It was announced a few days ago that Alan Moore has retired from writing comics. I haven’t read a new comic of his since I read Promethea, Tom Strong and Top 10, which were frankly the best works of his I read at all.
Alan Moore made a career of deconstructing superheroes, in essence ruining what made them fun — the hope that the every man can get some cool powers and beat up some bad dudes. It’s not a deep genre in a non-deep medium, even the “deep” comics like Watchmen really are thin compared to real literature, and it’s because picture books can never be real literature.
Unfortunately with the success of Watchmen, The Killing Joke, What Ever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow, and the deconstruction of heroes, has brought about the destruction of heroes. It’s not that far a leap to Tom King’s Batman, where the Bat sits around and whines about how he does no good and it’s a nihilistic endless slog while his sidekicks try to pick up the slack.
That’s what Alan Moore’s work did to the medium. It took it from fun to depressing. From awe-inspiring, to super people doing ordinary things. He pioneered the way for what this industry has become in recent decades–nihilistic, depressing, uninspiring trash.
I’d rather read something else, and hail some others from that era as great, the ones who really made books which are worth the read, like Tom DeFalco and Chuck Dixon. But the media wants you in this endless cycle of dreary so they can control you. I wrote all about Alan Moore’s destruction of comics in a guest post two years ago.
I still stand by it.
Full disclosure: I happen to believe I’ve created much better comics than those dreary Alan Moore works. One that features a hero who, despite her having very few abilities, does her best to scrap it out and make a difference anyway – because that’s what heroes do.
Originally published here.