All Kinds of Wrong: Alan Moore gets it on with Rob Liefeld?!

After cracking open that old box of 1990s comic book garbage our friend gave to us, we thumbed through the 150 or so comics to see if there were any gems. No, not really. What a terrible mess it was in the 90s. Reading was overcome by speculative collecting. Art was overcome by kids on meth. The biggest culprit was probably the House that Shit Built — Image Comics — which had enough hits to count only on one hand yet dozens of horrible titles that now fill up quarter-bins and still don’t move. There was plenty of pain to spread around, though. Small press printing (high quality or not) was becoming more affordable and with an influx of investors from the sports card market, anybody with a turd of an idea could start a miserable little company.

Anyway, we kept going and then … we stumbled on this horror.

Warchild by Rob Liefeld, poorly drawn feetRob Liefeld was one of the most prominent purveyors of perfidy. It seemed like every time we turned around there was a Liefeld cover, new title or character, guest appearance, or co-marketing trash. Rob taught us that no amount of missing talent could stop a kid with a dream. We’ve highlighted him several times on, so it only seems fitting we do it again.

Alan Moore, one of the best writers in comic-dom, is not someone we thought would ever associate himself with the likes of Image Comics. Apparently, we can all be wrong sometimes. In 1996, Alan teamed up with Rob to produce an abomination called Warchild. See, the thing is, we know Alan didn’t do it for the craft. He did it for the money. And Rob had gobs of it to share. So many other quality writers had sold out, so why not Ol’ Itchy Al? Anyway, who are we to challenge the right for a goblin to earn his scratch?

A match made in Hell: Alan Moore and Rob Liefeld

Here’s a promo for the series. Can you spot the six things wrong with the image? We listed them below so no peaking until you’re done.

Warchild comic book by Alan Moore and Rob Liefeld

1. This is the most obvious one: Alan Moore + Rob Liefeld. That’s like teaming up Dylan Thomas with a sober Andy Warhol. Or putting pineapple on pizza. Or having George W. Bush pen the autobiography of Thomas Jefferson. Some odd pairings are serendipitously wonderful (like chocolate ice cream and peaches) but some things just shouldn’t be.

2. Where the hell is Warchild’s spine going? How did his head get all of the way back there? Is that an arm? Is that grass growing out of his head? What the HELL is that on his face?! What the Go fuck yourself does he keep in those damnable pouches????!!!!!

3. It isn’t just his art; Rob can be credited for coming up with some of the worst names for comic book characters. Shatterstar, Knightsabre, Psilence, Riptide, Stryfe, Thornn, Wildside … are among the eye-rolling list. But Warchild. Gross.

4. “Epic Tale.” Right.

5.  We don’t want to know what a Farmergeddon means. We know we would regret it if we did.

Alan Moore with googly eyes6. “I think WARCHILD is the best stuff I’ve written for Image yet” — Alan Moore, Wizard Magazine #52. It isn’t clear but it appears that Alan was either (a) very, very high on mushrooms, or (b) very, very relieved when he discovered he had no self-respect and that he was now very, very wealthy.

Well, since we’re on a Kick Liefeld kick, here’s a bonus for you. That ass is asking to be spanked. No, not Vogue’s ass. Rob the Ass. Haters be hatin’.

Vogue comic book character by Rob Liefeld

Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach

Warpsmith by Gary Leach We’ve been on a 1980s independent comic book bent for several posts now, so we might as well continue. Here’s a backup story in one of the Axel Pressbutton books from Eclipse Comics.  The story is by Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), and Gary Leach (Judge Dredd, Miracleman with Alan Moore), two boys from across the pond making it in the U.S.A.  The protagonists in this story are called Warpsmiths, who are powerful aliens that have the ability to teleport anywhere throughout the universe.

The Warpsmith characters were created by Gary Leach and Alan Moore and first published in the British anthology comic magazine, Warrior. They also appear sporadically in other publications. It’s too complicated to explain the history, so enjoy this story mostly for its artwork and sci-fi action, then go find stuff on your own. You’re welcome.

Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #1 Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #2
Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #3 Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #4
Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #5 Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #6
Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #7 Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #8
Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #9 Cold War, Cold Warrior by Alan Moore & Gary Leach #10

Preview art for Before Watchmen

Watchmen Comic Book Series

DC Comics has graciously provided BuzzFeed a sneak peek at the upcoming series “Before Watchmen.” And we’re happy to let you know that.

Watchmen Comic SeriesThe new series captures prequel stories of the seminal characters created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and has already been embroilled in controversy from purists that either believe the original series should stand alone or that are convinced the new stories won’t equal the epic storytelling of the original series. Whatever. Of course it shouldn’t and of course they won’t. However, given the creative teams involved, we’re confident the stories will stand on their own merits.

Watchmen Comic SeriesThere’s a solid foundation for these prequels because Moore created such dense backstories. Effectively, Moore’s work set up the possibility of this type of series so it should be no surprise that DC would want to exploit that. It’s no different than James Cameron setting up the prequel to Titanic. Without all of the legwork he did on his “big boat” movie, there would have been no Rose’s Bawdy Adventures.

This won’t be the first time that new material has been added to a sacred cannon of original work. And if the objection is that Moore’s unique vision shouldn’t be sullied, keep in mind that he chose to publish it under the DC banner, so the stories are no longer his.

We’re feeling cavalier tonight and hope to stir up some of our own controversy. We’re pretty good at lying, so how about “The Watchmen sucked eggs out of a dirty goose!” or “Alan Moore is a plagiarist hack!” or “Dave Gibbons art is boring and Rorschach is a git!”

Frankly, we don’t care if the new series aren’t as great as Watchmen. They just have to be good. And they will be.

Watchmen Comic Series

Watchmen Comic Series
Anyway, buzz on over to BuzzFeed for 21 unpublished images.

And take a moment to enjoy previews of the Before Watchmen covers we posted previously.

Before Watchmen Comic Book Covers

DC Comics announced this week that it would be releasing seven separate “prequel” series highlighting the major characters of the Watchmen storyline. The total number of issues is slated to be 34. Various contributors will work on the project:

Comedian (6 issues); Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: J.G. Jones
Dr. Manhattan (4 issues); Writer: J. Michael Straczynski; Artist: Adam Hughes
Minutemen (6 issues); Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Nite Owl (4 issues); Writer: J. Michael Straczynski; Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
Ozymandias (6 issues); Writer: Len Wein; Artist: Jae Lee
Rorschach (4 issues); Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: Lee Bermejo
Silk Spectre (4 issues); Writer: Darwyn Cooke; Artist: Amanda Conner

There will also be backup stories titled “Crimson Corsair” by Len Wein and John Higgins and a one issue epilogue by various contributors (details forthcoming). 

You can imagine the controversy surrounding this project. Purists, critics that will offer their pre-publication pontifications, and possibly Alan Moore himself will lambaste it. For our part, we loved the original series (who didn’t for crying out loud?) and we’re eager at least to entertain the idea of additional storywork. Hey, keep an open mind and all that.


DC Comics Watchmen


DC Comics Watchmen


DC Comics Watchmen


DC Comics Watchmen


DC Comics Watchmen


DC Comics Watchmen


DC Comics Watchmen


DC Comics Watchmen series

Side note: Speaking of Alan Moore and religion (wait, what? were we not paying attention?), here’s his take. Moore apparently worships an ancient Roman, second-rate god name Glycon (who may have been made up as a hoax in ancient times) and believes that organized religion is unnatural. For our part, we believe Alan Moore wouldn’t do himself any harm in getting a shave and a haircut. Throw in some soap and water and some better fitting clothes, and he might not make babies cry anymore as he walks by. Just sayin’. Here’s more on Glycon and Moore from Wikipedia: “Following his ‘coming out’ as a magician in 1993, the English comic book writer and occultist Alan Moore has declared himself a devotee of Glycon, and has cheerfully admitted in interviews the absurdity of worshiping a probable fraud. Moore has declared he considers all ideas (including fictions) in some sense, ‘real’.

Watchmen, From Hell, V for Vendetta

Alandolph the Mottled

Munden’s Bar story by Brian Bolland

We like us some Brian Bolland. Clean, sharp lines. Realistic renditions. Attention to details.

You will remember Brian as a popular cover artist for Wonder Woman, the artist on the fantastic Alan Moore The Killing Joke book, and plenty of other cover artwork. But, before all that, Brian was cutting his chops in independent comics from the U.K., particularly Judge Dredd. A talent like this couldn’t stay in English publications only. Brian did some work in the 1980’s in U.S. independent comics. Some of his gems were backup stories. To wit, the following is a secondary story in an issue of Grimjack. Written by Jon Ostrander and Del Close, this whimsical horror story finds Brian trudging through Munden’s Bar, the intergalactic cesspool frequented by some of the baddest aliens on anyone’s Most Wanted list. Enjoy.

Grimjack Brian Bolland

The Killing Joke

Brian Bolland

Brian Bolland amateur work

For those of you that are fledgling artists, don’t be discouraged. Here is one of Brian’s early drawings. Now all you need is a ton of practice…and talent. Sheer talent. Don’t have talent? Then practice won’t help you much. Click the picture – go see more