Alan Moore, interviewé à propos de Marvelman (renommé depuis en Miracleman) et de la façon dont des œuvres plutôt sombres et réalistes dans les années 80 (les siennes, ou The dark knight returns, dont il a écrit une préface) en ont inspiré beaucoup d’autres dans la même veine.
Kurt Amacker : And, it’s left a legacy where it seems like almost all heroes follow the model you created with Marvelman and Watchmen. Instead of a “straight ahead” approach to heroism like you’d find in the Silver Age, all the heroes are psychologically damaged. They all have drinking problems and sexual dysfunctions and broken marriages. And, it’s almost become a new status quo in and of itself.
Alan Moore : Yes, it has. And, can I just say I’m sorry? That was never my intention for every book to be like that. The reason I wanted to do them like that was because nothing else was like that. I wanted to do something that was different. If I were, god forbid, still doing superhero comics today, just like my ABC work from a couple of years ago, they’d be very very different from the Watchmen or Marvelman template. They’d be much more about having fun — whether that be intellectual fun or just plain fun — much more about that than doing any revisions. I think, ultimately, that approach that I brought in — taking previously existing characters and reinterpreting them — has probably led to very grim and very un-enjoyable comic books. I didn’t want everyone else to copy what we were doing. And especially, if they were going to, I’d have preferred it if they’d copied the freshness and originality of the ideas — and, if they had managed to express a bit of the joy that we expressed, even in Watchmen, in Marvelman, and Swamp Thing. Yes, there were some very grim passages in all those books, but there were also passages of great joy. And, it seemed to me that people basically took from it what they were able to take from it — mostly a slightly depressing atmosphere and the idea that everybody had to be a grim, ruthless psychopath. Even characters like Stanley and His Monster — should they be reinvented as grim, brooding psychopaths? That completely robbed comics of a lot of the charm that, for me at least, they once had. Again, it was never intended as a blanket approach for all comic books. It was just an experiment that I was trying, and it worked better in some cases than it did in others. Yeah, Marvelman and Watchmen — those are pretty good books. On the other hand, where I was doing the same things in The Killing Joke, it was entirely inappropriate.
Kurt Amacker : You think so?
Alan Moore : I think so. This has nothing to do with Brian Bolland’s artwork, which was of course exquisite. I’ve never really liked my story in The Killing Joke. I think it put far too much melodramatic weight upon a character that was never designed to carry it. It was too nasty, it was too physically violent. There were some good things about it, but in terms of my writing, it’s not one of me favorite pieces. If, as I said, god forbid, I was ever writing a character like Batman again, I’d probably be setting it squarely in the kind of “smiley uncle” period where Dick Sprang was drawing it, and where you had Ace the Bat-Hound and Bat-Mite, and the zebra Batman — when it was sillier. Because then, it was brimming with imagination and playful ideas. I don’t think that the world needs that many brooding psychopathic avengers. I don’t know that we need any. It was a disappointment to me, how Watchmen was absorbed into the mainstream. It had originally been meant as an indication of what people could do that was new. I’d originally thought that with works like Watchmen and Marvelman, I’d be able to say, “Look, this is what you can do with these stale old concepts. You can turn them on their heads. You can really wake them up. Don’t be so limited in your thinking. Use your imagination.” And, I was naively hoping that there’d be a rush of fresh and original work by people coming up with their own. But, as I said, it was meant to be something that would liberate comics. Instead, it became this massive stumbling block that comics can’t even really seem to get around to this day. They’ve lost a lot of their original innocence, and they can’t get that back. And, they’re stuck, it seems, in this kind of depressive ghetto of grimness and psychosis. I’m not too proud of being the author of that regrettable trend.