Beware the Watchmen

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WolfThomas:

Shjade:

- not already explored in-depth in Watchmen itself
- possibly interesting enough to be worth more than the mention it got in Watchmen

Agreed I think some of the stuff like Ozimandas' journey of discovery or the Comedian's WW2 military service would be interesting to see the events that forged them.

The Comedian fought in Nam not WW2

ANImaniac89:

WolfThomas:

Shjade:

- not already explored in-depth in Watchmen itself
- possibly interesting enough to be worth more than the mention it got in Watchmen

Agreed I think some of the stuff like Ozimandas' journey of discovery or the Comedian's WW2 military service would be interesting to see the events that forged them.

The Comedian fought in Nam not WW2

Actually he fought in both (and possibly but not confirmed Korea). In the book he left the Minutemen to fight in WW2 where from the picture in the book, he wore his later costume of leather with the patriotic pauldrons. In the Bob Dylan intro there was supposedly going to be a still of him single-handedly raising the flag on Iwo Jima.

WolfThomas:

ANImaniac89:

WolfThomas:
Agreed I think some of the stuff like Ozimandas' journey of discovery or the Comedian's WW2 military service would be interesting to see the events that forged them.

The Comedian fought in Nam not WW2

Actually he fought in both (and possibly but not confirmed Korea). In the book he left the Minutemen to fight in WW2 where from the picture in the book, he wore his later costume of leather with the patriotic pauldrons. In the Bob Dylan intro there was supposedly going to be a still of him single-handedly raising the flag on Iwo Jima.

Fair enough, its been a while since I've read Watchmen in its entirety. I think I might re-read it again in preparation of Before Watchmen

My general thoughts on the issue have been transcribed!


OT: With all due seriousness though, while I am very nervous about these comics, they could still be done right. But regardless of the quality, I'm gonna gush fanboyishly over Rorschach.

I have far too much love for that psychopath.

Maybe it's just me being a cynical prude, but I think Watchmen is overrated. The dialogue is obtrusive, there's a pointless subplot about a kid reading a comic book, and its all done in that bleak Cold War nihilistic extremism that Alan Moore just adores for some reason, a tale of warning that not only never came to pass, but is looking less and less believable as time goes on, even in the face of modern threats and general human dickishness.

Yeah, Rorschach had some pretty bad ass things to say, but to lift up a comic book based on a few schizo one-liners doesn't make a comic book some literary treasure. It makes it a tired internet meme. Maybe someday they'll make it a standard in high school English classes but that will be a poor day for the language and literature in general.

At best, these prequels will be boring because, as Steve points out, we already know the back story of all the characters. At worst, these prequels will directly contradict the information presented in the original. Either way, I will be giving these a pass and spending my comic book dollars elsewhere.

Yeah, actually, it was 100% the story that lent the mass appeal to "Watchmen". When I talk about the story, I'm not talking about the outline of the plot, which was just a vague murder mystery used to further the main events- I'm talking about the intense moral quandary that the characters find themselves in at the end. Was the right thing accomplished? Was killing 10 million people okay, "for the greater good", the mantra of utilitarianism? The steadfast line of Rorshach at the end: "never compromise" will always stick with me, and while I do believe that the way in which the story is told is phenomenal, one should never dismiss the groundbreaking story in order to make that claim.

Watchmen is the greatest (North American, at least) comic book story of all time. It has its flaws, but until someone writes a better one, it holds the title.

I'll admit they've assembled top-notch talent for these prequels. But I find it highly improbable a project built upon so much cynicism could ever be as revolutionary as the original. In all likelihood, they'll just end up as more mostly forgotten tie-ins of classics.

Lfarmegaman:
Yeah, actually, it was 100% the story that lent the mass appeal to "Watchmen". When I talk about the story, I'm not talking about the outline of the plot, which was just a vague murder mystery used to further the main events

I find the murder mystery is a common tool used by writers of genre fiction, especially alternate history or near-future science fiction. You see it in Blade Runner, the Yiddish Policeman's Union, Fatherland, The City & the City, etc. It's a good way to describe the unfamiliar setting without getting into clunky exposition: the detective/investigator can describe elements of the setting as part of their investigation

WolfThomas:

Shjade:

- not already explored in-depth in Watchmen itself
- possibly interesting enough to be worth more than the mention it got in Watchmen

Agreed I think some of the stuff like Ozimandas' journey of discovery or the Comedian's WW2 military service would be interesting to see the events that forged them.

I'd say Ozy explains how he came to the conclusion he did pretty thoroughly in Watchmen. That's a LOT of text in the last chapter and most of it is just him explaining this very thing.

Therumancer:
...let's not forget that part of the point is that at the end of the day these guys ARE super heroes, and even when things get this bad they don't actually give up, and they by their nature ALWAYS save the day in the end.

Uh, no. That's part of what Watchmen was about. They failed. Veidt had already won when they got to him.

And he wasn't trying to rule the world. It's not like he's the president at the end or anything. He was just trying to derail the superpowers' course to mutual destruction.

Watchmen was about the mystery of who killed the Comedian?

You mean it wasn't an exploration of 6 different perspectives on life, the universe, and everything?
And what's worth sacrificing for the sake of the many?
And whether the truth is really worth it?

Nope, none of that, it was just a well written and drawn murder mystery?

Oh.

I must've missed something...

I'm just here to complain, really.

Star Wars - ANOTHER re-release? in 3D? Oh for fuck's sake.

Why not just let Stephanie Meyer re-write Gone with the Wind and Casablanca with Bieber and Cyrus as the two leads. After all, the originals must be able to be improved on, they're OLD.

Get that old dummy off the piano, we can get the Jonas Brothers in for the soundtrack instead... in 3D!

to me this is one more reason why copyright etc should be kept in the hands of the artist, so they don't end up in the hands of Disney to knock out 'Watchmen babies' in ten years.

EDIT: Except it seems FOX already covered that idea, heh.

Since these haven't been posted yet:


(I'm actually looking forward to this)

Steve Butts:
Beware the Watchmen

I think that the only tangible way to deal with prequels for Watchmen would be to focus predominantly on the Minutemen and how they got together, woth some of their dynamics, as you only really hav ethe recollections of the first Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, because they are the only ones left. Hooded Justice is a strange character to get into the mind of... enigmatic, like Rorschach, yet vastly different... almost political in his statement. Dollar Bill is only shown as a vigilante who gets gunned down after his cape got caught in the revolving door at a bank job, while Mothman is insane during the novel and Silhouette is murdered for her "liberal views on affection".

There is a big scope to how they can all interact there, but then again, if you want to use the more modern Watchmen, you can expose the dynamic with them and Moloch the Mystic.

You can't help but be wary, but I'd certainly be interested to see what they come up with.

Zom-B:
Okay, speaking from this perspective then, that the Watchmen character's biographies have been exhausted, all the relevant bits covered, why do we still get multiple(!) new Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. comics every month? What in the living, breathing fuck can anyone do with Superman or Batman that hasn't already been done to death? Seriously, somebody like the Joker should have been killed dead for good decades ago and probably at the hands of Batman himself. But no, we get endless retreads of these characters year in and year out. Yet finally DC wants to utilize different characters but because they are from Watchmen all the boo birds come out and decry the lack of "new blood, new ideas", meanwhile they've just comic from their local with a stack of DC comics featuring characters that have been exhaustively chronicled for decades.

It's a silly double standard. I'm sorry, but the 12 issues of Watchmen is barely enough room to scratch the surface of so many characters and I can't see the harm in giving them to a teams of talented artists and writers and seeing what they come up with.

I think you argued against yourself there. My objection to the DC prequel is that the story has already been told. You counter that DC keeps churning out endless retreads of core properties like Batman and Superman. That's exactly my point. What is this prequel if not more of the same thing that you already object to? I think it's easier with characters like Batman and Superman where the biographical details are limited to a single origin story and then a couple of major events that are sort of floating in time. One of the things I really liked about New Frontier was the way Cooke tried to make biographical details consistent with a real timeline. That's more interesting to me than watching Peter Parker struggle with the same teenage problems for 50 years.

SnakeoilSage:
Maybe it's just me being a cynical prude, but I think Watchmen is overrated. The dialogue is obtrusive, there's a pointless subplot about a kid reading a comic book, and its all done in that bleak Cold War nihilistic extremism that Alan Moore just adores for some reason, a tale of warning that not only never came to pass, but is looking less and less believable as time goes on, even in the face of modern threats and general human dickishness.

Yeah, Rorschach had some pretty bad ass things to say, but to lift up a comic book based on a few schizo one-liners doesn't make a comic book some literary treasure. It makes it a tired internet meme. Maybe someday they'll make it a standard in high school English classes but that will be a poor day for the language and literature in general.

Well, the comic is lifted up as an exploration of what's possible in the medium. Like Moby Dick or Citizen Kane, the core content of the story is less significant than the technical and artistic innovations used in the telling. The kid reading the comic is pointless if you're just thinking in terms of plot, but it's necessary in other ways. Most importantly, it parallels Rorschach and Veidt's characters and does so using the same play-within-a-play technique from Hamlet.

As for the Cold War being irrelevant, it absolutely wasn't when the series first came out. I admit, it's lost some of its bite, but I read it when it was originally released and the alternate history didn't seem so implausible.

*shrug* worked for X-Men First Class, here's hoping they do as good a job. I only saw the movie and am not buying the comics, so I'm interested in seeing more of the characters.

I'd go for a whole-hog prequel series, actually - one where they really showed the day-to-day actions of the group and how they grew and changed until the final breakup. That would set up the movie perfectly too, so win/win imo.

The Random One:
I will not be as kind to them. It's an objectively stupid idea. I don't have the quote in front of me, but part of the announcement said something to the effect of 'shining lights on the less explored parts of the story'. Well guess what, smuht guy, no lights were shone on those parts deliberately. There's this thing called 'ambiguity' that means you sometimes don't have to say everything that happens, and sometimes you leave it to the audience to come up with their own interpretations. You might as well decide to write a prequel that explains everything that happens in Finnegan's Wake.

Austin Mcgough:
It's official nothing is sacred, this is like writing a prequel to Don Quixote. ,3,

...Is this a reference to how someone wrote an 'unofficial' sequel to Dom Quixote when it came after? And then Cervantes had one of the characters in the fake sequel show up in the real sequel and talk about how much the 'real' Quixote and Sancho were better than the fakes he had met? And then he killed off Quixote at the end so no one could write any more sequels?

yes yes it was, you are amazing . YOU WIN AN INTERNET

Steve Butts:
Well, the comic is lifted up as an exploration of what's possible in the medium. Like Moby Dick or Citizen Kane, the core content of the story is less significant than the technical and artistic innovations used in the telling. The kid reading the comic is pointless if you're just thinking in terms of plot, but it's necessary in other ways. Most importantly, it parallels Rorschach and Veidt's characters and does so using the same play-within-a-play technique from Hamlet.

Technical and artistic innovations? What does that even mean? That sounds like something George Lucas would say to excuse sticking a Hayden Christianson cameo into the original trilogy. The art is average and it's splattered in the same pastel colors all comics got in the 80's. You can't compare Citizen Kane and its brilliant camerawork and lighting with a series of funny book panels so stuffed with a narrator's love of his own voice that it's reaching Warrior levels of psyscho-babble.

And the play-within-a-play happened in one scene of Hamlet. This one drags on through the entire comic; it feels like the worst kind of filler, designed just to expand the size of the book. If Alan Moore really believed that we needed a completely different plot and characters to come in every couple of pages and go "Huh? Huh? Do you get it?!" then he seems to care less about you than you do about him. And that's an unhealthy relationship to be in.

Kaulen Fuhs:
I realized after you responded that perhaps the comment I posted should have been trimmed. I don't know anything about Moore's intelligence, and don't know how that would figure into his ability to judge this situation anyways. Maybe he's an asshole; I don't know that, either. I do know that he created the Watchmen, and that he would as such be in a better position than anyone else to say whether or not an extension to his comic is a good thing.

This is normally why I don't get involved in comics in the first place. People taking the inventions of others and putting not-all-that-creative spins on their character seems to me a minefield of malcontent.

Addendum: You said, earlier, "True, he can think anything he wants is a shit idea, but that's just an opinion." Isn't it just your opinion that that kind of thinking makes him a shitty person? Wouldn't it be foolish of me to call you a prick for having an opinion, no matter what it was, on this issue? As I said before, Moore has good reason to not look forward to this.

Here's the thing, though. What makes art great is the fact that it can evolve. As new people come with new ideas on how to do things, the way we express ideas, emotions, etc evolves. Characters can evolve through collaborative imagining of how they may react to different phenomenon; a type of evolution that can only occur when the characters are viewed through numerous lenses, and people are able to compare and contrast the interpretations and develop an overarching idea of who the characters are. Obviously this doesn't just apply to characters, but also applies to plot, art style, etc. The bad attempts affect this evolution just as much as the super-special-awesome attempts.

Artists should understand this. They should understand that there are multiple ways of expressing certain ideas and themes, and should be ever-curious to expand their own understanding of how these ideas/themes/etc can evolve if taken in new, interesting directions. While perfectly natural to not like all approaches, artists should at least be open to other ideas, if for no other reason than to allow for themselves to evolve their own manner of expression, the characters they create, etc.

So. It'd be one thing if Alan Moore, after reading the first issue of this new series (or after experiencing any of the things he dismisses so off-handedly), said he didn't like the direction they were taking the work in, and preferred his own interpretation. That's completely fair, and isn't rude, egotistical, etc.

What he did, however, is make passive-agressive comments essentially amounting to saying DC is doing this purely for money, that there's no possible value in revisiting the characters or doing them any differently than the way he made them, via the manner in which he portrayed them, etc. He's basically saying he thinks what he made was perfection, that no one else has anything to offer to his work, and that any attempts to do so are futile and purely for monetary purposes. While the bit about DC may be indirectly true (it sounds like they OK'd the project so they could keep the IP), the ideas that there's nothing anyone could do that could possibly add anything to the universe, plot, or characters involved in the novel is ridiculous. Particularly when he seemed to have no issue re-imagining various other DC characters in a similar manner, and particularly when he would likely argue that at least some of those works made interesting and/or significant contributions to the fanbase's understanding of the character and his/her universe. It's hard to be that hypocritically dismissive of a work (before even reading it or knowing anything about it, no less) without sounding a bit egotistical and a bit like a prima donna.

Steve Butts:

Zom-B:
Okay, speaking from this perspective then, that the Watchmen character's biographies have been exhausted, all the relevant bits covered, why do we still get multiple(!) new Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. comics every month? What in the living, breathing fuck can anyone do with Superman or Batman that hasn't already been done to death? Seriously, somebody like the Joker should have been killed dead for good decades ago and probably at the hands of Batman himself. But no, we get endless retreads of these characters year in and year out. Yet finally DC wants to utilize different characters but because they are from Watchmen all the boo birds come out and decry the lack of "new blood, new ideas", meanwhile they've just comic from their local with a stack of DC comics featuring characters that have been exhaustively chronicled for decades.

It's a silly double standard. I'm sorry, but the 12 issues of Watchmen is barely enough room to scratch the surface of so many characters and I can't see the harm in giving them to a teams of talented artists and writers and seeing what they come up with.

I think you argued against yourself there. My objection to the DC prequel is that the story has already been told. You counter that DC keeps churning out endless retreads of core properties like Batman and Superman. That's exactly my point. What is this prequel if not more of the same thing that you already object to? I think it's easier with characters like Batman and Superman where the biographical details are limited to a single origin story and then a couple of major events that are sort of floating in time. One of the things I really liked about New Frontier was the way Cooke tried to make biographical details consistent with a real timeline. That's more interesting to me than watching Peter Parker struggle with the same teenage problems for 50 years.

I suppose I may have argued against myself slightly there, but my point still stands. What separates Superman from Dr. Manhattan? They're both godlike beings (Dr. Manhattan presumably being a literal god after has transformation, but that's besides the point) capable of stupendous feats. What makes Batman worthy of decades and decades and thousands and thousands of issues of comics but Nite Owl's story is done and over, never to be touched again? I mean, how many times have we been subjected to the origin stories of these characters? Dozens? Hundreds?

Sure, I think that reading Batman year after year after year after year would get boring and repetitive pretty quickly, but it's not really a close comparison to hold up the millions of words and panels that make up Batman's history against 12 issues that Nite Owl appeared in and call them the same thing. Batman's story has been told far, far more thoroughly and exhaustively than Nite Owl's ever was, but you don't object to a new take on Batman, a new issue, a new writer, a new artist. Yet, the hallowed Watchmen by Princess Alan Moore is untouchable?

It's a double standard, through and through. I mean, you can't tell me that there's nothing, absolutely nothing more, to experience in the life of Dr. Manhattan, yet hundreds of thousands of people like you (I don't know, are you a Supes fan?) read Superman year after year, watching him... ? What does he do? The same things he always does? Pretends to be Clark Kent, wears glasses, pines after Lois Lane, marries Lois Lane, divorces Lois Lane, is menaced by kryptonite, defeats enemies, dies, comes back to life then does it all over again?

I just don't understand how anyone can condemn Before Watchmen without automatically condemning any of the other giants in the comic industry. If you support Batman or Superman in any way, shape or form but condemn Before Watchmen you're either mired in a double standard, a hypocrite or both. (Not you personally, Steve, the general "you")

The story of Batman has been told. As has Superman's, Spiderman's, Green Lantern's, Wolverine's, etc., etc., but these characters thrive year after year. So clearly, it's not about the stories, it's about the characters and the icons they've become. It's about seeing them do things, even if it's the same things repeated. Why can't the characters of Watchmen enjoy this same luxury? Why can't we see what the Mintuemen were doing that wasn't chronicled in Watchmen?

Look, I'm not saying that Before Watchmen is going to be good, or that it's even necessary, but I am saying that we can't judge them until we've seen them. I'm also saying that nothing that Before Watchmen can do will change what Watchmen is. It will still be a seminal example of graphic storytelling and still loved by it's fans.

I also think that Alan Moore made his own bed and now he has to lie in it. Everyone likes to claim how smart and intelligent the guy is, so if that's true, he knew what he was getting into when he signed a contract with DC to publish Watchmen. He knew the terms of the contract and he still chose to get into that bed with them. It smacks of sour grapes that he would even bother commenting on Before Watchmen. As far as I know, Moore has been offered opportunities to re-visit Watchmen at least twice and declined both times. He's done with Watchmen and clearly feels he can't do anything more with the characters. Is that because the characters have no more stories to tell, or is that because Moore himself simply can't bring those stories out?

I don't know the answer, but at least someone out there feels that the characters in Watchmen have more adventures in them.

Zom-B:
It's a double standard, through and through. I mean, you can't tell me that there's nothing, absolutely nothing more, to experience in the life of Dr. Manhattan, yet hundreds of thousands of people like you (I don't know, are you a Supes fan?) read Superman year after year, watching him... ? What does he do? The same things he always does? Pretends to be Clark Kent, wears glasses, pines after Lois Lane, marries Lois Lane, divorces Lois Lane, is menaced by kryptonite, defeats enemies, dies, comes back to life then does it all over again?

This is exactly the objection I have to the new prequels, which you even admit are unnecessary. Alan Moore said of his original plan for Watchmen, "Regular comics, in their insistence on rigid ... continuity, present a lot of annoying limitations to the creator. The worst of these is that nothing can ever happen...that has any lasting effect on the world." The same is true of the characters; they have to exist in a state of total limbo where nothing of real consequence can happen to them. Batman breaks his back? It gets fixed. Superman dies? Fixed. Spider-Man marries Mary Jane? Ho, boy! Fih-ixed! Three insanely important events that are either completely forgotten by the character 12 issues later, or, worse still, completely undone by a reboot or retcon.

Most comic continuities are firmly devoted to the status quo, which requires endless revisions. What year were Batman's parents shot? How many times have his friends and foes come back from the dead? Is Batman still limited by his spinal injury? In the case of most characters, none of those biographical details are as important as the character's attitude and overall approach. That's the big difference between Dr. Manhattan and Superman. The former has a context that's almost entirely chronological, which relies on continuity. The latter has a context that's almost entirely thematic, which is so divorced from continuity that the character constantly has to be reinvented.

This has nothing to do with "the hallowed Watchmen and Princess Alan Moore" and more to do with the publisher expanding its general approach to continuity to a series where the continuity is what matters most.

Absolutely nothing here surprises me, from the decision to green-light those prequels to Moore's reaction. I won't claim to know who's right and who's wrong, who's immature and who's trying to squeeze cash out of a dormant franchise, but this is still the way the industry tends to work.

Considering this, this announcement just gets a yawn out of me. The movie was successful, so it's natural that DC would try to capitalize on what's become a hot property after years of near-abandonment. Knowing Moore's reaction to adaptations of his works, you realize the guy is much more an "auteur" than just another comic book wordsmith.

Unfortunately, like some other "auteurs" I could name, he tends to roost on that one stroke of genius of his - and he's had several - and decries anything that even relates tangentially to his babies.

I'm a fan of the guy's output, but I've got to admit he needs to wake up. In 2012, it makes perfect business sense for DC to cannibalize a franchise that is in no need of a set of prequel stories. It sucks, but it does make sense.

NO!

God DAMN it DC.
If this happens, I will literally yank the books from the hands of anyone I see with them and RIP THEM TO SHREDS

SnakeoilSage:
The dialogue is obtrusive, there's a pointless subplot about a kid reading a comic book, and its all done in that bleak Cold War nihilistic extremism that Alan Moore just adores for some reason, a tale of warning that not only never came to pass, but is looking less and less believable as time goes on, even in the face of modern threats and general human dickishness.

Are you referring to the film here, or have you actually read the comic? The Tales of the Black Freighter is basically a symbolist mirror held up to Rorschach, showing his descent into mental problems, despite his own feeling that he's doing the right thing. He has become a monster fighting the very corruption that has plagued the world in which he lives. The same can be said for the unfortunate survivor, who turns savage to survive. Had he not done what he did, he would have suffered the same fate as the rest of the crew.

Yeah, Rorschach had some pretty bad ass things to say, but to lift up a comic book based on a few schizo one-liners doesn't make a comic book some literary treasure. It makes it a tired internet meme.

I wouldn't call things like off the cuff remarks, such as "Big figure. Small world." badass, but I would say that, neither would I say that they are schizo one liners. Rorschach is not schizophrenic - he's sociopathic, not caring what society at large thinks of him and reinforcing this, by acting to alienate himself from society.

I'd say that it's deep and you've missed some of the meanings there. Of course, it could just be that you've got an opinion on it and you don't have to agree that it's either a good book or film. For me, the genius in the writing is the filler material, between the chapters - the psych reports, the newspaper cuttings and so forth, that add so much depth to a comic, which could have been viewed as a pretty flat piece otherwise.

I've got other graphic novels in my library, but none of them come close to this.

SnakeoilSage:
Maybe it's just me being a cynical prude, but I think Watchmen is overrated. The dialogue is obtrusive, there's a pointless subplot about a kid reading a comic book, and its all done in that bleak Cold War nihilistic extremism that Alan Moore just adores for some reason, a tale of warning that not only never came to pass, but is looking less and less believable as time goes on, even in the face of modern threats and general human dickishness.

Yeah, Rorschach had some pretty bad ass things to say, but to lift up a comic book based on a few schizo one-liners doesn't make a comic book some literary treasure. It makes it a tired internet meme. Maybe someday they'll make it a standard in high school English classes but that will be a poor day for the language and literature in general.

if you thought that was pointless than the whole of the book was wasted on you.

Coop83:
Are you referring to the film here, or have you actually read the comic? The Tales of the Black Freighter is basically a symbolist mirror held up to Rorschach, showing his descent into mental problems, despite his own feeling that he's doing the right thing. He has become a monster fighting the very corruption that has plagued the world in which he lives. The same can be said for the unfortunate survivor, who turns savage to survive. Had he not done what he did, he would have suffered the same fate as the rest of the crew.

Rorschach doesn't descend into savagery, he was breaking fingers in taverns long before the case with the dead girl. He starts out mentally imbalanced, the abused and neglected son of a prostitute. He refuses to compromise, and says so himself, so when he kills the man who killed the girl, its when he realizes he will not compromise justice by giving him over to a court system that will fail said justice.

The main plot does a pretty unsubtle job of pointing out how America, and civilization in general go from civil to savage in the name of survival. There's plenty of symbolism without falling on an unrelated pirate story, you can tear it out of the comic and not miss a thing, so again: pointless filler.

I wouldn't call things like off the cuff remarks, such as "Big figure. Small world." badass, but I would say that, neither would I say that they are schizo one liners. Rorschach is not schizophrenic - he's sociopathic, not caring what society at large thinks of him and reinforcing this, by acting to alienate himself from society.

I'd say that it's deep and you've missed some of the meanings there. Of course, it could just be that you've got an opinion on it and you don't have to agree that it's either a good book or film. For me, the genius in the writing is the filler material, between the chapters - the psych reports, the newspaper cuttings and so forth, that add so much depth to a comic, which could have been viewed as a pretty flat piece otherwise.

I've got other graphic novels in my library, but none of them come close to this.

I didn't miss any meaning, because not only is the symbolism unsubtle but the book goes out of its way to point it out to you. And if you're getting your "genius" opinion from the filler, from the stuff that's not included in the main plot, then Alan Moore is telling, not showing, and breaking one of the basic rules of good writing.

Yeah, this is just my opinion, but it's an educated one. It has some interesting, even provocative ideas, but the story goes out of its way to emphasize its symbolism, so it feels more like I'm being patronized than enlightened, and let's face it, the story is outdated, its fears and concerns based on the same empty-headed jingoistic paranoia that made the Cold War the ridiculous global shithole that it was.

bahumat42:
if you thought that was pointless than the whole of the book was wasted on you.

And what was the point of the book? That nuking New York is preferable to nuking everything else? That to be a hero you have to be a villain? That ultimately humans are savages? That pirate stories are just as relevant today as they were... never?

I'm tired of explaining my opinion on it. You've already decided what your opinion is and neither of us is going to convince the other. Accept it.

I love Watchmen, both the film and the novel, and I can't wait for this to be released. I don't see it doing any serious damage to the lore. *shrug*

SnakeoilSage:
Yeah, this is just my opinion, but it's an educated one. It has some interesting, even provocative ideas, but the story goes out of its way to emphasize its symbolism, so it feels more like I'm being patronized than enlightened, and let's face it, the story is outdated, its fears and concerns based on the same empty-headed jingoistic paranoia that made the Cold War the ridiculous global shithole that it was.

It's almost as bad as basing Citizen Kane on a guy who runs a newspaper. I mean, do people even read those anymore? And don't get me started on Casablanca using Nazis as the villains. That was 70 years ago, Hollywood! Get with the times!

It baffles me that some people have such a hard time understanding that these comics have a specific context. I don't think you get to claim you have an educated opinion, and then totally disregard the circumstances that spawned the series in the first place.

I admit there are reasons not to like Watchmen, although in doing so you're swimming against the current of popular and critical opinion for the last twenty-five years. Still, the series just doesn't do it for some people. Whether they don't get it at all, or get it but just don't like it, they will always see it as pretentious and heavy-handed.

This shares the same problem as the Star Wars prequels.

Most of the stuff they allude to in Watchmen from all of the character's pasts aren't that interesting to me. I don't want to see the world where they were all ordinary masked heroes, going about their crime-fighting ways. Whatever they come up with will most likely not be as interesting as the fans would hope it would be.

Same thing goes for the Star Wars prequels, or hell, even the recent excursion into explaining what happened to Revan after KotOR and his part in The Old Republic were all a let-down.

SnakeoilSage:

Coop83:
Are you referring to the film here, or have you actually read the comic? The Tales of the Black Freighter is basically a symbolist mirror held up to Rorschach, showing his descent into mental problems, despite his own feeling that he's doing the right thing. He has become a monster fighting the very corruption that has plagued the world in which he lives. The same can be said for the unfortunate survivor, who turns savage to survive. Had he not done what he did, he would have suffered the same fate as the rest of the crew.

Rorschach doesn't descend into savagery, he was breaking fingers in taverns long before the case with the dead girl. He starts out mentally imbalanced, the abused and neglected son of a prostitute. He refuses to compromise, and says so himself, so when he kills the man who killed the girl, its when he realizes he will not compromise justice by giving him over to a court system that will fail said justice.

Psychologically speaking, no-one starts out mentally imbalanced. Sure, this guy had a tough upbringing and various factors within the plot show his descent. I was referring to the survivor on the freighter, who descends slowly.

The main plot does a pretty unsubtle job of pointing out how America, and civilization in general go from civil to savage in the name of survival. There's plenty of symbolism without falling on an unrelated pirate story, you can tear it out of the comic and not miss a thing, so again: pointless filler.

The comic book is far from pointless filler. It's cleverly worked and yes, to MENSA members like yourself, you didn't need it. Fair enough, don't read the book, don't watch the film and don't pay money to bloat the wallet of those unworth of your money.

I wouldn't call things like off the cuff remarks, such as "Big figure. Small world." badass, but I would say that, neither would I say that they are schizo one liners. Rorschach is not schizophrenic - he's sociopathic, not caring what society at large thinks of him and reinforcing this, by acting to alienate himself from society.

I'd say that it's deep and you've missed some of the meanings there. Of course, it could just be that you've got an opinion on it and you don't have to agree that it's either a good book or film. For me, the genius in the writing is the filler material, between the chapters - the psych reports, the newspaper cuttings and so forth, that add so much depth to a comic, which could have been viewed as a pretty flat piece otherwise.

I've got other graphic novels in my library, but none of them come close to this.

I didn't miss any meaning, because not only is the symbolism unsubtle but the book goes out of its way to point it out to you. And if you're getting your "genius" opinion from the filler, from the stuff that's not included in the main plot, then Alan Moore is telling, not showing, and breaking one of the basic rules of good writing.[/quote]

Which basic rule would that be? Don't treat your audience like idiots? The Sun here in the UK does that every day and they seem to sell a lot of papers...

Yeah, this is just my opinion, but it's an educated one. It has some interesting, even provocative ideas, but the story goes out of its way to emphasize its symbolism, so it feels more like I'm being patronized than enlightened, and let's face it, the story is outdated, its fears and concerns based on the same empty-headed jingoistic paranoia that made the Cold War the ridiculous global shithole that it was.

I was lucky enough not to live through a Nixon Presidency, though I did live through the last few years of the Soviet Union. Tensions between the Russians and the Americans were that bad and this particular comic doesn't poke fun at the fact, nor does it do too much, to make it seem like either side was too heavy handed - they were both as bad as one another. I feel that they got the balance right and the critical acclaim of people who knew more about that situation than I seems to indicate so as well.

Steve Butts:
I admit there are reasons not to like Watchmen, although in doing so you're swimming against the current of popular and critical opinion for the last twenty-five years. Still, the series just doesn't do it for some people. Whether they don't get it at all, or get it but just don't like it, they will always see it as pretentious and heavy-handed.

It's like my opinion on Shakespeare. His work will take some beating and regardless of what I think, it will never get taken out of the syllabus for schools in the UK*. It's got to be good, because it remains popular.

*For a point of SnakeoilSage, I would never suggest replacing Shakespeare with Watchmen - better literary works have been made that deserve credit first.

Steve Butts:
It's almost as bad as basing Citizen Kane on a guy who runs a newspaper. I mean, do people even read those anymore? And don't get me started on Casablanca using Nazis as the villains. That was 70 years ago, Hollywood! Get with the times!

It baffles me that some people have such a hard time understanding that these comics have a specific context. I don't think you get to claim you have an educated opinion, and then totally disregard the circumstances that spawned the series in the first place.

I admit there are reasons not to like Watchmen, although in doing so you're swimming against the current of popular and critical opinion for the last twenty-five years. Still, the series just doesn't do it for some people. Whether they don't get it at all, or get it but just don't like it, they will always see it as pretentious and heavy-handed.

So because it's popular I have to like it? Because it's popular and I don't like it, I'm automatically "missing the point" or just looking to wag my smugness at people?

You know Citizen Kane is based in part on the life of William Randolph Hearst, and you can draw parallels with Rupert Murdoch and Fox News, for the way they abuse their power through yellow journalism. Casablanca is a timeless, tragic love story that you could transplant to the American Civil War or Communist China, and the tale and its sadness would be just as poignant.

Watchmen couldn't exist without the Cold War. It couldn't exist without the mistakes of the Cold War taken to extremes that we as human beings managed to avoid (barely) despite our own darker traits. Even the portrayal of Nixon in Watchmen is a weird and historically inaccurate: Nixon was the man who ceased actions in Nam, went to China, initiated détente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Wars on cancer and drugs, imposed wage and price controls, enforced desegregation of Southern schools and established the Environmental Protection Agency. Though he presided over Apollo 11, he scaled back manned space exploration. He was reelected by a landslide in 1972. I'm getting this all from Wikipedia, so look it up. The fact that he resigned is proof that he did wrong, but his presidential term isn't riddled with the insanity that seems to have sparked the grim, nihilistic world of Watchmen.

Look, I don't like Watchmen and I've explained why. Just deal with it.

well these are rather good creators so i doubt it will suck...
now before you call me an heratic and burn me alive im a big fan of watchmen but lets face it this has a good chance of being good... not as good as the original but good
anyhow if it does end up be really good i vow here that ill go once a week to the comics shop to buy my weekly comics in a full rorsach costume (thats a 20 minuite bus ride+ 10 minuites walk btw...)! (maybie ill even have someone record me and upload it on youtube :P)

Zom-B:
Moore is a huge dink and it's just lucky for him that his shitty attitude and penchant for histrionics doesn't detract from his writing ability.

Bucht:
Also I think this is spot on.

Otaku World Order:

Yeah, Moore is a talented writer... but he's also kind of a smug, elitist asshole.

Alan Moore's words on Before Watchmen: "I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago." In other interviews he described the prequels as "completely shameless". He's not making outright insults (unlike you guys). I don't see someone being an asshole here - just having an opinion. Just as DC has every right to do whatever they want with their franchise because they own it, Moore has every right to his opinion. And if being opinionated about your own creation gets you branded a dick these days, well...

SnakeoilSage:

Watchmen couldn't exist without the Cold War.

Except for the bit where Watchmen is a deconstruction of the entire superhero genre.

Raiyan 1.0:

Zom-B:
Moore is a huge dink and it's just lucky for him that his shitty attitude and penchant for histrionics doesn't detract from his writing ability.

Bucht:
Also I think this is spot on.

Otaku World Order:

Yeah, Moore is a talented writer... but he's also kind of a smug, elitist asshole.

Alan Moore's words on Before Watchmen: "I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago." In other interviews he described the prequels as "completely shameless". He's not making outright insults (unlike you guys). I don't see someone being an asshole here - just having an opinion. Just as DC has every right to do whatever they want with their franchise because they own it, Moore has every right to his opinion. And if being opinionated about your own creation gets you branded a dick these days, well...

Maybe we exaggerate somewhat with our choice of words, but Alan Moore's attitudes, snarky opinions and caustic comments about the comics industry most notably are well documented. The man is bitter and jaded and rarely has anything nice to say. Is he an "asshole"? Maybe not. Is he sometimes smug? Sure. Does he make a big deal, i.e. histrionics, about things like Before Watchmen? He sure does. This is not a new phenomenon and Moore has the reputation he does for a reason. It didn't just pop out of a vaccum.

The other things Moore has to say about comics aren't quite so polite as that quote. This is a guy that basically says all comics are shit, but at the same time admits that he doesn't actually read comics:

"I haven't read a comic in years but I've not been tempted to. Other than those by friends and loved ones I've not seen anything that has made me want to pick up a comic book. It looks like it's stuck in the late eighties and early nineties and its just going to be a cycle of that material. So I tend to suspect that it was probably only me and, and a number of collaborators. who were actually interested in pushing things forward."

From this link: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/07/06/alan-moore-says-goodbye-to-comics-again/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BleedingCool+%28Bleeding+Cool+Comic+News+%26+Rumors%29

How can he judge an entire industry without reading anything it creates? And it was probably "only him" and some people that worked with him that were interested in "pushing things forward". Well Christ, what will we ever do without the great Alan Moore?

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