Alan Moore Gives Watchmen the Gas Face

I had a hard time the night before rapping with visionary author Alan Moore. I wanted to talk mostly about Unearthing, his new multimedia box set with Mitch Jenkins, Doseone, Fog, Stuart from Mogwai, Mike Patton, Zach from Hella and other fine talents. Politics, technology, poetry, deep thoughts. But usually most people want to hear about his legendary comics. I slipped in one question about Comic-Con and then the hate mail arrived.

Hungry for some comics intrigue? Visionary writer Alan Moore claims that this week DC Comics made him an astounding offer that only he could refuse.

“They offered me the rights to Watchmen back, if I would agree to some dopey prequels and sequels,” the influential comics legend told Wednesday by phone from his home in Northampton, England. The subject came up in a wide-ranging interview about his Moore’s multimedia spoken-word box set Unearthing (right) and other topics.

“So I just told them that if they said that 10 years ago, when I asked them for that, then yeah it might have worked,” he said. “But these days I don’t want Watchmen back. Certainly, I don’t want it back under those kinds of terms.”

After producing some of the most ground-breaking graphic novels in history, Moore and DC Comics have since experienced a mythic falling-out over everything from allegedly interrupted payments and perceived editorial interference in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to the publisher’s track record of making unimpressive, and often terrible, movies out of Moore’s stunning works.

A frustrated Moore finally demanded removal of his name from any film adaptations of his comics, and even refused royalties. The drama has taken its toll on him, and even estranged him from the comic synonymous with his storied name.

“I don’t even have a copy of Watchmen in the house anymore,” he said. “The comics world has lots of unpleasant connections, when I think back over it, many of them to do with Watchmen.”

However, DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said, “Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”

Moore has mostly turned his back on the industry, working instead on projects like Unearthing, due in stores Aug. 9 from Lex Records, and his sprawling, unfinished second novel, Jerusalem. Top Shelf’s occult grimoire The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic was written with British comics legend Steve Moore, Unearthing’s psychogeographical protagonist.

His prerogative is our collective loss, especially during this week of buzzing Comic-Con International hype.

“I’m pretty much out of comics now,” Moore said. “I really want nothing to do with it. So yeah, the comics conventions are right out.”

Look for my extended interview with Moore later this week. But if you’re looking for prequels or sequels to the Watchmen comic or film, you might want to see an optometrist first. Because it’s probably going to be a while before you see anything at all.

This article appeared at Wired

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