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Apr 19 17 5:41 PM
Five Years Later wrote:Based on the massive sales numbers and inclusion on college reading lists I'm confident that Watchmen is the only super-hero comic many people will ever read in their lifetime. Whether they appreciate it or not is another question.
Apr 19 17 6:25 PM
Five Years Later wrote:I loved the movie! My only problem with it was the action sequences were a bit too super-powered/cartooney. A more realistic approach would have been better.
Apr 19 17 6:40 PM
Apr 19 17 9:01 PM
Five Years Later wrote:
I can not think of any comic before Watchmen which had such a specific, realistic look in all aspects. The geography of the buildings and backgrounds, emphasized in the last issue's 4 page spread was meticulous and precise. The only thing that came close was Cerebus where models were constructed so that characters moved in the environment.
Apr 19 17 9:05 PM
Apr 19 17 9:18 PM
Apr 19 17 9:38 PM
Five Years Later wrote:For me, that's the interesting question. Can Watchmen be appreciated without knowing the continuity, the history of super-hero comics, the geopolitics on the 1980s, etc?
Apr 19 17 10:04 PM
JeffDyer wrote:Honestly, if anyone reads it today for the first time and is underwhelmed I can only think that's because Watchmen was so influential that readers have probably read countless other comics inspired by Watchmen, so that finally reading the book itself it may not seem as groundbreaking. But so so many comics owe their existence to Watchmen.
Apr 19 17 10:12 PM
faust33 wrote:Five Years Later wrote:I loved the movie! My only problem with it was the action sequences were a bit too super-powered/cartooney. A more realistic approach would have been better. Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that. It also makes scenes with Rorschach look utterly ridiculous. He is quite (vulnerably) human in the comic, but in the movie he jumps around somewhat superheroically. That ends up translating very weirdly when you get to the Police capture scene.
As for the original question, I'll quote Shrek "Ogres are like onions...Onions have layers. Ogres have layers.". It's difficult to find any comic writer who writes as intricately as Alan Moore. Push farther back to 1986 and you will have an even tougher time finding anyone doing superhero comics like that. The closest thing I can recall is Bill Willingham's work on Elementals in 1984. He deals with some dark superhero issues, but not with the literary depth that Moore engages in. I'm guessing there might have been other indie comics as well, but for the most part it's what makes Watchmen and DKR really unique.
Apr 19 17 10:22 PM
Apr 19 17 11:42 PM
Apr 20 17 2:48 AM
Irony and subtly are the first casualties
in the eternal battle of wits between people divided by a common language. So read between the lines or you'll fall through the cracks...
....Quoting other people is no substitute for thinking for yourself...
Apr 20 17 10:55 AM
Apr 20 17 11:09 AM
Yea, Cerebus definitely gives Watchmen a run for the money. Although Cerebus didn't elevate the Sword & Sorcery (or funny animal books) genre like Watchmen did with superheroes.
Apr 20 17 11:16 AM
Apr 20 17 11:20 AM
faust33 wrote:@deej: I think the shift was already under way when Moore joined Image/ABC and started to reverse the dark and dreary gutter that comics were in. He began making some comics that looked back at the good old days of "fun stuff". It didn't start the massive tidal wave that DKR/Watchmen did, but I did notice some shifts.
Apr 20 17 11:44 AM
Schatzie wrote: We'll see how the rest of the re-read goes.
Apr 20 17 12:11 PM
VisualFiction wrote:That's quite a claim to make and then leave unsubstantiated for more than eight months.
Apr 20 17 12:31 PM
Schatzie wrote:=1emIf you haven't read it, it is worth a read. The big themes are the role of government and what does it mean to have an "alledgedly better and safer" society at the expense of individual liberties. Is this freedom? All done within the backdrop of super heroes taking over the world in the name of doing good.
=1emIf you haven't read it, it is worth a read. The big themes are the role of government and what does it mean to have an "alledgedly better and safer" society at the expense of individual liberties. Is this freedom? All done within the backdrop of super heroes taking over the world in the name of doing good.
Apr 20 17 8:58 PM
davetone wrote:Someone who listens to rock, might ask why Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" album is considered great, even though that person might not enjoy jazz at all (by the way, not on topic, it is a great album! Just go get it. ).
For me, I asked myself a similar question a few years ago when I brought in a well used copy of The Watchman into work to loan out. It got returned with a tepid review. That really surprised me.
There was nothing like the Watchmen when it came out (or the Dark Knight Returns which came out in that timeframe). Those books were so groundbreaking and popular, that they influenced the whole industry.
And there may have been books like that beforehand, but those brought the "gritty realism" into comic books in a way that hadn't been seen before.
I think one of the things about the Watchmen was the character development, and how everyone (with the exception of Dr. Manhattan) was a regular non-powered person. The art and color palette all worked so well with the story (that was not unique to the Wathmen obviously!). The story was well told and layered, and because it was it's own universe it could do things that couldn't be done in a regular mainstream comic book (unless that comic was about an alternate universe).
At some point soon (this Fall?) there will be Watchman annotated edition. I think it'll be black and white, but with a commentary on each page. I'm planning on picking that up when it comes out, or at least seeing if I can get it from the library.
I can say this, even though it's been a while since I've re-read the graphic novel, I think it gets better the further along into the story it goes.
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