Alan Moore on Hallucinations: ‘I Wanted To Get Rid Of My Negative Thoughts About Comics’

How do you introduce a writer as influential, iconic, and enigmatic as Alan Moore? You start, I guess, with the basics that are typical of every bio. He spent the 1980s and 1990s rewriting the rules of the comics with a ton of all-time greats including Miracleman, V For Vendetta, Watchmen, and From Hell. He then spearheaded his own imprint, ABC (America’s Best Comics), and spent the past century writing half a dozen monthly titles, including his alternative literary universe, The League of Extra Extra Gentlemen.

hen has had a series of scandals with major publishers DC and Marvel, causing him to refuse credit or money for several blockbuster movies based on his work. During that time, he became a magician, wrote for movies, published a magazine and a 1,000-page novel, and has now produced his first collection of short stories, The light.

When announcing the book, Moore said: “I have always loved the short story genre. I think it’s the best form for any writer to begin and perhaps end their career.”

Calling his home phone in Northampton, I asked him what he wanted to say about it.

“Well,” he said, in his beautiful English midland quote, “as a place to start, it’s perfect, because everything you need to know to write a longer piece of work is possible. learned quickly and without too much energy, by writing short stories. All the things you would have to do in a giant novel, you would have to do in a four-page story. You’ll have to introduce your characters, their background, their setting, the setting – and deal with all of that satisfactorily in a really confined space. It’s not easy, but at least it’s quick.”

It’s also a way of shortening the narrative to its essence, he said.

“Short stories,” he says, “are a thing by themselves—they can have their own rules, their own structure, their own form of delivery, they can be anything. Edgar Allen Poe says his scheme for a short story is that it ‘should be written to achieve a particular effect, and once that effect is achieved, the story is over’. This leaves you with quite a bit of room to maneuver, but it’s a great way to start your career. It will teach you everything you need to know.

“It’s not a bad way to end your career either,” he added. “It’s not a commitment like [his 1,000-page novel] Jerusalem to be; it can be as long or as short as i want. Come up with a silly idea or character, and just write the best you can to articulate that idea. Once it has been expressed, it has been completed”.

The light alternating previously published works with four new stories. We found a work nominated for the 1988 World Illusion Award – Hypothetical Lizarda story set in a magical brothel – rub shoulders with Not a legenda dark comic story about mysterious people published in supernatural anthology 2020 Uncertainties 5 by Rathmines’ Swan River Press.

Chief among the new sections is What we can know about Thunderman, a small novel that takes the reader on an in-depth journey into the misguided journeys of a fictional, sprawling comic book publisher and the spooky and evil cast that works there. It was a masterful satire of the industry he called home for four decades, and no doubt
The light‘center. But, coming up with 243 pages, I risk that it instead examines the definition of a short story.

“Yeah, I think so,” he said, chuckling slightly. “But at the same time, I think of it as a short story because it’s not built like a novel. If I had the weight of the word ‘novel’ on the story, I don’t think I would be anywhere near as liberal, open, or radical in the forms the story takes place. I thought it was a short story, but it was a short story that got out of hand. “

What we can know about Thunderman involves a number of characters who have been working their way up in the comic book industry over the course of 5 decades. Or should I say, one comic industry, as the entire edifice of contemporary comics here has been remade in Moore’s analogy. Instead of Marvel and DC, we explore the Massive and American universes; Because Batman and Fantastic fourunderstand Queen bee and Unrealistic year. While, in our universe, Superman throws his cape to save Metropolis or Lois Lane, here we see Thunderman soaring above the tall buildings of Macropolis to aid Peggy Parks.

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It’s a massive alternate world filled with villains, mostly of the publishing genre, part love letter to the weirdness of comic continuity, part anti-babyism. birth and the cunning associated with their hold on contemporary culture.

Having completely retired from comics in 2018, why return to this important piece of prose now?

“Well, it came from a strange place,” he said. “It came from what I had one of the characters in it embody, which is that leaving the comics is one thing – and I did it, seems like a huge relief – but stop thinking. About Comics are something else. Especially when you’ve been with them for 40 years, that’s a pretty long career by anyone’s standards. I tend to see negative, nasty thoughts about the comics swirling in my mind when I don’t want them there. So when I put together the proposal for The lightI think this would be a better place to actually exorcise some of that as some art form than some angry mumbling in the bathtub. “

The world he created achieves an incredible degree of awe. While I appreciate the jokes within jokes and references that any good comic book geek will enjoy, I reveal with some confusion that, at one point, while reading the timeline Detailed timeline of every screen adaptation Thunderman, I immediately turned to my laptop to look it up on YouTube and see what it was like. Moore hung up. “Thank you very much – that’s an ideal response.”

Having read dozens of interviews with Moore over the decades and interviewing himself in the past, I’ve lost interest in what he thinks of superhero movies – he’s said many times that he He doesn’t like them – but I admit the dark joy of joy at the thought of him having to wade through message boards or watch the entire DC cinematic universe in action in preparation for this book.

“I didn’t watch any of this,” he told me, “I faked them all. I think I saw the first couple Superman movie and maybe an episode of a TV series, and fake it all from there.”

Thunderman in fact, his first work mentions his thoughts on this arena, although journalists have encouraged him to comment for a very long time.

He recalls answering one of these questions back in 2011 by saying it was “a shame that in the 21st century we still have to watch the original franchise series that was intended to appeal to 12-year-old boys. 50 years old. formerly”.

“It seems to be about some kind of infancy, a mass retreat of adults to a simpler place, without thinking about climate change, economic collapse or the rise of the economy,” he said. of populist fascism,” he said. “I think this is worrisome because the retreat from infantism in general is a precursor to fascism. Expect to be told it was all done by the Illuminati, the international Jewish banking conspiracy, or the Democratic underground pedophile demons drinking children’s adrenochromes underneath the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant in Washington. DC. These are all comic solutions to comic problems.”

Readers may be surprised as the events of January 6, 2021 show up in Thunderman story, drawing the fibers of this theory from the subtext to the text.

“Donald Trump – Donald“, Moore emphasizes this sob with a weary sigh,” is a perfect comic book superhero [who has] came to save us from an absurd threat no less than whatever he was worried about – Mexicans, or Democratic underground pedophiles, whatever terrible threat you face. – and say that here to save you is the equally unlikely hero and the solution to all your problems. “

Moore’s words were rendered useless in 2011, when superhero movies were beginning their journey towards the dominance of our multi-channel and streaming platforms. At the time, he said he mostly faced nasty complaints from fans of such films, asking him to clarify whether he was calling them arrests. emotionally just because they like cape-and-cowl blockbusters or not.

“Well,” he said, “not necessarily, but neither do I Not say. I’m saying that when a bunch of adults line up to watch a superhero movie, that’s probably not a good sign. I have a lot of friends who like these movies. But being a social phenomenon is not necessarily benevolent.”

He is frustrated by the tendency for fantasy to be “quite a means of escape, which I don’t think fantasy should be used for”, arguing that it represents “good and evil very simply, all things I don’t like about Lord of the Rings from the start, just copy across the entire category”.

I didn’t want to ask him what he thought of the latest incarnation of that series, as the chances of him sitting down to enjoy it on a Friday evening might be slim, and our time is running out. I close by asking him, who is arguably one of the greatest living fantasy authors on the planet, if he thinks it’s his commercial privilege to be less fanciful.

“Or than great,” he said, with absolute conviction. “To actually create something is a really powerful personal fantasy, capable of still influencing people, even in our semi-modern state. I think fantasy writers should make their fantasies stronger, more prominent. I’m not saying everything has to do with some real-world concern, but fantasy is much sharper.

It must penetrate real-world problems, real psychological states, it must always have some relevance to the world in which the reader is reading it. It can be dangerous, bogged down in its current incarnation, in that it distracts people from the big problems of an increasingly magical world. “


IIllumination by Alan Moore

Alan Moore’s ‘Illumination’ now out from Bloomsbury Alan Moore on Hallucinations: ‘I Wanted To Get Rid Of My Negative Thoughts About Comics’

Fry Electronics Team

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