This is soooo funny!!!  The comics world is once more ablaze with bad feelings towards Alan Moore.  This time it's because he's said in an interview that DC is still living off the ideas he produced for them 30 odd years ago.  This time Geoff John's Darkest Night story is the target for his ire.  As ever Moore is railing against the storytelling bankruptcy currently prevalent in Marvel and DC comics and how far to many stories at DC are based on throwaway ideas in stories he produced at the company back in the day.  I think, in essence, he sees himself as a modern day Jack Kirby, mistreated and bled dry by "The Man" and then used by every writer since to make up for their lack of creativity.  Right or wrong, that's the impression he gives.

This had lead to major rants against Moore, chastising him for everything from failing to continue making superhero comics, to show us how it should be done, to one fellow writer listing some thirty occassions when Moore has used other peoples ideas as springboards for his own stories. 

Most of the complainants seem to be American and are unaware of one key fact, Alan Moore is a grumpy old man, part of a loooooong tradition of grumpy old men in the UK. Once you’re over 50 it’s almost compulsory to spend the largest part of your waking hours complaining about how the weather/pop music/comics/tv/kids/games/films et al are not as good as they were when you were a kid. The BBC made several tv series out of old men bitching. Alan is English and is behaving in a very English manner.

That said, Alan has made most of his most popular comics work by mining the creative work of others or at least riffing off of it as he did with the ABC books. Probably the difference now is that his recent work outside of the superhero ghetto has mined the work of dead folk, not living. And Alan did produce some very new, fresh and original work in his years in the Marvel and DC mines (influences came from outside the mainstream in much of his work) and he wasn’t afraid to ignore or change continuity to produce a good story.

Like it or not Marvel and DC are both so wrapped up in continuity that anyone could be forgiven for thinking Geoff Johns and his compatriots have spent their entire lives imagining stories based around some continuity minutiae in a story that everyone but them has all but forgotten. You can write good and original superhero stories but you need to let go of questions like “why was Superman’s S green and pink on page 5 of issue 175 of Action Comics”?

This is why I loved Wednesday comics, because the focus was on the story and what made the story work. Not the damned continuity.

I am English and only 45 but I’m considered something of a prodigy on the “grumpy old man” front so hope that explains the preceding rant.