There's an interview at Mania.com with Alan Moore that's causing a big stir out there in Geekland. In it, he goes off on his usual anti-comic industry rants. But the controversial thing to me is that a lot of it is right on the money. In a series, we'll be analyzing some of his points. First, let's take a look at his commentary on modern comic book writers:
The people drawing and writing [in the 1960's] ... were often professional writers who happened to be making a living in comics.... Then, they were replaced in the middle ‘60s by basically fan-writers, some of whom were pretty good. But, it began a fairly incestuous process that meant that it was fans writing for fans who would be the next generation of creators.
I can't argue with that point too much. I mean, when you look at modern comics, a lot of it is way too circular. You know, like Wolverine having a flashback from fighting a villain who's the daughter of the villain that he fought twenty years ago. The original generation of comic book writers were inspired by classic literature, not comic books. For example, Stan Lee was inspired by Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde to create the Hulk. Contrast that with a modern villain like Victor Zsasz, who's just a garden-variety serial killer with a cutting obsession. Every good writer knows that diversity is where great ideas come from.

What do you think? Is the current crop of writers just as good or better than the old ones? Or do you agree with Alan Moore?

Next: Part 2, Psychopathic Superheroes
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Mauricem said...

He makes a good point, but one thing that fans have that a non-fan writer might not have is respect for the source material. A writer might see the Hulk and decide to return him to his roots as Frankenstein by ret-conning his origin to be a monstrous creation of Banner that is independent of him and goes on a rampage. Sounds good. But, what happens when fans start asking questions about past history of the character. The whole thing falls apart, especially if he leaves the comic. On the other hand, the idea that comic writers should be good writers inspired by great literature can't be argued with. I'm looking forward to the next entry.


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