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  1. If someone bought and adapted 2 to the Chest to the screen, then you got sued for plagiarizing it and the studio settled, I bet you would be pretty annoyed, too.

    It’s a little shocking to see a right-leaning individual ribbing someone for having scruples and standing up for their ideals, but at the same time, not shocking at all to see a right-leaning person thinking that money is the solution to everyone’s problems.

  2. Uh, you’re missing my point. Did you read what Ellroy wrote? Bad mouthing movies doesn’t do you any good, but even bad movies help sell your books. I agree with Moore that the original source is always the “real” version.

    I don’t have a problem with him being upset at Hollywood, and I certainly understand why he’s mad at the industry. I’ve been burned too and had to sue Fox once. But the way he trashed Watchmen was pretty silly considering the guy slavishly tried to make it as faithful as possible. (I think it failed in tone an execution, but wasn’t terrible). But Moore didn’t even give him a chance.

    All I’m saying is Ellroy’s take is a wiser course of action.

  3. Every writer has to make their own decision. Michael Crichton finally gave up on the regular Hollywood mauling of his novels and just took the money, figuring, like Ellroy, that the upside was greater than the downside. For him, personally, he could handle that.
    On the other hand, after Tom Clancy’s “The Sum of All Fears” was butchered, he simply said that from now on he wanted final approval on the shooting script for all movies based on his works–which in Hollywood means no more will ever be made, regardless of his status as a best-selling author.
    Moore is a…er…strong personality. So one would expect his opinions to be more towards Clancy than Crichton.
    Moore’s assignment of his royalties from Watchmen to Gibbons is an amazing demonstration of principle. Gibbons never did get enough credit for his work on Watchmen, anyway.
    (Did you know that even before the movie got made, the Watchmen GN had already been regularly selling approx 100,000 copies per year? Ye gods. I doubt Gibbons has to struggle to pay his bills.)

  4. Moore is the most principled guy I’ve ever met. Well, actually I know one other. Andrew Paquette.

    Which makes him difficult to deal with sometimes. But I respect that.

    As Dave Gibbons, it’s also a testament to his work ethic that he doesn’t have to work but he’s never rested on his laurels. He keeps putting out good comics.

  5. I think Watchmen is an extraordinary case because when Watchmen the comic goes out of print ownership returns to Moore. It stands to reason that he would be more opposed to a Watchmen movie than any of the others because the film actually damages his ability to have the property revert to him.

    I did read the article and admire Elroy’s position, too. If you sell the film rights to your stories, you have to be prepared for them to not be anything like the original.

    I have a lot of respect for Moore because of his ability to stand firm on this issue, though. I am just a fan, so I will likely never meet Moore, but given how all this has played out, I imagine him originally being a bit naive about all of this stuff, then getting burned time after time and finally just deciding to wash his hands of all of it. The LoEG problem is pretty galling in that his book was changed enough to attract the lawsuit, then he had to defend his original story with Fox finally settling. It seems like the absolute worse case scenario. With more being more of a creative time, he probably took it much worse than a more left-brained person might.

    I think the best example of a comics writer navigating Hollywood so far is Neil Gaiman who probably learned a lot watching Alan Moore. He finds creators who he respects and has him work on his properties. The results have been above average in my opinion.

  6. I met Moore in 86 when he came out for his one and only visit to the San Diego Comic Con. I’ve also talked to him at length on the phone a number of times, though not since the 1990s. There is an interview with him floating around the web where he talks about how he was progressively burned. How at first he thought he’s just take the money, but then all these things started happening.

    His has had a lot of bad luck with properties, starting with Marvelman/Miracleman which became a giant legal nightmare and he ended up just giving up all his rights to Neil Gaiman on it.

    Dealing with Hollywood is no bed of roses as many of us have discovered. My lawsuit against Fox and Chris Carter in the late 90s was precedent setting, also. All because we assumed we would get credit for our work, but if it isn’t guaranteed in the contract, for get it (and it wasn’t because Harris comics wouldn’t let us get involved in the contract negotiations, even though it was a “creator owned” book. Long story, there.

    This is one reason I almost completely pulled out of comics and only do stuff I have complete control of the rights now. Which is very hard to do in the industry today. Working with publishers who retain control over the rights for a period of time is liable to get you seriously burned.

  7. BTW: RE: Watchmen, they will never get the rights back. As long as DC keeps it in print, it will not revert to the creators. And the book is a best selling backlist classic with perennial sales.

    DC is REALLY tough to unhook a property from. I was the first creator to do that. With the Psycho. It took years and it was a nightmare. Another reason I don’t work at DC anymore.

    I hear they’re easier to disengage from now. But I had to be the first one to try it. And that’s because I had interest in it as a property way back in the mid 90s and they made it almost impossible for me to do anything with it. They held my printers film for ranson and I couldn’t afford to get it back until we got a lawyer (Harris Miller) to negotiate a deal.

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