Watchmen Babies

Much has been made about Alan Moore’s recent interview with Bleeding Cool about his views on Watchmen sequels, prequels, and comics in general. It’s an excellent read and I encourage all you comic lovers to take a gander when you have a good free hour or two. Some comic fans think Moore comes off as a paranoid diva. Others think he’s completely justified. Regardless of what side you fall on (team Alan Moore is crazy vs. Team Alan Moore has mad integrity), I think everyone can agree that his last statements are pretty spot on:

At the end of the day, if they haven’t got any properties that are valuable enough, but they have got these ‘top-flight industry creators’ that are ready to produce these prequels and sequels to WATCHMEN, well this is probably a radical idea, but could they not get one of the ‘top-flight industry creators’ to come up with an idea of their own? Why are DC Comics trying to exploit a comic book that I wrote 25 years ago if they have got anything? Sure they ought to have had an equivalent idea since? I could ask about why Marvel Comics are churning out or planning to bring out my ancient MARVELMAN stories, which are even older, if they had a viable idea of their own in the quarter-century since I wrote those works. I mean, surely that would be a much easier solution than all of this clandestine stuff? Just simply get some of your top-flight talent to put out a book that the wider public outside of the comics field find as interesting or as appealing as the stuff that I wrote 25 years ago. It shouldn’t be too big an ask, should it? I wouldn’t have thought so. And it would solve an awful lot of problems. They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago. It would be insulting to think that there weren’t. That’s just my suggestion for a way that DC could remove themselves from this thorny impasse, but we shall see.

When I read that, I nearly stood up in my chair and cheered like a maniac. Damn right, the top talent at the big two aught to be producing ground breaking work, not rehashing and remixing characters that have been around for decades. I think it would be great to see big name creators turning out new original material while up-and-comers handle the legacy titles, the Spider-Mans, the Batmans, that sort of thing. It’s a pipe dream, of course, but it is kind of sad that the big names in comics right now are working on properties that were created before some of them were even born. Sure, there’s always the Image or indy route. And indy comics have been making quite a big splash lately (Walking Dead, Scott Pilgrim). But if the big two are attracting the big talents, I think they should be challenging them to push the bounds of comics, not play around in their decades old sandbox.

While I think it may be a little short sighted of Moore to state that no American comic has risen to the level of Watchmen in the past 25 years, I think he makes a great point about making new stuffs. We won’t be seeing anything new from Marvel or DC any time soon. I mean really new, not a new, updated, edgy version of sixy/seventy/bajillion old characters. For new stuffs, it’s up to the indy creators. The next big work that changes the face of American comics will come from outside the big two and I can’t wait to read it!

Source: Bleeding Cool