Now there is no doubt about the impact Alan Moore has had on comic books. As creator of one of the greatest selling graphic novels of all time, “Watchmen“, Alan Moore will be remembered by comic fans as one of the greatest writers of all time, but also as the man who hates the industry in which he has so much talent in.
Alan Moore states that “superheroes are written and drawn by people who’ve never stood up for their own rights against companies that employ them and they are to be largely employed as cowardice compensators.” He even goes so far as to claim that there is a lack of diversity in the comic book world and says that these books and characters are “still very much white supremacist dreams of the master race.“
In a time when superheroes are arguably larger than they have ever been and slowly but surely approaching the idea of genre fatigue, more and more people of name have come out to criticize the genre. Examples being that of Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese as the big ones, but would anyone suspect Alan Moore of saying things such as this?
Anyone who has followed the career and life of Alan Moore can tell that he is not happy with the state of comic books. Before the year of 1986, comics were cartoon-y and some were just down right silly, superheroes were introduced into the world as a gleaming spire of hope. Then came the release of “Watchmen” and “The Dark Knight Returns” and the entire comic genre was changed forever. This introduced darker tones into comics, creating anti-heroes and showing a sense of violence never seen before. These new dramatic and somewhat politically themed comics were the tipping point, and paved the way for darker and more interesting stories that felt like they had stake. So you might be asking, “then why would Alan Moore be upset with the comic book genre if he helped change the entire landscape?”
And it is a relatively easy answer… because DC somewhat screwed him.
I’m going to paraphrase a bit here. DC Comics was the publisher of “Watchmen”, kind of, and they made a deal with Moore that when the comic goes out of print he will get the full rights to the series and everything that comes from it. Low and behold, “Watchmen” becomes one of the greatest selling comics of all time, basically preventing it from going out of print. Refusing to strike a new deal with Alan Moore, the two became bitter towards each other, and after a few more sour deals with Moore and comic book publishers, it left a bad taste in his mouth.
I am not calling Alan Moore a bitter man who is wrong, but you can see why he would basically hate the landscape he basically built.