Tuesday, February 24, 2009

NEERRRRRRD! vol. 7/Quotant Quoatables vol. 24

segments from Wired's interview w/ Alan Moore

"It does seem to me that massive tactical superiority might be a key to the superhero phenomenon. That, if it's a military situation, then you've got carpet bombing from altitude, which is kind of the equivalent of having come from Krypton as a baby and to have gained unusual strength and the ability to fly because of Earth's lesser gravity. I don't know, that may be a simplistic interpretation, but that's the way I tend to see superheroes today. That wasn't what it used to mean. That wasn't what it used to mean to me when I was a child. What I was getting out of it was this unbridled world of the imagination, and the superhero was a perfect vehicle for that when I was much younger. But looking at the superhero today, it seems to me an awful lot like Watchmen without the irony, that with Watchmen we were talking very much about the potential abuses of this kind of masked vigilante justice and the kind of people that it would in all likelihood attract if these things were taking place in a more realistic world. But that was not meant approvingly. I have to say that I haven't seen a comic, much less a superhero comic, for a very, very long time now—years, probably almost a decade since I've really looked at one closely. But it seems to be that things that were meant satirically or critically in Watchmen now seem to be simply accepted as kind of what they appear to be on the surface. So yeah, I'm pretty jaundiced about the entire "caped crusader" concept at the moment."

"At the time I thought that a book like Watchmen would perhaps unlock a lot of potential creativity, that perhaps other writers and artists in the industry would see it and would think, "This is great, this shows what comics can do. We can now take our own ideas and thanks to the success of Watchmen we'll have a better chance of editors giving us a shot at them." I was hoping naively for a great rash of individual comic books that were exploring different storytelling ideas and trying to break new ground. That isn't really what happened. Instead it seemed that the existence of Watchmen had pretty much doomed the mainstream comic industry to about 20 years of very grim and often pretentious stories that seemed to be unable to get around the massive psychological stumbling block that Watchmen had turned out to be, although that had never been my intention with the work."

"It was never my intention to start a trend for darkness. I'm not a particularly dark individual. I have my moments, it's true, but I do have a sense of humor."

"I didn't want to spark off another wave of frankly miserable stories about psychotic vigilantes battling it out with equally psychotic villains. I wanted to do stuff that had a fresher feel to it, had a bit of a morning atmosphere. And I think, to a degree, we succeeded, but of course it all ended in tears."

"There was a time I would have said that if any of my books could work as films, it would have been that first volume of The League. It was pretty much structured so it could have been made straight into a film, and it would have been as powerful as it was in the original publication. But that is to overlook the proclivities of contemporary Hollywood, where I really simply don't believe that any of my books could be benefited in any way by being turned into films. In fact, quite the opposite. 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. Jerusalem, this enormous novel I'm working on, which I'm two-thirds of the way through and it's already got to be somewhere around 1,500 pages, it's something that could only be done as a novel—and as an incredibly long novel. This wouldn't work as a comic strip. It's not got the right pace for a comic strip. It's something that's been designed to work as prose and occasional bits of poetry, just as The League is designed to work as a comic book—or a graphic novel, if everybody insists."

"It's like the idea about the Spirit film that's being done. I mean, I would have thought that it was fairly obvious that The Spirit is not about a guy who wears a blue mask and who fights crime from his supposed grave in a cemetery. What The Spirit is actually about is the panels on the page, the way that the eye moves from one panel to another. It's from the innovative shapes and layouts and designs that Will Eisner brought to the medium. You can't translate that into a film. Much as Eisner loved the film medium and tried to get as many techniques to comics as possible, there are things about the Will Eisner page you simply cannot translate back into cinema. I think Will would have certainly been intelligent enough to know that. I think that adaptation is largely a waste of time in almost any circumstances. There probably are the odd things that would prove me wrong. But I think they'd be very much the exception. If a thing works well in one medium, in the medium that it has been designed to work in, then the only possible point for wanting to realize it on "multiple platforms," as they say these days, is to make a lot of money out of it. There is no consideration for the integrity of the work, which is rather the only thing as far as I'm concerned. I've got enough money to be comfortable. I live comfortably, I can pay the bills at the end of every month. I don't want a huge amount of money by diluting something that I happen to be rather proud of at its outset. That pretty much describes my attitude toward the idea of any of my works being realized in another form, really."

"I've never watched any of the adaptations of my books. I've never wanted to, and there's absolutely no chance of me doing so in the future. So I haven't really suffered through them, although there has been a certain amount of irritation and outrageous behavior on the part of the comic industry and the movie industry that I have suffered through. But I've gone into this at bitter and ranting length elsewhere. I'm sure that people can look up the relevant articles have they a wish to. My books are still the same books as they were before they were made into films. The books haven't changed. I'm reminded of the remark by, I think it was Raymond Chandler, where he was asked about what he felt about having his books "ruined" by Hollywood. And he led the questioner into his study and showed him all the books there on the bookshelf, and said, Look—there they all are. They're all fine. They're fine. They're not ruined. They're still there. And I think that's pretty much the attitude I take. If the books are as good as I think they are, then they are the things that will endure. And if the films are as bad as I think they are, then they are the things that will not endure. So, I suppose we'll see at the end of the day, whenever that is."

"I think that Terry understood my point. When we did meet—which was mainly just because I thought it would be really good fun to meet Terry Gilliam, and so it proved—Mr. Gilliam did ask me how I would go about translating Watchmen into a film, and I said to him, "If anybody had asked me, Terry, I would have advised them not to." I think Terry is an intelligent man and came to that conclusion himself. And I think he said something to that effect, that he thought it was something probably best left as a comic and shouldn't be made into a film. This has been pretty much my attitude for a long, long time now. It's just that my attitude has probably hardened and gotten more ingrained as my arteries have hardened and I've grown older. I'm a bit more vehement and vociferous than when I was a callow youth of around 30."

there is just too much good stuff here... just go to the link and read for yourself.

oh and in case you didn't know; FUCK ZACH SNYDER'S BOTCHMEN.

ps: one last quote to illustrate the point;

"Even the best director in the world, even a person as talented as Terry Gilliam, could not possibly get that amount of information into a few frames of a movie. Even if they did, it would have zipped past far too quickly. Because the audience at the movie theater is not in control of the experience in the same way somebody reading is."

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