Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Favorite Unprofession

I grew up reading comic books. Even though I haven't read one in nearly a decade, and even though I chew through fiction each night until my eyes cross, everything started with comics. And for many years after I graduated from school, even in my early college years, I wanted to write comic books. Somewhere, yellowing with age and impressing exactly nobody, I have a couple of comic scripts that wasted more time and braincells than I'll dare to admit.

My desire to write came from reading comics written by an Englishman named Alan Moore. In 1986, he started a series call Watchmen. Mr Moore (at least in my opinion) single-handedly transformed the genre. It was groundbreaking. It forged new roads and reached new readers. It cast out all the traditions of typical comics. Most of the "super heroes" in Watchmen weren't super. They were almost all normal men, with abnormal costumes. Moore's "heroes" were selfish, cruel. They hurt people. They had flaws. Instead of fighting costumed supervillains, they were fighting internal battles, their own personal demons. And the main protagonist, Rorschach, was very much an anti-hero. They type you loved to hate.

I wanted to follow in Moore's wake. Wanted to write comics with literary teeth. Write something that depended on the depth of the story as opposed to the skill of the artist. Something to challenge the readers' thoughts. Something unique.

Mr Moore's career continued with staggeringly brilliant works such as V For Vendetta, Brought To Light, and later The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell.

My comic career, however, went exactly nowhere. I sent several scripts to Wildstorm. They were all politely rejected by a lad named Drew Bittner. And thus, my life as a comic writer never blossomed and lies at the bottom of a molding box. It exists in the form of mostly-unread scripts, and several well-read rejection letters. They're all that remain of my favorite unprofession.

I mention all of this because even though I'm a huge fan of Alan Moore, inspired by and in awe of his writings, even though I've read all most of his comics and seen pictures of him, watched him on The Simpsons, and read dozens of articles and interviews with him, I'd never actually seen him speak.

Until today. The Mindscape Of Alan Moore was posted on Altertube. Every intriguing. Great documentary worth a watch for any fan of truly good comics. It further deepened my appreciation of him. And I enjoyed his personal and direct take on many aspects of this modern world. He also shed a lot of new light (new to me) on his previous works, as well as his own life before breaking into the comic world.

Seventy seven minutes of Alan Moore helped rekindle long forgotten memories of my own magical dreams and aspirations. Made me want to find those scripts. Modernize them. Try again. Who knows, maybe there's still a possibility for my unprofession.

But, probably not.

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