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Author Topic: Moore lays down the law.  (Read 6428 times)
schild
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on: May 25, 2005, 03:09:14 AM

Quote from: Lying in the Gutter
MOORE SLAMS V FOR VENDETTA MOVIE, PULLS LoEG FROM DC COMICS

Alan Moore, co-creator of the "V For Vendetta" comic, has publicly disassociated himself from the upcoming Warner Brothers movie project based on the comic book and written and produced by the Wachowski Brothers. And as a result, he has cut his remaining ties with DC Comics, including future volumes of the "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

Moore has promised future "League" comics will be published by a US/UK collaboration between Top Shelf and Knockabout.

Extraordinary Adaptations

Alan Moore has written some of the most critically acclaimed comic books of the eighties, nineties and two thousands, across genres, countries and publishers. His early British work for Marvel UK, "2000AD" and "Warrior," led to DC Comics asking him to write a number of their titles, leading to the British invasion of US comics and at least two publisher imprints. He is regarded by many as the medium's greatest living creator, with titles such as "Watchmen," "V For Vendetta," "From Hell," "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen," "Top Ten" and "Promethea" continually successful and remaining in print. However, while every publisher would like to work with him, many have found him unwilling. Moore has had a tendency to "punish" publishers for what he believes are personal betrayals or shoddy behaviour. And he refuses to change, even when circumstances do.

Moore's work has often been a source of inspiration for others, including Hollywood, and a number of directors credit him openly. So it was natural that his comic book work might be seized upon as the comic-book-film trend became more popular. But the kindest thing that can be said about the films "From Hell," "Constantine" and "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is that they're not as good as the comics.

Alan's oft-repeated stance on this is that the original comics remain untouched. "As long as I could distance myself by not seeing them, enough to keep them separate, take the option money, I could be assured no one would confuse the two. This was probably nave on my part."

This has changed. Speaking to me on Friday, Moore added to this sentiment, telling me "after the films came out, I began to feel increasingly uneasy, I have a dwindling respect for cinema as it is currently expressed." This came to a head when Alan Moore was sued as part of a suit against 20th Century Fox for plagiarism of the screenplay "Cast Of Characters" which bore heavy resemblance to the movie version of "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" starring Sean Connery.

"The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" was a series Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill created for Wildstorm, a comic studio and then part of the publisher Image Comics. The series takes the entirety of Victorian pulp fiction as a backdrop for new adventures for a team of very familiar characters. As part of his ABC line for Wildstorm, the comics continued even after DC Comics bought Wildstorm. Moore's history with DC Comics over creator ownership and corporate attitudes had seen him swear off working with them, so a "firewall" was built up so Moore could continue the line, but never have to deal with DC Comics. However, DC editorial occasionally interfered with published work, leading Alan Moore withdrawing cooperation from an anniversary reprint and CD of his iconic superhero work "Watchmen."

The "League" was very well received, critically and commercially. Moore had sold the movie options before the first issue had been solicited. But the lawsuit shocked him to the core. Moore seems amused by this now, though at the time he was not.

"They seemed to believe that the head of 20th Century Fox called me up and persuaded me to steal this screenplay, turning it into a comic book which they could then adapt back into a movie, to camouflage petty larceny." This led to Moore giving a ten-hour deposition - he believes he'd have suffered less if he'd "sodomised and murdered a busload of children after giving them heroin."

My own research into this story showed that there was some resemblance between the "Cast" and "League" screenplays - but mostly over aspects of the film that did not appear in the comic book, Quatermain as the lead hero, the appearance of Tom Sawyer and Dorian Gray with Huckleberry Finn as the revealed villain amongst others. It's arguable that the case had merit, but not against Alan Moore. However, by 20th Century Fox settling the case, Moore felt this was almost an admission of his guilt.

Moore felt that enough was enough and decided that if something was worth reacting to, "it was worth overreacting to." He stated "I'd have nothing to do with films anymore. If I owned the sole copyright, like with 'Voice Of The Fire,' there would not be a film. Anything else, where others owned copyrights, I'd insist on taking my name off future films. All of the money due to me would go to the artists involved. I'd divorce myself from the film process, the film industry and any adaptations. And I felt a sense of moral satisfaction."

Moral satisfaction however doesn't always pay the bills. "When Karen Berger rang me up to give me money for the 'Constantine' movie, I asked her to take my name off the film and split the money with the artists. Most of it went to Rick Veitch, who although was the first to draw John Constantine yet wasn't receiving anything from the film.... The rest was split between John Totleben, Steve Bissette, Jamie Delano and John Ridgeway, divided so everyone ended up with the same amount in total.

"The same with the option money on 'V For Vendetta.' I think it was about eight grand. It went to David Lloyd. Now, I wasn't doing this because I could afford it, I was short of change actually, but I just wanted it done. Give it to Dave, take my name off the film."

"I'm Alan Moore And I Endorse This Message"

This decision has been a topic in a number of interviews with Alan Moore of late, notably the BBC Radio 4 Chain Reaction interview by Stewart Lee (transcript here).

What wasn't known until now is that earlier in the year, Alan Moore told DC, through Scott Dunbier, that if there was "any more meddling, any more pulping, any more problems" that he'd take his remaining DC project, "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen," away from DC.

Earlier in the year, Moore received a call from "V For Vendetta" writer/producer and "Matrix" director Larry Wachowski, but told him politely, "I didn't want anything to do with films and had no time this year, being in the middle of work, my day job, writing, I wasn't interested in Hollywood."

Shortly afterwards, Alan Moore was made aware of a press release sent out covering a press conference producer Joel Silver and the cast had held.

In this press release, Joel Silver, as well as announcing that the release date November the 5th 2005 was the 100th anniversary of Guy Fawkes attempt on Parliament, instead of the 400th anniversary, also said of Alan, "he was very excited about what Larry had to say and Larry sent the script, so we hope to see him sometime before we're in the UK. We'd just like him to know what we're doing and to be involved in what we're trying to do together"

Alan felt, basically, that his name was being used in vain. Not only had he expressed the opposite to Larry, but his endorsement was being used as a selling point for a movie - the reason he'd requested his credit and association be dropped from all of these movies.

Alan, through Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier, instructed DC/Warner Brothers to issue a retraction against these "blatant lies - that's the phrase I'm groping for." He called Scott up and told him that he was "Nineteen pages away from finishing all my contracted work" for ABC/Wildstorm/DC Comics - three pages on the "League," sixteen on "Tom Strong."

Moore requested a retraction, a clarification and a modest apology, posted in a forum with a similar weight to the original press release. Moore says he'd have been happy with something along the lines of "Due to a misunderstanding, Alan Moore does not wish to be associated with the 'V For Vendetta' movie." Moore gave DC two weeks to rectify the matter as he saw it. I understand from DC sources that Paul Levitz tried personally to ellicit an apology from Joel Silver without joy and that at a corporate level, there was no possibility of issuing a corporate apology with such a similar weight as the original press release, though Silver's words were removed from the movie's Web site.

It wasn't enough. So after two weeks, Alan Moore did as he said. Moore's last remaining "League" for DC is all but completed and due this year.

A Change Of Scenario

This is "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier," a hardcover graphic novel coming from Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill later this year from ABC/Wildstorm/DC Comics. Moore tells me this "will slip in between volumes two and three" of the "League." Moore described it to me as "not my best comic ever, not the best comic ever, but the best thing ever. Better than the Roman civilisation, penicillin..." The human brain? "Yes and the human nervous system. Better than creation. Better than the big bang. It's quite good."

He continues, "It will be nothing anyone expects, but everything everyone secretly wanted." It's unusual to hear such hyperbole from one more commonly associated with self-deprecation. It's nearing completion and Moore tells me he was in a recording studio last week, working on part of it. Yes, that intrigued me too, though Moore refused to be drawn past the tantalising glimpse he'd deliberately dropped.

Then after that, volume three of the "League" will be published by Top Shelf/Knockabout a year to eighteen months later, in a totally new format. And future volumes will continue from this publisher collaboration (see sidebar).

Alan told me that as a result of finally and permanently splitting from DC, he's has a general feeling of elation. He feels good about himself, as if a weight has been lifted. Earlier reports I'd had from the past two weeks were that his temper was high, but speaking to him found the same calm, serene gentlemen I'd met on and off over the last ten years.

And in this spirit of bonhomie, Alan Moore decided to propose to his longterm girlfriend and co-creator of Lost Girls, Melinda Gebbie. She accepted and they have announced their engagement."

Two things I'd like to say:

I now have zero faith in the V for Vendetta movie. Not only because Moore pulled himself away, but because of the Wachowski involvement I'd somehow not noticed or registered in my brain before.

I wish game designers had this much integrity. "No Mr.EA, we're not done. Just keep ramming. What's that? No, my legs are fine, I've got at least 3 years left in me before my knees give out."
Trippy
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Reply #1 on: May 25, 2005, 04:29:25 AM

I wish game designers had this much integrity. "No Mr.EA, we're not done. Just keep ramming. What's that? No, my legs are fine, I've got at least 3 years left in me before my knees give out."
Anybody who equates giving a deposition as worse than if he'd "sodomised and murdered a busload of children after giving them heroin" needs to have his head examined. Hearing things like that makes me think this guy has an ego even larger than the other one who shall not be named who we've been talking about lately.
Llava
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Reply #2 on: May 25, 2005, 06:22:55 AM

I wish game designers had this much integrity. "No Mr.EA, we're not done. Just keep ramming. What's that? No, my legs are fine, I've got at least 3 years left in me before my knees give out."
Anybody who equates giving a deposition as worse than if he'd "sodomised and murdered a busload of children after giving them heroin" needs to have his head examined. Hearing things like that makes me think this guy has an ego even larger than the other one who shall not be named who we've been talking about lately.


hyperbole   Audio pronunciation of "hyperbole" ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (h-prb-l)
n.
    A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.

I mean, not to be a dick about it, but what exactly is the point of saying "I didn't care for his use of obvious exaggeration"?  It was a joke, laugh or don't laugh, but let's not act like we're suddenly easily offended.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2005, 06:31:02 AM by Llava »

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Trippy
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Reply #3 on: May 25, 2005, 07:06:58 AM

I mean, not to be a dick about it, but what exactly is the point of saying "I didn't care for his use of obvious exaggeration"?  It was a joke, laugh or don't laugh, but let's not act like we're suddenly easily offended.
The author of the article quoting Mr. Moore didn't make it sound like he was joking to me.
HaemishM
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Reply #4 on: May 25, 2005, 11:08:41 AM

It was obviously hyperbole.

I applaud Moore for taking this stand. I KNOW I couldn't, at least not unless I just really didn't need or want the money. I'm not that strong.  cry

But yeah, I think the V For Vendetta movie will suck, because the Wachowski Brother and Sister will have a great deal of involvement with it, and Joel Silver is a whoring asshat. Thanks for the Matrix movies, cockknobs, now go fuck up someone else's work!

This also leads me to believe that unless it's given to someone competent, the Watchmen movie will be an absolute goddamn travesty.

Llava
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Reply #5 on: May 25, 2005, 02:34:24 PM


The author of the article quoting Mr. Moore didn't make it sound like he was joking to me.


Oh come on.  You're smarter than that.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Trippy
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Reply #6 on: May 25, 2005, 10:39:44 PM

I guess my humor meter doesn't register when people "joke" about raping children and drugging them. Just pretend I never said anything.
schild
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Reply #7 on: May 25, 2005, 10:54:19 PM

I guess my humor meter doesn't register when people "joke" about raping children and drugging them. Just pretend I never said anything.

I think it was just a matter of not knowing Moore's sense of humor. Let's just say it's a little darker. Most people would probably register what he said as not joking.

But then, we're not kidding when we say Smedley is a pigfucker. So uhm, yea.
Trippy
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Reply #8 on: May 25, 2005, 10:59:31 PM

I think it was just a matter of not knowing Moore's sense of humor. Let's just say it's a little darker.
Alright that helps explain things.
Ironwood
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Reply #9 on: May 26, 2005, 10:53:12 AM

No-one understands British Humour.  Especially Northampton.


"Cricket ?  You gotta know what a crumpet is before you understand cricket."

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
schild
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Reply #10 on: May 26, 2005, 10:54:57 AM

"Cricket ? You gotta know what a crumpet is before you understand cricket."

You just quoted Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Now I need to figure out what the comment above that about Northampton meant.

Edit: "A Jose Canseco bat? You paid money for this?"
Velorath
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Reply #11 on: May 26, 2005, 02:47:58 PM

I've never understood why anyone, especially the major publishers in the comic book industry, would ever piss off Alan Moore. He should have been getting the same treatment from both Marvel and DC that Marvel currently gives Bendis.
HaemishM
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Reply #12 on: May 26, 2005, 03:48:16 PM

Because, like the major publishers in the game industry, the major comic publishers don't really understand their business. They understand BRANDS, and business shit, and they understand money, but they do not understand what truly makes those brands shine. They talk a good game, but they really don't understand why some creators are consistently brilliant (Moore, Miller) and some write one book well then suck the ass on other books (Bendis, Jim Lee) nor do they understand what that does with long-term sales. If they did, they wouldn't have rebooted/relaunced so many franchises so often the last few years.

The Avengers relaunced to great success many years ago, then the book tapered off when the creative teams weren't consistent. X-Men did a sort of relaunch/rebranding with the Morrison stuff, and I'd bet all but the Astonishing book are at lower sales figures. Shit, many years ago when Claremont was writing the X-Men well, they chose to relaunch giving Lee more power than Claremont. The books declined to the point where they needed the Morrison launch to revitalize the book. The Justice League went through a successful reboot with the Giffen/Dematties funny stuff, then they decided that since Giffen wanted to leave, they'd relaunch with the return of the iconic heroes (Supes, GL, etc.) but the quality was shit and sales plummeted.

They think of creative enterprises as branding exercises, and writers/artists as copy writers and studio artists. 

Velorath
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Reply #13 on: May 26, 2005, 04:19:43 PM

If you're interested you can dig up Top 300 sales figures on ICV2. Also, Paul O'Brien usually does some decent analysis of the numbers in usenet threads like this.

I'm still trying to figure out why a crap Bendis story for Avengers adds 100,000 readers to the title, while less than 30,000 are buying Runaways. The only thing I can think of is that a lot of us comic book readers will read the hyped up books just so we'll have something to discuss with each other.

HaemishM
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Reply #14 on: May 26, 2005, 04:37:55 PM

I read it because for some sick reason, I love reading shitty stuff so I can talk bad about it later.

Velorath
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Reply #15 on: May 26, 2005, 04:49:36 PM

I read it because for some sick reason, I love reading shitty stuff so I can talk bad about it later.

Well yeah, so far as I can tell that kind of thing has been a major part of your job description here.
HaemishM
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Reply #16 on: May 26, 2005, 04:59:13 PM

Job, hell. It's a mission from God.

Velorath
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Reply #17 on: May 26, 2005, 05:05:51 PM

Job, hell. It's a mission from God.

That's ironic because it's movies like House of the Dead and Catwoman that shake my faith in God to begin with.
Llava
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Reply #18 on: May 27, 2005, 02:31:27 AM

Ooo! Example! Anecdotal evidence! Woot!

So Gail Simone and the studio Udon (if I remember the name correctly) had completely developed this whole arc for Deadpool.  They started with a very good run as Deadpool itself, then moved the story into a different title called "Agent X" and picked up where Deadpool left off.  They built whole new personalities for these characters, whole new styles, extremely goofy and whimsical, and it was fantastic.

By Issue... I think it was 6 of Agent X, Marvel decides to change artists and writers.  They do this for 3 issues.  Guess which issues of this title sucked?  Yeah.  Marvel goes back to Gail Simone and Udon with its company-tail between its legs, and they pick up the book again.  They fix what the previous writers broke, and the title is fantastic again for about 5 or 6 more issues until the arc is finally wrapped up.

Altogether, it was a great run.  Sure would've been better, though, if there wasn't this rather large gap in quality right in the middle of it.



(I recommend picking up any of the issues of Deadpool or Agent X written by Simone if you can find them.  They're hilarious.)

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Ironwood
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Reply #19 on: May 27, 2005, 09:59:53 AM

"Cricket ? You gotta know what a crumpet is before you understand cricket."

You just quoted Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Now I need to figure out what the comment above that about Northampton meant.

Edit: "A Jose Canseco bat? You paid money for this?"

It's where he was born. 

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Signe
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Muse.


Reply #20 on: May 27, 2005, 03:32:23 PM

Robert Llewellyn was born there and he's funny.  I think Des O'Connor and that guy from Radiohead were, too.  Ok... so they're not good examples of humourous people.  I met a famous rugby bloke from there... he was quite nice.  I forget his name.

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Ironwood
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Reply #21 on: May 28, 2005, 03:08:47 AM

But not his girth ?

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Raguel
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Reply #22 on: May 30, 2005, 08:16:44 PM



I was just wondering what was going on with the next LoEG. Thanks for the info.
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