Legendary Comics Creator Reveals Surprising Way He Uses His Royalties

“Watchmen” author Alan Moore has famously derided virtually every film and TV adaptation of his graphic novels.
Colin McPherson/Corbis/Getty Images

Alan Moore is no longer pocketing his Hollywood royalties — and has a pretty good reason.

It’s no secret that the legendary author behind “Watchmen,” “V for Vendetta” and “From Hell” deplores every movie adaptation of his work. While he previously enjoyed and shared his royalties with the projects’ screenwriters, Moore has had an apparent change of heart.

“I no longer wish it to even be shared with them,” Moore told The Telegraph on Wednesday.

“I don’t really feel, with the recent films, that they have stood by what I assumed were their original principles,” he continued. “So I asked for DC Comics to send all of the money from any future TV series or films to Black Lives Matter.”

Moore’s graphic novels have historically mined difficult themes of fascism, propaganda and totalitarian state control. He was widely celebrated for turning golden-age comic books on their head and subverting their black-and-white morality tales with complex narratives that mined realistic ambiguities.

While his works made him one of the most acclaimed graphic novelists in history (with “Watchmen” landing on Time’s “All-Time 100 Novels” in 2010), he told the Telegraph he’s “forgone public appearances” for a quiet “writer’s life” — as his peers learned all the wrong lessons.

“I didn’t mean my experiments with comics to be immediately taken up as something that the whole industry should do,” he said. “When I was doing things like ‘Watchmen,’ I was not saying that dark psychopathic characters are really cool.”

Moore, who rued that this appeared “to be the message that the industry took for the next 20 years,” went on to slam Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight” as a “sub-fascist vision” about “one man” who can stomp out societal evils and likened it to “The Birth of a Nation.”

Moore told
Moore told “Watchmen” showrunner Damon Lindelof (pictured) that he doesn’t “want anything to do with you or your show.”
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images

Moore has previously derided many of these adaptations for purportedly missing the point.

“I had disowned the work in question,” Moore told GQ in 2022 of HBO’s “Watchmen” series, “and partly that was because the film industry and the comics industry seemed to have created things that had nothing to do with my work, but which would be associated with it in the public mind.”

“I said, ‘Look, this is embarrassing to me,’” he reportedly told “Watchmen” showrunner Damon Lindelof in a letter after being contacted during the show’s development. “‘I don’t want anything to do with you or your show. Please don’t bother me again.’”

Moore’s comments haven’t gone unnoticed in the industry, however. Don Murphy, who produced the film adaptations of “From Hell” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” told The A.V. Club in 2016 that the author earned millions from these adaptations without complaining.

“He is an old man who smokes too much hash and prays to a lizard god,” Murphy told the outlet. “Don’t buy his bullshit.”

Moore, who told the Telegraph that contemporary fantasy seems stuck in J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin’s “world of warriors and dragons and, for some reason, dwarves,” is doing a little bit more than merely complaining, however.

The author recently published a critically acclaimed 464-page collection of short stories titled “Illuminations,” but perhaps more important, is using his continuous influx of comic book cash for a cause he actually believes in.

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