Alan Moore is one of the most well-known names in modern comics. Even if you're not a comic book fan, you've probably at least heard of the guy. There's a good chance you have at least a passing familiarity with his wild, unkempt mane, or the fact that he's a practicing wizard.
He's also known for being, erm, not the happiest person on the planet. He even voiced a parody version of himself on an episode of The Simpsons, reveling in the glory of his own crotchety reputation.
This year, Moore celebrated his 66th birthday by announcing his plans to vote in a general election for the first time in 40 years, in order to stop "this ravenous, insatiable Conservative agenda before it devours us with our kids as a dessert." But the meaningfulness of his actions was largely overshadowed on social media by the fact that Moore is still a miserable old witch and did you know there's a great new Watchmen show out.
Moore's voting pronouncement was made on the social media accounts of his daughter, Leah, who's a successful comic book creator in her own right. So Leah had to deal with a lot of these comments. And she made clear, she's had enough of people slagging on her father. Sure, she's aware of his faults. But if you understand where he's coming from, it will absolutely break your heart — just like his heart was repeatedly broken by the superhero comics he loved so much.
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Though the wonderful wizard of Northampton may strike me down, I must confess: HBO's new Watchmen series is really, really good. I would argue that it actually has more in common with Moore's adaptive approach to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen—alluding to some established literary canon, but remixing the elements into a story all its own.
Just as the original comic featured news clips and other articles at the end of every issue, the TV show has an online "Peteypedia," a collection of supporting text documents that exist within the world of the series. For example: a social work pamphlet about "Extra-dimensional Anxiety and You." This is, of course, supposed to be a reference to the climactic events of the 30-year-old graphic novel, where a (fake) squid-like alien is sent through an extra-dimensional portal into the middle of Manhattan, killing millions of people, traumatizing millions more with telepathic psychological damage, and, ultimately ending the Cold War by uniting USA and USSR against a common enemy.
But honestly it…just kind of sounds like living in the United States in 2019 in our own reality. The pamphlet warns of the common PTSD-like symptoms of EDA such as flashbacks and obsessive rumination; hyperavoidance and hypervigilance; negative changes in identity, relationships, or worldview; and paranoia, thrill-seeking, or suicidal thoughts. While, yes, it is supposed to be a somewhat-satirical riff on the generic language of support groups, it also feels like an accurate and relatable description of social media in the Trump years. Read the rest
Five years after giving his supposedly-last interview, the Great Wizard of Northampton Alan Moore has once again deigned to allow someone to record a conversation with him for public consumption. This time, it's part of Paperback Writers: Graphic Content, a new BBC series where comic book writers discuss their musical influences.
Moore is surprisingly delightful over the course of the two-hour interview-slash-DJ-session, sharing great songs alongside tidbits from his life. He talks a bit about the end of his comic book career, as well as his upcoming work in opera and film. In a rare instance, he also talks briefly about adaptations of his work. Not the upcoming HBO TV sequel-adaptation of Watchmen, of course—rather, Terry Gilliam's attempted adaptation during the late 1980s. Moore says:
I did hear that when Terry Gilliam was supposed to be doing Watchmen back in the 1980s. I remember he told me that he’d had a number of phone calls from David Bowie asking to play the Rorschach character. There’s an alternate world we can only imagine.
As if I needed any more proof that we're living in a divergent Hellworld that splintered off the main timeline after Bowie's death. Now I'll be cursed with dreams of another, even better world where Bowie played Rorschach in a Joel Silver-produced Terry Gilliam movie penned by Gilliam's Brazil co-writing partner, Charles McKeown. (Okay so maybe that Joel Silver part still would ruined it.)
You can listen to Moore's two-hour BBC interview here. Read the rest
(photo by Matt Biddulph)
Alan Moore, mage and comic master, recently talked to Salon's Scott Thill about crowdfunding and other matters. Moore and Mitch Jenkins kickstarted their film project, "His Heavy Heart" and it just ended with £60,788 raised, £20k higher than their goal. Moore:
The Internet is changing everything, but I wouldn’t yet want to say for good or ill. I suspect, as ever, that it will be an admixture of both. But we are all along for the ride, even those people like me who do not have Internet connections, mobile phones or even functioning televisions. I’m slowly disconnecting myself. Basically, it’s a feeling that if we are going to subject our entire culture to what is an unpredictable experiment, then I’d like to try to remain outside the petri dish. [Laughs] It’s only sensible to have somebody as a control.
Alan Moore: The revolution will be crowd-funded Read the rest