Alan Moore gets almost nothing but bad reports and updates from pop culture media and blogs these days, and understandably so. Moore has done nothing but tear DC and Marvel new ones, criticizing how they treat their creators and characters. Amongst all of the hate, there seems to follow an acknowledgment, which states in one form or another – “Alan Moore did great things for comics, BUT…” I do the same thing because we all want to make sure we give credit where credit is due. We’d be remiss if we didn’t.
However, sometimes fandom can be harsh and creators have no where else to go except to those they’re closest. Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, while having never published anything together, have worked and colaborated on projects in the past. Gaiman comes out and let’s the world know Moore is the one who helped him in learning the art of comic book script writing. Alan Moore is an ass, but respect for his past and present work should still be given…
“I knew what a movie script looked like, I’d seen them. But I couldn’t get my head around what a comic script was. And eventually, a marvelous comics writer, probably the finest writer of comics there’s ever been, a man named Alan Moore just showed me how to write comics. He sat down and said, ‘Right, right now, you write Page One, Panel One. And then you say everything that is happening in that panel.’ In this case, you know, you’d say, ‘Page one, panel one, Neil Gaiman and Tom Ashbrook are sitting in a studio, there’s paper all over the desk, there are great big microphones. Neil is talking, waving his hands around, doing an impression of Alan Moore. Tom is nodding sagely.’
It’s stage directions, and it’s a letter to an artist. And then underneath, you’d write Tom: ‘It’s stage directions’; Neil: ‘It’s a letter to an artist’ and those would be what would go into the word balloons. And Neil, thought balloon: ‘I’m so glad they got me that cup of tea.’ You put everything. As far as I was concerned, and still to this day, as far as I’m concerned a comic script is a 10,000 word letter to an artist. I would always get puzzled when people would say to me, ‘So you write comics! So you write the words that go in the balloons.’ And you’re going, ‘That’s absolutely the tip of the iceberg.’ What I’m doing is building the cake, and in those words I will tell the artist everything I want to be in the panel — the size of the panel, the shape. What you’re also doing is working with some of the most creative people in the world.”
– Neil Gaiman is best known for his books American Gods, Neverwhere, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Coraline, and his graphic novel series – The Sandman