Alan Moore: 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' show is 'dustbin' hunting

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“Me and Kevin have been chuckling about that one, we only heard about it the other day,” Moore said. “When [DC Comics] did the recent Watchmen prequel comics I said all of sorts of deeply offensive things about the modern entertainment industry clearly having no ideas of its own and having to go through dust bins and spittoons in the dead of night to recycle things.”

After pausing a beat for emphasis he added: “The announcement that there is a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen television series hasn’t caused me to drastically alter my opinions. Now it seems they are recycling things that have already proven not to work.”

Moore could be attending Comic-Con International this week where top writers like Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison will be promoting their upcoming DC projects and cheered by huge crowds – both of those writers got their start at DC in the 1980s in the wake of Moore’s revolutionary work on Swamp Thing, a three-year run of issues that was in many ways more revolutionary than Watchmen. Moore, though, says he can’t work by the rules of mainstream comics.

“If I am going to do something in any medium, then I am certainly temperamental and abrasive enough to insist that it’s going to be done the way that I want to do it,” Moore said. “This is pretty much the way I insist upon working. There really wouldn’t be any point in me doing something that I didn’t want to do. But since that entails not wanting to work for a large company — [due to the] editorial interference that would come with that sort of arrangement — that pretty much only leaves me with unconventional approaches.”

Moore’s unconventional paths in the past included phases where he gobbled LSD or delved into occult ritual. But this time, to fund His Heavy Heart, the fifth and final installment in a short-film series, he’s turning to a truly mysterious force: Kickstarter. It’s major leap of faith for a man who doesn’t know his left foot from a right click.

“I’m pretty Amish in most of my behavior,” Moore said. “It would probably be a good idea for me to be at least familiar with this intriguing new device enabling artists.”

Moore is working with Mitch Jenkins and Lex Projects. His Heavy Heart is part of Jimmy’s End, a cycle of short films written by Moore and directed by Jenkins, that seems to be getting grander in ambition by the week. The fifth short is “the most horrifying and the funniest” of the increasingly surreal mini-films, which meld British pop music traditions with a Terry Gilliam liberation regarding reality.

It was planned originally as one short, then it became the series of vignettes, and now Moore sees it as the workable blueprint for an entire feature film as well as a television series rooted in the same universe. If does reach a television show, Moore says he knows “the final scene, the final bit of dialogue” and pledges he will never follow in the footsteps of shows that turn into a giant game of Jenga at the end because the creators don’t have an exit strategy.

“Not to name names, but shows like Lost,” Moore said, suggesting that a television signal was still part of his household life back in summer of 2010.

He has said Hewlett-Packard was set at one point to fund the project, but sees no contradiction between that and his previous corporate screeds.

Moore is still suspicious of the modern world where people put their hand on a mouse and use Twitter, YouTube, and Google fill their days with flickering distraction. “I’m sure that there are many people who find they are existing almost entirely online,” Moore said.”I think that we may be reaching a point of fatigue with the situation that people may find that these labor-saving technologies actually take such a lot of labor to pay for.”

He added: “Our entire society is driven by our technology; it’s not the other way around. We’re not driving our technology. Things occur to us outside those advances and new devices, new mechanisms all occur to us in their time, and we will enthusiastically adopt them and they will mutate us.”

The sorcerer of story – the man who asked: “Who watches the Watchmen?” — says that the most dangerous magic is the pixel dust that fills computer screens with a facsimile of life. He hears the Kickstarter numbers look great, but he won’t be checking himself, preferring to stay on his side of the firewall.

“If society has decided to launch into a grand experiment with the only culture that we’ve got,” Moore explains, “then I think that it’s wise that at least somebody should remain outside the Petri dish.”


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