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CWR on LoEG

November 24th, 2007 by | Tags: , ,

Johanna Draper Carlson nails one of my problems with Alan Moore’s latest works.

I also, and I cringe at the potential response to this but I’m going to say it anyway, outgrew this kind of fanfiction years ago. When I was a kid, my impulse was to match up the casts of favorite TV shows (because I was a child of the 80s). It’s not that much more clever when Mr. Moore does it with literary figures, except in his case, you need a scorecard to recognize some of the more obscure ones. It’s also not very creative to think that simply having character A from book series B meet character C from TV series D makes for sufficient story. It doesn’t.

I haven’t read Black Dossier yet, nor Lost Girls, and you know what? I kind of don’t want to. I’ve gone into why I can’t get into Alan Moore, and LoEG seems to just be more of the same.

LoEG is continuity porn for literature geeks.

I’m tired of continuity porn and I’m tired of pastiche.

Stop being so clever, Mr. Moore, and write stories with real plots with your own characters.

Amen to that.

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14 comments to “CWR on LoEG”

  1. “Continuity porn for literature geeks.”

    That sounds so familiar Mr. Brothers. I wonder where you got that from.


  2. Yes, I also agree that Alan Moore should write stories with his own characters.

    Oh, wait.


  3. DC should really just go ahead and use the Watchmen characters in Countdown Arena. If Alan Moore can play with other people’s toys, then other people can play with his, no matter how they might treat them.


  4. I’m just gonna go ahead and disagree with every syllable of that. >>v


  5. HEH I’VE BEEN DRINKING.


  6. That sounds so familiar Mr. Brothers. I wonder where you got that from.

    You know what’s really bad? I run that continuity porn thing by a friend of mine last night, before you posted on Johanna’s blog, write this post up, and save it to be published Monday morning.

    I wake up on Saturday and find that you used the phrase on her blog and have to push this post live ahead of time because you’re a mind-reading idea-stealing jerk!


  7. Alan Moore is severely overrated. I recently read Watchmen and I finally understand why people have been telling me he’s so great – because Watchmen was a neat political thriller and everything he’s done since has been all of the spoof with none of the spark. LoEG was the first thing of his I read and I was severely underwhelmed.


  8. David,

    Actually, Pedro’s been tossing that phrase around since the book came out. Personally, I think he just wants to find ways to insert the word ‘porn’ into conversations. He’s now describing the Knicks season as “continuity porn for early 1990′s Nets fans”. I think he has a problem.


  9. I’m confused. How is what Moore is doing any different than any other comic ever? Certainly everyone at DC right now is engaging in continuity porn, all of them with a fraction of Alan Moore’s talent.
    The first two volumes of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are amazing adventure stories, and the second volume is a great piece of writing, emotionally gripping and profoundly sad and touching. But I don’t really need to defend him. The legacy is pretty much in place as it is.


  10. Actually, Pedro’s been tossing that phrase around since the book came out. Personally, I think he just wants to find ways to insert the word ‘porn’ into conversations. He’s now describing the Knicks season as “continuity porn for early 1990’s Nets fans”. I think he has a problem.

    I think we need to stage an intervention. What do you think, me, you, Joe, and Chris take Pedro out back at NYCC and beat him until he stops talking about “continuity porn for Rodney King aficionados?”

    I’m confused. How is what Moore is doing any different than any other comic ever? Certainly everyone at DC right now is engaging in continuity porn, all of them with a fraction of Alan Moore’s talent.

    It isn’t different from any other comic ever, though I’d take issue with the idea that “everyone at DC” is engaging in continuity porn. I don’t like continuity porn– so I don’t read Countdown/Infinite Crisis/Whatever.

    You could be the greatest writer in the world, but if you’re writing a series of novels based on the farming habits of Tunisians between the ages of 8 and 11 in the year 1632, but that still sounds boring and irritating and like something I don’t want to read.

    Moore’s legacy is in place, yeah. That doesn’t mean that it is flawless.


  11. This all sounds like continuity porn for comic book bloggers.

    I’ve never gotten big into Moore either, but I don’t think it’s fair to rag on him for a premise. If anything, his major flaw is a lack of real heart. (Heart? I dunno. Whatever you call that sumptin’ sumptin’ that makes people like Morrison more’an Moore.)


  12. The general feel I got from the review you linked to is “I have read next-to-nothing of any English Literature, so I must whine about it when it is referenced and pretend that the Author is bad at writing.”

    I’m afraid this is just another demonstration of how badly-versed american comic book readers are in English Literature. Back here in Britain, we celebrate our authors and their works. In America, I’ve yet to hear of anyone who knows who Alan Quartermain is, especially having not seen the Godawful Film.

    Bottom Line: This is an agonised whine focusing on the reviewer’s own tragic ignorance, a fact proven at the comment ‘stop being so clever’. Alan Moore does not write to appease consumerist drones. He does not write to make money. He doesn’t write like Grant Morrison writes, saying he’s some sort of artist superior to everyone else.

    He Writes…To Write. For a good writer – a TRULY good writer – that’s all there is to it. And if you can’t understand that, then by God, you’re reading the wrong books.


  13. Salieri, if you have beef with the review itself, it’s better if you leave a comment there rather than here.

    That said, nobody is arguing that Moore isn’t well-read. Nobody is calling into question his motivation for writing (although I doubt money never comes into play) or his technical skills. In terms of sheer craftsmanship he’s still virtually unparalleled. We’re arguing about the actual content of his recent work. The point isn’t that people don’t get the references in the Black Dossier. It’s questioning wether or not there’s any merit to the references being there in the first place. That’s the thing with pastiche: Take away the original material and it doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    Also, your comment about the perceived differences between American comic book readers and British comic book readers is incredibly arrogant and generalizing. Please don’t do that.


  14. American comic readers drive like this. But British comic readers drive like this.