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Author Topic: Is it possible that Alan Moore is not a real guy?  (Read 10372 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: January 11, 2006, 08:03:35 AM »

It sounds wild, but seriously, think about it:

Have you ever MET Alan Moore? Do you even KNOW anyone that has ever met Alan Moore?

Alan Moore avoids conventions and does not even live in a large city or attend "Hollywood" galas. It is significant that at moments where there is a great deal of publicity, such as the premieres of his movies, Alan Moore is nowhere to be found.

This guy's mystique is too bizarre to be believed: a High School dropout from English prep school tossed out for dealing acid, he acquired a job writing Superman by threating to kill Julie Schwartz. A giant, Viking-esque bearded man, Alan Moore recently left the comics industry in order to devote his energy to becoming a warlock and worshipping the Near Eastern snake god, Cybele.

Further, there are clear differences in various photographs of Alan Moore. The usual "shadow face" portrayal of Alan Moore seen in the editions of WATCHMEN, for example, has a face that is clearly different in structure than the face found on the back covers of recent TOM STRONG trade paperbacks. The TOM STRONG "America's Best" face has sloer eyes, while those on WATCHMEN are wide, intense, and dominate the face.

The rights to Alan Moore's work are nearly universally, owned by others. Mark Buckingham and Neil Gaiman own Miracleman; Alan Davis was able to put veto power kaputz on reprints of both Miracleman and Captain Britain. Man of great principle - or a fiction used to sell comics? Alan Moore nearly always gives the money from his film adaptations, every cent, to his co-creator. Is it a noble gesture, or "hush money?"

So, if Alan Moore isn't a real guy, who is he...REALLY?

It may be possible that "Alan Moore" is a variety of different men, just as "Kenneth Robeson" was a pen name used by a variety of different men as well. This can account for the discontinuity of themes in Alan Moore's work; it's hard to imagine the creator of the Five Swell Guys and Hypermice wrote something as dreary as WATCHMEN, TWILIGHT OF THE SUPER-HEROES, and V FOR VENDETTA. It may be possible there is a "good" Alan Moore and a "bad" Alan Moore. However, the overall quality of the work in his career, and similarities in his use of words such as "incidentally," to start a new phrase, indicate that there may be a single person responsible for the bulk of Moore's work, a "main" Alan Moore, with the rest writing in pastiche style.

Here's a few Vegas-style bets:


Neil Gaiman
Odds: 3 to 1

Neil Gaiman got his start by "personal recommendation" by Alan Moore to be his "chosen, handpicked successor" on MARVELMAN, despite having little experience under his belt. Afterwards, the regular artist that "Alan Moore" worked with left, and was replaced by Mark Buckingham, who did not know previously who Gaiman is.

The thematic similarities between the works of these two writers are nearly endless. Both are skilled at humor and weaving hilarity into concepts. Gaiman has showed a gift for humor, especially dark humor, and like "Alan Moore," he has a fondness for the Superman Mythos, featuring Great Rao in his SANDMAN. Both are primarily DC writers,  with Silver Age DC Mythos capturing their imagination best. Both writers are slightly nervous about the trend of taking comics seriously, and prefer a day when their profession was viewed as slightly "dirtier." Both are fascinated endlessly by mysticism and mythology and the concept of the shared world of the imagination and the subjectivity of reality: witness Alan Moore's PROMETHEA, which repeats many of the same themes in SANDMAN. Both have incredible skill for characterization, and further, for the creation of mindblowing concepts inspired by acid.

And finally, Gaiman has the best motivation. When you've got a last name that can be pronounced "Gay Man" and your primary work is a comic loved by Goth girls, it's not hard to understand why you'd want to create a macho, bearded alter ego.


Phillip Jose Farmer
Odds: 5 to 1

Another good choice for the personality of Alan Moore, Phillip Jose Farmer had a near-encyclopedaic knowledge of science fiction lore, as well as being the author of ESCAPE FROM LOKI, and DOC SAVAGE: AN APOCRYPHAL LIFE, a character that Alan Moore used as the blueprint for Tom Strong. There are extraordinary thematic similarities between the senseless violence in Moore's nihilistic science fiction work DB AND QUINCH, and Phillip Jose Farmer's VENUS ON THE HALF-SHELL. And both men have a similar prose style utilizing bizarre, Hunter Thompson-esque metaphors like "the fluid was warm and nutritious, like a diabetic's urine."

The best reason that Alan Moore might be a hoax by PJF is that PJF has done this sort of thing before. VENUS ON THE HALF-SHELL was written by "Kilgore Trout," a bitter science fiction writer created by Kurt Vonnegut (another possible candidate for Alan Mooreship). For decades, the identity of the author went unknown, until PJF himself finally stepped forward.


Lin Carter
Odds: 10 to 1

An odd choice for Alan Mooreship, for certain, however, when considered, the facts fit together: Lin Carter, the former editor for Bantam Books, is a highly well read individual known for his fascination with pulp fiction and superheroes. It ought to be noted that Moore's unused TWILIGHT screenplay was to feature appearances by Doc Savage, Tarzan, and the Shadow, characters that Carter both edited and had guest appearances in his PRINCE ZARKON books. Carter is fascinated by pop culture minutiae, and there more than a few incidental references to Batman and the Green Hornet.

A famous photograph of Lin Carter in the back of his PRINCE ZARKON: THE VOLCANO OGRE shows him in shadowy sillouette, much like Alan Moore's early photographs.

There are some factors to disqualify Lin. For example, the fact that he is not English, and has not had contact or known to have had contact with many people that Alan Moore operated with in the early phase of his career, such as Dez Skinn.


Kurt Busiek
Odds: 100 to 1

On the surface, Kurt Busiek might be a good candidate for being Alan Moore. Both men are well-read, and Kurt Busiek is a big Alan Moore fan, contributing a story to MIRACLEMAN APOCRYPHA and writing a "Dream of Flying" that was "inspired" by Moore's work. Both Alan Moore and Kurt Busiek have nearly equal skill for characterization.

The facts, however, deny such a thing would ever take place. For one thing, Kurt Busiek was in Syracuse or living in New York City as an unknown writer with only IRON FIST and other works for him during much of "Alan Moore's" early career, and so it is highly illogical that he could have written the work Moore did in 2000 AD or in DOCTOR WHO.

Further, there are many thematic differences. For one thing, Kurt Busiek's work, while joyful, does not have "jokes" or "humorous bits" at least to the extent that Moore's does.
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Permanus
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2006, 09:46:10 AM »

Er, I'm pretty sure he exists, Julian. He's just another English eccentric. A guy I used to work with comes from Northampton and says he used to see him around there quite a lot (he's pretty hard to miss). He's also appeared on television and radio quite a lot over here. In fact, I heard him interviewed last year in a BBC Radio 4 series in which celebrities get to interview people they admire. Some comedian I'd never heard of interviewed Moore, and Moore in turn interviewed Brian Eno.

As far as movie rights go, the reason Moore has given for relinquishing the money is that his material has been given such poor treatment onscreen and he doesn't want to deal with those people: "Take my name off the credits and give the money to the artist". He admitted this is getting harder and harder to do, though. That's a lot of money to give up.

Oh, and he didn't actually get a job at DC by threatening to kill Julie Schwarz; according to legend, that's just how he got the job to script "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow".

Still, food for thought. Maybe none of these guys exist. Maybe they're all Stan Lee.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2006, 02:23:30 PM »

He is real.

Quote
Oh, and he didn't actually get a job at DC by threatening to kill Julie Schwarz; according to legend, that's just how he got the job to script "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow".


Moore (was read by Gaiman) on what happen during Julius Schwartz's memorial

"He was a friend, he was an inspiration, was the founder of our dreams. He ruined my reputation as a gentle pacifist by claiming that I'd seized him by the throat and sworn to kill him if he didn't let me write his final episodes of Superman, and how, now, am I supposed to contradict a classic Julius Schwartz yarn? So, all right: it's true. I picked him up and shook him like a British nanny, and I hope wherever he is now, he's satisfied by this shamefaced confession."

http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2004_03_14_archive.asp


Here is my favorite photo of Alan Moore ever:

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JulianPerez
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2006, 03:47:38 PM »

Quote from: "Permanus"
As far as movie rights go, the reason Moore has given for relinquishing the money is that his material has been given such poor treatment onscreen and he doesn't want to deal with those people: "Take my name off the credits and give the money to the artist". He admitted this is getting harder and harder to do, though. That's a lot of money to give up.


Considering Alan Moore's previous history working with collaborators, it can be easy to see why, in place of stopping a project that he dislikes, he gives up the money to his collaborator as his protest.

"Solo" protest efforts, such as Alan Moore preventing CAPTAIN BRITAIN from being reprinted as a result of Marvel practices, earned Alan the alienation of his collaborator and best friend, Alan Davis. Many say this was about Alan Davis wanting money and Alan Moore being a man of principle, however, this is deeply unfair to Davis, who wanted his work to have a greater visibility in the states and was outraged that Alan didn't consult with him beforehand.

Thanks to those two patching it up, we've got a great CAPTAIN BRITAIN reprint collection. So, hey, you go! That's some good stuff.

Although as far as comic book mystiques go, Alan Moore is more over the top than over the top. Where's the part of his life's story where he lassoes a tornado and domesticates the dog?

I mean, he's got a whole "Johnny Appleseed" thing going on.
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Permanus
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2006, 05:17:14 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
I mean, he's got a whole "Johnny Appleseed" thing going on.

Not to mention this whole weird magic business he seems to enjoy dabbling in. I'm never quite sure how seriously he takes that: I've heard him refer to it as his mid-life crisis, but it could be that he's just stark staring bonkers.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2006, 11:57:12 PM »

Quote from: "Super Monkey"
"He was a friend, he was an inspiration, was the founder of our dreams. He ruined my reputation as a gentle pacifist by claiming that I'd seized him by the throat and sworn to kill him if he didn't let me write his final episodes of Superman, and how, now, am I supposed to contradict a classic Julius Schwartz yarn? So, all right: it's true. I picked him up and shook him like a British nanny, and I hope wherever he is now, he's satisfied by this shamefaced confession."


Interesting! I always took the Julie Schwartz story at face value, because Alan Moore is so, well...scary. It's hard to imagine him NOT doing something like this.

Creative people just make up stuff because it makes for a good story. Sometimes this takes a harmless form: for instance, Gene Roddenberry saying that he wanted a Russian on STAR TREK because a Russian editorial that said that they felt left off. While no one has ever been able to procure this Pravda editorial, and indeed, STAR TREK wasn't visible in Russia for much later, it makes a good story and it shows at least an ATTEMPT for the desire to be inclusive and accepting and all that.

Other "stories" have far uglier motivations. While George Lucas's spin that he wrote all nine STAR WARS movies in his head from the very first day gets a lot of press, it is far from the truth: it was in fact Leigh Brackett (yes, THAT Leigh Brackett, the old pulp adventure novelist) that created the idea that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father when she wrote the script for EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Lucas says the only reason she keeps credit for the story is that he wanted her husband to receive money and credit after Leigh's death - a simultaneously patronizing and false claim, considering that it is the Writer's Guild, not the director, that determines who gets writing credit.

Quote from: "Super Monkey"
Here is my favorite photo of Alan Moore ever:



Sometimes I forget, because of what a giant he is in his field, but man...Kirby was NOT tall at all.
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2006, 12:42:23 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Kurt Busiek
Odds: 100 to 1

On the surface, Kurt Busiek might be a good candidate for being Alan Moore. Both men are well-read, and Kurt Busiek is a big Alan Moore fan, contributing a story to MIRACLEMAN APOCRYPHA and writing a "Dream of Flying" that was "inspired" by Moore's work. Both Alan Moore and Kurt Busiek have nearly equal skill for characterization.

The facts, however, deny such a thing would ever take place. For one thing, Kurt Busiek was in Syracuse or living in New York City as an unknown writer with only IRON FIST and other works for him during much of "Alan Moore's" early career, and so it is highly illogical that he could have written the work Moore did in 2000 AD or in DOCTOR WHO.

Further, there are many thematic differences. For one thing, Kurt Busiek's work, while joyful, does not have "jokes" or "humorous bits" at least to the extent that Moore's does.


Actually, Alan wrote "A Dream of Flying."  If you're thinking of "In Dreams," it wasn't inspired by Moore, despite the occasional lunatic claim to the contrary.

But to add to your conspiracy theory, I was actually in London for a semester in 1981, and did some reporting for the US comics press on Marvel UK.  I visited the offices a few times, and they invited me to do some writing for them -- unfortunately, I didn't have a work permit, and I'd have had to leave the country and apply and then return, and I couldn't afford it.  But they showed me a bunch of costume designs for the new Captain Britain by this new guy, Alan Davis, and had I gotten that work permit, I might have gotten that gig when Dave Thorpe left.

And who knows where that might have led...?

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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2006, 12:43:39 AM »

Quote from: "Super Monkey"
Here is my favorite photo of Alan Moore ever:



Every time I see that, I want to add a thought balloon:

Kirby (th):  What ... is "THAT"?!

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