My respect for Alan Moore has increased this week

I'll get to the squid in a bit.

Many of Alan Moore’s comic series are favourites of mine. Titles such as V for Vendetta or Watchmen. Following on from my previous post about the Occupy movement and Frank Miller, an interview with Alan Moore has surfaced this week in which he discusses how his views are different to Miller and his disdain for the man.

The interview over at – Honest Publishing – talked about a lot of things relating to Moore’s career and beliefs, but it was what he said in relation to the Occupy movement and Frank Miller that has partly increased my respect for Moore:

Frank Miller is someone whose work I’ve barely looked at for the past twenty years. I thought the Sin City stuff was unreconstructed misogyny, 300 appeared to be wildly ahistoric, homophobic and just completely misguided. I think that there has probably been a rather unpleasant sensibility apparent in Frank Miller’s work for quite a long time. Since I don’t have anything to do with the comics industry, I don’t have anything to do with the people in it. I heard about the latest outpourings regarding the Occupy movement. It’s about what I’d expect from him. It’s always seemed to me that the majority of the comics field, if you had to place them politically, you’d have to say centre-right. That would be as far towards the liberal end of the spectrum as they would go. I’ve never been in any way, I don’t even know if I’m centre-left. I’ve been outspoken about that since the beginning of my career. So yes I think it would be fair to say that me and Frank Miller have diametrically opposing views upon all sorts of things, but certainly upon the Occupy movement.

As far as I can see, the Occupy movement is just ordinary people reclaiming rights which should always have been theirs. I can’t think of any reason why as a population we should be expected to stand by and see a gross reduction in the living standards of ourselves and our kids, possibly for generations, when the people who have got us into this have been rewarded for it; they’ve certainly not been punished in any way because they’re too big to fail. I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail. It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it. I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favour of it. We would definitely have to agree to differ on that one.

Moore’s response is considered and not lashing out, unlike what Miller’s original blog post was like. While Moore can appear to be some zany isolationist at times, it’s apparent from the three part interview that he’s actually pretty logical in how he thinks.

The second thing that has increased my respect for him was this quote about the earlier part of his writing:

I didn’t start out with any of the capabilities that I’ve got now. You can look at my early work and see for yourself. I was an average, undergroundish cartoonist who was just making things up from week to week and hoping that the glaring flaws wouldn’t be too apparent.

While he is referring to a period of his writing pre-Watchmen it is apparent that he acknowledges that his writing craft has improved with experience. Yet, what does this have to do with Watchmen? Though I read the graphic novel collection of comics before seeing the film, I preferred to the none-squid ending of the film to the squid ending of the comics. To me, the above quote is Moore acknowledging that none of his work is perfect and that his ending for Watchmen is not necessarily the best or most narrative relevant he could have done.


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