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Look, a writer as talented as Damon Lindelof knows how stupid this sounds, so if you want to snort derisively at his expense during the following story, he would presumably be totally on board with that reaction. He might think it could be improved by adding a thoughtful yet pensive meditation on the fraught state of existence as a human in our anxious late-capitalist era, as well as some good jokes, but overall, he supports your assessment of what we’re about to report. Namely, that he thinks Alan Moore placed a magic curse on him.

The longtime TV writer and creator of the new HBO series Watchmen, which is set in the same universe as Moore and Dave Gibbons’ landmark comic (and sort of continues the story, albeit very indirectly) is a longtime fan of the original work and its famously cantankerous author, so when he set out to make something he knew Moore would fundamentally oppose—an extension of the comic writer’s text—he figured cosmic retribution was in the offing. As he tells Vulture in a new interview, it just makes good sense that he’d be punished:

I’m about to say something very ridiculous, but in all sincerity, I was absolutely convinced that there was a magical curse placed upon me by Alan [Moore]. I’m actually feeling the psychological effects of a curse, and I’m okay with it. It’s fair that he has placed a curse on me. The basis for this, my twisted logic, was that I heard that he had placed a curse on Zack [Snyder]’s [Watchmen] movie. There is some fundamental degree of hubris and narcissism in saying he even took the time to curse me. But I became increasingly convinced that it had, in fact, happened. So I was like, “Well, at least I’m completely and totally miserable the entire time.” I should be!

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As the Vulture piece notes, there’s some rational basis for thinking Moore would do such a thing, since the man has openly discussed the fact that he practices magic. And “I’m gonna make this guy feel like shit” seems like the kind of not-too-mean-but-still-punitive measure that Moore would find just. But the more likely explanation is the same one Lindelof acknowledges: “Psychological professionals would probably suggest that I emotionally created the curse as a way of creating balance for the immorality.” Still, that’s not the interpretation he’s going with. He got cursed, for daring to take the holy grail of comic source material and mess with it. Hopefully the fact that it has turned out pretty great thus far is leavening the stress somewhat.

The whole interview is well worth a read. Even if you’re not a Lindelof fan and are outraged anyone would dare appropriate Moore’s work, well, he agrees with you there, too: “Those are the people that I really admire. The ones who are like, ‘This shouldn’t exist and I’m literally not watching it.’ That’s an admirable position.”