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Author Topic: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!  (Read 2066 times)

Colin_YNWA

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Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« on: 25 November, 2012, 07:31:10 AM »
Really interesting article over at The Beat about the relationship between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Well actually Grant Morrison responding to comments made about him by Alan Moore.

http://comicsbeat.com/the-strange-case-of-grant-morrison-and-alan-moore-as-told-by-grant-morrison/

...well its interesting to those of us who enjoy reading the about antics of great comic writers or very minor celebrates in the real world, as much as I do.

I wonder if this thread can reach the heights of the Moore Byrne page???? I can only wish...



sauchie

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #1 on: 25 November, 2012, 10:03:37 AM »
It goes without saying that there's truth, hypocrisy and over-inflated self-opinion in what each hugely talented creator has to say about the other and themselves. I haven't read enough of the contested material to offer a worthwhile opinion and, as a reader of both their work, I've no intention of taking sides anyway; but I will admit to being fascinated by their petty squabble in the same way as someone reading about the Kardashians in Heat. It seems to me that this kind of detailed, point-by-point refutation of fanboy tittle-tattle seems beneath someone of Morrison's stature and is probably a misstep, though.

Cheers for regularly turning up and posting the kind of stuff I'm interested in reading but too lazy to look for myself, Colin.

Steve Green

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #2 on: 25 November, 2012, 11:18:58 AM »
As long as it doesn't escalate into releasing a sex tape.

Leigh S

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #3 on: 25 November, 2012, 12:33:20 PM »
From a personal perspective, I remember being generally appalled by the Morrisons interviews I read back then, mainly because of that whole Morrisey style of talking others down.  It certainly was the style of the time, but it turned me off a whole slew of people - mostly musicians such as the aforementioned Morrisey and also Nirvana, who I recall were slagging off various people, including curiously Guns and Roses - I hate Guns and Roses more than they did, but I still found it made my blood run cold at the time. 

I imagine there's a lot of personal stuff behind that in terms of being the target of a lot of similarly flavoured spite from the cool kids from leafy Solihull (all big Smiths fans naturally!) against the heavy metal kid from "worst estate in England tm" Chelmsley Wood. It certainly made me feel like I wasn't welcome to the club, and made sure I wasn't interested in joining it.  Which when I look back now, I should have gatecrashed anyway, if only to piss them off!  I remember an interview with Morrison where he said we should all sell our Sgt Rock comics and travel the world with the profits - this was the pretty good advice, and coming from Moore I could imagine myself taking heed - right message, wrong messenger!

That said, Morrison makes a pretty good defence of himself on the facts and I'm not sure why Moore felt the need to say anything as it doesn't paint him in a great light.  Something like this is probably as much about feelings as facts I suppose...

Mabs

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #4 on: 25 November, 2012, 12:47:12 PM »
Morrison is just plain jealous of Moore :D

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TordelBack

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #5 on: 25 November, 2012, 01:03:56 PM »
Morrison is just plain jealous of Moore :D

Have to agree.  What Morrison wants to be, Moore just is.  This was my take-away conclusion from Supergods

I'm not knocking Morrison here, I genuinely think he's great - he's constantly trying to re-invent himself and his work, and to that end he casts himself as the hero in an ever-changing metaverse of significance where random encounters and boring economic trends are brightened up by being slotted into a consciously invented mystical narrative. 

That's very cool, and it's produced some great work. 

Moore, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have to work at this, let alone invent it: he just does it. 

He 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. Doesn't mean he works any less hard, or that results aren't sometimes even more satisfying than Moore's, but ultimately it's artifice.  Moore just gets shamble along and still be be the real deal.  It must drive Grant insane.


Colin_YNWA

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #6 on: 25 November, 2012, 03:28:05 PM »
Have to say I disagree with you two on this one (Mabs and Tordelback). I think Morrison has absolutely no need to be 'jealous' of Alan Moore and from the little I know of him would be surprised if he was. Both have egos that's for sure but these days I really think Moore comes across as the most driven by ego at the moment... well driven is unfair. He does come across as terrible arrogant in recent interviews I've read and seems to have begun to believe his own reputation and listened a little too closely to those that hail him as the greatest comicbook mind of all time. Grant Morrison gives a couple of good examples in this post.

Morrison also has a far better track record for not falling out with his co-workers. There must be a point when people who can't see any downside to anything Alan Moore does look at the number of people he has fallen out with and realise that there is only one common factor in all that and its Alan Moore. All those folk can't be such terrible people?

All that said I know neither man and I'm sure they are both just lovely. Certainly Alan Moore always comes across as pleasant and a man that sticks to his guns when interview, when he's not bad mouthing others or claiming to be responsible for all that is good in comics these days... even though he doesn't read any any more.

Professor Bear

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #7 on: 25 November, 2012, 04:50:14 PM »
COMICS WRITERS ARE HORRIBLE PEOPLE SHOCKA

I think you might have a point, Colin, because Alan Davis is notoriously cheery and easy to get along with, and I think Moore was deeply unreasonable in asking Rob Liefeld to draw what was in the scripts he was given, as there is specific mention of backgrounds, feet, and a third facial expression.

There are two sides to every story, and unfortunately with Moore, a lot of his side of things is deliberate baiting of the more precious elements of a fandom that delusionally rises to the bait every single time like their own mothers have just been personally insulted ("I don't read superhero comics, that's how I know they are all rubbish"), and sticking to his guns about how his work is presented even when that affects his artists' bottom line.  On the other hand, Moore hasn't held a grudge for 30 years because someone mentioned in passing that some elements of his sophomore work was derivative of something else, or held a convention named after himself and dedicated to excluding contact with fandom and pandering to the delusions of creators that they couldn't be replaced with one of a thousand different people at any time.

TordelBack

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #8 on: 25 November, 2012, 05:20:48 PM »
All that said I know neither man and I'm sure they are both just lovely.

Aye, they do both seem like genuinely decent sods.

sauchie

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #9 on: 25 November, 2012, 06:19:39 PM »
(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

JOE SOAP

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #10 on: 25 November, 2012, 07:51:21 PM »

Moore wrote Halo Jones, Morrison didn't. Moore wins.

JOE SOAP

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #11 on: 25 November, 2012, 07:53:06 PM »
(i) that's how I understand those early hubristic Morrison interviews to operate too - he's shaping reality to conform to his fantasies. 


That's how he'd like to see it, I'm sure.

starscape

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #12 on: 25 November, 2012, 08:31:26 PM »
St Swithin's Day and Bible John are two of my favourite stories (whereas that Infinite Crisis or whatever it was - awful) but there's not much doubt that Moore is the better writer.  Indeed, I think he's probably the best writer in fantasy from 1980s on.  I also believe he was a big factor in the British Explosion, even though he may have come later.  Quite why that should matter I'm not sure.

Never met Grant but heard he's pretty difficult.  Vain, arrogant and self-centred.  Hearsay, though.  That might have been part of the image he tries to cultivate (actually, I've also heard he's dedicated to really helping people too).  Met Alan on multiple occasions (he just lived round the corner and drank in the same tavern).  A lovely man, always friendly and interesting.

That said, I've a lot of sympathy for Grant's view.  Without naming names, there are some people that Moore has fallen out with where I just can't see them having done much wrong.  It reminds me of Morrissey, more so than Morrison, who would simply stop communication, rather than mention something that was eating him.

I can see why Alan may have taken the hump with Morrison, but everything Grant says seems to ring true.  I don't really see why who's talented should be a factor in who's telling the truth.  Both immensely talented, but I'd have to side with Grant on this one, just as I have with quite a few creators that fell out with Moore, where they would be hard-pressed to tell you a reason.

Professor Bear

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #13 on: 25 November, 2012, 09:09:36 PM »
I cannot help but notice that Morrison's contribution to that article is not to engage in a dialogue with the writer, but to extensively annotate it with his own take on events as fact in an interesting bit of kettle/pot.  He pulls more than a few actual facts out of his hat, too (although he draws his own conclusions in a great many cases from them), making me think he's either made extensive notes on Moore's career over the years, or he sat down and researched every claim in that article with a mind to rebuking it, either way, it seems a little unnecessarily... obsessive.  he could also do with a bit less editorializing:

Quote
Again, why the fibs, other than to reinforce once more the fantasy of me – and indeed every other Vertigo writer – in a junior or subordinate position to himself?

It's a shame as Morrison's influence and body of work is both pronounced and undeniable to anyone who's been reading comics for any amount of time, but every time he sticks his neck out to take a pop at Moore it just seems like a mix of jealousy and... well, not disingenuousness on his part as much as what he attempts in that article - a re-writing of things to suit his preferred view of events - on a larger scale, which is doubly unfortunate as Moore is his own worst enemy when it comes to the opinions of comics fandom and no-one needs to take a pop at him, they just need to wait around until he opens his gob and says anything at all about mainstream comics and the fanboys will crawl out of the woodwork, frothing at the mouth that some old man in a village somewhere dared to say that Superman comics are not very inventive these days.
All the same, as a fan I prefer to have the two best comics writers in the world sniping at each other than getting along and patting each other on the arse like the rest of them do.  When was the last time we saw a good creator pagga?  They all seem to just get along.




And am I the only one who finds it amazing that it is an actual story that a Northerner is a bit intransigent and a Scotsman is up for a ruck?

Colin_YNWA

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Re: Moore vs. Morrison. This time its WAR!!!
« Reply #14 on: 25 November, 2012, 09:24:07 PM »
... I don't really see why who's talented should be a factor in who's telling the truth.

Completely this.