ALAN MOORE Refused Offer of WATCHMEN Rights for Follow-ups

Word Balloon: Dave Gibbons

Adding fuel to the rumors that DC Comics is planning - or at least hoping - to publish prequels and/or sequels to Alan Moore and David Gibbons landmark comic book series Watchmen, Moore has told Wired.com that the publisher recently offered him the rights to Watchmen back, in exchange for his agreement to new Watchmen projects.

“They offered me the rights to Watchmen back, if I would agree to some dopey prequels and sequels,” Moore told Wired.com on Wednesday, during what the online mag called a wide-ranging interview about his new multimedia spoken-word box set Unearthing and more.

“So I just told them that if they said that 10 years ago, when I asked them for that, then yeah it might have worked,” he said. “But these days I don’t want Watchmen back. Certainly, I don’t want it back under those kinds of terms.”

Wired.com goes on to detail the current state of strained relations between Moore and DC, but also to the comic book industry in general.

“I don’t even have a copy of Watchmen in the house anymore,” Moore said. “The comics world has lots of unpleasant connections, when I think back over it, many of them to do with Watchmen.”

Apparently reached for comment by Wired.com in the wake of Moore's comments, DC co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee told the mag, “Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”

That statement and the Moore statements that preceded it probably raise more questions than they answer, however.

What one can construe is DC certainly didn’t refute the possibility of new Watchmen projects, and given its outstanding evergreen trade paperback sales, this should come as no surprise. Finding a creative vision that matches what's widely regarded as the greatest comic book story of all-time, will be the rub, however.

Does Moore’s washing of his hands of the entire concept now give DC the  open door to pursue new projects with other creators in good editorial conscious and with the approval of the fan community? Perhaps with the participation on some level by co-creator Dave Gibbons?

The topic has certainly gotten a shot in the arm with Moore’s comments and DC should expect, and perhaps desires, questions to be asked about it this weekend at Comic-Con.

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