Before Watchmen: JM Straczynski Defends Himself From Criticism
JM Straczynski is a writer known for controversial comics. But one thing that he doesn’t back down of is a good discussion. Now that he was advertised as a writer of the (controversial) “Before Watchmen“, readers came up with strong ammunition against the arguments he used to defend the project. In other words: what would he think of a Babylon 4?
Straczynski, after all, was the creator of the Babylon 5 tv show, and was involved in all the five seasons that the show had in the 90’s. The argument used to justify further participation in “Before Watchmen” is that Alan Moore has no right to complain when other authors write stories with the characters and the universe he created. How would Straczynski feel if Babylon 5 was to be revived, perhaps as a prelude, and without his permission?
The writer was balanced, and gave a long answer via Facebook:
“If that happened, I would be in a bad mood. But it turns out that this has absolutely nothing to do with this situation.”
Straczynski makes it clear from the beginning that, like Watchmen, Babylon 5 is owned by Warner Bros., and they can do whatever they want with his creation. Also reveals that last year, Warner offered him back Babylon 5 with a good budget and creative freedom and he said yes. At the last minute, however, “the distribution system they were trying to assemble gone awry” and so the return will not happen.
From there, the writer ridicules the position of Alan Moore. Apparently, DC Comics offered the bearded English, in 2005, a return to Watchmen not only in the way he wanted, but also he would get the rights to all the work – Moore himself confirms this story. Since neither of this was agreed, says Straczynski, he can not be complaining.
“If Warners gave me creative freedom, money and budget to do the show the way I wanted, to the point I became 100% owner of the show, and I said no, and if Warners waited TWENTY-FIVE YEARS for me change my mind and finally decided to do Babylon 5 without me … then I would not have any right to be complaining,”
writes the author.
Straczynski reinforces that he admires Moore:
“Alan is a genius, and if I had the power, I would arrange for him a hell of a distribution system, ten million dollars and i would publish anything he wrote, up to and including the phone book!”
but he also complains of the bearded one:
“I’m just suggesting that you need to be consistent in your moral stance if you want this moral stance to be taken seriously.”
“Many people think these characters should not be touched by anyone other than Alan Moore. This is perfectly understandable on an emotional level, but fails on a logical level. Based on durability and recognition, may argue that Superman is the greatest character ever created for comics, but not Alan Moore or anyone else suggested that anyone other than Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster should not write his stories. Alan did not refuse to write Swamp Thing created by Len Wein, and ended up making a wonderful job,”
he said in an interview with Comic Book Resources.
Straczynski continues his line of reasoning.
“Even Alan Moore spent the last decade writing great stories of characters created by other writers, including Alice, Dorothy and Wendy (for the graphic novel Lost Girls). Not to mention Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Jekyll and Hyde and Professor Moriarty (in the series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Why can he write for characters created by others, but nobody can write for characters created by him!? “
“In the end, the approval or not coming from him does not change the narrative thread of the plot because the story needs to stand on its own. If the story is bad, it doesn’t matter if we have his approval. And vice versa. It would be nice if we had ? of course, I love him. I’ve always been a big fan of his work. He is the best of all of us.”
What are your fellings about this? Where do you stand? Let us know in the usual place!
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Source : Comic Book Resources