have gotten his journalism diploma from a gumball machine. Even if you disagree with much of what Alan Moore said, perhaps you will concede that he emerged from the dead sheep savaging as an extremely gracious, polite and patient soul.

Maybe I can swing by again when my dopamine levels equalise, and after I've watched the interview again. I'm afraid I've not had the decency to leave comments after I've had a good old lurk around here recently, but I do like to pop in frequently and always find something fascinating.

Great stuff, have a nice day.

ace said...

maybe i am a robot. what misery.

Kid said...

Alan Moore certainly was gracious and polite, but he came across as rather a simple soul who perhaps shouldn't be allowed out on his own. His answers to the questions (the programme IS called 'Hard Talk' after all) did him no favours alas, and I sometimes found myself thinking that he'd be better taking a different approach. I felt the interviewer could have pushed him harder in some instances, but I suppose there was only so much time for each question.

Dougie said...

I was at that comic mart at the Mitchell.The following year I moved into my first flat along the street on Kent Road.

I asked Alan Moore about DC characters he wouldn't be interested in writing (the kind of question you ask at that age). He responded with the old saw about there being no bad characters per se. IIRC, I wibbled about Marv Wolfman's Vigilante being a bit of a shabby cash-in on The Punisher. Fast-forward a year and Moore turns in a sensationalist Vigilante story.

baab said...

it seemed as if the interviewer used alan moores stance from previous interviews and he fashioned his questions accordingly.
i learned nothing new from this .

And I dont think anyone else did either.
no depth to it at all.

I quite like listening to Mr Moore in interviews.

Kid said...

I learned that Lost Girls is regarded as a very naughty book indeed. And to justify it as an exploration into human sexuality is a bit like the old "I was only doing research" excuse.

Mr Straightman said...

One of the (many) things that really narks me about this bloke is that he's shallow enough to think that any story can be instantly made more 'mature' and 'grown up' simply by including a scene in which a woman is sexually assaulted, raped or murdered. In his 'controversial' graphic novel Lost Girls, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz is turned into a sex-addicted cocaine addict who has an incestuous relationship with her own father. As if that wasn't enough, he recasts Peter Pan with (surprise, surprise) a rape scene and a paedophile Captian Hook. That's his idea of being 'edgy' and 'fearless'. To the rest of us it's the sort of thing we used to giggle about for a couple of minutes during a boring English lesson when we were ten, before forgetting about it forever. I suggest, if he seriously wants other people to stop messing with his ideas, he gets some original characters of his own and stops fooling with other people's.

Kid said...

It's certainly a curious subject to choose to write about - and not one I'm interested in reading or even looking at. I don't think he can justify it under any circumstances - despite his nervous, well-rehearsed-but-missing-the-point attempt during the Hardtalk interview.

Mr Straightman said...

It's given me an idea for a new comic, though - Lost Minds.

Anonymous said...

I've never read Lost Girls. It sounds indefensible and horrid.

Kid said...

Not only have I never read it, I've never even seen it. (Perhaps it's only available in a plain brown wrapper.) What's more, I have no intention of ever looking for it.

Anonymous said...

"I've never read something or even looked at it but I feel I can boldly make assertions and insinuations about the work and it's author and his wife"

If you had any 'spuds' perhaps you'd call the police about this apparently suspect piece of work you've never looked at but you haven't so you feebly blog about it

Bravo!

Kid said...

And if you had any spuds, you wouldn't be anonymous, now would you?

And why would I call the police about something I haven't seen? What planet are you on again?

As for making 'assertions and insinuations', Mr Moore claimed on Hardtalk that Lost Girls was produced as an exercise in pornography. A respectable bookshop owner I know said he had severe doubts about stocking it because of the content. Also, a well-known publisher told me he was surprised that there hadn't been more 'fallout' from the book.

I don't need to drink poison to know it's bad for me, and - given the subject matter alone - it's not a book I would sully my mind with.

My opinion, therefore, is based on the words of Mr Moore's own admission that he and his wife were producing pornography.

In future, it might be an idea to confine your comments to subjects you actually know something about.

Anonymous said...

"In future, it might be an idea to confine your comments to subjects you actually know something about."

Advice you may wish to follow, you've not read the book and yet you've formed a judgement regardless, big of you

Kid said...

Advice which Mr Moore himself should follow - he condemns the movies based on his comics without ever having seen them.

However, in my case, you're talking absolute pish. Here's why:

The writer admits that the book is pornography.

It deals with incest, rape and paedophilia.

These are facts. I've not yet read of anyone disputing them. My judgement is based on these facts, which I heard the writer admit to on the programme Hardtalk. I have no wish to read pornography based on such subjects, yet you seem to have a problem with that.

To reiterate for the obviously hard-of-thinking: My opinion is therefore not based on nothing, but is formed in the light of accepted facts and the admission of the writer.

I'll tell you what IS big of me - the fact that I even bother giving an obvious wind-up merchant like you the time of day.

Now feck off!