Monday, March 13, 2006

V for Vendetta:

I can't wait to see the movie. Though I do admit that it's coming out at the "wrong" time and sends a message that the public doesn't need at this time.

I have read and actually possess, not just the graphic novel, but the original serious published by DC Comics (which reprinted an earlier British run).

The book was written in the early 80s as a reaction to the authoritarian policies of the Thatcher administration. I suppose it may resonate with some people who see creeping fascism in today's post 9-11 world.

Alan Moore, and Frank Miller too certainly see such creeping fascism today (though, they may not describe it as "creeping") as they did in 80s under the Reagan and Thatcher administrations.

The authoritarianism of Reagan/Thatcher/GWBush administrations is what I find most unappealing about them. Still, for some on the extreme left (and extreme right) valid criticisms easily cross the line into paranoid delusions.

Alan Moore (and Frank Miller) is a writer of immense talent. If you've seen a picture of Moore, you can tell by his appearance that he's borderline nuts as many talented writers and artists are.

So when it comes to political issues, many of these artists -- their opinions, no matter how artistically talented they are expressed, should be taken with a "grain of salt."

Allan Bloom before wrote at great length how many artists are leftist bourgeois haters (and before that, Bloom notes that many were, after Nietzsche, rightist bourgeois haters). Moore and Miller certainly qualify.

One interesting thing about both Moore's and Miller's work is that even though they hit you over the head with their leftist-anarchist agenda, at times they manage to say something profound. For instance, see my review of Moore's Watchmen Rorschach, where Moore, unlike a lot of leftist nihilists, clearly *gets* Nietzsche's abyss and uses it to humiliate the psychiatric and psychological professions, who according to Allan Bloom epitomized nihilism without the abyss.

Also, perhaps unintentionally, in both Miller's and Moore's greatest works, right-anarchists, or libertarianish characters (clearly this is how I see Miller's Batman) come across as the greatest heroes.


David Swindle said...

Suggestion for a challenging post: how would you rank the Moore books that you've read? We're talking strictly on a personal preference, favorite variety here not some ranking of the order of "best to worst."

My ranking:
1. "From Hell"
2. "Swamp Thing"
3. "Watchmen"
4. "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1"
5. "Tom Strong"
6. "Top 10"

I'm not including "V for Vendetta" because it really needs a second reading before I form a solid opinion of it. I've got Promethea from the library and intend to read it soon. "The Killing Joke also needs a second reading. To be honest, it'd be good to go through most of Moore's work a second time.

Jonathan said...

Oh God. I don't know how I could rank them. Probably Watchmen would come out on top followed closely by Miracleman. I haven't even read the entire Miracleman run 1) because of an IP mess, they don't have graphic novels, and some of Moore's later issues are notoriously hard to find and way expensive. I have the first 10 or so issues (usually the earlier issues in a run are harder to find. but it's simple economics -- they printed more of the earlier issues).

Though, I like Top Ten and Tom Strong, I think Moore's earlier stuff is much better. He did some interesting stuff with Rob Liefield's Supreme as well.

Some of Promethea lost me. Though because of your interests in Crowley, the occult and all that, I'm sure you'll like it a lot.