Alan Moore: A Retrospective

If you ever get the chance to read Alan Moore's interviews over the years on this webpage, then you will see the evolution of an artistic intellectual into a bitter cynic about American comics and Hollywood.

Much has happened since Alan Moore first published Watchmen, a graphic novel that shows the decline of realistic vigilantes and heroes. As you can see above, it has a rather unexpected climax and one of the most unsettling resolutions in comic book history. (The only other resolution that comes close belongs to The Dark Knight.) Moore went on to recreate Jack the Ripper in From Hell, a lake monster in Swamp Thing, and 18th century lit in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and woman).

What do all of these works have in common?

Two words: film adaptations.

Except for Watchmen, all of these movies have also been financial and intellectual flops, according to Moore and the critics. (To be fair, though, the Swamp Thing film came out before Moore was signed on to do the comic.) League especially suffers when it has Tom Sawyer driving and Mina Murray turning into a flock of bats.

Moore also does not own any of these works; they belong to DC Comics. This is, sadly, the way it goes. One thing that Moore also comments on is that Watchmen had a negative effect on American comics instead of the positive one he anticipated; instead of young artists churning out brilliant works, all the superheroes suddenly became serious, as did the already dark Vertigo comics.

I agree with Moore that a comics revolution should've happened years ago, as comics have remained the same since the 1980s. But we have a whole generation of artists that have only begun to test their potential. I'm ready to make something new, to try to be different, and to try to tell a good story.

Are you?

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