Quotes: Alan Moore

By Alan Moore

"On my fortieth birthday, rather than merely bore my friends by having anything as mundane as a midlife crisis I decided it might be more interesting to actually terrify them by going completely mad and declaring myself to be a magician."
Alan Moore, in The Mindscape of Alan Moore

"I tend to think that what fame has done is to replace the sea as the element of choice of adventure for young people. If you were a dashing young man in the 19th century you would probably have wanted to run away to sea, just as in the 20th century you might decide that you want to run away and form a pop band. The difference is that in the 19th century, before running away to sea, you would have had at least some understanding of the element that you were dealing with and would have perhaps, say, learned to swim."
The thing is that there is no manual for how to cope with fame. So you'll get some, otherwise likeable young person, who has done one good comic book, one good film, one good record, suddenly told that they are a genius, who believes it and who runs out laughing and splashing into the billows of celebrity, and whose heroin-sodden corpse is washed up a few weeks later in the shallows of the tabloids."
Alan Moore

"I got quite a bit of criticism for that. I know that people were saying after reading the third book, that it was my equivalent of saying,"It were old fields around here once" which it wasn't, that wasn't what I was saying. What I was saying was that I don't think it was unfair to choose [The Threepenny Opera] as representing a big important cultural event of 1910. I don't think it was unfair choosing Donald Cammell's Performance as representing a big important cultural event in 1969 and I don't think it was unfair choosing J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter as representing a big cultural event in the early 21st Century. I would say that it you were to plot those things along the graph — the line isn't going up. I think that it's a fair comment that our approach to culture — in the mainstream — has degenerated ... I wasn't saying that all culture in the late 21st Century was rubbish or I wasn't saying that culture was doomed. I was saying that mainstream culture was becoming repititive, was not having original ideas, would no longer be capable of coming up with a Performance, leave alone a Threepenny Opera."
Alan Moore, Interview with John Higgs, Author of Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, discussing the controversy of the third volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

"Returning to the question, as to whether it is ‘permissible’ for people of one kind to depict people or another ... I submit that if this restriction were universally adopted, we would have had no authors from middle-class backgrounds who were able to write about the situation of the lower classes, which would have effectively ruled out almost all authors since William Shakespeare (whose rarity as an example of a writer from an apparently working class background is attested by the number of theoreticians from more elevated social groups who would have it that his work could only possibly have been composed by a member of the aristocracy). While I might have winced on many occasions as a middle-class author such as Martin Amis presents his (at least to my mind) lazy and offensive studies of a vulnerable underclass, I would certainly hesitate before proposing any imposition of an ideology that would also exclude the works of Charles Dickens, Gerald Kersh or any of several hundred other fine writers. I understand that it may not be considered good form to suggest that class issues are as important as issues of race, gender or sexuality, despite the fact that from my own perspective they seem perhaps even more fundamental and crucially relevant. After all, while in the West after many years of arduous struggle we are now allowed to elect women, non-white people and even, surely at least in theory, people of openly alternative sexualities, I am relatively certain that we will never be allowed to elect a man or woman of any race or persuasion who is poor."

"You see, somewhere along the line, one of the newer breed of Marvel editors ... had come up with one of those incredibly snappy sounding and utterly stupid little pieces of folk-wisdom that some editors seem to like pulling out of the hat from time to time... 'Readers don’t want change. Readers only want the illusion of change.' Like I said, it sounds perceptive and well-reasoned on first listening. It is also, in my opinion, one of the most specious and retarded theories that it has ever been my misfortune to come across ... If readers are that averse to change then how come Marvel ever got to be so popular in the first place, back when constant change and innovation was the order of the day ... Perhaps I could have a little more sympathy for pronouncements like this if there was some solid commercial reasoning behind them. If, for example, Marvel’s books suddenly started selling significantly more during the period when this “Let’s-Not-Rock-The-Boat” policy was introduced...This is not the case. Marvel’s best selling title ... sells something like 300,000 copies, and it is regarded as a staggering success. Listen, in a country the size of America, 300,000 copies is absolutely pathetic. Back in the early fifties it was not unknown for even a comparatively minor-league publication ... to clear six million copies every month. Even in the early days of the Marvel empire, any comic that was selling only 300,000 copies would have probably been cause for grave concern amongst those in charge of it’s production, and indeed it would have most likely been cancelled. These days, it’s the best we’ve got."
Alan Moore, "Blinded By The Hype: An Affectionate Character Assassination", 1983 Essay on what Moore percieved to be the Network Decay of Marvel Comics and comics in general.

About Alan Moore

"He is a vegetarian, an anarchist, a practicing magician and occultist, and he worships a Roman snake-deity named Glycon."
Wikipedia's article on Alan Moore

Bart Simpson: Alan Moore! You wrote my favorite issues of Radioactive Man!
Alan Moore: Oh really? So you like that I made your favorite superhero a heroin-addicted jazz critic who's not radioactive?
Bart: I don't read the words. I just like when he punches people. How do you make his costume stick so close to his muscles?

"He once called us up to tell us that he had just been in the dream realm and talking to Socrates and Shakespeare, and to Moses, dead serious, and that they talked for what seemed to be months, but when he woke up, only an evening had passed, and he came up with these great ideas. And I'm tellin' ya, I think it's shtick, dude. I think it's all shtick. I'm gonna start saying that stuff. Cuz you know what? It makes you instantly interesting. Like "O yeah, last night I was hanging out with Socrates. Came to me in a dream. We played poker. We dropped acid." That's the kinda stuff Alan would say all the time."

"It is a strange irony that for all the inevitability of Watchmen and all its meticulous symbolism, Alan Moore himself clearly had no idea what he was doing...He was, after all, nothing more than a con man with a scheme to make himself and his friend Dave a quick buck by making some stuff up about superheroes."
Dr. Phil Sandifer, The Last War in Albion

"I'm a bloody genius."
Linkara from Atop the Fourth Wall, imitating Moore in his Comics in Five Panels segment

"Alan Moore knows the score."
Pop Will Eat Itself, "Can U Dig It?"

"One day the good burghers and honest townsfolk of Northampton will burn Alan as a warlock, and it will be a great loss to the world."
Neil Gaiman, afterword in Smoke and Mirrors