Just a few thoughts about the current Comics internet handbags at 4pm drama.
It seems that every so often Alan Moore likes to shout from his Ivory Tower and tell the oh so fortunate comics world where they are going wrong.
Don’t get me wrong I am not a hater. I have loved Mr Moore’s work since he made me laugh out loud on DR and Quinch in 2000AD. His reworking of Captain Britain and Marvelman had me desperate for the next issue and I would scour local newsagents in West London on my bicycle. Then I finally got to meet him on the stairs at UKCAC as a star struck 14 year old (fresh from a painful rebuff from Chris Claremont) and he was a gentleman.
Then Watchmen and Swamp Thing hit me square behind the eyes and I thought I was a fan for life.
But slowly my fan worship of Mr Moore began to slip away. I was unconvinced with the ABC issues and the Supreme stories. He began to vocally criticise comics companies and (although he may be entitled to do so) I began to wonder how wise he was to do this and why he needed to be so public about it.
He has since then inflicted us with his terrible music projects picking cheap laughs from Marvel and DC creations. The almost unreadable Dodgen Logic and LXG: Black Dossier (to me a childish tantrum made into a hardback – bath scene? 3D? Different paper stock? Brown M and Ms?). The less than impressive Lost Girls (still to this day the only Alan Moore book I have given up on because of it’s misguided premise and overall dullness, to me it was just a sleazy mess).
So what do we get now? We get his flaring up at an industry through his own admissions he neither likes, takes part in or even reads.
He has publicly voiced his disappointment with Dave Gibbons because he forgot to call Alan up (is he on the phone?) and thank him on bended knee for the royalties to the Watchmen film. He further sticks the mystical dagger in to Mr Gibbons over being a middle man for DC and approaching him about possible Watchmen prequels and sequels. Let’s face it Mr Moore has an image that would lead you to believe that he is less than approachable in the first place.
Now we have the Jason Aaron situation.
Similar to Alan Moore I have followed the works of Jason Aaron. I love Scalped and consider it to be one of the best books out there at the moment. He has a rough edged freshness to his work that has a dirty south noir that fires ferociously out at the reader. His Wolverine series is spot on in tone. He is a good and solid writer who pulls me in to a story and does it from a new and thrilling angle.
Mr Aaron then goes on to the internet and expresses his disappointment in a hero. I am sure that he is not the only professional out there feeling the same. He has had support from the industry as well as criticism. But I am left wondering if this is a healthy debate that we should be having. However I must admit to agreeing wholeheartedly with his sentiments.
From my own personal perspective I feel that the time has come and that someone needs to tell Mr Moore that there are those fans out there (myself included) who think that the comics we read have never been better. They have built on what the likes of Moore and Miller started in the 1980s and have become one of the most relevant art forms out there.
It is not the place of Mr Moore to tell us that we are wrong. He is hardly involved anymore. His output of recent has been nowhere near the quality of the 1980s. His pompous attitude actually hurts my pride in the industry that is such a big part of my life. Has he really been treated so badly?
The whole debate still rattles on in podcasts (11 o’clock Comics I am looking at you), message boards and the like. As with all these things I have left them to ferment and wind me up for a few days and leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.
However all it does do is leave me with a number of questions.
How much of current comics is Alan Moore reading?
Should Jason Aaron voice his disappointment in such a public (well for comics anyway) forum?
Should I be talking about it?
Is this helping the industry?
With wars, famine, floods and the Black Eyed Peas out there should us comic nerds get a life?
Perhaps what we should be saying is that Comics are fucking great. Get out there and buy some.
Let’s face it we could do with the numbers.