Alan Moore is one of the great geniuses of comic books, having done his best to make them mature and brainy and deep. He’s also one of the medium’s loudest critics. He’s no fan of the movies made from his comics, even refusing a credit on films like Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. And he’s no fan of the superhero wing of comics, which he’s frequently deconstructed and satirized in his own work. In the past, he’s slammed caped crusaders as “tremendously embarrassing and not a little worrying.” Now he’s going even further.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Moore talks about moving from comics to prose, releasing Illuminations, a new collection of short stories. He also reiterated what he’s said before, that he’s “definitely done” with the medium with which he made his name. He also got in another, even more furious dig at the most popular and prevalent form of comics.
“I said round about 2011 that I thought that it had serious and worrying implications for the future if millions of adults were queueing up to see Batman movies,” Moore told The Guardian. “Because that kind of infantilisation – that urge towards simpler times, simpler realities – that can very often be a precursor to fascism.”
But maybe that’s already happened. Moore points out that when Trump was elected and the many part of the world “took a bit of a strange detour in our politics,” the global movie box office was dominated by superhero movies. He went on:
“Hundreds of thousands of adults [are] lining up to see characters and situations that had been created to entertain the 12-year-old boys – and it was always boys – of 50 years ago. I didn’t really think that superheroes were adult fare. I think that this was a misunderstanding born of what happened in the 1980s – to which I must put my hand up to a considerable share of the blame, though it was not intentional – when things like Watchmen were first appearing. There were an awful lot of headlines saying ‘Comics Have Grown Up’. I tend to think that, no, comics hadn’t grown up. There were a few titles that were more adult than people were used to. But the majority of comics titles were pretty much the same as they’d ever been. It wasn’t comics growing up. I think it was more comics meeting the emotional age of the audience coming the other way.”
And with that, the man who revitalized Swamp Thing, who gave Batman one of his greatest episodes, who wrote From Hell and V for Vendetta and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has reminded people that he agrees with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.
Moore does see some silver lining. For example, those fighting for social change — for good or ill — have adopted the Guy Fawkes mask worn by the dandy revolutionary of Moore’s V for Vendetta.
“I can’t endorse everything that people who take that mask as an icon might do in the future, of course,” Moore said. “But I’m heartened to see that it has been adopted by protest movements so widely across the world. Because we do need protest movements now, probably more than we’ve ever done before.”
(Via The Guardian)