Alan Moore says that if you buy Before Watchmen, "just stop buying my other books".

“I have to say that if you are a reader that just wanted your favorite characters on tap forever, and never cared about the creators, then actually you’re probably not the kind of reader that I was looking for. I have a huge respect for my audience. On the occasions when I meet them, they seem, I like to think, to be intelligent and scrupulous people. If people do want to go out and buy these Watchmen prequels, they would be doing me an enormous favor if they would just stop buying my other books. When I think of my audience, I like to have good thoughts and think about how lucky I am to have one that is as intelligent as mine and as moral as mine. [...] The kind of readers who are prepared to turn a blind eye when the people who create their favorite reading material, their favorite characters, are marginalized or put to the wall — that’s not the kind of readers I want. So, even if it means a huge drop in sales upon my other work, I would prefer it that way. I mean, there’s no way I can police this, of course. But, I would hope that you wouldn’t want to buy a book knowing that its author actually had complete contempt for you. So, I’m hoping that will be enough.” - Alan Moore from the interview found here:

http://www.seraphemera.org/seraphemera_books/Alan_Moore_Interview.html

This comes a couple of weeks after David Mazzucchelli asked readers to not buy the new edition of Batman: Year One after all of the extra work he put into creating the "definitive" edition has been dumped for new printings.

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You are correct that a Damascene conversion on Moore's behalf would render my argument FALSE.  However, Moore's position on all this has long been clear, and I based my argument on all parties being aware of the most likely response from Mr Moore to the project.



Chris Fluit said:

His choice.  Your choice. Azerello and co's choice to take part in a project whose very existence can only be interpreted by Mr Moore (and many many others) as contempt for him.

You contradict yourself, Figs.  If Moore can choose to have contempt for readers of Before Watchmen or for the creators who work on it then, by extension, Moore can also choose not to have to contempt for those readers and creators.  To say that the existence of the project "can only be interpreted" "as contempt" is false. The project can be interpreted in any number of ways.  Moore is the one who chose to view it as contempt.  That tells me more about Moore than it does about the readers or the project itself. 

Fortunately, that decision is entirely up to you.

I love this quote from Moore,

This may well have been because they had realized that having the enmity of somebody who'd created the only book that anybody outside of their industry had ever heard of might not be such a good idea.


I guess Maus doesn't exist in his world, either that or Pulitzer Prizes are just handed out in cereal boxes.


I find it hard to consider Alan Moore a "respected" creator when he clearly has no respect for anyone else; talented yes, respected no.

The majority consensus of the Captain's board seems to be "Suck it up, Moore!"

Nice.

Figserello said:

The majority consensus of the Captain's board seems to be "Suck it up, Moore!"

Nice.


I think the majority consensus of the Captain's board seems to be, "Don't be such a (rhymes with Richard Grayson's first name), Moore!"



ClarkKent_DC said:

rhymes with Richard Grayson's first name

Lichard?  Frichard?  Zichard?  I'm not following here...

I think that most of us feel that Alan Moore has legimate gripes and should have pursued legal action a LONG time ago if he is that determined to get the Watchmen characters back. A civil trial may have resulted with a liveable compromise to all parties. But when they appeared in Who's Who, that should have been a major hint as to what DC felt about them. That they belong to them like Superman, Green Lantern, Firestorm, Starfire, Damage and every hero who has been seen in their books.

He could have said, "Beyond Watchmen is not my idea. I do not consider them canon. Neither should you." Which we all feel btw. These are definitely alternate versions. But he resorted into trying to shame us into not buying them, taking his frustration at DC, Dave Gibbons and Hollywood out on the readers, as if it's our fault he signed a badly worded (for him) contract. No one is forcing us to read them but neither should we be threatened with contempt for reading them.

"Suck it up, Moore!" could be one way of putting it but I prefer "Get over it, Alan, please!" He's not getting the rights to Watchmen at this point. It's sad. It's wrong. But it's not illegal. But if he worked within the system that has existed for decades as Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns are right now, he could be writing the Watchmen stories that he wants to tell. And he must have stories to tell otherwise why want the rights back? Just not to tell stories?

It is a tragedy that Alan Moore is NOT writing mainstream comics but only he can decide to do so.

Mickey McLaurin said:



ClarkKent_DC said:

rhymes with Richard Grayson's first name

Lichard?  Frichard?  Zichard?  I'm not following here...

Let's try this again: "rhymes with Richard Grayson's nickname ..."

I thought you were the one who asked us to not put words in Moore's mouth.  I've read through this thread and what you said is an inaccurate summation of the feelings expressed here, imo.  Posters here have been respectful of Moore's talent - many used the word "genius", and I would concur.  Watchmen, his run on Swamp Thing, "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", "For the Man who has Everything", League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and more - many of us have expressed our admiration of these works and more.

I wouldn't claim to speak for everyone here by any means, but I think the objections come from the things he says in the interview.  I like to think we're a fair minded bunch.

In the interview, Moore is dismissive and disrespectful of other creators, and not just the ones who are working on BW.  He singles those ones out for special derision, claiming to have heard of only about three of them, but somehow is sure they have done nothing outside of the comics field, which is incorrect. 

His objection to anyone else telling stories about the Watchmen characters fails the smell test for me, as he and Gibbons used the Charlton heroes as the basis for them, and his other works - notably LOEG and Lost Girls - borrow from other places.  He gives all kinds of justifications that he and his devotees seem to feel are vastly different than what is happening with BW; to me, he is splitting hairs, and quite thinly at that.  As for the whole bit of feeling contempt for me as a reader, I'm sure that ship already sailed as I've read quite a bit of DC and Marvel over the last 10-20 years.

He, of course, has every right to these opinions.  But that's all they are.  And I have every right to disagree with Alan Moore when he says these things, and to say so.  As Rich Lane once brilliantly put it, this is a discussion board, not a nodding-heads-in-agreement board.

 
Figserello said:

The majority consensus of the Captain's board seems to be "Suck it up, Moore!"

Nice.

Philip Portelli said:

I think that most of us feel that Alan Moore has legimate gripes and should have pursued legal action a LONG time ago if he is that determined to get the Watchmen characters back. A civil trial may have resulted with a liveable compromise to all parties. But when they appeared in Who's Who,that should have been a major hint as to what DC felt about them. That they belong to them like Superman, Green Lantern, Firestorm, Starfire, Damage and every hero who has been seen in their books.

He could have said, "Beyond Watchmenis not my idea. I do not consider them canon. Neither should you." Which we all feel btw. These are definitely alternate versions. But he resorted into trying to shame us into not buying them, taking his frustration at DC, Dave Gibbons and Hollywood out on the readers, as if it's our fault he signed a badly worded (for him) contract. No one is forcing us to read them but neither should we be threatened with contempt for reading them.

"Suck it up, Moore!" could be one way of putting it but I prefer "Get over it, Alan, please!" He's not getting the rights to Watchmenat this point. It's sad. It's wrong. But it's not illegal. But if he worked within the system that has existed for decades as Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns are right now, he could be writing the Watchmen stories that he wants to tell. And he must have stories to tell otherwise why want the rights back? Just not to tell stories?

It is a tragedy that Alan Moore is NOT writing mainstream comics but only he can decide to do so.

 

On the one hand, I agree with the observation "that most of us feel that Alan Moore has legimate gripes." On the other hand, I don't necessarily agree with the observation that he "should have pursued legal action a LONG time ago if he is that determined to get the Watchmen characters back."

Why not? In short: It ain't that easy.

Sure, he could sue. As somebody around here was won't to say (although not frequently enough to make it a frequently used phrase), "You can always sue. Whether you have a case is another matter. Whether you can prove that case is yet another matter. And whether you can win is still another matter. But you can always sue."

That said, does he have a case? I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I can easily imagine any such lawsuit is a quicksand of precedents about copyright and trademark and that old devil, work-for-hire, raising questions about who owns what and how much of it and what parts -- which isn't easy to discern, given that Watchmen is based on characters DC bought from what's left of Charlton. Are the Charlton writers, artists and editors due a piece of the action? I've never seen anybody suggest that, but why shouldn't they be?

And look at history: If Jack Kirby, Marv Wolfman, Gary Friedrich. Dan DeCarlo, Steve Gerber and Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster couldn't win. why should anybody think Alan Moore can win? Especially the Alan Moore who would have to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars and devote decades of his life to the effort -- and possibly his children's lives too, as Jerry Siegel's and Joe Shuster's children are.

Also: "... he resorted into trying to shame us into not buying them, taking his frustration at DC, Dave Gibbons and Hollywood out on the readers, as if it's our fault he signed a badly worded (for him) contract. No one is forcing us to read them but neither should we be threatened with contempt for reading them." I can agree, except for that "badly worded (for him) contract" part. I think the crux of Alan Moore's complaint isn't that the contract was badly worded but that DC/Warner didn't honor what it said! And if DC/Warner didn't honor what it said, it is sad, it is wrong, and it IS illegal! But that goes back to whether you have a case, whether you can prove that case, etc.

So, following that train of thought, it is immaterial whether he has more stories to tell or not, or if he wants the rights back just not to tell stories -- sure, if the rights truly belong to him.

But for all that, he is NOT justified in holding the readers in contempt, and it reveals an insanely inflated ego to think that is, or should be, a prevailing consideration for whether any of us do or don't buy and enjoy this.

Suck it up?

No, I wouldn't presume to tell him how he should feel.

And I'm sorry he feels as bad as he does about the situation, but that is in no way my fault. And if I buy the new series by Darwyn Cooke, and the new series by Cooke and Conner, that has nothing to do with him, either. In all honesty, I don't want more Watchmen. Watchmen is just fine as it is. The fact is, if I buy those books (and in one form or another, I probably will), it will be in spite of them being Watchmen prequels, not because of it. Because I would buy comics from Cooke and Conner about the life cycles of trees, they're so damn talented. And it is their talents, not the talents of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, that is the draw for me here.

Could they be using their talents better some other way? Perhaps; the finished work will tell. But that's not my decision to make. My only decision is: Do I want new comics from Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner? And that answer's pretty much always going to be yes, no matter who gets mad about it.

Moore can suck it up or not. Ultimately, that's his business, and it's got nothing to do with me.

I didn't want anything Watchmen related either, Rob. But then I caught the talent line-ups. I'm far less of a character-follower than I am a creator-follower. Yeah, I'll definitely be picking these books up because I've waited an eternity to see some interior work by Adam Hughes, and I love Darwyn Cooke, Andy Kubert, Amanda Conner, etc.

I thought Watchmen was great when I read it, but then I lent it out to someone and never got it back, and I've never really thought about pursuing it either. I'm not saying it's not a good book; it is. But so is Moby Dick (and I mean that sincerely) and I don't have a copy of that in my house and I'm okay with that. It's just something that I'm okay with not having on my bookshelf. I'm far more interested in good comic stories, completely indifferent toward Alan Moore.

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