Since I saw the Watchmen movie I decided to dig out my copy and re-read it, I’m starting the re-read tonight, It’s amazing to think it’s has been 22 years--doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. . My original reaction to the comic as best as I can remember was that it had interesting design, but a very odd story line.
My introduction to comics was not reading Marvel or DC but by way of the undergrounds and art comix. I moved on to the alternative comics in the eighties so I didn’t know what to make of the super-hero comic trying to be an alternative comic. And I’ve never quite warmed to the whole super-hero genre. Though I’ve read lots of Marvel and DC comics they are not the ones I chose to collect.
In the Seventies Star Reach comics was trying something similar to the ‘Watchmen’ in publishing many experiments toward making super-hero comics more adult. They were criticized, at the time, for adding gratuitous nudity and violence to what were essentially main stream (Marvel &DC) comic stories. There was critical hostility from both sides of the readership. The main stream fans criticized the gratuitous sex as just frustrated Marvel artists showing they could draw naked tits. While the underground side of the readership, criticized them for not being daring enough, not trying out bolder stylistic experiments (both in writing and design)
I tended to see ‘Watchmen’ as the end product of a ten year cycle of experimentation. Because I not super-hero oriented I think, in the book, missed a great deal of the borrowings and insider jokes as well as all the nods to early super-hero comics that I wasn’t familiar with. So that’s where I begin my re-read, checking out what I missed. I’ll let you all know what I think.
Getting Sheppard Right
I’ve been reading several fun books for (desperately) needed help with my fan fiction attempts to write John Sheppard. I’m re-reading a, guilty-pleasure, book called ‘Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class’ which is a jaunt through the seamy side of Ivy League pretensions and jolly fun with the spawn of the meritocracy culture. (Envy, social climbing, and moral hand wringing all under one cover-fun fun fun)
The second book was an accident. I was plowing through the galley stack at work and brought home a children’s book that will be released in April. It is called ‘King of the Screwups’ It’s targeted at late elementary, and middle-school reading levels. It is the story of a rich kid, a very popular one, and his quest to become not-popular. No matter how hard he tries he just can’t rid himself of his aura of charm nor dress-down enough to disguise his stunning looks. Yeah, didn’t we all have that problem in high school? Just Kidding! It is a cute book—very funny. (And I could see a great Sheppard fan-fiction story borrowing this idea)