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  1. #1
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    Default CBR: Where The Hell Am I - Jan 5, 2011

    Jason Aaron rings in the new year with good wishes for friends and fans and a message for Alan Moore in response to the legendary writer's comments last year about the state of comics and talent level of modern creators.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    once and future
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    I'm pretty much with the 'squirrely old man' argument here. The dude hasn't read your work or that of your peers, he's being intellectually lazy but I think it would be hard to take offense at a broad insult at the genre by someone who doesn't participate in it any more. Everyone complains about Hollywood these days, but good filmmakers keep doing their thing and fans continue to appreciate. I mean, feel free to take offense, but if Moore actually read Scalped his disposition would change I'm sure. I prefer the industry insider type articles, so keep those coming Jason!

  3. #3
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    One thing about that particular excerpt that strikes me is that it's basically saying why won't Marvel & DC let the creators go make something new instead of recycling old stuff. Ok that middle flight / bottom flight thing is pretty harsh but this bit makes me think it's really the point;

    "They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago. It would be insulting to think that there weren't."

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    Right on, Jason.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Statham's Avatar
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    I like Aaron as a writer and all, but maybe he actually needs to go through the same amount of shit Moore has with Marvel and DC to understand why the old man is so jaded about the two companies and a good deal of the people working for them. Moore does come across as the old man up on the mountain, refusing to come down because he's had enough, but maybe there's good reason for that.

    As it is, I think Moore is particularly right that DC and Marvel should be doing more to develop newer properties (although he certainly puts it a little more bluntly than some), and it's a keen observation at a time when DC is becoming increasingly insular. The closure of Wildstorm and the cancellation of Vertigo books means that DC now has more talent to apply to it's standard formula; superhero books. Where's DC's equivalent of Love and Rockets? Of Phonogram? They certainly aren't going to appear in the rapidly dwindling titles of Vertigo.

    I do think that Watchmen is perhaps a raw spot for him, but I also think he's right, there; Why should he sit by and say nothing when they've secretly tried to pawn him off with the rights, at the expense of paltry sequels and prequels? Writing a Watchmen sequel is the same as writing a V for Vendetta sequel or prequel; Unnecessary. I also don't think he means to target writers who do have original ideas, like Aaron and Scalped, or someone like Brian Wood and DMZ, but he just wants people to try something new, maybe. I think it's frustrating that someone like Geoff Johns, who can be an amazing writer, just works with company-owned properties, myself. Same for Bendis, who was a lot better when his workload was just Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man.

    Moore's just a little too blunt, I guess, but somehow, it feels childish of Aaron to reply with the 'I used to love your work but fuck you' response, just because Moore said something he didn't want to hear.

  6. #6
    Thanos Copter Marak the Merciless's Avatar
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    Default Jason Aaron goes nuclear!

    That was quite a hearty "fuck you" there, Jason!

    I am also tired of Moore's "bitter old man" schtick, but it is quite interesting that his quote ends with the statement "They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago. It would be insulting to think that there weren't."

    So the question here is: was Moore being ironic when he said "I don't think it's even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent", or was he being ironic when saying "It would be insulting to think that there weren't"? It can't be both, since they are contradictory statements. I think it *possible* that Moore may be taken out of context, or at least the spirit of one statement or the other is coming across wrong in print.

    Not sure why I'm defending Moore!

  7. #7
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    Moore's bashing work he's never read. He's bashing people. He's saying these people aren't good creators, but he's not read the work they've created.

    Yeah, fuck him is right.

    Fuck you, Alan Moore.

    Also, Scalped is amazing.

  8. #8

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    I agree with you, to a point.

    Alan Moore is undoubtedly an incredibly talented writer, and he has certainly been messed around with by various companies, and that I can sympathise with.

    What I don't sympathise with is his incredibly persciptivist view of the medium. Firstly, there are a good number of authors out there who do produce material on a par with Alan Moore, not necessarily as consistantly perhaps, but they are certainly there. If any random author though writes anything as profound and well done as Watchmen, it almost certainly won't get a fraction of the praise it deserves - Watchmen came out in just the right combination of circumstances to send it to where it is today and I really don't think that the comics industry is really in a position to repeat that success regardless of how many times better than Watchmen the comic is.

    This leads to me feelign that Alan Moore doesn't actually "get" what it is like to not be Alan Moore - there are very few writers who can sell a comic on their name alone to the degree he can. Neil Gaiman perhaps? Sure, there are a wide variety of people who can sell things on their name from month to month, Morrison and Bendis come to mind, but even then, it is by no means half the long term prestige a graphic novel edition gets for having the words "Alan Moore" at the top of the page.

    The other thing that I find irritating though is the impression he gives (whether he actually believes that or not is another thing) that he believes every comic has to be somehow profound or it isn't worthy of existing. Rubbish. Comics are no different from any other medium - a story can exist for any reason you want it to - a story produced because people want to buy a comic with Wolverine in it is not inherantly better or worse than a high concept indie story. They appeal to different tastes, and either or both might be rubbish or the greatest story the medium has ever seen.

    As for creating new things, there is a slight point in there, I do believe that both Marvel and DC do need to try and stimulate "new growth", if I was in charge of either I'd stick out an anthology title of new properties even if it was making a loss, just to get new concepts out there, not just new characters but new concepts within the respective universes - really, and not to be mean to some of the superb work that does go on, but it seems like the majority of original characters created since the early nineties seem to extend out from existing corners of those universes rather than creating new parts of the universe.

    But going back from that, there are still plenty of inide creators doing highly original work, but I never get the impression that Moore deems them worthy.

    There is also Moores elitism towards the medium, he seems to consider comics a medium apart, which I consider a dangerous route to go down - in the end, comics, games, films, novels, television, radio drama, theatre and whatever else are just forms of story. There are differences between what they suit best and how they work, but at the fundemental level, if you convert a story in one medium to another, it doesn't inherantly butcher it (although it can) but it's basically an excercise in trying to show people a story that they might like in a medium they are more receptive to, and I don't feel Moore appreciates the core value of story over the nuance of medium.

    I could go on, but in summary, it irks me that someone who has been such a flag bearer for the industry should be such an isolationist when it comes to not only his own work, but that of the entire industry.
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  9. #9
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    Wow, does Jason Aaron have some incredibly thin skin!

    The simplest response would be, if you want Alan Moore to give you respect is to prove him him wrong and maybe you're doing that with Scalped (which I don't read), but getting pissed and saying fuck you is pretty damn childish.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ramage's Avatar
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    Some things are better left unsaid, Jason. I don't think he was singling you out.

    And Moore has a point, things are pretty shitty right now. I am sorry that hurts your and your comic book professional friends' feelings. I personally blame the companies more than the talent. Hell, maybe I blame the fans more than the talent.
    David Bowie fan

  11. #11
    I like good comics. ScotsScribbler's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    I agree with Alan Moore that Marvel and DC should not be turning the clock back 25 years to flog dollars out of his stuff. They should have invested in more new stories by new creators rather than flogging their licensed superheroes to death. I enjoy superheroes, I just enjoyed the hell out of Long Halloween but I am sick of the superhero spread.

    There aren't enough angels in heaven to cover the multitude of sins that constitutes Marvel and DC's crossover afflictions to the comic book industry.

    However I agree with Jason Aaron that I am jaded with Alan Moore.

    From Hell, Watchmen are works of genius etc... League 1 and 2 were brilliant but the League-verse is not nearly as compelling as it was, as Moore's personality seems to be overshadowing his own stories. The Black Dossier was brilliant madness while Century 1910 by comparison was dull and disappointing.

    I loved his stuff up until Lost Girls which, while technically excellent, showed very questionable judgement and Neomonicon {?} was so dull that I actually googled it to confirm that it was in fact THE Alan Moore and not just some upcoming hack with the same name.

    Ultimately if Moore felt so strongly about Marvel/ DC the money from his despised movie adaptations could have been used to start a new comics studio and carve lumps out of their market share. He hasn't.

    His magazine Dodgem Logic [which seems to me to be the perfect place to redress the balance and break upcoming comic talent through] features hardly any comic pages and is the most pretentious, mind numbing, piece of self absorbed overpriced drivel I've ever read.

    I might check out Jerusalem [which sounds like it has the potential to break Moore into the literature mainstream] and Moore is unquestionably one of the titans of comic books.

    But sometimes the more you know about someone the less there is to like about them, and that cant help but feed into how you feel about their work as well.

  12. #12
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    I think Mr. Moore's criticism is directed not at the talent of the comics industry, but at their publishers. Though he could have made his point more directly with less acerbic sarcasm, I agree with him. The top-flight talent of the comic book industry should be focused more on creating new, original works rather than creating prequels and sequels to existing works. Or at least not the works of a creator not interested in having others expand on his original ideas.

    After reading this article, I think less of Mr. Aaron because of his reaction than I do of Mr. Moore (and I have never been a fan of his) for his original comments.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexjholt View Post
    If any random author though writes anything as profound and well done as Watchmen, it almost certainly won't get a fraction of the praise it deserves - Watchmen came out in just the right combination of circumstances to send it to where it is today and I really don't think that the comics industry is really in a position to repeat that success regardless of how many times better than Watchmen the comic is.
    You summarized my thoughts, perfectly. The same thing happens with the music industry: Nobody sells tens of millions of albums anymore, no matter how good, groundbreaking or balls to the wall insane an album (or a comicbook) can be.

    It's just a different world today.

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    So saying he doesn't think talent can be classified into flights or dismissing publishers for not supporting and promoting creators properly put Alan in your bad book?

    I'd be less inclined to disagree with him if DC were not cutting two pages a month or reducing the royalties for collections.

    ~R

  15. #15
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    Who cares what the psychotic burnout Moore has got to say about anything. To off handedly dismiss work you've never seen is the pinnacle of arrogance and close-minded stupidity.

    Too DC I say ignore Alan Moore and do what you want with Watchmen; sequals, prequals, whatever, just do it. If it doesn't work fine, at least you gave it a shot and move on.

    Same thing goes for Marvel with Marvelman just do it.

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