laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


"While the massive improvement in comic-book colouring, printing, and production techniques over the last thirty or forty years has led to some exemplary pieces of work it has also given artists a lot of places to hide their flaws, in the same way that rambling continuities have provided a lot of cover for the shortcomings of writers. In America particularly, with its tradition of dividing up the pencilling and inking chores, this has seemingly led to a deficiency of artists with the abilities of, say, an Al Williamson, or a Wally Wood, or a Jack Kirby. These were all artists who were fluent in the use of blacks or in their deployment of shading techniques, all the hatching and feathering that exemplified the work of that classic generation of American craftsmen. What I’m concerned about is that abilities are being lost here, and if the comic medium is to genuinely progress and to be adequate to the coming century then I can’t help but think of that as a bad thing. Now, will the establishment of a single black and white anthology, however good, solve all of the above? No, of course it won’t. What I’m hoping is that with the staggering range of talent we have lined up for Cinema Purgatorio we can establish that there were once different ways of creating and enjoying comics, and that the possibilities of this medium are far broader and more various than the current relatively narrow focus of the industry would suggest." -- Alan Moore

Read more... )
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


"I think that anthologies and especially black and white ones are probably vital if we wish to retain – or, God forbid, improve upon – the basic values and standards upon which this entire art-form, let alone this entire industry, are founded. The anthology title is of tremendous value, simply because it will contain a number of strips that vary in length from a half-page to perhaps six or eight pages. The importance of this necessary limitation, to fledgling comic writers and to the writing standards of the field as a whole, cannot be overestimated. For one thing, anthology titles were once the near-universal proving ground for new writers entering the industry, based on the sound commercial logic that if you give somebody a trial shot at writing a four page story and the results are less than riveting then it will be no great disaster and no great loss. And of course someone who has learned their craft through the vehicle of the short story (where you have to establish the characters, world, premise and structure before resolving all of these satisfyingly in a handful of pages) will certainly possess all of the skills and discipline necessary to scale up their narrative into a tautly-written 24-page book, or an ongoing series, or a ‘graphic novel’ as the occasion demands. The same is not true the other way about, however, and writers who have entered the field via a monthly book with a potentially endless continuing story seem to find the short form unimaginably difficult and restrictive. For a lot of comic book writers it seems like the idea of resolving a storyline ever is an anathema, let alone resolving it within eight pages or less. Simply put, while mastering the short anthology story is certainly harder work for the creator, the rewards to the individual concerned and to the field as a whole are immeasurable." -- Alan Moore

Read more... )
[personal profile] history79



FANGORIA: Do you think the Marshal is still relevant 25 years later, and are there any plans to put him back on the streets?

PAT MILLS: Probably more relevant now than back then, because we live in such a beaten down world today where there is little social change and idealism has been crushed. I’d love to see him back, but it feels problematic because Kevin’s on THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN and I’m on other things. But I do need the outlet to attack heroes, so I do a bit of potshotting at them in DEFOE (Mills’ current 2000AD steampunk zombie series) where there are the 17th century Vizards, smug establishment superhero bastards who Defoe–the last Leveller–wants to kick their heads in. See, it’s still in me!


Warning for Rape


Read more... )
[personal profile] history79


FANGORIA: Grant Morrison is actually fond of comparing superheroes to the ancient gods, arguing that they fulfil a similar mythological need in our modern psyche. Is it this sort of deification that bothers you? Should we have moved past myths and gods by now?

PAT MILLS: Yeah, I think the deification of superheroes is rather worrying. The neo-Christian elements, e.g . Messiah Syndrome, have been written about before, although not in a critical way to my knowledge. Abdicating our power to messiahs is a dangerous business.


Read more... )
[personal profile] history79



FANGORIA: You clearly have a deep and abiding loathing for superheroes. Which, in the age of THE DARK NIGHT and THE AVENGERS, must be fun for you! Do you feel superheroes have moved on at all since you first started putting the boot in during the 1980s?

PAT MILLS: Nah. They seem more self aware and pretentious now, but the 21st century so far is hardly a time of creative progress. I read some highly-rated Superman origins book by Grant Morrison a couple of years back, expecting some new Scottish insights into the character and was surprised by how deferential it was. Well, I guess that’s what the fans want. Don’t blame us. If they want the forelock tugging approach it only reflects the wider world.

My loathing is more for what they represent—nothing wrong with a hero with special powers, if he isn’t just a tool of the establishment. So I did an Indian super hero once–BLACK SIDDHA–who originally didn’t want to be a hero (like they do). He said, “I can’t be a superhero. I’m not American.”

Well, it amused me!


Read more... )
[personal profile] history79



FANGORIA: What was the genesis of MARSHAL LAW?

PAT MILLS: [MARSHAL LAW artist] Kevin O’Neill came up with this amazing looking future cop and we then searched for a story for him. Initially we trod the MAD MAX road. Then, I had a plot about future crime in a TOUCH OF EVIL world. We sold this to Marvel. But then I felt that the guy really was some kind of superhero and the story should reflect this. But I hated superheroes! So I thought: What about making him a superhero hunter, where I could vent my spleen on them, a story I am supremely qualified to write. I tentatively suggested this to Kevin who added a future war context and we were away. So Marvel didn’t actually get the character they commissioned, but rather the same story with a whole new dimension. I’m not sure they were altogether happy about that, although they never said anything.


Read more... )
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


"What I’m hoping is that with the staggering range of talent we have lined up for Cinema Purgatorio we can establish that there were once different ways of creating and enjoying comics, and that the possibilities of this medium are far broader and more various than the current relatively narrow focus of the industry would suggest. You’re probably right in stating that this is the most difficult path, but as I see things it is by taking the easiest path – as outlined above – that comic books and culture in general have ended up in their current state of creatively-threadbare stasis. Ideally, I’d like our little creepy backstreet bug-hutch to become the venue for a newer, more progressive and more rigorous approach to the possibilities of the comic book. With popcorn." -- Alan Moore

Read more... )
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


Comic stores can much more easily sell another Star Wars or Batman title. Why should they risk anything on Cinema Purgatorio? Hasn’t the war for “new” been lost?

Alan Moore: If the ‘war for the new’ has indeed been lost then there is now, officially, no point to the continued existence of our culture or, conceivably, of our species. If the massive asteroid were to hit us now, it wouldn’t be any great loss. Luckily, I don’t think that the situation is anywhere near as bad as that. I mean, what you’re describing wasn’t really a war, was it? It was more the mass capitulation of a generation or so of creators – or ‘content providers’, to use the current terminology – to the fact that, for the most part, they and their culture no longer possessed the capacity to generate new ideas or to bring those ideas to competent fruition. That’s not a war. Having been born in the aftermath of quite a serious war, I can assure you that there’d be a lot more bombsites, ration books and fondly mentioned relatives you never got to meet. No, a closer analogy to what’s happened to culture is more like if we neglected or worked everybody who actually understood, say, farming to death, replaced them with people who had enjoyed farm produce at one point in their lives and who had thought “Well, how hard could that be?”, and had subsequently seen our entire bio-diverse cultural landscape turn into a barren wilderness that yielded only one increasingly nourishment-free variety of potato. A lot of this might well be related to the ease of modern production methods engendering a certain laziness throughout culture, as mentioned above, but it still isn’t a war if we do not have an enemy except our own complacency and inertia.

And while comic book stores, in the short term, would be much wiser to invest in the latest movie-related spinoff, they might have cause to question how the long term effects of this policy have seen the greater part of the comic industry transformed from a genuine source of fresh ideas and energetic culture into a shrivelling appendage of Hollywood. They might also reflect on a lot of the out-of-nowhere successes of the last few decades, which would have all been occasions where the most sensible thing to do would have been to keep ordering the same steady-sellers and ignore the risks inherent in a new idea or title, even though today’s new ideas very frequently turn out to be tomorrow’s blindingly obvious classics. This was certainly record producer Joe Meek’s philosophy back in the early sixties: when he had a proven number-one hit on his hands with the Tornadoes, why should he risk anything by managing a bunch of unknowns like the Beatles?

Seriously, if the struggle for the new is over, then I wish someone would tell the forces of history, which seem to be propelling our world towards an anxious and uncertain future at an ever-accelerating pace. I’m sure that some of you might have noticed that this isn’t the same planet as it was last year, or even last week. The truth of our situation is that we are being washed away by a tsunami of the new, and by the very nature of its unprecedented novelty we don’t have a clue how to handle it. Thus we stand, gaping, pretending it isn’t happening, engrossed in the exploits of a character we remember from when we were twelve, humming a tune that was popular in the mid to late Seventies. Traditionally, this is what art and culture are meant to instruct us in, and if they have a purpose it is to help us assimilate and deal with our changing worlds, both external and internal. When we were going through the convulsions of the cataclysmic change from agriculture to industry back around the juncture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Mary Shelley was able to articulate those new fears and aspirations by inventing the science fiction genre in her wildly avant-garde novel Frankenstein. It is the responsibility of genuine artists to create work which is sufficient to their turbulent times, and in my opinion you cannot accomplish this by continually rebooting and recycling the pop culture of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. How is any new culture – music, films, comics or literature – that is adequate to our modern situation going to emerge if there are all these shiny, re-imagined nostalgia-fetishist franchises standing in the way? Are we doomed to endlessly recycle the pre-digested waste products of the culture preceding ours, passing it on to the culture following us until the end of time? Has The Human Centipede taught us nothing?

The war for the new will never be over until one moment ceases to be followed by the next, and to declare that it is over simply because some creators on the front line have decided that they don’t have the stomach for it anymore, or because they can no longer remember how to load or use the weapons at their disposal, is to ensure that our culture is numbered amongst that war’s casualties, or perhaps fatalities. I have heard it said that there are those among the contemporary audience who feel it is their right to have the characters that they enjoyed as children grow up alongside them (which I think generally translates to “I am not yet ready to give up masturbating while thinking about Catwoman”), but I contend that this can only lead to a menopausal Strawberry Shortcake, Captain Marvel in incontinence pants, and Richie Rich in a nightmarish toupee declaring that Muslims, Mexicans and any other darkly-complexioned peoples beginning with ‘M’ should be prevented from entering America. I think we should ask ourselves if that’s the kind of world we actually want.


Read more... )
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


"It was Kevin [O'Neill], when we were two or three episodes into the project, who most perfectly encapsulated what we were struggling our way towards by saying that it wasn’t really horror movies we were concerned with so much as the horror of movies: our work in Cinema Purgatorio seems to be focussing in on the uneasy aspects of the way we watch films, with our simultaneous awareness of the lives of the actors and directors and production companies that are going on behind the painted flats, and our conditioned acceptance of cinematic conventions that are in as complete a contradiction of reality as anything that H.P. Lovecraft ever attempted, simply because we’ve grown used to them and barely notice them anymore." -- Alan Moore

One third of an eight-page story )
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


"We’re finding that horror has a lot of different flavours, and in Cinema Purgatorio we’re hoping to extend and educate both our own and the readers’ palates. And you never know, the reader might discover that they’re looking at forgettable old films completely differently and becoming aware of some of the uncomfortable shadows in the background. That has certainly been our own experience thus far, and there are an awful lot of movies or movie devices that I personally am never going to see in the same light again." -- Alan Moore

Read more... )
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


"Just making a small shift in the way that we were approaching the medium of film (via the medium of comics) seemed to open up an entirely new way of looking at things, with a resultant dazzling array of new narrative possibilities. By episodes three and four – “The Flame of Remorse Returns” and “A King at Twilight” if you’re interested, fear-fans – [Kevin O'Neill and I] were both becoming quietly convinced that these were about the best stand-alone pieces that we had ever done in our respective careers. Considering how fleeting and ephemeral some of our source material is, I think we’ve both been a bit startled by some of the profoundly human statements that have emerged, as if from nowhere." -- Alan Moore

Read more... )
laughing_tree: (Default)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


"I’m aware that a large majority of the current comic book audience are pathologically averse to anthologies, and you can certainly see their point. After all, when has anything memorable in the comic book medium ever emerged from an anthology? Except, obviously, Action Comics. Oh, and Detective Comics. And Sensation Comics and All Star and Adventure Comics. And Will Eisner’s work. And Jack Cole’s. And Mad and the entire E.C. line. And Amazing Adult Fantasy. And Tales of Suspense. And Strange Tales. And Journey into Mystery. And Creepy, and Eerie. And Zap. And the rest of the Undergrounds. And Comics Arcade. And 2000AD. And Warrior. And Viz. And almost all English and European comics. And almost all American comics, even single-character titles, until the 1960s. But other than that, what has the comic book anthology, or the Roman Empire for that matter, ever done for us?" -- Alan Moore

Read more... )
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


'Considering how fleeting and ephemeral some of our source material is, I think we’ve both been a bit startled by some of the profoundly human statements that have emerged, as if from nowhere. Also, given that our brief and our intentions are to create horror stories, we’ve both been pleased to discover a new breadth in that remit. . . We’re finding that horror has a lot of different flavours, and in Cinema Purgatorio we’re hoping to extend and educate both our own and the readers’ palates. And you never know, the reader might discover that they’re looking at forgettable old films completely differently and becoming aware of some of the uncomfortable shadows in the background. That has certainly been our own experience thus far, and there are an awful lot of movies or movie devices that I personally am never going to see in the same light again.' -- Alan Moore

The first issue of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's new anthology is out...

Read more... )
[personal profile] lego_joker
Right about now, I'm at exactly the right age to start pursuing all the Classics in comic-book history in hopes that I'll become better at winning arguments with other comic book nerds on the Internet. And when it comes to the Classics, there's only one name for someone as myopic as me: Alan Moore.

Sure, Moore's star has faded for many fans today, but his mastery over dialogue, pacing, and plotting alike still leaves roughly 80% of comic-book creators today in the dust, and I've never read more than a fraction of his work. No time like the present to fix that.

And since I'm an obsessive little bastard, I insist on poring over (almost) every little bit of Mr. Moore's extensive bibliography, starting from the very beginning. I'd originally planned on doing this series in strict chronological order, but I quickly realized that that wouldn't quite work, so I'm doing it by franchise instead - though still in rough chronological order. And because all reading and no discussion makes Lego go crazy, I invite all of you well-read S_D'ers to come read along with me.

We'll be beginning with his five backup strips for Doctor Who, a series that I know and cherish well, as is mandatory of every geek on the Internet. Seriously, it's about a space cop who goes flying around in a phone booth fighting the Borg, right? Right?

Behind the cut: my first real contact with Doctor Who. Thanks, Alan! )

Profile

scans_daily: (Default)
Scans Daily

Extras

Founded by girl geeks and members of the slash fandom, [community profile] scans_daily strives to provide an atmosphere which is LGBTQ-friendly, anti-racist, anti-ableist, woman-friendly and otherwise discrimination and harassment free.

Bottom line: If slash, feminism or anti-oppressive practice makes you react negatively, [community profile] scans_daily is probably not for you.

Please read the community ethos and rules before posting or commenting.

June 2017

S M T W T F S
     1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27282930 

Most Popular Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags