On Alan Moore’s Latest Morrison-Bashing: Still Bums Me Out, and THIS TIME He’s Got No Point At All

Alan Moore did it again. I said I wasn’t going to comment, and I won’t say much. But if you’ve been following for the past few years, Moore has been fueling his rage in a crescendo of anti-superhero comics hate-speech that rivals nothing we’ve ever seen before in the history of the industry except for maybe Fredric Wertham’s Seduction.

The always wonderful Pádraig Ó Méalóid interviewed Moore (in what is meant to be his final public interview, supposedly) for his wordpress blog Slovobooks. While always articulate and damning with his superior wit and undeniable intellect, Moore sends himself off in probably the worst way ever, coming off at times like a whiny asshole that has lost touch with reality and wants to fight with fisticuffs against fanboys, his critics, Morrison, and the actual inanimate comic books themselves. Some folks might find this type of behavior on Moore’s part as simply lending itself to his persona of being the weird Occult demigod that has become the genius curmudgeon in his old age. Of course, there’s an argument for that—maybe he’s just adding to and playing the role of the “Moore character.” But I disagree. His interviews have not only been filled with such unwarranted venom and vitriol against things and people that I love, but filled with venom and vitriol that seems to come out of nowhere. Half of what Moore says that I take offense to wasn’t even directly brought up by Ó Méalóid. It’ Moore’s world. We are just living in it.

(On a side note, I wonder what Ó Méalóid thinks of Moore these days. Ó Méalóid is one the preeminent Moore scholars and someone that knows Moore personally. But even after the interviews and investigations of the past few years, Ó Méalóid summed up that he felt that Moore was the one primarily responsible for continuing the Morrison feud and that Moore has been mostly unfair and unwarranted in doing so).

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Harry Edmunson-Cornell wrote an op-ed for SeqArt yesterday that summed up my feelings about Ó Méalóid’s “final Moore interview.”

I wrote a small bit in a comment-response on my previous post about Alan Moore that I felt was a fitting end to the discussion on a man who has shaped my life so positively (writing some of my favorite works like Watchmen, Swamp Thing, Top Ten, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). My comment response is still a fitting end to the discussion on Moore, so I’ll include it verbatim below:

“What’s even more frustrating [about the latest Moore interview] is that I picked up the Miracleman reprint (by ‘THE ORIGINAL WRITER and Garry Leach’)—I’ve read the series a dozen times before and it’s always moved me. Re-reading it, I still got chills. Why does Moore insist on tarnishing his own legacy? It’s almost as if he hates superhero comics so much that he wants to attack the strongest things about it (fandom and Grant Morrison) in an attempt to alienate himself as much as possible from the genre. It just doesn’t make sense. Literally, NO OTHER CLASSIC COMIC BOOK WRITER has trashed the genre the way Moore has. I mean, could you imagine Neil Gaiman, fifteen years from now, pooping all over superhero comics via a 20-page WordPress blog interview? Inconceivable.”

The sad thing is, I can imagine Moore, fifteen years from now, fifteen years angrier, having removed his name from literally every comic book he ever worked on (validating in his mind the total purge of the comic book medium from his oeuvre, in a sense cleansing his past of the vile superhero history that he thinks tainted him) and still chugging along on the 750,000th page of Jerusalem, which will still be unreleased.

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About Collin Colsher

Collin Colsher, the creator of The Real Batman Chronology Project and disCONTINUITY, is a writer, filmmaker, teacher, and comic book historian that currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has lectured at various universities, libraries, and book fairs. Collin has also served on the jury for the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, which is sponsored by the US Library of Congress.
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5 Responses to On Alan Moore’s Latest Morrison-Bashing: Still Bums Me Out, and THIS TIME He’s Got No Point At All

  1. ALSO, let’s not forget, Moore’s tirade in this interview was not only directed at Grant Morrison, but at some fine people that have absolutely no reason to bear the brunt of such a shameful attack: Will “Batman Scholar” Brooker, Laura Sneddon, and Pam Noles.

    Brooker discusses Moore’s boorish and unsuitable behavior in an article on SeqArt.

  2. If you haven’t already read it, Julian Darius, as much as he also didn’t want to comment, has felt compelled to respond to this Alan Moore topic with the first of what appears to be a two part commentary—the second part of which will likely tackle the worst sections of Moore’s blathering.

    Check it out and be sure to read the follow-up as well.

  3. Jamison says:

    I get the impression that Alan Moore may be your favorite writer. In my opinion, he’s certainly one of the best, but personally I’d rank him behind Morrison and Gaiman. For me, no other writer has impacted my life in a more positive way than Grant Morrison. He singlehandedly created a beacon of light in a comic book industry that needed it so badly. He, himself, in a way is a superhero. When Superman was created in 1938, he was a beacon of hope that helped readers stay positive during the Great Depression. Later, the World’s Finest helped raise the morale of American soldiers during the Second World War by supporting the war effort and punching Hitler in the face. Still later, they impacted Morrison’s life personally and countless others by helping alleviate the ubiquitous fear of the atom bomb. Paraphrasing from an interview, Morrison said something to the effect of, “The biggest thing for me was discovering Superhero comics, suddenly there were people who could stop the bomb. Superman could take an atom bomb to the chest and just shake it off… The bomb was an idea, and Superman was an even better idea, so why don’t we try to make that idea real instead of [the bomb].” By the time Morrison got into a position where he was given the freedom to alter the DC Universe as he saw fit, much in the same way Superman brought light to darkness in the real world, so did Morrison bring light to illuminate the darkness created not by a Great Depression, a World War, or the threat of annihilation, but to a widespread existential crisis in a world with an uncertain future. This affected me far more than Swamp Thing or Miracle Man, despite my thinking that those works are brilliant. Neil Gaiman’s writing is simply beautiful. His comics are poems layered in meaning and are truly works of literature in their own right. Moore’s writing is quite poetic too, but I just feel more reading Morrison and Gaiman. I don’t really know what to think about Alan Moore, now. I see Morrison and Gaiman continuing to write and shape the medium for the better, and he’s just sitting around without a phone or a computer complaining about the way he sees the world today, which is based off very little other than what his friends tell him. I think it’s best to ignore his tantrums and let his works speak for themselves. His impact cannot be overstated, but in my opinion he is not the highest authority in comic books.

    I’d like to see Grant write the current darkest book in the DCnU. Imagine how he’d turn Batgirl around.

    • I’ve always regarded Moore, Morrison, and Gaiman as the Holy Trinity of modern superhero comics. (The Holy Trinity of classic superhero comics would be Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, and Stan Lee). Years ago I would have easily regarded Moore as my favorite creator, hence my disappointment in the trajectory of his career. The way things have gone in the past decade or so, Morrison has definitely eclipsed Moore in my rankings. Gaiman is in a league of his own (untouchable), but Gaiman probably personally ranks behind Morrison if only because he is such a part-timer. Honestly, if not for Moore’s continued sporadic work on the always brilliant League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I might not be reading anything that Moore puts out these days.

      Your views on Morrison above are quite similar to mine and I’m glad we share such a passion for his work (and for the man himself). I think we both agree (in more ways than one) that Morrison is the “savior” of superhero comics whereas Moore has been its “wannabe executioner.”

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