Alan Moore on “Watchmen” & Writing
It makes my fingers ache when I think about how long it must have taken to transcribe Daniel Whiston’s interview with Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta), but it’s well worth a read for anyone interested in the legendary scribe’s approach to the craft of writing. Moore addresses his work on various prominent and a few, well… slightly less-prominent projects, including the "cleverness" of Watchmen.
Watchmen was kind of clever – I was going through one of my clever periods – probably emotional insecurity, I thought: “People will laugh at me ‘cos I’m doing superhero comics. I’d better make ‘em really clever, then no-one will laugh”. (laughter)
So we’ve got all this sort of thing with the metaphor of the clock face, and yes it is a kind of clockwork-like construction – a swiss watch construction – where you can see all the works of it. Different areas where the text reflects itself, different levels – I was showing off.
But you’ll need all of those elements. They don’t all have to be tied up as fussily as that – in fact, I kind of decided after Watchmen that there was no point ever doing anything like that ever again, because having done it once, it would have been silly to have taken it further and done something more complex, when it’s already this sort of elaborate wedding cake of a comic book – you don’t want any more icing on the top.