View Full Version : Marvelman Part Two: Moore and Eclipse
08-10-2009, 05:02 PM
Your article was very good in most respects - but it makes one small mistake that I noticed, and leaves out another controversy.
You write: "Book Four would be the still-incomplete Neil Gaiman take on the character, which ran from "Miracleman" #17-24." But that's not strictly true. Neil's overall storyline was not finished, but his (and Bucky's) first "book" was completed. Issues #17 - 22 made up Book Four, titled "The Golden Age" and released as a trade paperback that way. The next two issues were intended as the first part of "The Silver Age," Book Five. Those two issues had great Barry Windsor-Smith covers, too. Beautiful work!
As for the controversy - Alan Davis and Alan Moore disagreed about the Eclipse deal, just as they had disagreed about the Captain Britain reprints that Marvel wanted to run at about that same time. Alan Davis felt that his Warrior artwork was reprinted without his permission - in Britain this would have been true but in America, his rights more or less ignored and the work was reprinted by Eclipse. He wrote an open letter, published some years later, airing these grievances. I still have a copy of it in my files if you would like it posted.
08-10-2009, 07:31 PM
For those of us that haven't read Miracleman, there is really no point reading these articles as they are very spoiler heavy.
08-11-2009, 04:19 PM
I knew pretty much everything about Alan Moore's Miracleman before reading it: plot points, major events; I'd seen some of the art. But nothing prepared me for the real thing. Words can't really describe it (it'd be a poor comic book if words could) and knowing a few things about it beforehand won't ruin any of the pleasure in reading it.
Tim's two articles didn't teach me many new things about this comic book - being a big fan of it - but are a nice introduction for people who haven't read it. Besides, those interested in comics history should read it to appreciate the importance of Miracleman.
Finally, I sure enjoyed reading an excerpt from Morrison's famous article criticising Alan Moore. I wish I could read the full article online.
08-12-2009, 03:29 AM
No, I stand by my statement that Book Four is incomplete. The first part of Book Four was released as a trade, but Book Four -- the overall Gaiman story -- is unfinished.
I have to admit that I don't understand this obsession about spoilers, or spoiler warnings, or avoiding "spoilers" on comics that are 25 years old. "Marvelman" is an essential part of comic book history. It already happened. Is it a spoiler to talk about how World War II ended?
I can't imagine that you'd appreciate Marvelman/Miracleman any less if you know what's going to happen. In "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare tells you what happens at the end during the opening speech. Did audiences cry SPOILERS then?
I find the whole spoiler concern to be weird.
Then again, I don't read comics for the plots anyway (and note: the plots are almost always the same, you pretty much know what's going to happen in the end anyway, don't you?)
Oh, and the full scan of the Morrison "Drivel" column is posted at my blog. I quoted basically the entire relevant part in last week's WWC, though.
It's not really a relevation that young Moore used to steal plot ideas from other stories.
Anyone who ever read DR and Quinch, and who also read the National Lampoon during the 1970's is already well aware of it.
He is still a brilliant writer and as he hit his stride he more than made up for his early mistakes.
08-12-2009, 09:10 AM
"No, I stand by my statement that Book Four is incomplete. The first part of Book Four was released as a trade, but Book Four -- the overall Gaiman story -- is unfinished."
I'd again - respectfully - disagree. Gaiman planned three "Books" to balance Moore's three books. In fact, the trade collection of "The Golden Age" is subtitled "Book Four" and the first two issues of "The Silver Age" were accompanied by blurbs and publicity noting that it was "Book Five."
Artistically, Book Four is indeed complete and does have an ending - the carnival that draws together and wraps up the separate threads of the anthology stories from earlier issues.
And thematically, Neil's three Books are separate stories - the "hero's journey" Silver Age takes place ten years after the "anthology" Golden Age, and the Dark Age was planned to take place hundreds of years later, with a conversation between two men on a ruined planet "while they wait for the last sun to come up."
You wouldn't take Moore's three Books and simply characterize them as "Book One," and so you shouldn't do that with Gaiman's work, either. Well, I realize that you do explore some interesting ideas along those lines in your article (for example, you write that "Book Two probably should comprise only issues #9-10"), but that's criticism and analysis. In presenting facts for your readers, accuracy is best - and the facts are that "Book Four" is complete, "Book Five" is not, and "Book Six" was never begun.
Sure, Gaiman's overall story is unfinished. But Book Four is just a part of the overall, six-Book story.
08-12-2009, 09:16 AM
It also helps that DR and Quinch is awesome....:biggrin:
It was the first TPB i ever bought (1990 ish) and it wasn't till many years later that I realised he had written it....still love it....
08-12-2009, 09:35 AM
And to be honest having read this:
Despite some obvious similarities It doesn't sound that much like what became Marvel/Miracleman....
In fact it sounds bloody awful...:tongue:
08-14-2009, 08:16 PM
You're absolutely right to call me out on the Book Four Gaiman nonsense.
Book Four does reach an ending, and Book Five is the unfinished one. Yes. I will address that in this week's column.
As for "Super-Folks," it's worth reading, but it's not a good book. Still, better than most superhero novels! (Except those of Elliot S! Maggin, of course.)
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