Alan Moore. Simply put, genius. After all, he did create some incredible works of art, i.e. comics. He is the mastermind/creator of Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell, just to name a few. John Doran, who works for a British music newspaper dubbed The Stool Pigeon, had the opportunity to sit down with Moore and speak about the works that made him an international star in the comic industry as well as his choice to distance himself from the multitude of film adaptations. After the jump, you can read a few excerpts from the interview or catch it in its entirety here.
On the Internet:
AM: I’m practically Amish when it comes down to it. I practically mistrust any technology that came after the buggy. What I tend to think is that the internet is fine for everyone else in the world. I can see that it may have some disadvantages. In fact, I can see a few problems arising from it, but, by and large… everybody in the entire world apart from me uses the internet and seems to get on quite well with it. For my part, I don’t want to be connected to that all-pervasive kind of cyber culture any more than I want to be connected to the physical world that is around me, more than I can help it [laughs]. I’m largely a solitary creature, just by nature and by my work. That said, I venture out into town, but I very seldom leave Northampton.
On Protesters Dressing Up As V
AM: There are an interesting number of people turning up at protests these days dressed as V [Guy Fawkes mask-wearing protagonist of V For Vendetta]. I know there is the Anonymous Group down the bottom of Tottenham Court Road barracking the scientologists [who sometimes adopt his disguise]… a good bunch of lads and lasses! But I’ve also seen some pictures recently from the Climate Change Summits and the anti-globalisation demos and there appears to be a growing phalanx of people wearing Guy Fawkes masks and wigs.
AM: I’m interested in the superhero in real life, but not the comic book version. I’ve had some distancing thoughts about them recently. I’ve come to the conclusion that what superheroes might be — in their current incarnation, at least — is a symbol of American reluctance to involve themselves in any kind of conflict without massive tactical superiority. I think this is the same whether you have the advantage of carpet bombing from altitude or if you come from the planet Krypton as a baby and have increased powers in Earth’s lower gravity. That’s not what superheroes meant to me when I was a kid. To me, they represented a wellspring of the imagination. Superman had a dog in a cape! He had a city in a bottle! It was wonderful stuff for a seven-year-old boy to think about. But I suspect that a lot of superheroes now are basically about the unfair fight. You know: people wouldn’t bully me if I could turn into the Hulk.
On Being A Rockstar
AM: Well, yeah. I mean, back in the Arts Lab days all I wanted to do was to be able to support myself through being creative. There was a time when I thought I might be a superstar poet, then I realised that was an oxymoron and that would never happen. Then I thought ‘rock star’, until I realised that I couldn’t play an instrument, so I tended to gravitate towards writing and drawing. That just seemed to be the easy way in although, yes, I have been involved with various musical projects — The Sinister Ducks, then with [cult Northampton psych musician] Mr Liquorice of The Mystery Guests and then The Emperors of Ice Cream.
On Being a Hipster
AM: Has it? Yeah, that’s probably true. It used to be a fashion statement, but it was information as a fashion statement which is probably going to do you more good than the clothing you wear. I got an incredible education starting from the point at which I was thrown out of school. Now, I could probably hold my own intellectually with most people who have had university or college educations. And indeed some of them will have done courses on my books. So, despite the fact my ‘education’ ended at 16, I had hipsterism, which was wanting to be hip, and that led me to read this incredibly diverse array of books on science, mysticism, science fiction, literature, art… I would find out about these movements that I had heard about, and it’s given me a pretty comprehensive education. Now I am an autodidact, which is a great word… I learned it myself.
AM: Er, well, I don’t know. Initially Watchmen gained a lot of its readership because it was taking an unusual look at superheroes, but actually it was more about redefining comics than it was about redefining one particular genre. I think both me and Dave Gibbons [artist] had a lot of knowledge about that scene and we were able to take it and change it around to our advantage. And, as you say, there hasn’t been a more sophisticated comic released in the 25 years since, which I find profoundly depressing, because it was intended to be something that expanded the possibilities of comics rather than what it has apparently become — a massive psychological stumbling block that the rest of the industry has yet to find a way round.