Saturday, October 24, 2009

An Open Letter To Alan Moore

"I was noticing that DC seems to have based one of its latest crossovers [Blackest Night] in Green Lantern based on a couple of eight-page stories that I did 25 or 30 years ago. I would have thought that would seem kind of desperate and humiliating, When I have said in interviews that it doesn’t look like the American comic book industry has had an idea of its own in the past 20 or 30 years, I was just being mean. I didn’t expect the companies concerned to more or less say, 'Yeah, he’s right. Let’s see if we can find another one of his stories from 30 years ago to turn into some spectacular saga.' It’s tragic." - Alan Moore, on DC's Blackest Night

I have always been a big fan of yours. I feel the way you changed the landscape of comics was a monumental step towards giving the medium the credibility and gravitas that has made it so successful. I respect your opinions about people carrying on your work, not caring for their making sequels and adaptations of stories best left untouched.

It is with the utmost respect that I must say, Alan, you really are a crusty, grumpy old bollocks.

Give us a break, man. You are a genius, your writing is some of the best ever produced in (and out of) the medium. Your eight page stories were more entertaining than most of the 22 page stories coming out at the same time, and they STILL stand the test against most everything else written since. But you can't do a fantastic story that prophesies the end of the entire shared universe that people talk about decades later and NOT expect DC to eventually go there. This is demonstrating that you, in an eight page comic book back-up story, have pretty much shaped the destiny of an entire comics universe. Yet you have naught but vitriol to offer.

For God's sake, man, are you THAT incapable of taking a compliment?

We get it: most people writing comics today aren't as creative as you were, and continue to be. But to put an idea out about how the future of a comic cosmos will eventually be snuffed out and not expect future writers to take that idea and expand on it... I guess, because Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, that all other tragic romances are rubbish, because they're just repeating the same theme?

What's contributed to a common continuity can, AND SHOULD, be expanded on, if the story is compelling enough. It's the Catch-22 of being a genius, Alan; your work is accepted as the definitive piece of fiction, and others are going to expand upon that. For you to be so blind as to scold DC for expanding on your plot point, either you misunderstand the impact that your simple eight page tales had on the comics community, or you don't understand the importance of a shared universe.

I continue to admire the unadulterated genius of what you've gifted to the literary community, and thank you for all that you have brought forth and shared.

Kenn Beck