This is from Jess Nevins’s amazing A Blazing World: The Unofficial Companion to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II, which includes separate interviews with Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill.Â It’s as if Moore is describing my nonmajors class this semester:
. . . we seem to be gathering a lot of people who don’t usually read comic books, but who are interested in nineteenth-century literature or Rider Haggard or Conan Doyle or people like that.Â Which is very gratifying. This is not to despise the comic readership at all, and there are an awful lot of comic book readers who also have a very solid and good literary grounding at the same time.Â I’m very happy to think that we’re drawing readers of literature, people who are really familiar with these characters in their original form.Â To me, the test is, do they like what we’re doing with it?Â The comic book readers, yes, their point of view is important as well, but they’ve got no idea who Allan Quatermain is or whether we’re handling him right, or anything, whereas, people who have read King Solomon’s Mines or things like that, they’re going to be much more critical, presumably, in that they are going to actually know the works of literature that we’re referring to, and they’re going to be able to see if we’ve travestied them.Â So far, I haven’t had very many complaints.Â I think most people feel that we’ve been at least as faithful as anybody else has been, and more faithful than some, to the original sources of these characters.Â I think that even for the more traditional comic readers, I would think that League is quite refreshing because, for one thing, it takes place in what has got to be the best comic book or fiction universe of all time.Â The Marvel Universe, the DC Universe, how could they possibly be a patch upon the Fiction Universe? (266)
The first class is a week from today!
(This is shaping up to be exactly like my cyberpunk class: a large # of intense fanboys; a sizeable contingent of indifferent nonmajors taking the class because it fits their schedule and keeps them from having to take the survey; a tiny # of people who like 19thC thrillers; and me. I fall into camps 1 & 3, and want to keep all 3 groups focused on improving their ability to analyze literature.)