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Old September 2 2008, 11:50 PM   #31
Small White Car
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

TheBrew wrote: View Post
Small White Car wrote: View Post
I have also been recently wondering if I should read this.

So far, this thread is very discouraging. Apparently I'll need to be some kind of brilliant genius to start with, then take a college course on it, and then re-read it again several years later to really appreciate it.

Ok. Or I could go get an ice cream sandwich out of my freezer.

I dunno, it's a pretty tough choice.
Or you could read it WHILE eating an ice cream sandwich.
Blimey, that's bloody brilliant!

I'll arrange to have someone flip the pages for me so I don't get them all sticky.
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Old September 3 2008, 12:05 AM   #32
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

Eat sugar cubes while you're reading, instead. Trust me, there's a reason.
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Old September 3 2008, 12:22 AM   #33
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

Hicks wrote: View Post
Small White Car wrote: View Post
I have also been recently wondering if I should read this.

So far, this thread is very discouraging. Apparently I'll need to be some kind of brilliant genius to start with, then take a college course on it, and then re-read it again several years later to really appreciate it.

Ok. Or I could go get an ice cream sandwich out of my freezer.

I dunno, it's a pretty tough choice.
Aw, screw all that. You don't need it. Just read it at your own pace and enjoy.
QTF: the only reason people get this into Watchmen is that its genuinely that good. When you have finished it you will want to discuss what you have read with other people. That's why it generates such intense discussions, because it deserves them. Read it as a story, enjoy it, let it sink in, and then realise you want to hear what other people think.
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Old September 3 2008, 12:30 AM   #34
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

I do think that good as it is, Watchmen is also the Emperor's New Clothes.
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Old September 3 2008, 12:40 AM   #35
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
Eat sugar cubes while you're reading, instead. Trust me, there's a reason.
And only if they come in catering packs.
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Old September 3 2008, 02:03 AM   #36
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

Bishbot wrote: View Post
Hicks wrote: View Post
Small White Car wrote: View Post
I have also been recently wondering if I should read this.

So far, this thread is very discouraging. Apparently I'll need to be some kind of brilliant genius to start with, then take a college course on it, and then re-read it again several years later to really appreciate it.

Ok. Or I could go get an ice cream sandwich out of my freezer.

I dunno, it's a pretty tough choice.
Aw, screw all that. You don't need it. Just read it at your own pace and enjoy.
QTF: the only reason people get this into Watchmen is that its genuinely that good. When you have finished it you will want to discuss what you have read with other people. That's why it generates such intense discussions, because it deserves them. Read it as a story, enjoy it, let it sink in, and then realise you want to hear what other people think.
Indeed, when I first read it at 17, I enjoyed it on a fairly superficial level. But it's something that you'll be able to reread time and again and find new things, if that suits you.

stj wrote: View Post
(3)My recap of "who wins" explicitly reads the subtext, which I think is the real objection. A complaint that I ignore subtext is incorrect.
You cite very, very little subtext--much less than I, my friends, and various sites I've seen online have found. And I find what you do cite to be off the mark. For example, you describe Rorschach as "staunchly heterosexual". Really? And here I thought...


(4)The historical context of previous comic books and previous thought about comic book heroes is not of great interest. Others more interested in that topic should comment on that.
It may be of no interest to you, but Watchmen is widely recognized as a super-hero comic that deconstructs super-hero comics. This is a key element of the book, and the main reason why many fear that it won't translate properly onscreen.

(5)Mainstream critics and college professors suffering "terminal" enthusiasm are wildly wrong and should be pitied. Genuinely comparing Watchmen to War and Peace would be a good example.
Oh, for heaven's sake--I was quoting Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor from Superman: The Movie! Now who's taking things too seriously? And it's called allusion, it's a literary device.
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Old September 3 2008, 03:40 AM   #37
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

misskim86 wrote: View Post
I like The Watchmen but stuff like Preacher, Sandman or Garth Ennis' Punisher is way better. Preacher is what got me into comics in the first place.
Garth Ennis FTW!!

Just look at my sig.
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Old September 4 2008, 12:21 AM   #38
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post

You cite very, very little subtext--much less than I, my friends, and various sites I've seen online have found. And I find what you do cite to be off the mark. For example, you describe Rorschach as "staunchly heterosexual". Really? And here I thought...
You keep forgetting that I'm talking about who wins, which is only part of the book. For my point, discussion of other aspects of Watchmen is irrelevant, so the amount of subtext is also irrelevant. The rub is the subtext I read---it seems to denigrate the coolness of Rorschach! Well, it does, but that is a real and serious flaw in the book I think. That's why Moore/Gibbon do not deserve excessively lavish praise.

As to the substance of your objection----


It may be of no interest to you, but Watchmen is widely recognized as a super-hero comic that deconstructs super-hero comics. This is a key element of the book, and the main reason why many fear that it won't translate properly onscreen.
Oh, I think a true deconstruction of superhero comics would involve some real world physics. This no doubt seems obtuse, like thinking (which I confess I do) that deconstructing the Western movie involves some real world history. Perhaps the failure to radically deconstruct alllowed the uncontrolled reemergence of the old adolescent themes of superhero comics, in a freshly thrilling form?

(5)Mainstream critics and college professors suffering "terminal" enthusiasm are wildly wrong and should be pitied. Genuinely comparing Watchmen to War and Peace would be a good example.
Oh, for heaven's sake--I was quoting Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor from Superman: The Movie! Now who's taking things too seriously? And it's called allusion, it's a literary device.
Italics added. I didn't think you meant to compare Watchmen to War and Peace. I just thought you meant to compare me to a completely imaginary idiot who thought War and Peace was a simple adventure story. I manfully resisted the temptation to make fun of taking literature from Lex Luthor once all ready. Please don't tempt me futher.

Why so touchy? Because a major part of the appeal, even though maturity may allow appreciation of deconstruction or irony or subtext, etc, the story of who wins is responsible for a lot of the book's appeal. Stated baldly, it doesn't sound very grown up (because it isn't,) but it is what it is.
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Old September 4 2008, 01:04 AM   #39
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

^I think that "who wins" is one of the least important aspects of the book.


As for Rorschach's character...first, your opinion seems colored by how much you value his "coolness". The man has serious issues which are expressed via an extreme worldview, and is a highly unreliable narrator. I think he's cool just as he is...he's a fascinating character who does really badass things. But seeing his flaws doesn't lessen any of that, it helps me to appreciate why he is the way he is. That's a very important element of this book--to postulate how, in a more realistic setting, anyone who would put on a costume and dedicate themselves to fighting crime would have to be of an extreme personality type.

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Old September 4 2008, 01:32 AM   #40
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
Genuinely comparing Watchmen to War and Peace would be a good example.
War in Peace is often considered one of the "greatest novels ever written."

Watchmen is often considered one of the "greatest graphic novels ever written."

I haven't had the opportunity nor the dedication to read either, but it seems that whether you want to compare the two depends on your evaluation of the relative merits of the medium of the novel vs. the graphic novel.

Do you view the graphic novel as simply an inferior medium, or is your rejection of such a comparison simply a result of your lukewarm analysis of Watchmen?
It's a bit unfair to compare Watchmen, as good as it is, to something like War and Peace. It's like comparing a really good steak dinner at your mom's house with a seven course meal at a Michelin 2-star. There is just so much more to examine and analyze in War and Peace, and I'm not just talking about the number of words in the book. Watchmen was indeed special, but not because it broke any new literary ground, it was special because it broke ground in the comic book industry. It did many things few if any comics had done before, but very little if anything others who've put pen to paper before had already done.

It's like the best song the Rolling Stones or U2 ever wrote compared to the best symphony Mozart ever composed. They're all amazing in their subjective categories but different enough where direct comparisons are rather trite, IMO.

That doesn't mean you can't compare them, but you can compare go-kart league racing with F1 if you want too.

Let me know if foreign university students are still writing thesis around an aspect of Watchmen in 150 years.
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Old September 4 2008, 02:16 AM   #41
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

I picked Watchmen up to reread in 2005ish, and it's all about Afghanistan... Then the radio in front of me starts talking about Afghanistan... I am positive that in a 150 the world will still be arguing over Afghanistan. The cultural ethos we live in isn't that creative, each generation discovers the same bullshit concepts as the last couple and carries them as if they're their own.
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Old September 4 2008, 04:04 AM   #42
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

FordSVT wrote: View Post
It's like the best song the Rolling Stones or U2 ever wrote compared to the best symphony Mozart ever composed. They're all amazing in their subjective categories but different enough where direct comparisons are rather trite, IMO.
Of this we agree. You seem to negate this argument later in your post by directly comparing Watchmen and War and Peace anyway, but I'll withdraw.

I haven't even read either, anyway.

And even if I did, I've read so few comic books that I wouldn't have much cultural context beyond what I've been able to glean from wikipedia on the subject anyway.
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Old September 4 2008, 04:25 AM   #43
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

The difference being is that you can read Watchmen in a couple hours.

It's harder not to read it than to apply yourself.

War and Peace is however quite scary.
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Old September 4 2008, 12:43 PM   #44
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

Rushing through it that quickly isn't really absorbing all that it has to offer. People fear that something will be lost in translation to the big screen...I think that something has been already been lost in translation by putting it out as a trade paperback, though it certainly enjoys much wider exposure in that format.
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Old September 4 2008, 12:51 PM   #45
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Re: Watchmen-The graphic novel

FordSVT wrote: View Post
but you can compare go-kart league racing with F1 if you want too.
No, you really can't. It's like trying to compare the punch of a 2 year old child with the punch of a heavy weight boxer.
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