Some big Alan Moore news, if you'll allow me to geek out a bit about my favorite writer. Rich Johnston returned his Lying in the Gutters column to break the news about Moore effectively dissolving his relationship with DC (basically for the second time). Their relationship has always been spotty; Moore & aritst Dave Gibbons felt slighted when DC made so much money off of Watchmen in the '80s. There was a deal that the rights would revert to the creators after the work was out of print, but neither expected DC to keep it in print for 20 years (it's still one of their best-selling graphic novels). Also, buttons sold by DC at the time were listed under "promotional items" and not "merchandise," so they wouldn't be obligated to give a cut to the creators. Moore swore never to work with DC again. When he was about to launch a new line of comics (America's Best) in the late '90s under Jim Lee's Wildstorm Comics, things almost came to a head because DC bought Wildstorm, and Lee had to fly to England to smooth things over with Moore. Moore's instinct was to call it off, but he felt obligated to continue because some artists were already hard at work on stories and had turned down other jobs to do his comics. A system was set up so that Moore would never technically work for DC, receiving his checks from somewhere else, though effectively DC distributed America's Best. Since then 2 semi-scandals occurred: an issue of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was pulped because of an authentic turn of the century ad that DC found offensive, and a short story wasn't allowed to be published because it featured L. Ron Hubbard, father of the lawsuit-happy Scientology religion. This was discredited when a story about L. Ron Hubbard was found in a DC-published anthology.
Looks like the final straw was the V For Vendetta movie. Moore always tried to separate himself from the film adaptations of his works: he didn't want to be involved, he was happy to just receive credit and the checks. But when he was sued (along with 20th Century Fox) by a screenwriter claiming the film LXG was a rip-off of his screenplay, he had to undergo a 10-hour deposition defending his own comic from the screenplay he had nothing to do with. In fact, the similar elements were ones the studio added that were NOT in the comic, such as Tom Sawyer and Dorian Gray. After that, he didn't want his name to be used, or to receive money from any movies; his share would be redistributed among the artists involved. But at the V For Vendetta press conference producer Joel Silver implied that Moore endorsed the film's script, when something more like the reverse happened (see the column for details), and Moore demanded a retraction and apology from Silver and Warner Bros., who own DC. It didn't come, and Moore basically said that was it; after my contractual obligations are complete, I'm leaving and taking League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with me (he and artist Kevin O'Neill own the property in full). They took it to Top Shelf, a small publisher who have done good by Moore for the last few years, publishing new editions of his Mirror of Love and Voice of the Fire, as well as handling the publication/distribution of From Hell.
Though I'm obviously biased, this is just ridiculous. I can see DC doing this to a lesser-known writer, but pissing off Alan Moore? I mean, not only is he possibly the greatest writer the medium's had, everyone KNOWS he can hold a grudge like nobody's business. DC just kissed off a whole lot of money.
Moore, in a rare case, spoke against the V For Vendetta script (presumably because it's the cause of so much trouble): "It was imbecilic; it had plot holes you couldn't have got away with in Whizzer And Chips in the 1960s. Plot holes no one had noticed.
They don't know what British people have for breakfast; they couldn't be bothered. 'Eggy in a basket,' apparently. Now the US have 'eggs in a basket,' which is fried bread with a fried egg in a hole in the middle. I guess they thought we must eat that as well, and thought 'eggy in a basket' was a quaint and Olde Worlde version. And they decided that the British postal service is called Fedco. They'll have thought something like, 'Well, what's a British version of FedEx... how about FedCo? A friend of mine had to point out to them that the Fed, in FedEx comes from 'Federal Express.' America is a federal republic; Britain is not."
He's also said that from now on he's not going to allow any work of his to be adapted into a film if he can help it.
A title was given for his next novel, "Jerusalem," which, based on its description, will not replace the previously-mentioned "A Grimoire" (perhaps only delaying it). Where his first novel "Voice of the Fire" took place entirely in his hometown of Northampton over a span of 10,000 years, "Jerusalem" will take place in the space of 3 or 4 blocks in Northampton where Moore grew up.
He's working on a graphic novel for Avatar Press.
He also proposed to his long-time girlfriend Melinda Gebbie (artist of Lost Girls) and she accepted.
And on the Alan Moore Fan Site you have a chance to ask the magus himself a question.
THIS YEAR IN ALAN MOORE BOOKS WILL KILL ME
Promethea Vol. 4 (already out)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 2: The Absolute Edition (June)
Top 10: The 49ers (July)
Tom Strong's Terrific Tales Vol. 1 (August)
V For Vendetta HC (September)
Absolute Watchmen (October)
Lost Girls (December)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier (sometime this year)
(not Alan Moore):
The Complete Calvin & Hobbes (October)
What can I say? He is my favorite writer. And C&H is my favorite comic strip.
I've been using my LC-A less these last few months (hopefully this will be rectified). I developed a roll the other day and it's funny to see how many events are on it: the earliest pictures are New Year's Eve pictures, reunion dinner with my high school classmates, CD's exhibit at Saguijo, then there's our picnic at The Fort, Singapore visits 1 & 2, the HG shoot with Amanda Griffin/Georgina Wilson/Ronnie Lazaro, my quick jaunt in Malaysia, ending with the Camiling Story showing at UPFI.
Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, an adaptation of English author Diana Wynne Jones's fantasy book.
A new Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit trailer, less cheeky than the first.
Continuing with the Alan Moore mayhem, here's a short trailer for the documentary on him, The Mindscape of Alan Moore (I hope they come up with a better title).
And we haven't had Milkman Dan recently, so