Alan Moore is as synonymous with the comic book industry as Stan Lee. But the acclaimed writer behind some of the greatest graphic novels in the medium’s history is calling it quits, announcing he is officially retiring from comics.
As reported by The Guardian, Moore will be retiring from comics following the completion of his latest work, Jerusalem.
“[I have] about 250 pages of comics left in me,” Alan said at a press conference. “And those will probably be very enjoyable.”
He then listed the open items list he’ll be completing before hanging it up.
“There are a couple of issues of an Avatar [Press] book that I am doing at the moment, part of the HP Lovecraft work I’ve been working on recently. Me and Kevin will be finishing Cinema Purgatorio and we’ve got about one more book, a final book of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to complete. After that, although I may do the odd little comics piece at some point in the future, I am pretty much done with comics.”
Moore cited comfort as the main reason behind his retirement, which he believes will inevitably lead to complacency, which in turn will produce sub-par work.
“I think I have done enough for comics. I’ve done all that I can. I think if I were to continue to work in comics, inevitably the ideas would suffer, inevitably you’d start to see me retread old ground and I think both you and I probably deserve something better than that,”
Moore leaves behind quite the resume for aspiring comic book writers to live up to. Aside from the aforementioned League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which was adapted into a movie in 1998 starring Sean Connery, he is credited with changing the medium itself with what many consider to be the greatest graphic novel of all time in Watchmen.
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Set in a 1986 behind the backdrop of the Cold War, Watchmen utterly changed comics forever, introducing more adult themes like war, child abuse, impotence, and the notion that you really do have to be crazy to put on a mask to fight crime. It also virtually created the anti-hero craze which, along with Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, influenced an entire generation of comic book creators for years to come.
But Moore wasn’t simply a one-trick pony either. His graphic novel V For Vendetta and From Hell are also considered masterpieces, and all three were adapted into feature films. In fact, Moore cites film as an area he might want to consider now that he’s retiring from comics.
“The things that interest me at the moment are the things I don’t know if I can do, like films, where I haven’t got a clue what I am doing… I know I am able to do anything anyone is capable of doing in the comic book medium. I don’t need to prove anything to myself or anyone else. Whereas these other fields are much more exciting to me. I will always revere comics as a medium. It is a wonderful medium.”
Moore joins fellow scribe J. Michael Straczynski who also decided to retire from comics, as reported by THR earlier this summer. Straczynski, however, was dealing with a rare eye disorder and cites that as the reason for his retirement.
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“Where I had once been able to turn out three or four comics per month in addition to whatever else I was writing, now I struggled to write even one comic per month, and sometimes failed to get even that much done,” Straczynski wrote. “I simply couldn’t see the computer screen. As it was, the only way I could read what I was writing was to use huge white type on a black screen… I literally could only work with about a dozen words on screen at a time, rather than a hundred or more per screen.”
And while his eye problems have since been corrected, J. Michael Straczynski is still retiring from comics, as sited by Newsarama to focus on other kinds of writing.