Back in the primitive era of the ’80s, British comics writers had to call each other to look things up

I remember Alan ringing me up when he was writing Watchmen #3, and said, “Neil, you’re an educated bloke. Where does the quote `Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?’ come from? I think someone said it when they were dying, but I don’t know when.”

I went out, and found it for him, rang him back, and said, “No. It’s Genesis. God threatening to nuke Sodom and Gomorrah.” He said, “Thanks”, then went off. He rang me back a few months later and said, “Neil, I haven’t any quotes for the titles of #7 and #8. This is what happens in them, go find me a quote.” So I went off and got him “Brother to dragons, and companion to owls…” from Job for #7, and the poem for #8, Eleanor Farjeon’s “Hallowe’en”. “On Hallowe’en the old ghosts come.”Also, while I was researching the Old Testament stuff, I was working my way through a huge Biblical concordance, getting various details. It fell open to a page on obscure history, and the name Rameses jumped out at me. I discovered this quote that said, roughly, “I’ve killed all these places, and left the widows weeping there. Everything is at peace, and everything is great in the world.” So I rang up Alan, and said, “What do you think of this?” He said “Great! I’ll stick it in #12” So you’ve got Ozymandias quoting Rameses in Watchmen. (ED: #12, Pg. 20)


  1. Whoo. Between the title and imagining this conversation, I’ve almost got tears in my eyes from laughing out loud. Brilliant.

    Oh and right now in my rereading I just finished with Nietzsche warning me about battling monsters and the abyss.