Alan Moore is considered one of the most famous contemporary writers whose literary prowess has been exemplified in various graphic comic works that became popular worldwide. He was reportedly born in Northampton, England on November 18, 1953 . He was noted to have been instrumental in making literary works considered as graphic novels through popular titles such as America’s Best Comics, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea, Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales, Tomorrow Stories and Top Ten . Other famous works included Watchmen and V for Vendetta, both of which have been turned into films; including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. As such, Alan Moore has been pegged as one of today’s most influential writers of graphic novels since his past works, especially those classified as comic book medium were regarded as innovative, creative, moving, and memorable.
Alan Moore’s biggest and most recognized break that catapulted him to fame was acknowledged to be his series on works such as the Miracleman and V for Vendetta; of which it was disclosed that he was awarded the “British Eagle for Best Comics Writer awards for both these works in 1982 and 1983” . Thus, at the age of 29, Alan Moore already made his mark as a talented graphic writer of comic book series. His genuine love for his craft allegedly paved the way for his subsequent publishing of his own works; and was noted to be an important contributor to the already famous Batman and Superman stories .
Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is hereby compared with Miracleman and V for Vendetta to evaluate common facets or disparities in his literary discourses. As imbibed, the characters in The League were previously cast as distinct characters in past literary works of similar genres: ranging from adventure-thriller, science fiction, and suspense-action categories. As such, the team members’ collaborative work became the theme and plot of The League with the pursuit of saving the world from the grips of evil. When compared with another famous graphic work of Moore which was Miracleman, the characters in the comic series was disclosed to be headed by Michael Moran, the superhero who was in fact named Marvelman and other characters which included Johnny Bates as Kid Marvelman, and even a Young Marvelman . Like the main theme in The League, Moore wrote about the superhero, Marvelman in his quests to fight terrorists and other evildoers: the same plot of fighting evil and eventually exhibiting the good prevails in the end. The difference of the character in Miracleman is the depiction of the main character being a husband to Liz (Moran). Unlike the characters in The League, this main character has a special companion (wife) despite him being characterized as a superhero. Different adventures ensue from the series of good-fighting-evil scenarios with effective portrayal of aggressiveness, violence, graphic visual depiction of villains along the way.
In V for Vendetta, the main character, named V, as a masked man who allegedly possesses enhanced strength, stamina, endurance, and intelligence . Just like the other superheroes and characters in Alan Moore’s literary works, V, exists to revenge on the Norse government, reportedly a fascist regime that puts the populace under brutal control . Another character, Evey Hammond, a meek 16- year old girl, was reportedly saved by V from the oppression of the Norse secret police, and who V, secretly hid in his lair (known as the Shadow Gallery) . The similarity of the character, V, with other characters developed by Alan Moore is his possession of powers and the fact that he allegedly exists to get back at a system that oppresses and punishes the people at that time.
Alan Moore had been pegged as a controversial writer due to some personal and
professional remarks reportedly divulged by him in his capacity as a writer. One published article which seem to have stirred much controversy was when he was noted to have said that “the 1986 book (Watchmen) was actually the pinnacle of an art form, and nothing as good has been published since then” (Pinchefsky par. 1). The statement could have been misinterpreted by many and was perceived as grossly arrogant. However, it was asserted that the statement was disclosed with the premise that the making of Watchmen was actually intended by Moore to revolutionize the comics genre and thus, rather than being seen as a stumbling block by contemporary writers inasmuch as it became the basis of comparison with any new literary materials of the same category; according to Moore, Watchmen should be an inspiration and influential work to do better.
In another discourse, Moore was again reported to be in another midst of controversy when he was quoted to apparently state that “comics have been all downhill since Watchmen” . When readers read the statement without considering explanations to it, definitely the picture that would again be painted of Moore was that of pure arrogance. However, it was explicitly noted from the article that Moore did not even explicitly state anything to the effect that comics had been all downhill after he has written Watchmen. In fact, the true explanation was that Moore was allegedly merely discussing and describing techniques that he uses in his literary works. The controversy he gets himself into apparently spurs from other writers’ interpretation of his comments; and was not, in any way, meant to elevate his stature as a graphic writer.
Likewise, it was interesting to find out from the same article that Moore, despite apparently working as a graphic writer who produced a considerable amount of exemplary work, it was noted that “he resents the comic book industry at large and he despises any attempt by Hollywood to bring his work to the big screen” . The statement is controversial by nature due to the fact that it would be impossible to perceive that a writer in the comics genre could resent the very industry that supports his work. In addition, a lot of his literary works have already been made to fit the big screen. One reflected that deep inside, the statement could not have been totally factual given that much of Moore’s success as a writer has been made instrumentally possible with the support of professional writers in the comic book industry; as well as people in Hollywood who believed that his works were worthy to be produced in the big screen. However, in subsequent interviews, it was clearly revealed that Moore detests the adaptation of his literary works into movies. This could be due to the fact that most the original details in his literary works could have been lost in the film or detracted from the message that he actually intended to relay.
Finally, one also perceives that his very personality and the way he works, speaks, wears his hair, and lives are perceived to be unconventional – making him controversial. He was noted to have previously indulged in the following: “his formerly heavy LSD use (50 or 60 trips a year), his current use of mushrooms (in ritual use only) and his practice of magic” . The behavior could be perceived as uncanny; but artistic people have been known to exhibit personality traits that are deemed to be not within the traditional bounds. His biography noted that the influential person who could have made a lasting mark on his personality development during his critical stages of growth was his grandmother, who was described as both highly religious; yet, superstitous. He was likewise reported to have grown from an impoverished neighborhood which apparently exposed him to lack of basic facilities that could have provided the conceptual framework for this literary works.
In different interviews of Alan Moore, he openly acknowledged his resentment of
Hollywood. He was noted to remark that “my main experiences in the past had been of the Hollywood variety, which was on many levels repulsive to me. Every film is a remake of a previous film, or a remake of a television series that everyone loved in the 1960s, or a remake of a television series that everyone hated in the 1960s” . Thus, despite five of his work noted to have been made into films, Moore have been reported not to have established a conducive and smooth relationships with the movie adaptations of his work. According Lamont, there was only one work of Moore, which he endorsed and acknowledged as something he finally liked: a short written work entitled Jimmy’s End, which was noted to be accessible online.
His experiences of a literary work, Watchmen, one of the famous and controversial works, were noted to have been adapted for film and of which the results were not to his liking. He was quoted to state in an interview that the reason why Moore opted to allegedly sign away the rights to the movie of one of his more famous literary works, Watchmen, it was explicitly revealed that expectations for any adaptations were actually nil. As such, when he got to view the finished movie, there were so much changes that he allegedly developed a distaste to it; including the revenue that was reported to have been generated from it. Notably, Moore was also reported to have requested that his name be taken out from the movie credits; while the earnings due him were acknowledged to have been endorsed to Dave Gibbons, the artist who Moore identified to be his collaborative partner during the conception of the Watchmen series .
These incidences more than confirmed and validated how Alan Moore could have been perceived by others as both eccentric and controversial. Despite the popularity of his written works, especially those which were adapted to become movies, he remained entrenched in his pursuit for creative ideas that serve the purpose of entertaining at its least expensive medium. He was noted to have stated his enthusiasm and “love (for) films that are made with almost no budget” ; which, in contemporary times, could just be virtually impossible.
One has actually seen the movie Watchman and, as asserted by Moore, a lot of changes or adaptations were made to make the comic book series fit for the big screen. In fact, in an interview with the director of the film, Zack Snyder, it was revealed that the series was actually pegged by Moore as “unfilmable” (Caroll). The director allegedly had to make the necessary adaptations to enhance the appeal to contemporary audiences and to make us of resources, innovations, creative talent deemed fit to bring Watchmen from the comic book pages to the live screen. As much as nine major changes or adaptations were noted by Snyder which were instrumental in Moore’s subsequent detestation for the rendition. Thus, it could be asserted that the movie could be considered not a faithful adaptation of the original graphic novel that typified Moore’s literary works.
Overall, although one regards Alan Moore as similarly eccentric and controversial, the skills and expertise that he exhibited through his diversely popular literary works only confirm and validate that he is one of the most influential graphic writers in contemporary times. His works would continue to inspire other contemporary writers and move readers from all walks of life in another realm; as the audience anticipate the publishing of his next sets of graphic novels.
"Alan Moore." 2013. FamousAuthors.org. http://www.famousauthors.org/alan-moore. 6 August 2013.
"Alan Moore Courts Controversy (Again)But This Time It’s Not His Fault." 10 September 2010. virgilsallnightdiner.wordpress.com. http://virgilsallnightdiner.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/alan-moore-courts-controversy-again-but-this-time-its-not-his-fault/. 6 August 2013.
Callahan, T. "The Great Alan Moore Reread: Marvelman/Miracleman, Part 1." 31 October 2011. tor.com. http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/10/the-great-alan-moore-reread-marvelman-miracleman-part-1. 6 August 2013.
Caroll, L. "'Watchmen' Director Reveals Key Differences Between Graphic Novel, Film." 24 February 2009. mtv.com. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1605765/key-differences-between-watchmen-comic-film.jhtml. 7 August 2013.
Lamont, T. "Alan Moore: why I turned my back on Hollywood." 15 December 2012. The Guardian: The Observer. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/dec/15/alan-moore-why-i-rejected-hollywood-interview. 6 August 2013.
Muise, C. "Overall Summary of “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore." n.d. hyperlink. http://www.hyperink.com/Overall-Summary-Ofldquov-For-Vendettardquo-By-Alan-Moore-b260a6. 6 August 2013.
Pinchefsky, C. "Alan Moore says comics have been all downhill since Watchmen." 9 September 2010. blastr. http://www.blastr.com/2010/09/alan-moore-says-comics-ha.php. 6 August 2013.