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Alan Moore says he's retiring from comics

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09 Sep 2016 16:56 - 09 Sep 2016 17:10 #233824 by Million Dollar Mimring
www.avclub.com/article/alan-moore-says-h...tiring-comics-242392

I love Moore, but will admit to not having read any of his newer work. Regardless, if the man had only done Watchmen, he'd go down as a fucking legend, but he penned a great run on Miracleman and Swamp Thing. His tenure on ABC (America's Best Comics) brought Tom Strong and Top 10. The man is a fucking God, snake or otherwise. His work in providing cultural and critical analysis is also an invaluable tool to the community.
Last edit: 09 Sep 2016 17:10 by Million Dollar Mimring.

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09 Sep 2016 17:01 #233826 by Josh Look
His latest, Providence, is outstanding. If it finishes as strong as it's been so far, it could be mentioned in the same breath as Watchmen and Swamp Thing.
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09 Sep 2016 17:42 #233829 by Shellhead
I'm a big fan of Moore, except that I wish that he had written fewer rape scenes. I haven't looked at Providence, because so far I have been disappointed with his post-ABC work.

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09 Sep 2016 17:48 #233831 by SuperflyPete

Josh Look wrote: His latest, Providence, is outstanding. If it finishes as strong as it's been so far, it could be mentioned in the same breath as Watchmen and Swamp Thing.


Yeah, that and Courtyard may even be better than Watchmen. I'm with SH and wish he'd stray away from rape shit.

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09 Sep 2016 18:02 #233832 by Josh Look
I also hate the rape shit and pretty much everything he did after Top 10, but I stand by what I said about Providence. It's the real fucking deal.

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09 Sep 2016 18:04 #233833 by SuperflyPete
Totally agree. At least with Providence there's a plot reason for the rape and it adds to the storytelling rather than just being something added for shock

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09 Sep 2016 18:08 #233836 by Michael Barnes
Well good for him. I'm sure he's pretty much over it at this point.

I saw that Jerusalem is FINALLY coming out.

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09 Sep 2016 21:03 - 10 Sep 2016 11:34 #233850 by OldHippy
I read Alan Moore exclusively for the rape shit.

Seriously though, he's the best. I love his work, League might be my favourite but A Small Killing, Swamp Thing, Watchmen, From Hell and Lost Girls are all up there too. Hell, I'm sure I'm missing some stuff. I don't even mind his novels. A Voice of Fire (I think that's what it was called) was a fun language experiment with some legitimately great writing in it. He can be a little heavy handed at times but he's good enough to pull it off.

As for the rape shit... ever since Grant Morrison first made that accusation I have to say I thought it was BS. First, there isn't that much, second, any sex in his books, rape or otherwise, is there for a very specific reason and he's one of the few people who actually plays with what sex can mean theme wise in comics. I like that it's in there and I like that not only is it unique that he plays with such material but it's wild that he can do it well with real meaning too.
Last edit: 10 Sep 2016 11:34 by OldHippy.

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11 Sep 2016 00:54 #233912 by Michael Barnes
I just read some of Providence. Speaking as a guy with a Watchmen tattoo, I will say that Josh is correct. It is the real deal. I think it is his most meticulous and sophisticated work since From Hell. I think it kind of has a set of pretty stiff prerequisites (knowing specific Lovecraft stories and biographical information) and it is very, very subtle. But the payoff is worth it.

Interesting that it is also very much a story about being gay in the early 20th century- a different sort of "occult" or underground world at the time.

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12 Sep 2016 09:19 #233968 by Shellhead

JonJacob wrote: As for the rape shit... ever since Grant Morrison first made that accusation I have to say I thought it was BS. First, there isn't that much, second, any sex in his books, rape or otherwise, is there for a very specific reason and he's one of the few people who actually plays with what sex can mean theme wise in comics. I like that it's in there and I like that not only is it unique that he plays with such material but it's wild that he can do it well with real meaning too.


I'm a big fan of both Moore and Morrison, but the rape thing is troubling, because it is such a recurring element in Moore's work. Rape is sadly a common crime, and there is certainly room for a good writer to explore such a topic, but maybe not in so many different stories. The worst offender was Neonomicon, the sequel to The Courtyard. It's only four issues long, but roughly 25% of that mini-series is taken up by a graphic and horrific rape scene. Whatever the literary merits of his handling of the topic, the sheer magnitude of that scene relative to the overall story seems gratuitous as hell.

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12 Sep 2016 15:06 #234022 by Million Dollar Mimring
Moore offers an interesting response with regards to rape in his work.

"Why should murder be so over-represented in our popular fiction, and crimes of a sexual nature so under-represented?" he asks. "Surely it cannot be because rape is worse than murder, and is thus deserving of a special unmentionable status. Surely, the last people to suggest that rape was worse than murder were the sensitively reared classes of the Victorian era … And yet, while it is perfectly acceptable (not to say almost mandatory) to depict violent and lethal incidents in lurid and gloating high-definition detail, this is somehow regarded as healthy and perfectly normal, and it is the considered depiction of sexual crimes that will inevitably attract uproars of the current variety."


In the same interview, he mentions that there are "relatively few murders in relation to the staggering number of rapes and other crimes of sexual or gender related violence."

As for the rape shit... ever since Grant Morrison first made that accusation I have to say I thought it was BS. First, there isn't that much, second, any sex in his books, rape or otherwise, is there for a very specific reason and he's one of the few people who actually plays with what sex can mean theme wise in comics. I like that it's in there and I like that not only is it unique that he plays with such material but it's wild that he can do it well with real meaning too.


I would agree with that statement.

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12 Sep 2016 15:18 - 12 Sep 2016 15:19 #234023 by Michael Barnes
There is also the fact that Moore is a very willful provocateur. He is also an artist that understands that depicting something does not correlate with condoning or encouraging it. Less enlightened audiences are not always able to make that distinction.

I haven't read Neonomicon or The Courtyard, but I am curious to see what the context is, where the meaning of it lies. I would be shocked if it were just gross for gross' sake.

Rape can be an astonishingly powerful narrative tool. Witness A Clockwork Orange or Deliverance. Neither film says "hey, rape, alright!". Both have very specific thematic reasons and significance.
Last edit: 12 Sep 2016 15:19 by Michael Barnes.

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12 Sep 2016 16:12 #234033 by Shellhead
The rape scene in Neonomicon is necessary to the story. But I'm not convinced that this is a story that Moore should have told, given that there isn't much else to the overall story. The big problem is the length of the scene is overwhelming relative to the length of the story. I suppose if Moore had only used one discrete panel to allude to the rape, that would have potentially trivialized the experience, or worse, made it a tease for some readers. Instead, the scene goes on for page after page after page, including both some deliberately banal conversation and some disturbing details. And partway through, the scene goes from nasty to downright vile.

I will say one thing positive about Neonomicon. There is a very nicely done section where someone loses their eyeglasses and the artwork goes partially indistinct, letting the reader's imagination run wild. That was a clever use of the medium that managed to elevate my opinion of Moore even beyond my previous high opinion. Sadly, it's overshadowed by the rape scene. I know that it sounds like I am belaboring a tedious point, but it is actually impossible to discuss Neonomicon without talking about the rape scene.

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12 Sep 2016 16:16 #234036 by Shellhead
The Courtyard is another problematic Moore story, for entirely different reasons. It's only two issues long, but the first 75% of the story features an average story and really lame name-dropping of various elements of the Cthulhu Mythos. I honestly started to wonder if this was written by some other guy who happened to be named Alan Moore. Then very abruptly, the story becomes great, and displays tremendous insight into the Cthulhu Mythos. I'm glad that I bought both issues at the same time, because if I had just read The Courtyard #1, I would never have bothered with the second issue.

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12 Sep 2016 18:34 #234050 by John Myers
"Rape can be an astonishingly powerful narrative tool."

It is also widely considered to be an incredibly laziest way for a writer to raise the stakes or make their story seem more adult. And it's especially lazy short hand to establish a character's villainy. Moore is one of the most disciplined narrative stylists in comics, which is what makes his heavy use of sexual assault as narrative device so confounding. It doesn't help that he frequently uses sexual assault to establish his otherwise quite well written female characters as victims.

Examples I can think of off the top of my head include:

- V for Vendetta: Evie is introduced about to be gang raped by the detectives that have surrounded her, she is saved by V.
- Swamp Thing: Anton Arcane sexually violates his niece, Abigail, by seducing using the body of her husband. When she realizes what has happened she reacts as if she as been sexually assaulted.
- Watchmen: The Comedian attempts to sexually assault the first Silk Specter but is interrupted by Hooded Justice.
- Killing Joke: The Joker shoots Batgirl in the spine and photographs her naked body in a number of very sexual poses. It's heavily implied (and a common reading) that he rapes her as well, although it's never stated as such in the text. I think it's really important to note here that the Joker assaults her exclusively as way to attack her father, he doesn't even know she is Batgirl. In fact Batgirl has almost no agency or arc in the Killing Joke. She barely even has any lines.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Book 1: The Invisible Man goes absolutely rape crazy in all girl's school.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Book 2: Mina reveals the marks left on her neck by Dracula, her description of the attack is very reminiscent of a sexual assault.
- Top Ten: An ersatz Justice League are revealed to be a ring of super child rapists, specializing in sexually abusing their underage sidekicks.

It's up to the individual reader how to interpret each of these instances. For the record I don't think Moore thinks sexual assault is acceptable or trivial. But I do find it troubling that a writer who is disciplined enough to write an entire 12 issue series almost entirely in the nine-panel grid is guilty of going back to the same device over and over again.
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