In a May interview from "Left Lion" magazine, "Watchmen" co-creator and all-around brilliant writer guy, Alan Moore said he turned down a ton of cash to sign off on the "Before Watchmen" comics. Here's the exchange in full:
You’ve always refused to put your name to film adaptions of your work. I know this is going to be hard to put a figure on, but how much money do you think you’ve turned down, for taking a moral standpoint on this?
Well, they asked me if they could give me a huge amount of money to bring out these Watchmen prequel comics – which they were going to do anyway - and that was probably a couple of million dollars. I should imagine with all of the films it would be another few million? In a way it’s really empowering to do that.
You can’t buy that kind of empowerment. To just know that as far as you are aware, you have not got a price; that there is not an amount of money large enough to make you compromise even a tiny bit of principle that, as it turned out, would make no practical difference anyway. I’d advise everyone to do it, otherwise you’re going to end up mastered by money and that’s not a thing you want ruling your life. Money’s fine if it enables you to enjoy your life and to be useful to other people. But as something that is a means to an end, no, it’s useless.
You could ask yourself: Is this an empowering move on Moore's part? Is it stupid? They're just comic book characters, right? What does it matter if someone makes prequels to "Watchmen"? Nothing will change the original story. This is comics. This is how it works, right? Alan Moore is probably loaded beyond belief anyway. So he can turn away millions, since he's already got millions, and like, all the snake god memorabilia he can shake his beard at, right?
We spoke with "Swamp Thing" creator, "Watchmen" editor and writer of "Before Watchmen: Ozymandias" Len Wein at C2E2 in Chicago, and he said the following:
It's easy to fall on either side of this argument. On one hand; rebels are badass. Screaming, "Screw the system! Take your loot and shove it, DC!" with a raised middle finger feeds that malnourished, angry punk rocker in all of us, doesn't it? But on the other hand; it's like 2 million freaking dollars! 2 million smackers to say "Yup, 'Before Watchmen' is fine. No biggie. Rorschach, Schmorschach...mmmm Schmorchach sounds like s'more-schach...s'mores...I'm gonna buy one of those s'more making machines. LOTS of s'more making machines! And build a s'more shack!"
In the same interview, Moore compares himself to the aforementioned splotchy-masked antihero of "Watchmen":
Certainly in many ways I’m like Rorschach, as the comics industry has probably learned to its dismay over time.
What would Rorschach do? He'd buck the system, wouldn't he? He'd sneeze at the dough. He'd burn it up Joker in "The Dark Knight" style. Right? Not sure. The guy ate beans.
What do you think? Is having the ability/will to turn down millions of dollars the ultimate form of empowerment? Or is it foolish? Let us know in the comments below, or take the discussion to Twitter and chat with us @MTVGeek.