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Old December 28 2008, 12:40 PM   #1
Dusty Ayres
Commodore
 
Location: ANS Yamato, Sector 5, Sol System
Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Watchmen, a graphic novel by Alan Moore, is something of a holy icon in comic book world. I have this on good authority, having asked a number of men (mostly in their mid-thirties) who maintain that when Watchmen was released, in the mid-1980s, it was like a bomb going off. "We'd never seen anything like it before," is what most of their comments boiled down to. Why do they love it so much? Let me sum up. A cold-war tale set in an alternate-history 1985, Watchmen is a peek behind the mask into the psychology of superheroes and heroines. The graphic novel and it is a novel is layered with multiple stories that cut back and forth, every frame jammed with inside jokes and visual puns. Running underneath each individual adventure is the gonzo hand of fate, like some great cosmic banana peel, popping up when you least expect it. (More than one critic has compared Moore to Orson Welles.) Watchmen is the only comic book to win a Hugo Award, and the coming film adaptation has already inspired wild speculation: will it be good or a terrible disappointment?
Certainly, the film adaptations of Moore's work have not served him well to date. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta were variously dreadful. In an interview with film-buff website spout.com, Watchmen illustrator Dave Gibbons said that Moore has disowned this film too, on account of his bad cinematic experiences.

Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen
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