In 1977 Dial Press of New York published Robert Mayer’s first novel, Superfolks. It was, amongst other things, a story of a middle-aged man coming to terms with his life, an enormous collection of 1970s pop-culture references, some now lost to the mists of time, and a satire on certain aspects of the comic superhero, but would probably be largely unheard of these days if it wasn’t for the fact that it is regularly mentioned for its supposed influence on a young Alan Moore and his work, particularly on Watchmen, Marvelman, and his Superman story, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? There’s also a suggestion that it had an influence on his proposal to DC Comics for the unpublished cross-company ‘event,’ Twilight of the Superheroes. But who’s saying these things, what are they saying, and is any of it actually true?
What’s this — a new book in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-verse? yes, in a new book by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill called NEMO: HEART OF ICE. the website for the store Gosh! has details of the 48-page hardcover, which is due in February:
Luckily for the world Alan Moore is nearly as productive as he is cantankerous, and he has interesting stuff coming out at regular intervals. UNEARTHING, a biography of Moore’s close friend and mentor Steve “No Relation” Moore, was originally published in 2010 as a prose book but Top Shelf is publishing a NEW edition with photos by Mitch Jenkins that have turned it into a narrative art book. A special limited edition goes on sale today.
Okay, so as the world has just noticed, in LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: Century 2009 we finally see Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil’s multiverse spanning pop culture adventure reach the current day (or close to it) and since the current day isn’t in the public domain, there’s good old-fashioned satire in the tradition of about 8000 previous books. The Independent’s Laura Sneddon has the lowdown:
A new Alan Moore interview, a new round of controversy! This time it’s a 90-minute chat with Seraphemera Magazine that reveals Moore’s feelings on BEFORE WATCHMEN—he doesn’t like it—their creative teams—uncreative—and so on. He also addresses the “Moore Hypocrisy” with which fans love to cut him down to size: if touching the Watchmen is so bad how come you can write LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN? Yeah, answer that, big boy!
Ruminating on the year past, cartoonist/educator Steve Bissette considers the story of how creator owned comics can be sunk by just one stuck cog — in this case a rather large cog named Alan Moore. Just to bring everyone up to speed, 1963 was a very early Image project re-imagining the origins of Marvel, written by Moore and illustrated by Steve Bissette, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch, with additional art by Dave Gibbons, Don Simpson, and Jim Valentino and published in 1993. The final issue was to have been illustrated by Jim Lee, but Lee took time off in the middle, Moore decided not to finished it and…blah blah blah. Time passes. And, Bissette and Moore have a bit of a falling out, as chronicled in a series of interviews, here and there.
However, last year, a 1963 follow-up — Tales of the Uncanny – N-Man & Friends: A Naut Comics History Vol. 1 — was to be produced by Bissette and published by Image. Well, things didn’t work out, as Bissette posts. In addition, there was to be a reprint of 1963. After months of negotiations, Moore “pulled the plug” — meaning 1963 will never be reprinted ever again.
Once they teamed up to fight dull comics and superhero tropes with the twin pillars of 80s dark and edgy — THE DARK KNIGHT and WATCHMEN — but now they find themselves on opposite sides of a political battle!
Okay it’s not really a fight, it’s middle-aged comics creators speaking their minds, but Alan Moore has rebutted Frank Miller’s disparaging comments on the Occupy Wall Street movement. While Moore’s work has actually become something of a symbol for the various protest movements springing up around the world as the V for Vendetta mask has become an icon at the rallies, Miller called the protesters losers who needed to go home to their momma’s basement. And as usual, Moore just has no time for it:
Oh snap! Curmudgeonly genius Alan Moore delivers one of his most vinegary interviews yet, taking to Adi Tantimadh at Bleeding Cool mostly about DC’s abortive attempts to get Moore to give his blessing for those Watchmen sequels and spin-offs and what-nots. As Moore tells it, DC sent Dave “Watchmen” Gibbons to discuss the matter with Moore, which, to the shock of no one, upset Moore’s feelings. Moore wonders why DC is even seeking his approval, speculating that perhaps there is some kind of legal reason for the move. (Moore doesn’t seem to think that maybe they were just…trying not to hurt his feelings.) Anyway, Moore also wonders why they even need him anyway and delivers s bunch of sharp zings to today’s comics creators:
Comics mastermind Alan Moore, creator of creator of WATCHMEN, not to mention V FOR VENDETTA, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and many, many more says he’s told DC Comics to go jump in a lake. According to Moore in an interview with Wired’s blog, Underwire, DC offered him the rights to WATCHMEN back in exchange for writing “some dopey sequels and prequels”.