Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Moore Narrative of Comics History - Julian Darius

"Last time, we discussed the anxiety of influence and the silliness of thinking that Moore ripped off Superfolks or that Morrison ripped off Moore. This time, I’d like to look at why these charges persist and what they say about our understanding of comics history. The idea that Morrison aped Moore rests not so much on any evidence as on the myth that Moore invented the literary (super-hero) comic. The narrative here seems to be that comics were silly stories for kids until Alan Moore appeared and made them sophisticated and thoughtful for the first time. Now, I don’t think anyone intelligent — including Moore — would say this is what he or she believes. As shockingly literate as Moore’s 1980s work was, it was the end result of a slow evolution from Gardner Fox to Chris Claremont — with ample amounts of Denny O’Neil along the way, not to mention the undergrounds, Will Eisner, and plenty more. Moore’s revisionism was also part of a wider movement, in which Frank Miller was considered his equal and plenty of others, like Mike Baron and Rick Veitch, were in the mix." 4 out of 5