Alan Moore Talks To Wired And The Irish Times

Alan Moore talks to The Irish Times;

Away from comics is certainly an accurate depiction of where I’m headed, but what it’s towards is perhaps a bit more difficult to define, because it seems to be heading towards several different areas at once. I mean, I will always love and continue to work in the comics medium. On the other hand, a couple of weeks ago I did tell an emissary of DC Comics that I didn’t want the rights to Watchmen back, so that’s pretty final.

It’s largely disgust – I don’t think that’s too strong a term, disgust – that I feel with the way that the comics industry operates. But what I’m moving towards feels to me to be much more exciting.

Dodgem Logic is taking up an awful lot of my time at the moment, but I’m very proud of that. It’s a magazine with a good heart. The issue we have coming out in a few weeks is the best one yet, with a beautiful feature by Mitch Jenkins where he takes pictures of people who are currently living down in the very deprived Spring Boroughs neighbourhood where I hailed from. He took these beautiful Vanity Fair-style pictures of these underclass legends.

I was talking to Josie Long the other day about Dodgem Logic and she was saying that the best thing about it for her was that it was encouraging people just to do something with the talent that you’ve got around you. Because wherever you live, there are wonderfully talented people just down the street, in our circle of friends. It’s very much just a matter of hooking them up to some viable vehicle. So if that’s true of Northampton it must be true of everywhere. At least that’s the sort of preposition I’m running on.

And to Wired on Neonomicon;

Funnily enough, that is one of the most unpleasant things I have ever written. It was just at the time when I finally parted company with DC Comics over something dreadful that happened around the Watchmen film. Kevin and I found that we were having some hiccups in our payments, after storming out of DC. I had a tax bill coming up, and I needed some money quickly. So I happened to be talking to William from Avatar, and he suggested that he could provide some if I was up for doing a four-part series, so I did.

…He said I could do whatever I wanted, and I had always wanted to pick up some of the plot threads from the short H.P. Lovecraft story I had previously written called The Courtyard. It was adapted as a comic strip for Avatar, and I thought it worked pretty well. They kept to my original text, and it was an intelligent adaptation. There was something interesting about that story. It was a modernization of Lovecraft. It wasn’t a kind of strictly by-the-book pastiche, the way that a lot of Lovecraftian fiction tends to be. So although I took it to pay off the tax bill, I’m always going to make sure I try and make it the best possible story I can. With Neonomicon, because I was in a very misanthropic state due to all the problems we had been having, I probably wasn’t at my most cheery. So Neonomicon is very black, and I’m only using “black” to describe it because there isn’t a darker color.

It’s got all of the things that tend to be glossed over in Lovecraft: the racism, the suppressed sex. Lovecraft will refer to nameless rites that are obviously sexual, but he will never give them name. I put all that stuff back in. There is sexuality in this, quite violent sexuality which is very unpleasant. After a while of writing and reading it, I thought, “Hmmm, that was much too nasty; I shouldn’t have done that. I should have probably waited until I was in a better mood.” But when I saw what [artist] Jacen Burrows had done with it, I thought, “Actually, this is pretty good!” [Laughs] I wanted to go back and read through my scripts. And yes, it is every bit as unpleasant as I remember, but it’s quite good. I think it’s an unusual take on Lovecraft that might upset some aficionados. Or it might upset some perfectly ordinary human beings!

And it’s all in aid of the release of the box set of Unearthing from Lex Records, based on Moore’s original novella that appeared in London: City of Disappearances… take it away Alan!

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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