The comic world is slightly abuzz with concern. Apparently, DC is toying with new Watchmen stories. A possible sequel was mentioned (We are talking comics here, a Watchmen film sequel is pretty much toast at this point). And if I am understanding some of the response to the news, DC is slightly worse than Stalin. It’s one thing to slaughter millions. It’s another to make a sequel to an Alan Moore comic.
Personally? My response is… eh. It’s not that I hate the Watchmen. I don’t. I really enjoy it. And no matter how terrible any sequel would or could be? The original still stands. I mean, I still like the first Matrix. The original Star Wars Trilogy. Jaws. The list goes on. Poor sequels do not destroy the original work.
It’s also not that I do not care about creators’ rights. Moore didn’t anticipate the lasting impact of the book. He signed a deal that he and Dave Gibbons would have the rights to Watchmen after the book went out of print. Problem was…it never went out of print. Mind you, every time the book hits the market in a new format? Moore gets a check from DC. He would have gotten a cut of money from movies based on his work. He rejects the checks. So, it is not like he is being screwed out of money (probably more money than he would get if he actually owned the rights. Moore doesn’t strike me as someone who would be business savvy enough to actually make use of the copyrights). And Moore has participated in exploiting his works in the past, so the holier than thou artist thing rings kind of hollow (to be frank, outside of Bill Watterson? I never believe it from anyone). Moore signed a very legal but short sighted contract. And unlike Jack Kirby and others? He could be seeing compensation for it! He chooses not to take it.
The idea that the story is way to self contained? I don’t know…it probably is for an inexperienced writer. I bet Grant Morrison could find the right doorway to more story. Terminator one was an intricate loop. It was perfect. T2 undoes the perfection, yet people tend to ignore that. They like that continuation of a self contained story.
Should only Moore write stories about the Watchmen? Why? They didn’t start out at his. In fact, Moore has made a name out of using other creators characters and finding a fresh approach to them. If not for the line he did for Wildstorm, the overwhelming majority of the way he made his name was turning other creations on their head. And he is damn good at it.
Those are the myriad of reasons I can’t get upset over more Watchmen comics. Will they be good? Doubtful. Will people complaining right now buy them? Yup. Will they then complain that they were right? Yup. If I see Grant Morrison attached will that change my mind? Yup.