In 1987, Watchmen was the talk of the comics world. It was a stunning examination of contemporary anxieties and an honest critique of the superhero concept. Watchmen was a commercial success, receiving critical acclaim in both the comics and mainstream press. It is frequently considered the greatest comic series and graphic novels of all time and is part of Time Magazine’s 100 Best All-Time Novels (since 1923 when Time began and to 2005 when the list was compiled).
Alan Moore had solidified his place in the comics world by the time Watchmen was published. With such works as V for Vendetta and Swamp Thing, Watchmen further established Moore as one of the greatest writers ever in the comics medium.
To put things in context, 1987 was a time before the Internet became an indispensable part of our world. The editor of Film Threat Magazine, Chris Gore, routinely sent interview questions to intended celebrities, requesting that they provide written answers to curated questions. Such a form was sent to Alan Moore and the questions were catered to topics relating to Watchmen. For his part, Moore responded with well-thought out answers, often using all of the space provided, meticulously hand-printed in all capitalized letters. Moore went into much details about his writing process and pontificated on his preference for comics over film. His philosophies have remained much the same over the years, but this letter represents perhaps Moore’s earliest expression of his esoteric, occultist and anarchist views. The tone of the letter is humorous, candid and even gregarious, with Moore densely packing in his views, to the point that he apparently ran out of blue ink and switched to red on the final page, which he signed, along with his address. The notoriously private Moore adds, regarding his address: “Keep it to yourself, please. Thanks!”
This is a fascinating early letter handwritten by Alan Moore about his views on comics, films and politics. It provides a nascent window into the mind of one of comics’ greatest writers and hints at the eccentricity and profoundness of a man whose reputation was only just getting started in 1987.