Watchmen Author Alan Moore Lashes Out At Critics in "Final" Interview

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Watchmen Author Alan Moore Lashes Out At Critics in "Final" Interview

Alan Moore has stated he will no longer participate in interviews or speaking events, levying strong accusations against reviewers and peers in the process.

These days, Alan Moore is almost better known for controversies surrounding his writing than the writing itself, and considering he penned Watchmen, that's no small feat. His anger isn't necessarily unjustified given his experiences, but where other creators express dissatisfaction and move on, Moore tends to openly disparage anyone he feels wronged him. Still, that knowledge barely prepares one for Moore's latest interview, where he unpacked his frustrations with superhero fans, critics, reviewers, and fellow writers before departing from interviews altogether.

"[These answers] might also indicate to a perceptive reader that I wouldn't be doing this, at my advanced age, if I had any intention of doing this or anything remotely like it ever again," Moore stated. "While many of you have been justifiably relaxing with your families or loved ones [during Christmas], I have been answering allegations about my obsession with rape, and re-answering several-year-old questions with regard to my perceived racism. I don't imagine that anyone who has been following my career to even a cursory extent will be in any doubt regarding how I'm likely to respond to that, given my considerable previous form in such unwelcome situations."

The interview itself, posted on the Slovobooks blog, was provided so Moore could respond to criticisms of his female and minority characters. After answering the questions however, Moore added "a couple of minor points" largely directed against individual critics. Among the named examples, Moore implies that reviewer Laura Sneddon purposely broke confidentiality agreements to spoil the ending of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century for the Independent. He also critiques fellow writer Grant Morrison, accusing him of simply imitating Moore's work throughout his entire early career. "While [Morrison] is clearly not the only reason why I have come to feel actual revulsion for the greater part of today's comic world, he has probably done more than any other single individual to foul its atmosphere and make it unbreathable with his ongoing reeking incontinence."

Moore has certainly crafted one of the most detailed put-downs of comic book history, to the point where I can barely summarize it. His response is over 20 pages and 15,000 words long, starting as a simple defense that transforms slowly, almost elegantly, into a verbal lashing of Moore's critics. Eventually, one realizes Moore isn't just defending himself; he is saying his final words before leaving the room. This is Alan Moore's mic drop, and while it's clearly hostile, it's almost art in and of itself.

Artistic or not, whether Moore statements are factual isn't quite clear. Sneddon herself has responded via Twitter, stating that Moore's accusations are fabrications and that she was given full permission to publish plot details in her review. "I'm actually astounded at how many lies are in that," she wrote on Twitter. "Far beyond just being grumpy to being outright poisonous ... For a creator to bully a reviewer in such a way is incredible. As I say I have all the permissions I was given saved."

At the moment, Sneddon is looking into defamation laws for possible legal action while Morrison has yet to respond. As for Moore himself, he's unlikely to offer any further comments outside of his writing for the immediate future.

Source: Slovobooks

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Hrm, while it might be his last f-you to the industry having read some of the things he's been through I don't blame him for being bitter and jaded. I don't know how much of what is true and whats just subjective "I've been fucked before and feel I'm being fucked all the time now" attitude which clinically cynical people tend to get as they get older. Sucks either way because aside from his jadedness, we're more or less hearing Moore state "I'm done" and as such probably not going to see or hear from him again good or bad.
I don't know how or what to say as I've liked a good portion of his stuff, but admittedly haven't followed everything. Still its sad to see content creators get screwed over (partly because they're overeager to sign a contract without reading it, and partly because sneaky f-ing lawyers and publishers) and ultimately lose it and quit the business altogether.

I've always hated Moore for this kind of crap. He's got no problems taking money by selling his creative works (which is certainly his right) but then he moans and complains when they don't "do it right" or "maintain his artistic vision" or whatever. If it's that important to him, maybe he should be a little more careful to who he sells it to.

But then again, I think he rather enjoys playing the victim in these little episodes. Also he seems like a kinda' crazy, old jerk.

Hmm, never really noticed any overt racism in Moore's work (not in the stuff I've read anyway), he only ever seemed to represent styles of the time rather than his own views on things. His version of Captain Nemo, for example, is very much a character not a caricature.
The rape thing though? Yeah I'd say thats a bit of an issue. Its why I really do not like his more modern work because it all seems to be an excuse to fit in (often monster based) rape to the detriment of any actual story.

Also, lashing out at literally everyone you can think of doesn't make you look like the victim, Moore, it makes you look like an asshole. Frankly, given he seems to say nothing but venomous bile these days I think its probably a good thing he's making this his final interview. Well until the next time he wants some attention, that is, and decides to do another one

*Facepalms* Well I'm glad it's his last one for a while. I think he getting battier.

Salad Is Murder:
I've always hated Moore for this kind of crap. He's got no problems taking money by selling his creative works (which is certainly his right) but then he moans and complains when they don't "do it right" or "maintain his artistic vision" or whatever. If it's that important to him, maybe he should be a little more careful to who he sells it to.

He is a grumpy old bugger, but does have some justification.

The original agreement for Watchmen was that the rights would revert to him a few years after the book went out of print. At the time that didn't seem unreasonable - other works released before then tended to have a relatively short shelf life - but the huge success of the book, and the comics industry embracing the idea of the graphic novel, led to it never going out of print. DC also rather quickly backpedalled on their earlier agreement that they would leave Watchmen as a self contained story, making plans to capitalise on the success of it by linking it to the rest of the DC Universe. Moore also later lost control of a lot of his more recent work - America's Best Comics - when the publisher was bought up by DC.

Ironically the only reason he still has ownership of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is that this was kept separate from the rest of ABC because he and Kevin O'Neill had already sold the film rights. As much as Moore loathes adaptations in this case it was an adaptation that kept that work in his hands.

It's rather a pity the person mentioned in the opening of the piece didn't ask his question about The Killing Joke since he may have got an answer he didn't expect. I've read older interviews with Moore in which he's expressed his dissatisfaction with that story, believing in hindsight that it was too brutal for a Batman story, and that its success contributed to the excesses of the dark n gritty 90s.

Alan Moore has stated he will no longer participate in interviews or speaking events

Not quite.

"To this end, once I've satisfied my current commitments, I shall more or less curtail speaking engagements and non-performance appearances, certainly including all offers to talk on comic-related matters or in a comic-related context. Likewise, while I shall probably still do a couple of rigorously-selected interviews and perhaps a limited signing at the launch of any new books (since my worthy and excellent collaborators and publishers shouldn't be disadvantaged in terms of publicity, although for my own part I'm not that bothered), it would be much more convenient if I just rejected requests for interviews unless I myself saw some especially good reason to do otherwise."

So there'll be no need to call him a hypocrite or a liar when he does his next interview.

The more I read about this man the more I want to put him in the same box as Frank Miller as people I just wish would go away. This level of self righteousness is usually followed by a new religion springing up.

Unfortunately Alan Moore is both - one of the greatest Comic Artists AND a complete Asshole.

When you reach adcanced age, some things are just a given and the constant barrage of repeated questions you're faced with become irrelevant noise in the background. My father is 50 years older than I am and I see this every time I'm with him.

At that point, you're no longer a person of specific conviction, experience tells you that all the lines are blurred, important topics are dismissed and anyone who doesn't know you from start to finish, has no chance of understanding you.

This is why elders used to be revered and respected, because they have a lifetime of experience that you can barely begin to scratch. My generation and newer ones, are especially in a difficult position, because we grew up with the world at our feet with the internet. We think we know everything, because everything we want to know about is available no further away than the smartphones in our pockets.

I don't know the man, but he doesn't seem unreasonable considering his public situation.

Sixcess:
He is a grumpy old bugger, but does have some justification.

The original agreement for Watchmen was that the rights would revert to him a few years after the book went out of print. At the time that didn't seem unreasonable - other works released before then tended to have a relatively short shelf life - but the huge success of the book, and the comics industry embracing the idea of the graphic novel, led to it never going out of print.

That's really not justification for being a dick. If you sign a contract that relies entirely on your work not being successful, you have absolutely no grounds to complain if it actually is successful. As for DC going back on their agreement, presumably that agreement was not actually part of any contract otherwise he could have just sued them. He must therefore have relied on a large, profit-oriented company not wanting to make money off a successful product. Both of these come down to little more than poor decision making on Moore's part, and certainly don't justify the constant rants against anyone and everyone he disagrees with.

Bye! Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!

Dear lord, but the man loves to bitch every chance he gets!

You can blame age all you want, but you never hear Stan Lee whining like Alan Moore does.

Kahani:
If you sign a contract that relies entirely on your work not being successful, you have absolutely no grounds to complain if it actually is successful.

It's not really a question of it being successful or otherwise. Prior to the breakout success of Watchmen (and The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns) comic book collections simply did not stay in print for that long.

In much the same way that television drama was originally regarded as a watch-once-then-forget-about-it medium (leading to the notorious junking of many early Doctor Who serials among others) but was given a new lease of life by VCRs and the new nostalgia driven market, it was the mainstream recognition of those 'graphic novels', coinciding with the collector mania of the late 80s/early 90s, that completely changed the way the comic companies regarded their output.

When Moore and DC came to that agreement neither party expected Watchmen to never ever go out of print, regardless of how well it sold, because up until then that was exactly how it had always been.

Sixcess:
So there'll be no need to call him a hypocrite or a liar when he does his next interview.

That's one of the most amazing things about this interview; he's carefully chosen every single word in there to the point that it's covered most of his bases if he changes his mind/is proven wrong. This isn't crazy old man rambling like some people are accusing him off.

That also means that even if Snedden is correct, a defamation lawsuit might not end up going anywhere.

Hyperstorm:
Dear lord, but the man loves to bitch every chance he gets!

You can blame age all you want, but you never hear Stan Lee whining like Alan Moore does.

I'm pretty sure that's because people don't bitch and moan at Stan Lee for everything the guy does.

I love Alan Moore as a creator, but as a person he's just such a shit heel.

Oh I'm sorry Mr. Moore, I couldn't hear your complaint about how other people ruin your creative visions over the sound of Mr. Hyde raping the invisible man.

Salad Is Murder:
I've always hated Moore for this kind of crap. He's got no problems taking money by selling his creative works (which is certainly his right) but then he moans and complains when they don't "do it right" or "maintain his artistic vision" or whatever. If it's that important to him, maybe he should be a little more careful to who he sells it to.

But then again, I think he rather enjoys playing the victim in these little episodes. Also he seems like a kinda' crazy, old jerk.

I've long suspected his tantrums were mere theatrics.

But yeah, I'm amazed how quick he seems to be to license his stuff when he's just as quick to say "don't do it" or "it was crap."

Meh, he's been doing it to his friends for years. Why wouldn't he sh*t on everyone else?

I'm friends with a former collaborator of Moore's, someone who was at least a little sympathetic to him and his issues, and now rarely speaks of Moore because of how he was treated and how he acts.

The guy throws people away and then blames them for whatever issue(s) he had, especially if there is a perceived slight.

The more I hear about Alan Moore, the more I dislike him. Yeah, he did Watchman, but so fucking what? We don't let Frank Miller get away with the shit he has done, so why do we let Alan Moore get away with this shit?

I will say that part of Moore's anger is justified to a certain point. Yes, he's been screwed over greatly by the likes of DC Comics and his body of work still stands out as the best while serving as a cautionary tale of working within the comics industry. That said, when you have become so bitter that you lash out at close friends, fellow writers, and even your fans... TIME TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP, DUDE!

It feels odd, in a poetic justice sort of way, that the two men who were seen as the starting point for the "grim & gritty" era of comics have lost their minds and are now looked at by their peers and fans with disdain and/or pity. If this is karmic payback, I feel its partly deserving but I wish the punishment would go towards the corporate bigwigs that went this route as well.

'You can blame age all you want, but you never hear Stan Lee whining like Alan Moore does.'

True, but absolutely everyone else besides Stan Lee does. Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Frank Miller and the entire Image comics teams spent their latter years pointing out the comics industry had screwed them over. Of those people Alan Moore is the only one who retained any kind of quality, unlike Miller who turned into a caricature of a Fox News viewer and the Image comics teams who just made their own messed up company.

Farewell my favorite crazy hobo wizard! It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Nadia Castle:
'You can blame age all you want, but you never hear Stan Lee whining like Alan Moore does.'

True, but absolutely everyone else besides Stan Lee does. Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Frank Miller and the entire Image comics teams spent their latter years pointing out the comics industry had screwed them over. Of those people Alan Moore is the only one who retained any kind of quality, unlike Miller who turned into a caricature of a Fox News viewer and the Image comics teams who just made their own messed up company.

Eh, if I recall the real problem with Ditko is he basically turned his comics into some insane, objectivist mouth pieces wherein successful businessmen just plain were incapable of being villains and anyone who was a criminal was a pathetic loser rather than being worthy of even an ounce of sympathy. Apparently it got so bad to the point that one of his few remaining comics "Mr. A" has turned more or less into an objectivist version of Chick Tracts than anything of substance.

Ironically, Mr. A was mocked by Allan Moore in Watchman by the character of Rorschach, who's basically a more realistic take on just how psychologically disturbed a person would have to be to act like Mr. A

Man this guy lashes out for a living. Exeunt stage left for all I care.

Alan Moore, if you want people to stop questioning you about "allegations about [your] obsession with rape", the best way is to write a story where rape doesn't feature in. Prove that you can write a story without involving rape.

Or you can just rant about the people who dare criticize you. Because that makes you look like the bigger man, right?

'Eh, if I recall the real problem with Ditko is he basically turned his comics into some insane, objectivist mouth pieces wherein successful businessmen just plain were incapable of being villains'

Ditko was a bit of a loon about putting his politics into his work. I don't think he ever lost it to quite the same extent Miller did but he was a bit of an arse. Despite that he did get thoroughly screwed over like every other creator bar Stan Lee. If you read 'Marvel Comics: The Untold Story' it explains how the likes of Kirby went to their graves cursing Stan Lee for standing by Marvel instead of his friends and co-creators because they were looking after him. I'm sure that's a biased reading but baring in mind they did at minimum half the work of creating icons like Spider-man and the Fantastic Four yet no-one outside of comic fandom knows who they are.

Again, Moore has become a grumpy old hippy, but there is no-one whose been chewed up by the US comics industry who hasn't come out of the other side a bitter cynic.

Good, he was a whiny old sod. Glad he is shutting his mouth forever. But i bet he wont, i bet within the next 6 month he will be spouting off again. Thing is he did deals for work, thus DC or whom ever company own that work. Its their property not Moores. Way i see it most of his books were based off character that wernt his anyway. Im sure those original creators hate what he did with their creations. Cant stand him.

Sixcess:
[He is a grumpy old bugger, but does have some justification.

The original agreement for Watchmen was that the rights would revert to him a few years after the book went out of print. At the time that didn't seem unreasonable - other works released before then tended to have a relatively short shelf life - but the huge success of the book, and the comics industry embracing the idea of the graphic novel, led to it never going out of print. DC also rather quickly backpedalled on their earlier agreement that they would leave Watchmen as a self contained story, making plans to capitalise on the success of it by linking it to the rest of the DC Universe. Moore also later lost control of a lot of his more recent work - America's Best Comics - when the publisher was bought up by DC.

Ironically the only reason he still has ownership of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is that this was kept separate from the rest of ABC because he and Kevin O'Neill had already sold the film rights. As much as Moore loathes adaptations in this case it was an adaptation that kept that work in his hands.

I'm sorry but more and more over the years of watching Mr. Moore I am convinced that there really is something of a clinical psychological nature going on with him. Like many anguished artists the demons in his head help him greatly with his art, but leave him somewhat outside the norm for operation in normal polite society.

Case in point. Me. Moore's apparent lack of any reasonable business abilities. he's an artist. he has been a rock star in his industry since the mid 80's. He could literally write his own ticket anywhere anytime. Many other artists of lesser artistic talent, but far better real world skills have easily done so. Mike Mignola being the standout example. He took his fame and garnered it into a highly successful creator owned property in which he answers to no one. Todd McFarland did much the same, coming from the same time period and environments. Mr. Moore however keeps dealing with the traditional publishers while ranting as he gets screwed by them. And why is this? Because he does not operate in the long term. He can demand almost anything so he does. He wants the big payout from someone else now, never understanding what the costs will be. The ABC deal is the perfect example. He chose a small publisher that he could exercise "creative control over". One would think that someone like Moore, given his rock star status, overall selling power and draw, would have the experience to know how to leverage a bit more financial control or personal ownership out of any deals. Instead I get the impression that he still operates in his industry under the "work for hire" model that he learned, but simply demands far greater up front payment for his work. He wants the money now. Hence he pays the price later. His works boosted the perceived value of the publisher hence facilitating the favorable buyout. Of which he was not a party, having been paid up front. I'm not saying that he has no legitimate grievances with the comic industry. I'm simply saying that with his fame, talent, personal experience and supposed intelligence, he of all people is more than equipped with the proper toolsets to burn through the normal petty bullshit of his industry and easily forge his own path. He simply needs to skills and drives to forgo the big payout now and instead build his own business.

In short there's a reason starving artists are in fact starving. Moore is the textbook example.

Man, this guy is always like this isn't he. At least Grant Morrison isn't a complete asshole, and can write stories without rape in them.

I haven't liked a lot of Alan Moores work, Watchmen is one of the few I liked, so much so that I bought the hard cover. But I like Grant Morrison and especially his work on 52, which was amazing and still one of DC comics best things ever in my opinion (for those who don't know it's nothing to do with the New 52.).

While I love some of his works, dear god is this man a diva. And yes, I know they screwed him with some of the rights to his stuff, but dear god does he like to sell his work and then complain when they don't use it the way he wants it used.

Maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't sell your stuff if you don't want to see it in other peoples hands.

I think what bothers me the most with all of this is some of his backwards and self serving views regarding Watchmen. Yes he got screwed. Yes he wrote a masterful story that used classic literary structure for a limited run comic (honestly not the first time that had been done. See Squadron Supreme). But his claims that it was the watershed event that changed comics and invented the "graphic novel"? Ummm no. Sorry but I was there in the comic shops in 1986. That honor goes to Millers Dark Knight Returns. Everything about it was new. From its production values, to its dark gritty story, to its new square bound "graphic novel" format. That was the change agent. Watchmen benefited from being a dark gritty tale of a similar vein that derived good word of mouth as "read this its like the Dark Knight". Beyond that it was just a stylistic miniseries.

It further gets appalling when he describes writing the mainstream comic characters as stealing from dead men, in the same breath that he complains about DC's treatment of his Watchmen copyright. It's like he forgets that we know that Watchmens characters were just repaints of the older Charleston characters (many of whom had been bought and sold across numerous publishers before They landed at DC and Moore did his cut n paste). Does he credit Wil Eisener or Charles Wjotski (sp?) the creators of the Blue Beetle (that was changed at the last minute to Nightowl in an editorial decision?). The irony of his big claim to fame coming from his "adapting" these legacy characters, and later having those other publishers bought out from under him seems completely lost on him.

Why is Alan Moore still relevant? I'm pretty sure he claimed he hasn't read a comic in years and that his own work is better than others so how the fuck does the stubborn old fool know what he's talking about. I won't deny that his works are good, Tom Strong, League of extraordinary gentlemen and the saga of swamp thing are good books and while Watchmen is overrated it's certainly influential but he hasn't done anything comic wise for the past 3 years but bitch, it's getting tedious.
And to the matter of Morrison copying his work I disagree, firstly Morrisons a better writer and secondly their works are different they're just kinda similar in the facts their english and wizards.
Also maybe if he stopped writing stories with rape, implied or otherwise maybe we'd stop assuming he's obsessed with it.

BloodRed Pixel:
Unfortunately Alan Moore is both - one of the greatest Comic Artists AND a complete Asshole.

I don't think Alan Moore really is an asshole, just batshit fucking insane.

Alternate headline: "Moore throws classic hissy-fit; world sighs, rolls eyes while making universal 'jack-off' gesture; goes back to ignoring him."

Wait, are they seriously gonna try and sue Moore because he told some people off?

That's fucking low.

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