Saturday, February 14, 2009

Who Reads The Watchmen?


No Spoilers following (for the two people out there that hasn't read this magnum opus by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons yet):

It's been a few years since I've re-read Watchmen, but I wanted to do so before the movie lands (twenty days away!). Of course it's still excellent, I think I like it better every time I read it (maybe that's because I understand it more each time). Watchmen is one of those graphic novels / comics / books that rewards the reader upon every visit as it is so multi-layered, with characters and ideas of many facets that populate a complex story which manages to unite all of the individual elements into what many have called the greatest achievement in this medium (Time magazine called it one of the top 100 novels - not "just" graphic novels - of all time). As I've said before, I still prefer V For Vendetta, but the writing and the scope of what Alan Moore is going for is more amazing in Watchmen.

While re-reading Watchmen I was thinking about why people gravitate so powerfully to Rorschach's character. The conclusion I've come to is that Rorschach appeals to the primal, dark part of ourselves. I was also further reminded about the thinking-out-of-the-box writing ability that Alan Moore has, specifically in regards to Dr. Manhattan, a character with enormous superpowers in which Moore actually takes what having such powers would mean to that person and the world he lives in.

Chapter nine, titled, The Darkness Of Mere Being, became my new favorite chapter. Two lines of dialogue that I especially liked by Dr. Manhattan: "We're all puppets, Laurie. I'm just a puppet who can see the strings." Chapter nine will make your eyes water every time.


Dave Ziegler said...

You know, Ralph, I've been thinking about the Rorschach question a bit as I ramp up for my MA thesis, and I think it's also his...unwillingness to compromise, I guess, that is appealing. Think about all the little acts of compromise we have to carry out every day to get through, every time we have to (or choose to) turn a blind eye to a wrong or misdeed.

Rorschach never does that. Yeah, he's cruel in many ways, but he's consistent, too. Which, ultimately proves to be his downfall.

Just a thought...

Ralph Mathieu said...

A great thoiught - thanks for sharing, I hadn't thought of his character in that context.

Over on two California comic store owners have been reading / discussing an issue a week. I haven't read their column in a few weeks, but what I did read presented insights I also hadn't thought of.

Happy New Comics Wednesday 7/18/18 - Life of Captain Marvel, Magic Order #2 (we still have #1 too!), conclusion of Infinity Countdown, Justice League edition!

 Hope all of my friends going to the San Diego Comic-Con this week have a GREAT time!