Alan Moore Retiring From Comics
It’s no secret that Alan Moore is a comics legend. He’s given us such classics as Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Miracleman, Batman: The Killing Joke, and his highly regarded run on Swamp Thing, and that’s just scratching the surface.
Many people consider him the best comic writer ever, but there are also many people that know him more so for his frequent rants in recent times regarding the comic industry and his many issues with it. Moore has famously stated that we would never work for DC comics again despite having done so much great work for the company due to his creator owned rights being infringed upon over the famous Watchmen contract he signed with DC. It had stated that the rights would revert back to Alan Moore after the book went out of print, which of course never happened due to trade paperbacks becoming a way the publisher could keep their stories in circulation, something that didn’t exist at the time of the contract signing. Since then, Moore, amongst his DC slander, has had many opinions on the business side of things regarding today’s comics industry, including the desecration of many of his beloved properties through his eyes in movies and other media.
Moore has recently been promoting his new prose novel, entitled Jerusalem, which weighs in at over 1,200 pages. During an interview with The Guardian while promoting his new work he had a shocking revelation to some where he said the following…
[I have] about 250 pages of comics left in me. And those will probably be very enjoyable. There are a couple of issues of an Avatar [Press] book that I am doing at the moment, part of the HP Lovecraft work I’ve been working on recently. Me and Kevin will be finishing Cinema Purgatorio and we’ve got about one more book, a final book of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to complete. After that, although I may do the odd little comics piece at some point in the future, I am pretty much done with comics.
He then went on to describe his reasons for leaving:
I think I have done enough for comics. I’ve done all that I can. I think if I were to continue to work in comics, inevitably the ideas would suffer, inevitably you’d start to see me retread old ground and I think both you and I probably deserve something better than that. So, the things that interest me at the moment are the things I don’t know if I can do, like films, where I haven’t got a clue what I am doing, or giant literary novels. Things I wasn’t sure I’d even have the stamina to finish … I know I am able to do anything anyone is capable of doing in the comic book medium. I don’t need to prove anything to myself or anyone else. Whereas these other fields are much more exciting to me. I will always revere comics as a medium. It is a wonderful medium.
This all sounded perfectly fitting coming from a writer of his stature who has experienced a lot of success within the medium, as well as his share of problems with the industry within that time. Moore, a person who is no stranger to loving the superhero medium of old, had this to say regarding the current comic climate…
The superhero movies – characters that were invented by Jack Kirby in the 1960s or earlier – I have great love for those characters as they were to me when I was a 13-year-old boy. They were brilliantly designed and created characters. But they were for 50 years ago. I think this century needs, deserves, its own culture. It deserves artists that are actually going to attempt to say things that are relevant to the times we are actually living in. That’s a longwinded way of me saying I am really, really sick of Batman.
One thing for certain is if you have failed to have read many of Alan Moore’s highly regarded comic work do yourself a favor and go out and read some of the best comics you will ever have the pleasure of reading. Despite him stepping away from comics for the foreseeable future, the great work he’s done is still out there waiting for people to experience for the first time or to revisit.