§ Quotable Interview with Alan Moore #147 in a series is up at Mania, and whle the most quoted part has been where he marvels that Blackest Night is mining a story he wrote over 20 eras ago, we’ll quote this part:
AM: Yes, it has. And, can I just say I’m sorry? That was never my intention for every book to be like that. The reason I wanted to do them like that was because nothing else was like that. I wanted to do something that was different. If I were, god forbid, still doing superhero comics today, just like my ABC work from a couple of years ago, they’d be very very different from the Watchmen or Marvelman template. They’d be much more about having fun—whether that be intellectual fun or just plain fun—much more about that than doing any revisions. I think, ultimately, that approach that I brought in—taking previously existing characters and reinterpreting them—has probably led to very grim and very un-enjoyable comic books. I didn’t want everyone else to copy what we were doing. And especially, if they were going to, I’d have preferred it if they’d copied the freshness and originality of the ideas—and, if they had managed to express a bit of the joy that we expressed, even in Watchmen, in Marvelman, and Swamp Thing.
Yes, there were some very grim passages in all those books, but there were also passages of great joy. And, it seemed to me that people basically took from it what they were able to take from it—mostly a slightly depressing atmosphere and the idea that everybody had to be a grim, ruthless psychopath. Even characters like Stanley and His Monster—should they be reinvented as grim, brooding psychopaths? That completely robbed comics of a lot of the charm that, for me at least, they once had. Again, it was never intended as a blanket approach for all comic books. It was just an experiment that I was trying, and it worked better in some cases than it did in others. Yeah, Marvelman and Watchmen—those are pretty good books. On the other hand, where I was doing the same things in The Killing Joke, it was entirely inappropriate.
And when it does fall into the little hands it’s intended for it is a wonderful thing to behold: I left it on the coffee table last weekend and come back half an hour later to find Molly lying on the floor face buried in the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and absolutely engrossed. After that she went on to discover Sugar & Spike, Little Lulu, Pogo and countless other wonders. They may be old, but these are classics for a reason and the joy they bring is a delightful thing to witness.
§ Opposite direction: 10 of the worst manga of all times.
§ Speaking of Alan Moore, ADD wonders…
How great would it be if someone at the new, post-Levitz DC started asking why Alan Moore won’t work for them anymore? How much greater would it be if the company actually made it right with the man? The only ones that would benefit from such a scenario, of course, would be Moore, DC, and us, the readers. In other words, everybody. These corporations have an obligation to look inside themselves at the harm they have done, to their industry, to the artform, and to their own bottom line.
§ What is PIctureBox doing at SPX? Find out the exciting answer right here!
§ The very smart G. Willow Wilson discusses Islam and comics at Broken Frontier:
There’s a general belief that you can’t stop controversy from springing up around Muslims, yet I couldn’t start one. I was pretty excited about this—it hinted at something I’ve believed for a long time, namely, that there is more room for art among the orthodox than is commonly thought.
The success of THE 99 in the Arab world—a theme park is in the works—was the first encouraging sign that the relationship between Muslims and comics were thawing. Though billed as a comic attenuated to orthodox Islamic beliefs, THE 99 actually goes places I wouldn’t dare: it ascribes the qualities of God to human heroes.
§ R. Sikoryak profiled in the NY Daily News — once that would have been a headline, now it’s just a nice story!
Sikoryak combines iconic American comics with complimentary literary classics, creating a new identity for both works that is entertaining and thought-provoking. His comics are an example of how much the genre has grown up, and how far it’s come as a serious form of art.
§ Another nice profile, this one of Robert Venditti, which is timely ‘cuz THE SURROGATES is opening this weekend!