Leah Moore, Alan Moore's daughter, offers a compassionate defense of her father's infamous crankiness

I’d argue that it was a stupid deal and he never should have taken it, for exactly the reason he got screwed.

Basically, if your work is a flop then you get the useless rights to your flop. If it’s a success then you’re fucked. It’s a terrible deal, and it’s not even through accounting fuckery like screwing over movie stars that take points on the net profit. Plus, if you piss off your publisher they can print limited edition runs of your work every few years just to spite you.

Alan Moore should be mad at the publishers for being dicks, but mostly he should be mad at his lawyer for letting him agree to such a horrible deal.

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Pessimism is a defense mode-- scratch a pessimist and you’ll find a romantic underneath.


"Anybody could have done it.”

@the_borderer Back in 90s I was always puzzled that I saw posters for some Welsh band stuck up around the city, but never heard anything else of them. I liked the posters, but didn’t know what their name meant; I mean how do you even pronounce PWEI?

@Ryuthrowsstuff I was on the fringes of mainstream comics back in the late 80s - early 90s. The industry was in a mad boom and bust cycle, so it wasn’t a stable source of income.

I really miss America’s Best Comics. They were such a fun and inventive line.


I know lots of anarchists. They all vote.

I don’t want to get into a big ole arguement about the tenets of various flavors of anarchism. But regardless of your ethos, stumping for political change, lamenting the the state of things. But doing nothing to impact them is self defeating. It’s basically just washing your hands of the situation and letting the things you’re opposed to continue.

Like I said I’m a fan of Moore as a big weird human being in general. But for all his talk you’ll never really hear anything about him actually getting involved in politics directly. Its not like he doesn’t vote but he’s out there organizing and protesting or something. And he hasn’t even been putting political ideas out there through his work the same way he used to.

He pretty much has. He’s still producing work. And some of its been quite successful. Lost Girls was apparently a best seller and got 5 stars from the NY Times book reviewer, they actually reviewed it as a regular book. Which was a fairly significant thing at that point.

Unfortunately Lost Girls is equal parts kinda gross and not that good.

And that’s sort of the thing. He’s still producing work, and he publishes it through a variety of smaller publishers with a creator owned model. Its just that not much of it has been all that good for over a decade. And even less of it has been relevant or a hit.

I’ve heard his most recent thing, Providence, is pretty good though.


I thought he was another one of those people who managed to say something a while ago that pissed everyone off? It’s so hard to keep track these days. But then, if he shuns social media, it is easier by many orders of magnitude to avoid that sort of thing.

Found this, though.


On one hand, I do agree — it was a contractual issue, and, on paper, DC did exactly what they had agreed to.

In Moore’s defense, I will say that at the time, there was no precedent for collecting OOP comic books and re-publishing them as a trade paperback. So the idea that it would never go out of print was pretty radical.

So I can understand his disappointment; at the same time, you’re right that he was partially at fault.

That being said, I think everything that followed made it even worse.


Ehhhhhh Moore’s always been provocative. He pushes a lot of boundaries in all of his work. There are valid critiques of a lot of it; and I’d also argue that a lot of it is also justified as provocative art (which people can still rightfully be offended by).

A few years ago, he did defend his blackface-caricature Gollywog character in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and that pissed a lot of people off: https://frasersherman.com/2016/11/10/alan-moore-tries-taking-it-back-the-golleywog-sfwapro/

There is also a lot of sexual violence in his work. Some critics say he’s glamorizing it; he says he’s deliberately criticizing it. In the end, it’s all kind of in the eye of the beholder. Even his most offensive work is still thoughtful and deliberate; whether he “should” be the one to tell those stories is a whole other conversation. But he’s just not like, throwing fucked up racist and sexist shit in there willy-willy. For better, and for worse.


It is a subject of disagreement in anarchist groups.

The general rule is to vote in such a way as to weaken capitalism and state power without harming the most vunerable in society, while transferring that power to everyone as best you can. In that context voting Labour* makes sense, even though you/I/Alan Moore might hate the party. There are better options but they aren’t going to win, either locally or nationally.

The rule was “don’t vote, it just encourages them”, but the reality is that they don’t need our votes for encouragement. It’s better to vote in a way that fucks them up as much as possible.

* OK, voting Lib Dem might also make sense if the realistic alternative is a Tory, but only then. And voting Green in Brighton Pavilion also makes sense in that one context.


Or are, say, one of the most famous comic book authors in the world, such as Alan Moore is.


I thought they were from the Midlands.


Moore’s influence is hard to understate, I think. He was involved in a lot more properties than people realize… mostly because they think he’s just a bitter old crank…


It’s probably also worthwhile to point out that this subject isn’t rooted in anarchists being inherently opposed to democracy.

Direct democracy and radical democracy seem to be pretty big topics among anarchist groups.

But when you get right down to it it boils down to realpolitik. You’ve got the ideology. But then you’ve also got the practical concern of how to represent it and impact the very real world.

And what you’re saying isn’t all that materially different than the discussion about voting and party affiliation in the broad American Left at the moment.


Yes, but I also think Moore enjoyed writing his takes on the existing superheroes as well, which writing as an indie creator wouldn’t be possible - you can’t write a Superman comic for anyone other than DC. Making a charter who is “Superman-like” just isn’t the same and also could open you up to trademark issues, anyway. And his work on other creator’s characters could be sublime. The one-shot issues he wrote for Spawn and Hellblazer were great.

The 90s started having more successful indie comics, but even then most weren’t creator-owned, they were just smaller press. I think for a long time Cerebus was one of the only ones that was creator-owned fully. There weren’t a lot of examples, and true self-publishing takes you into realms far beyond the artistic expression of writing. Image started, but I remember there being both excitement and some distrust when that happened. Yay if it works, but I don’t think everyone bought into it as something they trusted for a while. And it definitely had some bumps. Neil Gaiman sued them for stealing his characters and putting them in comics without paying him, for example. Things like that probably didn’t do much to improve Moore’s taste for the industry as a whole. He did write some for Image, but not a ton.


Many great artists throughout history have been ill tempered or embittered; it kinda goes with the territory of knowing from the start that if you ‘make your living off your passion,’ chances are good that you’re probably gonna die poor.


Indeed, sorry, I wasn’t very clear. They were definitely from the Midlands, hence the preponderance of posters around here. However, seeing the posters, but not seeing the record artwork, I assumed that PWEI was some Welsh word being used as a band name. I had the same issue with INXS and In Excess. :smiley:


That was sort of the entire premise of “Watchmen”, one of the most influential comics of all time, which had no copyrighted or existing characters in it.

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Originally they were pre-existing characters from Charlton Comics, but DC decided they wanted to do something different with them.


He could go indie now, but he could not get to be where he is now by going indie back then.
I know a tiny handful of indie comic book guys, and a tinier fraction of them are professionals at it, but none of them were successful and stayed indie.

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Absolutely. If I was double-crossed by greedpigs the way Moore and his contemporaries were, I’d be bitter too.

Not for being cranky. As for voting…better late than never.


Except that when the gatekeepers of an industry have all the leverage and use it to treat workers and artists like serfs, the latter are far less responsible for the no-win scenario into which those employers put them.