I picked up a copy of The Watchmen a few weeks ago. Finished it tonight. I’m at once troubled and equally satisfied. The story; it’s an incredible story. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons did an incredible job. Incredible. They have an ability to weave parallel threads seamlessly with the same overlapping dialog and artwork. It’s breathtaking. What comes to mind is a particular scene where two protagonists are in a room having a conversation; that conversation is echoed by the people at a newsstand, and illustrated by a comic book being read by a kid at the stand. All three threads promote and illuminate each other.
Gibbons’ artwork borders on the sublime in his transitions, where a character in that comic book about pirates is standing at the shore having an internal monologue, and the next panel is one of the story’s protagonists standing at the edge of a pool, continuing the monologue. I’m sure it’s de rigueur for comics, but it blew me away. One panel is a graffiti outline of two lovers in an embrace, next panel is two heroes making amends with a hug. Woah.
But the ending. The ending. It’s all wrong. I’m blown away, but it’s all wrong. There is no justice. I was expecting a descension into deus ex machina at the least, but no. Moore threw a left hook. The conspiracy of silence! There is no justice, only silence! And salvation. It goes against my western storytelling sensibilities!
I’ll spend some time digesting.
I can’t begin to figure out how this story can be crammed into a movie. This story, the artwork, the threads, everything is so dense and rich with information. To boil it all down, to render the fat away and leave the muscle and sinew and bone, I have no idea. I have the highest hopes, but this is Hollywood; we’ve been let down time and again. All I can hope for, really, is the basic plot, and to be satisfied with that. I’m not sure when the movie is planned for release; apparently it’s tied up in legal tangles. The usual copyrights issues.
So. I’m sitting back and sighing, completely satisfied. If you want to read, I have a copy to loan.