A lesson in fighting for your art

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons | Alan Moore continues to battle Hollywood and is no longer accepting residual checks.

Zach Petroff | Opinions Editor

Alan Moore may not be a household name, but his work has inspired commercial and critically-acclaimed movies and television such as “V for Vendetta” and “The Watchman.” Moore has been dubbed as one of the greatest comic book writers in the English language by his peers and has a unique take on the comic book genre often taking readers to dark places and exploring themes such as fascism, depravity and the vulnerability of heroes.

The greatest foe, however, that Moore has created is not that on the page but are very much flesh and bone. The 70-year DC comic writer and illustrator absolutely hates Hollywood.

He hates it so much that last week he committed to doing the one thing that most artists would never fathom. He is no longer accepting royalty checks and instead having his residuals sent directly to the activist group Black Lives matter.

Not to shy away from self-imposed controversy, Moore has been vocal — and at times hypocritical — on his takes against Hollywood’s interpretation of work.

He lambasted the Wachowski sisters for their retelling of his 1980s comic book “V for Vendetta,” telling MTV magazine “[The comic] was specifically about things like fascism and anarchy,” Moore said. “Those words, ‘fascism’ and ‘anarchy,’ occur nowhere in the film… It’s a thwarted and frustrated and perhaps largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values [standing up] against a state run by neo-conservatives — which is not what ‘V for Vendetta’ was about.”

When Zach Snyder brought the Watchman to the silver screen, Moore said he would never watch the film and called Snyder homophobic and the content of the film adaptation as “sublimely stupid.”

Moore asked for his name to be taken off of the movie credits for “Watchman” and all of his future work.

So what lessons can we possibly learn from this grumpy old man?

Moore is teaching us about not compromising one’s beliefs. While Moore’s public rants may be construed as a bit sophomoric, there is something to admire about an artist relentlessly standing up for their beliefs.

Like the poet E.E. Cummings once said, “The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.” I often find myself adhering constantly to societal norms or waiving certain convictions to please cultural necessities.

To see someone so relentless in standing up for what they believe, even as absurd as it may seem on the surface, is admirable.

I can appreciate Moore’s passion to protect his work. Even if you do not appreciate the comic book genre as an art form, he really is a master of his craft ,and to see someone willing to burn bridges to keep his creation’s integrity is something we can all aspire to achieve.

I think we can all hope, in some form, to create something so powerful that we will do whatever it takes to protect it. I am not sure what the meaning of life is, but I can imagine creating a work of art you love so much has to be a consideration.

Standing up for what one believes takes courage that I do not think a lot of peple posses. Conviction requires a level of loneliness that a lot of people are not willing or even able to experience.

The creator of the “Killing Joke” methods of fighting for his art may not be for everyone, but the fact that someone is willing to put commercial success ahead of the messaging of their work is something we should all adhere to.