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Better than never: Hibbs on 6/27

Brian Hibbs

As far as I am concerned, this isn’t “last week’s comics” until I open the front door of the store on Wednesday!

BATMAN INCORPORATED #2:  This one is kind of a master class in communication using comics, as Morrison and Burnham basically tell you Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Talia Al’Ghul (But Forgot To Ask) in an incredibly economical, yet massively packed, 20 pages. Some pages have as many as five different scenes on the page! An absolutely EXCELLENT tour-de-force on this one.

 
FUCK ALAN MOORE BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #1: Uh, wow. You know, I expected some of these would be bad, but I really never expected them to be almost a parody of the very idea of prequelling WATCHMEN.

This is just staggeringly bad: from the bizarre rapey childhood home, to the changing the original text (the worst sin of all in a project like this), to the scenes of Rorschach using-‘hurm’-as-a-catchphrase (“DY-NO-MITE!“), to the cringeworthy “destiny of love” bullshit, I almost get the feeling that Staczynski thinks he is trying to make WATCHMEN “better”. This comic, sadly, just reeks of hubris and shame.

I’d hoped to at least appreciate the art, but I found Joe Kubert’s inks to be kind of overpowering on son Andy.

Either way, the writing just kills it here: this is everything you possibly feared a “Before WATCHMEN” comic might be.  Full-on CRAP.

 

FATIMA THE BLOOD SPINNERS #1: Beto is just insanely prolific, isn’t he? Terrifically gory, this is a kind of perfect 70s-ish exploitation B-movie, but totally of the moment as well somehow. Gore! Horror! Large Breasts! I’m glad I live in a world where I’m going to sell more copies of this than of THOR and HULK combined, y’know? GOOD
HYPERNATURALS #1 : I think this is kind of a perfect comic for you if you have a sympathy for the basic concept of Legion of Super-Heroes (Future, many heroes from many worlds), but not necessarily liked any specific execution of that concept. Or if you like the Marvel Cosmic stuff that DnA did, it’s similar tonally. Extremely sturdy construction of ideas here, if not exactly brimming with truly compelling characters. I thought it was solidly GOOD.
LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009:  It may be because I simply “got” more of the references and cameos, but this was vastly my favorite of the three parts of Century, and it brings everything together in a deeply satisfying way. I also find the idea of the universe being saved by **** ******* to also being oddly perfect and correct. Kevin O’Neill’s art, as always, veers between the grotesque and perfectly captured. I thought this issue was pretty damn EXCELLENT.

(You can also get v1 & v2 on the Digital Store, if you wanted)
PROPHET #26: With all of the people telling me they can’t buy this book in their LCS, I’m more and more convinced that Image erred in renumbering from the 90s series. Without a doubt, this is the best science-fiction series being published today. And a great series got better with Brandon Graham himself drawing this issue, and kicking the concept a door open further. I admire (and get frustrated, I admit) by how this book doesn’t try and spoon feed you its concepts. Really VERY GOOD stuff.
OK, that’s really all I have time for today, time to open to the teeming hordes (ha!)
I am, seriously, going to try to get to THIS week’s books before Friday and be “caught up” again. Wish me luck!

 

What did YOU think?

 

-B

41 Responses to “ Better than never: Hibbs on 6/27 ”

  1. Regarding stores not ordering enough Prophet, do you think single issue comics being available only non-returnably has been a net negative for the growth of the industry? Many stores seem like they don’t/can’t take any chances on any books like this. If stores could order some percentage returnable and some percentage non-returnable (for larger discounts), do you think they would?

  2. Sometimes, depends on the terms of the returnability. Image, when they do it, typically does “free’ returnability, so all you’re out is cash-flow and shipping costs, but deals like the DC one where there is a per-book fee are illogical for anything other than a one-time promotion.

    In PROPHET #21’s case, Image offered a +10% discount if orders were higher than RED WING #1, rather than returns. RED WING #1 sold about 16k, PROPHET #21 sold about 6k, so that does not appear to have convinced anyone.

    I’m unconvinced it would have received more than, say, 8k in orders with returns, however.

    -B

  3. My shop didn’t have HYPERNAUTS last week, and I might have forgotten about it without the review. So Thanks, Mr. Hibbs.

    Even though I will not buy eComics, I followed the link on a whim. I noticed they had a Preview, so I clicked that. A bunch of alternate covers and raw art for the covers. Way to sell it, people! (Do we blame Image of DnA for that?)

  4. David Oakes: HYPERNATURALS is from Boom! Studios, not Image. You can read the preview for the first issue here:

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=12793

    You can also read the entire content of the Free Comic Book Day issue, which acts as the zero issue:

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=12462

  5. I can see how the ending of Century: 2009 would have worked for somebody who grew up with the character who saves the day, but it seems like a good way to wilfully alienate everybody else, like me. Earlier League comics — the first volume in particular — seemed to work much harder at giving you reasons to care about certain characters even if you weren’t already familiar with them.

    I’m right there with you on Nite Owl #1, though. There’s a point where Dan says “HURM” back at Rorschach and I thought, “Oh, all that repetition was just laboured setup for this gag. Okay, I get it.” And then Rorschach went straight back to saying “HURM.” Yeesh.

  6. Having only seen *that particular movie* once or twice in passing, I can also say that I’m not someone who grew up with that character, but I still enjoyed the ending to 2009 on a thematic level if nothing else. It boils down to classic fiction by way of Prospero and the Blazing World versus modern, “bastardized” fiction (as Moore sees it) of the present and future. The villain is a bratty child led astray, and who better to set him straight than this latest in a long line of characters whose name starts with M? I’m trying not to spoil this thing. :)

    The blowout stems from concept and context, not so much character relatability.

  7. As good as Prophet was I wasnt feeling this installment as much as the others. Perhaps it’s the robot dude, perhaps its because nothing really gets hacked up with a giant knife.
    Still looking forward to future installments, particularly Milogiannis

  8. I was rolling my eyes at most of Century. It read like a book-long version of one of those interviews where a crusty old Alan Moore starts going on about how books today are all shit, comics today are all shit, television and movies and music today are all shit, and oh by the way he never reads or watches or listens to any of that stuff, but he just knows that it’s true, it’s all so derivative and unoriginal, and would you like to hear about this new book he’s writing about a Peter Pan analogue who fights a Sherlock Holmes analogue with dark tarot sex powers?

  9. “HYPERNATURALS is from Boom! Studios, not Image.”

    My bad. And the $3.99 really should have tipped me off.

    And thanks for the links. I am totally not a fan of “Hey, let’s kill the first team before we even know who they are, so the team we really want to write about looks like they have Serious Motivation!” But I will keep an eye on the first arc.

    Assuming my shop gets them…

  10. While the ending of Century: 2009 didn’t work for me, I didn’t get the impression that Moore thinks absolutely every piece of entertainment produced in the 21st century is shit. The references to Armando Ianucci’s work like Time Trumpet and The Thick of It in particular seemed quite positive. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover Moore was a fan of The West Wing and 30 Rock as well.

  11. @moose n squirrel

    I’ve read a ton of Moore interviews, even the one where he admits to loving professional wrestling, but I’ve never read the one you’re referring to. Perhaps you could share a link?

  12. @Chris H,

    Google is your friend: http://wrestlingsun.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/legendary-comics-writer-alan-moore-on.html

  13. FUCK ALAN MOORE for making a mediocre grim and gritty ‘realistic’ superhero comic (yeah mediocre, story was lame and you can keep your technique, thank you) that inspired 50.000 other shitty grim and gritty ‘realistic’ clones.

  14. I’ll be interested in your view of OZYMANDIAS, Hibbs. It’s as pointless and cash grabby as the rest of them, but I think it’s a fascinating contrast to NITE OWL.

    Mike

  15. Mckracken, yes, blame one guy because of all the other guys who wanted to do what he did. Geezus you’re sick.

  16. @MordWa

    The quote you linked to is the one I specifically mentioned reading, but thanks?

    I want to read the one moose n squirrell is talking about because I’m really, really, for real sure it doesn’t exist. Alan Moore haters are the funniest of all the angry fanboys because they invent insane ramblings from scratch and then like to point at what they imagined Moore said and go, “That guy is crazy!”

  17. @Chris: presumably the quote doesn’t exist because moose n squirrell seemed to be writing a satire of a typical Alan Moore interview (or the perceptions thereof, in a mirrors within mirrors manner?). Though i don’t know if satire is the same as making up quotes, pointing to them and proclaiming them proof of craziness of the subject, which is probably the wheel that turns the internet.

  18. @bad wolf

    I dunno, maybe moose n squirell is being satirical, but it reads so much like the typical Moore hating rage comment that it’s impossible to tell the difference. At some point, the two extremes went full circle and became the same guys.

  19. If you’re looking for interviews in which Alan Moore simultaneously dismisses modern culture while proudly professing to not partake of it, may I point you to nearly any interview conducted with Alan Moore in the last five years?

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=alan+moore+modern+culture

    And I’m not, as you say, an “Alan Moore hater.” I think he and Dave Gibbons produced one of the single most consistently profitable comics DC published within the last few decades, and they responded by ripping them off, and I support his right and any creators’ right to fight for fair compensation for and control over that work. That doesn’t mean, though, that I’m going to pretend that Moore isn’t well past his prime, that the glorified fan-fiction he cranks out today isn’t ultimately drab and unimaginative, and that the message of that work, to the extent that it has a message, isn’t a crotchety and reactionary one, the equivalent of Old Man Moore barking “get off my lawn” at a culture that confuses and frightens him.

    But don’t take my word for it. Actually read 2009 and see for yourself – the book that’s ostensibly about early-twenty-first century fiction but revolves almost entirely around concepts and characters created in the mid-twentieth century, nineteenth century, and earlier; that contains a bewildering screed in which Moore appears to claim that people starving to death a hundred years ago were better off than people today because “they had a sense of purpose”; that seems to waggle in every panel at these kids with their rap music and their baggy pants and their “e-pods” and why can’t they listen to some Brecht on their stereo like decent, civilized folk?

  20. “the book that’s ostensibly about early-twenty-first century fiction but revolves almost entirely around concepts and characters created in the mid-twentieth century, nineteenth century, and earlier”

    I’m not certain that the title alone makes the book ostensibly anything?

    What fascinates me here is how your reading is so RADICALLY different to, say, Jeff’s, whom had a long discussion with me on Wednesday on what the story is “about” (I don’t know that I fully bought his conclusions, either, but I way encouraged him to write it up for the site…)

    -B

  21. “I’m not certain that the title alone makes the book ostensibly anything?”

    Again: you don’t have to take it from the title, as much as from every interview about the project Moore’s given, in which he’s explicitly stated, numerous times, that the entire point is to examine culture and fiction in different eras, and the evolution (or, to Moore, the decline) of that culture and those fictions. And when he sets his climax in modern times, and almost none of the significant characters and concepts actually come from modern times, it says something about how wildly out of touch and unprepared Moore was to actually do a project like this.

    “Hey, I’m going to write a story about the fictional ‘ideaspace’ of 2009… what fictional characters and concepts should I incorporate into that? Oh, I know – Allan Quartermain, Mina Harker from Dracula, Viginia Woolf’s Orlando, and Emma Peel!”

    I don’t know what Jeff’s take on this is, but I hardly think my interpretation is bizarre, or comes from somewhere out of left field. Sean Collins’s review in TCJ is ultimately more generous than my own, but the basic takeaway – that this is Moore railing, once again, at the “decline” of modern culture – is clearly obvious to more than just me.

  22. “the entire point is to examine culture and fiction in different eras, and the evolution…of that culture and those fictions.”

    Okay.

    But… I still don’t think that makes it “ostensibly about early-twenty-first century fiction”? I mean, I think YOU are the one who is putting that on the story?

    *I* think it is called “Century” because it spans a 100 year period, but it’s still very much with and about the LOEG characters… nineteenth and early 20-century ones.

    YMMV, which is fine, but this reader, at least, took this as no referendum on c21, or what Mr. Moore’s feelings may (or may not!) be about it.

    -B

  23. [...] not going to comment on the rest of the book — although Brian Hibbs lives up to the “Savage Critic” name on it, and I can’t argue with his points [...]

  24. “I mean, I think YOU are the one who is putting that on the story?”

    I really, really, don’t think I am, given that, once again, Alan Moore himself has said, over and over again, that this indeed is what this project is about:

    “MOORE: The prevailing thing about it seems to be a critique of culture. And the most noticeable thing is the decline if you like … When we start out in 1910 we have a fairly rich background to draw from – we’ve got Brecht’s Threepenny Opera which was set around that time, we’ve got all of those wonderful occult characters that were being created around then. By the time we get to 1969 we’ve got some equally interesting characters but they’re a kind of different category. They’re more often drawn from popular culture, because of course popular culture has expanded incredibly in the 50 years since 1910 when culture was still largely the preserve of an educated elite. But changes in society over the first 50 years of the century meant that by the middle years culture had changed. Certainly by 1969 where pop culture was predominant and previous culture was perhaps in danger of becoming increasingly marginalised. And by the time we return to the League story in 2009, it’s a much bleaker cultural landscape still.”

  25. Yes, but I still don’t think that’s what the story is ABOUT — that is just the background of the story itself.

    -B

  26. r.e. LOEG CENTURY 2009: I was in pieces after reading this one, mates. Pieces. Allan, Mina and Orlanda had more life and character in any one of the many panels in which they tenderly held each other up in order to save the world one more time than any number of other comics. Crikey, any number of real people, even. Moore and O’Neill pack more horror in one panel than anything in other horror books like FATALE or that bland stuff Steve Niles passes off as horror.I was seriously (seriously) upset by some of the stuff I was seeing. And, yes, sigh, there is some sexual violence. We’re talking about The Anti-Christ here, chums, he’s not going to be pussyfooting about is he now, the Anti-Christ. The plot was a bit tatty (and then this happens – because I, Alan Moore, require it to!!) but Moore’s not one for plot is he? He makes up for that lack with a feast of other delights, you know: characterisation, humour, horror, romance and an all pervading air of sadness. Knocked my legs right out from under me did this one, shonky plot and all. I give LOEG C:2009 EXCELLENT! too.

  27. JohnK: what exactly did you make of Moore putting an utterly bizarre Lion King cameo on the last page, at what was presumably meant to be something of an emotional climax?

  28. “Yes, but I still don’t think that’s what the story is ABOUT — that is just the background of the story itself.”

    This conversation is kind of like someone saying, “Y’know, I think there’s this recurring theme in ‘Spider-man’ that has something to do with the relationship between power and responsibility,” and someone else going, “What do you mean? That’s a weird interpretation! Are you sure you aren’t projecting that into the story?”

  29. @moose n squirrel: Well, I thought it was a nice touch. A bit of humour to soften the blow, sort of thing. I guess for some it would push pathos into bathos. But then why would The Lion King do that more that Raboo The Lion Boy or what have you? I don’t see why not The Lion King, but then I haven’t ever seen The Lion King. Is it really bad or something? It’s fiction set in Africa so why not The Lion King?

    I think the more interesting question is what did you think of Moore’s Lion King cameo? I’ll take “utterly bizarre” as an indication of your answer and follow up with, why do you think that? Honest question(s) there, sir.

  30. “And, yes, sigh, there is some sexual violence. We’re talking about The Anti-Christ here, chums, he’s not going to be pussyfooting about is he now, the Anti-Christ.”

    The problem with this defense is that you could apply it to almost any Moore project: “We’re talking about the Joker/Anton Arcane/Jack the Ripper/Lovecraftian horrors/the Comedian here (he’s a new character, but trust us, he’s totally rapey).” At some point we have to hold Moore responsible for his own decisions, especially when he makes them every time.

    I agree with you about the density of the storytelling–Moore and O’Neill can pack more action into just a few panels than most creators can in an entire comic book–and yet at the same time this felt like the least busy installment of LoEG yet. It didn’t have the parallel plot of Janni Nemo (the total disappearance of the Nemos is probably one of the worse decisions in 1969 and 2009) or even the subplot of Jack Carter, just a bare-bones plot with pages and pages devoted to repeating the theme of Moore’s total alienation from modern culture (which apparently we’re now denying was a theme since one reader didn’t like it??).

    I think there are a couple of ways to read that lion image on the last page–as an utterly bizarre, out of place pop cultural reference or as an utterly sincere, even maudlin lamentation for the passing of Allan Quatermain and the manly British imperialism that he embodied. Or maybe both at once? But thinking about that second possibility in light of everything else Moore has said in Century–it’s just another example of Moore pining for the culture of the Victorians, isn’t it, and turning a blind eye to their worst flaws?

    Which isn’t how this project started. We’ve come a long way from “The British Empire has always encountered difficulty in distinguishing between its heroes and its monsters” to Moore’s attempts to justify Quatermain, Bulldog Drummond, and the Golliwog.

  31. @Marc: Well, yes. Certainly, Moore is responsible for his own decisions. It looks to me like Moore has made the decision not to exclude sexual violence from his portrayal of what awful people will do. I think Alan Moore might be trying to treat his audience like adults, and not pretend evil has lines it won’t cross because it’s discomforting to his readers. Or he has issues. I don’t know, we don’t speak anymore after I forgot to thank him for holding the door open that time.

    I really don’t get why The Lion King is out of place. LOEG is a very playful piece, sometimes it’s sad and funny at the same time. Sometimes it’s horrible and funny at the same time. Rupert The Bear’s in there as a Moreau-ed up monster! There’s usually an indication that Moore’s tongue is never far from his cheek. (Nice image, eh?) LOEG is about serious things but it isn’t always presented super-seriously, I think. What’s up with The Lion King? At least CENTURY didn’t come bundled with a CD by Tim Rice and Elton John!

    Alan Moore pining for the the smashing days of Good Queen Vic? We have a whole political Party that does that full-time. And I’d guess Alan Moore is no Tory.

    I’m about to re-read the whole thing and I think the Nemo thing in 1910 will be thematically important. I think a lot of CENTURY is about parents and kids and how we (we, parents) prepare them for the world and how we seek to protect them and how that works out (badly, I’m guessing). That’s probably all balls but, whatever I find, hopefully I won’t be finding out it’s the ravings of an Imperialist pervert railing against the fact they now make films based on boardgames. If it is, however, I will cop to that.

  32. The anti-Christ. Huh. Gosh, that has been done. Hasn’t it?
    Couldn’t he at least get a proper name?

    So where was Christ anyway`?

  33. “This conversation is kind of like someone saying, “Y’know, I think there’s this recurring theme in ‘Spider-man’ that has something to do with the relationship between power and responsibility,” and someone else going, “What do you mean? That’s a weird interpretation! Are you sure you aren’t projecting that into the story?””

    Although P&R is foundational to Spider-Man itself, in absolutely no way is EVERY Spidey story ABOUT P&R. Certainly the last half dozen Spidey comics I read didn’t even have a tangential connection to P&R, as such. That would seem self-evident to me?

    I don’t think C: 2009 is ABOUT 21st Century fiction even if Moore intended to look at how fiction changed over time — I’m just not getting that from the TEXT ITSELF. I think the TEXT ITSELF is talking about c19 and c20 fiction, and, in point of fact, no one, not a one of us, really has much of an idea of what c21 fiction is actually about, yet. Still a bit early for that.

    Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

    -B

  34. “We’ve come a long way from “The British Empire has always encountered difficulty in distinguishing between its heroes and its monsters” to Moore’s attempts to justify Quatermain, Bulldog Drummond, and the Golliwog.”

    I know, right? I mean, the first couple volumes of League start out as Moore poking and prodding at various beloved Victorian fictions, dissecting them and exposing the violence and imperialism that underlies so much of them. But between Black Dossier and Century, Moore’s project becomes more or less about rehabilitating some of the most odious concepts and characters while denouncing modern culture as inferior to that of the Victorians or the Edwardians – it’s become a thoroughly reactionary undertaking.

  35. I would say that was fully in place by Black Dossier, the first volume to argue that the racist heroes of yore were nobler than the misogynistic heroes of the mid-20th century. (To be fair, this is a tough call.) After that the series never looks back, and so much of the material in 1969 and 2009 just feels like an adjunct to arguments Moore already laid out with tedious clarity in the Black Dossier.

    JohnK: I would have bought the argument about “treating his audience like adults” with Watchmen, Swamp Thing, any of the earlier stuff, but I don’t think you can argue that Century offers a realistic, unflinching portrayal of humanity’s capacity for sexual violence when the Antichrist Harry Potter kills Allan Quatermain with his dick lightning. I do think you can argue that Moore has already offered realistic, unflinching portrayals of humanity’s capacity for sexual violence in Watchmen and elsewhere, and he’s not really adding anything to that argument at this point (when he’s even making it; I don’t think LoEG Century does) and maybe it’s just time for him to move on. Really, I’m not trying to psychoanalyze him; I don’t pretend to know the reasons why rape surfaces in so many of his works; I’m just saying I’m sick of it and I think it’s becoming detrimental to his work.

    And I know that Moore’s stated politics are anything but Tory, which makes his slide into cranky old mandom all the more jarring. (This is the guy who implicitly compared Clement Attlee’s Labour government, possibly one of the most progressive in history, to fucking Big Brother in the Black Dossier. I wonder how he feels about the NHS?) I have to agree with moose, what started as a criticism of Victorian fiction and Victorian nostalgia has turned into a reactionary celebration of them.

  36. “I’m just saying I’m sick of it and I think it’s becoming detrimental to his work.”

    Oh, and I should add (to return to my original point): I’m saying that when sexual violence crops up in Moore’s work, as it inevitably does, it crops up because Moore chose to put it there, not because his subject matter somehow mandated that he throw it in for the purposes of realism.

  37. Though it must be stated that Moore’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon rape’s everything that moves” is a fucking brilliant comic!

  38. @moose n squirrel/@Marc:
    Could I ask you to expand on how Moore is ‘justifying’ Quatermain, Drummond and the Golliwog? By 2009 Quatermain is a different (better?) man to the one in Vol.1, Drummond dies like a (bull)dog spitting ant-semitic bile and Golliwogs were a thing that happened. Better to face up to that than conveniently ignore it, no? (Actually the sex mad golliwog scares me, I don’t really know what’s going on there.) How is Moore rehabilitating any of the distasteful characters in any of the LOEG? Isn’t he just using them and not shying away from their distasteful aspects.

    @Marc: The electric-dick death is more an instance of magic(k)al references than an act of sexual violence. Me, I think Alan Moore uses sexual violence responsibly (For a less responsible use see FUCK ALAN MOORE: NITE OWL #1. Or so I hear.) and you don’t think so, well, that’s up to each of us. I’d like him to do it less often too, but he’s the writer he makes the choices he makes, and if we dislike those choices enough we move off away. I actually share many of your concerns here in fact.

    Moore’s use of Big Brother in place of Atlee’s govt. works, though. Atlee’s lot were so progressive they could have been called English Socialists (IngSoc!) even and 1984 is an extreme parody of Socialism and in 1948 (1984!) Atlee’s lot started to crack down hard on their progressive policies which (arguably) were only the result of the fear of a Revolution (such a threat appeared very real to Orwell when he wrote the book.) and Big Brother is a certain way of avoiding a Revolution, no? I don’t know, I think it works nicely. Pre-1948 Atlee is great stuff but Moore is writing blackly comic fiction and is also a self proclaimed anarchist, so he’s not going to (probably) care about the finer feelings of dead politicians. I bet Alan Moore thinks the NHS is great because I do and anyone who doesn’t is just wrong.

    I think what’s crucial here is that 2009 be read as part of the whole LOEG, only then can we properly weigh its meaning and scope. It isn’t really a stand alone piece, I don’t think. That may account for the lack of density you (@Marc, I’m still talking to you, don’t wander off!) rightly perceived. The sub plots have all ended and this is the final act now.

    We can disagree forever and that’s okay by me, because see what we’re doing? Talking about Atlee, the use of sexual violence in fiction, Imperialism, ageism, etc. etc. Isn’t that good? Alan Moore’s work creates that kind of discussion about that kind of thing. That’s a good thing isn’t it?

  39. John, I talk about comics for a living so of course I think that’s a good thing, but I’m not certain that necessarily reflects any better on Century–we could talk all day about Cerebus, too, but that wouldn’t make Dave Sim’s views any less reprehensible.

    (Aside to any Dave Sim fans reading this: please do not talk all day about Cerebus. Thank you.)

    Moore compares Drummond favorably to Bond in the Black Dossier (while still expressing disgust at the character’s politics) and places him, however briefly, on the League’s side; and Quatermain and Mina both routinely compare him quite unfavorably to the imperialist hero Mina read about as a girl. With his dying words, Allan says he is that hero, and this is presented as a moral triumph and redemption–one that earns him a hero’s rest complete with the mystical British/Disney lion. Moore might be laying all those white lords of the jungle to rest on that page, but he does so with obvious admiration for what Quatermain used to be.

    To say that “Golliwogs were a thing that happened” is to let Moore and O’Neill off the hook again. Where do they present any criticism of the racism that produced the Golliwog, or turned “wog” into a racial slur? And as you point out Moore also adds the hypersexualized stereotype, managing the neat trick of making the Golliwog even more racist. (As to the rehabilitation, O’Neill has expressly said that he and Moore wanted to rescue the character from its own legacy–see Pam Noles’s extensive series of posts, including this one–although to my eyes this “rescue” mostly takes the form of recycling a racist character, adding a couple of new racist stereotypes, and then pretending none of it is racial.) As with Moore’s frequent depictions of rape and sexual violence, there’s a pretty big difference between criticizing a cultural practice and just wallowing in it.

    As for the feelings of dead politicians, who gives a damn? I brought up the Attlee/Big Brother comparison to point out that the conservative strain in Moore’s recent work isn’t that new, isn’t limited to culture alone, and isn’t disproven by his stated political leanings. (And I don’t really buy the rest of your argument either: you can say that Big Brother is a certain way of avoiding a revolution, and providing the public with cradle-to-grave health care and pensions is another way, but that doesn’t make them equivalent. But these little differences don’t show up anywhere in Moore’s easy conflation of the welfare state with the totalitarian state.)

    I think I am reading 2009 against the larger project (going all the way back to vol. 1), but in any case when we have to shell out ten bucks for an installment we get to play it as it lays.

  40. @Marc: Firstly, thanks for your enlightening and considered response. So then, before I raise the white flag…I think it reflects well on CENTURY (and CEREBUS) that they occasion discussion beyond whether Rogue could beat the Hulk. That’s all. It might not be much, but, hey.

    You are obviously far more steeped in the books than I am. I require a re-reading. While I think Moore rehabilitated Allan so that he actually deserves his storybook ending, I can’t actually support that. Nor can I support the fact that I found nothing likeable in any of the characters you seem to feel Moore looks on more kindly than they deserve. I will, however, bear in mind your points as I re-read. I will have no problem with finding out I am mistaken, should that occur.

    I read the linked articles and I was most dismayed. Upset, actually. That is certainly regrettable and extraordinarily unfortunate on the parts of Moore and O’Neill. As well as Moore being questioned on the high incidence of sexual violence in his books I would also like some questions to be asked r.e. race, and the Golliwog in particular. Should, you know, anyone ever interview him properly instead of just poking him into a rant.

    I still feel you are reading rather too much into a joke with the position of BB in the timeline (that’s why it is funny isn’t it – they aren’t equivalent?). But okay, I will take your broader point that Moore could be more reactionary than I think. Heck, I could be more reactionary than I think, which might be why I’m not seeing it. Again, I will bear this in mind on my re-read. I do hope I’m not a reactionary, that would be awful.

    I probably come across as a Moore-Lover who will hear no wrong about My Alan but, really, have no problem with legitimately problematic aspects with Moore’s work being raised. He is, I understand, human so he’s problematic and contradictory from the off. But I do think the tendency by some to characterise him as a cranky old man who is out of touch and has nothing of worth to say anymore is excessively dismissive. That’s all. And I still thought the book was good comics.

    Cheers, sir.

  41. John, I didn’t mean to come down too hard on your joke–my problem is that Moore makes that equivalency in deadly earnest, and seemingly with no regard to its implications.

    I agree with you about the tendency to turn Moore into a stereotype and use that to dismiss his views, especially his views on FUCK ALAN MOORE. I don’t think his crankiness makes his case against DC any less valid, but it’s not something I especially want to read about in his comics either.

    Cheers to you as well.

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