Tuesday, February 03, 2009


A student of mine lent me his copy of Watchmen. Wow. I don't think I'd ever read anything that could be remotely described as a comic before in my life, but if comic books are like this, maybe I should read more.

But I have a sense that very few comic books are like this. I found this article regarding Watchmen, which is being made into a movie for an early March release. Here's a passage from the article:

Who's watching Watchmen? Everybody apparently. This book -- or comic book, or graphic novel, or whatever you want to call it -- has been picked apart endlessly in the 20 years since it was first published. Every frame has been microscopically studied, its plot, characters and symbols charted out no less elaborately than Ulysses'. Its fans, like fans of everything else, are intensely protective and argumentative. Reading a book like this now, for the first time, is likely to result less in actual criticism than in intellectual alignment. What can be said has likely been said; the issue now is with whom do you agree.


DecaturHeel said...

Yes, Watchmen is a monumental achievement by ANY standard, not just those of cartooning. I'm very, very apprehensive about the movie because I just don't see how it can work and retain the nuances of the source material. Also, everyone refers to it as a graphic novel, but its original incarnation was as a regular monthly comic book, and it was later collected into the much more familiar graphic novel. I remember the time between issues being TORTURE.

Brian South said...

I can only imagine how torturous it must have been to have to wait. I read the whole thing in three nights, averaging four "chapters" a night.

SO good.