Tuesday, July 21, 2015

squatastrophe

"It is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times."

A complaint applicable to any number of areas of the culture - including rock 'n 'pop.

But this is comics maven Alan Moore, talking about superhero movies in an interview at Slovobooks

"To my mind, this embracing of what were unambiguously children's characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence.It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite 'universes' presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times."

This is a remixed reprise of a point he made a year earlier in The Guardian.

"I haven't read any superhero comics since I finished with Watchmen. I hate superheroes. I think they're abominations. They don't mean what they used to mean. They were originally in the hands of writers who would actively expand the imagination of their nine- to 13-year-old audience. That was completely what they were meant to do and they were doing it excellently. These days, superhero comics think the audience is certainly not nine to 13, it's nothing to do with them. It's an audience largely of 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-year old men, usually men. Someone came up with the term graphic novel. These readers latched on to it; they were simply interested in a way that could validate their continued love of Green Lantern or Spider-Man without appearing in some way emotionally subnormal. This is a significant rump of the superhero-addicted, mainstream-addicted audience. I don't think the superhero stands for anything good. I think it's a rather alarming sign if we've got audiences of adults going to see the Avengers movie and delighting in concepts and characters meant to entertain the 12-year-old boys of the 1950s."

3 comments:

  1. Re: "the ephemera of a previous century" bit, that's a bit rich coming from Moore, who's output is the comics equivalent of record-collection rock.

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    1. Clarify that comment please: you mean his recent comics or his forthcoming massive novel, his film work, his multimedia and performance work? Or the massively influential and brilliant work from the 80s?

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    2. Ha! Pay no mind, Matthew, I was feeling flippant and of a mind to wind up Moore fans. I'm a Baxendale man myself.

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