Suggested Reading: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen

March 3, 2009

Suggested Reading: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen

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.

Watchmen Graphic NovelAs 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!

Find more posts: Comics, Hype, Suggested Reading



Recommended reading? Is this a little late for a recommendation? I don't think anyone could read the entire story before Friday!

LINKFX on Mar 3, 2009


When i first read Watchmen, i was so engrossed i read it cover to cover the day i bought it. Definitely a must-read for anyone who wants to see the film, to truly appreciate all the hidden details and information. As a stand-alone even, without seeing the film, it's the greatest graphic novel (And one of the best novel's for that matter) that I've ever read.

Dan on Mar 3, 2009


I totally's never too late to pick it up if you want the total experience. Can't Wait for the Movie!!

Cameron on Mar 3, 2009


#1 - That's just the title of the article... Roman writes these for every major comic book movie, this one is his comments on Watchmen and what it means to him!

Alex Billington on Mar 3, 2009


If there's one thing that is great about Snyder making this film, it's that he has gotten more people to read Watchmen. The sheer number of copies sold has proven that he's at least made some more Watchmen fans out of people who would have otherwise not have bothered with it in the first place. And as one of those new fans who bought the book after seeing the trailer before TDK, I sincerely believe that his movie will turn out just fine.

Daniel on Mar 3, 2009


I'd rather people not read this until the movie. That way, when they see, they'll be completely blown away by the story.

MCab on Mar 3, 2009


Alex, I know I'm just saying, no one could read it before Friday unless they had absolutley no life. I'm also not being utterly serious.

LINKFX on Mar 3, 2009


Also Roman, just wondering if you have the original print or the recently re-colored remastered one. A friend of mine told me the original actually has better color to it. Any thoughts?

LINKFX on Mar 3, 2009


I got through this on the plane rides to and from New York, easily readable in a day. And way worth it. If you have a hard time getting into comic books, the animated version on iTunes for 19 bucks is definitely worth it, great voice acting, basically uses the frames from the comic book. Only one guy does the voice acting, which is kind of weird whenever the silk spectres talk, but I still thoroughly enjoyed watching the roughly 6 hours of video on my iPhone.

Daniel Mace on Mar 3, 2009


Comment #1: i read it in a manner of days when I first got it, i just couldn't put it down. Someone could easily read the book before friday

Jmoney on Mar 3, 2009


When you re-read Watchmen, check out the 6th or 7th chapter, called "Fearful symmetry" if I remember correctly. Then watch the central 2 pages of that chapter. And the previous and next 2. And so on. And then, you'll see why it's such a masterpiece.

Luis M on Mar 3, 2009


I live in NYC. Every morning I like to play the "Count the 'Watchmen' books on the subway" game. 3 in one car has so far been the highest. Even my girlfriend who doesnt understand my career in or love of comics has even asked to read my copy. Who watches the Watchmen? EVERYONE.

Voice of Reason on Mar 3, 2009


I loved the graphic novel, have suggested it to all my friends. It was a bit confusing at times especially when the sub plot of the boys comic book he was reading gets involved. Great read, can see how they say it's difficult to make into a movie, but so looking forward to it.

Craig on Mar 3, 2009


Roman - I have to ask: how old are you? "As an adult, I liked Rorschach's story." Other reviews posit that he's the one adolescents or teenagers identify with, while: -college students w Dr. Manhattan (or Silk Spectre) -young adults (22-25) w/ the Comedian -young professionals (26-30) w/ Adrian Veidt -and over 30's w/ Dan Dreiberg. Just letting you know that there are plenty more readings to get from the book, and that's part of the experience: finding something new to identify w/ it every time you read it. I've read it on average of every 3 or 4 yrs. and am about to turn 30. Right now, predictably enough, Rorschach looks rather juvenile in his outlook (which is the way Alan wrote it to be), and Adrian is just the character whose motives make the most sense! Alan Moore is not a genius- He's a Wizard!

Djozer on Mar 3, 2009


And for my vote, I really thought about this, and I'm DEFINITELY not re-reading it before I see the movie. It'll take all those tickling feelings away from just appreciating it for what it is. But for those who've never read it, yeah, I think it's a definite good pick-up. If anything, it'll probably make you want to read it - AND see it, again & again.

Djozer on Mar 3, 2009


I read Watchmen in about 6 hours straight, I was crying blood afterwards but it was worth it.

Crapola on Mar 3, 2009


#14 - I'm not sure if Roman will read these comments, but he's 25, so he still falls into your Comedian category anyway, but that's all just a generalization.

Alex Billington on Mar 3, 2009


I have 2 tix for the Screening tonight!!!!!!!!!!!! I have to take my Wife since I have been explaining the book to her for 6 months. Can't wait!

Tim "Cloverfield" on Mar 3, 2009


I just got into Watchmen a few weeks ago. I have a ton of exams and stuff going on and I still find the time to read it. Comment #11 I'm on my first re-read right now but i dont understand what you mean, regarding the chapter "fearful symmetry". Care to elaborate further?

James on Mar 3, 2009


#19 Sure. Gibbons (I don't know if it was his idea or Moore's) made the whole chapter symmetrical. The central 2 pages have the same general layout and characters. The previous and following 2 pages are also similar, and so on. Don't have the book with me right now to give you a better example, but if anyone else does, check it out.

Luis M on Mar 3, 2009


a bit late for me. Already saw it but now definately have to read it. I'm sure if you really wanted to read it b4 friday it wouldnt take long at all

twiggs on Mar 3, 2009


Quote - "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." hehehe... That's my favorite part of all of it. 🙂 Retribution! @Djozer ... 31 years old here and Rorschach is easily my favorite character in the book both as a kid and today, as well as each year in between (not to mention he is pretty much the pivot of the book... his POV is so often the vehicle which through the story is given to the reader... by the end, for me anyway, I am Rorschach... he's the guy I'd end up being if I were plunged into such a mess... i read watchmen to read the lament of Rorschach... it's a beautiful tale for any age really... ) P.S. ... the prison... hehehe... 🙂 "... I'm not stuck in here with you... you're stuck in here with me... " ... hehehehe... predestined to be scenes of legend among comic-book movies.

Matt on Mar 3, 2009


There are symmetries throughout the entire novel, but yes, that particular chapter is designed to be entirely symmetrical. How does the book begin and end? Start there and work backwards to the middle for some seriously mind-numbing moments of realization.

Djozer on Mar 3, 2009


"It's about time." - The Comedian. Think about that for a sec...

Djozer on Mar 3, 2009


the greatest fucking graphic novel ever any comic book fan out there that hasn't read it yet you must it's brillant,it be hard going to read it all by friday but good luck.

zetsu on Mar 3, 2009


Number 19, James - that chapter Fearful symmetry is because everything in that chapter is symmetrical. Flip to pages 14 and 15, you'll see what I mean! I've already read this 3 times, its amazing.

Conrad on Mar 3, 2009


I'm reading Watchmen 4th time allready, I've seen Motion comics, I've seen all the trailer, clips, featurettes and video journals from the movie... Now...I want to SEE WATCHMEN on big screen, and I'm happy as any geek should be. Next thing: Sandman.

m4st4 on Mar 4, 2009


''Number 19, James - that chapter Fearful symmetry is because everything in that chapter is symmetrical. Flip to pages 14 and 15, you'll see what I mean!'' Yeah, I was shocked! Also, you can 'find' Rorschach/Apocalypse guy way before the actuall reval (''Give me my face!'') in the same chapter, since he's the one arround the 'maildrop/trash' - meaning, he's Rorschach too.

m4st4 on Mar 4, 2009


# 29 (and everyone on here, including author & Alex) You want a good read after WATCHMEN, read GIVE ME LIBERTY. Frank Miller w/ Dave Gibbons. THAT is what comes next, after this monstrosity of awesomeness.

Djozer on Mar 4, 2009


I can say this, much better writing than what's normally on here. Roman you should write more!

wassssssuuuuuupppppppp on Mar 4, 2009


saw watchmen saturday. they had some kindof special screening on the air force base i live on and let me just say this movie is incredible. everyone even including those who didnt understand it loved it. no one said anything bad about it at all. and it is long too like 3 hours. the best parts are when they go back and show how the characters became who the are and the fight scenes are crazy awesome (especially rorshach in the prison/funny as hell). i will be going to see it again friday because it was tat good. well enjoy everyone because i know you will.

UGLI on Mar 4, 2009

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