Alan Moore has long been a polarizing figure in the comic book industry, creating the innovative classics that show the rest of the medium how it’s done. But recent decisions by DC Entertainment to expand upon their Watchmen catalogue in the form of the Before Watchmen prequel books has stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy, with Moore- who has been rather vocally against the idea for the last twenty years- dragged once more into the breach of the unflattering limelight. Moore speaks with New Comics Day in this exclusive interview to clear the air once and for all concerning his place at the forefront of the funny book medium and the hypocrisy of most industry insiders in failing miserably to give him the respect he has earned while continuing to milk even his stolen mail for potential comic book maxi-series.
Aye, I have decided to off and sign on with Marvel Entertainment. I read in me tea leaves that the finest way to oppose DC’s corporate stranglehold on the creative rights of our beloved works is to back their largest competitors. Their only competitor, obviously.
You…signed a contract with Marvel? Really? But of course you must know they have an even shadier history in terms of properly handling the rights of their creative roster?
Oh absolutely, which is why this contract has little if anything to do with actual currency- just to keep things clean for myself, my family, and my debtors. Might you recall how Robert Crumb was traded the keys to a villa in France for a couple of his old sketchbooks? Well when I handed over my treatment for the Howard the Duck film reboot I insisted on something comparable. So they gave me Euro-Disney. I’ve since kicked everybody out and moved myself and Melinda in. We’ve changed the locks and are converting it into a fortress, a recording studio, a hippy commune and an art gallery. But the hippies have to tend the lawns. Might even relocate the Burning Man festival there.
Wait wait wait, you are writing a Howard the Duck movie? I don’t understand.
Well you do have the stench of whiskey. I am writing the Howard movie to spite DC. Everything now is to spite DC. If they want to make movies of my characters against my wishes, against my better judgement, then I can take some rubbish like Howard and make it the biggest blockbuster of the decade. Terry Gilliam has already agreed to direct, and Johnny Depp will be voicing the Duck. Talking to Tom Waits about portraying the villainous Doctor Bong now, although I would settle for Nicolas Cage. It will be quite amusingly evocative to produce something that will blow the famed Warner Brothers right out of their own bloody shark-infested pool.
I am at that, but I’m completely reworking Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck, injecting it with certain CTHULHU mythos attributes that should do well in 3-D. The whole thing is actually set around 1930s AD, with Howard as a traveler from beyond summoned here by L Ron Hubbard and Jack Parsons in a failed sex orgy of rocket science and hallucinogens. Instead of calling forth Crowley’s Moon Girl, they brought Howard. Now the Duck has to travel the world to find the one true antichrist and challenge him to a duel of electric guitars. The entire plot is a subversive reappropriation of the New Testament, which should endear me even more to the bloody Freemasons. The ghost of Ronald Reagan returns in the third act as an avatar of Osiris, determined to reposition the American Star Wars satellite defense system into blasting away the three seats of ultimate power in the modern world- Hollywoodland, the District of Columbia, and Vatican City. I threw that bit in to spoof how Ozymandias’ plans were bastardized in the Watchmen film. Not that I saw it or anything.
But…what about writing comics?
There will be a spot of that too. I’m slotted to take over all 23 of the various X-men titles later in the year. And I’ll be bringing along some old friends to illustrate- Kevin O’Neill, Mick McMahon, David Lloyd, Eddie Campbell, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Rick Veitch, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben, Chuck Austin, Bill Sienkiewicz, Al Columbia, Simon Bisley, John Higgins, Alan Davis, Garry Leach, and Melinda Gebbie. All of the mutants will be fleeing the prejudices of humanity by way of a mass exodus from the Earth and setting up shoppe in Lila Cheney’s Dyson Sphere, to form their own world entirely. Wolverine and a few others will hang around, aided by the Man-Thing (who I’ll explain to be a mutant) to help locate any additional new mutants that come along and shepherd them up to the stars to join the rest. I will also be writing a new Speedball ongoing, as his time in the guise of Penance opens some doors for Objectivism to be explored once more in the Marvel Universe. He’s been the good and he’s been the bad, and now he must take the good and take the bad, take them both and see he has the facts of life. The facts of life in a world of Ultimate Nullifiers and talking ducks and muck-encrusted swamp behemoths from nightmare incarnate. The world will be seen through his eyes in a way like unto William Blake obsessing over his angels and demons in poetry and painting. But these angels and demons are in fact alive, from the blood, sweat and tears of many long decades of suffering blue collar sequential artisans.
This all sounds like complete madness. Will there be variant covers?
Probably. I just want to breathe as much life into Marvel Comics as I can in my remaining years, to blow it up like a word balloon so big and erotically beautiful that nobody will even remember the anti-creative damages inflicted upon the Collective Unconscious by the whims of the suit and tie wearing executives of DC Entertainment. Nobody will remember them at all.
Uhm…thank you again for speaking with New Comics Day, Alan.
Care to sing this article to a close? I heard the tune in a dream. Goes like this…