Friday, September 10, 2010

Hideous Energy - Alan Moore

In case you aren't familiar with the reasoning behind "Hideous Energy" and its existence, go check out the first posting. Now that you've read that you can transition nicely into the first ever of "Hideous Energy's Biographical Musings," which is a title that will surely change every single time we do one.

Who could be driven, focused, and downright shit-turds nuts enough to be featured as the very first subject in this featured article? You guessed it. Uncle Beard himself, Alan Moore.

Alan Moore

Western philosophy and existential theory suggests that everyone knows Alan Moore is crazy. This may or may not have to do with the collective unconscious and Carl Jung, or the Roman snake god Glycon.

Moore has been outcrazying the crazy for a while now, but he's done a couple of things lately that I think will land securely on the top of his "Best Of" list, one because it's genuinely crazy, and the other because it's sort of just ironic and quietly laughable.

First, the subtler of the two. Here is what Alan Moore said in an interview with Bleeding Cool, and was later quoted on every site ever: 

"At the end of the day, if they haven’t got any properties that are valuable enough, but they have got these ‘top-flight industry creators’ that are ready to produce these prequels and sequels to WATCHMEN, well this is probably a radical idea, but could they not get one of the ‘top-flight industry creators’ to come up with an idea of their own? Why are DC Comics trying to exploit a comic book that I wrote 25 years ago if they have got anything? Sure they ought to have had an equivalent idea since? I could ask about why Marvel Comics are churning out or planning to bring out my ancient MARVELMAN stories, which are even older, if they had a viable idea of their own in the quarter-century since I wrote those works. I mean, surely that would be a much easier solution than all of this clandestine stuff? Just simply get some of your top-flight talent to put out a book that the wider public outside of the comics field find as interesting or as appealing as the stuff that I wrote 25 years ago. It shouldn’t be too big an ask, should it? I wouldn’t have thought so. And it would solve an awful lot of problems. They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago. It would be insulting to think that there weren’t.”

Yep, DC has treated Moore poorly in the past, and Marvel definitely has too. Most recently DC has flirted with the idea of doing sequels/prequels to "Watchmen," which Glycon himself (herself?) handed down to Moore, possibly through earth-bound minion Thulsa Doom. Somehow DC has managed to ratchet up their own level of crazy to rival Moore's, at least in this situation.

Doing anything with "Watchmen" that isn't spilling out of Moore's completely fictional Trepanation hole would be one of, if not THE worst thing they could do. Surely it would make a little money, but it would hurt them more by how many pissed off readers were birthed when they felt wronged by a company they willingly give money to all the time.

Moore's interview managed to rile everyone up, even though the dude has been saying crazy shit forever. The comic creators on Twitter have been particularly vocal about it (Busiek, Diggle, Lapham).

Moore has his defenders and his detractors, but shit, doesn't everyone? The guy has written plenty of classics, some forgettable stuff, and some stuff that is downright unreadable. He isn't afraid of his own opinions though, and in reality, what else should the readers of the world want from those delivering their sought after drug?

What struck me about this whole little verbal pushing match was another quote I read from Moore, taken from an interview/conversation he held with indie comics' Dave Sim. The quote: "...opinion is surely a devalued currency at this juncture of the twentieth century, simply by virtue of the vast amount of it there is flooding the market." Sure, he said it in the '80s, so maybe his opinion of opinion has changed. I doubt it though.

Now, what about that other crazy shit he did? Okay, to be fair it was in 2006, but I think it was crazy enough to last all four years between then and now.

He wrote a pornographic (a word Moore used himself in describing the book) original graphic novel about Alice from "Alice In Wonderland," Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," and Wendy from "Peter Pan." I haven't read it, and there is a possibility that it's beautiful and a work of art. Imagine hearing that pitch though, even if - maybe especially - it was coming from Alan Moore. Hooo-boy.

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