Book Twentyfive: Watchmen

Watchmen, Alan Moore

This really is a great book, and I can't believe I haven't read it until now. I liked V for Vendetta to a certain extent, but this is much, much better. There is a lovely cohesiveness to the seemingly scattered story. Themes keep repeating and overlaid stories subtly echo the visuals and ideas in the main plot. And yet... I'm starting to think that Mr. Alan Moore is totally off his rocker. In a way that kind of scares me. Whatever vision he has for a future world is a world I do not want to live in. Which may be the point. But I'm just saying.


Blogger Lance Sleuthe said...

Watchmen is indeed a great book. It's widely admired for shattering the whole comic-book superhero genre by subverting it from within. The book has, in my opinion, one major failing -- a key philosophical argument (if I recall, it takes place on the moon) touching on free will and the value of humanity that rings completely false and -- I know this is a weird thing to say about a book full of the impossible and improbable -- shattered my suspension of disbelief.

They are, I hear, making a movie of Watchmen. I've been assuming that, as with "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", Hollywood will fail to realize that the whole thing is intended ironically and will try to make a straightforward superhero film. If so, it will stink.

As for Alan Moore, he's definitely got a very very dark streak; it's leavened by a great deal of intelligence and skill. I still haven't read "From Hell", which is sitting on my bookshelf, in part because I'm scared of it.

July 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Albert said...

I had the pleasure of reading Watchmen and Frank Miller's Dark Knight when they were first released in the late 80's (?). It was incredibly exciting. They both were coming out issue by issue at the exact same time.

One of the things lost in the graphic novel reprint is each single issue ended with a large clocking moving closer to midnight. Each issue it moved closer to midnight.

The whole story took a year to play out! It was pretty great.

July 24, 2008 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Lance Sleuthe said...

I just saw a preview for the Watchmen movie (due out in 2009); it was at the IMAX theater where Dark Knight was showing. (Like DK, Watchmen apparently will have some scenes shot in IMAX.) As I mentioned earlier, I have my doubts about how well Watchmen will transfer to the screen, but I was absolutely blown away by the visuals in the preview. They've caught the look and feel of the book -- characters, costumes, props -- in a way I never would have thought possible. Got me feeling really excited about the movie, against my better judgment.

July 30, 2008 at 2:59 PM  
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