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View Full Version : Alan Moore stops being polite


Terome
2014-01-11, 09:39 PM
Following recent kerfuffles, Alan Moore responds to the big questions about his work with some big answers. He spent all Christmas writing about the Galley-wag, sexual violence, Grant Morrison and the slipping standards of The Independent so that you didn't have to:

http://slovobooks.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/last-alan-moore-interview/

Denyer
2014-01-12, 05:46 PM
a significant section of the public, having given up on [...] the reality they are actually living in,
Damn straight, except it isn't that people don't understand it, they simply don't want to be in it most of the time.

it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times
Every generation recycles, to the point that there's extensive shorthand meaning accreted around everything. It's fairly arbitrary (or at least led more by marketing than any supposed intrinsic worth) what pulp and ephemera sticks around in public consciousness, but no more unexpected than endless variations on Frankenstein or biblical tales, or continued estimation of Shakespeare or Greco-Roman myth.

Talk of cultural catastrophe (as well as The End Times Being Upon Us, and Technology Bringing About The End of Civilisation) has been the pattern of every age.

More on-topic, Morrison seems to be an utter twat, Moore pretty reasonable (although some of the points touched on hold better as intellectual exercise than the way most of a potential audience might see things) and from a purely selfish point of view his focusing on creative projects is welcome.

Terome
2014-01-13, 04:17 PM
Moore pretty reasonable (although some of the points touched on hold better as intellectual exercise than the way most of a potential audience might see things)

I think that is a very good way of putting it.

Seems the Moore / Morrison feud is getting way more coverage than the pretty interesting talk about objectionable content and writing characters through the class divide. I'm a slight outsider to British culture and the class system is fascinating to me - I can understand how central it is to Moore's identity but I honestly had never up until now considered that the class in which character's grew up is potentially more fundamental than a gender, race or sexuality.

I really like how he flagged up how problematic Fu Manchu is as a concept and how unreconstructed he was (not to mention the Chinese and Arabian extras) in Volume One.

Talk of cultural catastrophe (as well as The End Times Being Upon Us, and Technology Bringing About The End of Civilisation) has been the pattern of every age.

Yeah, I've never bought Moore's doom and gloom on the cultural front. He's good at talking about it and I was one of the few who really liked 2009 but I don't see a substantial difference between what he says and old folk telling me that women with tattoos are evidence of the same problem.

I do wonder what will unfold with this Laura Sneddon misadventure. I'm tempted to side with Moore out of sheer favouritism but he does have a habit of controlling the story when it comes to fall-outs.

Denyer
2014-01-13, 06:18 PM
No chance to read any of this properly now, but

http://comicsbeat.com/the-strange-case-of-grant-morrison-and-alan-moore-as-told-by-grant-morrison/

http://www.comicbookgrrrl.com/2011/11/27/full-and-uncut-interview-with-alan-moore/

http://www.linkedin.com/in/thalestral

Seems more than a bit impressionable and to be inclined to enter the orbit of creators, Morrison's particularly.

Terome
2014-01-14, 12:23 AM
Ah, hadn't joined the dots that she was the same who did the big Grant Morrison interview.

Seems that the 'Batman scholar' is Will Brooker, who I knew nothing about. I am reading his Twitter stream and forming opinions.

I will say that I am glad I am not currently dating anyone who studies English Lit.

Denyer
2014-01-14, 08:47 PM
Rarely has a "The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline" been so deserved, it would seem.

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-01-15, 09:05 PM
I think Alan Moore is at the point in his life and career where he doesn't give a shit about what people think of him, his work, or his opinions about any thing. A person asked him what he thought Grant Morrison and he gave his opinions and memories of Morrison.

Honestly I can't say I blame him saying Morrison being an Alan Moore wanna-be hack. Because other than his run on JLA and Batman: Arkham Asylem I haven't read anything else by him that didn't suck as being a Silver Age fanwank or something that was just so freaking weird and impossible to understand WTF is going on.

Terome
2014-01-17, 12:24 AM
I'm quite fond of We3, Seaguy and The Filth and Cliffjumper got me into Zenith. It's funny that Moore would specify what his audience reads if he could but I don't see much point in choosing sides.

Though of course I'm obviously on Moore's side.

nhy3888
2014-01-17, 01:45 PM
I wondered why this was so familiar, then I remembered I'd read the Laura Sneddon article on Grant Morrison a while back.

It seems like Alan Moore baiting has become a bit of a sport. The poking and tormenting of Moore and his subsequent frustration and further withdrawal from the mainstream seem to be the point. His reactions are undoubtedly going to be as entertaining as the comics he writes; he's written a near thesis sized response on the subject for goodness sake.

Morrison loves attention of any kind and Moore hates attention of the wrong kind. I think Moore and Morrison are so polarised now in their thinking that they genuinely can't fathom the others point of view, or if they can one has been repeating the same bollocks for so long that they've started to believe it. Now is that more likely to be Morrison? I couldn't possibly say ;).

On a personal level I can relate more to Moore's point of view. I have a mineshaft sized working class chip on my shoulder, that I (over) developed as a research student. If I'm being honest I wish I could get rid of it. It is nearly impossible to work in a system you become so embittered against you actively hate it, I was and still am nonplussed when it comes to a solution.

That said, like Terome, I've genuinely enjoyed a lot of Morrison's work; We3 is a lovely little book. So in a quality of work sense, I don't think Morrison is a hack; he's just seems a bit of a knob.

It's funny that Moore would specify what his audience reads if he could but I don't see much point in choosing sides. This. It's a bit insulting to your reader that you feel you can dictate whether they are allowed to read your widely published work, and when they do, what they read subsequently. 'If you don't subscribe to my philosophy GTFO', this sort of thing is to be expected from the lovable curmudgeon, but it still rankles. It's like I'm not trusted to make a judgement on the worthiness of individual texts.

I'm with Moore, but I'm happy for him to stop playing the game and concentrate on the writing.

Terome
2014-01-17, 07:03 PM
This. It's a bit insulting to your reader that you feel you can dictate whether they are allowed to read your widely published work, and when they do, what they read subsequently. 'If you don't subscribe to my philosophy GTFO', this sort of thing is to be expected from the lovable curmudgeon, but it still rankles. It's like I'm not trusted to make a judgement on the worthiness of individual texts.

I'm with Moore, but I'm happy for him to stop playing the game and concentrate on the writing.

I'm giving Moore the benefit of the doubt that he feels he is punching up with this plea and that if he were somehow made Tyrant Of Earth (what a week that would be!) he'd think twice about being so flippantly autocratic.

And I think there is the hinge of all this: the benefit of the doubt and where anyone wants to plant it. I think that is why the Morrison stuff is getting the most attention and also why so many stalwarts were willing to side against Furman in that Windblade situation so many years ago. The work really does stand for itself at the end of the day and if you're defending Lost Girls you're on a very different footing from someone defending Spotlight: Arcee. Using a TFW2005 poster's words.

It might also be the difference between being satisfied with handing out a public savaging or feeling around to see if one has a case for libel, which I understand is what Sneddon has been talking about. But I might be overreaching there.

On a personal level I can relate more to Moore's point of view. I have a mineshaft sized working class chip on my shoulder, that I (over) developed as a research student. If I'm being honest I wish I could get rid of it. It is nearly impossible to work in a system you become so embittered against you actively hate it, I was and still am nonplussed when it comes to a solution.

It's very interesting to me because where I'm from, the class divide is much much less important than the racial and language divide though they function in much the same way. When I am asked by British what I am I struggle to comprehend that I am not White/English but Middle Class. But people of my age were very firmly instructed that invoking these divides was no way to behave and was actively despicable. When I hear my British friends using very similar language to describe other classes as I am accustomed to hearing South Africans describe other races I perform no shortage of spit-takes.

So I agree with Moore - from his point of view, writing characters across the class divide probably is more delicate ground than any other single division. This might be lost on his non-British critics as it was lost on me and probably was something he had to spell out very clearly as he has done here.

nhy3888
2014-01-17, 08:18 PM
The work really does stand for itself at the end of the day and if you're defending Lost Girls you're on a very different footing from someone defending Spotlight: Arcee. Using a TFW2005 poster's words.

Yep, the defenses of their work were poles apart. It makes Furman's response all the more laughable really.

people of my age were very firmly instructed that invoking these divides was no way to behave and was actively despicable. When I hear my British friends using very similar language to describe other classes as I am accustomed to hearing South Africans describe other races I perform no shortage of spit-takes.

For me it's more of a nagging thought in my mind that chimes in unvited on occasion, something I would never give voice to as I agree it's offensive. Extremely so in some cases. I think for me when I feel utterly out of place I'm weak minded enough to let paranoia take hold and my self confidence takes a nose dive. I could be confusing class with general feeling of inadequacy though, teamed with general PhD misery ha!

I suppose the debate on class overlaps somewhat with that of poverty and the plight of the working or non-working poor, but what is dogma and what is fact I couldn't say.

Terome
2014-01-17, 08:32 PM
Yep, the defenses of their work were poles apart. It makes Furman's response all the more laughable really.


I would be pleased though if Furman were to now come out swinging that Morrison announced working on Zoids shortly after he began making headway on Transformers.


For me it's more of a nagging thought in my mind that chimes in unvited on occasion, something I would never give voice to as I agree it's offensive. Extremely so in some cases. I think for me when I feel utterly out of place I'm weak minded enough to let paranoia take hold and my self confidence takes a nose dive. I could be confusing class with general feeling of inadequacy though, teamed with general PhD misery ha!


I think that probably is an accurate description of the plight of all citizens on some level.

I'm facing down some PhD application deadlines this week and I can't say that anyone is selling it to me as a great way to spend four years. I might get back to the cartoons instead as no one sends me fan mail or money for being a student. What's your field?

inflatable dalek
2014-01-17, 09:06 PM
I am probably revealing myself to be a cultural ignoramus, but I don't really know enough about Morrison to comment on the pluses and negatives of both himself as a person and as a writer (though he did reveal the Cybermen were the Voord all along, which surely wins some sort of points...)

As far as Moore goes, my long standing issue with him is that he'll happily take out of copyright characters created by other people and do what the hell he likes with them, safe in the knowledge the original creator is long dead and will never object (though the more recent League stuff has moved into characters who are both still in copyright and have creators still alive. It's rather sweet he'll go "No, honestly, it's not Harry Potter" but at the same time basically admit Bond is in it. Does he not realise how litigious the Bond copyright holders are? They successfully stopped any repeats in the US of a DS9 episode just because of the name "Dr. Noah..."), but if anyone does the same with any character he has created- be it film adaptations or sequel comics- he screams blue murder. That's a huge double standard.

In terms of his claim about cultural bankruptcy... Firstly he's ignoring the big audience for Avengers/Batman/Doctor Who are children rather than middle aged men. Secondly, what exactly is the difference from middle aged men being deeply interested in 70 year old pulp/kids characters as their main focus of interest, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which is a comic written by a middle aged man who is clearly deeply interested in 200 odd year old pulp/kids characters? And is presumably best enjoyed by people of a similar bent?

And he refuses to do an interview with any publication that has ever (how far back?!) interviewed Morrison? That's just pure dickishness (as well as a pointless gesture as nothing Moore has to sell will ever suffer from him being difficult as that's sort of what fans expect).

I would love it to be the case that Moore's entire persona is a carefully crafted cynical attempt to increase sales, and as soon as no one's looking he peels the beard off and sits down to watch TOWIE.

nhy3888
2014-01-18, 09:56 AM
I would be pleased though if Furman were to now come out swinging that Morrison announced working on Zoids shortly after he began making headway on Transformers.

Thus starting a comic feud chain reaction that engulfs the industry, or everyone versus Grant Morrison ...pile on! I wonder who had the idea to use Geoff Senior first?

I'm facing down some PhD application deadlines this week and I can't say that anyone is selling it to me as a great way to spend four years. I might get back to the cartoons instead as no one sends me fan mail or money for being a student. What's your field?

Zoology, but really it takes in all sorts: behaviour, physiology and molecular biology. What are you applying for? No doubt the structure of a humanities PhD is very different to that of something from the sciences. The right supervisor and student combination can make for a wonderful time and it'll be plain sailing and a love for the subject is a given really, but it can be so intense it can kill it for you. I could probably write a thesis on the events of my PhD, nevermind the work itself.

I would love it to be the case that Moore's entire persona is a carefully crafted cynical attempt to increase sales, and as soon as no one's looking he peels the beard off and sits down to watch TOWIE.

I have no doubt that much of Moore's persona is a front, but a removable beard? Is Grant Morrison actually Alan Moore in disguise? That would be the king of all Scooby Doo reveals.

inflatable dalek
2014-01-18, 11:59 AM
I have no doubt that much of Moore's persona is a front, but a removable beard? Is Grant Morrison actually Alan Moore in disguise? That would be the king of all Scooby Doo reveals.

What a twist!

Of course, the big advantage Moore has (well, other than still knocking out highly regarded work, which is impressive in and of itself. Not many writers can keep up a constant standard over 30 years) is that people like the fact he's a bit of a grumpy old git- or as I think Cliffy put it once, "A crazy old man who thinks he's a wizard". It gives him a lot more leeway in terms of what he can get away with saying and have people still love him, if he went around with a live and let live lets all be mates attitude it would just be disappointing.

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-01-19, 03:29 PM
One thing about Moore that bugs me is even if DC gave him the rights to Watchmen on silver platter what exactly would he do with it? Would he write a sequal or a spin-off, order the no more TPBs or HCs to be made and demand to have the movie pulled and not to be shown anymore? Just sit on his ass and collect a big fat paychecks based off the royalities to it?

While I do respect Alan Moore is a man of his word that he hasn't written anything for Marvel (other than an introduction to the Captain Britan TPB years ago) because they treated him bad 20-30 years ago. Most if not all of the people who treated him bad either don't work at Marvel anymore.

His grudge with Paul Levitz over the Watchmen rights, Levitz is just a writer for DC now. He's no longer the publisher or president of the company (and ironically it was Levitz that was the one that did everything in his power not to sequals or prequals to it). Moore's grudges to me has not only cost him money but costed readers chances to see what he could have done with other DC characters and stories we were denied because of problems with Marvel.

I will say that one of the things I've enjoyed most with Alan Moore is after reading his best work I feel like I've become a better person and even his worst work I'm highly entertained.

Grant Morrison on the other hand it's exact oppisite, with the exceptions of his brillant run on JLA and the excellant Batman: Arkham Asylem everything else I've read by Grant Morrison I feel dumb and that I'm became a worse person. I refuse to feel like that to please Grant Morrison and/or his fans.

Denyer
2014-01-19, 05:42 PM
AFAICT he'd appreciate a slightly better percentage, be happy that people can still read and enjoy and not want others to write "extension" material to a standalone piece. He always has other projects and would never just be sitting around waiting for royalties to come in.

Morrison doesn't seem to be particularly clever, just media-savvy and able to drag along enough potential readers by cult of personality. It frequently comes off as trying very hard to be deep and meaningful. Moore, by comparison, plays entertaining games within the actual fiction, and people are welcome to tag along irrespective of how many references they get or can infer.

Tetsuro
2014-05-15, 12:57 PM
To be honest, I don't know anything about either one of them. I know Alan Moore wrote Watchmen and V for Vendetta and I'm not even sure about those.

I don't read comics.

Cliffjumper
2014-05-15, 02:39 PM
I don't read comics.

Then what the Hell are you doing bumping an old topic about them with your ignorant, ill-informed comments?

Auntie Slag
2014-05-15, 05:16 PM
I'm reading Watchmen for the first time. I'm about to start chapter eight and I think the film (which I saw at the cinema and on TV since), has done a really good job of adapting it. Not sure why it gets such a slating from the fans. Maybe it's more sensible that I make a comment once I've read the whole thing but so far the two mostly mirror each other.

Love all the extra gumpf in the book though, as in the text stuff that usually accompanies each issue. In future editions I feel like they should have the film in a little plastic sleeve at the back of the book.

Cliffjumper
2014-05-15, 05:56 PM
I found the film fundamentally misunderstood the thrust of the comic. In the comic, Jon is he only superhuman in the whole world, which is basically the underpinning of the entire fictional universe - just about every significant event of the narrative is down to the accident which turns him into Doctor Manhattan. The rest of them are basically athletes.

Snyder having Dan Matrixing people every four seconds or turning Adrian jumping Blake and throwing him out of the window into the ROTF forest fight didn't really fit that vibe and greatly messed with the whole dynamic of the piece. It's the same with everyone being dressed in leather and latex costumes like refugees from some Marvel abomination they're meant to look homemade and faintly ridiculous Lots of the details are spot-on - the title sequence is fantastic, for example - but it missed the point by a mile by trying to make people go "dude that film was the shiznit, I'm going to buy a Rorscach action figure because he's so badass" rather than "these guys are a bunch of damaged basket cases".

That and the acting was uniformly terrible. Still comfortably the best Alan Moore film adaptation, though that's more a black mark for the rest.

Brendocon 2.0
2014-05-15, 08:22 PM
Watchmen the book starts out as a murder mystery.

Watchmen the film spells out from the outset that the Comedian was murdered by one highly athletic individual male. Making it fairly obvious when we meet the cold moustache-twirling Adrian whodunnit.

Plus we're supposed to actually like Adrian. And feel as betrayed as the characters when we realise what's going on. And then equally betrayed by the other characters when we realise he's right.

Plus the film completely and utterly ****s up the "nothing ever ends" line (it's god refusing to grant forgiveness) thus underlining the fact that Snyder has no idea what the source material is actually about.

Terome
2014-05-15, 09:08 PM
Agreed on the general cargo cultiness of the movie. It feels like when you ask a child what a movie is about and they recite the beats of a particular scene. All those things did happen in roughly that order but there's no understanding there.

I think V for Vendetta did a more successful job of making a more superficial version of the source with an unapologetically different point to it. Watchmen is just sprawling and weirdly specific in the details it brings over and ends up being boring to watch as it forgets what exactly why it is all happening.

Cliffjumper
2014-05-15, 10:18 PM
I hated V for Vendetta but yeh, I'll give you that at least they went "**** this, we're taking the basics and making our own film"; shame their own one was completely terrible.

From Hell actually comes closest to working (it takes the same springboard idea but makes a better fist of it) but it just sort-of stops and finishes, you feel like the DVD's skipped three chapters. It's more bad filmmaking than a bad adaptation.

League meanwhile is a genuinely irredeemable film. The concept was wide open to abuse what with Moore just shoplifting the characters anyway, but it's just so badly done on every level. If you were going to do a spoof on Hollywood ****ing up a comic book movie you'd be left with that film.

Cliffjumper
2014-05-15, 10:19 PM
Incidentally, the best superhero film I've seen for years - Chronicle - is currently three quid in Sainsbury's and well worth a punt.

Terome
2014-05-15, 11:21 PM
Have heard good things about Chronicle. I'm just a bit resentful because it vaguely resembles a comic I wrote in high school.

I've not watched From Hell in forever since the book is almost my favourite thing but I enjoyed it when I rented it on VHS all those years ago. As I recall, it's basically a weird, conspiracy-minded whodunnit with the occasional looming shot of a church.

LXG I couldn't even sit through back in the day. Mostly I recall my brother gleefully deriding each character's two-point arc: they have a problem and then they solve it! Sean Connery needs to shoot and then later, he shoots good!

I've no pressing urge to watch V again but I don't remember it being boring. It got on with it in good time and had that Wachowski siblings camerawork that everyone was sick of. Though I am wracking my brains and the only stuff I can remember is the fact they cut out the line about Evie hiding a pencil in her vagina.

Now a Bojefferies animated series, that could work.

Tetsuro
2014-05-16, 12:22 AM
Then what the Hell are you doing bumping an old topic about them with your ignorant, ill-informed comments?
Because it's still on page one.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-17, 02:25 PM
Watchmen the film spells out from the outset that the Comedian was murdered by one highly athletic individual male. Making it fairly obvious when we meet the cold moustache-twirling Adrian whodunnit.

I thought it was fairly obvious in the comic as well, it's been a while since I've read the book/seen the film so I may be as ill informed as some others in this thread (naming no names, but it's Slag) but IIRC both try and make you think the mastermind behind it all used hired thugs to carry out the actual killing rather that doing it themselves.

Indeed, the bit in the book where you're meant to think Adrian was targeted was what firmly moved me from "Well, it probably isn't him because it seems too obvious" to firmly knowing he dun it as it's basic murder mystery stuff that, if a group of people are being bumped off one by one and one of them survives an attempt on their lives, that they staged the whole thing to throw attention off themselves.

The real problem with him in the film is the actor was terrible, though unlike Cliffy I didn't have much of an issue with the rest of the performances.

Generally I think it's a good movie myself, visually stunning (if nothing else Snyder can make a good looking film) and most of the changes and streamlining work fine for doing it as a film-though ironically they make the tie-in pirate cartoon completely redundant as the plot based reasons for its inclusion aren't a part of the movie.

There's a couple of bits of uber violence that don't quite work (though mostly it feels like it's aiming to have the feel of an 80's movie as well as being set there so a very Verhoovan vibe with the blood and guts works for it), some of the old age make up is off and that genetically engineered llama pet thing showing up with no prior explanation is just odd, but mostly I like it.

It's main problem for me, is it's not as good a film as the comic is a comic. If that makes any sense.



Whilst down in London this weekend I went to the Comics Unmasked exhibition as the British Library. A nice couple of hours with lots of Victoriana and earlier stuff on display that was pretty interesting. It is working from the premise that the regular British Library crowd will need persuading that comics are an art form, meaning that there was a bit of preaching to the choir for anyone who doesn't need converting, but generally a good day out for anyone who happens to be in London before August.

Especially as they seem to be having (free) talks from various people as the thing is on, I lucked into a chat from the organisers of the exhibition but they mentioned people like Mrs. Alan Moore (as I understand she likes to be called) and a chap who drew porn comics that went down well in France will be doing similar ones as well.

Though considering there was a heavy focus on Moore and Morrison with lots of examples of work from both (no doubt to the delight of both men), I was surprised there was no mention of the licensed work that started them off.

Fair enough, the exhibition wanted to avoid the obvious stuff as much as possible (there's only a bit of Beano and no Dandy for example) but as one of the stated aims mentioned in the talk I saw was to inspire visitors to take it up themselves I'd have thought showing at least a little bit of where starting on the lowest rung of the ladder could wind up leading might have been useful/fun. "Today Zoids- tomorrow Batman!".

I also realised from the talk with the mention of how the British Library has a copy of Every. Single. comic every published in the UK that the buggers have probably got the last few Collected Comics I need for my TF UK collection. The bastards.

Terome
2014-05-17, 08:37 PM
I'm going to visit that when exams are over. Knowing the curators, it's no surprise that licenced comics are invisible at the exhibition. They are lovely people but they simply don't detect that sort of thing.

Seeing at how low an ebb licenced stuff is in the UK right now it's probably for the best not to encourage up-and-comers to pick at that corpse.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-18, 12:09 AM
Yeah, I should say that for Serious Comics Fans they'd have
never found a way to please everyone anyway, but as it is very clearly trying to treat Moore and Morrison as a through-line (Crowley and John Dee have some of their original manuscripts included- in the case of Crowley for the first time in the UK which probably makes the conceit worthwhile in and of itself-pretty much just because of those two) the paying your dues period is a very odd omission.

Especially as, in the talk, John Dunning was was very excitedly going on about having included things like Crisis specifically because he'd been exactly the right age to be impressed by them in the early 90's. so you'd think that there would be at least one licensed property that would have had an equal effect on his even younger mind in the '80's.

Mind, the tie in book mentions a current weekly kids comic called The Phoenix which it calls the first "independent" (i.e.: No dependence on licences) weekly kids comic to get past 100 issues in 40 years- which I would say is a major achievement- that doesn't get a single mention in the exhibition itself.

Totally random, I did spend most of the free talk wondering where I'd seen Paul Gravett before (and I hope I've got the two curator names the right way round or this is going to die even more of a death than it has for people reading this who don't know the identity of British Library curators by sight), and then realised he looked exactly like the head of the Tyrell corporation Rutger Hauer crushes the head of in Blade Runner.

It probably isn't him. That would be a sever career change.

Terome
2014-05-18, 12:22 AM
The Phoenix (previously The DFC) is quite wonderful and I was expecting that to be the punctuation mark on the end of the exhibition. That's interesting.

Gravett has been pretty much omnipresent on the scene since the days of Warrior, possibly before. He's the kind of person that art really needs to maintain momentum - a gentleman patron who can pour endless time and energy into organising things, introducing people and mildly shepherding things from the sidelines (in between having his head crushed by Rutger Hauer, of course). Lots of those in other mediums, he's one of a handful in comics.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-18, 12:57 AM
The Phoenix (previously The DFC) is quite wonderful and I was expecting that to be the punctuation mark on the end of the exhibition. That's interesting.

I should say it's divided into "Themes" rather than time scale so the end of the exhibition doesn't really go right up to the present (indeed, I think the oldest thing on display- an illustrated bible- was right amongst the "As much as we pretend this is about British comics LOOK IT'S BATMAN stuff).

Equally, I wound up caught in a strange time warp where the person to my right (going forward) would always be looking at each exhibit at a slightly slower rate than me, whilst the person to my left (coming up behind me) would be reading at a slightly faster rate. Resulting in much "I'll just stand here till they finish out of politeness, even if they seem to be taking a very long time staring at this... and now I have a 12 year old art student humping my leg to try and force me too move on... ARRRGH". So I may have missed a mention of current British kids comics, but as the only person travelling at exactly the right speed (as judged by me) I don't think so.

Indeed, one thing the talk mentioned was there being a "Bold" written statement at the end of the exhibit, and I missed that entirely because I was mainly thinking "How can I circle back so I can look at that bit I missed because of just moving out of the way of FAST WOMAN and SLOW MAN"?

To be honest, the overall message of the show felt like British creators should be either working on obscure ultra serious autobiographical stuff dealing with either homosexuality or disability, or go to America and write the "Big Names".

Gravett has been pretty much omnipresent on the scene since the days of Warrior, possibly before. He's the kind of person that art really needs to maintain momentum - a gentleman patron who can pour endless time and energy into organising things, introducing people and mildly shepherding things from the sidelines (in between having his head crushed by Rutger Hauer, of course). Lots of those in other mediums, he's one of a handful in comics.

In terms of long term consequences (and if Watchmen getting on Time's 100 best books of the 20th century isn't going to convince any serious British Library doubters comics can be literary nothing will) it is nice this exhibition has seen the comic collection of the BL get catalogued properly.

Apparently before the representative example of the UK's comics would just arrive at the building they had to be sent too (indeed, periodicals only became part of the main British library during the period this exhibition was on, they'd previously been kept at another part of London), new issues of a magazine/comic would just be shoved in a box with only minor and generally unhelpful information written on the side of it. If the work of Gravett and friends has really pushed for a proper chronicling of this stuff so future students, scholars and general interested parties can find what they're after that's brilliant.

The BL might even know for sure if Plague of Insecticons was published in 1986 or 1987. I'm vaguely hoping it's the former so I don't have to apologise for including it in that year's comics on my website, but despite that being the received wisdom on the when it was released I'm increasingly loosing hope Marvel UK did a reprint special with an advert for a similar Thundercats special at least three months before Thundercats launched in the UK...

What was also interesting that was mentioned in the talk but not the exhibit is, the BL have a super secret vault that all the pornography and "How to make a bomb" stuff (as well as anything declared sensitive, hence there being a fair few comics in there) goes in.

Apparently, even though what was on display was either from the Library vaults or private collectors, they had a hard time on a lot of items getting permission to display from the publishers for things still in copyright. I would guess, out of the things that ended up included, the Andy Capp strip making a joke out of wife beating and the Bob Monkhouse kids comic where no one involved has realised it has Tornado fighting giant penises would have both met from resistance from the owners.

Terome
2014-05-18, 01:17 AM
You know, no joking, as a full-time Comics Historian, Gravett might be able to help you out with that one. He at least would be able to get you the e-mail address of Ian Rimmer or somesuch. Despite what I said earlier about the invisibility of licenced comics I have a feeling that he'd be very interested in your Transformation blog.

To be honest, the overall message of the show felt like British creators should be either working on obscure ultra serious autobiographical stuff dealing with either homosexuality or disability, or go to America and write the "Big Names".

Yup, that's a pretty accurate take on the current mood. Or 'just be like Luke Pearson, he's delightful.' Nobody can argue with that.

indeed, I think the oldest thing on display- an illustrated bible

Was that the Crumb Genesis one? Or the slightly older Bisley one? There was quite a fashion for unlikely artists illustrating Bible stories a while back.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-18, 01:29 AM
You know, no joking, as a full-time Comics Historian, Gravett might be able to help you out with that one. He at least would be able to get you the e-mail address of Ian Rimmer or somesuch. Despite what I said earlier about the invisibility of licenced comics I have a feeling that he'd be very interested in your Transformation blog.

Hmm, between the chance to find out some useful information and the ego stroking if he does respond, that could be worth checking up on.

After being slightly cynical and moaning about them in my last few posts, I should say everyone involved in the talk (including the overall archivist of the BL) were clearly very up for the whole thing and being as celebratory of the whole field of British comics as they could, and they felt as bad as anyone over the compromises needed to fit it all in the space and balance making it look "Worthy" to literary snobs. A headache I would not have wanted.




Was that the Crumb Genesis one? Or the slightly older Bisley one? There was quite a fashion for unlikely artists illustrating Bible stories a while back.

Assuming I was reading the exploritory text right, it was a proper centuries old bible, the argument being "It tells a story with pictures in sequence with captions... basically the same as the earliest Victorian comics we've covered, therefore this shows this is a type of storytelling much older than anyone gives it credit".

Terome
2014-05-18, 01:34 AM
Assuming I was reading the exploritory text right, it was a proper centuries old bible, the argument being "It tells a story with pictures in sequence with captions... basically the same as the earliest Victorian comics we've covered, therefore this shows this is a type of storytelling much older than anyone gives it credit".

Unf, because I am up at 2:30 AM writing about shrinking spermatophores of butterflies in Fiji (actually a lot cooler than it sounds) I read what you said backwards. I thought you said the illustrated Bible was the latest thing, not the oldest.

Hmm, between the chance to find out some useful information and the ego stroking if he does respond, that could be worth checking up on.

Go for it! I've always found Gravett to be friendly and helpful to a fault. He really is doing all this for the love.

Pity I missed that talk but I'm looking forward to the exhibit more than ever now. Cheers for the report.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-19, 09:52 AM
As a counterpoint, apprently the Sunday Times critic didn't like it to the point they suggested that all comic readers should be sterilised.

Terome
2014-05-19, 11:53 AM
Can only see snatches of the Sunday Times article but, hoo boy.

A good preview here:
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/05/18/the-british-library-vs-the-sunday-times-over-comics/

Looks bloody fantastic. Had no idea about stuff like The Glasgow Looking Glass and Ally Sloper. Though the Crowley and John Dee connection does seem like a bit of a stretch. It's cute when Moore cooks those things up but when it's up on the wall as poe-faced as that... Never mind, shall go and see for myself.

Brendocon 2.0
2014-05-19, 12:31 PM
Assuming I was reading the exploritory text right, it was a proper centuries old bible, the argument being "It tells a story with pictures in sequence with captions... basically the same as the earliest Victorian comics we've covered, therefore this shows this is a type of storytelling much older than anyone gives it credit".

Much older than anyone gives it credit.

Sequential art is the ****ing oldest form of "written" storytelling we have. Comics are basically portable cave paintings.

Captions took a while to get upto speed, but still.

Not arsed about reading the Sunday Times coverage, though it did cross my Twitterfeed a few times that all journos should be forced to read this: http://www.dylanmeconis.com/how-not-to-write-comics-criticism/ before covering the exhibition.

And it works as a handy rule of thumb for knowing when you can safely stop reading any article about comics and dismiss the writer in question as clueless.

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-05-19, 04:13 PM
Because it's still on page one.

So what? Some threads don't need to run on for hundreds of pages. Some work best when they're just one page. And since your previous post you stated that you don't read comics, why don't you actually talk about the Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell, or LXG movies instead of acting a possible troll? When I bump up an inactive thread I TRY to have something to add to it.

Now I like Watchmen, V For Vendetta, and From Hell movies and while some areas I thought the movies improved on the material. Like the Benny Hill-style comdey sketch that got Stephen Fry's character arrested in V For Vendetta worked a lot better in the movie that it did in the book where it came to at least this American reader "WTF is this about?" some of it due to Fry and Hurt going balls-to-the-wall with the material and with the music and sound effects over David Lloyd's confusing artwork (Lloyd should never draw a humor book) and the poor coloring didn't help.

I haven't seen LXG for quite a while.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-19, 08:00 PM
In terms of horses for courses I thought the Benny Hill bit was the most painful moment in an otherwise OK film, seemingly the result of some Americans asking themselves what a British chat show would be like without bothering to watch any and coming up with "Well, probably like Conan O'Brien... but with Benny Hill music".


Looks bloody fantastic. Had no idea about stuff like The Glasgow Looking Glass and Ally Sloper. Though the Crowley and John Dee connection does seem like a bit of a stretch. It's cute when Moore cooks those things up but when it's up on the wall as poe-faced as that... Never mind, shall go and see for myself.

Yeah, I'd never heard of Sloper before which surprised me considering how popular it turned out he was, if nothing else he's exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to show up in an Alan Moore comic somewhere. It makes you wonder if Homer Simpson will be completely forgotten in a century.


And it works as a handy rule of thumb for knowing when you can safely stop reading any article about comics and dismiss the writer in question as clueless.

It just baffles me as to why you'd send someone who hates comics to cover a comics exhibition, the Times wouldn't have had him/her review the latest Barber of Seville if they professed a pure hatred of opera. The quotes (like Terome I've not been able to read the full thing so if anyone thinks the coverage is unfair on the writer do speak up) I've seen come across as the worst sort of Daily Mail "Stephen Gately died of being gay" style attention whoring.

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-06-21, 08:21 PM
In terms of horses for courses I thought the Benny Hill bit was the most painful moment in an otherwise OK film, seemingly the result of some Americans asking themselves what a British chat show would be like without bothering to watch any and coming up with "Well, probably like Conan O'Brien... but with Benny Hill music".

When I read the book that whole sequence didn't make any sense to me because of Lloyd's poor artwork and I was way too young to understand the complexity of the book the first time I read it (I was about 14). When I re-read the book after the movie came out I actually understood what the point of it was. Plus IMHO Stephen Fry is one of those actors that makes movies better because he's in them, even if he has a small part in a movie he steals the show.

Death's Head
2014-06-29, 07:20 PM
Lloyd's poor artwork

:o

inflatable dalek
2014-06-29, 07:35 PM
That sequence's not in the book anyway is it?

Death's Head
2014-06-29, 09:38 PM
Don't think so - wasn't Fry's character a replacement for 'Gordon' from the book - Evey's charming bit of rough!

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-07-03, 03:51 PM
That sequence's not in the book anyway is it?

The whole talk show scene is in the book.

Death's Head
2014-07-04, 03:59 PM
Which page? I haven't seen the film in years so maybe I'm misremembering the sequence you mean.

I also forgot Roger Allam was in this. He's surely the best thing in it, not 'anything-for-a-few-bob' Fry? :D

Tetsuro
2014-08-18, 10:36 AM
So what? Some threads don't need to run on for hundreds of pages. Some work best when they're just one page. And since your previous post you stated that you don't read comics, why don't you actually talk about the Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell, or LXG movies instead of acting a possible troll? When I bump up an inactive thread I TRY to have something to add to it.
What I meant was that I don't pay any attention to post dates. When I see a thread so close to the top, I assume it must still be fresh.

But since you brought it up...I do find certain irony in the fact that for all the comics I supposedly don't read, it turns out I still read a lot more than my associates. Like when my friends were raving about the new Judge Dredd movie, after some discussion it turns out I'm the only one in that group who has actually read the comic the movies are based on. I haven't seen the new movie, but it probably goes without saying I wasn't too happy with the Stallone one.

And on the actual topic - I have finally acquired myself a TPB copy of V for Vendetta at least. I never got around to seeing the movie, so when I found it at a flea market - and I think I saw a cheap plastic Guy Fawkes mask in the same booth, which probably says something about the seller - I bought it and all I can say is...I really do have to force myself to put it down, because it's such a damn good story, but I don't want to eat it all at once, you know?

I did go to amazon right after though to check out if I had grossly overpaid for it (I hadn't), but on hindsight, I wish I'd just left this there and bought a nice hardcover edition instead. And speaking of which, there's apparently some sort of expanded edition with 100 extra pages, but it fetches a fairly big penny on the aftermarket?

inflatable dalek
2014-08-18, 07:59 PM
What I meant was that I don't pay any attention to post dates. When I see a thread so close to the top, I assume it must still be fresh.

OK, generally we're pretty cool when it comes to bumping old threads, but you did post one line that basically boiled down to you knowing nothing about what was being talked about, nor did you seemingly have any interest in it.

Then, having done one necro bump you do another a month after the thread was last posted in to argue with someone who found this a bit odd (though at least you added a bit on the subject afterwards this time. Though I'm not sure what you're trying to prove with the "or all the comics I supposedly don't read" bit when you're the chap who claimed you don't read comics). So for future reference, because we don't want to be mean mods, don't bump threads unless you've something to add. And, whilst we're usually OK with letting people have a certain right of reply if someone comments on them, restarting an argument a month later should be considered a no no as well.

And that is the last anyone will be saying on this subject in this thread. Everyone back on topic now.

Did you make it to the Comics Exhibition in the end Terome?

Oh, and this reminds me:

Indeed, the bit in the book where you're meant to think Adrian was targeted was what firmly moved me from "Well, it probably isn't him because it seems too obvious" to firmly knowing he dun it as it's basic murder mystery stuff that, if a group of people are being bumped off one by one and one of them survives an attempt on their lives, that they staged the whole thing to throw attention off themselves.

Having just watched all of Poirot, Agatha Christie did this enough to (just with that one detective it happens about four times) to make me wonder if the bit in Watchmen was an intentional homage to her...

Cliffjumper
2014-08-18, 10:57 PM
The chatshow wasn't in the book at all. IIRC the rough equivalent to the chatshow host (takes Evey in after V sends her out alone into the world) was Gordon, the black marketeer initially 'in' with the party who's murdered by the Scottish thug (Ally?) who takes over The Finger after being hired by Creedy.

TV broadcasting is basically ignored after Dascombe's killed off until V takes out the towers at the start of the last book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_for_Vendetta_%28film%29#Differences_between_the_film_and_graphic_novel

inflatable dalek
2014-08-20, 08:04 PM
Plus, that scene is completely unlike something anyone who has ever seen British TV would ever write.

Did the "Superimpose a mouth over a celebrity photo and have it talk" thing actually pre-date Conan O'Brien (the only reason I assume he does it is because in the Robot Chicken Star Wars sketch with the same joke he does his own voice as the host)? If not, it would have been really advanced of Moore to write a scene spoofing an American chat show host who must have been about six at the time.

Tetsuro
2014-08-22, 06:01 PM
If not, it would have been really advanced of Moore to write a scene spoofing an American chat show host who must have been about six at the time.
Not unless I missed something and V for Vendetta was actually written in 1969.

Which would make everything else in the comic pretty advanced too...

Terome
2014-08-28, 11:27 AM
Did you make it to the Comics Exhibition in the end Terome?


I did not! I used up all my London travel credits on seeing family and friends and most of them were unenthused. I did go to the Spitting Image exhibition at the Cartoon Museum though. Everyone could agree on it and it was pretty well put together.

Puppet-orientated political sketch shows are a niche that really needs to be filled again.

Skyquake87
2014-08-28, 09:21 PM
This thread has just made me re-read V for Vendetta. Like reading 1984 now, its depressing how a lot of the stuff in this has become reality.

Its funny satire seems to have died off a in television land. 2DTV (Spitting Image's spiritual successor) has been gone for years, as has the BBC's bleak Monkey Dust, Bremner, Bird & Fortune is gone which just leaves Have I Got News For You and copycat show Mock The Week. Hmm.