Poisoned Chalice Part 3: Marvelman Falls [Previous chapters: Introduction, 1: Prehistory, 2: Marvelman Rises] The actual work on the Marvelman titles was done by various artists, and Mick Anglo goes into quite a bit of detail about them and their different styles in Nostalgia: Spotlight on the Fifties. The outstanding Marvelman artist amongst all of […]
Superman, co-created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, first appeared in Action Comics #1 in June 1938, published by Detective Comics Inc, a fore-runner of National Periodical Publications and DC Comics. Virtually overnight it became a huge seller, and is running to this day, with uninterrupted publication for well over seventy years. A vast amount has been written over the years on the history of Superman, and by people substantially more qualified than I, but one claim, that Superman was based on the character of Hugo Danner, from Philip Wylie’s novel Gladiator, (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1930), has some relevance to the larger story of Marvelman and, although I decided that it might be too far back to start this series of articles, if you’re interested in reading what I have to say about it, you should go read this article, and then meet us back here.
by Laura Sneddon–Over the last few weeks, my good friend Pádraig Ó Méalóid has been writing a series of articles about Alan Moore and Superfolks, which became an edgeways look at the long running friction between Moore and fellow writer, Grant Morrison. While Moore has previously spoken out about his thoughts on Morrison in various interviews, Morrison has generally kept quiet on the issue. There have been occasional barbs of course, and plenty of praise, but very little on the actual facts of the matter.
So, just to recap where we left off last time: it looks like Alan Moore has based all the big hits of his career on ideas he stole from Robert Mayer’s 1977 novel Superfolks. Various people, including Grant Morrison, Kurt Busiek, Lance Parkin, Joseph Gualtieri, and even Robert Mayer himself, have claimed at one point or another that Moore based a lot of his superhero work on various aspects of the book, specifically Marvelman, Watchmen, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, and his proposal to DC Comics for the unpublished cross-company ‘event,’ Twilight of the Superheroes. But is any of this true, or might there be another explanation? To answer that, I’m going to go through the individual allegations or suggestions, and deal them one by one, to see how they hold up.
Comic book writer Alan Moore has dropped a new single today, available through Occupation Records. His first new recording in a while, it shows a clear new direction for his music, away from shamanistic chanting in the woods of Northampton and more towards William Shatner-style slam poetry. His newest song shows clear his influences, which […]
In 1977 Dial Press of New York published Robert Mayer’s first novel, Superfolks. It was, amongst other things, a story of a middle-aged man coming to terms with his life, an enormous collection of 1970s pop-culture references, some now lost to the mists of time, and a satire on certain aspects of the comic superhero, but would probably be largely unheard of these days if it wasn’t for the fact that it is regularly mentioned for its supposed influence on a young Alan Moore and his work, particularly on Watchmen, Marvelman, and his Superman story, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? There’s also a suggestion that it had an influence on his proposal to DC Comics for the unpublished cross-company ‘event,’ Twilight of the Superheroes. But who’s saying these things, what are they saying, and is any of it actually true?
What’s this — a new book in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-verse? yes, in a new book by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill called NEMO: HEART OF ICE. the website for the store Gosh! has details of the 48-page hardcover, which is due in February:
Luckily for the world Alan Moore is nearly as productive as he is cantankerous, and he has interesting stuff coming out at regular intervals. UNEARTHING, a biography of Moore’s close friend and mentor Steve “No Relation” Moore, was originally published in 2010 as a prose book but Top Shelf is publishing a NEW edition with photos by Mitch Jenkins that have turned it into a narrative art book. A special limited edition goes on sale today.
Okay, so as the world has just noticed, in LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: Century 2009 we finally see Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil’s multiverse spanning pop culture adventure reach the current day (or close to it) and since the current day isn’t in the public domain, there’s good old-fashioned satire in the tradition of about 8000 previous books. The Independent’s Laura Sneddon has the lowdown:
A new Alan Moore interview, a new round of controversy! This time it’s a 90-minute chat with Seraphemera Magazine that reveals Moore’s feelings on BEFORE WATCHMEN—he doesn’t like it—their creative teams—uncreative—and so on. He also addresses the “Moore Hypocrisy” with which fans love to cut him down to size: if touching the Watchmen is so bad how come you can write LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN? Yeah, answer that, big boy!
Ruminating on the year past, cartoonist/educator Steve Bissette considers the story of how creator owned comics can be sunk by just one stuck cog — in this case a rather large cog named Alan Moore. Just to bring everyone up to speed, 1963 was a very early Image project re-imagining the origins of Marvel, written by Moore and illustrated by Steve Bissette, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch, with additional art by Dave Gibbons, Don Simpson, and Jim Valentino and published in 1993. The final issue was to have been illustrated by Jim Lee, but Lee took time off in the middle, Moore decided not to finished it and…blah blah blah. Time passes. And, Bissette and Moore have a bit of a falling out, as chronicled in a series of interviews, here and there.
However, last year, a 1963 follow-up — Tales of the Uncanny – N-Man & Friends: A Naut Comics History Vol. 1 — was to be produced by Bissette and published by Image. Well, things didn’t work out, as Bissette posts. In addition, there was to be a reprint of 1963. After months of negotiations, Moore “pulled the plug” — meaning 1963 will never be reprinted ever again.
Once they teamed up to fight dull comics and superhero tropes with the twin pillars of 80s dark and edgy — THE DARK KNIGHT and WATCHMEN — but now they find themselves on opposite sides of a political battle!
Okay it’s not really a fight, it’s middle-aged comics creators speaking their minds, but Alan Moore has rebutted Frank Miller’s disparaging comments on the Occupy Wall Street movement. While Moore’s work has actually become something of a symbol for the various protest movements springing up around the world as the V for Vendetta mask has become an icon at the rallies, Miller called the protesters losers who needed to go home to their momma’s basement. And as usual, Moore just has no time for it: