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2012.07.12

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"Alan Moore smokes hash 24/7" - I just keep thinking of the Sim parody of Alan Moore in "Going Home," where he's rolling and then smoking a joint that's about three feet long.

I haven't been able to read 2009 yet, but something I haven't seen many people talk much about... I'm not saying it's relevant enough to change how we look at the thing, but it's interesting to me... when they talk about how the world lacks purpose, and all that... the world of the League became our world less and less as the books went on.

In Vol 1 it was basically the world in that era as we knew it, with fiction in the shadows, or leaking through the cracks. The League as secret organization, etc. As things go on, though, the fictional characters become much more public and obvious (Martian invasion, for instance) and from that point on, the world became more and more different. 1984 really happened in the League's world, according to the Black Dossier, and while we can make some political commentary about that, in the world of the League it's quite literal. There are also spaceports in BD, etc. So by the time we get to Century, there are whole nations that don't exist (from West Wing, etc) and really the world is just completely fictional, overrun, nothing like our world at all.

So while there's a level of commentary on modern fiction, there's also a sort of "literal" commentary on the world that exists within the League books, and that world may well have a lack of purpose compared even to our own modern real one. If all of those stories and books and shows, if every one of them really happened, what would the world be like and feel like?

I don't know if that justifies any of the commentary in 2009, but I think it's an interesting counterpoint.

This is probably my favourite piece of commentary on the latest League adventure, because it's the first I've seen that really acknowledges that Moore probably does a lot of the things he does because they are just fucking funny, and all the deep and meaningful readings of his jokes just make them more humourous.

It was the humour in Moore's work that made his early comics really stand out, and there are daft jokes in almost all his comics (even From Hell is full of groan-tastic puns and examples of pitch-black humour). And it's usually the funny stuff that really works the best - Prometheus might have been a dissection of the workings of the universe, but everybody liked the Jack B Quick stories more.

It's particularly noticeable when you hear interviews with the man that are full of chortling and baffled asides, that are somehow interpreted as "MOORE IS CRANKY!".

He still makes me laugh.

...a further point on the Mufasa/Aslan debate -- a disney character hovering in the air, lording it over all the earth, is totally in keeping with the book's view of where culture is at the moment...

What I don't understand about the use of rape in Alan Moore's comics is... why is there so much of it? Exactly what does McGonagall getting raped by Harry Potter, or Pollyanna getting raped by the Invisible Man, or the Teen Titans getting raped by the Justice League back in Top Ten, say about sexual violence that Moore hadn't already said about sexual violence years before in Watchmen?

It's not like these are all thoughtful, responsible depictions of sexual violence and its aftermath which focus on the lives and agency of the victims and survivors of rape. It's not even as though they're all universally non-exploitative in their depictions. I mean, "Century: 1969" features Mina being chased by a psychic penis monster which promises to violate her mind, possess her body, and then use her body as a rape toy, all while her unconscious body is being groped by Voldemort. What, exactly, was the non-exploitative purpose of that?

I think there's a deep unwillingness to concede even the remotest possibility that Alan Moore could simultaneously be both a very gifted writer and a weird old perv who has gross hangups. He certainly wouldn't be the first.

Bob Temuka for the win

you know what I don't understand...why do Ed Brubaker's books have all those murders? It's not like people get murdered at that rate out in the real world...

I find it quite interesting that instead of giving me the sexy raping I look for in comics he insists on focusing on the distasteful.

I think Brubaker might be pervy, don't you?

On the Mufasa/Aslan debate, isn't the most plausible explanation that there is no debate, because Moore intends us to see both?

Moore loves his doubling, from the Michael Caine figure in the earlier book who is at least two of his movie characters simultaneously, to the Honor Blackman figure in that last scene of 2009 who is both her character from The Avengers and Pussy Galore.

By throwing up that lion, Moore gets to close the series on something that is all at once a symbol of old school British imagination, a screed about the fall of the popular imagination into empty, sentimentalized imagery based on theft, and an awesome joke.

As Aslan, it also provides a male God counterpart to Mary Poppins, for another layer of doubling that mirrors what had arguably become the League's central character by the end, Orlando. And Orlando seems to be the embodiment/pivot point for the revelation of one of the overall series major themes, the transition of the pop imagination from male (look at all those great white male colonialist adventure heroes in their elephants' graveyard) to female, as Emma, Mina, et al ride off into the sunset to spend eternity acing the Bechdel Test. But given that it's also Lion King bullshit, this is undermined by the idea that the ladies have arrived just in time to take over a ruined world--which is maybe what Haddo's head is getting at?

That's very good, very plausible; it'd fit Moore's aims, I'd agree. I never even thought of Aslan myself, in that I sort of associate that character with the 1950s, which doesn't quite mesh with either 2009 or the Victorian origins of Quatermain, although my reading of the series is pretty tainted by pragmatism... the fiction of Aslan could appear at any time, I guess, in (holy) ghostly form. I insist, however, from the context of the scene, that the image can be understood as a typical iconic gallant British lion, and any subsequent fictive lions should be understood as derivative from the signal of that icon...

"you know what I don't understand...why do Ed Brubaker's books have all those murders?"

To make an analogy between murder and sexual violence is utterly false, a laughable strawman, and you know it, for a very obvious reason: there's a general consensus that murder is wrong, whereas in our society there is no such general consensus that rape is wrong.

The overwhelming majority of rape victims don't report their rapes to the police; those rapes that are reported are mostly dismissed by the police; those few that go to trial see the victim put on trial as their sexual history is dragged up to play to the jury's latent sexism and misogyny.

This is a product of a society that normalizes sexual violence - hell, that glamorizes it. And what does Alan Moore contribute to this? Throwaway jokes about the invisible man raping Pollyanna; scene after scene of rape and attempted rape that read not as horror, but as leering and lascivious. These don't contribute to an understanding of the horror of sexual violence or what its survivors go through afterward - they minimize the reality of rape and sexual assault, they almost uniformly present sexual violence through a leering and eroticized male gaze, they contribute to a normalization of rape.

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