Suggested Reading: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen
by Roman Chavez
March 3, 2009
Well guys, it's upon us. We are just days away from seeing the most celebrated graphic novel of all time, Watchmen, come to life on the big screen. Many of us have been waiting for this moment for years. They said it couldn't be adapted. That it was the impossible comic book movie to bring to theaters and we all believed that. I have a friend who just started reading it, and two issues in he wondered, "How are they going to make this into a movie?" I told him, "It looks like Zack Snyder found a way." I keep getting asked why this film is such a big deal, so I'm going to take you on a little journey of what Watchmen means to me.
I was only a baby boy when this story first came to us (back in 1986). I would read it for the first time when I was 12. Man, I did not understand it at all at that age. It was just cool because it was one of the first comics that I had ever read that had "bad words" in it. As a kid I really liked Nite Owl, mostly because he reminded me of Batman. His costume was a little lame, but I liked the Owl Ship and he had some cool gadgets.
As an adult, Rorschach is my favorite. The story behind how he became a vigilante is so complex, but his morals are black and white when it comes to criminals. Bad guys need to be punished, no questions asked. However, he sort of lives in a grey area, too. As a vigilante, he is breaking the law by punishing criminals who commit more obvious crimes. I'm most excited for the prison scenes. I don't want to ruin anything for those of you that haven't read the story, but be ready to see some cool stuff in the prison.
I would come back to the novel a few more times over the years as I grew older. One of the best things about it was that, for me, it always seemed a little different every time I picked it up. Hell, at times, it seemed even better than I remembered the last time I had read it. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created a comic book world that none of us had ever seen before. And it was really hard to try to get people interested in that world back when it first came out and even just a few years ago. I have tried to explain Watchmen to countless people, but very few are ever interested. Even some comic book fans I know just couldn't ever get into it.
Now it's a major motion picture with a big budget and I just can't hold on to my copy of Watchmen. For months now, everyone I know has wanted to borrow it. All of those people who didn't want to hear about it years ago are racing to get through it before March 6th. The media is eating it up and the marketing is extensive, with copies available in every local bookstore. Back in the day, we comic fans were labeled nerds, now it seems everyone wants to know what we know so that they can talk about this stuff as well.
Some want to know what this film means to me. It was my first real experience with a "mature" comic book. It showed me a world that I never imagined. If they pull this off, the sky's the limit. There are any number of badass stories just waiting to be told on the big screen. If this is successful, we, as comic book fans, will get to see more of our favorites made into blockbuster hits. It also means that we were right all along… comic book nerds will rule the world! So if you haven't read just it, now's your chance, go out and buy a copy right away. And of course, so long from Roman's Land and we'll see you at the movies!