(Moore) decides to be a magician, a performance artist, a pornographer, a patron of his community, a symbolic figure in the issue of creator's rights, a self-publisher, an author, and lo! All without leaving Northampton. Of course it doesn't always work out, but he never looks like he's faking it. Morrison is just as sincere, but even when he's carefully considering the next approach for his writing it always sounds like his latest Madonna-esque image change, because it is.
Both of them are presenting a contrived persona to their audience, you just prefer it when the piss-stained wizard frantically tugging at levers is concealed behind a curtain. I like the way Morrison's open about living his life as a pose, and one of the most endearing things about his work is the way he interweaves the two strains of his persona - the priapic, transgressive revolutionary and the domesticated, sentimental loser - throughout his fiction as well as his autobiography, blurring the lines between the two and creating something unique.
Dragging the prosaic and mundane into the glamorous but shallow realm of fiction makes the former seem oddly heroic and invests the latter with an otherwise absent emotional weight. The most obvious example of that's probably The Filth
, where the hero's simultaneously a bald guy living in a shitty flat full of porn and crying because his cat has cancer and
a sexy superhero who embarks on colourful adventures with a full head of hair. The pathos comes largely from the desperation of the author dragging something real, which can't be changed, into the realm of fiction, where he has the power to make events play out as he wishes they could.
I wouldn't hesitate to agree that Moore's the better craftsman, he has an astonishing ability to shape the same chaotic rush of ideas seen in Morrison's work into stories whose structure and formal perfection are just beautiful, but that also means they're very
arch and sometimes a little remote. Valerie's letter in V for Vendetta
aside, I'm not sure I've felt much that Moore's written to be as emotionally affecting as the early episode of The Invisibles
(ii) where Morrison dedicates an entire issue to telling the mundanely tragic (partly autobiographical) life story of one of the henchmen casually offed by the glamorous King Mob in issue number one.(i) that's how I understand those early hubristic Morrison interviews to operate too - he's shaping reality to conform to his fantasies.
(ii) Best Man Fall, Vol 1, issue 12