Illustration for article titled Watchmen Gave Us Permission To Read Green Lantern, Says Moore

What does Alan Moore think about his Watchmen series being used as proof that superhero comics have grown up? Unsurprisingly, the famous curmudgeon is not too impressed.


Talking to, Moore said

I don't think that comic books grew up in the mid-1980s.

I do think that the population, many of whom had deep nostalgia for comic books they had read as children, but were ashamed of being seen reading them on the subway, think that what happened in the mid-1980s with books like Watchmen gave them an excuse to carry on reading Green Lantern, because whereas while previously people might have looked at them as though they were subnormal for reading a superhero comic, now that superhero comics had been rebranded as "Graphic Novels," it was considered sophisticated and cutting-edge to be seen reading a comic, even if it was just a bunch of old superhero stories put together in a slicker format. It looked more grown-up; it wasn't necessarily more grown-up, but it was put together in a way that looked more socially acceptable.

I think that mid-80s period, if you look at the 20-something years since then, we've seen a rise in that comic-book mindset throughout most of our media. We've seen programs on television that are kind of reminiscent of a 1980s comic book. We've seen an awful lot of films that are kind of reminiscent of a 1980s comic book.

And I think it wasn't so much that comic books grew up back then. I think it was that the rest of culture grew down. Or, it had a thing like Watchmen as an alibi, to pursue its guilty pleasures, because it wanted to be free to read the superhero comics it had grown up with, but it wanted to be seen as an adult at the same time. And I think that Watchmen and books like it provided the key.


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