Um dos meus artistas favoritos, Jeff Jones faleceu neste 19 de maio. Jones redefiniu os quadrinhos e a arte fantástica nos anos 70, com sua mescla de Frank Frazetta, pré-rafaelitas, impressionismo e traço oriundo do cartum. Duas elegias seguidas é mais do que a elegância permite, então me limito às imagens e aos links.
Morreu nesse dia 8 de maio, durante férias em Londres, um dos maiores gênios da História (com H maiúsculo) dos quadrinhos: o argentino Carlos Trillo. Escritor do mesmo porte de um Alan Moore ou Will Eisner, Trillo deixa para trás um legado de contos e personagens fantásticos, em mais de um sentido. Meu favorito – aliás, um dos meus cinco quadrinhos mais queridos – é Alvar Mayor, brilhante e essencial história que mostra as desventuras de um mercenário espanhol e seu amigo indígena na época da América colonial. Nunca o século XVI foi tão atemporal e abrangente. E não são todos os séculos?
Nascido em 1º de maio de 1943, em Buenos Aires, Trillo começou sua longa e prolífica carreira de escritor aos 20 anos. Colaborou com gênios do nanquim como Jordi Bernet (Clara de Noche), Horacio Altuna (no clássico El Loco Chavez e em Merdichesky), Eduardo Risso e Mandrafina, além de Alberto Breccia. Mas seu trabalho em Alvar Mayor, ao lado de Enrique Breccia (filho do mestre Alberto) é para mim o mais completo, belo e genial. Provavelmente por ter sido o primeiro que eu li, nas edições brasileiras da revista portenha Skorpio, lançadas aqui pela extinta Editora Vecchi.
Alvar Mayor possuía um vigor e um lirismo distintos do que eu até então havia visto nos quadrinhos americanos e europeus – e, me arrisco a dizer, não havia visto nos quadrinhos brasileiros, em sua eterna carência de escritores e excesso de desenhistas que “sabem escrever”. A narrativa, a caracterização, a brilhante pesquisa histórica que não excluía o bom artefato ficcional, os clímaxes que se expandiam em certeiras splash pages, grávidas de timing; as paisagens flutuantes em preto e branco e os distantes e belos horizontes de nanquim. A América colonial nunca foi tão próxima e alienígena.
E é nessa junção entre o regional e o mundial, no retratar do local que se sabe global, que Trillo se aproxima de um de seus mestres confessos: Borges. O mais europeu e, por isso mesmo, mais argentino dos escritores argentinos exerceu sobre Trillo tremenda influência, nem sempre nítida. Viajando do onírico para o mítico, do regional para o sexual, Trillo sabia expandir para a página em branco diagramada em sabe-se-lá quantos quadros por segundo toda uma (ir)realidade ao mesmo tempo portenha, européia, cósmica.
Duas vezes ganhador do prêmio Yellow Kid, do salão de Lucca, Itália, por Melhor Autor Internacional (1978 e 1996); melhor roteirista do ano no salão de Barcelona, em 1984; melhor roteiro em Angoulême, em 1999; a qualidade do trabalho de Trillo não arrefeceu com o passar dos anos e décadas. De Un Tal Daneri (oito histórias totalmente borgeanas sobre um homem em busca de sentido para sua vida, parceria com Alberto Breccia) a CyberSix, da qual foi editor, explorou os diversos aspectos da narrativa e do storytelling. Roteirista, escritor, editor, teórico, era casado com a escritora argentina Ema Wolf, com quem teve dois filhos.
O impressionante do quadrinho argentino é sua abrangência temnática: ao contrário do quadrinho brasileiro, forte apenas em humor, e do quadrinho americano, onde super-heróis tomam conta, o mercado de quadrinhos argentino se equipara com o europeu, ainda que não em termos de tamanho, vendas e espaços editoriais – mas com certeza no quesito qualidade. Uma multitude de gêneros se misturam e ganham espaço, de forma literária e espantosamente gráfica, o que faz da HQ argentina um objeto de design quase perfeito, uma sucessão de pequenas obras-primas regadas a literatura, erudição high e low brow e experimentos estéticos. No deserto da cor, retículas rasgam o céu branco, preenchendo-o com nuvens tardias de aplicações gráficas; um mar de ondas de nanquim borra as margens de uma floresta de páginas; Alvar Mayor quer e teme encontrar El Dorado.
Eternamente desprezado por aqueles que não sabem o que perderam (assim, no passado), os quadrinhos e, mais especialmente, o bom quadrinho adulto permanecem uma forma de arte em contínuo desmanchar e refazer de promessas e potenciais. O quadrinho argentino se mantém, ainda que em momento menos profícuo que nos anos 70 e 80, uma força estética e narrativa sem igual no mundo da HQ. Boa parte dessa força se deve ao trabalho de Carlos Trillo.
Em 2007, em viagem a Buenos Aires, estive em uma das lojas de quadrinhos mais tradicionais do centro. em busca de algum álbum de Alvar Mayor. A loja, minúscula, estava tomada por adolescentes folheando mangá e uma atendente meio emo, que com certeza também só lia e entendia de mangá, não sabia do que eu estava falando quando perguntei por Alvar Mayor. Ela pediu que eu falasse com o dono da loja, um cabeludo cinquentão mais ao fundo. Logo percebeu que eu era brasileiro e, ao entender que eu procurava aquele quadrinho, visivelmente se emocionou. Trouxe do fundo da loja um álbum novo de Alvar Mayor e disse: “Esse é um quadrinho muito querido”.
E não é?
Um dos criadores do chamado “punkomic”(punk comics), nos anos 70, o genial Gary Panter está com nova exposição de seus trabalhos em Nova York. Veja as fotos do vernissage aqui, com direito a imagens de Panter, agora um senhor – não respeitável, espero.
You are Mystique
|Sometimes motherly, sometimes a beautiful companion, but most of the time a deceiving vixen.|
E confiram aqui o roteiro escrito pelo próprio Grant Morrison para a possível adaptação de We3 para o cinema. Ainda não li, mas tem gente dizendo que o script é ainda melhor que o quadrinho. Que, claro, é uma das maiores obras-primas na longa lista de obras-primas de Morrison.
Eu sempre adorei a Legião dos Super-Heróis, principalmente as histórias entre os anos 60 e 90 (a fase atual do Mark Waid é meio chata). Mas eles, em momentos como a cena imortalizada abaixo, digamos, não primam pela genialidade:
Morreu Alex Toth, já há alguns dias. Toth era o último baluarte vivo dos quadrinhos americanos, lenda do porte de um Jack Kirby, um Will Eisner e um Bernie Krigstein.
Não, quer dizer, o Steve Ditko ainda tá vivo. Mas vocês entenderam. Não entenderam?
Assim como Paulo Mendes Campos era o poeta dos poetas e De Chirico o pintor dos pintores, Alex Toth era o quadrinista dos quadrinistas, o favorito entre os melhores de sua categoria. Toth morreu em sua prancheta, desenhando, aos 77 anos de idade. Um brinde a ele.
Neil Gaiman e Adam Rogers (um dos editores da Wired) falam sobre o mito do Superman na edição online da revista. Perseguida pela própria realidade da qual foi arauta um dia, a Wired ainda produz coisas muito interessantes. E é um raro momento em que Gaiman fala sobre eles, os über-popstars do panteão neo-ragnarok, os super-heróis.
Não, por favor:
Isso me lembra de porque eu comecei a gostar de qudrinhos de super-heróis, lá pelos idos de 1974. Quse todos eles ficaram chatos, “realistas” e “adultos”, mas ainda torço pela reaparição de pérolas brilhantes como essa.
O New York Times deste domingo publicou uma longa matéria com o Alan Moore. Eu ia postar só o link, mas o site da porcaria do New York Times pede um cadastro, então vou colar a matéria inteira aí embaixo:
March 12, 2006
The Vendetta Behind ‘V for Vendetta’
By DAVE ITZKOFF
THE most vivid characters in Alan Moore’s graphic novels are
antiheroes of ambiguous morality and identity: costumed avengers like
Rorschach, the disturbed street vigilante of “Watchmen,” or the
crusader known only by the letter V, who commits catastrophic acts of
terrorism in the dystopian tale “V for Vendetta.”
With inventions like these, and a body of writing that spans nearly
three decades, Mr. Moore, a 52-year-old native of Northampton,
England, distinguished himself as a darkly philosophical voice in the
medium of comic books – a rare talent whose work can sell solely on
the strength of his name. But if Mr. Moore had his way today, his
name would no longer appear on almost any of the graphic novels with
which he is most closely associated. “I don’t want anything more to
do with these works,” he said in a recent telephone
interview, “because they were stolen from me – knowingly stolen from
In Mr. Moore’s account of his career, the villains are clearly
defined: they are the mainstream comics industry – particularly DC
Comics, the American publisher of “Watchmen” and “V for Vendetta” –
which he believes has hijacked the properties he created, and the
American film business, which has distorted his writing beyond
recognition. To him, the movie adaptation of “V for Vendetta,” which
opens on Friday, is not the biggest platform yet for his ideas: it is
further proof that Hollywood should be avoided at all costs. “I’ve
read the screenplay,” Mr. Moore said. “It’s rubbish.”
Mr. Moore has never been shy about expressing himself.
With “Watchmen,” a multilayered epic from 1986-87 (illustrated by
Dave Gibbons) about a team of superheroes in an era of rampant crime
and nuclear paranoia – and again with “V for Vendetta” (illustrated
by David Lloyd), published in America in 1988-89, about an enigmatic
freedom fighter opposing a totalitarian British regime – Mr. Moore
helped prove that graphic novels could be a vehicle for sophisticated
storytelling. “Alan was one of the first writers of our generation,
of great courage and great literary skill,” said Paul Levitz, the
president and publisher of DC Comics. “You could watch him stretching
the boundaries of the medium.”
But by 1989, Mr. Moore had severed his ties with DC. The publisher
says he objected to its decision to label its adult-themed comics
(including some of his own) as “Suggested for Mature Readers.” Mr.
Moore says he was objecting to language in his contracts that would
give him back the rights to “Watchmen” and “V for Vendetta” when they
went out of print – language that he says turned out to be
meaningless, because DC never intended to stop reprinting either
book. “I said, ‘Fair enough,’ ” he recalls. ” ‘You have managed to
successfully swindle me, and so I will never work for you again.’ “
Mr. Levitz said that such so-called reversion clauses routinely
appear in comic book contracts, and that DC has honored all of its
obligations to Mr. Moore. “I don’t think Alan was dissatisfied at the
time,” Mr. Levitz said. “I think he was dissatisfied several years
Mr. Lloyd, the illustrator of “V for Vendetta,” also found it
difficult to sympathize with Mr. Moore’s protests. When he and Mr.
Moore sold their film rights to the graphic novel, Mr. Lloyd
said: “We didn’t do it innocently. Neither myself nor Alan thought we
were signing it over to a board of trustees who would look after it
like it was the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
Mr. Moore recognizes that his senses of justice and proportion may
seem overdeveloped. “It is important to me that I should be able to
do whatever I want,” he said. “I was kind of a selfish child, who
always wanted things his way, and I’ve kind of taken that over into
my relationship with the world.”
Today, he resides in the sort of home that every gothic adolescent
dreams of, one furnished with a library of rare books, antique gold-
adorned wands and a painting of the mystical Enochian tables used by
Dr. John Dee, the court astrologer of Queen Elizabeth I. He shuns
comic-book conventions, never travels outside England and is a firm
believer in magic as a “science of consciousness.” “I am what Harry
Potter grew up into,” he said, “and it’s not a pretty sight.”
Actually, he more closely resembles the boy-wizard’s half-giant
friend Hagrid, with his bushy, feral beard and intense gaze, but
those closest to Mr. Moore say his intimidating exterior is
deceptive. “Because he looks like a wild man, people assume that he
must be one,” said the artist Melinda Gebbie, Mr. Moore’s fiancée and
longtime collaborator. “He’s frightening to people because he doesn’t
seem to take the carrot, and he’s fighting to maintain an integrity
that they don’t understand.”
After he left DC Comics, he spent the 1990’s working his way from one
independent publisher to the next, ultimately arriving at Wildstorm
Studios, owned by the comics artist Jim Lee. There, Mr. Moore was
given his own imprint, called America’s Best Comics, where he
continued to write such pioneering and popular titles as “The League
of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” about a proto-superhero team of
Victorian literary characters including Allan Quatermain, Captain
Nemo and the Invisible Man.
DC Comics purchased Wildstorm, in 1998, expecting that Mr. Moore
would not tolerate the arrangement. “We did the deal on the
assumption that Alan would be gone the day it was signed,” said Mr.
Levitz. But Mr. Moore’s loyalty to his artists trumped his aversion
to his former employers, and he stayed put. “It seemed easier to bite
the bullet meself,” he said.
In 2001, the first film adaptation of one of Mr. Moore’s graphic
novels arrived in theaters. “From Hell,” distributed by 20th Century
Fox, was based on his extensively researched account of the Jack the
Ripper murders, a 572-page black-and-white title illustrated by Eddie
Campbell. Mr. Moore had no creative participation in the film, and
happily so. “There was no way that I would be able to be fair to it,”
he said. “I did not wish to be connected with it, and regarded it as
something separate to my work. In retrospect, this was kind of a
Two years later, when 20th Century Fox released a movie version
of “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” the screenwriter Larry
Cohen and the producer Martin Poll sued the studio, charging that
elements of the film had been plagiarized from their work. Though the
film, which was one of the year’s costliest flops, differed
drastically from the graphic novel, the lawsuit nonetheless claimed
that the “Extraordinary Gentlemen” comics had been created as
a “smokescreen” to cover up the theft.
Mr. Moore found the accusations deeply insulting, and the 10 hours of
testimony he was compelled to give, via video link, even more so. “If
I had raped and murdered a schoolbus full of retarded children after
selling them heroin,” he said, “I doubt that I would have been cross-
examined for 10 hours.” When the case was settled out of court, Mr.
Moore took it as an especially bitter blow, believing that he had
been denied the chance to exonerate himself.
Since then, he has refused to allow any more movies to be made from
work he controls. In the case of work whose rights he does not
control, he has refused credits on any film adaptations, and has
given his share of option money and royalties to the artists who
illustrated the original comic books. That position is so radical
that though his colleagues say they respect his position, few in the
film industry can understand it.
“It’s very simple, but they don’t seem to hear it,” said John
O’Neill, the illustrator of “The League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen.” “They just gravitate towards offering more money.”
Last year, when Mr. Moore received a phone call from Larry Wachowski –
who, with his brother, Andy, had written and directed the “Matrix”
movies – to discuss the “V for Vendetta” film that the Wachowskis
were writing and producing for Warner Brothers, Mr. Moore felt he had
made it clear that he did not want to be involved in the project.
“I explained to him that I’d had some bad experiences in Hollywood,”
Mr. Moore said. “I didn’t want any input in it, didn’t want to see it
and didn’t want to meet him to have coffee and talk about ideas for
But at a press conference on March 4, 2005, to announce the start of
production on the “V for Vendetta” film, the producer Joel Silver
said Mr. Moore was “very excited about what Larry had to say and
Larry sent the script, so we hope to see him sometime before we’re in
the U.K.” This, Mr. Moore said, “was a flat lie.”
“Given that I’d already published statements saying I wasn’t
interested in the film, it actually made me look duplicitous,” he
In a telephone interview, Mr. Silver said he had misconstrued a
meeting he had with Mr. Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 20 years ago,
when Mr. Silver first acquired the film rights to “Watchmen” and “V
for Vendetta.” (Mr. Silver no longer owns the rights to “Watchmen,”
though Warner Brothers is still planning an adaptation.) “I had a
nice little lunch with them,” he said, “and Alan was odd, but he was
enthusiastic and encouraging us to do this. I had foolishly thought
that he would continue feeling that way today, not realizing that he
Mr. Silver said he called Mr. Moore to apologize for his statement at
the press conference, but that Mr. Moore was unmoved. “He said to
me, ‘I’m going to hang up on you if you don’t stop talking to me,’ “
Mr. Silver recalled. “It was like a conversation with a tape
Through his editors at DC Comics (like Warner Brothers, a subsidiary
of Time Warner), Mr. Moore insisted that the studio publicly retract
Mr. Silver’s remarks. When no retraction was made, Mr. Moore once
again quit his association with DC (and Wildstorm along with it), and
demanded that his name be removed from the “V for Vendetta” film, as
well as from any of his work that DC might reprint in the future.
The producers of “V for Vendetta” reluctantly agreed to strip Mr.
Moore’s name from the film’s credits, a move that saddened Mr. Lloyd,
who still endorses the film. “Alan and I were like Laurel and Hardy
when we worked on that,” Mr. Lloyd said. “We clicked. I felt bad
about not seeing a credit for that team preserved, but there you go.”
DC, however, said it would be inappropriate to take Mr. Moore’s name
off of any of his works. “This isn’t an adaptation of the work, it’s
not a derivative work, it’s not a work that’s been changed in any
fashion from how he was happy with it a minute ago,” said Mr. Levitz.
Still, some DC editors hope that Mr. Moore might return. “He remains
a good friend, and I would work with him again in a heartbeat,” said
Karen Berger, the executive editor of the DC imprint Vertigo, in an e-
But Mr. Moore does not seem likely to change his mind this time. For
one thing, his schedule is almost entirely consumed with other comics
projects, including a new volume of “The League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen,” to be released in late 2006 or early 2007 by the American
publisher Top Shelf Productions. This summer, Mr. Moore said, Top
Shelf will also be publishing “Lost Girls,” his 16-years-in-the-
making collaboration with Ms. Gebbie, a series of unrepentantly
pornographic adventures told by the grown-up incarnations of Wendy
Darling of “Peter Pan,” Alice of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
and Dorothy Gale of “The Wizard of Oz.” “I refuse to call it erotica,
because that just sounds like pornography for people who’ve got more
money,” Mr. Moore said. “It would seem to be possible to come up with
a kind of pornography that was meaningful and beautiful, not ugly.”
Ms. Gebbie said she was more excited to see Mr. Moore finish his
novel “Jerusalem,” another years-long project that he estimates will
total 750 pages when complete. “It’s his story, his heritage, his
blood ties and his amazing, wonderful system of beliefs,” Ms. Gebbie
said. “This book for him is an unfolding of his real, deep self.”
But Mr. Moore suggested that his comic-book writing has already
defined his identity. He recalled an encounter with a fan who asked
him to sign a horrific issue of his 1980’s comic “The Saga of the
Swamp Thing”; the admirer then disclosed that he was a special
effects designer for the television series “CSI: NY.” “Every time
you’ve got an ice pick going into someone’s brain, and the close-ups
of the little spurting ruptured blood vessels, and that horrible
squishing sound, that’s him,” Mr. Moore said. “So that’s something I
can be proud of. This is my legacy.”