I'll be honest I was sitting on this one for a while cause I had to fully digest it. Alan Moore is my all time favorite writer of comics, I say it hands down without hesitation. I have other favorites of course, like Geoff Johns, Brian Azzarello, John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Jeph Loeb, J. Michael Straczynski, the list can go on long, but none of them in my mind hold a candle to Moore. He can evoke so many things in his prose from the elaborate detail of 19th and early 20th Century comics and magazines like Buck Rogers, Tarzan and the Adventures of Tin Tin. He brings complex and nuanced characters to the fore that even after 30 years can still be relevant in any time period. This would include Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V For Vendetta, Miracleman, Swamp Thing, Batman: Killing Joke, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Constantine and From Hell. When I would open League of Extraordinary Gentlemen I often felt transported back to the late 19th Century after being bombarded with the in-between pages of random ads for talcum powder or short stories and essays of the time period. He was certainly the first comic writer to actually make me feel this way while reading his work and now that time is coming to an end.
I get it, he's been doing comics a long time so I understand that he may be burned out. It seems he's focusing his energy on film and literary work. He says that he was getting too comfortable in the medium and he realizes the work suffers if he gets to the point where he's phoning it in. He's done more than his share for comics and I am the first to applaud him for it. I also know that he's had his issues with the comics industry as a whole from creative control to fair wages Alan Moore has made his stamp on these concerns for years before it was popular to do so. So as you can see after a paragraph and a half I'm building to a but.
In his conversation with the Guardian newspaper he talks of his love of the Kirby era but that is of a 13 year old boy and now that he is older it is time to put childish things away. This is not a direct quote but it is the sentiment and it reveals the reason why I'm a little unhappy with Alan Moore. If you've been reading this site you will have undoubtedly noticed a theme. I make no excuses that I am a late 30 something lover of comic books. Unabashedly so. I hear from some that it is a medium strictly for children and young adults and that somehow I would and should age out of it. Why? Yes there are some comics that are aimed at children, but the comics that Alan Moore, Brian Azarello, Warren Ellis, Brian K. Vaughn, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller write are not in any way shape or form for younger readers. All of the above writers bring complex stories to the fold that inspire or shape readers minds. I love the visual medium of comics as a unique and special thing. I tell people that comics, in a sense, was the first form of entertainment that humans had to enrich themselves on those dark cavern walls. Art and words combined through storytelling is one of mankind's strongest assets as it is available for all kinds of audiences young or old, male or female. It can entertain through action and adventure or through social issues and the human condition. They are so much more than pretty pictures they are a legacy, a mythology that will live long after our society is dead and buried. Just wanted to remind our dear friend Alan Moore of that, and to tell him good luck in his future endeavors.