Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Monday 13 January 2014

If this is Alan Moore’s last interview it’s a doozy!

I sat down at the weekend to flick through the papers with the idea that I’d write something for the blog today. I was disappointed. There didn’t seem to be much to write about, unless I wanted to give my opinion about Israel and Palestine and a newly deceased man who’d been in a coma for eight years.

I couldn’t help thinking if I opened that particular can there would, very quickly, be worms everywhere, and my opinion is both bigger and more contradictory than a single blog or a hundred blogs could possibly contain, and, besides, I hardly feel qualified to comment at all.

Everything else either in the news or in the extensive comments and lifestyle sections of the weekend papers seemed trivial by comparison.

As I’ve mentioned before, I rarely discuss comics...

Yes, I know I said everything seemed trivial by comparison to the state of the Middle East, and it does, but that never stopped me expressing a thought before, did it?

I rarely talk about comics because that’s the husband’s territory and because, frankly, I don’t read a very great number of them. In fact, the last time I blogged about comics my thoughts appeared on the very day that CLiNT folded, and it was its founder that I was talking about. There’s nothing like a coincidence to stop me in my tracks and that was one hell of a coincidence!

Anyway, as far as comic books are concerned, I like them to be on the European side rather than the American, and I like them to break new ground, push the envelope, trouble me a little.

Alan Moore, beautifully drawn by Frank Quitely
and photographed by C B Cebulski
It might not surprise you, then, to know that I have been a bit of a fan of Alan Moore in my time, and, as far as I’m concerned, you should be too.

Late on Friday night, while the husband and I were winding down for the weekend, he sent me a link to an interview that Alan Moore gave answering a number of questions that have been floating around for some time, and that were compiled and presented to the writer by Pádraig Ó Méalóid. I spent the next while reading the interview. It’s a long piece offering a unique view and even a number of opinions not directly asked for, but, I thought, genuinely interesting non-the-less. 

I’m going to say little else except that if you are interested in Alan Moore, in comic books or even in writing generally then you might enjoy reading this interview, which, if Moore is to be believed, might be among the last of its type from him.

The little else I am going to say is that this piece gives us all a unique insight into a writer’s mind. I live and sometimes work with a writer, and, from time to time, I also write myself. Writers are a strange breed, often solitary, at their best clever and thoughtful, but also often opinionated and alienating. Their opinions are uniquely their own and born of strange minds clamped to even stranger and often wild imaginations.

For me, Moore’s most interesting comments are on the work and his approach to it. I was less moved by the section relating to Grant Morrison and Moore’s opinion of the man, but this too exposes something of the character of the writer... any writer, I think, under certain circumstances, in a competitive environment.

Grant Morrison rebuts Alan Moore over here, just in case you’re interested. 

So you know, I’ve never met either Alan Moore or Grant Morrison, but if I could read work written by only one of them I would choose Alan Moore every time.

Back soon. 


  1. I felt very blind reading it, because before I got hold of a transcript, I saw it blasted by people I respect - they suggested it revealed him as both sexist and racist.

    Reading it, I saw him discussing elements of violence against women and racial prejudice, but in a very intellectual, discursive way. Was I just missing it because of my white, male privilege?

    I suppose I'm asking, as someone else I respect who has read the whole interview, was there anything in there that put your back up as you read it, or was this just knee-jerk outrage by people who should know better?

    1. Honestly, I've come to realise that there's no such thing as a balanced viewpoint. We're all coloured by our own passage through life, our experiences, education etc. This is simply one person's viewpoint, and one that the person in question is smart enough to adequately justify.

      He does, of course, show his most human side when he talks about Grant Morrison. Moore is as flawed as any of us, and perhaps more flawed than most.

      In general, I'm tempted to take the line that all and any art should be judged separately from its maker. It's not always easy, particularly in the modern age with the cult of celebrity that surrounds so many of our artists. It's also not easy when we study the lives of long-dead artists whom we now know to have behaved abhorrently, not only by modern standards, but often by any moral standards of any time.

      Opinions are rife and each of us is entitled to hold our own to some degree or another. I do wonder, though, at the motives of those who protest very loudly and too long on matters that fall under the umbrella of political correctness. We all have some sort of agenda, after all, don't we?

    2. Thanks Nik. Wise words as ever:)