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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 28 November 2019 at 12:10am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Heh. We were eventually gonna get to the typical Watchmen issues so let's do it, what the heck. That's what a comics forum is for, anyway :)

If there is a good story to be told with these characters, I'm all for it.

The much maligned "good story" excuse suddenly becomes valid again if we're talking about something Moore is involved.

The thing is, there is just one good story and it's already been told. As has been said in this very thread, doing more Watchmen is a knock-off of a knock-off. Doing a twist on something that was already a twist. 

These characters exist for the sole purpose of Moore and Gibbons doing this story (more treatise on superheroes, comic books and 20th century American politics and culture than "a story" actually).

That's why I find the hunger for prequels or sequels nonsensical. Of course now they exist in these various forms and there's nothing that can be done about it, but IMHO they only prove my point (some people on this thread enjoy the show and the reviews are mostly good so that's very subjective of course).

But if you really needed more stories with Rorschach-type or Nite Owl-type characters why not use the original Charlton characters instead? The answer is that that's not really the goal. The goal is to ape the Moore/Gibbons "style" on these characters and cash in on its well-earned prestige.

That's what they're really trying to ape. And, if your goal is to ape Alan Moore, chances are you're going to make a fool of yourself (Hi, Grant!).

"Alan may go on about how DC treated him over Watchmen, but he was very well rewarded financially by DC for his efforts at the time."

I'm sure he was but, as Brian says above, he was promised something and then tricked out of it. Could you imagine J.K. Rowling not owning Harry Potter but the publisher instead? Lucas owned Star Wars for three decades and then decided to sell it, his choice. The american comic book "system" is f---d up, and always was. 

Moore himself seems to understand this perfectly. He said something along the lines "Okay, you've successfully swindled me, and now I'll never work for you again and don't want to have anything to do with you", and he kept his word.

I don't see the "cranky old man" attitude people seem to see here. What's he supposed to do when he is asked about it (which is all the time)? Cheer them on?

 



Edited by Rodrigo castellanos on 28 November 2019 at 12:24am
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 28 November 2019 at 6:13am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Could you imagine Alan Moore writing a comic series about the explicit sexual activities of child characters, being asked (told) by the copyright holders of those characters (a children's hospital no less) that they do not want those stories published, and he publishes them anyway?

Yeah, when he acknowledges that he was wrong to do that, I'll start to give a damn about how DC treated him over Watchmen.
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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 28 November 2019 at 4:12pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Could you imagine Alan Moore writing a comic series about the explicit sexual activities of child characters, being asked (told) by the copyright holders of those characters (a children's hospital no less) that they do not want those stories published, and he publishes them anyway?

Yeah, when he acknowledges that he was wrong to do that, I'll start to give a damn about how DC treated him over Watchmen.

____________________________________


Exactly. Moore is a self righteous hypocrite. I will go a step further and say that he also did similar things to comic book characters that were created by other creators.
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 28 November 2019 at 5:23pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

And now the discussion stopped being about WATCHMEN and is all about LOST GIRLS instead.

Textbook stuff.


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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 28 November 2019 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I thought he acknowledged what The Joker did to Batgirl in The Killing Joke was also wrong? He loves superheroes so much he does terrible things to them, permanent things, that get lots of attention and fuels all kinds of other writers not half as well read to get that attention by also doing very non-fantasy things with these fantasy characters with their fantasy powers.

How a creative cul-de-sac becomes the main highway and how we go from spinner racks in every corner shop to a specialist retailer in maybe every fifth town.

Is it really such a creative thing to take the old Fawcett Captain Marvel, and Captain Marvel Jr. and call them Marvelman and Marvelboy with different hair color? If you don't know, in England the last Captain Marvel Adventures of the '50s was followed by Marvelman the next issue. Is it really creative to take Charlton's Blue Beetle and say he's an Owl, or add moving blobs of ink (now how fantasy is that) on the blank face of the suit wearing The Question etc.? They decided not to desecrate the Charlton originals, that's all... how can Moore pretend to have created these characters out of whole cloth? They probably should've had Miller's Dark Knight be a Batman lookalike instead of the real thing, but in a way he did that the first time with Ronin... does anyone care about the ownership of that? Take Batman out of that and The Killing Joke would they have sold so well?

Comic books for adults... yeah, I say the underground comix were there first and actually did have an entirely adult audience. That one would take these 'dark' superheroes so seriously and then put down something from the '60s that at least had some humour to it pretty much speaks for itself. Oh whatever are they teaching in the universities about the history of sequential graphic narratives these days? :^D

Yeah, Moby Dick, about a fish. Ha ha. But Watchmen really is about nothing but superheroes and fannish in-references; deconstructing, twisting, undermining, getting off on superhero action erotically, raping, murdering, and supposedly loving superheroes and their nine boxes per page world. Like he loved Stan Lee in the 1963 'homages'. But the true believers of Stan are a lot more grounded than the true believers in Alan Moore the great creative pinnacle of mature literature are informed.

Well, I took back the last word. But it will undoubtedly be righteously fought I'm sure, to the shriveling and dying and re-exhuming of what once lived. I did a superhero comic book for a commercial superhero comic book publisher and they didn't respect it's integrity and sold it, wah.


Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 28 November 2019 at 5:25pm
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 28 November 2019 at 11:42pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

No Rodrigo, the discussion is about ‘Has Alan Moore been treated unfairly & should Watchmen be a sacred cow that is not allowed to be touched by other writers, be that in comic, TV or film?’

Lost Girls, Skizz, Marvelman/Miracleman (& how Alan Davis was treated), the use of characters such as Harry Potter in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen etc are all relevant to that discussion.

Because they show that Alan Moore often acts in a manner that is exactly the way his ‘can do no wrong’ supporters claim he has been treated. Doesn’t make what happened right, but it does diminish the argument.

‘Textbook stuff’ is a poor response when the issues that are relevant to such a debate are raised.

If a major part of the discussion is that DC screwed Moore over him being given control of Watchmen, Moore ignoring the wishes of the copyright owners of Peter Pan is extremely relevant to that discussion


Edited by James Woodcock on 28 November 2019 at 11:47pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 29 November 2019 at 2:26am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

James Woodcock wrote, "Could you imagine Alan Moore writing a comic series about the explicit sexual activities of child characters, being asked (told) by the copyright holders of those characters (a children's hospital no less) that they do not want those stories published, and he publishes them anyway?

Yeah, when he acknowledges that he was wrong to do that, I'll start to give a damn about how DC treated him over Watchmen."

A.) No, you won't. You're much too invested at this point. 

B.) So we're done with Alan Davis's lunatic assertions that he owns Marveldog because the character first appeared on pages he drew? The sacred cause we're defending now is the intellectual property rights of sick British children, is that right? We're all agreed Davis can go f*ck himself? Sick children in, Davis out? Good.

C.) The Great Ormond Street Hospital did not say they flatly opposed the publication of Lost Girls. They said Moore could not publish it in the U.K. without their license. Presumably they wished to sell such license. Moore did not accede to their demands because he maintained that their copyright extended only to public performances of the play based on J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan." They did not own the rights to Peter and Wendy as characters. In any case, Moore's publisher did negotiate with the Hospital and agreed to withhold publication until their copyright ran out, which it did almost immediately. It looks more like a last-minute cash-grab while they still had those rights. In any case, Moore's publisher respected their claim until it was no longer an issue, yet never bowed to the idea that they in fact owned Peter Pan and all its attendant properties outright. 

So, no. No wailing burn ward children or sniffling mites clutching their golliwogs as they slowly faded to transparency and beyond were harmed in the making of Lost Girls. Your next empty, idiotic argument...?

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 29 November 2019 at 2:50am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Rebecca Jensen wrote, "I did a superhero comic book for a commercial superhero comic book publisher and they didn't respect it's integrity and sold it, wah."

Wah, indeed. You realize much of what you've written here is in Martian, right? For years and years, DC did respect the integrity of the property it lied to Moore to acquire and did not allow any spin-offs, sequels, prequels, wacky hand puppets, etc. It did one ill-conceived guest appearance by Rorschach in a dream sequence and said it wouldn't do that again. It respected the work too much.*

But y'know, stockholders and money and stuff, and whattayaknow, a generation later I guess we WILL plow that field of money after all. What I don't get is this bit where you say they sold Watchmen, however. When did DC sell Watchmen, Rebecca?

* They took a similar tack with Gaiman's Sandman after guest-starring Death in an issue of Captain Atom (??) Oh, no. We respect the author. It's a complete work on its own. Yadda yadda somesuch. I think the last I heard Daniel was now a member of the Justice League. 

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 29 November 2019 at 2:55am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Geez Brian, there’s a lot of angry bile in that post, including the insinuation that kids in the UK still get given Golliwogs (no idea where that one came from). Thanks for the mind reading by the way. 

I would start to give a damn because it would show that he @ least acknowledges that there are times he has done similar things to others. Instead he hides behind the claim that he takes established characters & does something new with them, while everyone who does things with his characters just repeats what he does with them.

Alan & GOSH are not mutually exclusive, I can think about both @ the same time, but just because I don’t mention both in the same post, doesn’t mean I don’t think both are relevant.
I don’t mention Harry Potter either, but I also think that is relevant.

Alan’s issues are not just about Miracledog, they are a bit more nebulous than that & are about how comics created for Warrior were created & who owned copyright (granted they are further complicated by whether Warrior should have published Marvelman in the first place but that’s a different kettle of fish).
They are a bit like Alan Moore’s issues with the use of characters he created/used in Doctor Who Weekly turning up in Captain Britain (when he wrote it) & then being ported to Marvel USA.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 29 November 2019 at 3:42am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

My pal Jeff's young bride from London grew up with golliwogs, James, and insisted (loudly) that they were completely harmless. Must be a local thing. :-)

I'll admit I don't love Moore's use of a Harry Potter analogue in LOEG, but he does not mention the character by name or appropriate him outright. He merely suggests the character is that certain someone we all know. Marvel went further with their "Buried Alien" character in Quasar. 

I've heard fans raise issues with Claremont's obsession with the Captain Britain characters, but I'm not familiar with Moore addressing it as anything more than an annoyance. Certainly nothing to end a friendship over, as Davis seems to feel his issues warrant. 

As I understand it, he petitioned Moore to stand with him and oppose Eclipse's use of the specific pages he drew and Moore, already under contract to work with Eclipse on those issues, did not break that contract to defend Davis's nebulous and weird copyright claims. Davis is kind of an ass to put a friendship on the line over someone not breaking a contract & suffering legal repercussions, to fight for something he himself is not willing to go to court over. 

I've never heard Moore say he was doing something new with the LOEG characters, by the way. He's acknowledged from the start that literary pastiches of this sort are fairly common and that he is playing in a long-established genre. But it's common for Moore critics to cite this enormous ego of his supposedly, and fail to allow that it's Moore himself who usually outs these horrifying, egregious, unspeakable, loathsome, unendurable exercises in plagiarism he's so often charged with. He speaks freely about where his inspirations originate and what he's used for research, and in come the brilliant vultures to shriek at him for his temerity, while they go out and buy truly derivative drivel without a moment's thought or concern.

Moore has often said that he regrets the shadow his work cast over the comics industry. He saw a chance to bring some dark poetry into this bright, happy world, and have the characters resonate in ways that perhaps they hadn't before. That all anyone can do since is try to echo that dark approach is something he regrets. You may find that hubristic, but it is not, as you state, "everyone who does things with his characters just repeat(ing) what he does with them."

He's saying he regrets the overall tone that's settled over comics since Watchmen. It's not specifically that DC can't stop doing Watchmen with those specific characters. It's that DC, and the industry itself, can't stop doing Watchmen with all of its characters; that every book has become some sort of riff on Watchmen. 

That they have now reduced themselves to "creating" a raft of properties with the Watchmen brand itself only proves his point that the industry is creatively bankrupt and can't stop doing Watchmen in one form or another, now in the most blatant and shameless ways possible.

He had hoped that what he brought to comics was the idea that they could be looked at differently; viewed through a spectrum of various lenses. Many approaches from outside the medium could be introduced. What he wound up giving the industry instead were some specific ways that differed from what they had before that could now be replicated ad infinitum. 

See how that's different? I don't imagine you do.

You know there's no such thing as actual mind-reading, right? It's all just picking up on things the other guy might not realize he's laying down.

And you really do come across as invested.

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 29 November 2019 at 4:21am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I grew up with Golliwogs. In the 1970’s they were not seen as racist & were even on a major jam manufacturers jars (you could even collect labels for badges (pins)). But that was a long, long time ago. & clearly they were racist. 

The Captain Britain thing revolves around Moore not letting Marvel reprint the stories in America due to its use of his characters. Davis saw that as a double standard since Miracleman was being reprinted @ the exact same time. 

I’m not meaning to sound invested, but I do see the same rhetoric brought out time & time again while I’ve seen Moore get so so close to having done very similar things. 

I would also argue that the ground being covered by the TV show (to bring it back to this thread) is doing something new in that it certainly appears that the main thrust the Watchmen universe is being used for, is to examine race relations. Something I find admirable & worthy beyond the sacred cow arguments. 

I can also see that Moore points out that Watchmen casts a long long shadow over the type & tone of comics that came after it. & that was something Moore does regret. But Watchmen was not created in a vacuum. Moore & others had been moving comics to a darker place for a number of years. 

The stories he had been producing in the UK, the stories Frank Miller had been producing, many of the independent publishers had been starting to examine more graphic, flawed heroes. Watchmen just took all that & bottled it in a perfect storm of plot, character & art. 
Comics were already on that journey long before Watchmen appeared. That was just the catalyst that sped it to the end point. & yes, after that point, everybody wanted in on that action. Sadly to the point of pushing a lot of the fun out of comics. 

So to reiterate from several posts ago, I actually like a lot of what Moore has produced. But I can see the places where he has beg, borrowed & stole from elsewhere. Much of my issue is how certain people that keep the ‘thou must not touch’ flame alive seem to forget that Moore has done a lot of this in the past. & lifting whole scenes & just plonking them in a different story with different characters but everyone does exactly the same to me does not count as repurposing. 
Rob Liefield gets a lot of stick for copying. In X-Force he literally copied pages from a New teen titans comic. Not really sure how it is different other than the fact that clearly Moore is a far better writer than Liefield is an artist. 

This is a nebulous subject with many points. But my bottom line position is that I don’t have an issue with people doing follow up stories to Watchmen. It was a done in one story, but it did invite speculation of a continuation based on that last page. That different people are taking it in such vastly different directions I find interesting. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 29 November 2019 at 12:12pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The Captain Britain thing does NOT revolve around Moore not letting Marvel reprint the stories in America due to its use of his characters. It has to do with the strong-arm legal tactics Marvel employed against Eclipse which forced it to change the name of a character that existed prior to Marvel's ownership of the trademark. Marvel at the same time was kicking Dave Stevens up and down the block over the name "Rocketeer," which they also came late to the party on. But being big and having substantial coffers, they could bully, threaten, and intimidate at will. And did.

Moore recognized that Eclipse could not afford to protect the work as he wished and didn't like bullying. One cannot necessarily win in a fight with a bully, but one can deny the bully something it wants later on. He could deny them reprint rights to his run on Captain Britain and so he did.

Eventually, decades after that series of incidents, Moore did acquiesce, in part to secure payment for Davis and the others who worked on Marvelman with him. 

So... once again, no. Not the same thing as Davis's claims at all.

But this is all just... what... "rhetoric," right? Your point regarding Davis didn't stand. Your point regarding Lost Girls didn't stand. You accuse Moore of Liefeld-level appropriation absent examples or citation. You throw around loaded terms like "hiding behind" and "stole" without back up and recklessly mis-characterize Moore's statements, yet it's everyone else who's engaging in rhetoric. Of course it is, James. Of course.

I usually avoid participation in these Moore-bashing threads here on the JBF. Lord knows there are a lot of them. The next one will likely be along before long, with the same inaccurate, biased shit about victimized children's hospitals and ripped-off authors from days of yore. Nothing I'm saying here will have any effect on the idiots and, here's a fun term to throw around, "micro-brains" who wish to pillory Moore yet again (and again and again) for his largely imagined offenses.

Moore doesn't need defending on an internet forum he likely doesn't know exists. He doesn't need me to weigh in on all these arguments against him that have no merit. He's fine. 

So... have at it. You're all up your own asses on this one, but hey, at least you have lots of company up there here on the JBF.

And my pal's wife had her collection of gollies in the Nineties, so...

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