Monday, October 15, 2007

Untalented Pot Calls Talented Kettle Black: Rob Liefeld Comments on Alan Moore

Cinerati friend, Luke Y. Thompson, has posted some very juicy quotes from a recent interview with Rob Liefeld. Rob Liefeld has often been the bane of my comic collecting existence. With the exception of his, heavily improved by Karl Kesel's inking, work on Hawk and Dove, I have never found his art work satisfying. His idea of what constitutes perspective, as shown in his Captain America #1, is as baffling to behold as it was embarrassing to read.

That said, I actually kind of like Liefeld the comic book enthusiast. He always seems genuinely excited about the medium and isn't to snobbishly pretentious.

Alan Moore, on the other hand, is a damn good comic book writer who I have found tremendously entertaining and often "deep." The fans who worship at the "Watchmen is the greatest graphic novel ever" altar, on the other hand, annoy the crap out of me. I both love and hate Watchmen. I think it is one of the best limited series of comic books to ever be collected in a trade paperback. Yes, I know that last sentence was amazingly pretentious. I love the Watchman series because it is a complex and inspiring work of art. The characters are engaging, the politics sometimes complex, and the milieu feels real. I also like how subversive the series is to many traditional tropes in comics as a medium. I hate the Watchmen series because of its Outer Limits ripoff ending and the fact that other writers thought that "all comic books should be like Watchmen" They shouldn't. I also hate the way the comic subverts Steve Ditko's paragon of Objectivism, the Question, and turns him into the unstable (and psychologically ill) Rorschach.

Yes, you read correctly, I love how subversive Watchmen is in general, at the same time as I hate how subversive it is in particular. Add to that, both Rorschach and the Question are two of my favorite comic book vigilantes and you begin to see how complex my love/hate relationship with this series is, never mind the fact that I am in no way an Objectivist and it only further muddles the issue.

Coming into LYT's article with all my Liefeld/Moore baggage made the post all the more enjoyable. There's some good "geek watercooler" conversation pieces in there that I will have to add to my "most likely to cause a comic book geek fight" quote collection. Maybe I'll have to devote an episode of Geekerati to a discussion of Alan Moore.

Here's just a taste: "If you’ve done business with Alan, you have a different opinion of Alan. He markets himself as a poet, but he’s just a ruthless businessman, like everybody else, he kept wanting to more work because he just wanted to get paid. Jeph Loeb, he can tell you."

Now go to OC Weekly and read the whole shebang. You can read the script for Alan Moore's unpublished Youngblood #4 at Kevin Church's site.
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