Alan Moore hates something?!?
So the great writer and even greater curmudgeonly ogre of comic books, Alan Moore, is rearing his social-services-worrying shaggy head once again in the media. However, his hatred is not directed at the filmmakers nor Hollywood money-grubbers this time, but the very people who sustained his livelihood when he wasn’t a deluded grumpy old man. In an interview with Stuart Kelly of the Guardian, Moore postulates on modern comic books, saying “I don’t think the superhero stands for anything good. I think it’s a rather alarming sign if we’ve got audiences of adults going to see the Avengers movie and delighting in concepts and characters meant to entertain the 12-year-old boys of the 1950s.”
Something you learn with Alan Moore rather quickly is that he is a bit of a mouthpiece and not in a motivational speaker sort of sense. Time and time again, whenever he emerges from his mossy skull-laden cave, more haggard than the last time he emerged, it’s to lambaste one person or another because someone ineptly attempts to appropriate one of his works. Alan spouting off about the atrocities of the comic book world is nothing new to fans. Usually, what he has to say is laughed off by the masses. Oh, look; Grandpa Moore is talking about his time where he gutted a DC executive just because he wasn’t allowed to use the word “fuck” 38 times on the same page. Let’s just wait it out ‘til he falls back asleep again and we can get back to enjoying the movie that triggered his violent flashbacks of his DC days.
Granted, it’s not like he hasn’t built himself a soapbox to stand on. After all, he’s written V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Watchmen, as well as helping to shape the Swamp Thing, Superman, and Batman mythos. When you’ve got people like decorated novelist Neil Gaiman saying that Moore, through his work in comic books, made a whole generation possible, you know you’ve done something right in your career.
Yet, no amount of capable writing can really save you in the unblinking public sphere. It appears that the inherent irony is lost upon Moore: a baseless claim denouncing out-of-touch adults for enjoying modern comic books and their respective adaptations, while at the same time proclaiming himself to be a wizard. That’s like asking The Joker how he would reform the mental health care system. I’ll proudly stake my claim and say that, as a 24-year-old man, I enjoy comic books, primarily DC. Regarding his ideas about concepts and characters for 12 year olds, one only needs to look at the work of Canadian writer Jeff Lemire, particularly the “New 52” Animal Man, to see that modern comics can have as rich a story and remain dark. For a man who says he hasn’t read superhero comic books since Watchmen, he seems to make some sweeping generalizations about the medium.
Alan Moore knows how to tell a story. It’s what he does. It’s only when he opens his mouth that fans want to put a pillow over his face and hold on for dear life until his is gone. Enjoy the works, but not the man.