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Remember: There's not really a vehicle around now to carry on the innovations Eisner was reaching for. I mean, even Eisner doesn't do The Spirit anymore! There's really no vehicle around now where you can do those wildly experimental stories within that kind of framework. So that became something I enjoyed exploring, and continue to enjoy, with "Greyshirt." -- Alan Moore

Tomorrow Stories Special #1 )

Also, since I might as well include it here as anywhere, here's the Cobweb episode that was originally intended for TOMORROW STORIES but ultimately got pulled by DC over worry that the lawsuit-happy Church of Scientology would go after them for dissing L. Ron Hubbard. It was eventually published by Top Shelf, unchanged save for a name and palette swap for Cobweb for copyright reasons.

La Toile The Cobweb in 'Brighter Than You Think' )
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I didn't start Vertigo. I did Swamp Thing and I think Vertigo was an attempt to build off that. When I wrote Swamp Thing, I was just approaching a DC horror book in a certain way because I thought that would be interesting. It was just me and my pre-occupations about sex, politics, environmentalism, and all the rest. There's no reason why they should take my pre-occupations and make them into a line of books written by other people. -- Alan Moore

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I decided, "Yeah, all right, we're going to do a Plastic Man-type character, only make him liquid instead of plastic." We'll also mix Kurtzman satire with Jack Cole in the same way we mixed Simon and Kirby with Kurtzman on the "First American." There was also an attempt to allude to the Max Fleischer animation of the '20s and '30s, the weird early ones, like Koko and Out of the Inkwell, because they had very fluid shapes. -- Alan Moore

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We couldn't do an episode of "Jack B. Quick" in every issue of Tomorrow Stories, as it takes Kevin [Nowlan] a long time to complete one -- and, I've got to say, it takes me a long time to write them, because you have to get yourself into a certain mind set to write "Jack B. Quick." So Scott [Dunbier] suggested Hilary Barta as somebody who could do a strip to alternate with Kevin. This brought me to another of my favorite super-heroes -- along with the Fighting American and The Spirit -- who is, of course, Plastic Man. -- Alan Moore

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With Cobweb, I've always thought characters like the Phantom Lady, the "glamour heroines," who really have no purpose other than to stand around in a skimpy costume looking glamorous. That was the reason why everybody bought those books. But at the same time... maybe because it was sort of a sexist '50s thing that has vanished with modern sensibilities, I miss that relatively innocent camp glamour girl of the '50s. Especially when you compare that kind of Vargas figure, with the sort of c*m-spattered porn starlet we have today. I thought that there was a charming innocence in it. - Alan Moore

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Another one of my favorite archetypal comic characters is Fighting American. It's one of my favorite pieces of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon's work, and one aspect I like is that it clearly started out as a serious patriotic strip with its first issue. Then, I presume because it was published during the McCarthy era, Simon and Kirby were at least smart enough to realize you couldn't really take this kind of stuff seriously, so they changed their character from a Red-baiting, serious, patriotic hero to this incredible satire upon the whole idea, with these ludicrous Communist villains like Hotsky Trotsky and Poison Ivan. I was thinking, "Yeah, that's really good. The idea of a patriotic super-hero who is a satire on issues that were contemporary at that time." -- Alan Moore

Trigger warning: rape

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I decided to take that boy inventor character, last seen messing around with '50s and '60s science, and bring him up to date, at least scientifically. Still keep him in this rural, Kansas, timeless, bygone American period. But this kind of science he's talking about, it's this ridiculous quantum science we have today. -- Alan Moore

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As regards nostalgia in general terms, according to a recent issue of New Scientist, a little of it can be good for us, psychologically and neurologically. It was, however, initially diagnosed as a potentially fatal illness, something elegantly demonstrated by the South Park clip that John Higgs showed everyone at the recent Hexagram 23 event, with the ’Memberberries, or the Private Eye cover around eighteen months ago, with a UKIP candidate standing by a UKIP-decorated taxi cab, the driver of which is asking “Where to, guv?” and the candidate is replying “The 1950s, and step on it”. -- Alan Moore

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I used to love Kellogg's Variety Packs when I was a kid, because you could have Cocoa Puffs one morning and Sugar pops the next. There was variety. I like variety. In some of the old comics, you'd get two stories, four stories, eight stories, all of different sorts and different lengths between the covers. You got a sense of having had a full meal, a full five-course dinner or something. That was something I wanted to try and instill into Tomorrow Stories. -- Alan Moore

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Released last week, 24 Panels is an anthology comic whose proceeds go towards aiding PTSD related needs of survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire in the UK. Every story in the anthology is 24 panels long. Please consider making a purchase.

Here's one page from Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's contribution to the book, "If Einstein's Right...":

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