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Thoughts on Marvel’s Purchase of Marvelman

It’s rare to see a news story this big that has such a gaping hole in what most fans want to know about the story.

Marvel now, apparently, owns the rights to Marvelman, after working out a deal with Mick Anglo, creator of Marvelman.

That, in and of itself, is notable, of course.

However, the thing everyone really wants to know is what this means for the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman stories, and Marvel, reasonably enough, has been mum on that.

So we have this weird situation where we have a “big” story, but no one knows the key part of the story.

Because while, sure, it’s big news for Marvel to now have Marvelman, but if you don’t have the Moore or Gaiman stories, it’s sort of like announcing that you have Morpheus, but not the rights to print Gaiman’s Sandman or Rorschach, but not the rights to print Watchmen, or V, but not the rights to print V for Vendetta, etc.

There are a lot of various people who need to give their permission to have these old issues reprinted, and while I am sure that when all is said and done, we WILL see those earlier issues (especially the Gaiman/Buckingham issues), it’s interesting to note that we haven’t heard word of it yet.

85 Comments

no doubt the deal marvel made includes that material also as long as the thing leads to neil gainman finaly finishing his uncompleted mircleman story and the legendary issue 25 finaly show up on the racks . good for marvel sure something will be worked out for the gainman and moore mateiral to be part of any mircleman revial

So does that mean that they’re really going to reprint all the Miracleman material as “Marvelman”?

I think that might be a bit weird… Once Moore and Gaiman committed to the idea that the character was called Miracleman, they wrote a lot of references that don’t work quite as well when changed to “marvel.”

I think it’s safe to assume that the Moore and Gaiman stories will be reprinted. Moore handed his portion of the character rights over to Gaiman when he left the book (although whether or not any of those rights were valid in the first place, and what their status is now, is very much in question). Gaiman also seems to support Marvel acquiring Marvelman, which was part of his motivation for creating 1602 with them. I don’t see why he would be involved if there were not the possibility of those stories being reprinted.

Finally, I don’t think Marvel would have any interest in the character in the first place if it weren’t for the Moore stories. That’s where the money’s at.

With a little tug and pull I think Moore will allow his stories to be reprinted, but what of Garry Leach, Alan Davis, John Ridgeway, Chuck Beckum aka Chuck Austin, Rick Veitch, John Totleben? If one of the artists are not on board then that would sink the plans for a total reprint. This is jsut hypothisizing that Gaiman and Buckingham are on board to finish the SIlver Age, and Dark Age arcs.

And of reprints, what of the “Birth Issue” Miracleman #8? One of the most natural and graphic depictions of a natural event in comics, but offputting to alot. It says alot when in this day in age it is okay for the Punisher to disembowel people and hang their intestines like Christmas garland yet totally sick to show a woman giving birth to a baby. So don’t drop the ball on that one Marvel.

But then why isn’t the big story “MARVEL TO REPRINT ALAN MOORE’S MIRACLEMAN!”

Because that seems far more important than the actual acquisition of the MarvelMan intellectual property.

And does this mean both MARVELman and MIRACLEman?

As a guy with an active interest in the history of the medium I’m kinda curious about the Mick Anglo stuff, but this was far from tops on my “Must Be Reprinted List.*

Without the announcement of a creative team on a new series or plans for reprinting the stuff that anyone wants to read, it’s hard to find much to get excited about in this announcement. * How many wonderful, never-been-reprinted Joe Maneely stories from the same time period does Marvel have lying around?

Are they going to put Marvelman into Marvel proper? There are just too many questions to ask about this deal that Queseda can let it play out slowly.

Marvel’s output since Bill Gemus was ousted has been on a steady decline. I’m sure they’ll f*** up Marvelman the way they do with everything else.

I don’t know how I missed this interview at the Forbidden Planet blog, but Alan Moore said this back in May:

“I mean, I believe that the Todd McFarlane thing, his ridiculous claims to the character have now been dropped, so it can move on. I believe that they’re going to be reprinting some of my stuff, but I’m not sure of all the details, I’ve just said, “Yeah, go ahead,” and all the money from the first book, from the first printing of the book, should go to Mick Anglo. They’ve also said that what if there’s a possibility of some animated Marvelman cartoons, and I’ve said, again, “Don’t put me name on them, and give all the money to Mick Anglo.” So I hope that some of it turns up in time to do Mick some good, because he’s a great artist, you know, the British comics scene would be poorer without him”

http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2009/05/the-mighty-moore-marathon-part-three-of-padraigs-talk-with-alan-moore/

I’d say that pretty much speaks for itself. It looks like Moore’s stories will be reprinted. And like I mentioned above, I’d assume Gaiman has given the go-ahead to reprint his too, considering his close involvement in Marvel acquiring the rights.

Hopefully Mick made an obscene amount of money out of the deal.

I can’t wait to see a new MiracleMan series, as long as it’s not in the Marvel Universe.

I just want to see the legendary series’s put out in a format worth of it. This is something I have heard of in fever’d whispers from comic fans for years. I would like to read it.

I don’t care much for the Moore Miracleman stuff- it was the beginning of the “ultraviolence is OK in superhero comics!” thing that I hate DC for doing these days. Hopefully Marvel will recreate Marvelman as he originally was, giving him a more Silver Age spin ala The Sentry (but without making him pathetic and ineffective later as was the case with the latter.)

alan moore is on board from both that comment about anglo above and the fact he gave all his “rights” to gaiman years ago to fight Todd McFarlane. if Mick Anglo is on board (yes) then Alan Moore is, and since Gaiman produced 1602 for the “Marvels & Miracles” fund to support the reprinting of his stuff he is on board, so it also appears is Buckingham….as long as McFarlane is out of the fight this one is a done deal!!!!!!!!!!! all the material is available and there is Gaiman/Buckingham stuff already done ready to print! this is the biggest story not just of SDCC but of the year in comics!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yup, Brian. Those were pretty much my thoughts, too. SHOCKING announcement then “meh, whatever” when they didn’t cough up details on Moore/Gaiman. The situation with who owns what in regards to Miracleman is so muddy that I think most people have quit paying attention. Marvel just added more mud by not saying anything about what we really want to hear.

Torsten Adair

July 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Todd McFarlane is still involved… he owns the film negatives from Eclipse Comics.

Marvel could sidestep him via Dez Skinn or via expensive scanning.

Da Fug: there’s a bunch of artists you forgot in there. i mean, it’s safe to assume that Alan Davis is on board..not like he has a beef with Marvel reprinting his stuff. Rick Vietch isn’t big on mainstream companies, but if Moore’s cool with it, I doubt he’d have a problem (unless they’ve had a falling out I don’t know of). I don’t know enough about the other artists involved to make a guess on them, but there’s a bunch of more players then just Moore and Gaiman.

With stuff like this you just have to hope the right people (whoever that may be) get what they deserve monetarily AND critically. Or critically and monetarily. Whichever is more important.

No doubt Marvel will make their money one way or the other.

Nice poster.

I’m very interested to see how this all ends. I wonder if Moore, et al having any rights left whatsoever. Who owns the copyrights to the individual issues, I assume Marvel does but does the writers, artists, etc have any ownership? Brian, I’m not sure what area of law you practice in but since mine is Patents you might know more than I do in this area. Either way I’m glad a large portion of the legal battle is over and I can legally read the series plus the other implication (such as the possible return of M13 if Marvelman is introduced into the 616).

Either way this is probably one of the most interesting and complex copyright cases ever and I’m glad to see some sort of resolution to it.

Don’t forget that the Warpsmiths were a fairly big part of the Moore Marvelman/Miracleman stories, and I believe Gary Leach owns the rights to those.

I think that the people assuming this paves the way for the Moore and Gaiman material are way ahead of themselves. Gaiman formed Miracles and Marvels, LLC to acquire the rights for himself. He put the profits for everything he did at Marvel into the LLC for that purpose. He struck a deal with Marvel to distribute once he had the rights.

And now, Marvel owns them (or at least the Mick Anglo portion). Maybe it is part of a larger deal with Moore and Gaiman. However, it could be a move to gain negotiating leverage. Knowing Alan Moore, he could be feeding his old Miracleman strips into the fire as we speak…

Which of Marvel’s top writers will be tapped for the All-New stories of Marvelman?

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 25, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Wonder what McFarlane thinks about all this is what I would like to know.

It’s funny that after all these years, he’d never publically said anything about this in interviews or answered questions about MM. (at least that I’ve read or heard about) I guess mostly due to the case being in court and all.

> Marvel could sidestep him via Dez Skinn or via expensive scanning.

Marvel have reconstructed a *lot* of the stuff they’ve reprinted in recent years from scans of published issues (of which there’s a few cases where they’ve subsequently found the film…). If they get the rights to republish the “Miracleman” stuff – which is certainly contingent on getting the agreements of the writers and artists in question, including for any characters they created – that won’t be an issue as such.

Wow, didn’t see this coming..I’m sure the new stuff will be terrible. Hope they do they old volumes justice and TPB them in the proper manner. I’m sure Alan Moore is swearing up and down right now.

“I’m sure Alan Moore is swearing up and down right now.”

He isn’t quite as cantankerous as he is often made out to be, Gavin. Referring again to the quote I posted above, ” I believe that they’re going to be reprinting some of my stuff, but I’m not sure of all the details, I’ve just said, “Yeah, go ahead,” and all the money from the first book, from the first printing of the book, should go to Mick Anglo.”

When it comes to using his work to financially benefit his co-creators and, in this case, the character’s original creator, he has a very gracious attitude. The whole reason he continued working in ABC after it was acquired by DC, which he loathed, was to give work to the artists he had promised it to.

I notice that the “MM” logo has been changed… which makes me wonder… does McFarlane own the Miracleman “logo?” In which case, maybe that’s the reason for the change, and that would have to be changed if the old books are ever reprinted.

Did Marvel get the rights to use the Warpsmiths, also?

“Wonder what McFarlane thinks about all this is what I would like to know.

It’s funny that after all these years, he’d never publically said anything about this in interviews or answered questions about MM. (at least that I’ve read or heard about) I guess mostly due to the case being in court and all.”

Who knows. He probably rather have 100% of the rights of the Spawn characters he cocreated with Neil Gaiman. It’s probably more annoying he can’t use those characters then Marvelman.

Some thoughts:

1. The fact that Mark Buckingham didn’t know about the purchase leads me to believe that Marvel hasn’t worked out a deal to publish the Miracle Man stuff. Plus we all know how stubborn (or petty) Alan Moore can be. (Sorry Alan Moore, but you weren’t raped. Answering questions in a deposition is not a rape. And certain people shouldn’t be so touchy feely about their characters being used when they themselves rape characters that belong children hospitals.)

2. Maybe some clarification is involved, but I remember reading that Mick Anglo created Marvelman in order to continue publishing his Captain Marvel inventory of stories. If that’s the case, then Marvel may only have the rights to part of the Marvelman library. Anything that was adapted from, or originally published as Captain Marvel; and later “re-drawn” as Marvelman, might be an infringement of Captain Marvel’s copyright. In other words, maybe only a partial library was purchased.

3. Hell, the whole Marvelman library may be an infringement of Captain Marvel’s copyright. Which makes me wonder if DC is as petty as Marvel. Then again, DC might still be sore or upset about those comments Quesada made about Superman’s package (or wasit his johnson?)

4. To be honest, I would’ve cared 2 or 3 years ago when Gaiman won his case. But the proliferation of peer charing and internet downloading, plus the fact that the Miracleman rights are still in limbo… well, it pretty much has made the point mute. Basically, the material is available for anyone who wants it bad enough or is willing to look hard enough. It’s a shame really, but they should’ve hammered a deal when the iron was hot! Now, it just may not be as profitable as it could’ve once been.

I don’t think I like the idea of Marvel getting this. I would have preferred a company like Dark Horse have a property like this. I actually like the Miracleman name more than Marvelman. I guess we all have to wait and see what comes out of all of this.

Mark Buckingham is certainly talking like they’ve got the rights to the old stuff, and he’s expecting he & Gaiman’s stories for the Silver Age storyline too, not just the Golden Age one, to be back in print. Sounds excited about finishing the Silver Age and doing the Dark Age story he’d planned with Gaiman too, but time will tell whether Gaiman’s up for it.

“I notice that the “MM” logo has been changed”

Quesada’s drawing uses Mick Anglo’s original Marvelman design. You might be right about why, or it may be a matter of not having the rights to material featuring the redesign mailed down.

Red Ricky… I’ll just object to your above comment that Alan Moore is “petty”. All evidence is to the contrary. Moore has shown himself to be nothing less than magnanimous and quite selfless in his approach to his fellow creators. Just look at the above posts. Moore is quoted as, even while opting opt of future rewards and payments to himself, hoping whatever profits can be had from a Miracleman/Marvelman resurrection go the the other creators involved… specifically Mick Anglo, who isn’t doing to well himself now. Things Moore finds personally distasteful, but that others have taken a legitimate vested interest in, he does not obstruct. He loathed the notion of the Watchmen movie, but didn’t stand in its way and he have his potential earnings to his fellow creator Dave Gibbons. Moore strikes me as a decent and generous man.

Benay-dot– I’ll just object to your above comment that Alan Moore is “petty”.

Fair enough. I should’ve stuck with stubborn. But I think it’s just a matter of taste. Sometimes I feel his crusades against the big two are well justified, (like the Rick Veitch stuff); and sometimes I feel like he is exagerating minor infractions. It’s just my opinion. Hope you understand.

Regarding Alan Moore´s “pettiness” it should be remembered that, if Moore didn´t want to, we would never have a V for Vendetta movie, a From Hell movie, or a League of Extraordinary Gentleman movie… Moore owned full rights of these characters, and essentially let them to be adapted to film, even if he disliked the notion of comics-to-movie adaptations altogether. He did it so to help out the artists he worked with, like David Lloyd, who become the sole recipent of the V royalties. And he only spoke against the movies when he was directly asked about it.

Also, is never “petty” to stand out for your rights as creator, or to defend your work as originally envisioned.

from the linked interview, which could probably shed light to most of our questions about the mick anglo purchase:

PÓM: OK. The only other thing about your previous work is, do you keep up with what’s going on with the Marvelman Miracleman debacle?

AM: Nah. I mean, other than the fact that I was happy to do everything that I could to help Mick Anglo, who is the person who has always owned all of the rights to Marvelman, as far as I now understand it, that we never had the rights to do those stories, even though Mick really liked the stories that we did. We didn’t understand at the time that Mick Anglo was the sole owner of the rights. We were misled. So I’ve done everything that I can to clear all that up. I’ve said that, they talked about the possibility – what they want is money quickly, because Mick’s a very old man, he’s got a sick wife to look after, and they could use some dosh quite quickly.

so there we go: anglo owns everything. and marvel bought it off of anglo.

I don’t think there’s any reason to assume Moore would be against Marvel reprinting Marvelman. He seemed to be perfectly fine with Marvel reprinting his old Captain Britain comics a few years ago, in fact he even wrote a new foreword for the collected edition. I think his ire is mostly reserved for DC and the various moviemakers who’ve adapted his comics, as far as I know Marvel has never done anything to make him angry at them.

f Moore didn´t want to, we would never have a V for Vendetta movie, a From Hell movie, or a League of Extraordinary Gentleman movie… Moore owned full rights of these characters, and essentially let them to be adapted to film

With FH and LoEG this is most likely true, but are you sure Moore owns the rights for V for Vendetta? V came out years before creator-owned comics became a trend, and I’ve never read anything about Moore owning its rights.

There are also potential tradmark issues, which are separate from copyright issues. McFarlane may own the trademark for “Miracleman,” so keeping that name may not be an option. That might also explain the use of the original “MM” symbol – because the newer version may be a trademark owned by McFarlane. However, if McFarlane has any ownership rights in the copyright to the materials because of his purchase of assets from the Eclipse bankruptcy, those rights are likely tainted by the failure of Dez Skinn to properly obtain the right to use the character from Angelo in the first place. If all of the work in the 1980′s and 1990′s was an infringment of Angelo’s copyright, Marvel may now own all of the rights to those stories. I’m not sure about the intricacies of copyright law, but that may be the case. Marvel might just side to publish them and see who sues them. If Marvel’s position is that Moore, Gaimen and the artists own no rights to their works because they were infringing, that might ruffle a few feathers, if it is a correct legal position (and I’m not sure whether it is or not).

@ Tuomas:

I don’t think there’s any reason to assume Moore would be against Marvel reprinting Marvelman. He seemed to be perfectly fine with Marvel reprinting his old Captain Britain comics a few years ago, in fact he even wrote a new foreword for the collected edition. I think his ire is mostly reserved for DC and the various moviemakers who’ve adapted his comics, as far as I know Marvel has never done anything to make him angry at them.

Look, I think that it is safe to say Alan Moore is a complicated man. He has bitten various hands that have fed him over the years for little apparent reason. On the other hand, he appears to be a generous partner with the various artists with whom he has worked. Except, Alan Davis was deeply burned by him over the Miracleman work.

The odds of anyone predicting what Moore is actually going to do are extremely long. What we do know is:
1. Mick Anglo really needed money.
2. His portion of the rights were worth enough to Marvel that they paid him some.

That much is good news. That does not clear up any of the other issues that are standing in the way of re-prints of the Moore and Gaiman work. If it did, then Marvel would have announced it. Maybe the problem is Todd McFarlane. Maybe the problem is Alan Moore. Maybe the problem is both, or something else.

The next shoe to drop is pretty clearly belongs to Neil Gaiman. If he announces that a new series completing his run, then you can be pretty sure the earlier stuff will get re-printed.

I don’t think there’s any reason to assume Moore would be against Marvel reprinting Marvelman. He seemed to be perfectly fine with Marvel reprinting his old Captain Britain comics a few years ago, in fact he even wrote a new foreword for the collected edition. I think his ire is mostly reserved for DC and the various moviemakers who’ve adapted his comics, as far as I know Marvel has never done anything to make him angry at them.

Not sure this is true… Moore has had beef with Marvel since having had to change Marvelman to “Miracleman.”

I’ve heard varying accounts about how it went down–did Marvel actually threaten legal action if they published it as Marvelman? Or did Eclipse preemptively initiate the idea of changing the name so as to avoid such action by Marvel?

Either way, Alan was really annoyed at having to change the name of a British legacy character who actually predated Marvel by several years and swore that he would never, ever work for them in the future.

That’s why when he left DC he went to Image instead of Marvel.

Moore blocked the publication of a “Captain Britain” trade paperback for many years.

Doug Atkinson

July 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm

He also stood in the way of the 20th anniversary Watchmen action figures, which is something Dave Gibbons had been working with DC on. (I don’t know if he blocked them, exactly, but they didn’t happen as a result of his not wanting them to happen.)

I´m sorry but I really don´t see Moore as complicated man, or an unpredictable primadonna. Quite the opposite. In his whole career the man was always pretty plain and straightforward about what he believed were his rights, and the rights of other creators regarding artistic material and properties created by them. Although a lot of legends arised in the past years, fact is Alan Moore probably refused to work at Marvel because Marvel refused to allow him, or any other artist at the time, to own any characters he could have created or to give him fully artistic freedom to write what he wanted (what Image, on the other hand, did).

In the same vein, Moore´s problem with DC was not some kind of inexplicable tantrum of a ungrateful writer. Moore was very reasonably unpleased with the fact that the company had made millions with the Watchmen series, while he and Dave Gibbons saw only a small percentage of that. Also, Moore never had the power to veto any line of Watchmen toys… he is not the owner of his own characters (otherwise he could´ve stopped the evil, evil movie commited by Zack Snyder). DC dropped the line because it believed Moore would help promote the line, thinking the writer had mellowed his position after his ABC comics imprint came under DC umbrella. When they found it was not the case, DC itself gave up on the toys. Notice that, today, you can easily buy Watchmen toys, and Moore´s displeasure has not dimished any bit.

As I said, Moore is the opposite of “unpredictable’. He is an artist with well-known positions about how his work should be handled, and how big companies should treat their talent. Also, he never bit any feeding hand, that he had not perceived as having striked him first. He´s no radical, though. He allowed three (bad) movies to be made based in works of whom he had creative control. He worked in more than one under-hire agreement at Image, with Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane. He kept his four ABC Comics ongoing even after Wildstorm was bought by DC, a company he had no interest in working with again… mainly because, he could keep all creative control who enjoyed before the merger and because he didn´t want to leave all the people working with him without a job.

The thing about Alan Moore is just that he doesn´t do the usual press op people expect to see in the entertainment industry. He doesn´t give interviews saying how excited he is to finally see his “work on the big screen” and how he has trust in the movie director, or the screewriter who had to do “some changes, that I hope the fans will understand and end up enjoying anyway”. He says the straight truth, and he said the same thing in every interview since his first movie adaptation: his work was final and completed in comicbook form, and any movie is a just derivative piece of fiction, one about he has no interest in whatsoever. Still, he let the movies be produced. This is not a man consumed by “ire”. It´s a pretty level-headed guy, with very clear and stable positions, who will allow his work to be exploited, if they just fulfill some easy demands: don´t use his name to do promotion, and don´t bother him anymore. It´s really such an astondous thing to ask?

On the other hand, guy worships a sock-glove puppet.

So what the flick do I know?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 26, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I think a lot of people here are treating this like it’s a lot more simple than it is – Marvel obviously isn’t sure if they’ve got the rights to the Moore and Gaiman stuff yet, as that’s what they would have announced if they did (and most people’s money was on that the way they were hyping it before hand… this is actually a let down in comparison).

People wanting it to happen is not enough to make it happen, other wise it would have happened a long time before this.

Sorry Alan Moore, but you weren’t raped.

Did he ever say it was?
He’s never actually stuck me as the sort to cheapen a word that way.

Answering questions in a deposition is not a rape.

It was actually the settlement that annoyed him, not the questions.
He felt, that after going under oath and stating that he did not steal from the screenplay, that the studio settling was in a way, a confession of guilt – and that it implied that he’d stolen from the screenplay.

And certain people shouldn’t be so touchy feely about their characters being used when they themselves rape characters that belong children hospitals.

I believe Alan assumed the character would be in the public domain by the time the book was released – which it would have been if not for special extensions on the copyright granted to it – and unlike Disney, he paid money to the children’s hospital.

So just for future reference Ricky, check the facts, and don’t be so tacky as to constantly use the word rape, when you aren’t discussing an actual rape.
Not only is potentially offensive, it’s just cheap.

Fine, he didn’t say he was raped in the deposition; he said he would’ve been better if he’d “molested and murdered a busload of retarded children after giving them heroin.”
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?id=16384&page=article

There. I guess I visualized him as a victim when in fact, he was fantasizing about children. Either that, or I arrived at the logical conclusion of what would’ve happened to him once he got to prison and got his hypothetical “just deserves” (which, could’ve been what he was implying all along!)

And as far as Wendy and Tinkerbell goes, I didn’t buy his filth. I trusted the papers, and the news came from various sources.
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=8d2ec327-4ffb-4332-898b-4cc0999975f6&k=0

I can’t say which character raped whom; but I honestly don’t care. It’s bad enough that it was used as a selling point. And guess what, I don’t feel it was an appropriate use of the characters REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH MONEY HE PAID OR DONATED. And this may be news to some, but I’m entitled to my opinion of Moore and if people don’t like it, well… too bad!

As far as I’m concerned, he’s not the Pablo Neruda or Federico García Lorca of comics; and he’s certainly no Gabo.

“Not only is potentially offensive, it’s just cheap.”

I have to agree. That comment seemed to be in very poor taste.

red Ricky,

“Fine, he didn’t say he was raped in the deposition; he said he would’ve been better if he’d “molested and murdered a busload of retarded children after giving them heroin.”
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?id=16384&page=article

There. I guess I visualized him as a victim when in fact, he was fantasizing about children. Either that, or I arrived at the logical conclusion of what would’ve happened to him once he got to prison and got his hypothetical “just deserves” (which, could’ve been what he was implying all along!)”

I think you might have gotten the wrong end of the stick here. I think Moore was saying that he feels the deposition would have been less intensive and less harsh if he was on trial for the child molestation/murder/drug abus e, ie he was exaggerating for comic effect.

As to your concerns regarding rape in Lost Girls, I’ll let the man’s own words speak for him

““We feel that any non-consentual (sexual) act … whether it is perpetrated against a child or an adult, is wrong. …However, non-consentual acts do occur in the world and we wanted our fiction to reflect reality. …If we were going to do a comprehensive exploration of the sexual imagination, we couldn’t ignore certain things. …If we ignored sex with minors, when that stuff is so obviously present in our culture, then I think that would be act of cowardice, an abdication of our responsibility.””

Having read Lost Girls, i can think of one scene in particular that does deal with child molestation and it stands in contrast to every other scene in the book as the colours are dull and discomforting. Everything about the scene is constructed to be unsettling, which it should be as it deals with a horrible act that is far more common than anyone would really like to admit.

I would hardly say it was presented as a selling point.

Chris

I’ll pick up the trades of the old stories, but don’t really have an insterest in adding what will certainly be a $3.99 monthly to my pull.

I know that sounds obstinate, but going from Gaiman and Moore to presently anonymous Marvel dude at a sky high rate makes me skeptical. I’ll flip through it and give it a shot but the way pricing’s been lately, “No” has been an almost reflexive reaction when it used to be the other way around. I’ll be watching the solicits to see what how they handle this license.

Seeing as the original strips in Warrior were Magazine-size, I’m looking forward to seeing MarvelMan in some kind of “Absolute”-style Edition!

Yeah…

“He seemed to be perfectly fine with Marvel reprinting his old Captain Britain comics a few years ago, in fact he even wrote a new foreword for the collected edition.”

Actually, he renewed his beef with Marvel following the first printing of that trade. It had something to do with a credit that was missing. As far as I understand:

- Moore claims his initial beef with Marvel was because they reprinted his stories without permission or payment, specifically some stories he wrote for the ‘Dr. Who’ UK Magazine were reprinted in the American ‘Dr. Who’ comic book; I met David Lloyd once and asked him about this, and he said that Marvel’s policy was very well known at the time, and that Moore certainly knew what he was getting in to when he signed up, and said something along the lines of “That’s just Alan being Alan.”
- He was further pissed off when Marvel blocked the title ‘Marvelman’ from being used in America, and vowed never to work for them which, other than charity projects, he has done. I believe this is more likely to be the real reason for the bad blood, as he continued to do work for Marvel UK for years after they reprinted his ‘Who’ stories; I think he was just making a point about how they do business.
- Apparently, Quesada spent a long time trying to woo Moore to Marvel after he took over as EIC, and Moore was finally starting to consider it, and did allow them to reprint the Captain Britain book. He had some specific requirement regarding a credit that he felt should be on it, which had previously been left off, and Quesada promised him the credit would be on it, and, when the first printing came out, the credit was missing. Quesada swore up and down that this was a simple publishing error — and this seems likely, because why else would he let it happen? — but Moore took this as proof that the new boss was the same as the old boss and re-vowed never to work with Marvel again.

That said, I will bet anybody money right now that the Moore and Gaiman stuff is being reprinted. I bet we’ll see at least one major trade before the end of the year.

Steve Bissette disagrees with Moore’s reasonableness towards his fellow artists. That said, I agree that for the most part, Alan Moore is pretty consistent, with the caveat that he seems to want to retroactively change some of the contracts he signed without regard to the other side.

That said, there’s a whole lot more than Moore and Gaiman involved here. And it’s obvious that Marvel doesn’t have everything in place, otherwise they’d have announced it. It’s news that it looks like the end of the rights issues are in sight, but there’s plenty left to be done and who knows if Gaiman is even interested in finishing his story at this point.

Damn, what’s with all the Alan Moore bashing? If anything I would say FU to Marvel, Quesada and all the other douches over there. People are forgetting just what Marvel is capable of doing with regard to creator rights.

>As far as I’m concerned, he’s not the Pablo Neruda or Federico García Lorca of comics; and he’s certainly no Gabo.

Interistingly enough, those are three writers who were never shy of depicting extreme violence, sex and rape in their own works. And, if I recall, Neruda was about to be exiled from Chile when he died, because HIS work was considered “filth”. And Lorca was basically killed because the conservative partisans of Francisco Franco objected to his depictions of sexuality in plays.

Once again: Righteous is seldom right.

I’m working on my internet translation dictionary:

“Pretentious:” A work of art which I, personally, don’t understand.

“Overrated:” I, personally, dislike the work.

And I’m 95% sure about the following:

“I’m entitled to my opinion” – I intellectually understand my position is poorly thought out and that I’m doing a piss-poor job defending it but admitting that will make me feel like I am less of a man. Also, anyone who’s describing themselves as “entitled” is pretty much always gonna be on shaky ground, discourse-wise.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Fine, he didn’t say he was raped in the deposition; he said he would’ve been better if he’d “molested and murdered a busload of retarded children after giving them heroin.”
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?id=16384&page=article

It amazes me you can link to an article saying exactly why Moore was annoyed by the the whole thing, and yet change why he was annoyed when you rant about it.

There. I guess I visualized him as a victim when in fact, he was fantasizing about children.

Where does it say he’s fantasizing about children?
How can you even take that from what he said?

Either that, or I arrived at the logical conclusion of what would’ve happened to him once he got to prison and got his hypothetical “just deserves” (which, could’ve been what he was implying all along!)

A simple ‘I was wrong’ or just backing down would be better than going to such lengths to justify your phrasing and misquoting.

And as far as Wendy and Tinkerbell goes, I didn’t buy his filth. I trusted the papers, and the news came from various sources.
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=8d2ec327-4ffb-4332-898b-4cc0999975f6&k=0

If you think it’s filth, why would you link to an article in which the only person who says it’s filth is the author?
The articles writer says ‘it’s impossible to write the book off as pure filth’, and Canada customs said the books use of pornography is “integral to (the) development of an intricate, imaginative, and artfully rendered storyline.”

So you didn’t trust the papers, at least not the one you linked to.
Are you being ridiculous on purpose?

It’s a work with some full on sex scenes in, quite arousing in their own right – you ever want to get the girlfriend into comics, or the sack, it’s a good place to start – but together form a larger narrative and theme.
Saying you wanted to stay away from ‘his filth’ just makes you seem like a prude, unable to handle discussions about, explorations of, and pictures depicting, sex.

(Throw in all that talk about rape, and a scary picture is starting to form!)

I can’t say which character raped whom; but I honestly don’t care.

Alice was raped by a friend of her fathers as a child, Wendy was molested by Hook.
That’s all I can think of.
Neither scene was a arousing, nor done without considerable weight.
(You know, the sort of thing that was promised, but never done, in Identity Crisis.)
(And never did they misuse the term to exaggerate a point).

It’s bad enough that it was used as a selling point.

No, sex was used as a selling point.
Boy on girl, girl on girl, girl on girl on girl on boy, boy and boy – sex was used as a selling point – it’s what the book is about – but rape wasn’t.

And guess what, I don’t feel it was an appropriate use of the characters REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH MONEY HE PAID OR DONATED.
And this may be news to some, but I’m entitled to my opinion of Moore and if people don’t like it, well… too bad!

The thing is, we aren’t talking about your opinion of a work you haven’t read, I was pointing out you were wrong about Moore’s actions and attitudes regarding his works, and that I felt you were misusing the word rape.
In fact, you said he raped characters that belonged to a childrens’ hospital.
So if it’s the use of the characters that bothers you, the ownership shouldn’t come into it, but if it’s the fact ti’s owned by the children’s hospital, if they’ve been paid and are happy, you shouldn’t care what he does with it.

It’s a little thing called thinking through your statements and stances.
It seems to me you haven’t done it, but if that’s the case, don’t get so defensive when told you’re wrong.

I was going to respond but I think MarkAndrew has it exactly correct.

I’m working on my internet translation dictionary:

“Pretentious:” A work of art which I, personally, don’t understand.

“Overrated:” I, personally, dislike the work.

And I’m 95% sure about the following:

“I’m entitled to my opinion” – I intellectually understand my position is poorly thought out and that I’m doing a piss-poor job defending it but admitting that will make me feel like I am less of a man. Also, anyone who’s describing themselves as “entitled” is pretty much always gonna be on shaky ground, discourse-wise.

Just curious. So is it possible for someone on the internet to call something pretentious or overrated and be right? Ever?

They’re just always presumptively wrong the minute they use those words and can’t ever be offering a valid criticism? If you want to say those thins specifically about the guy you’re responding to that’s cool, but I don’t like promoting the idea that a criticism is always presumptively invalid the moment it’s uttered.

“It’s a work with some full on sex scenes in”

I think it’s more like a bunch of sex scenes with some writing in it.

But I don’t mean that as a criticism; I’m just saying “some” is selling the book very, very short.

That said, I agree with all the points you made, you made them very well.

However, I also feel that Moore’s work, in general, does have a distasteful tendency to fall back on “rape” for reasons I’m not sure of. I would say the rape in ‘Lost Girls’ is probably the least distasteful rape scene in any of his work (the most distasteful almost certainly being that Hyde). I don’t fully understand why he falls back on it so often, but it comes off (to me) as him trying to make sure everybody realizes how Adult his work is.

I should be clear that I love Alan Moore’s work as a whole, he’s not only the best comic book writer alive, but one of the best writers period. But, as I get older, his use of rape sits worse and worse with me.

“with the caveat that he seems to want to retroactively change some of the contracts he signed without regard to the other side. ”

Robert – other than the specific DC contract, the one that he signed believing that his books, like 100% of all the trades ever published at that time, would go out of print and, thus, the rights would revert to him, to which contracts are you referring?

I grant that he wants to retroactively change that contract, but it seems like his desire is coming from a reasonable place; I do think he would’ve done ‘Watchmen’ regardless, but I think it’s highly unlikely he would’ve signed ‘V For Vendetta’ over to DC if he knew he’d never get it back.

I grant that he wants to retroactively change that contract, but it seems like his desire is coming from a reasonable place; I do think he would’ve done ‘Watchmen’ regardless, but I think it’s highly unlikely he would’ve signed ‘V For Vendetta’ over to DC if he knew he’d never get it back.

DC apparently had a similar contract with William Moulton Marston for the rights to “Wonder Woman”. They have been very careful for seventy years to never let the Amazing Amazon go out of print. Given what we know about Alan Moore, I have a hard time picturing him being as naive as you paint him.

Rather, I think that he was shocked at how big a hit “Watchmen” became. A mini-series featuring totally new characters was hardly a sure thing in the mid-80s. Moore realized that he had left millions of dollars on the table and felt foolish. We have all been there to some extent. When he tried to re-do the deal, DC said a “contract is a contract”. Moore did the only thing he could do and stopped working for them.

To me, it was a bad deal for both sides. Moore lost years of productivity during his prime as a writer trying to figure out how to get free of the “Big Two”. From 1987 until 1996, Moore only managed to produce the conclusion of “V for Vendetta” and “From Hell”. Both are great works, but it was hardly his most productive period. DC lost access to the greatest voice comics had yet produced. It is hard to imagine what Moore might have created with deal at DC with the type of deal they did for Vertigo creators a few years later.

That said, Moore detests power relationships between people. It is why he is so great with superheroes. The idea makes him so uncomfortable that he really thinks about it. Maybe he was never going to work for an American corporation (with all that entails) for very long. I just can’t help wondering about the comics we missed out on.

“other than the specific DC contract, the one that he signed believing that his books, like 100% of all the trades ever published at that time, would go out of print and, thus, the rights would revert to him, to which contracts are you referring?”

I’m referring to the contracts where he sold the movie rights and then decided years later that he didn’t actually want his comics made into movies. Granted, the fact that he turned over the monetary rewards to the artists is commendable, but he’s pretty much acted like a spoiled child to the moviemakers who actually wanted to use the rights they purchased and spent time and money developing projects.

As for WATCHMEN, it’s hardly the worst deal in the history of comics. DC has been very good about making sure it’s a solid presentation, promoting it, and not doing anything crass with the characters. Ultimately, Moore and Gibbons have been getting consistent royalty payments and millions have gotten to read the story. It’s not the best possible deal, but it was an above industry standard deal. (Not to mention, it almost was a work-for-hire deal until Dick Giordano told them not to use the Charlton characters.)

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Just curious. So is it possible for someone on the internet to call something pretentious or overrated and be right? Ever?

They’re just always presumptively wrong the minute they use those words and can’t ever be offering a valid criticism? If you want to say those thins specifically about the guy you’re responding to that’s cool, but I don’t like promoting the idea that a criticism is always presumptively invalid the moment it’s uttered.

Well, there’s a difference between saying ‘I found Jimmy Corrigan to be a bit pretentious and overrated – it treated it’s characters isolation as if it were the first story to ever do it, and rammed it home at every opportunity past the point of believability. Although the part in the middle with his grandfather is excellent, I think the work as a whole is held in higher esteem than it deserve’ and saying ‘I haven’t read his filth and I won’t ever, he’s pretentious and over rated’.

(I wouldn’t say Corrigan is overrated and pretentious, but I do lean towards my example review there).

I’m referring to the contracts where he sold the movie rights and then decided years later that he didn’t actually want his comics made into movies. Granted, the fact that he turned over the monetary rewards to the artists is commendable, but he’s pretty much acted like a spoiled child to the moviemakers who actually wanted to use the rights they purchased and spent time and money developing projects.

No, he just wants nothing to do with the films – don’t use his name on the film, don’t use his name in publicity.
Has he ever actually hindered a project, like you suggest, or just not helped them develop or sell the film?
There’s a big difference.

As for WATCHMEN, it’s hardly the worst deal in the history of comics. DC has been very good about making sure it’s a solid presentation, promoting it, and not doing anything crass with the characters. Ultimately, Moore and Gibbons have been getting consistent royalty payments and millions have gotten to read the story.

Except for when they first started feuding because DC labeled licensed products as ‘promotional items’ as opposed to ‘merchandise’ just so they didn’t have to pay the creators their royalty.
But fuck that hey, they publish superman and I love that so how dare anyone say anything bad about DC!

Screw the Siegels and the Shusters and screw Alan Moore to – DC pays them some money, so why should they get upset for not having control over their creations?

You get that right?
There’s a big difference between getting a cut, and being able to make the decisions about how the characters and the creation is used.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

I don’t fully understand why he falls back on it so often, but it comes off (to me) as him trying to make sure everybody realizes how Adult his work is.

He has a bit, definitely – and evening V the girl is under constant threat of it.
I think he just finds it an interesting character device and an issue worth exploring – people do react very differently to the experience, and it affects them both physically and mentally for long after wards, so he could just see it as an interesting thing to put a character through.
It’s also always been implied in comics and genre works – just not said – he could just be doing it to actually show the ramifications.

“They’re just always presumptively wrong the minute they use those words and can’t ever be offering a valid criticism?”

Theoretically, no. In actual point of fact, yes.

If this hasn’t been mentioned yet, Buckingham said at the Willingham spotlight that his work would be reprinted and that he’d be happy to finish his and Neil’s story.

Buckingham also mentioned that the first he heard of it was when Marvel announced it, so that would make you think they did not yet have the rights sewn up, right?

Moore lost years of productivity during his prime as a writer trying to figure out how to get free of the “Big Two”. From 1987 until 1996, Moore only managed to produce the conclusion of “V for Vendetta” and “From Hell”.

well, he did do the bulk of LOST GIRLS during that time, and BIG NUMBERS, and 1963, and A SMALL KILLING, and a few SPAWNs and WILDCATS. he worked on VOICE OF THE FIRE (which came out either 1996 or 1998, and he had been writing it for more than half a decade). granted, no REGULAR MAINSTREAM SUPERHERO COMICS SERIES (which is how i’m generally reading your comment), but i wouldn’t say he lost years of productivity postWATCHMEN. in fact, it actually pushed him to rethink stuff about comic books.

if you look at his late80s – 90s rundown, it’s a list of almost entirely nonsuperhero nonmainstream work which came out fairly regularly, or at least far more regular than, say. PLANETARY (which was for the most part a regular mainstream superhero comics series). his major postWATCHMEN work were all rejections of the superhero mainstream concept. even WILDCATS was a sort of critique of the IMAGE trad.

and right after that (1998-1999?) he did ABC, and that was one solid productive stream of stuff, stuff that we never would’ve read if it weren’t for moore’s prior “sabbatical.” so, again, not really lost years of productivity.

i do agree with people here saying moore has a habit of using rape as a device far far far too often than he should, the cheapest being jenny diver’s rape in LOEG: CENTURY – 1910. it felt very very very tacked on, as if moore merely needed to give diver a motivation to turn towards his dad’s philosophy. i mean, yeah, something as extreme as rape will probably do it, but the book was simply far too thin for decent elaboration that moore should’ve given the story a few more twists of the screw than just having it really glossed over as how it is in the book. and it doesn’t help that they won’t be elaborating on it in the next two books – the next two and a half years! – so it’ll remain as glossed over as it is for quite a while.

and i’m a huge huge huge moore fan, with signed lithographs and a copy of THE WORM with his signature in it, and an original paperback print of VOICE OF THE FIRE, and i’m from the philippines, so if you have those things here, you’re actually pretty much a diehard fan, seeing as the regular comic book floppies here are 200 pesos, which is a day’s worth of food for an average filipino family. filipino comic book fans have screwed up priorities.

and, you know, just seeing how effective of a doorstop FROM HELL is and saying the creators weren’t TOO PRODUCTIVE when they made that probably has to have his eyes checked or something. half-joke!

“Except for when they first started feuding because DC labeled licensed products as ‘promotional items’ as opposed to ‘merchandise’ just so they didn’t have to pay the creators their royalty.
But fuck that hey, they publish superman and I love that so how dare anyone say anything bad about DC!

Screw the Siegels and the Shusters and screw Alan Moore to – DC pays them some money, so why should they get upset for not having control over their creations?”

It’s completely ludicrous to compare Moore and Gibbons to Siegel and Shuster. Or Kirby. Or Ditko. Or Bill Finger. That’s a straw man.

Moore and Gibbons get paid royalties on everything related to Watchmen. Period. We can argue about whether they get paid enough, we can agree that the “promotional” button set was anything but (although my understanding was that situation was eventually corrected), but the actual contract is way above a standard work-for-hire contract. For the time, it was an above industry standard contract. In many ways, it still is, since the conditions of the reversion clause are still in place even if they haven’t been triggered.

I’m not even sure that in the long run, Moore and Gibbons would have made more money if they owned the rights outright to Watchmen. From Hell is as equally impressive a work, but it’s never approached the sales of Watchmen. DC’s marketing and distribution, along with the resources to upgrade the coloring and printing over time, does have value. It’s very ironic, but DC and the movie companies have probably paid Moore more money than anyone else over the years.

Moore’s mad at DC. I don’t begrudge him that. Gibbons has made his peace with DC. Is there anything wrong with that?

As for Moore’s relations with moviemakers who have legitimately purchased his rights, I’d say Moore has gone much farther than simply “removed his name” from the projects. He’s hardly resisted the opportunity to bash their efforts. He’s even jokingly talked about putting curses on them. He’s not been indifferent, he’s been against the latest movies. Yeah, it’s his right to change his mind about selling the rights in the first place, and I do appreciate his honesty, but I think he’s certainly being unreasonable towards people that did purchase those rights in good faith.

On a tangent, I do agree that Moore does fall back on the rape device more than he should. Now, I understand it’s partly a Victorian convention as well, which is partly why I think he uses it so often in LOEG, but it’s something he probably would be wise to put on the shelf for a while.

However, I think Moore is very careful when he does use rape not to make it look titilating. Moore clearly uses rape as an act of violence. And he’ll often cut away from the actual rape itself, so as not to show the victim in the act half naked or otherwise. I certainly would defend his use on artistic grounds far more than I’d defend how it was handled in Identity Crisis, for instance. It’s merely a device he’s used too much.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm

It’s completely ludicrous to compare Moore and Gibbons to Siegel and Shuster. Or Kirby. Or Ditko. Or Bill Finger. That’s a straw man.

Except for the fact that with all of them, a company took control of their work, retained the ownership and used the properties in ways the creator wouldn’t.
He got it better than the others sure, but that’s still what happened.

You’re straw man accusation is a straw man, man.

Moore and Gibbons get paid royalties on everything related to Watchmen. Period.

Except they don’t get ownership on it as would have been expected.
There’s a big difference between royalties and ownership.

As for Moore’s relations with moviemakers who have legitimately purchased his rights, I’d say Moore has gone much farther than simply “removed his name” from the projects. He’s hardly resisted the opportunity to bash their efforts. He’s even jokingly talked about putting curses on them.

But that’s not actually doing anything to stop or halt the production is it?
As I said, he’s never halted or hindered a project, so who cares?
And to be quite honest, not one of them has actually made a film worth watching from any of his properties, so why get defensive over those poor filmmakers like Don Murphy or Joe Silver?

“Screw the Siegels and the Shusters”.

Man, what the hell did they ever do to you, that would make you say such an awful and mean-spirited thing?

And as far as not begrudging Moore his beef with DC goes, it actually kind of sounds like you begrudge him the HELL out of it. But seriously, what’s it to you?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Man, what the hell did they ever do to you, that would make you say such an awful and mean-spirited thing?

Put it in context you dill.

Read the sentences around it, look at what is being said as a whole.

Follow your own advice, you insufferable ass.

And don’t bother trying to get my goat anymore, all right? It’s fucking childish.

For general information, this concludes the remarks I will direct at Funky Green Jerusalem on this thread. Period.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Good.
Because I’m not getting on ‘your goat’ or being childish – I really don’t even care about you (I only just pieced together you’re the chap from that Prestige thread by your over-reaction).
(you’ve also got a big ego to think anybody cares about what anyone else says, or is going to say, to anyone else.)

You took a quote from me out of context and questioned it.
I pointed out that it’s quite clear that’s not what I was actually saying.

I wish I could follow my own advice with your posts, BUT, there was no context – only one sentence.

“Except for the fact that with all of them, a company took control of their work, retained the ownership and used the properties in ways the creator wouldn’t.”

In what way has DC ever used Watchmen in ways the creators wouldn’t? (I’ll note that Gibbons and Higgins even went to the trouble of recoloring the work for modern printing.) They’ve merely reprinted the work in quality editions and paid royalties. Watchmen Babies in “V for Vacation” has no basis.

Moore and Gibbons were big boys with their own lawyers. And, by all accounts, they’ve been receiving consistent and significant royalties over the years for Watchmen. Why are they comparable to Siegel and Shuster and not Bob Kane or Marston, both of whom seem to have prospered under their agreements? They may not have gotten the best deal, then again considering how many copies Watchmen has sold under DC marketing and distribution maybe they did get the best financial deal, but they made a deal 50 years after Siegel and Shuster, Kirby, etc., and it was above industry standard for the time. There’s certainly an argument to be made that in the long run they got a good deal.

I tend to think that there are plenty of emotions wound up in the contract which distorts the perception of how good or bad it is. Howard Chaykin’s experiences with getting American Flagg! reprinted is the other side of the coin in why ownership of an acclaimed property isn’t synonymous with financial success.

I’ll add that I second the notion that just because Moore wasn’t doing work for DC, doesn’t mean he was being unproductive in the 90s. From Hell is an achievement in itself. However, I do suspect that the consistent royalties he received gave Moore the freedom to work with whomever he wanted on whatever he wanted. Even if you wanted to do a From Hell, how many creators truly could afford something that was destined never to be more than a niche thing in the direct market?

“But that’s not actually doing anything to stop or halt the production is it?
As I said, he’s never halted or hindered a project, so who cares?
And to be quite honest, not one of them has actually made a film worth watching from any of his properties, so why get defensive over those poor filmmakers like Don Murphy or Joe Silver?”

The reason Moore didn’t do anything to stop or halt the production is that the contracts were valid. They didn’t include a “we’ll agree to stop production if the fickle author changes his mind 15 years later clause”. Instead, he created bad pr for them by badmouthing them from the sidelines. At some point, you have to ask the question whether he was trying to sabotage projects he’d already been paid for.

Actively trying to sabotage a project that people paid good money for and spent a lot of time on is not dealing in good faith, regardless of outcome. It’s selfish and childish. Heck, maybe some of those projects would have turned out more to Moore’s liking if he actually had given constructive feedback rather than complaining about them from afar. Yes, Moore’s a better artist than the people that made films based on his works, but how does that excuse poor behavior on Moore’s part?

Moore’s a fabulous writer. One of the most influential and important to the industry. And, reportedly, a nice guy in real life. That said, he’s also mercurial and extremely tempermental, especially in regards to business. I wouldn’t necessarily take Moore’s business dealings and his opinions of them as a model to follow.

Robert, I still don’t think you get it. It doesn’t matter what MONETARY benefit they got, what we are talking about is the SENTIMENTAL value of owning the characters and work you created. Whether or not we care about Moore’s sentimental concerns, it really doesn’t matter how much money he got. EVEN IF Moore had done everything DC did, he still would have had the sentimental benefit of owning the characters and work you created.

“The reason Moore didn’t do anything to stop or halt the production is that the contracts were valid.”

You DON’T know that. Moore, in all his comments, seems not to give a stuff. Reporters go to HIM to ask what he thinks of the movies, and he tell the TRUTH.

“Actively trying to sabotage a project that people paid good money for and spent a lot of time on is not dealing in good faith, regardless of outcome.”

Good faith should NOT require Moore to LIE. And merely giving an opinion is NOT actively trying to sabotage a project.

“Heck, maybe some of those projects would have turned out more to Moore’s liking if he actually had given constructive feedback rather than complaining about them from afar.”

Yeah, I’m sure Hollywood studios would listen to what the author thinks of a work they are adapting. As if. And anyway, Moore’s HONEST artistic opinion is that the works CAN’T be filmed. What other advice should he give? Oh, I forgot, you want him to lie.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm

In what way has DC ever used Watchmen in ways the creators wouldn’t?

We’ll never know.

Why are they comparable to Siegel and Shuster and not Bob Kane or Marston, both of whom seem to have prospered under their agreements?

Because Bob Kane got the deal he thought he was getting, where as like Siegel and Shuster, they entered with good faith, and the company abused that – legally or not, they bused the good faith that wouldn’t have been there had they known how the company would act.

There’s certainly an argument to be made that in the long run they got a good deal.

But not the deal they thought they were agreeing to.

Howard Chaykin’s experiences with getting American Flagg! reprinted is the other side of the coin in why ownership of an acclaimed property isn’t synonymous with financial success.

That’s his property to do with as he pleases – he’s at least got that.

Actively trying to sabotage a project that people paid good money for and spent a lot of time on is not dealing in good faith, regardless of outcome.

Not being supportive, or speaking against something isn’t sabotage in any shape or form.
He was asked what he thought, he responded truthfully.
Actively sabotaging would be hiring out actors to other jobs, trying to get the union to strike etc.

I still don’t think you get it. It doesn’t matter what MONETARY benefit they got, what we are talking about is the SENTIMENTAL value of owning the characters and work you created. Whether or not we care about Moore’s sentimental concerns, it really doesn’t matter how much money he got. EVEN IF Moore had done everything DC did, he still would have had the sentimental benefit of owning the characters and work you created.

Ted, I am afraid that you don’t understand. Alan Moore sold the “sentimental benefit” of owning the Watchmen. In accounting, it is called Good Will. A company like Time-Warner has literally billions of dollars in assets that are largely recorded as Good Will on the balance sheet. That is why he got a monetary the benefit he did. Nobody forced Moore to sign the contract, or cash the checks. He could have taken Watchmen to Marvel, or Eclipse, or First, or Comico. Any one of them would have bid on it and he might have gotten a better deal. Doubtful, since Moore is a pretty smart business man. My guess is that DC had the greenest money.

It is the roughly equal to me selling you my car and later complaining that you won’t let me drive it or park it in my garage.

Yeah, I’m sure Hollywood studios would listen to what the author thinks of a work they are adapting. As if. And anyway, Moore’s HONEST artistic opinion is that the works CAN’T be filmed. What other advice should he give? Oh, I forgot, you want him to lie.

Have you ever read one of Moore’s scripts?

They are full of marketing ideas and marketplace analysis. He routinely refers to possible film adaptations. Moore was and is a very savvy businessman. Part of what made him angry was that DC used his idea for Watchmen badges and didn’t PAY HIM. Reasonable enough. DC should have paid him.

It just bothers me to hear him talked about like he is a naive babe-in-the-woods when he clearly isn’t. Moore wrote “League of Extra-Ordinary Gentlemen” with the intent of getting it adapted, so his qualms did not surface until after 2000. He has no leverage in Hollywood, because he no track record for producing source material for hit movies. Therefore, once he cashes the check, he has no power. Moore appears to hate feeling powerless and has a better sense of how to tell a story than any of the people who have adapted him.

It would make me crazy too. Just because his behavior is understandable doesn’t make it acceptable. I lost a lot of respect for him during the run up to the release of “Watchmen”.

Alan Moore sold the “sentimental benefit” of owning the Watchmen.

THAT’S my point. Moore LOST something when he sold Watchmen. He gained something too, but that didn’t stop what he lost. Robert seemed to be saying that Moore would have got the same (or less) money had he kept the property, so he didn’t lose ANYTHING. “Moore appears to hate feeling powerless.” That’s reason enough to regret the deal that was made. Whether or not we fell sorry for him shouldn’t depend on whether he would have made the same profit had he retained the work, or whether he would have done the same things with the work, but whether the loss of sentimental value was equivalent to the gain in monetary value. How much money he would have made and what he would have done don’t seem to enter into it.

If I sell a car, and get good money for it, but then decide that I would rather have my car, then damn right I’m doing to whine about it.

They are full of marketing ideas and marketplace analysis.

OK, that may well be the case. What I do know is that he didn’t think that Watchman was filmable, so I’m not sure how he was supposed to give “constructive feedback” to that movie. If you sold the rights to one of your works, I still don’t see why you would be required to say that it’s great if you don’t think that it’s great. If you think it’s crap then you should say it’s crap. And the idea that by saying something is crap is “actively sabotaging” the work is ridiculous. Otherwise all movie critics would be going around sabotaging work. You may reply that Moore, as an author, has more clout that a movie critic, but he only has clout because he tells the TRUTH (as he sees it). If he had come out saying that LXG was an awesome movie, like Robert suggested he HAD to do no matter what he thought of it, then no-one would have cared what he said about Watchman.

To use you metaphor, Robert seems to be suggesting that if you sell your car, and then another person wants to buy it from the guy you sold it to, then you MUST tell that guy that it was a great car. If I sold a shitty car and someone asked me what it’s like I’m going to tell the truth and I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

>Actively trying to sabotage a project that people paid good money for and spent a lot of time on is not dealing in good faith, regardless of outcome. It’s selfish and childish. Heck, maybe some of those projects would have turned out more to Moore’s liking if he actually had given constructive feedback rather than complaining about them from afar. Yes, Moore’s a better artist than the people that made films based on his works, but how does that excuse poor behavior on Moore’s part?

Poor behavior? Are you actually suggesting Alan Moore should had talked good things about the movies they´re producing based on his creations just to be supportive?

Did you ever watched any of those movies? They´re awful. They´re crap. “V for Vendetta” is the better of the bunch, and it´s still pretty forgettable. “League of Extraordinary Gentleman” was so embarrassingly bad I never managed to watch it until it recahed the end. And I have a pretty high tolerance for subpar cinema.

I think “poor behavior” in this case would be actually to lie and say these movies were worth watching, just fatten the bank account a little bit more at the fan´s expenses.

Alan Moore should have basically said what he had for years. “I hope they turn out well for the people that bought the rights” and left it at that. That would have been staying neutral on the whole thing. Moore went another level because he was bitter at some other people.

Yes, Moore is a better artist than the people that made his movies. That’s irrelevant since he sold those rights, willingly in the first place to people he knew were inferior artists. Basically, he’s dealt in bad faith with people out of a sense of superiority. And, about that “used car” analogy, I’d say the same thing. That’s not staying neutral and not caring, that’s sabotaging someone you did business with out of spite. Arguably, misdirected spite. Moore didn’t think Watchmen was “unfilmable” when he sold the rights. Heck, considering Watchmen was actually filmed and received many favorable reviews, I’d say Moore has been proven wrong, even if the adaptation is an inferior work. Most adaptations are anyways.

And, yes, Moore did give up some “sentimental value” in the ownership of Watchmen, although I’d say he didn’t lose it, but rather he sold it. And there are 20 years of royalty checks compensating him for that sale. Sentiment doesn’t put food on the table. Or give one the luxury of basically retiring from the monthly drudge at a relatively young age. I’m not sure that the lofty ideal of a deal where Moore got all the money he’s earned over the years and all of the sentimental value exists. (Heck, I’m not sure that Dave Gibbons isn’t secretly happy with the way things turned out. He doesn’t seem to place as much sentimental value on ownership, he’s made a lot of money, and he doesn’t have to deal with Alan Moore in a business sense, which seems to consistently turn out badly. Neil Gaiman seems to have found a way to navigate the same waters without burning bridges and looking childish.) And, to be fair, I do think that interviews have distorted Moore’s views to some extent. All accounts are that he’s a happy nice guy in private life and he has more things on his plate than dwelling on imperfect contracts he signed in the 80s.

I’m also not saying that DC has always been up and up, (i.e. the “promotional” button set) although my understanding is that they’ve always sent their royalty checks on time, for the full amount, without having to be asked. But, it seems to me, that DC’s intention was always to print as many copies of Watchmen as they could sell until demand dried up. That the demand far exceeded the expectations of either side is where the issue is, as noone thought of the case where the demand would justify keeping it in print for over 20 years. Yeah, it was mostly unprecedented in comics at the time, but it hardly was without precedent in the larger book world. And part of that success is DC’s doing in marketing and distribution, which complicates matters as to what’s actually fair.

If I sell a car, and get good money for it, but then decide that I would rather have my car, then damn right I’m doing to whine about it.

Fair enough. My only caveat would be that Moore is akin to a guy who sold his ’67 Ford Mustang for $10 grand, used the money to pay the bills and then, years later, saw that the new owner has sunk $50 grand into restoring it. It is human nature to say, “wow, I wish I still owned that car”. What Moore was saying was more akin to “I hope that bastard totals it”.

Now, to extent the metaphor a bit further, the new owner found some old CDs (i.e. the “promotional badges”) in the glove box and sold them at a garage sale rather than returning them. So, I get where the anger comes from. It is just that the sentiment seems disproportionate to the offense.

Poor behavior? Are you actually suggesting Alan Moore should had talked good things about the movies they´re producing based on his creations just to be supportive?

It is a pretty well established custom that a writer who sells their work to Hollywood is supposed to RAVE about the resulting film. That is why those quotes get disregarded. So, when a writer goes the other way and says that it is crap, it is treated as news. What effect that has on the box-office is hard to tell, but I’d say it has some.

I’d say the odds of Alan Moore ever selling anything to Hollywood again are about zero percent. However, based on what I have read, he already has all the Hollywood money he needs or wants.

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