Leah Moore Knows the Score

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Leah Moore knows the score. She must have learned from her father.

Alan Moore celebrated his sixty-sixth birthday this past Monday (the 18th) and marked the occasion by publicly declaring his intent to vote Labor in the upcoming U.K. elections. At the same time, an interview Moore gave back in 2017 wherein he lambasted superhero culture started making the rounds across the web. Many assumed Moore’s criticisms were born out of the launch of the Watchmen HBO series (which I just discussed here last week), but of course they were not; as noted the interview was two years old.

Still, this resulted in the expected chorus that Moore was bitter, spiteful, out of touch, whatever. Thankfully, someone a bit more high profile than myself leapt to Moore’s defense—his daughter Leah.

If you’d rather not go through the whole thread, here it is for you, all in one space:

This whole “Alan Moore Implores you to please vote and save our broken country from actual fucking oblivion” might’ve landed better if his birthday had not been spent noting that he clearly has not read any of the many wonderful modern comics that he might actually rather enjoy.

He has also clearly never watched any of the rather enjoyable comics based movies, or experienced any of the joy, support or inspiration they bring to millions of people. He hasn’t sat next to a ten-year-old girl watching Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman for the first time.

The idea that the man who loved superhero stories so much he gave up his job and plunged recklessly into writing comics, which at that time was *insane* of him to do, loved them so much he filled every panel (and arguably every balloon and caption) with that love.

Loved them so much he tried to make them into something that provoked thought and feelings, that addressed issues, that spoke to people the way superheroes had always spoken to him. That seems crazy to me. I have his collection of Marvel comics, dog-eared from reading, from love.

I heard so many times about his excitement at finding a stash of second hand Marvel comics in a junkshop, in a box, or buying them off the spinners in Great Yarmouth on holiday. He could not love superhero comics more if he tried. Jack Kirby was his idol, Ditko was his idol.

It was that love that made him who he was! In the 80s he brought ecology and politics into his superhero comics, in the 90s he wrote 1963 which was a glowing fizzing love letter directly to his beloved superhero comics, he wrote that at the same time as From Hell, Lost Girls

He did not see any opposition between his ABC line of superhero comics, and his beloved mind boggling huge concept GNs. If i rang, he would spent 45 minutes explaining a cool bit of Tom Strong, a load of daft bits in Splash Brannigan, a clever thing he had done and was proud of.

His problem was that the medium he adored was ruled by corrupt despots, that the people who made that magic were abused, that their contribution was not valued, that it was stolen from them. He already hated that before Watchmen. He already knew Kirby had been shafted.

So when it happened to him, and then again, and then again, it wasn’t just a business deal gone awry, or a bit of bad luck, it broke him. The thing he loved most, the thing he poured *all* his time and energy into for his whole entire life, he couldn’t do it anymore.

He fulfilled his obligations to his fellow creators, he did the projects he could control and own, but he didn’t want to browse comic shelves anymore. That’s so fucking sad it actually breaks my heart.

So for people who thrive now, in this amazing industry we can all find our niches in, where there are so many comics we couldn’t possibly buy them all, to say that Alan Moore is out of order for hating superheroes, or what they became, for him, is unbelievable.

To see him dismissed as Crazy Old Alan Moore again and again, and people not know what made him that way? To see people dissing him when their job, their industry their medium was partly built on 40 years of his hard work? I am not heartbroken, just really fucking disappointed.

Can you imagine if he hadn’t been fucked over? If instead of being Grumpy Alan Moore Shouting From His Cave he had spent the past 40 years putting out book after book for DC and the rest? Creating vast worlds full of the superheroes he loves? Enjoying comics? It’s a damn shame.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Alan Moore is one of the greatest comic writers ever; possibly THE greatest. I suspect that a lot of the fans who like to criticize him these days are really just pissed that he stopped writing comics. Instead of blaming Alan Moore for this, maybe you should blame the corporate scumbags who screwed him over and drove him from the industry.

Just a thought.

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