Comic book writer Alan Moore hits out at county library service
Comic book writer Alan Moore has launched a stinging attack on Northamptonshire's library service, saying he has lost all trust in it.
Renowned author Mr Moore criticised the "underhand machinations" which led to a library project he was involved in being scrapped.
He said the county council, which runs the library service, had "badly let-down youngsters" eager to be involved.
The council said it found some of Mr Moore's criticisms "deeply offensive".
The man behind the mask
Alan Moore was born in Northampton on 18 November 1953.
He began his career in comics in the late 1970s on 2000AD.
He rose to prominence with tales of flawed superheroes which helped redefine the genre.
V for Vendetta was first published in 1982 and was followed by Watchmen, and Batman: The Killing Joke - considered by many to be the best Joker story ever told.
He went on to write the From Hell series about Jack the Ripper and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in the 1990s and 2000s.
Mr Moore said in an open letter to the council, published in the Northampton Herald & Post, that he had been involved in a project organised by a library youth worker and based around his Northampton-based novel Voices of the Fire.
Then he learned the youth worker "had been removed... for reasons no-one would explain, and was furthermore forbidden to contact me".
He said he was met with "squirming silence" when he sought an explanation.
In the letter, he said: "Unlike you, I and my work have a reputation. I can't allow my name to be attached to underhand machinations or lowlife practices of any kind. You'll understand that henceforth I will never again be able to trust you or any related body, including institutions like the library which are dear to me."
Grace Kempster, customer and library service manager, said: "Here at Northamptonshire County Council, and the library services we provide, we pride ourselves on being fully open and transparent in our dealings with customers, partners and the public in general. Indeed we have a national reputation for such transparency and openness.
"There are times however that we cannot be as open as we would otherwise be. This is where the subject matter demands we act with sensitivity and with confidentiality.
"As a result in this situation we have not been able to keep Mr Moore fully informed. Needless to say that we therefore find accusations of 'low-life practices' and 'under-hand machinations' deeply offensive and inappropriate.
"We have and will continue to try to contact Mr Moore to speak with him on this matter."