This just keeps getting better and better.
While I and my fellow nerds are squeeeing all over the Internets about the prospects of a way-cool Watchmen flick, there’s one person who is decidedly unenthusiastic about the film: Watchmen writer Alan Moore.
Over at the Los Angeles Times, there’s a fascinating article and interview with the always-interesting Moore, who says he will be “spitting venom” all over the movie. He’s entitled. Moore’s a purist about his work and the comics medium in general:
Moore said that with “Watchmen,” he told the epic tale of a large number of characters over decades of history with “a range of techniques” that cannot be translated to the movie screen, among them the “book within a book” technique, which took readers through a second, interior story as well as documents and the writings of characters . . . he believes “Watchmen” is “inherently unfilmable.”
I agree with Moore only to the extent that it’s impossible to pack into even a three hour movie all the complex layers, subplots, and backstories that embody Watchmen. (There’s already a rumor that the comic-within-a-comic, Tales of the Black Frieghter, was filmed but cut from the movie due to length — and will be put on the DVD release as a bonus feature.) In fact, I’ve always argued that it would make an ideal 12-part made-for-cable film, rather than a full-length feature.
That being said, I’m still excited about the film. And Alan Moore is more than allowed to be crabby. He’s earned it.
The interview with Alan Moore is here — and I warn you in advance not to read the comments, as they make me want to punch some people in the face. (For the record, Moore earns nothing off the film adapatations of his work — he signed the film rights to Watchmen, for example, over to artist Dave Gibbons.)
First, there’s this news straight outta San Diego: Neil Gaiman is writing a two-issue Batman arc — running through Batman and Detective Comics — for 2009. Pardon me while I say Zoinks! You can read about it here and here and here.
And then there’s this interview with Alan Moore, over on L’Essaim Victorieux des Mouches D’Eau. Moore discusses writing, working, and politics — and when the Wizard of Northampton talks, it’s always worth a listen. I mean, where else are you gonna get advice like this:
“If I ever write a book on writing it will probably be called Real Men Don’t Use Thesauri, because no, don’t touch ‘em, I think they’re cheating. What’s wrong with having an enormous vocabulary? What’s wrong with thinking, ‘Oh, there should be a word that means this or that, could it be this, could it be…,’ then making up a word and checking in the dictionary and seeing if there is such a word, and if it meant what you thought it did. That’s better, and all right, you can waste an hour trying to get the exact right word that’s got the right kind of sound, the right flavour, the right colour…that fits just perfectly….
“The thing I’d grab if there was a fire is my Random House Dictionary, which is an etymological dictionary which tells you where the words come from so you actually know what you’re talking about. If you use a word like ‘fascism’ you can actually have a look and see: ‘now where does that word come from, what does it actually mean?’ That’ll save you a lot of embarrassment. It’s also got a great Encyclopaedia function . . . it’s a biographical dictionary, it’s got all famous names and obscure names and dates . . . it’s fantastic. And that is my best Grimoire if you like, my best magic book, because it’s got all the words in the English language and where they come from and what they mean.
“If you’re gonna be a writer, you’ll cover all this territory, from the broadest categories down to, like I say, the sub-atomic detail of words and syllables.”
Read it. Learn it. Live it.