Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum << Prev Page of 18 Next >>
Topic: Et tu, Moira!? Or...what makes a mutant - SPOILERS Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116921
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 7:30am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Many novels were originally published in installments, including Dickens' entire catalog. Or The Green Mile, for a more recent example. Watchmen was conceived as a single, self-contained story, so I've never understood your obsession with withholding the (admittedly dopey) title of "graphic novel" from it.

•••

Lot of false equivalency there. Matters not, tho, since you undercut your own point.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Shane Matlock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1663
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 9:46am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I was going to say From Hell wasn't pastiche, but I remember reading Moore writing that he read something like 20 books on Jack the Ripper or something to research the comic and, having read none of them, I don't know what elements he may or may not have borrowed from them. Was there stuff in Swamp Thing he borrowed from other sources? I'm not sure. I have read Grant Morrison's assertions that Moore "borrowed" a lot of ideas from the Lance Parkin novel Superfolks for Watchmen, Miracleman/Marvelman, and Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow and reading the plot points and ideas in Superfolks it's a bit hard to argue he didn't. 

I would say that Big Numbers would have been a wholly original work by Moore, but sadly only two issues of that were published and it's likely never going to be finished. 

That said, I do think the way Moore writes his comics is what makes him more unique. I agree that there isn't anything particularly realistic about making all of the superheroes neurotic (and it isn't like you couldn't find any examples of that prior to Watchmen either). I think what made Moore work for many, myself included, was his dialogue and he's really good at things like structure and scene transitions and flowery purple prose. With him it's always been more about the execution than the idea. And he was often paired with a very talented artist or artists like Dave Gibbons or Brian Bolland or Steve Bissette/John Totleben or JH Williams III. For my money, Next Men was a much more realistic take on superheroes than Watchmen was. 


Not sure why he thought it wouldn't upset Moore though, since Moore was chiefly responsible for getting Morrison his first bit of American comics work according to Karen Berger herself who gave him his first job on Animal Man on Moore's recommendation. Moore has never taken kindly to folks crossing him and has a long list of ex-friends. The fact Moore responded by calling Arkham Asylum a "gilded turd" also made me chuckle. (Although Moore has essentially said the same about his own work on Killing Joke, which he hates almost everything about except the art.)


Edited by Shane Matlock on 18 August 2019 at 10:23am
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116921
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 10:08am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Was there stuff in SWAMP THING he borrowed from other sources?

•••

Well, Swamp Thing...

Look, my problem is not so much with Moore as with his audience, or some of it. A small legion of faux sophisticates who rave about what he does while clearly not recognizing his sources. V, for example, being praised by American fans who do not recognize it as Guy Fawkes folded into 1984. Readers who actually deny the Charlton superheroes as the starting point for WATCHMEN. Etc, etc.

By all means, let people like what they like, but please, can they understand WHAT they’re liking?

(When I first read WATCHMEN a scene that stayed with me was when Rorschach chains the guy to the stove and leaves him with a hacksaw. Then I saw MAD MAX.)

Back to Top profile | search
 
Shane Matlock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1663
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Anyone that thinks V FOR VENDETTA is an original work really needs to read something other than comic books. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Rick Whiting
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 22 April 2004
Posts: 1942
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 12:32pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Look, my problem is not so much with Moore as with his audience, or some of it. A small legion of faux sophisticates who rave about what he does while clearly not recognizing his sources. V, for example, being praised by American fans who do not recognize it as Guy Fawkes folded into 1984. Readers who actually deny the Charlton superheroes as the starting point for WATCHMEN. Etc, etc.

By all means, let people like what they like, but please, can they understand WHAT they’re liking?

__________________________________


That's also my main problem with a number of diehard Moore fans. They act like elitist snobs who think that reading comics written by Moore (especially superhero comics) makes them "cool" and less "nerdy" and often site Moore's work as proof that comic books (especially superhero comics) are not "just for kids" and to justify to those adults who don't read comics why they are still reading comics as an adult. They look down on and diss traditional straightforward all ages superhero comics.
Back to Top profile | search
 
James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5047
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 1:55pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The Rorschach /Mad Max scene is the one I referenced above & sticks with me as a scene lifted wholesale - there isn’t even an attempt to hide the source.

Moore would write many stories that were derivative - very early in his career he wrote for 2000 A.D. - Future shocks, Skizz, D.R. & Quinch etc - it was pretty easy to see where the source came from. & that didn’t change.

I liked what I read, but to dismiss the source was to do that source a disservice which is why is galls me when he moans & moans when people take his stories/characters & write stories with them. It’s what he has done for his entire career!

But people who came to Watchmen with no background of anything else elevated that one story above all other comics. & that is just ridiculous. They need to get a better education.

Which is ironic when you consider their argument is that Watchmen elevated comics to the point that the better educated could now enjoy them.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116921
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 2:35pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I’ve known people who read only WATCHMEN, and upon asking if I had done any “graphic novels” sneered when I mentioned SHE-HULK. Then I had to explain that “graphic novel” referred to format, not content. For someone to say “I only read graphic novels,” was like someone saying s/he only read trade paperbacks. Or only read magazines that were square bound.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Adam Schulman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 22 July 2017
Posts: 1203
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I thought, at least at the time (1988), that WATCHMEN had masked characters who had psychological depth to them that couldn't be allowed in mainstream Marvel or DC titles. And I found Dr. Manhattan fascinating. I only felt sorry for Rorshach.

WATCHMEN is "realistic" in answering the question "what if costumed vigilantes existed in the real world"? The answer: "they would be very screwed-up people, especially in a world where no real supervillains exist." This was something my 15-year-old brain had never considered.

Also, "if even only one American had superpowers and wasn't using them for personal gain, what would happen? He'd be a government tool for winning the Cold War." Again, not something that could be done in mainstream Marvel or DC titles. I hadn't considered that. But it made perfect sense. 

I still like WATCHMEN. It's DARK KNIGHT that I have problems with -- and DARK KNIGHT had a lot more influence on 1990s comics than WATCHMEN did. (VIOLENCE! VIOLENCE!! MORE VIOLENCE!!! And Batman is "crazy"!!)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Adam Schulman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 22 July 2017
Posts: 1203
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 2:50pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Another question for those in the know -- did Moore "lift" anything for THE BOJEFFRIES SAGA? Or A SMALL KILLING? 
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116921
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 2:53pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

There are crazy cops. There are crazy firemen. Crazy soldiers.

But they’re not ALL crazy. WATCHMEN read to me as Moore showing his contempt for the whole concept. He was/is the poster boy for post-Watergate distrust of authority.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Adam Schulman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 22 July 2017
Posts: 1203
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 3:04pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Contempt for the idea of the costumed vigilante, yes. And admittedly, in the real world, if anyone attempted to be the equivalent of Batman, they really would be crazy.

I don't think that Moore's contempt extended to the "cosmic," superpowered heroes. As depressing as "Whatever Happened to the Tomorrow?" is, I'm very sure that Moore loves the Mort Weisinger-era Superman -- or at least he did at the time. His (few) Green Lantern stories are fun, with no "revisionist" aspects that I can remember.

Hell, strangely enough, even his Clayface (Preston Payne) story in a BATMAN annual is "played straight," with no contempt for anything!


Back to Top profile | search
 
Mike Norris
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4151
Posted: 18 August 2019 at 5:10pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

One on the things that annoys me about a lot of Moore fans is how they love to accuse DC of plagiarism or theft when they use characters Moore "created". Yet most of his works are derived from the works of others. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 

<< Prev Page of 18 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login