Friday, 1 August 2008

Alan Moore interview [5]

Interview conceived by smoky man & Antonio Solinas.
Conducted via phone by A. Solinas on 19th February 2008.
Originally printed in Italy on Scuola di Fumetto (N. 60, May 2008, Coniglio Editore) and Blue magazine (N. 189, May 2008, Coniglio Editore) on the occasion of the Italian edition of Lost Girls published by Magic Press.
Presented here in English for the first time.
Lost Girls orginally published by Top Shelf.

Alan Moore interview [1]

Alan Moore interview [2]
Alan Moore interview [3]
Alan Moore interview [4]

20. Do you know the work of Italian erotic comics artists at all?
Yes, I mean, I am familiar with a number of the erotics comic artists. For some of them, I think their drawing ability is fine, and there have been a couple of works that I thought were particularly ok. Generally, it’s not to my taste. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with it, simply the majority of it is not to my taste. Even with, say, somebody like Milo Manara, who I recognise as an incredibly good draughtsman (I mean, he did some work with Hugo Pratt, the Indian Summer, that was I think some of the best stuff of his that I have seen, possibly because of the pairing with Pratt), when I have seen some of Manara’s solo erotic work, the draughtsmanship is perfect, but it’s not to my taste. The women seem to be pretty much the same woman with different wigs on, there doesn’t seem to be any individuation of the female characters and they do seem to be largely sex mannequins, which is fine if that is the kind of material that you like, but I never really responded to it. In Guido Crepax, I can see the stylishness of his work, but his women have a starved quality, they look like concentration camp images a lot of the time, which I recognise it’s just his style, but it tends to make the work appear morbid, in my eyes.
Like I said, while I can admire the technical excellence of a lot of these people, the actual material produced is very seldom to my taste, which is not in any way meant as a criticism, but simply to say that I suppose you can’t please all the people all the time.
Robert Crumb is someone I have got unreserved admiration for, although I don’t’ know if he is classed along with the glamour artists. I don’t know if he would be classed in quite the same category, but his stuff I can engage with: it seems human to me, whereas in a lot the more glamour-oriented artists there’s a coldness, a certain inhumanity, or at least in my perception. Not to take anything on their abilities, it’s just something about the atmosphere of the scripts or the presentation of the people in them. It kind of leaves me a bit cold.

21. It is a known fact you were dissatisfied with the way people handled superheroes after Watchmen. Do you ever get worried that Lost Girls could suffer the same fate?
We did actually talk about this and, in the early days, we occasionally said: “Wouldn’t it be nice if, after Lost Girls, there was a wave of people liberating their sexual imagination and seeing all sorts of new ways that they could tell sexual stories but with a different sense”, but I think that we both… I mean, I am probably more cynical of the pair of us and with regards to that, in light of my experience with Watchmen, I did say it would probably more likely that we might get a number of books that were coarse imitations of Lost Girls.
But actually, as with Watchmen, I have come to the conclusion that, whatever kind of books come in the wake of work, they don’t diminish it in any way. It’s unfortunate, but slavish imitation seems to be people’s first response: it’s kind of inevitable, I can’t say that it upsets me a great deal. And yes, I recognise that is a very likely possibility, but I don’t think that that will in any way alter the way that I feel about Lost Girls.

22. I hope not. It would take quite something to tarnish that…
Definitely, it would have to be pretty bad.

23. In a recent interview, you said: “Comics is now, I’m afraid, just going to have to be a corner of my working landscape. They’re very dear and it’s a fondly regarded corner, but just one corner of the landscape all the same.” What can we expect from you then?
Well, at the moment, among the things I have in the pipeline there is some comics work. That is largely restricted to Book 3 of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which Kevin O’Neill is well into the first chapter of it, the first issue, because it will be told in three 73-page volumes, set in 1910, 1968 and 2008, respectively. And he’s getting around halfway through the first volume: that would be most of my comics work. I am doing the Bumper Book of Magic with Steve Moore and a galaxy of wonderful artists. That includes a little bit of comics work but not very much: it includes text, stories, articles and games, puzzles, but very little comics script material. There is a sort of running Kevin O’Neill one-page humorous comic strip that recurs throughout the book, but I think that’s about the only comic strip material in it.
The main thing that I am working on is my second novel, which is called Jerusalem and which is entirely about the area in which I grew up, a small area of Northampton named The Boroughs, which is the oldest area of the town, and today is the most deprived and troubled area of the town, but which has got a lot of absolutely fantastic history that has occurred there, and some marvellous figures that passed through that landscape. I am trying to write a wonderful fantasy story that will encompass part of the history of that area, part of my family’s history, will include ruminations upon the art of life, and upon religion…

24. And it’s going to be a massive book as well, I heard!
It’s going to be probably around about three quarters of a million words: that sounds like a couple of thousand pages to me. It will probably end up as three books in a slipcase or something, but it’s meant to be a single book, it’s definitely not three volumes, it’s not like Lord of the Rings… It will probably end up as three books that have to be read together: I doubt that we would be able to get it in one book, too big to pick up. Jerusalem is taking most of my energies at the moment. I am working on some songs with a local musician, a guy called Joe Brown, who’s very talented, very young and full of enthusiasm, and we are having a lot of fun just writing some songs.
There’s a lot of different things that I might be messing around with in the future, and comics almost certainly will be part of that, but it won’t be as prevalent as it has been in the past: I am having a great deal of fun trying all these new things.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this interview. What you wrote as "the Burrows" is probably actually "the Boroughs", also known as Spring Boroughs.


smoky man said...

Thanks MT, I fixed it.


Kettil said...

Thanks for the great read!

smoky man said...

thanks u for the visit!