Last night, Scalped and Spider-Man/Wolverine writer Jason Aaron posted a piece on Comic Book Resources entitled “The Year I Stopped Caring About Alan Moore” where he reacted to an interview by Adi Tantimedh with Alan Moore published by Bleeding Cool in September last year.
During the interview, Alan said;
When Dave Gibbons phoned me up, he assured me that these prequels and sequels would be handled by ‘the industry’s top-flight talents’. Now, I don’t think that the contemporary industry actually has a ‘top-flight’ of talent. I don’t think it’s even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent…
At the end of the day, if they haven’t got any properties that are valuable enough, but they have got these ‘top-flight industry creators’ that are ready to produce these prequels and sequels to Watchmen, well this is probably a radical idea, but could they not get one of the ‘top-flight industry creators’ to come up with an idea of their own? Why are DC Comics trying to exploit a comic book that I wrote 25 years ago if they have got anything? Sure they ought to have had an equivalent idea since? I could ask about why Marvel Comics are churning out or planning to bring out my ancient Marvelman stories, which are even older, if they had a viable idea of their own in the quarter-century since I wrote those works. I mean, surely that would be a much easier solution than all of this clandestine stuff? Just simply get some of your top-flight talent to put out a book that the wider public outside of the comics field find as interesting or as appealing as the stuff that I wrote 25 years ago. It shouldn’t be too big an ask, should it? I wouldn’t have thought so. And it would solve an awful lot of problems. They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago. It would be insulting to think that there weren’t.
Go fuck yourself, Alan Moore.
And also, goodbye.
With the end of 2010 comes the end of my interest in anything you might ever again say or do. You may go on in your waning years to write the greatest works of your entire career, but you won’t get another dime out of me. Nor will you get any more of my sympathy. This is me officially tuning you out for good. Thanks for the memories.
He explained further saying;
As a fan, I’d just rather not support someone who so blatantly insults me and my friends.
I know comics has always had and will always have its share of bitter old men. And usually those guys have every right to be bitter as the industry has a long track record of fucking over creators. But I’ve never had one of them actually blame me for their problems before. And I won’t stand by and let Alan Moore do it either, no matter how amazing his beard might be.
So goodnight Alan Moore, wherever you are. I’d wish you happiness in the New Year, but you probably wouldn’t know what to do with it, would you? Just stay bitter. And those of us in today’s comic industry will stay shitty. And hopefully the two of us will never meet again.
A number of creators had their own reactions. On Twitter;
rpace Richard Pace
Tip for comics publishers & pros: if you want what Alan Moore says to stop hurting your feelings make better comics.
Christosgage Christos Gage
I hate myself far more than Alan Moore ever could.
fredvanlente Fred Van Lente
You can stop asking me what I think about the Alan Moore thing: @RyanDunlavey & I did a comic about it & it will be in Comic Book Comics #5.
ronmarz Ron Marz
I give @jasonaaron a lot of credit for his honesty in today’s @CBR column concerning Alan Moore. For me, Alan’s comments mean nothing.Doesn’t make Alan Moore any less brilliant as a writer. Just means I take his comments with a grain of salt. Shrug.
g_willow G. Willow Wilson
We may indeed all suck, but we’re also writing in a much more cynical, conservative, and oh yeah BROKE era. If Alan Moore started writing today, I’m doubtful he could have achieved the same prominence. Esp with his politics. Market is gun-shy.#comics
SteveNiles Steve Niles
Alan Moore did a lot for this industry and a lot more for creators. Let him be an old grump if he wants. I love him for what he did.
TONYFINGHARRIS Tony Harris
Concerning Jason AARon, and Alan Moore. I have never, ever, not one time, read an Alan Moore comic. Sorry, but i haven’t. If Moore did say those things. That’s pretty shitty Alan. Pretty shitty indeed. I guess you’ll always have yourself, right?… Okay. I have skated around on the Interweb, and read all of the Alan Moore shit, including reactions, blah, blah… He’s a Douchebag. and once again, I have never read a single comic written by Sir Jesus. Sorry, but I haven’t,and i haven’t suffered for it.
The thing that winds me up tho, is ‘all modern comics are shit.’ ‘have u read any?’ ‘no’.
ivanbrandon Ivan Brandon
“alan moore said i suck!” well, first of all, no, he didn’t. second of all: alan moore likely has no opinion at all about you or your work.
bclaymoore B. Clay Moore
@ivanbrandon Alan Moore seems to be issuing a call to arms rather than insulting anyone specifically.
ivanbrandon Ivan Brandon
@bclaymoore alan moore said there wasn’t a top flight group that could be called on to do watchmen quality work. which (sorry), is true
marksable Mark Sable
it’s shitty of Alan Moore (or any pro) to knock other creators, but let’s face it, no one is producing Watchmen level work. and the real lesson to learn from Alan Moore’s travails are, if publishers can screw over Alan, they can do it to anyone.
ah right, it’s another ratings boosting, self promoting “guess what Alan Moore is grumpy” post by some twat. I see.
jasonaaron Jason Aaron
If I ever die in a bizarre snake related accident, you all know who to go after.
But since, it was Bleeding Cool where this all started, here are a few points that I think are worth ruminating upon, whatever their relevance.
(ERRATA): The original interview was not offered to CBR. My mistake.
It reminds me quite a lot of Richard Herring’s Christ On A Bike show (currently on in London) – as Richard Herring’s mother asked him, and as he reproduces in audio in the show “If you’re so sure Jesus does not exist, why do you spend so much time reading and talking about him?”. If this really was the year that Jason Aaron stopped caring about Alan Moore, why write such an article about him? He must still care a little bit, if only to express such anger…
Alan’s fight with DC Comics led to DC being much nicer to comic creators so as not to have a repeat performance. Their creator ownership/creator participant contract for certain titles, including Scalped, was a direct result of that. Indeed, Vertigo itself as a imprint owes more to Alan than any other creator. Without Alan, there wouldn’t be a Scalped – at least, not published by DC.
Alan generally does these kind of interviews in a very self deprecatory, ironic toe. It’s the way he talks. I gave an example of that at the beginning of the interview, because I know how his words can be taken if read in a different manner. Try watching the video, then reading the piece again in that voice. When Alan is talking about the comics industry having no top flight talent – he’s including himself in that analysis. And I don’t think he’s blaming any creator for his problems, or the problems of a retro-looking industry, he’s blaming the companies.
Getting caught up in creator’s opinions can deny you from enjoying some truly excellent work. If that’s a principled stance of yours, fine. But what happens when you work with, work for, such people. Because there are people at or working for DC and Marvel who have issued death threats against creators, who have stolen wives and husbands from each other, who have embezzled from each other, sexually and racially harassed each other and have plain screwed each other over. I don’t believe Jason can have isolated himself entirely from that knowledge. Far worse than someone who can’t affect your career indirectly implying that you belong to a group of people who may not be a top flight talent, when they haven’t read your work.
Moore’s entire point is this. If DC have the top flight talent they boast, why not get them to create new work than rehash his old work? Jason is doing that with Scalped now.