Admittedly I was semi-aware that there was “some” particularly bitter distaste between comics god Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, but that’s about all I knew… until this morning. Now I know a whole lot about the matter—at least I know Alan Moore’s side of the story in minute, excoriating detail—and you will too, if you click over to Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s Slovobooks blog for the extremely long email interview—that Moore claims will be his last—in which the comics mage addresses controversies surrounding depictions of rape in his work, his appropriation of the Golliwogg character, a sort of minstrel doll once commonplace in England (and the trademark/mascot of Robertson’s Jam until 2001) as the Galley-Wag in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier and his loathing for a particular comics author who he describes as a “Scottish cover band.”
The backstory, summarized succinctly at TechnoOccult, more or less begins in the aftermath of a November 2013 appearance in London that Moore made in with biographer Lance Parkin and others, including Méalóid. One attendee, Will Brooker, took to social media and stated his displeasure with the event on Twitter:
Really wish An Evening with Alan Moore hadn’t involved four white people on stage defending the “golliwog” as a “strong black character”
Followed by a short film about a young woman stripping, dressing in “slutty clothes” and killing herself on screen
Followed by Moore insulting Gordon Brown based on mental and physical disability
I then left the venue.
You can watch the video below and form your own opion, but suffice to say, this stirred up reactions across the Internet—you’ll find several of them linked in the TechnoOccult article—and Moore, obviously pissed off by these accusations of racism and sexism, responded with rhetorical guns-a-blazing.
Moore concludes his lengthy essay—it could hardly be considered a Q&A—devoting nearly 5000 words to the subject of why he absolutely hates Grant Morrison’s guts. Stalker, tapeworm, parasite, “feverishly fixated non-entity,” “my own personal 18th century medicinal leech”—these are some of the nicer things Moore has to say about Morrison. It’s daggers out the whole way. I could just pick a random paragraph. In fact that’s what I will do. Eeny, meeny, miny… Moore:
Having removed myself as much as possible from a comic scene that seemed more the province of posturing would-be pop-stars than people with a genuine respect for themselves, their craft or the medium in which they were working, I could only marvel when the customary several months after I’d announced my own entry into occultism and the visionary episode which I believed Steve Moore and myself to have experienced in January, 1994, Grant Morrison apparently had his own mystical vision and decided that he too would become a magician. (It wasn’t until I read Lance Parkin’s biography that I learned that as a result of Morrison’s apparently unwitnessed magical epiphany he had boldly decided to pursue a visionary path of ‘materialism and hedonism’. Could I point out for the benefit of anyone who may have been taking this idiotic shit seriously that this doesn’t sound so much like a mystical vision as it does an episode of The Only Way Is Essex? How does this magical discipline and philosophy differ in any way from the rapacious Thatcherite ideologies of the decade in which Grant Morrison wriggled his way to prominence?) I’m reliably informed that he has recently made the unprecedented move of expressing his dissatisfaction with the superhero industry, if only because there isn’t as much money in it as there used to be, and I imagine that there is a very strong likelihood that he will contrive to die within four to six months of my own demise, after leaving pre-dated documents testifying to the fact that he actually predeceased me.
Moore continues, wishing that:
”...admirers of Grant Morrison’s work would please stop reading mine, as I don’t think it fair that my respect and affection for my own readership should be compromised in any way by people that I largely believe to be shallow and undiscriminating.”
That’s really throwing down the gauntlet, you might say, when one writer would like another’s readers to fuck the fuck off.
It cannot be said that Alan Moore doesn’t know how to express himself, can it? Read the entire thing—it’s long, but I promise you it’s worth it—at Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s Slovobooks blog.
Below, “An Evening with Alan Moore” at the Prince Charles Cinema, November 26th, 2013:
Thank you Ben Telford!