Alan Moore/Headscratchers

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  • There has always been one thing that kinda bugged me about the adaptation thing: If Moore's so convinced that his work does not translate well to other mediums, why does he keep allowing them to translate it to other mediums? I know that in some cases it would be out of his hands (I can't say for which books, not knowing DC's policy on creator ownership and all), but shouldn't he have at least been able to draw the line with his independently published stuff?
    • DC owns pretty much everything he's done. They published V For Vendetta and Watchmen, so they own those. They also bought America's Best Comics (Publishers of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
      • V and Watchmen were published under a contract that would revert the rights to the creators if they went out of print (both have been steadily reprinted since their initial serializations.) Moore retains the rights to the ABC titles - he's since taken League to indie publisher Top Shelf
        • League is the only ABC title he owns. The rest all belong to DC (which is why they've recently published new issues of Top Ten and Tom Strong).
    • It bugs me that he has this opinion. Graphic novels are the closest possible medium to film while still consisting of still images. Additionally, when I was reading Watchmen, what struck me about it was how cinematic it was, and consequentially, how simple it would be to convert it into an effective film.
      • Granting that film storyboards look very much like comic books, your average graphic novel is about twice as long as an average film script. Moore noted this in a Wired Magazine interview saying The things I was trying to instill in those books were generally things that were only appropriate to the comics medium ... They were only about the comics medium, in a certain sense. To transplant them to the screen is going to chop off a good 30 or 40 percent of the reason why I wanted to do the work in the first place.
      • "Graphic novels are the closest possible medium to film while still consisting of still images." That's a good argument not to adapt comics to film as they're so close already.
      • It's also sorta like saying "Books are the closest possible medium to plays while still consisting of words on paper" Being close does not mean that it'll work when adapted. Part of what makes a comic a comic is that panel transition and compression of time - ie the character spouting a monologue when walking across a small room (or even worse, the jump-kick soliloquy) - that sorta thing just doesn't work in a movie without looking incredibly stupid.
        • But the thing is they managed to pull it off in the films without making it look stupid. So...
        • Just because they don't look stupid, doesn't make them good adaptations. Obviously, YMMV in terms of if you like the movies, etc. But Moore is perfectly entitled to feel that scriptwriters/directors have ignored or completely missed the point of his work, or elements of his work. Just look at the discussion above about what people are saying V for Vendetta was changed to in its film version. Do I like it as a film in itself? Yeah, it's alright. Do I think it's an accurate, or even fair, adaptation of Alan Moore's V for Vendetta? No. Moore's looking at them as adaptations of his story/themes/characterisations/imagery, etc. And if the best we can say about these adaptations is, essentially, "well, they're not awful movies" then it's probably a fair point for him to make.
  • Have you taken a look at his picture on the back of Watchmen? Has Alan Moore not shaved ever since he began work on it?
    • I've seen a picture of him from even earlier then that, and he had the beard.
    • He looks like the unabomber. Or possibly Rasputin. Knowing him, he was going for the "Rasputin" look for some inscrutable reason or other.
  • Now that Before Watchmen is confirmed, Moore's reaction is exactly what we expected: "I don't want money, what I want is for this to not happen". Why does he consistantly try to play the victim when it comes to Watchmen & his other DC work, which he pretty much already divorced after his big ego got bigger, when the man has put out what is glorified fan-fiction of famous literary characters (Lost Girs & League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and has make tons of money off them? It's hard to call out DC for whoring out "his" characters for money when he does the same damn thing to other authors' works.
    • More has indeed spoken (in my view, plausibly) to that very question: "In literature, I would say that it's different. I would say, and it might be splitting hairs, but I'm not adapting these characters. I'm not doing an adaptation of Dracula or King Solomon's Mines. What I am doing is stealing them. There is a difference between doing an adaptation, which is evil, and actually stealing the characters, which, as long as everybody's dead or you don't mention the names, is perfectly alright by me. I'm not trying to be glib here, I genuinely do feel that in literature you've got a tradition that goes back to Jason And The Argonauts of combining literary characters [...] It's just irresistible to do these fictional mash-ups. They've been going on for hundreds of years and I feel I'm a part of a proud literary tradition in doing that. With taking comic characters that have been created by cheated old men, I feel that that is different [...] And that's my take on the subject.",68911/
      • Ignoring the fact that Moore's logic is really stupid (the only thing different is that all of the original creators are dead, which makes it suddenly alright), it doesn't make what Moore does any different. How would H.G. Wells react to hearing that his Invisible Man was violently sodomized to death by Robert Louis Stevenson's Mr. Hyde? Or how would Lewis Carrol, L. Frank Baum, & J.M. Barrie take reading Lost Girls? The last part is really self-serving: "I don't mind stealing characters from others because it's from literature, but doing the same to comics characters is bad because it's happened to me and I don't like it. Hypocrisy is only wrong when other people do it. When I'm hypocritical its okay."
      • Indeed, Moore's logic can be summed up as "Well it's okay when I do it." You can tell that he knows it, too, with his hemming and hawing about "splitting hairs". Almost none of Moore's work is truly original... even Watchmen is based on other people's characters that he was forced to reskin when they saw that he was going to completely destroy most of them (some of them apparently just for the mean-spirited glee of it). It really all boils down to Moore's arrogance... he thinks that the things he loves (classic literature and some knockoff superhero he read when he was a kid) are only improved by his masterful touch, while anyone that would dare to translate his own work in such a way is defiling it most crassly.