Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Alan Moore calls Before Watchmen "DC soiling themselves in public" and a "reputation killer"

Writer Kurt Amacker, who has done a long history of interviews with comics legend Alan Moore recently conducted another lengthy one for the website Seraphemera.org. In this long interview Amacker naturally brought the conversation to all things Watchmen including DC's forthcoming Before Watchmen prequels, Dave Gibbons and the infamous contract with DC that has seen Moore's attempts of regaining the character rights stymied by the continual publication of the seminal work.

Again the interview is quite long but I'll pull a few interesting quotes out for enlightenment and discussion.

On Dave Gibbons:
The money would’ve been from DC.  He was acting as an intermediary.  He told me they were planning to do these prequels and sequels, and that he had been offered something in the region of a quarter of a million dollars to oversee the project–that it would be handled by the top talent in the industry, to which I said some quite intemperate things.  I said that, as far as Watchmen was concerned, I didn’t really think that there was any talent in the mainstream comics industry.  If there had have been, they presumably, sometime over the past 20 or 25 years, would have perhaps come up with something that was as good as Watchmen–or as notable or as memorable–after they’d already been shown how to do it.  So yeah, I was angry and I said some things which I still stand behind.  And, that was the end of it.  And, that was the end of my friendship with Dave Gibbons: because he hadn’t phoned up and thanked me and he had done the one thing that I’d asked him not to.  When I mentioned this in an interview, he phoned me up again to say, “Oh, thanks for that money, Alan.” 
On "The Contract"
That was the understanding upon which we did Watchmen–that they understood that we wanted to actually own the work that we’d done, and that they were a “new DC Comics,” who were going to be more responsive to creators.  And, they’d got this new contract worked out which meant that when the work went out of print, then the rights to it would revert to us–which sounded like a really good deal.  I’d got no reason not to trust these people.  They’d all been very, very friendly.  They seemed to be delighted with the amount of extra comics they were selling.  Even on that level, I thought, “Well, they can see that I’m getting them an awful lot of good publicity, and I’m bringing them a great deal of money.  So, if they are even competent business people, they surely won’t be going out of their way to screw us in any way.”  Now, I’ve since seen the Watchmen contract, which obviously we didn’t read very closely at the time.  It was the first contract that I’d ever seen–and I believe that it was a relatively rare event for a contract to actually exist in the comics business. 
On the readers who will buy "Before Watchmen":
I have a huge respect for my audience.  On the occasions when I meet them, they seem, I like to think, to be intelligent and scrupulous people.  If people do want to go out and buy these Watchmen prequels, they would be doing me an enormous favor if they would just stop buying my other books.  When I think of my audience, I like to have good thoughts and think about how lucky I am to have one that is as intelligent as mine and as moral as mine. 
These are just some of many fantastic snippets that can be found in the interview. It was informative and entertaining. And while some have grown tired of Moore's 'comics curmudgeon routine' I found the this piece to be the most enlightening interview I have ever read with Moore. I truly have a better understanding of the whole Watchmen situation.

To read the interview please CLICK THIS LINK.


2 comments:

  1. Awesome. As a huge Moore fan, I will not be buying BW. I've bought corporate superhero comics for over a decade, but this project does seem terribly despicable. I actually went out and bought a bunch of PROMETHEA and no DC Comics the week after the announcement and have cut WAAAAY back on my DC stuff.

    I'm hoping to send Moore some of my comics and return the favor he did me of telling stories that spark my imagination and give me a ton of joy and new ways to see the world. His work and his morals make him probably my biggest inspiration as a young writer. I really love the guy. He's smart. He's funny. He has an incredible beard. I just don't understand anyone who says a bad word about the guy. Hope he makes a million more comics!!!

    Scott
    http://www.thebarbariancomic.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment. I'm really torn personally on these books. I have a fanboy curiosity for them but I don't think I will be buying them. If you followed the link and read the entire interview Moore does state that the characters were never meant for 'solo' stories- even by him. So I don't know, just don't see me buying them at this point.

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