Saturday, January 11, 2014

in defense of Alan Moore (as if he needed anyone to speak up for him)

The Last Alan Moore Interview? and The Strange Case of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, As Told By Grant Morrison have created quite the kerfuffle between Moore's fans and Morrison's. The quick version: Morrison has a 30-year history of being influenced by Moore while insulting him. The final straw for Moore was a Rolling Stone interview, Grant Morrison on the Death of Comics, in which Morrison said Moore was obsessed with rape.

Now, one could read Morrison's comics and easily accuse him of being obsessed with violence and "erasing" the reality of rape. If I had a hate on for Morrison, I would go through his work obsessively and cast the ugliest light on his themes that I possibly could. But I don't hate Morrison. I've enjoyed some of his work. If Moore is the Beatles of comics, Morrison is the Bee Gees. Which, I grant, is a bad analogy. I don't think the Bee Gees have ever badmouthed the artists who inspired them.

Here's the question to ask about Moore and rape: Does his work glorify sexual violence? I haven't read everything he's written, but I've read a lot. In the work I've read, consensual sex is presented as a glorious thing, and rape is presented as one of the most horrible acts a person can commit.

And that is all that a responsible artist should be asked to do when writing about sex and violence.

One of Morrison's fans, a comics writer named Gerard Way, tweeted this:


For me, the most revealing part is "chosen industry". Way sees comics as a business; Moore sees them as an art. The second odd bit is the use of "comic book" to denigrate Moore's art—does Way think comics have to be inferior to fiction? I assure you, there are a great many comics out there that are better than a great many novels, and if comics are currently behind, it's because they haven't been around for as long.

And if they ever catch up, it'll be because writers like Alan Moore take the art seriously.

Recommended: Fussin’ and Feudin’ Bun Toons! YAY! | Ty Templeton's ART LAND!!