Everyone knows that Alan Moore
is somewhere less than pleased with the current comics industry and where it was getting its ideas
. Everyone knows that Alan Moore feels ripped off by DC Comics
But did you know that DC Comics used the life of a motor neuron disease sufferer as emotional blackmail against Alan Moore and his friend Steve Moore (no relation), offering Steve Moore plum gigs that forced him to choose between Alan and his sick brother (on purpose)? Or does this sound like the crazed, weed-inspired
paranoid fever dream of an old man who participates in ironic snake-worship?
I don't know what it was about the '80s comics greats that's left them all angry and bitter, but Alan Moore's latest interview
at Bleeding Cool is approaching Dave Sim territory. I'm all for comics writers acting like eccentric, reclusive geniuses, but there's a fine line between eccentric stubbornness and petty douchebaggery, and Alan Moore has pretty definitively crossed it.
While the villains in "Watchmen" were renowned for their realistic motivations, the ones Moore is ascribing to DC are almost cartoonish and supervillainous. Below, we've collected our favorite money quotes from his latest rant.
ON DC COMICS OFFERING STEVE MOORE WORK ON A WATCHMEN VIDEO GAME:
"It seems to me that possibly because [DC Comics] know that I would do almost anything to make Steve Moore's life easier, since he is my oldest and dearest friend, that they were hoping to present the WATCHMEN computer game to me as a fait accompli;
that they would put me in a position of either playing along cheerily with the computer game or having to refuse work to my oldest and dearest friend, when I knew that he needed it.
Now, what they didn't know at the time was that Steve's brother Chris had just been diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease, which is a disease which is fatal, which is incurable, and which in 99% of cases will just make you steadily more paralyzed until eventually either your heart or your lungs stop. So this is a painful illness to go through and it's a painful one to watch a loved one go through. Now, I phoned up Wildstorm and asked them to pass on a message to DC, that I understood that they had been trying to put moral pressure on me through Steve Moore, and that they didn't know that Steve's brother had recently been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease, but I was informing them of that point, and also was stressing that they really shouldn't try pulling any nasty little tricks through the medium of Steve Moore because Steve Moore had a dying brother
MOORE COMPARES MARVEL AND DC:
"I mean, compared to Marvel Comics, at least for the moment, Marvel seem to have a much large raft of marketable characters than DC-Warner, who have practically nothing except for properties like WATCHMEN, which could conceivably spin off into games, movies and potentially TV series and all of these different areas and could bring in a huge amount of money."
ON REFUSING TO TAKE BACK THE RIGHTS TO WATCHMEN:
"[Dave Gibbons] was saying that he knew the thing that I always wanted was the rights to WATCHMEN back. This was said with the kind of understanding that if [DC Comics] gave me back the rights to WATCHMEN, then I would in return sign over the rights to secondary properties such as, oh I don't know, Rorschach comic books, sequels, prequels, all of these things... But no, I wasn't going to take the rights back at this stage after they had pretty much, in my opinion, raped what I had thought to be a pretty decent work of ar
t. I didn't want them throwing me back the spent and exhausted carcass of my work and certainly not under terms that would apparently allow them to go on producing witless sequels and prequels ad infinitum."
ON ENDING HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH DAVID LLOYD:
"When [Dave Gibbons] suggested that he was worried that our friendship might not survive some of the pressures put on it by the film, I said to him there was no chance of that as long as he just gave me a call and thanked me for the film money when it arrived. And I pointed out that David Lloyd hadn't done that, and that had affected our friendship in that I'm not expecting to have very much to do with David Lloyd in the future.
Dave Gibbons assured me that he would phone up and thank me for the film money. He made a typical joke about it. In Dave's jocular fashion, he said that he'd phone me from the deck of the yacht that he bought with the money and we had a laugh at that. So that was how we left it."
WHY HIS FRIENDS ARE DAMNED IF THEY DO AND DAMNED IF THEY DON'T:
"I don't know... because I had a friendship with Dave[Gibbons] that went back 25 years, I was thinking maybe he thinks that thanking me for the WATCHMEN money would constitute a conversation about WATCHMEN, so I was in two minds about what was happening."
ON ENDING HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH EVERYBODY:
"However, given the way that Dave Gibbons was apparently used as a messenger boy, it seems to me that I can't really afford to have any contact with anybody who is employed in the mainstream comics industry
, because, it's a shame, they may have just wanted to get in touch for old times' sake, but I can never know that for sure anymore, because I've been given an illustration of what they are prepared to do in order to get me to play ball. It seems, at least in my opinion, that they have been completely ruthless and utterly inhuman in pursuit of this. And I reserve the right to state that opinion."
HIS DIM OPINION OF COMICS TODAY:
"Now, I don't think that the contemporary industry actually has a 'top-flight' of talent. I don't think it's even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent."
AND FINALLY, HOW DID HE ONLY REALIZE THIS IN TWO THOUSAND AND TEN:
"[WATCHMEN] revitalized a moribund industry. It changed the face of Comics. And so I would imagine that given our understanding of the industry standards during that time, and given the fact that, as I say, DC's contractual stuff sometimes seems to be a bit shaky. So there may be... I mean, it's occurred to me that I could possibly get a lawyer to look into this."