Tag Archives: take my name off it and give all my money to the artist

Speaking of Alan Moore

Speaking of Alan Moore, here’s a photo of him from a recent interview where he’s wearing the same T-Shirt as me (and clearly we’re both not happy about it):

Moses, you're holding those tablets the wrong way upHere’s how the interviewer describes Moore:

And while he is reassuringly genial, he is much bigger, more leonine and prestidigitatoresque than photos make out. He looks more like a Brian Bolland drawing of himself than himself. Even the permanently smouldering joints on which he tokes are much fatter and longer than you’d credit — although filled from a soft, dark block of Moroccan hashish resin the size of a cigarette packet, not some discombobulating new strain of super skunk.

And here’s a nice bit from the interview itself:

Everybody is becoming [a superhero]. In the past I’ve tried to say, ‘Look, we are all crappy superheroes,’ because personal computers and mobile phone devices are things that only Bat Man and Mr Fantastic would have owned back in the sixties. We’ve all got this immense power and we’re still sat at home watching pornography and buying scratch cards. We’re rubbish, even though we are as gods.

Go read it it to see what Moore’s got to say about taking Acid and people experiencing 9/11 as a flashback to Watchmen:

One of my friends over there [New York], Bob Morales, said he’d been talking to some people on Ground Zero on September 12, 2001 and he was asking them if they were alright and what it had been like. Two of them, independently of each other, said that they were just waiting for the authorities to find a giant alien sticking half way out of a wall.

carpet bombing is from Krypton, god is in his beard

Wired has a feature on Zack Snyder’s making of the movie, as well as an interview with Watchmen co-creator, awesome artist Dave Gibbons. Their centerpiece is of course the contrarian interview with Alan Moore:

I wonder if the root of the emergence of the superhero in American culture might have something to do with a kind of an ingrained American reluctance to engage in confrontation without massive tactical superiority…
That, if it’s a military situation, then you’ve got carpet bombing from altitude, which is kind of the equivalent of having come from Krypton as a baby and to have gained unusual strength and the ability to fly because of Earth’s lesser gravity.

There’s also a profile of Moore at the Observer which mentions (twice) Moore living in a three-way relationship with his wife’s lesbian lover, which apparently features heavily in the uncyclopedia article:

Alan Moore (discovered November 18, 1953, somewhere in England by Fleetway Publishing) is one of the world’s top ranking 13th level wizards. He has also been known to write comics while recovering from stints of summoning vast rampaging hordes of absinthe-driven lesbians to do his bidding, and sometimes his laundry. It is rumoured that God lives inside Moore’s beard, where he whispers story ideas to the writer.

On a lighter note, Watchmen movie Easter Eggs, via the dod. And if you want the opinions of people I am fond of on the movie, both Bo and Ziv apparently loved it. Which is of course deeply tied in to why I like them.

Dropping your girlfriend through the roof of a burning building – that’s just nite-owl’s idea of foreplay

You know when you get your girlfriend to dress up in expensive fetish gear and act out your private erotic fantasies in elaborate detail, and the next morning you can’t quite look each other in the eye?

Neither do I, but watching Zack Snyder’s Watchmen is sorta like that.

Which is to say, seeing it filled me with both a deep, addiction-like craving to see it again, and with the shuddering sick sense of violation that comes from seeing your dreams rendered into frail human flesh in the cold light of morning. Like some insane feat of circus gymnastics, the movie bends over backwards to insert as much of the original into its 2 hours and 43 minutes. It reproduces the comic beat by beat, every favorite bit of action, dialogue and flashback is recreated painstakingly and vividly in lush detail and packed tightly in. But all over, the tiny compromises prick me, and the small bruises and stretch marks where you can tell that this is a Hollywood big budget movie beneath all the makeup and latex vex my purist heart.

Zack Snyder’s reverence for the source is palpable, perhaps much greater than Peter Jackson’s devotion to Lord of the Rings. Like in those films, there are several things which will probably only make real sense in the extended DVD, or which can only be puzzled out by navigating the extended text spread out across the Internet (for example, only because I watched a panel with the director and cast from last year’s San Diego comic-con on YouTube do I understand why Matthew Goode’s Adrian Veidt talks with such an odd German accent in some scenes). This reverence also reflects itself in how the movie deviates from the comic, in the way it makes changes (the removal of the giant squid and the addition of a new power to Dr. Manhattan, that of granting other people flashbacks) but uses them to keep as much of the original material as possible. I’m reminded of Andrew Rilstone’s review of Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring:

My second quibble, perhaps surprisingly, is that the film sticks rather too closely to the structure of the book. Once we get out of the Shire, every set piece episode is intact; …. However, over and over again, the scenes are either deflated, or even made redundant, by structural changes that Jackson has already committed himself to. One felt scriptwriters saying ‘Given that we have changed such-and-such as a result of translating a book into a movie, this scene is no longer necessary: however, since it is in the book, we must leave it intact and create a new purpose for it.’

For example, Veidt gives a last toast to his employees in Karnak, dressed in full Ozymandias regalia, even though the (welcome, in my book) changes the script makes to his master plan make his choice of dress appear bizarre, because he’s now talking to scientists and technicians at what is presented as a Veidt research center rather than to personal servants at his secret superhero retreat.

My other complaint, expressed above in metaphoric terms, is how the pervasive and pernicious influence of Hollywood big budget movie culture crops up. My biggest issue is with how the character of Laurie (Silk Spectre) has been changed – starting from her first scene, where Dr. Manhattan has been given more lines at her expense, so he can provide important exposition. This is a consistent pattern in the movie. While Snyder takes care to preserve the plot elements of Laurie’s character arc, her emotional reactions – the anger and pity she feels to her mother, her hatred of the Comedian, her disgust with Rorschach and her alienation from John – all these are strongly muted or absent completely. Even her most notable character tick – her constant fidgeting with her cigarettes – has been excised, along with the emotional fuel that drives it. The comic book Laurie was much more forceful in conversation, far angrier, more flawed and human and interesting. The movie has gotten rid of all of Laurie’s comic-book bitchiness, leaving Malin Akerman to play a much nicer, more palatable and demure character. She still kicks ass, but you won’t find the anger behind those kicks – it’s just something fun and adventurous for her, spice to add to her appeal as Dan’s fantasy girlfriend.

I feel like a bit of a gender-traitor pointing that out as a flaw in the movie, although it annoyed me. Consider, the part of the superhero costume kept on during sex for its fetish appeal – in the comic, Nite-Owl’s googles; in the movie, Silk Spectre’s latex boots. The comic book Laurie smokes – the movie Laurie is just smoking hot. Because, apparently, you need to be a murderer and a rapist in movies these days before they let you close to tobacco.