Meet the Creator: Michael Moorcock
We sat down with legendary writer Michael Moorcock to find out what he thinks of his creation’s comic book adventures, and why readers still flock to tales of the Albino Emperor… Elric made his debut more than 50 years ago, and yet he’s still attracting new readers today. Do you feel he’s timeless, or that he’s meant different things to readers across the years? Michael Moorcock: I think he’s always appealed to a particular reader. Maybe someone who isn’t satisfied by the standard kind of heroic fantasy… I tried to capture the spirit of our original myths, and that could be the reason for his longevity. Rather than write in the style and spirit of some of the writers who immediately preceded me, I went back to mainly Scandinavian myths, and to 18th and 19th century Gothic novels, and sometimes even to penny dreadfuls, of which I have a fairly large collection. The Pre-Raphaelites and Symbolist painters were another inspiration. You’ve previously called the French adaption your favorite version of Elric; why is that? What particularly struck you? Michael Moorcock: Blondel’s scripting is excellent, and the artwork by Robin Recht and Didier Poli is outstanding. That first book blew my mind. The variations of plot introduced by Blondel were what I might have done if I’d been writing the story today – they mostly involved the stronger motivation given to the major characters. How does it feel to read the oversized deluxe editions of The Ruby Throne and Stormbringer? Michael Moorcock: They’re wonderful. About as close to the original artwork as you can get! Elric first appeared in comics in the 1970s. What were your first thoughts about the new medium? Michael Moorcock:I always worked with artists from the very beginning, when Jim Cawthorn and I discussed the stories as I wrote them. The first comic was by Phillipe Druillet, in France, in the 60s. A very different version, since he didn’t know English! There were several small press comics in the late 60s and early 70s, one in particular by Robert Gould. I loved those Russell comics, which were as idiosyncratic in their way as Druillet. I’m very happy that my work inspires so many talented artists. Some inspire me in turn, especially when they capture the plurality of Elric’s character; while some work has been outstanding it has made Elric too much of a muscle man. This is someone tormented by inner struggles, unsure which path to follow. In comics, Russell and Recht go that sense best. Titan have been collecting Elric and other adaptations under the Michael Moorcock Library banner. How does it feel, to look back at the breadth of material based on your work? Michael Moorcock: It’s wonderful to see them all lined up together. It gives me a good sense of everything I’ve done, and has actually inspired me to write new Elric stories! What would you say to readers who are coming to your work now, or discovering it afresh? Michael Moorcock: Don’t expect Conan or Lord of the Rings. Elric is darker, more thoughtful. He is forever questioning his world and its institutions, religions and authorities, but from the position of someone who has studied these things and is a great Magus in his own right. His relation with his soul-drinking sword makes him an altogether stranger and more complex character. A lonelier character, too, in many ways. He is based on the young man I was myself. Elric: The Ruby Throne White Wolf. Champion of Chaos. Assassin of his people. Looking down from his Ruby Throne upon the opulence and bloody majesty of Melniboné sits the melancholy albino emperor: Elric. Plaything of the Lords of Chaos, threatened by intrigue from within his own palace and destined to bring ruin down upon his people! ”Fully captures Elric’s sense of utter decadence. The saga of the Albino I would have written myself if I had thought of it first!” – Michael Moorcock Available from Amazon, and digitally. Elric: Stormbringer The Lords of Chaos Rise Again! The Ruby Throne stands empty. The soldiers are massing. Elric, the albino emperor of Melniboné, is marching on the Young Kingdoms in search of what has been stolen from him. Aided by the great Lord of Chaos, Arioch, he will wreak his revenge on those that dare to challenge the White Wolf. ”The greatest fantasy soap opera you’ll ever read. 5 out of 5!” – Geek Syndicate Available from Amazon, and digitally. Elric: The White Wolf Travelling alone in the vast wilderness, the White Wolf seeks to evade his dark fate. But destiny has other plans. Joined by master-at-sea Smiorgan, Elric of Melniboné sets out to find the lost love of Vassliss, an endearing yet surreptitious merchant heiress. Following a path he swore to forsake, Elric soon finds himself at the mercy of his past and surrendering to the shadow of his soul… ”Dark and angry, yet beautiful and tragic, mixing light and shadow to tell the story.” – Clandestine Critic. Available from Forbidden Planet, Amazon, and digitally. Elrci: The Dreaming City Elric of Melniboné, the White Wolf, is exiled from his home and cursed to walk the land under the influence of Arioch, the Lord of Chaos. With his soul-eating sword, Stormbringer, Elric must find his way to the Dreaming City – the mysterious ancient birthplace of his ancestors. Hoping to unlock the secrets of his destiny, Elric is unaware he is being hunted by his long-lost love, Cymoril, who has only one sinister agenda: vengeance. ”A perfect opportunity to finally delve into the world of the albino emperor.” – Geeks of Doom Available from Forbidden Planet, Amazon, and digitally.