« Home | Erik Larsen thinks all comic readers literally wan... » | What does Pakistani society think of the Muslim Ms... » | James Robinson reads and backs all the bad and wro... » | Brian Bendis puts Jean Grey back on trial » | Scott Lobdell can't bring himself to apologize for... » | Lex Luthor joins the Justice League » | Robert Kirkman attacks Marvel's incompetence » | Nashua Telegraph's unintelligible take on Black Widow » | Batman vs. Superman movie delayed until 2016 » | Is Ed Brubaker justifying Dan Slott's actions with... » 

Monday, January 27, 2014 

Alan Moore says superheroes are a "cultural catastrophe"

The aging comics writer spoke with the UK Guardian about what he thinks of superhero genre now, and says he'll be withdrawing from public life:
Comics god Alan Moore has issued a comprehensive sign-off from public life after shooting down accusations that his stories feature racist characters and an excessive amount of sexual violence towards women.
I wouldn't say all of his own work is rife with mistreatment of women (and I can't think of any that are plagued with racism), but some of his later output like Lost Girls certainly was, and doesn't give much reason for confidence he knows what he's been doing in recent times. I don't know if he's serious about departing from public life though, since Warren Ellis and Mark Millar made similar statements about how they'll manage their career options in the past decade but continued as comic writers all the same.
The Watchmen author also used a lengthy recent interview with Pádraig Ó Méalóid at Slovobooks entitled "Last Alan Moore interview?" – to expand upon his belief that today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic", a view originally aired in the Guardian last year.

"To my mind, this embracing of what were unambiguously children's characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence," he wrote to Ó Méalóid. "It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite 'universes' presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that 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."
In a way, not developing their own culture is right. The publishers and their staffs have ultimately refused to allow their products to develop a culture of their own by forcing others upon it that don't give it breathing space, like selling out to a culture of licensed merchandise.

But "still finite"? Or infinite? Alas, I'm afraid that's no longer so, as the Big Two's superhero worlds, no matter how many alternate dimensions within a universe they introduce today, are not very infinite in terms of creativity, now that they've destroyed continuity and characterization.

It's a shame he's tearing down on superheroes now, rather than criticize the publishers and editors for how they handled them over the years. The superhero tales were supposed to be escapism from the cruelties of the real world, and here they go along and force reality into their comics in the worst ways possible. Yet that's not why he's slamming them, his biggest mistake.

On a related note, another Guardian writer's asking if it's okay to superhero-worship Moore's comics:
The comics writer Alan Moore has been denouncing superheroes. Moore, whose imaginative, witty, provocative creations include the superhero series Watchmen, says now that it's a "cultural catastrophe" for adults to embrace superheroes as serious art. They were created for children. But if it's a cultural catastrophe that adults invest energy in Batman, what about the fact that adults read comics at all?

At some point in the late 20th century it became respectable for grownups to read comics. As late as the 1970s, this was considered a mark of illiteracy and mental regression. I know because in one of the Dr Who novelisations I was reading avidly in those days, a villain's henchman is characterised as an idiot because he reads comics rather than proper books.

Then on a variety of fronts – from the ambitious graphic novel or history Maus, which uses the language of comics to speak of no less grave a theme than the Holocaust, to the scabrous reinvention of the Beano that is Viz – comics suddenly became OK for adults.
Yes, there are comics aimed at adults and it's perfectly OK for them to read the medium itself too. Will Eisner was one of the people who knew how to write something intelligent for grownups, having published some of the first graphic novels in his time, and fantasy adventures are a genre that can appeal to adults as much as they do to children. Thus, Moore is making a grave mistake to dismiss even a single genre in comics just because he feels so betrayed by publishers he'd worked with in the past. Too bad.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Maybe you should go read this blog post.

Shawn James, Black Freelance Writer: Comic Books are NOT supposed to Grow Up With You Part 2

Perhaps you should go read this blog and it's about comics for adults:

Shawn James, Black Freelance Writer: Comic Books are NOT supposed to Grow Up With You Part 2

In that post(comic books are not supposed to grow up with you) the real reason why making Batman and the like appeal to adults is a bad thing is because that's the thing that's keeping newer and younger readers from ever checking out Batman and other superheroes. The publishers keep on making the Batman comics for older readers, leaving little chance for younger readers to actually ever read Batman comics.
There are comics for adults except that these are clearly marketed as such, now that's a difference between trying to make Batman comics for adults (mind you Batman comics used to appeal to a lot of younger readers). Batman is an all-ages character practically and commercially since there are several permutations of the Batman that are intended for younger viewers. When editors chose to sell and make superhero comics like the Flash and Batman for adults there is very little chance of them ever making real comic books for adults and that also prevents kid readers from reading superhero comics. So this would explain why DC and Marvel have gotten less creative is that the editors have come to pandering largely to devout readers instead.

Post a Comment

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile



  • avigreen2002@yahoo.com
  • Fansites I Created

  • Hawkfan
  • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
  • The Outer Observatory
  • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
  • The Co-Stars Primer
  • Realtime Website Traffic

    Comic book websites (open menu)

    Comic book weblogs (open menu)

    Writers and Artists (open menu)

    Video commentators (open menu)

    Miscellanous links (open menu)

  • W3 Counter stats
  • Click here to see website statistics
  • blog directory Bloggeries Blog Directory Entertainment Blogs
    Entertainment blog TopOfBlogs View My Stats Blog Directory & Search engine blog directory eXTReMe Tracker Locations of visitors to this page  

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

The Four Color Media Monitor is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.