Friday, May 9, 2014

Alan Moore Ripped Me Off!: The Megaton Man #4/Watchmen #4 "On Patrol" Connection!

When I met Alan Moore at the San Diego Comic Con in the summer of 1985, he casually informed me that he was "ripping off Megaton Man ... well, not exactly," with a character named Dr. Manhattan (whom Alan described as a "serious" version of Megaton Man) in his forthcoming project, The Watchmen. Sure enough, he did! Here's the original scene, from Megaton Man #4 (June 1985), in which Megaton Man and Stella Starlight go "On Patrol":

This is the cover, brilliantly colored by Kitchen Sink Press art director and Steve Canyon editor Pete Poplaski. It is my favorite of the Megaton Man covers he colored -- except he forgot to paint in star fields in the night sky, obviating the "Starlight" part of the title! Still, it's a great cover. (Note Wall Man in silhouette climbing down a building in the background.)
This is the back cover to the issue, which is really the first page of the sequence. Since it was a splash page, I demoted it because of space limitations, but it really is the beginning of the scene. I can't recall if this scene was colored by Ray Fehrenbach, or by Bill Poplaski (Pete's brother). (Sometimes the experiments failed, but the Kitchen Sink colorists were trying to push comic book coloring beyond the limitations of mechanical overlays in those prehistoric Cel-Vinyl, pre-Photoshop days!)
Stella Starlight (The See-Thru Girl) and Megaton Man go "On Patrol" under the moon and stars.
Here is Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's riff from The Watchmen #4 (December 1986), in which Dr. Manhattan and The Silk Spectre go "On Patrol":
The "On Patrol" reference in panel one, Silk Spectre and Dr. Manhattan sitting on the ledge in panel three, and the crossword-puzzle treatment of background buildings in panels one, three, and five are pretty unmistakable references to Megaton Man #4 (not to mention the incidental bluish coloration of Doc).
Of course, I had already ripped Alan Moore off in the forthcoming Megaton Man #6 (see "I Ripped Off Alan Moore: The Saga of the Sawdust Dummy!").

(I later collaborated with Alan Moore on "In Pictopia" and 1963, but those are stories for another time!)

For the outcome of my "On Patrol" scene, see Megaton Man: Atomic Aftermath XII: The Headquarters Within!.

You can still get ON PATROL pinback buttons from my ol' publisher, Denis Kitchen (he'll appreciate the business). I got paid off on these a long time ago, so I won't be getting any royalties...

1 comment:

  1. Another example of great Megan art being ripped off. Mega lawsuit soon.