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Alan Moore - 'Curt Vile / Jill Deray / The Original Writer'

Contribution History:
Date User Field Old Value New Value
2014-04-06 15:37:21 LCISTech Suffix none
2014-04-06 15:37:21 LCISTech Nickname Curt Vile, Jill Deray, The Original Writer Curt Vile / Jill Deray / The Original Writer
2014-01-15 07:56:40 BlakeMP Suffix none
2014-01-15 07:56:40 BlakeMP Nickname Curt Vile, Jill Deray Curt Vile, Jill Deray, The Original Writer
2011-08-29 04:27:52 spid Suffix none
2011-08-29 04:27:52 spid Bio "To paint comic books as childish and illiterate is lazy. A lot of comic books are very literate—unlike most films." — Alan Moore. Alan Moore began his career in the late 1970s as a cartoonist, drawing underground-style strips for music magazines like Sounds and the NME under the pseudonym Curt Vile, sometimes in collaboration with his friend Steve Moore (no relation), and a regular strip, Maxwell the Magic Cat, under the pseudonym Jill de Ray, for the Northants Post newspaper. Deciding he could not make a living as an artist, he concentrated on writing, providing scripts for Marvel UK, 2000 AD and Warrior. At Marvel he wrote short strips for Doctor Who Magazine and Star Wars Weekly before beginning a celebrated run on Captain Britain with artist Alan Davis, running in a variety of Marvel UK publications. At 2000 AD he started by writing one-off Future Shocks and Time Twisters, moving on to series such as Skizz (E.T. as written by Alan Bleasdale, with Jim Baikie), D.R. and Quinch (a sci-fi take on National Lampoon's characters O.C. and Stiggs, with Davis) and The Ballad of Halo Jones (the first series in the comic to be based around a female character, with Ian Gibson). The last two proved amongst the most popular strips to appear in 2000 AD but Moore became increasingly concerned at his lack of creator's rights, and in 1986 stopped writing for 2000 AD, leaving the Halo Jones story incomplete. Of his work during this period, it is the work he produced for Warrior that attracted greater critical acclaim; Marvelman (later retitled Miracleman for legal reasons), a radical re-imagining of a forgotten 1950s superhero drawn by Garry Leach and Alan Davis; V for Vendetta, a dystopian pulp adventure about a flamboyant anarchist terrorist who dresses as Guy Fawkes and fights a future fascist government, illustrated in stark chiaroscuro by David Lloyd; and The Bojeffries Saga, a comedy about a working-class English family of vampires and werewolves, drawn by Steve Parkhouse. Warrior closed before these stories were completed, but other comic companies were quick to pick up and complete the stories. Moore's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics editor Len Wein, who hired him in 1983 to write Swamp Thing, then a fairly formulaic monster comic, and also the poorest selling of DC's titles. Moore, along with artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, deconstructed and rebuilt the character from the ground up, writing a series of formally experimental stories that addressed environmental and social issues alongside the horror and fantasy. Once it was clear that Moore had revitalised Swamp Thing and that he brought great critical acclaim, he was given more to write by DC.These included backup Green Arrow stories in Detective Comics, a two part story in Vigilante plus various Batman and Superman stories. The most acclaimed of this work was the final two part Superman story (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?) before John Byrne's revamp in 1986 and of course, The Killing Joke with artist Brian Bolland. It was with the limited series Watchmen, begun in 1986 and collected as a graphic novel in 1987, that he cemented his reputation. Imagining what the world would be like if superheroes had really existed since the 40s, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons created a twisted Cold War mystery in which the heroes, who either work for the U.S. government or are outlawed, are variously neurotic, amoral, sexually dysfunctional, borderline fascist and merely human, and the shadow of nuclear war threatens the world. Watchmen is formally ambitious, densely written, intricately constructed, non-linear and told from multiple points of view, and is a rare example of a graphic novel that in its scope and depth can be genuinely considered a novel in comics form. Alongside roughly contemporaneous work such as Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, Art Spiegelman's Maus and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets, Watchmen was part of a late 1980s trend towards comics with more adult sensibilities. Moore briefly became a media celebrity, and the resulting attention led to him withdrawing from fandom and no longer attending comics conventions (at one UKCAC in London he is said to have been followed into the toilet by eager autograph hunters). Marvelman was reprinted and continued for the American market as Miracleman, published by independent publisher Eclipse Comics. The change of name was prompted by Marvel Comics' complaints of possible trademark infringement. Despite copyright disputes with artists and allegations of non-payment against the publisher, Moore, with artists Chuck Austen, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, finished the story he wanted to tell and handed the character to writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham to continue. The legal ownership of the character continues to be rather murky. Moore and Lloyd took V for Vendetta to DC, where it was reprinted and completed in full colour and released as a graphic novel. However Moore fell out with DC over a proposed age-rating system similar to those used for films, and he stopped working for them after completing V for Vendetta in 1989. There is a "lost work" from this period, a miniseries proposal called Twilight of the Superheroes which Moore submitted to DC at some point in 1987. A superheroic pun on Richard Wagner's opera act, the "Twilight of the Gods" (Götterdämmerung), this story was to be set two decades in the future of the DC Universe and would feature an epic final conflict between good and evil, as well as between the older and younger generations of superheroes. Twilight was conceived as a standalone miniseries which could optionally also be tied into ongoing titles, much like the then-recent Crisis on Infinite Earths; however it would also undo one element of the prior series by restoring writers' access to the various multiple earths which had been eliminated during Crisis. Cleverly, Moore did this in such a way as to leave the single timeline of the post-Crisis continuity intact. The story would feature a world ruled over by superheroic houses, in which the two most powerful, the House of Steel (presided over by Superman and Wonder Woman) and the House of Thunder (consisting of the Marvel family) are about to join forces through a political marriage between the children of the two families. Such a marriage would make the combined houses an unstoppable force and a potential danger to freedom, and as such certain characters set about a complex plot to prevent the marriage and free humanity from the power of the superheroes. By the climax of the story, elements from all across the universe and from up and down the timestream would be brought in. Unusually, the series would highlight many obscure and forgotten DC characters by putting them in important roles, and the lead character would be John Constantine, whose interaction with the superheroes of the DC Universe had up until then (and indeed since) been rather minor. With Moore's departure from DC, the series never got beyond the proposal stage, although copies of Moore's very lengthy notes have appeared on the internet and in print. DC have been quite thorough in tracking down and suppressing these copies as the story, though unpublished, is still considered the property of the company. Elements of Twilight can be seen in the concept of hypertime and particularly in DC's similar-themed series Kingdom Come, leading cynics to remark that the suppression of copies of the Twilight proposal may be an attempt by DC to hide the fact that they are strip-mining unused Moore concepts. Both Mark Waid and Alex Ross, the creators of Kingdom Come, have admitted that they had read the Twilight proposal before starting work on their series, but claim that any similarities are both minor and unintended. A variety of projects followed, including Brought to Light, a history of CIA covert operations with illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz for Eclipse Comics, and an anthology, AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) campaigning against anti-homosexual legislation, which Moore published himself through his newly-formed publishing company, Mad Love. After prompting by cartoonist and self-publishing advocate Dave Sim, Moore then used Mad Love to publish his next project, Big Numbers, a proposed 12-issue series set in contemporary Britain and based on chaos theory and the mathematical ideas of Benoît Mandelbrot. Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated in an intense, painted style but the workload became too much for him after only two issues. His assistant Al Columbia took over and painted a third, which never saw print, and the series was abandoned. Mad Love was financially wiped out. Moore contributed two serials to the horror anthology Taboo, edited by Stephen R Bissette. From Hell examined the Jack the Ripper murders as a microcosm of the 1880s, and the 1880s as the root of the 20th Century. Illustrated in an appropriately sooty pen and ink style by Eddie Campbell, From Hell took nearly ten years to complete, outlasting Taboo and going through two more publishers before being collected as a graphic novel by Eddie Campbell Comics. Lost Girls, with artist Melinda Gebbie, is an erotic series decoding the sexual meanings in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A collected edition is due in early 2006. He also wrote a graphic novel for Victor Gollancz Ltd, A Small Killing, illustrated by Oscar Zarate, about a once idealistic advertising executive haunted by his boyhood self. After several years out of the mainstream Moore worked his way back into superhero comics by writing several series for Image Comics and the companies that later broke away from it. He felt that his influence on comics had in many ways been detrimental. Instead of taking inspiration from the more innovative aspects of his work, creators who followed him had merely imitated the violence and grimness. As a reaction against the superhero genre's abandonment of its innocence, Moore and artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben conceived 1963, a series of comics pastiching Marvel's early output. Tapping into the early issues of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers, Moore wrote the comics according to the styles of the time, including the period's sexism and pro-capitalist propaganda, which, though played seriously, appeared quaint to a 90s audience. There was also a large streak of self-promotion, a satire of the bombastic Marvel editorial columns and policies of Stan Lee. The series was to have concluded with an annual in which the heroes travel to the 90's era to meet the prototypical grim, ultra-violent Image Comics characters. The 60's heroes would have been shocked at their descendants, even the change in art from four colors to gray shading would have been commented upon. The annual never appeared due to disputes within Image and the creative team. Following 1963, Moore worked on Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.s and a number of Rob Liefeld's titles, including Supreme, Youngblood and Glory, retooling sometimes rudimentary and derivative characters and settings into more viable series. In Moore's hands Supreme became an inventive post-modern homage to superhero comics from the 1940s on, and the Superman comics of the Mort Weisinger era in particular. After working on Jim Lee's comic WildC.A.T.s, Moore created the ABC (America's Best Comics) line, an entirely new group of characters to be published by Lee's company Wildstorm. Before publication, however, Lee sold Wildstorm to DC, and Moore found himself in the uncomfortable position of working for DC again. As noted above, Moore had a long-standing dispute with DC Comics, and he was unhappy that his deal with Wildstorm unexpectedly placed him in the DC "family." Wildstorm attempted to placate him by forming an editorial "firewall" to insulate Moore from DC's corporate offices. However, various incidents continued to irritate Moore. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5 contained an authentic vintage advertisement for a "Marvel"-brand douche, which caused DC executive Paul Levitz to order the entire print run destroyed and reprinted without the advertisement. In 2002, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, attempted to persuade Moore to contribute new work (Moore had already contributed to Marvel's 9/11 tribute comic, Heroes). Quesada had spent a lot of time courting contributors who had previously had problems with the company. Moore was suitably impressed by Quesada's claim that the company he had once known had now changed, and that the problems he'd had previously would not happen again. This resulted in Moore's approving a trade paperback collection of his Captain Britain work (with Alan Davis), on the understanding that he would receive full credit for his characters. Unfortunately, Moore's credit was omitted due to a printing error, and this led him to declare that he would no longer consider working for Marvel, despite Quesada having apologised publically and ensured that later editions were corrected. Film adaptations of Moore's work also proved controversial. With From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore was content to allow the filmmakers to do whatever they wished and removed himself from the process entirely. "As long as I could distance myself by not seeing them," he said, he could profit from the films while leaving the original comics untouched, "assured no one would confuse the two. This was probably naïve on my part." Trouble arose when producer Martin Poll and screenwriter Larry Cohen filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox, alleging that the film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plagiarized their script entitled Cast of Characters. Although the two scripts bear many similarities, most of them are elements that were added for the film and do not originate in Moore's comics. According to Moore, "they seemed to believe that the head of 20th Century Fox called me up and persuaded me to steal this screenplay, turning it into a comic book which they could then adapt back into a movie, to camouflage petty larceny." Moore testified in court hearings, a process so painful that he surmised he would have been better treated having "sodomised and murdered a busload of children after giving them heroin." Fox's settlement of the case insulted Moore, who interpreted it as an admission of guilt. Moore's reaction was to divorce himself from the film world: he would refuse to allow film adaptations of anything to which he owned full copyright. In cases where others owned the rights, he would withdraw his name from the credits and refuse to accept payment, instead requesting that the money go to his collaborators (i.e. the artists). This was the arrangement used for the film Constantine. The last straw came when producer Joel Silver misquoted Moore at a press conference for the upcoming V for Vendetta film, produced by Warner Brothers (which also owns DC Comics). Silver stated that producer Larry Wachowski had talked with Moore, and that "he [Moore] was very excited about what Larry had to say." Moore, who claims that he told Wachowski "I didn't want anything to do with films ... I wasn't interested in Hollywood," demanded that DC and Warner Brothers issue a retraction and apology for Silver's "blatant lies." No retraction or apology appeared, and in response Moore announced his departure from Wildstorm/DC/Warner Bros. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier, a hardcover graphic novel, will be his last work for the publisher. Future installments of LoEG will be published by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics. Moore has also stated that his name be "Alan Smitheed" from comic work that he does not own. "To paint comic books as childish and illiterate is lazy. A lot of comic books are very literate—unlike most films." — Alan Moore.
2011-08-26 19:35:16 mikebo Suffix none
2011-08-26 19:35:16 mikebo Nickname Curt Vile, Jill Deray
2011-03-20 10:29:17 Sam Mikkelsen Suffix none
2011-03-20 10:29:17 Sam Mikkelsen Nickname Curt Vile, Jill Deray
2009-05-07 14:49:39 uurandy Suffix none
2009-05-07 14:49:39 uurandy Nickname Curt Vile, Jill Deray
2009-05-07 14:48:29 uurandy Suffix none
2009-05-07 14:48:29 uurandy Website http://www.comicon.com/moore/
2009-01-30 05:18:30 bigbluntz Suffix none
2006-07-15 12:15:19 DarthSkeptical Suffix none
2006-07-15 12:15:19 DarthSkeptical Bio Moore began his career in the late 1970s as a cartoonist, drawing underground-style strips for music magazines like Sounds and the NME under the pseudonym Curt Vile, sometimes in collaboration with his friend Steve Moore (no relation), and a regular strip, Maxwell the Magic Cat, under the pseudonym Jill de Ray, for the Northants Post newspaper. Deciding he could not make a living as an artist, he concentrated on writing, providing scripts for Marvel UK, 2000 AD and Warrior. At Marvel he wrote short strips for Doctor Who Magazine and Star Wars Weekly before beginning a celebrated run on Captain Britain with artist Alan Davis, running in a variety of Marvel UK publications. At 2000 AD he started by writing one-off Future Shocks and Time Twisters, moving on to series such as Skizz (E.T. as written by Alan Bleasdale, with Jim Baikie), D.R. and Quinch (a sci-fi take on National Lampoon's characters O.C. and Stiggs, with Davis) and The Ballad of Halo Jones (the first series in the comic to be based around a female character, with Ian Gibson). The last two proved amongst the most popular strips to appear in 2000 AD but Moore became increasingly concerned at his lack of creator's rights, and in 1986 stopped writing for 2000 AD, leaving the Halo Jones story incomplete. Of his work during this period, it is the work he produced for Warrior that attracted greater critical acclaim; Marvelman (later retitled Miracleman for legal reasons), a radical re-imagining of a forgotten 1950s superhero drawn by Garry Leach and Alan Davis; V for Vendetta, a dystopian pulp adventure about a flamboyant anarchist terrorist who dresses as Guy Fawkes and fights a future fascist government, illustrated in stark chiaroscuro by David Lloyd; and The Bojeffries Saga, a comedy about a working-class English family of vampires and werewolves, drawn by Steve Parkhouse. Warrior closed before these stories were completed, but other comic companies were quick to pick up and complete the stories. Moore's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics editor Len Wein, who hired him in 1983 to write Swamp Thing, then a fairly formulaic monster comic, and also the poorest selling of DC's titles. Moore, along with artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, deconstructed and rebuilt the character from the ground up, writing a series of formally experimental stories that addressed environmental and social issues alongside the horror and fantasy. Once it was clear that Moore had revitalised Swamp Thing and that he brought great critical acclaim, he was given more to write by DC.These included backup Green Arrow stories in Detective Comics, a two part story in Vigilante plus various Batman and Superman stories. The most acclaimed of this work was the final two part Superman story (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?) before John Byrne's revamp in 1986 and of course, The Killing Joke with artist Brian Bolland. It was with the limited series Watchmen, begun in 1986 and collected as a graphic novel in 1987, that he cemented his reputation. Imagining what the world would be like if superheroes had really existed since the 40s, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons created a twisted Cold War mystery in which the heroes, who either work for the U.S. government or are outlawed, are variously neurotic, amoral, sexually dysfunctional, borderline fascist and merely human, and the shadow of nuclear war threatens the world. Watchmen is formally ambitious, densely written, intricately constructed, non-linear and told from multiple points of view, and is a rare example of a graphic novel that in its scope and depth can be genuinely considered a novel in comics form. Alongside roughly contemporaneous work such as Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, Art Spiegelman's Maus and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets, Watchmen was part of a late 1980s trend towards comics with more adult sensibilities. Moore briefly became a media celebrity, and the resulting attention led to him withdrawing from fandom and no longer attending comics conventions (at one UKCAC in London he is said to have been followed into the toilet by eager autograph hunters). Marvelman was reprinted and continued for the American market as Miracleman, published by independent publisher Eclipse Comics. The change of name was prompted by Marvel Comics' complaints of possible trademark infringement. Despite copyright disputes with artists and allegations of non-payment against the publisher, Moore, with artists Chuck Austen, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, finished the story he wanted to tell and handed the character to writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham to continue. The legal ownership of the character continues to be rather murky. Moore and Lloyd took V for Vendetta to DC, where it was reprinted and completed in full colour and released as a graphic novel. However Moore fell out with DC over a proposed age-rating system similar to those used for films, and he stopped working for them after completing V for Vendetta in 1989. There is a "lost work" from this period, a miniseries proposal called Twilight of the Superheroes which Moore submitted to DC at some point in 1987. A superheroic pun on Richard Wagner's opera act, the "Twilight of the Gods" (Götterdämmerung), this story was to be set two decades in the future of the DC Universe and would feature an epic final conflict between good and evil, as well as between the older and younger generations of superheroes. Twilight was conceived as a standalone miniseries which could optionally also be tied into ongoing titles, much like the then-recent Crisis on Infinite Earths; however it would also undo one element of the prior series by restoring writers' access to the various multiple earths which had been eliminated during Crisis. Cleverly, Moore did this in such a way as to leave the single timeline of the post-Crisis continuity intact. The story would feature a world ruled over by superheroic houses, in which the two most powerful, the House of Steel (presided over by Superman and Wonder Woman) and the House of Thunder (consisting of the Marvel family) are about to join forces through a political marriage between the children of the two families. Such a marriage would make the combined houses an unstoppable force and a potential danger to freedom, and as such certain characters set about a complex plot to prevent the marriage and free humanity from the power of the superheroes. By the climax of the story, elements from all across the universe and from up and down the timestream would be brought in. Unusually, the series would highlight many obscure and forgotten DC characters by putting them in important roles, and the lead character would be John Constantine, whose interaction with the superheroes of the DC Universe had up until then (and indeed since) been rather minor. With Moore's departure from DC, the series never got beyond the proposal stage, although copies of Moore's very lengthy notes have appeared on the internet and in print. DC have been quite thorough in tracking down and suppressing these copies as the story, though unpublished, is still considered the property of the company. Elements of Twilight can be seen in the concept of hypertime and particularly in DC's similar-themed series Kingdom Come, leading cynics to remark that the suppression of copies of the Twilight proposal may be an attempt by DC to hide the fact that they are strip-mining unused Moore concepts. Both Mark Waid and Alex Ross, the creators of Kingdom Come, have admitted that they had read the Twilight proposal before starting work on their series, but claim that any similarities are both minor and unintended. A variety of projects followed, including Brought to Light, a history of CIA covert operations with illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz for Eclipse Comics, and an anthology, AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) campaigning against anti-homosexual legislation, which Moore published himself through his newly-formed publishing company, Mad Love. After prompting by cartoonist and self-publishing advocate Dave Sim, Moore then used Mad Love to publish his next project, Big Numbers, a proposed 12-issue series set in contemporary Britain and based on chaos theory and the mathematical ideas of Benoît Mandelbrot. Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated in an intense, painted style but the workload became too much for him after only two issues. His assistant Al Columbia took over and painted a third, which never saw print, and the series was abandoned. Mad Love was financially wiped out. Moore contributed two serials to the horror anthology Taboo, edited by Stephen R Bissette. From Hell examined the Jack the Ripper murders as a microcosm of the 1880s, and the 1880s as the root of the 20th Century. Illustrated in an appropriately sooty pen and ink style by Eddie Campbell, From Hell took nearly ten years to complete, outlasting Taboo and going through two more publishers before being collected as a graphic novel by Eddie Campbell Comics. Lost Girls, with artist Melinda Gebbie, is an erotic series decoding the sexual meanings in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A collected edition is due in early 2006. He also wrote a graphic novel for Victor Gollancz Ltd, A Small Killing, illustrated by Oscar Zarate, about a once idealistic advertising executive haunted by his boyhood self. After several years out of the mainstream Moore worked his way back into superhero comics by writing several series for Image Comics and the companies that later broke away from it. He felt that his influence on comics had in many ways been detrimental. Instead of taking inspiration from the more innovative aspects of his work, creators who followed him had merely imitated the violence and grimness. As a reaction against the superhero genre's abandonment of its innocence, Moore and artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben conceived 1963, a series of comics pastiching Marvel's early output. Tapping into the early issues of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers, Moore wrote the comics according to the styles of the time, including the period's sexism and pro-capitalist propaganda, which, though played seriously, appeared quaint to a 90s audience. There was also a large streak of self-promotion, a satire of the bombastic Marvel editorial columns and policies of Stan Lee. The series was to have concluded with an annual in which the heroes travel to the 90's era to meet the prototypical grim, ultra-violent Image Comics characters. The 60's heroes would have been shocked at their descendants, even the change in art from four colors to gray shading would have been commented upon. The annual never appeared due to disputes within Image and the creative team. Following 1963, Moore worked on Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.s and a number of Rob Liefeld's titles, including Supreme, Youngblood and Glory, retooling sometimes rudimentary and derivative characters and settings into more viable series. In Moore's hands Supreme became an inventive post-modern homage to superhero comics from the 1940s on, and the Superman comics of the Mort Weisinger era in particular. After working on Jim Lee's comic WildC.A.T.s, Moore created the ABC (America's Best Comics) line, an entirely new group of characters to be published by Lee's company Wildstorm. Before publication, however, Lee sold Wildstorm to DC, and Moore found himself in the uncomfortable position of working for DC again. As noted above, Moore had a long-standing dispute with DC Comics, and he was unhappy that his deal with Wildstorm unexpectedly placed him in the DC "family." Wildstorm attempted to placate him by forming an editorial "firewall" to insulate Moore from DC's corporate offices. However, various incidents continued to irritate Moore. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5 contained an authentic vintage advertisement for a "Marvel"-brand douche, which caused DC executive Paul Levitz to order the entire print run destroyed and reprinted without the advertisement. In 2002, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, attempted to persuade Moore to contribute new work (Moore had already contributed to Marvel's 9/11 tribute comic, Heroes). Quesada had spent a lot of time courting contributors who had previously had problems with the company. Moore was suitably impressed by Quesada's claim that the company he had once known had now changed, and that the problems he'd had previously would not happen again. This resulted in Moore's approving a trade paperback collection of his Captain Britain work (with Alan Davis), on the understanding that he would receive full credit for his characters. Unfortunately, Moore's credit was omitted due to a printing error, and this led him to declare that he would no longer consider working for Marvel, despite Quesada having apologised publically and ensured that later editions were corrected. Film adaptations of Moore's work also proved controversial. With From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore was content to allow the filmmakers to do whatever they wished and removed himself from the process entirely. "As long as I could distance myself by not seeing them," he said, he could profit from the films while leaving the original comics untouched, "assured no one would confuse the two. This was probably naïve on my part." Trouble arose when producer Martin Poll and screenwriter Larry Cohen filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox, alleging that the film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plagiarized their script entitled Cast of Characters. Although the two scripts bear many similarities, most of them are elements that were added for the film and do not originate in Moore's comics. According to Moore, "they seemed to believe that the head of 20th Century Fox called me up and persuaded me to steal this screenplay, turning it into a comic book which they could then adapt back into a movie, to camouflage petty larceny." Moore testified in court hearings, a process so painful that he surmised he would have been better treated having "sodomised and murdered a busload of children after giving them heroin." Fox's settlement of the case insulted Moore, who interpreted it as an admission of guilt. Moore's reaction was to divorce himself from the film world: he would refuse to allow film adaptations of anything to which he owned full copyright. In cases where others owned the rights, he would withdraw his name from the credits and refuse to accept payment, instead requesting that the money go to his collaborators (i.e. the artists). This was the arrangement used for the film Constantine. The last straw came when producer Joel Silver misquoted Moore at a press conference for the upcoming V for Vendetta film, produced by Warner Brothers (which also owns DC Comics). Silver stated that producer Larry Wachowski had talked with Moore, and that "he [Moore] was very excited about what Larry had to say." Moore, who claims that he told Wachowski "I didn't want anything to do with films ... I wasn't interested in Hollywood," demanded that DC and Warner Brothers issue a retraction and apology for Silver's "blatant lies." No retraction or apology appeared, and in response Moore announced his departure from Wildstorm/DC/Warner Bros. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier, a hardcover graphic novel, will be his last work for the publisher. Future installments of LoEG will be published by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics. Moore has also stated that his name be "Alan Smitheed" from comic work that he does not own. "To paint comic books as childish and illiterate is lazy. A lot of comic books are very literate—unlike most films." — Alan Moore. Alan Moore began his career in the late 1970s as a cartoonist, drawing underground-style strips for music magazines like Sounds and the NME under the pseudonym Curt Vile, sometimes in collaboration with his friend Steve Moore (no relation), and a regular strip, Maxwell the Magic Cat, under the pseudonym Jill de Ray, for the Northants Post newspaper. Deciding he could not make a living as an artist, he concentrated on writing, providing scripts for Marvel UK, 2000 AD and Warrior. At Marvel he wrote short strips for Doctor Who Magazine and Star Wars Weekly before beginning a celebrated run on Captain Britain with artist Alan Davis, running in a variety of Marvel UK publications. At 2000 AD he started by writing one-off Future Shocks and Time Twisters, moving on to series such as Skizz (E.T. as written by Alan Bleasdale, with Jim Baikie), D.R. and Quinch (a sci-fi take on National Lampoon's characters O.C. and Stiggs, with Davis) and The Ballad of Halo Jones (the first series in the comic to be based around a female character, with Ian Gibson). The last two proved amongst the most popular strips to appear in 2000 AD but Moore became increasingly concerned at his lack of creator's rights, and in 1986 stopped writing for 2000 AD, leaving the Halo Jones story incomplete. Of his work during this period, it is the work he produced for Warrior that attracted greater critical acclaim; Marvelman (later retitled Miracleman for legal reasons), a radical re-imagining of a forgotten 1950s superhero drawn by Garry Leach and Alan Davis; V for Vendetta, a dystopian pulp adventure about a flamboyant anarchist terrorist who dresses as Guy Fawkes and fights a future fascist government, illustrated in stark chiaroscuro by David Lloyd; and The Bojeffries Saga, a comedy about a working-class English family of vampires and werewolves, drawn by Steve Parkhouse. Warrior closed before these stories were completed, but other comic companies were quick to pick up and complete the stories. Moore's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics editor Len Wein, who hired him in 1983 to write Swamp Thing, then a fairly formulaic monster comic, and also the poorest selling of DC's titles. Moore, along with artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, deconstructed and rebuilt the character from the ground up, writing a series of formally experimental stories that addressed environmental and social issues alongside the horror and fantasy. Once it was clear that Moore had revitalised Swamp Thing and that he brought great critical acclaim, he was given more to write by DC.These included backup Green Arrow stories in Detective Comics, a two part story in Vigilante plus various Batman and Superman stories. The most acclaimed of this work was the final two part Superman story (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?) before John Byrne's revamp in 1986 and of course, The Killing Joke with artist Brian Bolland. It was with the limited series Watchmen, begun in 1986 and collected as a graphic novel in 1987, that he cemented his reputation. Imagining what the world would be like if superheroes had really existed since the 40s, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons created a twisted Cold War mystery in which the heroes, who either work for the U.S. government or are outlawed, are variously neurotic, amoral, sexually dysfunctional, borderline fascist and merely human, and the shadow of nuclear war threatens the world. Watchmen is formally ambitious, densely written, intricately constructed, non-linear and told from multiple points of view, and is a rare example of a graphic novel that in its scope and depth can be genuinely considered a novel in comics form. Alongside roughly contemporaneous work such as Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, Art Spiegelman's Maus and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets, Watchmen was part of a late 1980s trend towards comics with more adult sensibilities. Moore briefly became a media celebrity, and the resulting attention led to him withdrawing from fandom and no longer attending comics conventions (at one UKCAC in London he is said to have been followed into the toilet by eager autograph hunters). Marvelman was reprinted and continued for the American market as Miracleman, published by independent publisher Eclipse Comics. The change of name was prompted by Marvel Comics' complaints of possible trademark infringement. Despite copyright disputes with artists and allegations of non-payment against the publisher, Moore, with artists Chuck Austen, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, finished the story he wanted to tell and handed the character to writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham to continue. The legal ownership of the character continues to be rather murky. Moore and Lloyd took V for Vendetta to DC, where it was reprinted and completed in full colour and released as a graphic novel. However Moore fell out with DC over a proposed age-rating system similar to those used for films, and he stopped working for them after completing V for Vendetta in 1989. There is a "lost work" from this period, a miniseries proposal called Twilight of the Superheroes which Moore submitted to DC at some point in 1987. A superheroic pun on Richard Wagner's opera act, the "Twilight of the Gods" (Götterdämmerung), this story was to be set two decades in the future of the DC Universe and would feature an epic final conflict between good and evil, as well as between the older and younger generations of superheroes. Twilight was conceived as a standalone miniseries which could optionally also be tied into ongoing titles, much like the then-recent Crisis on Infinite Earths; however it would also undo one element of the prior series by restoring writers' access to the various multiple earths which had been eliminated during Crisis. Cleverly, Moore did this in such a way as to leave the single timeline of the post-Crisis continuity intact. The story would feature a world ruled over by superheroic houses, in which the two most powerful, the House of Steel (presided over by Superman and Wonder Woman) and the House of Thunder (consisting of the Marvel family) are about to join forces through a political marriage between the children of the two families. Such a marriage would make the combined houses an unstoppable force and a potential danger to freedom, and as such certain characters set about a complex plot to prevent the marriage and free humanity from the power of the superheroes. By the climax of the story, elements from all across the universe and from up and down the timestream would be brought in. Unusually, the series would highlight many obscure and forgotten DC characters by putting them in important roles, and the lead character would be John Constantine, whose interaction with the superheroes of the DC Universe had up until then (and indeed since) been rather minor. With Moore's departure from DC, the series never got beyond the proposal stage, although copies of Moore's very lengthy notes have appeared on the internet and in print. DC have been quite thorough in tracking down and suppressing these copies as the story, though unpublished, is still considered the property of the company. Elements of Twilight can be seen in the concept of hypertime and particularly in DC's similar-themed series Kingdom Come, leading cynics to remark that the suppression of copies of the Twilight proposal may be an attempt by DC to hide the fact that they are strip-mining unused Moore concepts. Both Mark Waid and Alex Ross, the creators of Kingdom Come, have admitted that they had read the Twilight proposal before starting work on their series, but claim that any similarities are both minor and unintended. A variety of projects followed, including Brought to Light, a history of CIA covert operations with illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz for Eclipse Comics, and an anthology, AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) campaigning against anti-homosexual legislation, which Moore published himself through his newly-formed publishing company, Mad Love. After prompting by cartoonist and self-publishing advocate Dave Sim, Moore then used Mad Love to publish his next project, Big Numbers, a proposed 12-issue series set in contemporary Britain and based on chaos theory and the mathematical ideas of Benoît Mandelbrot. Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated in an intense, painted style but the workload became too much for him after only two issues. His assistant Al Columbia took over and painted a third, which never saw print, and the series was abandoned. Mad Love was financially wiped out. Moore contributed two serials to the horror anthology Taboo, edited by Stephen R Bissette. From Hell examined the Jack the Ripper murders as a microcosm of the 1880s, and the 1880s as the root of the 20th Century. Illustrated in an appropriately sooty pen and ink style by Eddie Campbell, From Hell took nearly ten years to complete, outlasting Taboo and going through two more publishers before being collected as a graphic novel by Eddie Campbell Comics. Lost Girls, with artist Melinda Gebbie, is an erotic series decoding the sexual meanings in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A collected edition is due in early 2006. He also wrote a graphic novel for Victor Gollancz Ltd, A Small Killing, illustrated by Oscar Zarate, about a once idealistic advertising executive haunted by his boyhood self. After several years out of the mainstream Moore worked his way back into superhero comics by writing several series for Image Comics and the companies that later broke away from it. He felt that his influence on comics had in many ways been detrimental. Instead of taking inspiration from the more innovative aspects of his work, creators who followed him had merely imitated the violence and grimness. As a reaction against the superhero genre's abandonment of its innocence, Moore and artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben conceived 1963, a series of comics pastiching Marvel's early output. Tapping into the early issues of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers, Moore wrote the comics according to the styles of the time, including the period's sexism and pro-capitalist propaganda, which, though played seriously, appeared quaint to a 90s audience. There was also a large streak of self-promotion, a satire of the bombastic Marvel editorial columns and policies of Stan Lee. The series was to have concluded with an annual in which the heroes travel to the 90's era to meet the prototypical grim, ultra-violent Image Comics characters. The 60's heroes would have been shocked at their descendants, even the change in art from four colors to gray shading would have been commented upon. The annual never appeared due to disputes within Image and the creative team. Following 1963, Moore worked on Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.s and a number of Rob Liefeld's titles, including Supreme, Youngblood and Glory, retooling sometimes rudimentary and derivative characters and settings into more viable series. In Moore's hands Supreme became an inventive post-modern homage to superhero comics from the 1940s on, and the Superman comics of the Mort Weisinger era in particular. After working on Jim Lee's comic WildC.A.T.s, Moore created the ABC (America's Best Comics) line, an entirely new group of characters to be published by Lee's company Wildstorm. Before publication, however, Lee sold Wildstorm to DC, and Moore found himself in the uncomfortable position of working for DC again. As noted above, Moore had a long-standing dispute with DC Comics, and he was unhappy that his deal with Wildstorm unexpectedly placed him in the DC "family." Wildstorm attempted to placate him by forming an editorial "firewall" to insulate Moore from DC's corporate offices. However, various incidents continued to irritate Moore. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5 contained an authentic vintage advertisement for a "Marvel"-brand douche, which caused DC executive Paul Levitz to order the entire print run destroyed and reprinted without the advertisement. In 2002, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, attempted to persuade Moore to contribute new work (Moore had already contributed to Marvel's 9/11 tribute comic, Heroes). Quesada had spent a lot of time courting contributors who had previously had problems with the company. Moore was suitably impressed by Quesada's claim that the company he had once known had now changed, and that the problems he'd had previously would not happen again. This resulted in Moore's approving a trade paperback collection of his Captain Britain work (with Alan Davis), on the understanding that he would receive full credit for his characters. Unfortunately, Moore's credit was omitted due to a printing error, and this led him to declare that he would no longer consider working for Marvel, despite Quesada having apologised publically and ensured that later editions were corrected. Film adaptations of Moore's work also proved controversial. With From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore was content to allow the filmmakers to do whatever they wished and removed himself from the process entirely. "As long as I could distance myself by not seeing them," he said, he could profit from the films while leaving the original comics untouched, "assured no one would confuse the two. This was probably naïve on my part." Trouble arose when producer Martin Poll and screenwriter Larry Cohen filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox, alleging that the film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plagiarized their script entitled Cast of Characters. Although the two scripts bear many similarities, most of them are elements that were added for the film and do not originate in Moore's comics. According to Moore, "they seemed to believe that the head of 20th Century Fox called me up and persuaded me to steal this screenplay, turning it into a comic book which they could then adapt back into a movie, to camouflage petty larceny." Moore testified in court hearings, a process so painful that he surmised he would have been better treated having "sodomised and murdered a busload of children after giving them heroin." Fox's settlement of the case insulted Moore, who interpreted it as an admission of guilt. Moore's reaction was to divorce himself from the film world: he would refuse to allow film adaptations of anything to which he owned full copyright. In cases where others owned the rights, he would withdraw his name from the credits and refuse to accept payment, instead requesting that the money go to his collaborators (i.e. the artists). This was the arrangement used for the film Constantine. The last straw came when producer Joel Silver misquoted Moore at a press conference for the upcoming V for Vendetta film, produced by Warner Brothers (which also owns DC Comics). Silver stated that producer Larry Wachowski had talked with Moore, and that "he [Moore] was very excited about what Larry had to say." Moore, who claims that he told Wachowski "I didn't want anything to do with films ... I wasn't interested in Hollywood," demanded that DC and Warner Brothers issue a retraction and apology for Silver's "blatant lies." No retraction or apology appeared, and in response Moore announced his departure from Wildstorm/DC/Warner Bros. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier, a hardcover graphic novel, will be his last work for the publisher. Future installments of LoEG will be published by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics. Moore has also stated that his name be "Alan Smitheed" from comic work that he does not own.
2005-12-20 18:32:13 Skyhawke Suffix none
2005-12-20 18:32:13 Skyhawke DOB November 18, 1953
2005-12-20 18:32:13 Skyhawke Birthplace Northampton, England, United Kingdom
2005-12-20 18:32:13 Skyhawke Bio One of the greatest comic writers of all time, helped mature comics with Watchmen. Also wrote The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta and Captain Britain. Moore began his career in the late 1970s as a cartoonist, drawing underground-style strips for music magazines like Sounds and the NME under the pseudonym Curt Vile, sometimes in collaboration with his friend Steve Moore (no relation), and a regular strip, Maxwell the Magic Cat, under the pseudonym Jill de Ray, for the Northants Post newspaper. Deciding he could not make a living as an artist, he concentrated on writing, providing scripts for Marvel UK, 2000 AD and Warrior. At Marvel he wrote short strips for Doctor Who Magazine and Star Wars Weekly before beginning a celebrated run on Captain Britain with artist Alan Davis, running in a variety of Marvel UK publications. At 2000 AD he started by writing one-off Future Shocks and Time Twisters, moving on to series such as Skizz (E.T. as written by Alan Bleasdale, with Jim Baikie), D.R. and Quinch (a sci-fi take on National Lampoon's characters O.C. and Stiggs, with Davis) and The Ballad of Halo Jones (the first series in the comic to be based around a female character, with Ian Gibson). The last two proved amongst the most popular strips to appear in 2000 AD but Moore became increasingly concerned at his lack of creator's rights, and in 1986 stopped writing for 2000 AD, leaving the Halo Jones story incomplete. Of his work during this period, it is the work he produced for Warrior that attracted greater critical acclaim; Marvelman (later retitled Miracleman for legal reasons), a radical re-imagining of a forgotten 1950s superhero drawn by Garry Leach and Alan Davis; V for Vendetta, a dystopian pulp adventure about a flamboyant anarchist terrorist who dresses as Guy Fawkes and fights a future fascist government, illustrated in stark chiaroscuro by David Lloyd; and The Bojeffries Saga, a comedy about a working-class English family of vampires and werewolves, drawn by Steve Parkhouse. Warrior closed before these stories were completed, but other comic companies were quick to pick up and complete the stories. Moore's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics editor Len Wein, who hired him in 1983 to write Swamp Thing, then a fairly formulaic monster comic, and also the poorest selling of DC's titles. Moore, along with artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, deconstructed and rebuilt the character from the ground up, writing a series of formally experimental stories that addressed environmental and social issues alongside the horror and fantasy. Once it was clear that Moore had revitalised Swamp Thing and that he brought great critical acclaim, he was given more to write by DC.These included backup Green Arrow stories in Detective Comics, a two part story in Vigilante plus various Batman and Superman stories. The most acclaimed of this work was the final two part Superman story (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?) before John Byrne's revamp in 1986 and of course, The Killing Joke with artist Brian Bolland. It was with the limited series Watchmen, begun in 1986 and collected as a graphic novel in 1987, that he cemented his reputation. Imagining what the world would be like if superheroes had really existed since the 40s, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons created a twisted Cold War mystery in which the heroes, who either work for the U.S. government or are outlawed, are variously neurotic, amoral, sexually dysfunctional, borderline fascist and merely human, and the shadow of nuclear war threatens the world. Watchmen is formally ambitious, densely written, intricately constructed, non-linear and told from multiple points of view, and is a rare example of a graphic novel that in its scope and depth can be genuinely considered a novel in comics form. Alongside roughly contemporaneous work such as Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, Art Spiegelman's Maus and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets, Watchmen was part of a late 1980s trend towards comics with more adult sensibilities. Moore briefly became a media celebrity, and the resulting attention led to him withdrawing from fandom and no longer attending comics conventions (at one UKCAC in London he is said to have been followed into the toilet by eager autograph hunters). Marvelman was reprinted and continued for the American market as Miracleman, published by independent publisher Eclipse Comics. The change of name was prompted by Marvel Comics' complaints of possible trademark infringement. Despite copyright disputes with artists and allegations of non-payment against the publisher, Moore, with artists Chuck Austen, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, finished the story he wanted to tell and handed the character to writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham to continue. The legal ownership of the character continues to be rather murky. Moore and Lloyd took V for Vendetta to DC, where it was reprinted and completed in full colour and released as a graphic novel. However Moore fell out with DC over a proposed age-rating system similar to those used for films, and he stopped working for them after completing V for Vendetta in 1989. There is a "lost work" from this period, a miniseries proposal called Twilight of the Superheroes which Moore submitted to DC at some point in 1987. A superheroic pun on Richard Wagner's opera act, the "Twilight of the Gods" (Götterdämmerung), this story was to be set two decades in the future of the DC Universe and would feature an epic final conflict between good and evil, as well as between the older and younger generations of superheroes. Twilight was conceived as a standalone miniseries which could optionally also be tied into ongoing titles, much like the then-recent Crisis on Infinite Earths; however it would also undo one element of the prior series by restoring writers' access to the various multiple earths which had been eliminated during Crisis. Cleverly, Moore did this in such a way as to leave the single timeline of the post-Crisis continuity intact. The story would feature a world ruled over by superheroic houses, in which the two most powerful, the House of Steel (presided over by Superman and Wonder Woman) and the House of Thunder (consisting of the Marvel family) are about to join forces through a political marriage between the children of the two families. Such a marriage would make the combined houses an unstoppable force and a potential danger to freedom, and as such certain characters set about a complex plot to prevent the marriage and free humanity from the power of the superheroes. By the climax of the story, elements from all across the universe and from up and down the timestream would be brought in. Unusually, the series would highlight many obscure and forgotten DC characters by putting them in important roles, and the lead character would be John Constantine, whose interaction with the superheroes of the DC Universe had up until then (and indeed since) been rather minor. With Moore's departure from DC, the series never got beyond the proposal stage, although copies of Moore's very lengthy notes have appeared on the internet and in print. DC have been quite thorough in tracking down and suppressing these copies as the story, though unpublished, is still considered the property of the company. Elements of Twilight can be seen in the concept of hypertime and particularly in DC's similar-themed series Kingdom Come, leading cynics to remark that the suppression of copies of the Twilight proposal may be an attempt by DC to hide the fact that they are strip-mining unused Moore concepts. Both Mark Waid and Alex Ross, the creators of Kingdom Come, have admitted that they had read the Twilight proposal before starting work on their series, but claim that any similarities are both minor and unintended. A variety of projects followed, including Brought to Light, a history of CIA covert operations with illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz for Eclipse Comics, and an anthology, AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) campaigning against anti-homosexual legislation, which Moore published himself through his newly-formed publishing company, Mad Love. After prompting by cartoonist and self-publishing advocate Dave Sim, Moore then used Mad Love to publish his next project, Big Numbers, a proposed 12-issue series set in contemporary Britain and based on chaos theory and the mathematical ideas of Benoît Mandelbrot. Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated in an intense, painted style but the workload became too much for him after only two issues. His assistant Al Columbia took over and painted a third, which never saw print, and the series was abandoned. Mad Love was financially wiped out. Moore contributed two serials to the horror anthology Taboo, edited by Stephen R Bissette. From Hell examined the Jack the Ripper murders as a microcosm of the 1880s, and the 1880s as the root of the 20th Century. Illustrated in an appropriately sooty pen and ink style by Eddie Campbell, From Hell took nearly ten years to complete, outlasting Taboo and going through two more publishers before being collected as a graphic novel by Eddie Campbell Comics. Lost Girls, with artist Melinda Gebbie, is an erotic series decoding the sexual meanings in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A collected edition is due in early 2006. He also wrote a graphic novel for Victor Gollancz Ltd, A Small Killing, illustrated by Oscar Zarate, about a once idealistic advertising executive haunted by his boyhood self. After several years out of the mainstream Moore worked his way back into superhero comics by writing several series for Image Comics and the companies that later broke away from it. He felt that his influence on comics had in many ways been detrimental. Instead of taking inspiration from the more innovative aspects of his work, creators who followed him had merely imitated the violence and grimness. As a reaction against the superhero genre's abandonment of its innocence, Moore and artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben conceived 1963, a series of comics pastiching Marvel's early output. Tapping into the early issues of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers, Moore wrote the comics according to the styles of the time, including the period's sexism and pro-capitalist propaganda, which, though played seriously, appeared quaint to a 90s audience. There was also a large streak of self-promotion, a satire of the bombastic Marvel editorial columns and policies of Stan Lee. The series was to have concluded with an annual in which the heroes travel to the 90's era to meet the prototypical grim, ultra-violent Image Comics characters. The 60's heroes would have been shocked at their descendants, even the change in art from four colors to gray shading would have been commented upon. The annual never appeared due to disputes within Image and the creative team. Following 1963, Moore worked on Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.s and a number of Rob Liefeld's titles, including Supreme, Youngblood and Glory, retooling sometimes rudimentary and derivative characters and settings into more viable series. In Moore's hands Supreme became an inventive post-modern homage to superhero comics from the 1940s on, and the Superman comics of the Mort Weisinger era in particular. After working on Jim Lee's comic WildC.A.T.s, Moore created the ABC (America's Best Comics) line, an entirely new group of characters to be published by Lee's company Wildstorm. Before publication, however, Lee sold Wildstorm to DC, and Moore found himself in the uncomfortable position of working for DC again. As noted above, Moore had a long-standing dispute with DC Comics, and he was unhappy that his deal with Wildstorm unexpectedly placed him in the DC "family." Wildstorm attempted to placate him by forming an editorial "firewall" to insulate Moore from DC's corporate offices. However, various incidents continued to irritate Moore. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5 contained an authentic vintage advertisement for a "Marvel"-brand douche, which caused DC executive Paul Levitz to order the entire print run destroyed and reprinted without the advertisement. In 2002, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, attempted to persuade Moore to contribute new work (Moore had already contributed to Marvel's 9/11 tribute comic, Heroes). Quesada had spent a lot of time courting contributors who had previously had problems with the company. Moore was suitably impressed by Quesada's claim that the company he had once known had now changed, and that the problems he'd had previously would not happen again. This resulted in Moore's approving a trade paperback collection of his Captain Britain work (with Alan Davis), on the understanding that he would receive full credit for his characters. Unfortunately, Moore's credit was omitted due to a printing error, and this led him to declare that he would no longer consider working for Marvel, despite Quesada having apologised publically and ensured that later editions were corrected. Film adaptations of Moore's work also proved controversial. With From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore was content to allow the filmmakers to do whatever they wished and removed himself from the process entirely. "As long as I could distance myself by not seeing them," he said, he could profit from the films while leaving the original comics untouched, "assured no one would confuse the two. This was probably naïve on my part." Trouble arose when producer Martin Poll and screenwriter Larry Cohen filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox, alleging that the film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plagiarized their script entitled Cast of Characters. Although the two scripts bear many similarities, most of them are elements that were added for the film and do not originate in Moore's comics. According to Moore, "they seemed to believe that the head of 20th Century Fox called me up and persuaded me to steal this screenplay, turning it into a comic book which they could then adapt back into a movie, to camouflage petty larceny." Moore testified in court hearings, a process so painful that he surmised he would have been better treated having "sodomised and murdered a busload of children after giving them heroin." Fox's settlement of the case insulted Moore, who interpreted it as an admission of guilt. Moore's reaction was to divorce himself from the film world: he would refuse to allow film adaptations of anything to which he owned full copyright. In cases where others owned the rights, he would withdraw his name from the credits and refuse to accept payment, instead requesting that the money go to his collaborators (i.e. the artists). This was the arrangement used for the film Constantine. The last straw came when producer Joel Silver misquoted Moore at a press conference for the upcoming V for Vendetta film, produced by Warner Brothers (which also owns DC Comics). Silver stated that producer Larry Wachowski had talked with Moore, and that "he [Moore] was very excited about what Larry had to say." Moore, who claims that he told Wachowski "I didn't want anything to do with films ... I wasn't interested in Hollywood," demanded that DC and Warner Brothers issue a retraction and apology for Silver's "blatant lies." No retraction or apology appeared, and in response Moore announced his departure from Wildstorm/DC/Warner Bros. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Dark Dossier, a hardcover graphic novel, will be his last work for the publisher. Future installments of LoEG will be published by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics. Moore has also stated that his name be "Alan Smitheed" from comic work that he does not own.


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