The news about the Watchmen prequel is only a day old, yet we already have more information about the upcoming books.
Yes, DC has sent out another official press release which contains eight pieces of cover art for the eagerly anticipated series. These are posted below, but that’s not the most interesting development.
Noticing that any comment from original Watchmen writer Alan Moore was missing from the press release (which artist Dave Gibbons had given comment within) The New York Times contacted Moore for his take on the news.
“I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that [DC is] still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago,” Moore said. “[No], I don’t want money. What I want is for this not to happen. As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to Moby Dick.”
Seemingly this is a comparison of his own work with literary classic, and an argument that creating prequels takes away from the legitimacy of comics (or his comics) as literature. Of course, Moore has been coming off as increasingly unhinged in recent years, and this kind of statement makes him seem more an arrogant currmudgeon than the genius comics writer he was once hailed as, showing anger over his legal disputes with DC, rather than a true understanding of the situation.
I mean, I get that he’s mad about losing the rights to Watchmen and V for Vendetta – DC didn’t let Moore have a say in how the properties he originally wrote were used in the film adaptations – but with comments like these he’s just being petty and detracting from the experience for fans.
Also, while Moby Dick may be an example of great literature with no sequels or prequels, there are as many great pieces of literature which do have such companions, some of them as great or greater than the original work. Just like those works, however, we don’t have to recognize the companion books if we don’t want to. The great thing about art is that the audience gets to choose how they see it.
Personally, I don’t see anything beyond the third books of Frank Baum’s Oz series – for example – as actually being part of the true literary work, as they are mostly pulp that the publishing company foisted on the audience, just as Moore thinks is happening here. Still, these new Watchmen books might not be bad. We simply don’t know, as they haven’t even been created yet. Plus, it’s not up to Moore to decide if they are ‘legitimate’ parts of the franchise. That’s up to the audience.
Neither DC nor Gibbons have responded to Moore’s remarks.
Here are those covers: