[...] If I recall correctly, you had already read some of Alan Moore’s Marvelman at that point, right? It deals with similar concepts. Rick Veitch: Right. Marvelman had appeared and had been like a lightning bolt to all of us who were in comics, working in superheroes at the time. [Moore] really was sort of like the Big Bang of the modern superhero — and I should include his artist with him, Garry Leach. They succeeded in — just like the Rolling Stones succeeded in taking old blues music and repackaging it for an American audience, Alan and Garry and the other artists on Marvelman succeeded in doing that. A lot of people recognized it, but didn’t quite know how to make that work. I was probably one of the first, I think, to try to take that inspiration into my own work, and again, try to push the superhero thing in a whole new direction. When I was a kid in art school, at the Kubert School in the ’70s, we would sit around, and we would go, “These superheroes, they’re so infantile. If someone just approached them with the depth of a modern science-fiction novel, like Isaac Asimov or Stanislaw Lem, one of those guys, it could be really amazing.” I think Alan and his partners were the ones that first pulled it off, with Marvelman.
[...] Have you stayed in touch with Alan Moore at all? Rick Veitch: Oh yeah, yeah. We talk all the time. It’s been fantastic working with him. It’s been sad seeing some of the shit he’s had to deal with, because of his stardom. He’s a lovely guy. He’s always amazing. I’m quite fortunate to have worked with him.
DC just introduced two America’s Best Comics characters into their mainstream universe: Tom Strong and Promethea. Will yours and Alan’s character, Greyshirt, do that anytime soon? Or is he safe from the corporate clutches? Rick Veitch: I don’t think it’s safe. I think all of them might get inhaled, but I have to go back and revisit the contracts and talk to DC’s legal about what it all means. I’m not sure yet. I haven’t really dug into it. I doubt Greyshirt is one of the first ones they want to get in there, because I think Tom Strong and Promethea were the star characters. I hope they don’t, I really do. I think it’s not good, how they have treated Alan and his creations. I wish, especially … Actually, I probably shouldn’t say anything. Other than to say, I wish they’d leave Alan alone and let him be creative.
Prox: Are there any artists, books, movies/TV shows or music you’d like to recommend to the readers?
Alan Moore: I hardly ever watch movies or television, but I very much enjoy the work of Andrew Kötting (Swandown, By Ourselves), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire, High-Rise, A Field in England), and the increasingly rare outings of Chris Petit (Radio On, The Falconer). On TV I really liked the two seasons of Utopia, am always delighted when Stewart Lee gets a new series of his Comedy Vehicle, and continue to be very impressed by the writing of Vince Gilligan on Better Call Saul. The contemporary art world I know almost nothing of, but Jimmy Cauty’s dioramas
of urban collapse and a coup d’état Police force are sobering and
wonderful in equal measure. Books make up the greater part of my
relatively few leisure activities: I would heartily recommend Iain
Sinclair’s The Last London, and I’m eagerly anticipating both the follow-up to Michael Moorcock’s Whispering Swarm– one of the best things he’s ever done – and the final volume of Brian Catling’s hallucinatory Vorrh trilogy. I’ve also recently enjoyed a beautiful and compelling account of rearing a goshawk, Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk,
which turned up in the mail from an unknown benefactor, and am
currently engrossed in Jane Jacobs’ masterful contrarian view of urban
planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Oh, and anybody out there who has not yet absorbed Jarett Kobek’s i hate the internet should do so immediately if they hope to ever understand our current ridiculous historical predicament.