As Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ends, I can't say that I'm very happy about it. Or amused. Or satisfied. Let me first say that I have always enjoyed Alan Moore's work, particularly LOEG, and believe him to be one of the best writers of the last fifty years. However I am amazed by the hubris of the man. The entire gist of Century was the stopping of the Antichrist with the focus being on Mina Murray, a rejuvenated Alan Quartermain and the gender switching Orlando.

There were many parts that I had problems with, not least of which is Mina being assaulted again and she is Moore's primary female protagonist. But the finale was truly dismaying. I read Jess Nevins' annotations (wonderful and intricate as they are) to make sure I wasn't over-reacting. But from those comments, I apparently am but they are Moore-followers and they accept much more than I would or could.

Again this is with SPOILERS.....SPOILERS......SPOILERS

 

 

The Antichrist is .......Harry Potter!!!! Yes, the name is never mentioned but they again walk through a wall at King's Crossing, speak of a magical child, the wreckage of a magical train (littered with the corpses of children), the Whomping Willow, the ruins of a magical school, the killings of his friends (a red-headed boy and brunette girl), a teacher who despised him, exploits "arranged" for him and, of course, the scar! J.K. Rowlings' world, not parodied or homaged but torn to shreds. We literally walk through the apocalypse of her opus. 

Beyond the fact that I have read and enjoyed the Harry Potter series, my nephews and nieces have. As have millions of other readers, young and old. Yet Moore feels compelled to turn it into a grotesque mockery for his own epic. Again, the book's not titled League Vs Potter but anyone reading it could figure it out.

Not to mention that he drags poor Mary Poppins into it as well. He villifies the James Bond character though he does a clever twist on it. But by making two heroes, Bond and Potter, into his antagonists, he appears to be bitter over their success. He uses their fame to fuel his stories, here and in The Black Dossier. And he is not respectful. He is demeaning. He uses sex and violence as character development throughout the various series. The monster Hyde and the terrorist Nemo are his heroes, the established heroes are mocked, lessened and weakened.

It has been rationalized as Moore attacking the collapse of literature and popular culture. The Potter books are flawed, the movies moreso. They are pablum to readers, not nourishing, junk food for the mind. But the fans of the series would disagree, as would the fans of Twilight or The Hunger Games. That is their choice. We all like what we like.

Amazingly Doctor Who, all of them, are spared. As is John Steed. One bright spot is that I might get Mark Waid's Steed and Mrs. Peel book.

Given his vehemence over Before Watchmen, his choices here are puzzling. Does he corrupt Harry because he is one of Warners' cash-cows/successes? Does he care about Ms. Rowlings' rights? Am I wrong? Out-of-touch? Too stupid to "get" what Moore is saying?

Maybe but I also know that what Moore did is creatively wrong, IMHO. It shocks for the purpose of shocking. I see no deeper meaning. If he does another LOEG, I hope he can be more original next time.

Tags: 2009, century, moore, potter

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Good question. By Moore's lights, adapting stories is bad and doesn't work (which I think is a load of hogwash), but using the characters in different stories isn't? Isn't it all of a piece?

Since Moore doesn't agree with adaptations and LOEG is a work with hundreds of characters adapted from other works, I think we can all agree he is a stupid hypocrite.

On the contrary... I think he is a very intelligent hypocrite.

"After all your posturing, all your little speeches, you're nothing but a common thief."

"I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite."

-- from Die Hard (1988)



Jeff of Earth-J said:

On the contrary... I think he is a very intelligent hypocrite.

 

No, you are saying he's a stupid hypocrite. How could someone spend the last 15 years on a work like LOEG and supposedly disagree with adaptation and not be stupid?

 

The only way he isn't stupid would be if the two types of adaptation the bright boys contributing to this thread are conflating into one are complex issues that Moore has a complex attitude to. Moore's disagreements with Beneath Watchmen might be more complex than that he disagrees with adaptions too, as well you know.

 

DNColt avers to it, but Moore has had traumatic, humiliating experiences invovling adaptations of his work. It's nice that everyone uses his reactions to that pain as an excuse to ridicule and jeer at the man.

 

When asked to justify why he was invovled with Before Watchmen, JM Straczynski gave this response:

Again: on an emotional level, I get it. But by the same token, Alan has spent most of the last decade writing some very, very good stories about characters created by other writers, including Alice (from Wonderland), Dorothy (from Oz), Wendy (from Peter Pan), as well as Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Jekyll and Hyde and Professor Moriarty. I think one loses a little of the moral high ground to say, "I can write characters created by Jules Verne, HG Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle and Frank Baum, but it's wrong for anyone else to write my characters."

Putting words in Moore's mouth like this instead oanswering on his own behalf was an underhand move. (JMS too ignores the real reasons Moore was against Beneath Watchmen) I'm surprised that so many fanboys have run with knavery of this order. JMS' statement of Moore's position is what the heroically inspired contributors to this thread are reviling Moore for.

On the front page of this discussion board, the captain has written 'the smartest discussion on the web'. Taking the idiotic oversimplified self-serving arguments that JMS used to belittle a writer greater than himself as a statement of truth isn't smart, it's dumb.

Figserello said:



It's nice that everyone uses his reactions to that pain as an excuse to ridicule and jeer at the man.

Is that what you think I’m doing? (I’m sorry if I’m being dense, but I just cannot grasp the tenor of your posts to this thread.) I will say this: I have a great deal of respect for Alan Moore as a writer. Having said that, I can’t think of a lot of his work since ABC that I have both read anddo plan to re-read all of LOEG I’ve read before and read for the first time that which I have not, but I have this silly idea of reading or re-reading all of the source material before I do so.

Here’s what I think about the whole Alan Moore/DC dispute: DC outsmarted him and, as an intelligent man, he’s having a hard time dealing with it. Granted Moore negotiated in good faith, and granted DC did not live up to the spirit of the agreement, but they did live up to the letter of it, thereby making a good deal of money for Moore, I assume, should he decide to accept it. Furthermore, I think anyone “boycotting” DC’s “Before Watchmen” without boycotting all DC comic or without boycotting Marvel comics and movies for their shabby treatment of Jack Kirby over the year (much worse than DC has treated Moore) are missing the big picture.

Simply put, I don’t feel too sorry for Alan Moore.

There may be two avenues of adaptation at work here. Moore is a genius of linking and referencing now-obscure characters to heighten the fictional world he created. We all know how betrayed he felt at not getting ownership over Watchmen. There is sympathy there. We all know how Moore feels about movie adaptions. And, for the most part, he's been proven correct, though I still regard the League one a good film, seperate from its source.

But by savagely lampooning Harry Potter because he believes he has the right and by condemning us for reading Before Watchmen because he believes he has the right, he leaves himself open to these criticisms. Because it seems to me that justifying  both implies that he would rather be angry than be read.

For what's it's worth, I wanted to enjoy Century 2009 but still feel that he took a cheap and easy way to end it.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Figserello said:



It's nice that everyone uses his reactions to that pain as an excuse to ridicule and jeer at the man.

Is that what you think I’m doing? (I’m sorry if I’m being dense, but I just cannot grasp the tenor of your posts to this thread.) I will say this: I have a great deal of respect for Alan Moore as a writer. Having said that, I can’t think of a lot of his work since ABC that I have both read anddoplan to re-read all of LOEG I’ve read before and read for the first time that which I have not, but I have this silly idea of reading or re-reading all of the source material before I do so.

Here’s what I think about the whole Alan Moore/DC dispute: DC outsmarted him and, as an intelligent man, he’s having a hard time dealing with it. Granted Moore negotiated in good faith, and granted DC did not live up to the spirit of the agreement, but they did live up to the letter of it, thereby making a good deal of money for Moore, I assume, should he decide to accept it. Furthermore, I think anyone “boycotting” DC’s “Before Watchmen” without boycotting all DC comic or without boycotting Marvel comics and movies for their shabby treatment of Jack Kirby over the year (muchworse than DC has treated Moore) are missing the big picture.

Simply put, I don’t feel too sorry for Alan Moore.

It's amazing how much Jeff and I think alike. 

I respect Alan Moore's work. I agree with the view that he got shafted. I admire his steadfast refusal to accept DC/Time Warner's cash in the face of a chorus of voices telling him to take the money and run. I'm glad somebody out there realizes that money does NOT make everything right.

That said, my admiration for his accomplishments and integrity is limited, and I am disinclined to genuflect at the altar of his wonderfulness.

I'm probably coming across strangely because I don't see any point in defending Alan Moore from the position JMS's cretinous argument places him in.  Fascinating to see how that dishonest bullshit was carried forward by the fans as if it was a statement of fact.  JMS knew his audience, at least.  

 

Moore should just suck it up, and if he doesn't, then its open season on him, it seems - to the extent that a thread about his latest comic can't discuss the comic, but Moore's character instead. Given that we are talking about a climax of a comic series that stretches across, and builds on, centuries of deeply researched culture and literature, which has a bewildering array of mysteries to solve and depths to plumb, that's genuinely depressing.  As in - it makes me depressed.

 

Many comics creators have beards (possibly the majority), but Moore's is the only one mentioned around here as if we are all in on the joke that he's a stupid old hypocrite.  The Captain also mentions politeness on the front page of the board, but the civility extended depends on how much money and industry clout someone has, as well as how many lawyers they have on their books.  (Corporations are people too, of course.)

 

Here's another interview with Moore where he mentions the adaptation issue - both kinds.  In it he is nuanced, thoughtful, resigned to how his relationship with DC worked out, honest regarding the pain it caused him and philosophical about how adaptations of various sorts occur.  Given the treatment he's received from corporate comics and Hollywood, his actual position, rather than the simplistic fictitious one attributed to him by artful dodger JMS, seems perfectly reasonable to me.  I don't see why he should be ridiculed and disrespected every time his name comes up, on the strength of the views expressed there.  Maybe he should have said that he's quite happy to have been 'shafted' (your term) by DC and that he sees now that they were motivated by the highest principles throughout?

 

And who mentioned boycotting anything, Jeff?  Doing a little JMS-style rhetorical diversion of your own there.

But by savagely lampooning Harry Potter because he believes he has the right and by condemning us for reading Before Watchmen because he believes he has the right, he leaves himself open to these criticisms. Because it seems to me that justifying  both implies that he would rather be angry than be read.

 

The arguments yourself and Bob make are largely personal attitudes to a work of art, which is the name of the game.  Unlike Bob, though, you keep falling back on JMS' dumb-bell non-argument as if you have to justify your disgust.  I'm sighing here. 

 

Anyway, own your disgust.  It's a legitimate reaction.  But it doesn't have anything to do with Beneath Watchmen, unless you are JMS trying to weasel your way out of giving a direct answer to a direct question.

...I haven't read the whole line here , but did Moore get consent from Joe Gill , Charlton's Gardner Fox/Stan-without-the-editorial-position , before he ( Granted , under different names - Wasn't that Dick Giordano's decision , anyway ? ) adapted his stuff - or Sturdy Stevie , either ?!?!?!?!?!? - Decidedly bearded EKDJ .

Well, read the 'line' then.

...Not to mention all the other creators who'd worked on those characters ( Including JACK KIRBY !!!!!!!!! Woo hoo .  ) all the way back to the Golden Age ???

  I suppose Rorsasch was meant to be a commentary on Ditko's " kick-ass/no mercy to crimiinals " heroes , which into the early Eighties were , practically , as " baaad " as mainstream super-heroes got...Oh , BTW , and unless you're into decades-agone American political factions , Figs , this reference might go over your head ( So , like , it's for anybody here who might read it and care tpoo comment , I'm not trying to be nasty to you , I did want to get this up and...) , but for all the talk that Ditko's specifically an Ayn Rand-ite/Objectivist , is/was he maybe more of a " 1960s strong conservative " in , say , the Phyllis Schafly/Barry Goldwater , say , vein ????????? If nothing else , I remember a political Ditko strip saying at least some pro forma nice things about churchperson/churches , and Rand was a famed atheist...I recently read WHY AMERICANS HATE POLITICS by E.J. Dionne , an early-90s sort of potted/popular history of right and left American politics from approximately Ike's era up until then , especially the " conservative movement " .

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