Alan Moore Retiring From Comic Books, Thinks This Century Needs Its Own Culture Outside Of Superheroes
If you ask comic book fans to list ten of the best comic book writers that ever existed, odds are good that Watchmen writer Alan Moore would fall somewhere on that list. Yes, the man has proven to be something of a recluse and embittered artist-type, but there’s no denying he knows his way around a keyboard.
Apart from Watchmen, Moore is also well known for such books as Batman: The Killing Joke, and V for Vendetta.
He’s definitely made his mark on the medium of comic books, but now, based on an interview he had with The Guardian while promoting his new novel, Jerusalem (a new 1,200+ page book set to hit shelves later this month), it sounds like he’s ready to move one from comics.
“[I have] about 250 pages of comics left in me,” he said.
He then added:
“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.”
His reason 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.”
So in short, Moore sounds like he’s in search of a new challenge. While this is indeed sad for comics fans, there’s no need to shed too many tears, as they’ll be able to get Moore’s work in other mediums — mediums that will allow him to explore different territory.
This wasn’t all the writer had to say. While Moore was very respectful of the medium of comics, he did express his boredom with the genre of superheroes:
“I am sure there is probably a very good reason for the hundreds of thousands of adults who are flocking to see the latest adventures of Batman, but I for one am a little in the dark for what that reason is.
“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.”
He’s never been one to mince words, has he?
For those interested in his epic novel, Jerusalem, here is a description of the book on Amazon:
“In the epic novel Jerusalem, Alan Moore channels both the ecstatic visions of William Blake and the theoretical physics of Albert Einstein through the hardscrabble streets and alleys of his hometown of Northampton, UK. In the half a square mile of decay and demolition that was England’s Saxon capital, eternity is loitering between the firetrap housing projects. Embedded in the grubby amber of the district’s narrative among its saints, kings, prostitutes, and derelicts, a different kind of human time is happening, a soiled simultaneity that does not differentiate between the petrol-colored puddles and the fractured dreams of those who navigate them.
“Employing, a kaleidoscope of literary forms and styles that ranges from brutal social realism to extravagant children’s fantasy, from the modern stage drama to the extremes of science fiction, Jerusalem’s dizzyingly rich cast of characters includes the living, the dead, the celestial, and the infernal in an intricately woven tapestry that presents a vision of an absolute and timeless human reality in all of its exquisite, comical, and heartbreaking splendor.
“In these pages lurk demons from the second-century Book of Tobit and angels with golden blood who reduce fate to a snooker tournament. Vagrants, prostitutes, and ghosts rub shoulders with Oliver Cromwell, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce’s tragic daughter Lucia, and Buffalo Bill, among many others. There is a conversation in the thunderstruck dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, childbirth on the cobblestones of Lambeth Walk, an estranged couple sitting all night on the cold steps of a Gothic church front, and an infant choking on a cough drop for eleven chapters. An art exhibition is in preparation, and above the world a naked old man and a beautiful dead baby race along the Attics of the Breath toward the heat death of the universe.
“An opulent mythology for those without a pot to piss in, through the labyrinthine streets and pages of Jerusalem tread ghosts that sing of wealth, poverty, and our threadbare millennium. They discuss English as a visionary language from John Bunyan to James Joyce, hold forth on the illusion of mortality post-Einstein, and insist upon the meanest slum as Blake’s eternal holy city.”
Jerusalem hits bookshelves on September 13, 2016.