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matthewajg
December 10th, 2001, 09:47 AM
It could very well be another in a string of Hollywood false alarms, but the WATCHMEN is currently attached to the screenwriter who wrote the X-MEN. Go to http://www.ew.com/ew/ for details.

Keyoke
December 10th, 2001, 07:16 PM
I had heard that as well, it would be great if that did happen. I think Watchmen would make a great movie. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

Keyoke

matthewajg
December 11th, 2001, 05:43 AM
I am a little dubious about a WATCHMEN film adaptation which stays true to the spirit of the comic. Even Terry Gilliam (who was once slated to direct a film adaptation) bowed out, claiming that he could not do the story justice unless it were a twelve hour-long TV miniseries! Of course, execs didn't go for it. Not to mention, in the wake of Sept. 11th, I hear they are planning to change the end of the story!!! When the end is what makes the WATCHMEN so mind blowing (no pun intended for fans of the WATCHMEN who know the ending).

Rob B
December 13th, 2001, 08:17 AM
Easily one of the most influential, if not THE most influential comic book(s) of the last 20 years.

I think an animated series on HBO (ala Spawn) could be interesting.


Threads merged - fluffy bunny

Werthead
July 21st, 2008, 04:04 PM
Reviewing Watchmen is probably as futile as reviewing The Lord of the Rings or The Empire Strikes Back, but what the hell:


Published in 1986-87 as a 12-issue mini-series, Watchmen is the most critically-applauded graphic novel of all time. The comic industry's answer to Citizen Kane, this is a complex, literate story that belies its premise and makes maximum use of its medium to deliver a story that couldn't be told any other way (although the forthcoming movie adaption promises to have a damn good try). As well as its impact on comics, Watchmen is one of the defining modern works of science fiction (winning a Hugo Award in 1988), and was rated as one of the one hundred most important novels of the 20th Century by Time Magazine.

The book opens in 1985 with the murder of Edward Blake, a government-sponsored crimefighter who worked under the alias 'The Comedian'. A masked vigilante known as Rorschach investigates. Rorschach, the Comedian and a number of other 'superheroes' fought crime together until the 1977 Keene Act outlawed heroes unless they worked directly for the US government. Most of the heroes retired, but Rorschach turned vigilante. Apart from the Comedian, the only hero left in government employ is Dr. Manhattan. Unlike the other heroes, who are simply well-meaning ordinary people, albeit with superior mental or physical training, Dr. Manhattan is the real deal. In 1959 an experiment with intrinsic field theory went catastrophically wrong, disintegrating Dr. Jon Osterman and transforming him into a being with total mastery over matter.

Rorschach continues to investigate the crime, but tensions are rising between the United States, led by President Nixon (serving a fifth term of office after the mysterious deaths of two Washington Post investigative reporters in 1971), and the Soviet Union. With the nuclear doomsday clock ticking ever closer to zero and other retired crimfighters either being killed or attacked, it falls to a select group of people to try and discover who or what is driving the world towards destruction.

It's a classic set-up, but you might argue not a revolutionary one. The trick is in the details. The world of Watchmen, which is on one hand close to that of the 'real' 1985 and on the other totally different, is meticulously constructed with every logical ramification of the existence of a genuine superhero pursued to its end. Thanks to Dr. Manhattan's scientific genius, the world is largely pollution-free, thanks to cheap electric cars and clean airships that provide international transport. Unfortunately, Manhattan's role as a nuclear deterrent and his assistance in helping the USA win the Vietnam War in just three months has also encouraged American imperialism and belligerence, slowly pushing Russia into a diplomatic corner from where it may feel it has no choice but to lash out. The other 'superheroes' are just ordinary people who like to dress up and fight crime, but largely they come to realise that their efforts are for nothing, since they cannot fight the underlying social and economic conditions that are the breeding ground for petty criminals.

As well as the characters involved in the story itself, the narrative spins backwards in time to investigate the prior generation of heroes and what role they are playing in events, and also encompasses a number of ordinary people on the streets of New York City who are witnesses to events: a newsstand vendor and his most regular customer, a young man obsessed with a pirate comic called Tales of the Black Freighter (which acts as a commentary and reflection on the main narrative, whose author plays a minor role in the story); a criminal psychiatrist driven to despair by his patients; and a homicide detective whose investigation of the Comedian's murder threatens his own career. It's a vast, dizzying web of storytelling with each storyline interconnected with many of the others in surprising and revelatory ways, and a commentary on superheroes and their psychology, capitalism, world politics and the morality of war.

As well as Moore's astonishing script, Dave Gibbons delivers excellent, detail-filled, rich artwork which captures the nuances of the story perfectly. Rereading the book, the reader discovers more details, more clues to the story that they missed on a first reading.

Watchmen (*****) is, twenty years after it was first published, still as astonishing, readable, entertaining and thought-provoking as ever, and still stands at the very apex of its approach to storytelling. The graphic novel is available from DC Comics in the UK and USA. A special edition of the comic book, Absolute Watchmen, featuring production notes and a new, clearer reprinting of the artwork, is also available in the UK. A movie adaption, directed by 300's Zack Snyder, is currently in post-production and will be released in March 2009. A trailer (set appropriately to the Smashing Pumpkins' 'The Beginning is the End is the Beginning') can be found via Google.

Rob B
July 21st, 2008, 10:53 PM
Reviewing Watchmen is probably as futile as reviewing The Lord of the Rings or The Empire Strikes Back, but what the hell:
I wouldn't say exactly that, but whenever I see somebody whose opinion I trust (i.e. YOUR'S), it makes me want to go back and re-read the book. I've read Watchmen about once every year or so and find something new every time I read it.

Corporal Blues
August 2nd, 2008, 01:57 AM
After reading your review Wert, I picked up a copy of The Watchmen from a bookseller today, then went to a park and started to read. So far I am liking it quite a lot. Thanks for the solid review and the reading inspiration.

Corporal Blues
August 6th, 2008, 09:17 PM
Well after what was likely a 15 year hiatus from comic books, I picked up The Watchmen the other day, and read it over the weekend. Having been away from comics for so long, and having never read a Graphic Novel before, I was in the position to be either turned away completely, or perhaps to become a fan of the medium, and possibly continue on reading other graphic novels in the future.

I can happily say that The Watchmen caused me to fall into the latter category as the novel fairly well blew my mind. It was surprisingly great, and I felt that the storytelling was masterfully done. The Graphic Novel medium is a really cool way to tell a story, and while I initially didn't like having the visual aspect of the story done by an artist, instead of my mind, I think the art of this novel was really good, and there were plenty of details that made me really appreciate the artwork as well as the story-telling. I really enjoyed the lateral narrative from the Tales of the Black Frigate which also matched up with the plot from the story. I think that bit would be hard to pull off in another story-telling medium, so I really enjoyed that.

The Watchmen probably merits a re-read in the future, because I think that would enrich certain parts of the story a second time through.

Hobbit
August 7th, 2008, 04:58 AM
The film trailer seems to have generated a lot of interest: from Publisher's Weekly: (http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6583142.html)


Riding a wave of interest and excitement over the new film adaptation of Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbon’s classic superhero graphic novel Watchmen, DC Comics is experiencing a boom in demand for the book, shipping more than 300,000 copies of the graphic novel in the two weeks since the release of the film’s trailer.

Watchmen was one of the centerpieces of the recent San Diego Comic-Con International with appearances by the director Zack Snyder, the cast and a full-scale model of Nite Owl’s Owlship from the book/movie. Originally published in 1986 as a 12 issue series and then released as a trade paperback collection, the book is considered the ultimate superhero graphic novel. The book is a perennial backlist bestseller and on a weekly basis is virtually always among Bookscan’s Top 50 bestselling graphic novels. But the interest and demand generated by the forthcoming film (not due to open until March 2009), not to mention having the Comic-Con as promotional platform, has generated incredible demand for the book.

“I don’t think there’s record of a trailer moving books with this velocity,” says DC Comics president Paul Levitz. “Bookscan records Watchmen selling 10,000 copies in one week. We’ve put more than 300,000 copies in print in the last two weeks. That’s a pretty amazing record for a 21 year old book.” In 2007, the title sold about 100,000 copies.

“Comic shop retailers have used Watchmen for the last 20 years to introduce graphic novels to curious new readers and they know it creates repeat buyers,” Levitz says. “They sell a copy of Watchmen to a consumer curious about all the fuss and that reader returns for a copy of V for Vendetta by the same author. We believe this book is significantly expanding the readership for graphic novels.”

And there's still over 6 months to go!

Mark / Hobbit

kater
August 7th, 2008, 07:42 PM
Despite Dave Gibbons input though it seems Moore has again written off a movie of his work. I didn't expect anything else, particularly of his most popular title, but it doesn't tend to work out well for the end product. It'd just be nice to see what a movie he's involved in looks like, not that I believe he owes anyone anything, quite the opposite. Now if we could just see graphic novels regularly in proper bookstores and supermarkets, instead of sporadic niche shops ...