Alan Moore, sequential media’s greatest writer, has a new book featuring a teenage wizard who takes a secret train to a hidden magic school. Along with his go-getter femme friend and carrot-topped buddy they wreak havoc on 2009. The League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century 2009 comes out at the same time that the Watchmen prequels will be released.
Moore was dead against the Watchmen prequels as he believes DC stole his creation and is now defiling its reputation. DC’s sibling company, Warner Bros, makes and markets the Harry Potter film franchise. The boy wizards creator, JK Rowling, is notoriously protective of her creation. Moore doesn’t name his wunderkind Potter, but the jab at franchise culture and endless sequels and prequels is the main target. Though a bit ironic coming from the LoEG series.
It’s an interesting contrast that Rowling controls every minute detail of the Potter franchise, but Moore has zero control over the ground breaking Watchman novel. Moore was played by DC. The Time-Warner subsidiary had the English magician believing he would get control of his work once DC had done an initial print run and possibly any follow-up. Oddly, the demand for Watchmen never abated and DC kept reprinting and Watchmen’s legend grew until it appeared on a list of the best literature of last 100 years. As great as Harry Potter is, literature it is not. Moore isn’t as curmudgeonly as his detractor would have you believe and may actually like the Harry Potter mythos, but the bespectacled wizard does make for an easy target and poster boy for what is wrong with modern culture. Namely that a few large companies steal from the treasures of yesterday, but won’t share their creations with others. While DC and Disney stand on the shoulders of giants, they themselves wear razor blade shoulder pads.
Moore has said that his first book in the current series, set in 1910, is rich with culture while the latest book taking place in 2009 is very bleak. As culture reached a wider audience it also became more restrictive. And so while everyone in the western world knows who Harry Potter is, they can’t do anything with him… unless you’re Alan Moore.