Saturday, March 21, 2009

Comic Books

Anyone been to see Watchmen? Let me rephrase that, any of you been to see Watchmen? Clearly, a ton of people have been since it broke records on its debut weekend.

If you want to find out more about Alan Moore, the author, there’s a good article in the Chicago Tribune.
Initially a 12-issue series with artist Dave Gibbons, the collected volume has become one of the most acclaimed graphic novels ever, hailed by Time magazine as one of the best 100 novels of the 20th Century. It's about aging superheroes, nuclear politics and social engineering.
One interesting thing to note is that Moore has apparently sworn off movie profits of his books.
About "Watchmen" he said, "I will be spitting venom all over it for months to come."
Despite his spitting venom, the article has this description of Moore:
But there's also a British cheekiness about Moore, 54, who claims to be a recluse. There's a playful fussiness to him that, at worst, comes off like a teenage affectation—the muddled philosophical arguments driving the story of muddled anarchists in "V for Vendetta," for instance. He is also a cultural treasure chest, spilling over with connections that mash up a century of literature to create something new that honors the old.
Anybody read Watchmen? I started it but didn’t finish.
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  1. My husband read it and really liked it. I just went into the movie unprepared!

    V for Vendetta was a good movie, too.

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. I saw it last Sunday. I really loved it. If you liked Sin City, you will like Watchmen, I think. But I haven't yet read the graphic novel. As a matter of fact it's lurking on my tbr pile. So not having read the book likely made the story better for me.

    My mother though was with me and she couldn't figure out what was going on. (The poor woman suffers from not reading copious amounts of sff.)

  3. My son lent me his copy of Watchmen. He loved the book. I need to ask him if he's seen the movie yet. I'm assuming he has since he is a big fan of the book.

  4. My sons went to see it and said it was too long. I'll wait to see it on demand or DVD.

  5. Haven't read it or seen it yet, but sounds like I should. I'm different than most people, I like to see the movie first if I haven't read the book yet and am "suddenly" made aware of both the cinema and book version, because usually the movie disappoints me if I've read the book first. Then I read the book and it's like all these "aha" moments as the book invariably (if well written) explains more and often develops the characters even better than a good actor.

  6. Susan, it seems to me that just about all movies run too long nowadays!

    Marvin, if you go see it, let me know what you think.

  7. Helen,

    Watchmen is nearly 3 hours long. I thought I'd get bored, but I wasn't. I saw the film with three other people. The two who had not read the book were not prepared for the sex and violence. Both said the portrayal was overly graphic and, in parts, gratuitous.

    Mark, on the other hand, is a long time fan. He thought the movie was great, stayed pretty true to the book, and did a good job of handling those things that needed to change for a movie. He's ready to see it again.


  8. I'd read the book years ago & went to see the movie on opening weekend. It had been long enough that I don't remember differences between the book and the movie.

    We really enjoyed it, but it's definitely not your typical superhero movie.

  9. Helen, now you want me to read comics? I'm telling you, you're a hard taskmaster. First she has me tweeting, blitzing, pinging and now reading comics. :-D

    I asked my 14 year old, he liked the comics that V for Vendetta came from and said he hadn't heard about Watchmen yet but now, of course, he wants to find it.

    We'll let you know what we think.

    Have a great weekend, ma'am!

  10. I liked the comic, I loved the movie!!

  11. I haven't read or seen it and really have no desire to do so - but, I've learned never to say never.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  12. We've been renting DVDs from the library and haven't been to the show recently.

    When it comes out on DVD, I'm sure we'll be watching it.

    Morgan Mandel

  13. My husband has been a huge fan for ages, and went to the midnight preview. He was shocked how many families took little kids. At least they had the sense to "storm" out in outrage, but good heavens, why would anyone take their preschooler to see this? (and at midnight?)


  14. You're right Lisa, there were preschoolers at the showing I went to also. There is a particularly stubborn prejudice that simply assumes that comic books are all designed for kids and adolescents. After Sin City and 300 you would think that the prejudice would be less prevalent.
    The Watchmen is not designed for children. It is certainly not about superheroes saving the world. Moore, the author of the original graphic novel, thinks that anyone who dresses up in a garish costume to fight crime must have some potent psychosexual issues, and almost all of the characters do. The sex and violence in this film are not gratuitous. They are emphasized because they are inextricably linked in the psyches of the characters. Some of the characters work through those issues successfully and others fail miserably, but they are very real issues and I believe they are important issues in our conflicted culture.
    The sex/violence themes are only one layer of this complex work. I think that the Watchmen will be analyzed for many years to come, and that it will reward the astute viewer by revealing more layers every time you watch it.
    Oh, by the way, Jackie Earle Haley's performance as Rorschach is near perfect.

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