Aside from the idea that preference has any part of this, let’s just dissect the two-fold problem here: Moore is disappointed with the lack of quality stories, and Aaron is offended by Moore’s disappointment. The rest of the squabbles, in my opinion, are merely symptoms of these two primary facts.
Taking them one at a time, the idea that Moore doesn’t want to have his stuff messed with is respectable. It may not be realistic, but it is at least understandable. If I (miraculously) created some of the most thought-provoking social commentary of my time that still had application today, I would be a fool to think that it would not be tapped for a money-making project. It’s ludicrous to think that the creative integrity of such a piece of literature would remain unscathed by the ebb and flow of the balance between appreciation and marketability.
Second, the fact that Aaron is offended by Moore’s disgust of the exploitation of literature for capital gain means that he flat-out misunderstood Moore’s position (according to the excerpt that Aaron cited). But let’s assume for a moment that Moore really doesn’t like Aaron or his work. Aaron’s reaction then would mean that 1. He cares what people think of his writing, especially Alan Moore and 2. He actually wants people to approve of his work.
These two facts may seem obvious, but they really can be taken for granted. True craftsmen create their work for themselves and then publish at the urging of others or as a courtesy. While others like the idea of “writing comics for Marvel.” Others write for shock value. I would have put Aaron in this camp with his bent toward violent content and the sadistic Bullseye character seen in PunisherMAX, but apparently this is not the case. Shock value has no value if everyone approves of it. Therefore, the idea that Aaron needs that approval (or else he doesn’t like you back) flies in the face of artistic creation.
To quote Joaquin Phoenix, “Love me or hate me, just don’t misunderstand me.” Whether Phoenix was serious or not, the statement has merit. Applying the principle to any creative work should give the writer some comfort. Still, when the writer is crafting for the audience’s approval instead of telling the audience what they need to know…the concept is no longer valid.
Now leaving the realm of theory (and attempting not to BLAST Jason Aaron like he BLASTED Alan Moore): What is this guy’s problem?
Reading his column leaves me with one statement, “Shame on him.” That’s all I have to say. Shame on him. What he did was unprofessional and weak. It is obvious that this has been festering within him for quite some time, and that he feels justified in is thoughts, opinions, and actions…so justified in fact that he feels the need to air this industry’s dirty laundry to the fan base.
Lastly, the situation is sad because it paints him, his comics, his column, and his employers in a bad light. Companies tend to want people that are easy to work with, display adaptability to difficult or tense situations, and have enough logic and creativity to overcome professional or personal differences.
I’m sad to say that if he couldn’t write a better way to resolve this story’s conflict, how can we expect him to write a decent ending to Wolverine Goes to Hell? I hope Wolverine doesn’t tell Satan to screw himself and that he won’t be sending any more souls his way. That would be a big let down.