Legendary Comics Writer Alan Moore is a Bitter, Old Hippy

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Legendary comics writer Alan Moore is a bitter, old hippy:

But, like I say, it was the 1960s. Most of the comic fans I met at the time were 14- or 15-year-old proto-hippies, as was I. They were very interested in the progressive spirit of the time.

So, those were the agendas that we were following then. We thought it would be a great idea if comics could be recognized as the wonderful medium that we secretly knew them to be. And when I say “we,” I’m talking about the 50 actual people who turned up at those early conventions, which was pretty much the sum total of everybody in this country [England] who’d ever heard of American comics. But back then our agenda was this progressive notion that, wouldn’t it be terrific if people were to get involved with comics who could make them more adult, more grown up, to show the kind of themes they were capable of handling? So this was the agenda that, 20 years later, I was still following toward the end of my first DC run.

At the time I thought that a book like Watchmen would perhaps unlock a lot of potential creativity, that perhaps other writers and artists in the industry would see it and would think, “This is great, this shows what comics can do. We can now take our own ideas and thanks to the success of Watchmen we’ll have a better chance of editors giving us a shot at them.” I was hoping naively for a great rash of individual comic books that were exploring different storytelling ideas and trying to break new ground.

That isn’t really what happened. Instead it seemed that the existence of Watchmen had pretty much doomed the mainstream comic industry to about 20 years of very grim and often pretentious stories that seemed to be unable to get around the massive psychological stumbling block that Watchmen had turned out to be, although that had never been my intention with the work.

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