Gerard Way, lead singer of hilariously self-important noughties Emo boy band My Chemical Romance went and Tweeted this in response to the Alan Moore interview that’s causing a lot of angst online.
I’m sure Way’s Photoshop skills are going to terrify the regulars at B3TA and other such sites and although this did raise a wee smile, not because it’s especially funny (it’s not) but because it drives home a point Moore was making in the interview that must have skimmed over Way’s head.
I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.
Now it may well be that Way is being ironic, but I somewhat doubt it having once endured My Chemical Romance at a Reading Festival in the early noughties, but being gladdened by the hail of bottles full of piss being aimed his way.
At least Way has the excuse of sticking up for his mate Grant Morrison in what has become a bitterly personal slagging match. Some of the responses to the interview have been utterly baffling in the way they’ve completely been unable to actually read Moore’s words and understand them. For example, here’s this excuse for ‘reporting’ at something called ”Nerd Bastards” with the headline Moore Blames Morrison for Terrible State of Modern Comics.
Except as anyone who’d read the interview will find out, Moore said nothing of the kind, but that headline gets the hits and hey, who needs to even try to discuss what Moore’s raised in the interview when you can get hits! Then there’s articles like this where it has to mention that the interview is a long one because one assumes their audience isn’t intelligent people who can hold their attention span for longer than it takes to breathe while stuffing your face full of crisps.
If it sounds like I’m being hard then you’re right as frankly, a large chunk of the reaction, including from places like The Beat which should know better, is proving several of Moore’s points. It’s saying something about this story that Bleeding Cool’s coverage is on the whole, the most even handed and reasonable while almost overwhelmingly everyone has mainly concentrated on the comments made by Moore towards Morrison and I firmly include myself in this as well as contributing to this imbalance in my own small way.
This is a story that’s far from over, but until the next eruption there’s a lot to discuss in this interview, and perhaps if comics journalism is to prove itself wrong to me, it’d be really, really nice if the established sites either did that, or stop trying to coax clicks by printing half arsed articles, or just plainly lie about what Moore’s said, which is fucking ridiculous. If you run a site saying you report the news, then report it fairly. Don’t make up headlines. If you want to create a discussion then grow a spine and engage the reader in that discussion with an informed viewpoint of your own. If you want to take the piss, then do it, don’t just sit there wheeling out the sad and tired meme of ‘oooooo, what if Moore and Morrison had a wizard fight?’ as if you were the first people to think of it.
Bring something to this debate because right now things are raw, which means there’s a genuine potential for honest debate about racism in comics, or sexual politics, and that comment Moore made about 21st century culture wallowing in the remnants of the past is a debate waiting to be had. Prove that people who read comics are intelligent people. Prove a point, rather than just stick Photoshopped images up to say ‘fuck you’ to someone rather than engaging the debate. Let’s be having a conversation, of any form, rather than what we’ve got now but this isn’t productive at all.