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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #359

Welcome to the three hundredth and fifty-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Today, just how DID Watchmen come about (the true “Before Watchmen,” as it were)? Also, learn the bizarre story of how John Rozum broke into comics and the even more bizarre (and tragic) tale of the creator of the popular Australian comic book series, the Lone Avenger!

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and fifty-eight.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Alan Moore was hired by DC to bring Charlton’s characters to DC Comics.

STATUS: False

Reader Frank K. wrote in to ask:

Is it true that while Alan Moore was hired to use the newly purchased Charton Heroes to create a comic book event (which we now know as Watchmen) – it was shelved because DC thought Alan Moore would “wreck” their new purchases with is story – and thus forced him to adapt it with new characters?

Over the years, I’ve had a number of questions from readers over the precise nature of how Watchmen came about, so I think it is worth answering Frank’s question by providing the specific chain of events.

1. When Alan Moore first came up with the idea, he just figured any unused group of comic book heroes would work, and in fact it was the then-defunct Archie/MLJ characters that he first thought of with the idea (The Shield, the Comet, the Hangman, etc.). The Hangman likely remained as the influence for Hooded Justice. I wrote about this part of the story in more detail in one of the VERY early editions of Comic Book Legends Revealed.

2. DC had recently purchased the Charlton heroes from Charlton comics.

3. Alan Moore then wrote a proposal for DC (on his OWN accord, not requested by DC) titled “Who Killed the Peacemaker?”

4. Dick Giordano liked the proposal, but did not like the idea of using the Charlton characters, so he told Moore to use original characters (Moore famously quipped, “DC realized their expensive characters would end up either dead or dysfunctional.”)

5. Moore then wrote Watchmen using original characters (based on established characters, but still, original characters).

Moore later recalled the decision to Jon B. Cooke:

If we had used the Charlton characters in Watchmen, after #12, even though the Captain Atom character would’ve still been alive, DC couldn’t really have done a comic book about that character without taking away from what became Watchmen. So, at first, I didn’t think we could do the book with simply characters that were made-up, because I thought that would lose all of the emotional resonance those characters had for the reader, which I thought was an important part of the book. Eventually, I realized that if I wrote the substitute characters well enough, so that they seemed familiar in certain ways, certain aspects of them brought back a kind of generic super-hero resonance or familiarity to the reader, then it might work.

So, we started to reshape the concept—using the Charlton characters as the jumping-off point, because those were the ones we submitted to Dick—and that’s what the plot involved. We started to mutate the characters, and I began to realize the changes allowed me so much more freedom. The only idea of Captain Atom as a nuclear super-hero—that had the shadow of the atom bomb hung around him—had been part of the original proposal, but with Dr. Manhattan, by making him kind of a quantum super-hero, it took it into a whole new dimension, it wasn’t just the shadow of the nuclear threat around him. The things that we could do with Dr. Manhattan’s consciousness and the way he saw time wouldn’t have been appropriate for Captain Atom. So, it was the best decision, though it just took me a while to realize that.

So there ya go, Frank (and everyone else who has asked me about this over the years)! The proposal was all done by Moore. DC did not tell him to go do it. They only denied him the use of the Charlton characters AFTER he had already come up with the idea of what would eventually become Watchmen.

Thanks to Frank for the question and thanks to Cooke and Moore for the information!

COMIC LEGEND: A popular Australian comic book series saw some difficulties after its creator was convicted of some fairly heinous crimes.

STATUS: True

The Australian comic book industry really began in the late 1940s, when restrictions on the import of outside comic books relaxed a bit and the first Superman comic books began to reach its shores. The success of Superman worked in many ways like the success of Superman in the United States of America, it paved the way for other successful comic book characters.

Many of them were Australian versions of popular American characters, like Yarmak (Tarzan), Sir Falcon (the Phantom) and Silver Starr (Flash Gordon).

One of the most popular characters was Len Lawson’s the Lone Avenger, one of the leads in Australia’s Action Comics.

Lawson’s masked western hero became so popular that he received his own comic (he began life as a bit of an anti-hero, but as his popularity grew, the character became more of a standard western hero).

Lawson even did a knockoff series based on his own character, the Hooded Rider, while continuing to do the Lone Avenger.

The Lone Avenger comic sold as many as 70,000 copies at the time (which, considering the population of Australia at the time, was very impressive).

Things got a bit hairy in the 1954, though, when Lawson (at the height of his fame) kidnapped five female models. He raped two of them and sexually assaulted the others. The crimes were a sensation at the time and Lawson was convicted and sentenced to death. The death penalty was dropped in Australia, though, so Lawson’s death sentence was commuted to 14 years in prison. He served less than 10 years.

At the time, Lawson appealed to the courts to be allowed to continue to draw the Lone Avenger while in prison, so as to support his family. His request was denied and artist Len Such took over the series. It was not long, though, before newspapers began to write about the depravity of comic books, describing Lawson as “the artist of violent comics, which frequently depicted bosomy heroines.”

The Queensland Literature Board of Review banned 45 books in their first 9 months of existence, a third of which were comic books! The Lone Avenger comic managed to continue for a bit (after the publisher rushed to self-censor the comic so as to appease the other Australian states) but eventually it came to a close.

What shockingly did NOT come to a close, though, were Lawson’s crimes. After his release in 1961, Lawson began drawing models again and once again he assaulted a 16-year model. This time, though, he killed her. The next day, he took a gun to the Sydney Church of England Girls’ Grammar School and took several students hostage. He demanded that the police send him the then-current Miss Australia as well as Betty Cuthbert, the Australian Olympic sensation known at the time as “Golden Girl.” During the siege, a 15-year-old student was accidentally shot and killed.

This time, Lawson received a life sentence. Ten years into his sentence, he attacked a female performer at a prison concert (she ultimately was so traumatized by the incident that she killed herself).

Lawson died in prison in 2003. Many of his paintings are hung around the prison where he spent the end of his life.

COMIC LEGEND: John Rozum broke into comics through a surreptitious use of a post-it note.

STATUS: True

John Rozum is a great comic book writer who has written for a number of different comic book companies over the years. He is best known for his work on the X-Files, his creator-owned Midnight, Mass. comic and his work on Xombi (his recent Xombi series for DC with artist Frazer Irving was awesome). As cool as Rozum’s comic book writing is, the way he broke INTO the comic book business is even cooler.

I’ll let John describe, from an interview at Daredevil: The Man Without Fear:

I was an NYU film/tv student at the same time as Dwayne McDuffie, which is how I met him. Dwayne was an assistant editor at Marvel (this is back around 1986, or so). Visiting him at work I got to know some of the editors, and actually sold my first story by taking a post-it note off of someone else’s script which was signed by Tom DeFalco and said something like “Give this a read.” and attached it to one of my own. I never actually intended to get involved in comics, it was more or less an accident; a way to supplement my meager student income. I then did a lot of those fake ads for “Marvel Year in Review” and those dumb half-page “What If…?” stories.

That is one brassy way of breaking into comics (for what it is worth, I don’t believe the story Rozum sold ever actually made it into print. It just got his foot into the door at Marvel).

Here is John’s first published work, from What If…? #3…

And just for the heck of it, here are John’s bits from the all-humor What If…? #34…

Thanks to John and Kuljit Mithra (of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear) for the information!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). If we hit 3,000 likes on Facebook you’ll get a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends the week after we hit 3,000 likes! So go like us on Facebook to get that extra Comic Book Legends Revealed! Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get original content from me, as well!

Also, be sure to check out my website, Urban Legends Revealed, where I look into urban legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can find here, at urbanlegendsrevealed.com.

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

65 Comments

Wow, I was going to compliment the art but then read the article and now I’m still impressed with Lawson’s drawing skills, but only in this vaguely Gacy like way.

The guy was definitely a talented artist. Even in prison, he kept drawing. I believe the prison has a few of his paintings hanging around the place.

… That last story. Wow.

What’s particularly mindblowing is his death sentence getting changed to 14 years

Well, that turned dark and depressing really quick.

. . .

And just because a creator here or there is a terrible person doesn’t mean ALL comics are evil. I guess it was Australia’s own version of “Seduction of The Innocent,” though.

So is the Lone Avenger in the first story an imposter? Holding up a stagecoach seems rather unheroic.
The whole Savages Sacrifice Pretty Blonde concept really makes me cringe now for the racism (standard for the time, I know).

He made the Lone Avenger more heroic as the series got more popular.

Sorry Im still a little confused:
The Watchmen characters are based on the Charlton characters:
True or False?
Mostly True or Mostly False?

I must say, the “Okay, that’s it for this week!” tag seems a little… off coming after the Lawson story.

I actually moved the two legends around, Ken, so the transition won’t be so odd anymore.

Sorry Im still a little confused:
The Watchmen characters are based on the Charlton characters:
True or False?
Mostly True or Mostly False?

Sorry for the confusion, Ninjazilla. The “false” stuff was the question of whether Moore was hired by DC to do something with the Charlton characters (he was not). I’ve had a bunch of readers over the years debate who was it that first attached Moore to the Charlton characters, him or DC? We know now that it was him.

The main characters in Watchmen are, indeed, based on the Charlton characters.

That’s interesting that the Australian comic book industry took off when they began importing comics from America after WWII.

In Canada the opposite happened. During WWII the import of American Comic books into Canada was banned. This led to a lot of Canadian comic books being created and sold. After the war when American comics began to be imported again, all of the Canadian companies went under as they couldn’t compete.

This only confirms my sympathies for DC in dealing with Alan Moore. Almost all of Alan’s best work is based on characters owned by DC. Yet to hear him tell it, he has some sort of ownership rights in the Watchmen characters, when his own words confirm he was adapting DC property. For him to get all sanctimonious over anyone else using “his” characters is hypocrisy of the first order. He didn’t mind using someone else’s literary characters in LXG, Lost Girls, or writing derivative Superman and Wonder Women characters in Supreme and Promethea. He really is so hard done by.

That Lawson story… holy hell.

You should re-write that first question. It’s a little confusing. It does sound like you’re saying the Charlton characters had nothing to do with Watchmen.

I’ll just drop the Watchmen mention in the question. That should do it.

If the Watchmen characters are so clearly the Charlton characters, why hasn’t DC just done a Watchmen-esque sequel starring Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, the Question, et al? If Moore and Gibbons created nothing, it shouldn’t matter if you used their characters or the ones they “ripped off”.

RJT, maybe just gossip, but I heard that was a use the new 52 Earth Charlton planet (Earth 4?) was going to be put to.

In fact I see the dc.wiki.com entry for Earth 4 mentions that: It is based on the characters of Charlton Comics with elements of Watchmen.

RJT and Mike:

I believe that Grant Morrison is doing just that in his long-gestating “Multiversity” project.

Mike, I heard the same rumor. When I read the final issues of 52 I was honestly expecting to see Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan there is one of the 52 worlds.

Patrick Lemaire

March 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

What’s interesting is that Moore produced his story on spec and that wasn’t based on the Charlton characters so that makes it legally his. Honestly he has a better chance of regaining them than the Kirby heirs have a chance to get the Marvel characters.

@Jeff_14 –

With all due respect, your reasoning is flawed. Do you think Ennis and Robertson should pay royalties to DC because of The Seven in ‘The Boys’ being based on the Justice League? Do you think that Grace Randolph’s brand new ‘Supurbia’ should owe profits to the Big 2 as it owes inspiration for many of its characters to them? Should the creator(s) of any given character that wears tights, a long-ish cape, and has the ability to fly along with some sort of superhuman strength pay royalties to DC because of the baseline similarities to Superman? Should Marvel pay DC for the numerous Superman analogues they’ve featured in their stories over the years? Etc.

As far as his use of characters created by others, there are several contours to consider, undoubtedly many more than I’ve thought on. At the very least, the characters used in LoEG are, to the best of my knowledge, creations of people long since deceased. In the spirit of transparency, I’ve not read LoEG, but I know Bram Stoker and Jules Verne are dead, so I’m going to assume the same for the other characters’ creators.
I don’t know whether or not any of the creators of other characters ever went on record in saying they did not wish to see their characters written by others, but Moore has done so very publicly as regards the characters in ‘Watchmen.’

Further, Moore has even publicly stated that he has created some characters with the knowledge and very intention that they would be written by others. John Constantine is the property of DC, and I’ve not read Moore lamenting this. I have read him stating that such was understood, in fact. If Moore were making a stink about that, then the anti-Moore stance adopted by many would be more defensible.
As it is, Moore believes he was dealt a backhand by the way DC has held onto the publishing rights to ‘Watchmen,’ and raises no ire regarding his creation in Constantine being used as it has been over the years.
Moore detractors often like to talk about how much h’s benefitted monetarily from DC, but if he were really after the money, he’d be after Constantine as well. He’s not about the money. He simply doesn’t want a bunch of “creators” (and editors and suits) riding his coattails in the process of besmirching a work he has every right to take pride in.

Moore’s own Tom Strong character was created as a pastiche of many pulp, sci-fi, and superhero odds and ends. If hazy memory serves, he said in an interview during the publication of his ABC line that Tom Strong had been created at least partially with use by others in mind. Further murky memories of this interview are that he’d had a very specific story to tell himself with Promethea, but Tom Strong was his Doc Savage/Reed Richards/etc. (or something to that effect), conceived of as a tribute to serialized heroes of yore but looking forward into the future, and hopefully, potentially surviving into it.

So, Moore has created many characters. Some have been created to tell a specific story penned by Moore himself, others as vehicles for as-yet unconceived-of stories. I would say that the creator’s intent is extremely important in considering what should be done with a creation.

Moore and Gibbons created a story with a beginning, middle, and end in ‘Watchmen.’ Any questions you have about the characters are made moot by this fact. It really doesn’t matter how many women the Comedian abused, or how many children he killed, because we know his story. Same with Rorschach. We got origins for all the characters that mattered, and they were written really well. So, what’s left for a prequel? We get to know more depravity from the Comedian? We learn more about Hooded Justice’s secret life? We see just how great of a normal guy Hollis Mason Nite Owl really was? We see more extreme and inventive “justice” dealt to the arguably-deserving by the hands of Rorschach?
Who cares?
The story’s been told.

If, in fact, any creators of Nemo, Harker, or the rest of the LoEG ever expressed wishes that their characters be left alone by all writers ever, save for themselves, then I regret that Moore has abused their creations.

As it is, we KNOW that Moore does not wish the characters from Watchmen to be mangled by Azzarello, Cooke, Straczynski, Wein, and their visuals-providers. This is why I’ll not be buying ‘Before Watchmen.’

Theres actually a pretty big difference between “based on” and “used as jumping off points.” The characters in Watchmen are as different from the Charlton characters as Midnighter is from Batman and as different as Batman is from the Shadow. That’s why they’re considered original characters. And at the time of Watchmen’s initial publication, the Charlton characters were not exactly famous, and they’ve never done as well or sold as many books as Watchmen did.

Yeah, they’re clearly original characters. I tried to stress that in the piece, so I apologize if I did not do a good enough job making that clear.

I say this as someone who when writing The Authority knew there were huge differences between Superman and Batman and Apollo and Midnighter. It’s just not the same thing. It’s like saying Flash Gordon is based on John Carter. It’s not that simple. Creation is messy.

This refers back to the Captain Atom, Dr. Manhattan question: I know I can’t be the only one who feels that Dr. Manhattan’s origin and powers were more like the Gold Key comics character Dr. Solar Man of the Atom. (even his appearance to some degree?) Honestly I don’t remember which came first Solar or Atom (the only issue I ever had of the original Captain Atom was introuding “Nightshade” or Ditko redoing Black Canary in some form.) But It really seems as though Manhattan owes more to Dr. Solar than Captain Atom.

Great post, Wakinspanish.

[Alan Moore] didn’t mind […] writing derivative Superman and Wonder Women characters in Supreme and Promethea.

How exactly is Promethea derivative of Wonder Woman? Does she have a similar visual design? Origin story? Narrative arc? Personality? I have real trouble seeing the resemblance beyond the costume of the WWII-era Promethea who was only a supporting character and was sufficiently different from Wonder Woman to really be considered as a pastiche.

At least with Supreme there is a strong argument that Moore was writing an homage to silver-age Superman stories (supported in part by Moore’s own statements) though also note that Moore did not originate the chararacter.

And Midnight (forties version) isn’t the Spirit.
And the wild seventies novel Superfolk is the property of Robert Mayer even though his characters include recognizable versions of Superman, Plastic Man and Mary Marvel and Jr. (it’s amazing, by the way, I highly recommend it).
If Moore had used the Charlton Characters, he certainly wouldn’t have any copyright claims. It’s different.

I think though, that it’s kind of easy to use derivative characters and then knowingly change them enough so as not to be copies. It’s easier to start with the powers and origin of Captain Atom and tweak it from there, turn him blue, etc. Where do the changes become enough that they’re not a copy? We’ll never really know, and it doesn’t really matter.

@Ron: But then you also have the problem that the chain of cultural influence has no end in either5 direction. Supreme is based on Superman, but Superman is based on Hugo Danner in Philip Wylie’s Gladiator, which is in turn influenced by other things that came before it.

What character is not, in some very attenuated way, derivative?

Omar, that’s what I meant in my rant. Starting from the first, every character is in someway derivative thereafter, and so what does it really matter? What matters is the content of the story. Unless there’s blatant copyright infringement, of course.

Fraser, what bothers me is that they used the Navajo. Couldn’t they have just made up a fictitious tribe?

That’s a valid point too, though again nothing most Western writers would have cared much about back then (about the only difference anyone seemed interested in was what threat level to assign them).

For those who have forgotten Greg Brooks, he drew the Crimson Avenger mini-series. His actions against the Elizabeth Kessler imposter merit a legend.

Will you cover Charles Biro?

Another quick legend suggestion, or question; did Julius Schwartz have a son?

I ask as:

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/search/topic/topic/14587
Poster Count Karnstein referred to Schwartz as his father, but also wrote:

When I was 5 years old my mother got cancer and I found out about it. She was very sick until she died when I was 18. I hated my father, he was a drunk.

Intresting enough, I know of possibly only one writer who openly encouraged others to take his work and run with it, adding to and improving his basic stories.
H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthullu Mythos.

Intresting enough, I know of possibly only one writer who openly encouraged others to take his work and run with it, adding to and improving his basic stories.
H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthullu Mythos.

Arguably, Michael Moorcock did that with Jerry Cornelius and his accompanying cast of characters, though he’s sometimes expressed disapproval of certain iterations– Jerry and his whole family appear in Moore’s LOEG with Moorcock’s blessing.

“Things got a bit hairy in the 1954, though, when Lawson (at the height of his fame) kidnapped five female models. He raped two of them and sexually assaulted the others.”

Eyes bigger than your mouth, eh Lawson?

Marcio G. Silva

March 24, 2012 at 4:33 am

Regarding “Before Watchmen”: I recommend everybody to read the Alan interview on the “seraphemera” site. His rationales are more complete there. You may agree with him or not, but when you listen everything the guy has to say about the case, you will have a clear idea of what he is complaining about. Here goes the link:

http://www.seraphemera.org/seraphemera_books/Alan_Moore_Interview.html

Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright was essentially a Jerry Cornelius/iteration of the Eternal Champion story. Moorcock LOVED it.

Thanks for the Moore interview link Marco. I agree, he obviously has his take on things. When you consider the whole chronology he does not seem like such a pompous curmudgeon. But I am someone who agrees with him that comics have largely been crap and derivative of his influence or the past 25 years.

AverageJoeEveryman

March 24, 2012 at 7:06 am

I love the fact that Ed Brubaker (or an identity theft practitioner) can post here and get completely no sold in the comments. Just find things like that funny. Well if you read down this far love your work man.

AverageJoeEveryman

March 24, 2012 at 7:10 am

Oh yeah and from a death sentence to only serving 10 years is crazy. There’s probably good money to be made down unda in the chain manufacturing, basement finishing, and long term house sitting industries.

Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright was essentially a Jerry Cornelius/iteration of the Eternal Champion story. Moorcock LOVED it.

I think that the only iteration of Jerry Cornelius that Moorcock explicitly disliked was Grant Morrison’s Gideon Stargrave. I’m sure that there are a few legends that can be either confirmed or debunked regarding Jerry’s comic book appearances.

I don’t think Brubaker was no-sold; people pretty much stopped calling anyone “unoriginal” and moved on to discussing influence in more nuanced or hybrid terms.

The Comedian = Hawkeye.

I know it’s pretty horrible, and if you read up about the dancer that ended up killing herself you’ll find out other awful stuff that happened to her and led to her suicide, making the whole thing even sadder, but I just want to thank whoever made that “Jerry Orbach” comment.

Read the second Lone Avenger page but leave out the bottom left pannel.

@Wakinspanish

Well, in regard to most of the LoEG characters, the original authors didn’t have sequels, so they too thought that “their story was told.” Most weren’t Holmesian in their sequels. And if you’re saying you can do whatever you want with Watchmen the day Moore dies, then I can see the consistency. But one need not still be alive to assume the creator didn’t envision Mr. Hyde ass raping the Invisible Man to death.

Copyright doesn’t actually end when the author dies (setting aside corporate copyright holders for convenience), but yes, once Watchmen falls out of copyright, someone has every freedom to use the characters. What Moore envisioned is irrelevant.

@Fraser

I was speaking more to the moral distinction that Wakinspanish was making that it’s ok for Moore to do it because the authors are dead, thus can’t object, vs. hiis living objection….not legal rights to do so. If Moore wants to contest the copyright of the Watchmen as original creations he can, and I’d have no problem with it, even though I’m not sure how much of a case he has.

Moore’s Watchmen as wel as being a very well crafted story, is a commentary upon both the superhero genre and the comics industry– just as his use of appropriated characters in LoEG provides a commentary on the culture in which these characters first arose.

In Moore’s view, the Watchmen prequels are of questionable artistic integrity in part because the very concept of simply extending the continuity in a soap-opera manner actually undermines the commentary aspect– they are likely, at best, to only be well crafted episodes in “the continuing adventures.”

@M-Wolverine

I apologize for the lack of clarity in my previous post. I’ve not attempted to make any “moral distinction … that it’s okay for Moore to do it because the authors are dead.” I’ve attempted to say that an individual of a morally or even generally principled constitution would respect the well-known wishes of an author as regards that author’s creations and their future use.
I should not have mentioned the part about the LoEG characters’ creators being “long since deceased.” That may have misled you.

Rather, I meant to emphasize the known wishes of the authors in question as being my measurement. As I typed in the previous post: “I don’t know whether or not any of the creators of other characters ever went on record in saying they did not wish to see their characters written by others, but Moore has done so very publicly as regards the characters in ‘Watchmen.'”

It may well be the case that sequels were not so common in the days of many of the original stories’ publication from which the LoEG cast were sourced, making such wishes unlikely to have surfaced or even have been stated (perhaps even considered by said authors).

It may even be the case that said authors/creators had such wishes that their own creations not be written by others. Ever. Under any circumstances. As stated in the quote from my previous post, I do not know otherwise. I’ve done no such research.

Again, I’m concerned with what the authors/creators are known to have stated on record regarding their own creations and any future use thereof.

I am not concerned with whether an author is living or dead as regards the use by others of their creations. Neither am I concerned with conjecture in what an author may have envisioned for their characters’ future use. “Just the wishes, ma’am.”

As stated in my previous post: “If, in fact, any creators of Nemo, Harker, or the rest of the LoEG ever expressed wishes that their characters be left alone by all writers ever, save for themselves, then I regret that Moore has abused their creations.” So long as they didn’t, I don’t feel my experience would necessarily be cheapened by a lack of respect paid to said authors/creators due to the use of their characters as portrayed in LoEG.

I know almost nothing about the legal contours of intellectual property, but I respect people who create such potent intellectual properties as Moore and Gibbons did in ‘Watchmen.’

@Walkinspanish

That actually clear it up a lot. I would only wonder if the estate of Siegel and Shuster said “no more Superman comics, movies, cartoons, toys, etc” if you’d want the company that owns the characters to cease using them. If so, I or others may find that disagreeable, but it would at least be consistent. Whether work for hire should override intellectual property is a whole different discussion that we’re not going to solve here, but it’s certainly a defendable viewpoint if applied equally in all cases.

(It’s actually not a great example, because they created the characters more wholesale, and Ed Brubaker’s point taken into consideration, writing a work for hire while adapting characters not used as parody, but characters owned by one company adapted by someone hired by the selfsame company. If he had gotten to use the Charlton characters like he wanted, I’m not sure he’d have felt bad that Ditko wasn’t consulted first. But I digress).

I think part of the problem with sympathy to the case is the man himself. I think most think “sequels/prequels” to Watchmen is probably a bad idea. But I can think of a good portion of even those who would buy it just to tweek Moore’s holier than thou, God’s gift to comics, I’m better than any before and after attitude he takes towards people, and his ignoring the difference between a movie adaptation of the level of LoEG, compared to Watchmen (or, if one prefers, V for Vendetta).

An aside…while sequel and re-using of characters wasn’t as common in that time (though there were certainly prominent exceptions), it’s the interpretations of the characters that can certainly be taken into consideration, and how he’s used them can certainly be safely thought of as not being ways the Victorian (and such) creators thought their characters would be used. I imagine a lot of the Lost Girls imagery, as well as the LoEG stuff were not things that would be thought to be polite usage back then, and while that may seem antiquated today, it certainly would have likely been against the creators wishes. Just as someday we may see Moore’s view on it all as dated. Or not. But the point is we don’t really have to have the creators actually say every way that they wouldn’t want their characters used….it’s pretty easy to infer a lot of it.

@M-Wolverine:

Inference requires some evidence by which to draw its logically-assumed conclusions. Conjecture is the kissing cousin that goes beyond the evidence at hand to draw conclusions from far afield.

To be sure, many authors may not have conceived of their creations’ treatment by Moore as polite. On the other hand, some research exists suggesting that Lewis Carrol may have had an overly comfortable relationship with Alice Liddel. Liddel is the girl who served as thevery, very young model for Carrol’s beloved creation who had adventures in Wonderland. I would suggest it’s at least possible that the very actions that Alice engaged in in ‘Lost Girls’ that may be distasteful to some may have been the direct inspiration for Alice, the Looking Glass, and Wonderland. That’s a lot of inferring, though.

Speaking of author/creator wishes and intent as I have in all of my posts in this thread, I think we can infer that Superman was intended to be serialized as long as possible by Schuster and Siegel at the time at which they signed the rights over to whatever DC was called at the time. That was the nature of comic strips as they were at that time. They likely only became intentionally finite when and if they became unprofitable in the long term. This is sadly similar to Moore’s gripe in that he didn’t, apparently, believe that ‘Watchmen’ would be quite so profitable to DC in the long term, and believed that the publishing rights would revert back to him not too terribly long after the initial publication of the collected edition. He was wrong.

Those that break the ground get the most f-ed over. Since Moore came to prominence, his work, and that of some others, has stayed in print due to demand. Sadly, many other creators are able to broker better deals for themselves based on the hardship experienced by the Moores, Schusters, and Siegels of history than the Moores, Schusters, and Siegels ever benefit themselves.

As it is, I do deal with evidence and logic almost constantly in my life’s pursuit. Again, I know almost nothing about intellectual property law, but I do know about estates, trusts, and wills. These tend to hinge on hard evidence of intent. When intent is in dispute, inference will not be taken too far by a court, and they will nearly always err on the side of caution in a ruling regarding a testator’s intent.

Inferring what people I don’t know may or may not have said about, thought about, or felt toward their intellectual property with zero evidence is not in my wheelhouse. Even taking generally believed-to-have-been-observed social mores does little to satisfy me that we could know anything about the wishes or intent of these people as regard their creations’ future use. We don’t have the numerous, electronically archived interviews of Lewis Carrol, Bram Stoker, Jules Verne, and the rest of the authors whose creations Moore has used as we do with Moore.
And, really, that’s the point.

We don’t know what those guys would have thought about Moore’s work. But, maybe, just maybe, there were people of the time who believed those gents to be just as ill-tempered and self-impressed as many believe Moore to be these days. Maybe those people would like to(impossibly) buy Moore’s comics in which he uses their contemporary authors’ creations just to thumb their nose at those authors whose personal temperament they didn’t care for in their day.
We just don’t know.
We do know that Moore doesn’t want his characters written by the boys at DC in 2012.

“On the other hand, some research exists suggesting that Lewis Carrol may have had an overly comfortable relationship with Alice Liddel. Liddel is the girl who served as thevery, very young model for Carrol’s beloved creation who had adventures in Wonderland. I would suggest it’s at least possible that the very actions that Alice engaged in in ‘Lost Girls’ that may be distasteful to some may have been the direct inspiration for Alice, the Looking Glass, and Wonderland. That’s a lot of inferring, though.”

To put it mildly.
No, there’s no evidence that Charles Dodgson, AKA Lewis Carroll was doing Alice, or even lusted after her. The view of Dodgson as a shy introvert who could only unbend around small girls was mostly promoted by his family in an era when liking little girls was considered as pure and innocent as possible.
One reason may have been that Dodgson also liked the company of adult women, enough to be slightly scandalous for the time (opinions differ on whether he was lecherously inclined toward them or just enjoyed their company) so the family’s He Likes Kids view was a defense.
The belief he’s actually in love/lust with Alice Liddell stems primarily from a)his nephew’s claim that he had a secret sorrow and b)a later biographer’s claim said sorrow was his unattainable love for Alice, and that he might have proposed marriage to her (one of Alice’s sisters suggested this, but later wrote to Alice to say something to the effect that “Well, the writer kept asking why our family stopped seeing him–I had to tell her something.” which implies a lie). There were stories he was interested in Alice at the time (the age of consent was 14 and falling in love with young girls was considered fairly acceptable if your intentions were honorable) but also that he was in love with the Liddell girls’ governess, or having an affair with Mrs. Liddell–and no evidence for any of them.
In the Shadow of the Dreamchild (Karoline Leach) and Alice’s Adventures (Will Brooker) go into this in detail, though they don’t see eye to eye.

@Fraser:

Yes! Thank you.

No, there’s no evidence that Charles Dodgson, AKA Lewis Carroll was doing Alice, or even lusted after her.

I’d also note that the notion that Dodgson/Carroll had molested Alice Liddell seems to have arisen only in recent decades and is primarily an extrapolation on the photographs he took of her. Nude and semi-nude photography of prepubescents was common subject-matter and not considered scandalous as such imagery (as Fraser suggests) was considered to represent an appreciation for purity and innocence. Tastes changed, and so the photos fell out of circulation, were forgotten, and did not come to light until generations later when such imagery was instead associated with paedophilia.

The fact that such a reading of Carroll’s Alice stories is now common, does legitimate the sexualized reading that Moore gives in Lost Girls even if such a reading is more a product of our era– even if the reading is based on circumstantial evidence.

As a side note though, about two years ago I saw an exhibit of pre-Raphaelite photography and noticed that Alice Liddell continued to work as a photographic model well into her adulthood, which implies to me, that she did not have a negative apprehension of the work.

@Walkinspanish

I guess we have different view of what consists as “Evidence”. No one is saying anything is definitive, or is true is all cases. There are reasons I didn’t name names, like Carroll, just for the reason that in specific cases there may be some debate on what they might have been ok with. But it can be said without question that they were more conservative times, and publishing their characters in the manner which Moore has would have gotten them in trouble at the times. Now maybe they secretly wished to be free of societal constraints and would have if the could (and consciously knew of their desire). But if the vast majority of people of the time would have found the work to be offensive, and the authors were people of that time, it’s far safer to say that at least SOME of the people of the time would be of similar manner, rather than saying ALL of the creator would have been of a different mindset than the majority of their peers. That’s just probability. And it means one would likely be discounting some author’s feelings on the matter.

As for Superman, I think you’ve ascribed current genre standards for what they were partially originating. Siegel and Shuster weren’t trying to write a comic book, they originally were trying to write a comic strip, and failing that, took who would publish their material. If they had been originally successful, they were probably of the mindset of most comic strips, which quite often do end with the end of their creator. They’re serialized, but aren’t usually passed on from creator to creator (though there are numerous exceptions), unless it’s often within one’s own family. Doesn’t mean the character can’t appear after their passing…but it was at least left up to the author’s choice. Peanuts is everywhere. Calvin and Hobbes don’t appear in insurance commercials. Now, of course, the most likely scenario is that the knew the industry they worked in and what standards would apply to their creations…standards Moore knew far better after decades of industry tradition.

I do find it problematic that because authors a hundred years ago, who didn’t have the technology or ability to record their every thought needed to think so far in advance that “I don’t want some author 100 years from now to bastardize my creations in a medium I can’t even imagine existing”, and since they didn’t, it’s fair game for Moore. But because he did with “his” creations now, he’s exempt. And I have a problem with the concept that they’re his to begin with. He doesn’t own them. If he had, he’d stop it. If he thought he had legal right to them, he’d fight for it. But that he hasn’t says he doesn’t, or at the very least doesn’t care enough to try. And it’s kind of an egomanical look at how the industry works. If you write a book, it’s your creation. Yes, you need assistance in getting it published, but the creative work is all yours. A painting you did, and no one else. This is not the case at all with a comic book (unless you are doing everything yourself). It’s drawn by someone else…someone who is often very collaborative in the story. It’s colored by yet another person…someone adds the words to the page…and so forth. And in this case, someone else contributed the prototypes for the characters…the company that hired him to do it! I’m not sure why in the process Moore’s desires outweigh Gibbons (who has generally been very open to things like the Watchmen movie; I haven’t seen any objects by him to these new projects), or frankly, for fairness, anyone else who contributed to the final story in the creative process. Comics are a collaborative medium, and even if Moore is the “Quarterback”, he certainly doesn’t win the creative “title” without a lot of great teammates around him. Should we take a poll of everyone involved and see which way majority rules? That’s a silly path, and one no collaborative medium really takes. George Lucas situations are pretty rare in Hollywood, and that only exists due to grand error by the executives at the movie studio. There’s a reason we get sequels after the original creator has left. I’m not sure Moore can consider himself any more important than Spielberg…but they still made Jaws 2. (And 3. And the Revenge.) Are these often bad ideas? Certainly. But only in comics, and most often with Moore, do you see the creators actively objecting, and campaigning, against such situations. Most know what they signed up for and honorable accept it, even if they have creative objections. Moore gets a pass for his lack of professionalism. Go figure.

I should hope no one is attempting to say anything definitive regarding that which cannot be known. That would be silly.

Moore has published nothing. He’s had his work published by others, which has got him into a lot of the mess he finds himself in with no little discomfort.

Without question, the times in which the authors whose characters have been used by Moore were more conservative than present times. And you’re correct in saying that these authors most likely would not have any idea to predict the medium of the comic book coming into existence. Somewhat like your effort in avoiding naming names of authors while engaged in conjecture about how they might feel about their creations being used by others, I’d not addressed the difference in medium.
I’d previously posted: “It may even be the case that said authors/creators had such wishes that their own creations not be written by others. Ever. Under any circumstances. As stated in the quote from my previous post, I do not know otherwise. I’ve done no such research.”
Let’s give this a broader reading rather than a narrower reading. I phrased to overshoot on purpose.
People of reason tend not to speak in extremes unless they are attempting to enflame others into response. A reasonable person would probably not need to speak with such extremes as: “I wish that no one save myself should ever write my characters or other creations of place, time, theoretical future technologies, etc. Ever. Under any circumstances.”
The point, once more, is that we don’t know. Hell, I shouldn’t say “we” – I don’t know what these authors’ wishes consisted of as regards their creations. Maybe you do.
As far as I know, Verne would have liked Nemo to show up and to continue his violent opposition to war in any instance and in any media possible, so long as the cause and characterization were consistent. Maybe he would have hated the idea of anyone else writing him and would be calling for a public flagellation of Moore if given the chance. One of the exceptions provided for by you in one of your previous posts can be found in Verne’s own ‘The Mysterious Island,’ which is not a proper sequel to ‘20,000 Leagues,’ but does feature Nemo.

In continuing with the conjecture at play along with the generally-accepted ideas at play, we can say that creative types are generally thought to be of a more eccentric and, mostly, left-leaning sort than people of the general populace. Maybe every single one of the authors whose characters Moore has appropriated for use in his own stories were chronic masturbators who used the admittedly limited print pornography of their day to stimulate themselves. Maybe they had sexual urges that they viewed as oppressive to their ability to live their lives in congruence with the social mores of their times. Maybe these hypothetical urges fueled their creativity. Maybe Robert Louis Stevenson would have loved to have written a scene in a novella in which a crazed Mr. Hyde arse raped some baddie to death. Probably not. But really, who knows?

It’s far safer to not engage in conjecture when striving for accuracy than it is to ascribe attributes to people whose personal character, hopes, desires, aversions, etc. we know little to nothing about.

Certainly, Gibbons is a co-creator of ‘Watchmen.’ I don’t think there’s any dispute about that.
I think we may get carried away in giving claim to others who worked on a given project in any capacity. Collaboration is a beautiful thing. On the other hand, an idea or a suggestion amount to nothing without a good execution. Many prose writers could be said to owe creative credits to friends, editors – possibly even enemies – if we want to get into the collaborative nature of the arts.
One could say that some painters’ aethetics have been greatly shaped by those who’ve come before and their instructors, critics, and or friends whose opinions they’ve considered in forging said aesthetics.
Does the fact that one has painted every stroke on a canvas mean that all the ideas that went into it were birthed solely in the mind of the individual who stroked the brush over that canvas? No. There may have been a colossal amount of collaboration in a painting of which only one person actually, physically painted. But we’re not so eager to let our undergraduate art professors take credit in and profit from our work once we’ve struck out on our own, are we?

Moore has stated recently that he’s had some lawyers look at the ‘Watchmen’ contracts and that said lawyers have indicated to him that it was a hostile contract. He said further on that he may seek legal recourse. Is this true? Has any of this happened? I don’t know. Maybe it’s all hot air, made to enflame people who do things Moore doesn’t like or to enflame people who dislike the public persona that Moore has created for them to dislike.

Keeping up the conjecture and/or inference, it seems that Moore would be a likely candidate to have a distaste for litigiousness. It seems he’s rather concerned with a generally respectful and principled treatment of people by people, though. It also seems that when he feels this treatment is not being doled, he lashes out with a vitriolic public statement.

I know virtually nothing about publishing. It does stand to reason to me, though, that Moore’s claims that he expected the rights to ‘Watchmen’ to revert back to himself and Gibbons long ago are true. I type this simply because I know that Rick Veitch, a good friend of Moore’s, has seen the rights to a large portion of his work revert back to him after laying dormant for a time following initial publication. All of Veitch’s work that was produced for Epic/Marvel back in the 80s is now his to republish. One story that was formerly published by Marvel that has reverted to Veitch is even penned by Moore and contained in the ‘Shiny Beasts’ book from King Hell. I’d recommend that volume, along with the majority of Veitch’s work. But I digress.

I bring this up, in part, to agree with you, that Moore should have and likely did know the standards of industry tradition better than did Shuster and Siegel back in their day as they crawled out of the Depression. In his knowledge of these traditions, he had no reason to believe that his work would be so beloved by so many, so interesting to the population outside of the small world in which he believed he operated. Comics, graphic novels, collected editions of comic books – whatever you want to call them – were not known to stay in print at one publishing house in perpetuity at the time in which ‘Watchmen’ was originally published. Consequently, if we can believe Moore’s statements on record in recent years, we can know this to be true and we can look no further than his pal Veitch’s own situation for an example of the kind of ownership Moore thought he might enjoy as regards his and Dave Gibbons’ co-creations in ‘Watchmen.’

Has Moore bought into his own hype? That’s both possible and arguable. I tend to think that he has created a straw man for people to drive pitchforks into. And people love doing it. I get the impression that he enflames people simply to both make them upset, and to be heard. It seems that he hopes that in being heard, he may get people to think about what they’re hearing (or reading, as may more often be the case).

You’re awfully good at conjecture when it suits your argument, but fast to decry not saying anything definitive when it opposes it. No one is trying to say anything definitive. But if we had to make decisions solely based on things we only knew the definitive answer too, we’d get nowhere in life. To say people can’t make assumptions from what has happened before, and make educated guesses on what might happen next removes all thinking for oneself in life, and reduces it to a math equation.

I didn’t name names because of just such an example as presented in this thread. You think Carroll was into little girls. Others disagree. But I wasn’t going to attribute him as an exception or an example, because I can’t say for sure which one of you would be right. I CAN say with confidence that what would consistute being a “liberal artist” doesn’t mean what it does today…and the most liberal of society before would still mostly be seen as pretty conservative today. 1940’s Democrats would be Republicans today in a lot of ways.

You seem to want to credit those who inspire or influence an artist the same attribution that someone who actually worked on the art piece has. Whether Edgar Allen Poe or Stan Lee influenced his writing style, I don’t hardly think that they made the same contribution to a work of art the artist does. There’s a reason there’s an Academy Award for Best Cinematographer, but not for “movie influenced by” John Ford or Alfred Hitchcock. To even loosely liken Gibbons contribution to Watchmen as the same as some painter’s undergraduate art professor’s contribution to the painting is a disservice. And as they’re names are both on the cover, (and without the art I question how “classic” Watchmen would have been, because a shoddy artist could have dragged it down…and the telling of the story via art is a big part of it’s creative success), I ask again, why should Moore’s wishes supercede Gibbons on their collaborative project?

Moore can say what he likes, and have whoever he likes look into whatever he likes. Till he acts on it, it’s just that- talk. If he wins a court case that reverts the Watchmen’s rights back to him, he can forbid whoever he wants from using them, and I’ll be supportive of that. I have my copy of Watchmen…he can’t take that away from me. Frankly, at this point, he’s closing the barn door after all the animals have escaped. But more power to him.

I have to pretty much disagree with your assertion that Moore had no idea that comic book stories (particularly the successful ones) weren’t republished in pretty much perpetuity way back in the dark ages of the 80’s. I never owned Action Comics #1, the the early Batman tales, or Marvels opening issues of Spiderman et al…..but I certainly read them as a kid. I had the pocket books that reprinted the first dozen or two issues of Spiderman. Marvel Tales basically was a comic reprinting Spiderman comics. And that’s not even going back 30 years to the amount of times early DC tales have been reprinted. If he truly didn’t think popular comic books were held in strick copyright by the time Watchmen came out in the 80’s, he must have been doing even more drugs than he remembers. Because examples to the contrary are literally legion.

Having never met Moore, I can’t say how he is over a cup of tea. All we get is the public persona he portrays. If he’s just trying to come off as a rabble rouser, he’s succeeding. If he’s doing it to make people upset, he’s probably succeeding there too, but I wonder what moral stance we can give to someone who’s sole goal is that. If he’s trying to be heard, he’s failing. Because while he’s making people listen to him, he’s not being heard. Because his style is turning off people who might otherwise be on his side. And even moreso those who probably think any Watchmen continuation is a bad idea. So if his goal is to get people to not read them, and his words are having the opposite effect, his motivations and/or reasoning can seriously be questioned.

@M-Wolverine

I’m communicating poorly to your understanding. I do NOT believe that Carroll was into little girls. I have no belief whatever on the subject. I merely brought up that SOME recent research suggests that he was. Through conjecture, one could arrive at such a conclusion from mere suggestion.

I’ve not tried once to decry NOT saying anything definitive. I’ve attempted to communicate that I believe it is and would be a good thing for people to say nothing definitive when they cannot possibly do so. So, cheers on continued success.

I have flagged my own commentary in anticipation of my own engaging in conjecture for the sensitive reader.

My original post, which is what you responded to all those posts ago, principally attempted to say 3 things that you and I have discussed in our little back-and-forth:

1.) I don’t know whether any of the authors whose characters Moore used expressed wishes that they not be written by others, but if they did, then I believe Moore’s use may have been of a cheapened and sad nature.
2.) We know that Moore has very publicly said he doesn’t wish for the soon-to-be-released ‘Before Watchmen’ project from DC to be published, or even exist, using characters he (co-)created (with Gibbons). Because of this, I believe it is and would be disrespectful to go forward with the project.
3.) I have a personally-held belief that the characters of ‘Watchmen,’ while having plenty of unexplored backstory as established by Moore and Gibbons in their original work, have had all of the pertinent and important parts of their stories that “matter” told by their creators in the course of the original series.

Perhaps my attempt to say these things in my original post was a poor one. Sadly, though you seemingly sought to address the content of my original post in your original reply, we have scarcely done so since.

If you wanted to shoot a hole in the content of my original post, you should have brought up Moore’s reported plans to have written a prequel starring the Minutemen back near the time following ‘Watchmen’s original publication. That would at least make the part where I say something to the effect of “the story’s been told” seem flimsy.

I typed:
“Certainly, Gibbons is a co-creator of ‘Watchmen.’ I don’t think there’s any dispute about that.”
You responded:
“You seem to want to credit those who inspire or influence an artist the same attribution that someone who actually worked on the art piece has. … To even loosely liken Gibbons contribution to Watchmen as the same as some painter’s undergraduate art professor’s contribution to the painting is a disservice.”
I also typed:
“One could say that some painters’ aethetics have been greatly shaped by those who’ve come before and their instructors, critics, and or friends whose opinions they’ve considered in forging said aesthetics.
Does the fact that one has painted every stroke on a canvas mean that all the ideas that went into it were birthed solely in the mind of the individual who stroked the brush over that canvas? No. There may have been a colossal amount of collaboration in a painting of which only one person actually, physically painted. But we’re not so eager to let our undergraduate art professors take credit in and profit from our work once we’ve struck out on our own, are we?”
in response to your having posted:
“If you write a book, it’s your creation. Yes, you need assistance in getting it published, but the creative work is all yours. A painting you did, and no one else. This is not the case at all with a comic book (unless you are doing everything yourself).”

I was, very poorly, attempting to point out that a painting can be a highly collaborative piece of art. In no small way, I believe that Gibbons is the co-creator of the ‘Watchmen’ property. I have to apologize for my poor communication of this belief. I was attempting to say that the editors and colorists that you brought up are not so necessary to the actual creative aspect of the book. I say this knowing full well that a colorist can greatly influence the appearance of the final product of a piece of sequential art and, thereby, how palatable it is to its audience, intended or otherwise. I also type this knowing that editors in the comics industry have varying levels of input to the stories they shepherd and oversee and are sometimes responsible for conceptualizing major plot points, story beats, etc. But Gibbons and Moore are the credited creators, and it’s their wishes I’d like to see taken into account.

It has occurred to me that my wishes are of little consequence in this situation, but my wishes and beliefs were the subject of my original post, as it was.

On the subject of Gibbons’ wishes, which are far more important than my own, I don’t think there’s much record of him being “on board” with the project so much as that he’s not making a stink about it. I could be very wrong about this, though. He’s not out on the press junket, hamming it up in promotion of ‘Before Watchmen’ from what I can tell, though. He’s probably busy on his work with Mark Millar.

I’m not 100% clear on the barn door after the animals have run out analogy, but it seems as if we’re to understand that as representative of people having a generally waning interest in ‘Watchmen.’ This would then lead to considering the profitability that remains in the property as itself in a state of waning. Moore has actually, reportedly, turned down the publishing rights in the last 2 or 3 years based on principle. There was reportedly an attempt to buy his blessing as regards ‘Before Watchmen’ in the form of an offering of the broken carcass that is the publishing rights to the original work (yeah, ‘Watchmen’). Again, I state – he reportedly turned them down. Presumably he did this so that he might both legally and rightfully make a stink about what he perceives to be the cheapening and/or besmirching of an intellectual property he had a little, miniscule role in creating.

As it is, I never got into any kind of guesswork in my original post. I don’t care about what the other authors “probably” would have thought about Moore’s use of their characters. I care about what Carroll, Moore, Stoker, Verne, and all the rest are KNOWN to have said regarding further use of their characters, irrespective of then unconceived-of technologies and media. If they’d simply said they’d wished no one to tell new stories with the characters, that would have sufficed and left room for the making of adapted films of ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ and such that yourself or others may be fond of.

Having never met Moore over tea myself, I cannot say definitively what he is like. That is why my previous commentary about my impressions of the man were couched in that very term: impressions. These impressions were made on me by my reading of his being interviewed and some similar video of him.

Your assertions about Moore’s effectiveness in being heard and the effect his public speech has on much, or even the majority of its audience, align perfectly with what I said in the previous post. Thank you for cordially agreeing with me.

Hypothetical history is quite fun. I simply had to play along if I wanted to address someone who’d addressed me. I am growing tired of this “discussion,” though. If you’d sought to wear me down, you’re again congratulated on your continued success. Not saying I won’t respond further, mind you, just that I’m wearing down. I’m a very poor typist, though, so it probably takes more out of me to do this business than it does the average person.

I’m pretty sure no apologies are necessary…we’re just having a discussion. I’m not taking any personal offense at your viewpoints. But in regards to the first post-

1. I don’t know how they felt either…I just don’t think “not knowing” absolves Moore from any blame from doing what he doesn’t want people to do with his creations.

2. I’m saying that Moore may not want it, but if Gibbons does want it (and I’m not sure why absence of objection constitutes permission, but absence of endorsement reverts to the negative) I don’t see why Moore’s view is any more valuable than Gibbons. Gibbons, in the past, has been a consultant and open to interpretations like the movie. I’d say absent any overt objection, he would likely not have a major problem with it (considering he’s been ok with interpretations in the past) and that people aren’t as likely to voice an endorsement as a critique, as it’s tacit. I guess I’m saying if Gibbons comes out and basically says “ugh”, then the case to bury it is at least strengthened.

3, I actually agree with you 100%. I think it’s a money grab for a company that’s doing radical things just to makes waves for a buck, and if ever a story should be a stand alone, it should be that. No matter how many big name creators they get to make it go down more smoothly. Dark Knight Strikes Back doesn’t fill me with confidence. But then, that was actually BY the original creator..so sometimes they don’t know what’s best for their art.

For my lack of clarity, in regards to barn doors and such, I was just making light that if he really wants to now fight for Watchmen rights to keep it from being watered down, he would have been better off doing it before there was a movie, video game, action figures, roleplaying games, and prequels that will all be published before he ever gets to set foot in front of a judge, no more gets any rights “back”. I’m just not sure what else he’s going to prevent in the future at this point….more comics? A sequel? It’s all a bit too late.

I think we are agreeing on Moore’s persona….maybe just disagreeing on how that changes how the situation is perceived (and maybe whether it even matters or not). I just think if you’re making appeals to the public to get what you want, you may want to, you know, appeal to the public. And not turn them off. Because he’s dualing cliche’s in that any pub is good pub vs. attracting more flies with honey than vinegar. I think having people more sympathetic to him helps his cause. And if his goal is to dissaude people from buying it, having them think of him in such a negative light that they might just check it out to tweek his pompous attitude is counter-productive to the goal. But Moore may be working on a plane of existence I can’t understand running machinations a mere mortal such as I couldn’t possible understand. Or he may just be high. Who knows?

And we could both type shorter messages….. :-P

Here’s one way I’ve looked at the situation, though doubtlessly in error:

If you happen upon an obviously and totally abandoned house – have a fun time. If you’re knocking at my door – you’d be polite to leave on my asking. And if I’m not home, you should either leave or wait patiently and unobtrusively.

I think it’s a situation-by-situation thing. I know Grant Morrison, an all-time great in my opinion, has a long-standing beef with Moore that’s rooted in ‘Marvelman/Miracleman’ and what was to be done with it after Moore’s removal or departure (whichever it was). By Morrison’s account, Moore told him to back off. Then Neil Gaiman (another great) comes in with Moore’s approval, also maintaining a friendship with Morrison.
What gives? Without a doubt, Moore’s a weird guy. It seems as if it’s very important to the dude how he’s approached. I don’t think that he’s appreciated any approach by DC regarding ‘Watchmen’ (or anything else for that matter) for a long time. Does that make him RIGHT? No. I’m not ready to say it makes him wrong, though. The man obviously has a set of principles that are hard for people to tread through to his liking. Apparently Gaiman knows how.
I mean to say that, when a wolf’s at the door, you want a lot of hair on yr chinny-chin-chin, like Moore’s got.

I like the metaphor….and could leave it at that, but I’m kinda having fun playing with it in my mind. If your parents buy a used car for you and your brother, are paying the insurance, making the car payments, and give the two of you the money to fix it up, and then the two of you add a new paint job, an new engine, and turn it into a bitchin’ race car, far superior in look and performance to what you were given to work with…who really owns the car, and gets to decide what happens with it? The parents, because the title is in their name and they fronted the costs? The brothers, because they transformed it into something better? And if so, which one? The one who got the engine to run and able to do 180 mph, or the one who added the racing stripes and put on the shiny chrome and made it look as awesome as it runs? I don’t know that there’s any answer to it.

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