Jul 21 2010

Other writing problems and career disputes I’d love to have

Published by at 11:00 pm under Comic Books

Alan Moore: “I don’t want Watchmen back.

B. Mac: “I’ll take it!”

Apparently the hangup was that DC Comics would only give him the rights back if he agreed to some (inevitably awful) prequels and sequels.  I was expecting an author vs. publisher bloodbath, but this is only a bit more rancorous than “You paid me too much” and “Do I really need that many assistants?”

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Other writing problems and career disputes I’d love to have”

  1. ShardReaperon 22 Jul 2010 at 2:38 pm

    How would they make a sequel or prequel out Watchmen?

  2. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I wouldn’t particularly recommend either a sequel or a prequel, but you could do a prequel with the Comedian, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan fighting crime and/or Communists. It’d probably flesh out the origins of everybody, as well as Ozymandias’ descent into stark-raving “I did it!” looniness.

    The sequel would probably work a bit better. Alan Moore left some loose ends that could be tied up–for example, he leaves it to our imagination what the New Frontiersman did with Rorschach’s journal and/or what will become of Ozymandias now.

    I felt that the ending of the original series was extremely dissatisfying, not because the heroes let Ozymandias get away with it but because their reason is so flimsy. Is there any remotely plausible scenario where murdering Ozymandias would lead to nuclear war?

  3. Wingson 22 Jul 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Well, that’s effectively a writer’s worst nightmare. Forced sequels…Yeesh.

    I recently went to a large store selling Disney merchandise, and was dismayed to see the amount of Marvel-themed objects (Plushies, comic books, action figures, Mr. Potato Heads dressed like superheroes, etc…). My fear of Disney forcibly shoving inserting Hannah Montana and the like into Marvel franchises tripled.

    – Wings

  4. Ragged Boyon 22 Jul 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I think a sequel would work better, but I don’t think one should be made. Sure the ending was a tad flimsy, but generally, the story was a first step into a new age of comics. And I”m saying it was a damn good step. The only thing I’ve ever heard about a continuation is maybe The Transmetropolitan, but I could be very wrong.

  5. ShardReaperon 22 Jul 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Wings, explain to me how you didn’t destroy this store after seeing said items?!

  6. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I’ll admit I would buy a continuation of Transmetropolitan.

  7. Wingson 22 Jul 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Well, it was a really big store. And after the last time I incinerated a building (Borders store. Twilight action figures. Completely justified.) and all the resulting legal issues (I’m completely sure that the jury believed me to be in the right, I mean, Edward Cullen action figures?! If that isn’t a crime against humanity then i don’t know what is), I decided that I’d just wait until I was well away from the area and therefore be free from suspicion, then I would send my army of robot ninjas to lay waste to the place.

    …Unfortunately, only one of my robot ninjas is in full working order. The others still remain unfinished, as the blueprints I stole from CLAMP were incomplete in areas. Despite the Inverse Ninja Law*, I didn’t want to take any chances with losing the only working prototype, as without any robot ninjas I would be unable to properly eradicate California’s pony population (Well, I could technically call in the army of valkyries instead, but I believe that they’re on strike. Something about higher wages and more free anime). Therefore, I decided to merely return to my secret lair underneath the driveway and polish my fighter jet. I then settled down in this overstuffed armchair with a 10-pound anthology of the original Spiderman comics and relax instead.

    *The robot ninja walks in with a cup of tea on a silver platter. Wings accepts it, and flips the large book open* Ooh, this is the one where they introduce Doc Ock!

    – Wings

    I’m just joking…OR AM I?!

    * http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ConservationOfNinjutsu

  8. Foxon 23 Jul 2010 at 7:38 pm

    “I felt that the ending of the original series was extremely dissatisfying, not because the heroes let Ozymandias get away with it but because their reason is so flimsy. Is there any remotely plausible scenario where murdering Ozymandias would lead to nuclear war?”

    By murdering Ozymandias, and theoretically stopping his plan, there would be nothing to stop the rest of the world from launching the nukes. Ozymandias’ plan was to shock the world into thinking there was an extraterrestrial threat and unite everyone, thus stopping an international nuclear war. If I recall correctly, Russia was planning to attack the US near the end of the book, and it was the alien… explosion… thing in New York that stopped them from doing so.

    In the graphic novel, at least. I don’t remember the movie that well.

  9. B. Macon 23 Jul 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Okay, but how does killing Ozymandias at the end of the book make it any more likely that there will be a nuclear war? New York has already been destroyed and the US and USSR have pulled back from the brink.

  10. Foxon 23 Jul 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Oh, I thought you meant before Ozymandias launched his plan, sorry.

    I think it’s less about how killing him after New York’s covered in squid would cause a nuclear war, and more about how it would be useless to kill him. Killing Ozymandias really doesn’t do or solve anything at the end. Did the characters say somewhere about not killing him in the end because it would cause a nuclear war? Gosh, I need to find my book…

    Anyway, I liked Watchmen. Rorschach is one of my favorite vigilantes of all time. If somebody made sequels or prequels, though, there’s pretty much no way they could live up to the original. Even if Alan Moore wrote it, they just wouldn’t be the same.

  11. B. Macon 23 Jul 2010 at 11:00 pm

    “Oh, I thought you meant before Ozymandias launched his plan, sorry.” No worries– I should have been clearer.

    “Anyway, I liked Watchmen. Rorschach is one of my favorite vigilantes of all time.” Agreed. I found the prison scene one of the most awesome fights in any comic book or graphic novel, even though there were no superpowers.

    Also, despite being notably insane, he and the neo-Nazi-esque newspaper goons somehow come off as the only protagonists at the end. (WTF). Everybody else caves in to Ozymandias.

    “Killing Ozymandias really doesn’t do or solve anything at the end.” It wouldn’t save New York, but I suspect it would save Los Angeles or London a few years down the road. The “I did it!” self-congratulation suggests to me that he will destroy another city the next time there’s a US-USSR riff unless he is stopped.

    If killing him was morally unacceptable, at the very least they could have brought him to the U.S. to stand trial for murdering the Comedian.

  12. Foxon 24 Jul 2010 at 8:14 pm

    “Agreed. I found the prison scene one of the most awesome fights in any comic book or graphic novel, even though there were no superpowers.”

    The best part had to be when Rorschach disposes of someone by pretty much flushing them down the toilet. It made me wonder how Moore thinks up this stuff. Does he stare at the wall until he can figure out the most extreme example of a philosophy, and fill in the details later, or is he naturally this sadistic?

    Sadistically awesome, that is.

    “Also, despite being notably insane, he and the neo-Nazi-esque newspaper goons somehow come off as the only protagonists at the end. (WTF). Everybody else caves in to Ozymandias.”

    Conversely, Ozymandias could be the only protagonist. He saved countless lives by doing what many could not do, and that’s sacrificing a million. (You can tell I’ve been reading Watchmen and Philosophy…)

    “It wouldn’t save New York, but I suspect it would save Los Angeles or London a few years down the road. The “I did it!” self-congratulation suggests to me that he will destroy another city the next time there’s a US-USSR riff unless he is stopped.”

    That’s a good point. I always thought he would stop there and bask in his ego. I wish Moore could’ve showed what Ozymandias did after he covered New York in squid, but there’s only so much you can do after the plot resolves before you lose reader interest.

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