One thing I’ve figured out as I’ve been writing these blog posts is that I’m not a great writer. In my head, my thoughts seem very multi-dimensional and fascinating, but when I put them on paper (on monitor?), they seem, to me, straight out of the pages of Duh magazine. But someone who is effective at communicating some crazy thoughts is comic book writer and wizard Alan Moore.
Now that you’re all caught up on the life and works of Alan Moore, I thought this edition of Wizard Wednesday would be a good opportunity to link you some writing from around the Internet concerning the Watchmen prequels DC Comics (subsidiary of Time Warner) is farting out later this year. Like I said, my ability to communicate complex ideas in written form is questionable. Thankfully, some other people on the net have written about this, and hyperlinks are the circulatory system of the World Wide Web. Before you click on these links, though, I’d like to apologize for using Alan Moore’s Wizard Wednesday to focus on such a negative thing. I’ve just seen too many reactions this project that are along the lines of, “Huh, Jae Lee is pretty good—maybe I’ll pick it up.” To make up for this post, I’ll try to track down another Moore-related wizard to write about in a future installment. There’s probably at least one in Smax. Okay, on to the links!
- First, here’s the Wikipedia page on the project: Before Watchmen.
- Here’s Tom Spurgeon’s piece, “Twenty-One Not Exactly Original Notes On More Watchmen, Written At A Slight Remove.” Spurgeon is an effective communicator, and he tosses out a lot of brainsnacks for your mind to chew on.
- Then there’s Eric Stephenson’s shorter post, “NO FUN.” Stephenson is the publisher of Image Comics, who put out some of my favorite current comics.
- And here’s a nice summary that uses links and bullet points like this very blog post, but more effectively, from David Brothers: “if newsarama knew better, it would do better.”
There’s more out there than that, but I don’t want you to spend the whole day in a bad mood.
I don’t know if it’s worth much, but my original reaction to this news was, “Oh well, that sucks, but it’s the same thing that’s happened over and over again in comics: a big company uses shady tactics to wrestle away someone’s original idea and then sucks every drop of life out of it, Skeksi-style. Why is this a bigger deal than usual?” I didn’t think it was a good thing, but I didn’t see what made this time different. Having thought and read more about it, I’ve realized that in many ways it is different. I’ll use a fancy HTML ordered list to arange a few thoughts:
- This is happening now. We’ve already been through what happened with Kirby, Siegel & Shuster, Steve Gerber, and others. We’ve seen the formation of Image Comics. One of the founders of Image Comics is now co-publisher at DC, even! It’s crazy that a major comic book publisher can still get away with this stuff, and it’s crazy that a bunch of supposedly top-tier writers and artists would involve themselves.
- Why would anyone who enjoyed Watchmen be interested in reading this? Really! Not only is it not by the original creators, but one of the original creators is actively, loudly objecting to its existence. I really enjoy the original Ian Fleming James Bond books, but I have no interest in reading any James Bond books written after his death by other authors. It just seems pointless. What I like about the books is the way they are written, so, to me, that disinterest is only natural. But, even if I did want to read the non-Fleming books, and I can’t see why I would, I think I would give me pause if Ian Fleming’s ghost rose from his grave and told me he was against the idea. I think in ghost language that sounds like “booooo.” Maybe I wouldn’t understand. But Alan Moore is alive, and he doesn’t need to speak ghost language (though he probably can). We all know he’s against this.
- Look at this tacky thing! If someone had run this image as a parody in Mad Magazine (another Time Warner production!), I would have thought it was spot-on, hilarious commentary on the comic book industry. As reality, it’s pretty ugly. One thing I did not think while reading Watchmen was, “You know what would make this comic better? If none of the people who made this great were working on it, and if all the characters looked like He-Man characters who’d been sprayed with a thick coating of Pam.”
Okay, that’s enough of that. There are plenty of great comic books out there to read. Tomorrow I will get back to shamelessly promoting my music.