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Infra-Man
02-01-2012, 05:45 AM
http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo172/hvigilla/watchmen_2012_nite_cvr.jpghttp://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo172/hvigilla/beforewatchmen.jpg

And so Watchmen prequels are official:

http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2012/02/01/dc-entertainment-officially-announces-%E2%80%9Cbefore-watchmen%E2%80%9D/

RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner


Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins.

And here's a Hollywood Reporter bit on this featuring an interview with JMS: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/dc-entertainment-watchmen-prequel-7-books-286302

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 05:47 AM
I'm in for the Comedian, and staying for the Minutemen. :heybaby:

Matt Doc Martin
02-01-2012, 05:53 AM
And before anyone freaks the fuck out, be honest with yourselves: You would give your left nut or ovary to be a part of these projects as writers or artists.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 05:57 AM
And before anyone freaks the fuck out, be honest with yourselves: You would give your left nut or ovary to be a part of these projects as writers or artists.

:shifty:

I'm pleading the fifth

Patrick Gerard
02-01-2012, 06:04 AM
I'm more interested in Grant Morrison's Anti-Watchmen idea with the Charlton heroes.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 06:04 AM
I'm more interested in Grant Morrison's Anti-Watchmen idea with the Charlton heroes.

You can't tell me you don't find the idea of Azz writing Rorscach and the Comedian even a little tantalizing.

Neil C.
02-01-2012, 06:11 AM
I so didn't want to buy this, but then I saw the talent involved and it could be good.

RobStaeger
02-01-2012, 06:17 AM
That's some serious talent on those books.

If you told me Adam Hughes would be drawing interiors again, I'd have never guessed "the book with the naked blue dude."

Thequeerjock
02-01-2012, 06:22 AM
As creatively bankrupt as the movie is, wow those are some stellar creative teams. I'll at least be checking out Silk Spectre and Comedian.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 06:22 AM
That's some serious talent on those books.

If you told me Adam Hughes would be drawing interiors again, I'd have never guessed "the book with the naked blue dude."

I know some people are gonna be happy with that. :)

Corrina
02-01-2012, 06:25 AM
You can't tell me you don't find the idea of Azz writing Rorscach and the Comedian even a little tantalizing.

Not even in the least.

Darwyn Cooke, however, is another story.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 06:27 AM
Not even in the least.

Darwyn Cooke, however, is another story.

Darwyn Cooke is in a league of his own.

Ziggy Stardust
02-01-2012, 06:37 AM
The Nite Owkl cover makes me think of that naughty Santa pic I've seen where he's taking a dump in the chimney of the naughty kid's house.

Impulse
02-01-2012, 07:24 AM
As I said on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/mattkamen/status/164702822854705152) earlier, I'm not going to stoop to hyperbole in my distaste for the project (no "threw up a little" or "this is the end of comics creativity!" comments from me) but I won't be buying these, and recommend anyone who shares my feelings to do the same. Making a noise on the internet won't make DC think twice but low sales will.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 07:26 AM
As I said on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/mattkamen/status/164702822854705152) earlier, I'm not going to stoop to hyperbole in my distaste for the project (no "threw up a little" or "this is the end of comics creativity!" comments from me) but I won't be buying these, and recommend anyone who shares my feelings to do the same. Making a noise on the internet won't make DC think twice but low sales will.

What if you hear that it's really enjoyable and whatnot?

Linkara
02-01-2012, 08:18 AM
And before anyone freaks the fuck out, be honest with yourselves: You would give your left nut or ovary to be a part of these projects as writers or artists.

No. No I wouldn't. I have too much respect for the original book to want to see this happen even if I did get a chance to write this.

Even if Alan Moore was actually behind it and working on it, I'd be iffy about this idea. People change in 25 years, attitudes change, and all that stuff. These prequels are completely unnecessary. The original book still stands on its own, even with the occasional plot or logic hole that even I've criticized it on.


What if you hear that it's really enjoyable and whatnot?

The only way I'm EVER buying these things is if I hear they're really, REALLY awful so I can review them on the show. If they are simply "Meh," then there's REALLY no point and if they're well-written, it's still a project that should never have seen the light of day.

Hugin
02-01-2012, 08:25 AM
RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
I'll probably buy issue 1 of Rorschach, Minutemen, Comedian, and Silk Spectre. That said, do the teams look oddly placed to anyone else? I would have expected JMS on Ozzy. Comedian and Minutemen ought to be under the same writer so they can reference each other, since Comedian was a Minuteman. I'd also expect Manhattan and Spectre to be under the same writer. They're good teams, but they seem to have been placed at random.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 08:26 AM
No. No I wouldn't. I have too much respect for the original book to want to see this happen even if I did get a chance to write this.

Even if Alan Moore was actually behind it and working on it, I'd be iffy about this idea. People change in 25 years, attitudes change, and all that stuff. These prequels are completely unnecessary. The original book still stands on its own, even with the occasional plot or logic hole that even I've criticized it on.

The only way I'm EVER buying these things is if I hear they're really, REALLY awful so I can review them on the show.

Why exactly do they have to be necessary? Maybe the creators on board have a good story to tell and will succeed at that... Even then if it gets people into comic shops, it's a good thing. It's not like it'll suddenly ruin the original anyhow.

If we stopped doing projects because the original creator wasn't involved a lot of comics would be out of the game. Moore wouldn't be making projects like Lost Girls, LOEG, Tom Strong, etc.

It isn't Moore writing it and it never will be, that I understand. But to put down the project because it's "unnecessary" isn't a strong argument. Moore covered the necessary ground of their stories, but that doesn't mean there aren't any left to tell.

scout1279
02-01-2012, 08:27 AM
I'm disappointed that they didn't just reprint Charlton comics with the character names replaced.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 08:27 AM
I'll probably buy issue 1 of Rorschach, Minutemen, Comedian, and Silk Spectre. That said, do the teams look oddly placed to anyone else? I would have expected JMS on Ozzy. Comedian and Minutemen ought to be under the same writer so they can reference each other, since Comedian was a Minuteman. I'd also expect Manhattan and Spectre to be under the same writer. They're good teams, but they seem to have been placed at random.

They don't have to be by the same writer to reference each other.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 08:32 AM
I'm disappointed that they didn't just reprint Charlton comics with the character names replaced.

I think DC would have gotten more long-term mileage by backing Morrison's modern watchmen.

Corrina
02-01-2012, 08:34 AM
My reaction was more along the lines of surprise that they waited so long to do this. They've done sequels to just about everything, save maybe Neil Gaiman's Sandman writing.

It's not like Moore is going to be less pissed at them....

But that is a totally cynical reaction, I admit. Easier to do these than, say, figure out how to expand their market digitally.

Hugin
02-01-2012, 08:36 AM
They don't have to be by the same writer to reference each other.Yes, but if they're not the same writer, then I expect those references to be ham-fisted because they need to go through editorial. One writer can tell 2 stories that work on their own but build off each other. With 2 writers, they have to shoehorn the references in so they don't step on each other's toes.

Linkara
02-01-2012, 08:39 AM
Why exactly do they have to be necessary? Maybe the creators on board have a good story to tell and will succeed at that... Even then if it gets people into comic shops, it's a good thing. It's not like it'll suddenly ruin the original anyhow.

If we stopped doing projects because the original creator wasn't involved a lot of comics would be out of the game. Moore wouldn't be making projects like Lost Girls, LOEG, Tom Strong, etc.

It isn't Moore writing it and it never will be, that I understand. But to put down the project because it's "unnecessary" isn't a strong argument. Moore covered the necessary ground of their stories, but that doesn't mean there aren't any left to tell.

As I said in my recent video about Identity Crisis, these prequels are essentially retcons, retcons written by people who had nothing to do with the original. And yes, it DOES have an impact on the original. As fans of superheroes, we're well aware of continuity in universes with continuing stories - as a result, these prequels, according to DC, are what officially happened to these characters before the events of Watchmen. They were part of the memories and experiences of the characters and they informed and shaped those characters during the events and decisions they made IN Watchmen. And now, if I read those prequels, any time I re-read Watchmen suddenly I'm aware of events that transpired that were never meant to be part of that story. They color my reading of the original book. It's one of the reasons why I hate prequels at all, quite frankly.

Watchmen does not NEED to have its universe expanded upon. It is a self-contained story about superheroes and all the details you might want or all there if you go looking for them. Some of it is ambiguous, but it's BETTER that way - it's better that there are some things we don't know about.

And bear in mind, normally I am not against telling more stories and I usually laugh at the implication of people who claim in some fictional universes that there are "no more stories to tell," but I make an exception in this case. Watchmen is too damned important a story in the medium for this kind of nonsense.

Tetsuo_man
02-01-2012, 08:49 AM
Alan Moore's daughter Leah reacts to the news on twitter: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/02/01/leah-moore-on-before-watchmen/

sunbird
02-01-2012, 09:12 AM
I've said before that DC seems to be mainlining on nostalgia at the moment - if we pursue that analogy I think DC just sold its wedding ring for a quick fix.

RobStaeger
02-01-2012, 09:30 AM
I don't look at them as "official," whatever DC says and however enjoyable they turn out to be (and I expect the Minutemen and Silk Spectre books to be pretty damn awesome). I'm looking at them as commentary on the original story, in the Goddard sense: "The best way to criticize a movie is to make another movie." Yes, it might change the way I look at the original, but so does any commentary. Hell, so have the intervening years since I first read it.

Gail Simone
02-01-2012, 09:32 AM
I'll start off by saying, I don't have remarkably strong feelings either way. I'm excited to see some of those creative teams, simply because I'm a huge fan of Brian, Amanda, and Darwyn, among others. So, new work for them is always a thrill.


But I must admit, I've not nearly romanticized Watchmen to the degree that others have. There's nasty crap in there that is kind of inexplicable, that appears in a lot of Moore work of that period. And it really was a book, like Dark Knight, that unfortunately caused a lot of crappy imitators.

The art's magnificent, the craft is remarkable, but I can name ten Moore works I like better without hesitation.

I have mixed feelings about Alan's response about the books. On the one hand, it would be lovely if every creator who did a work like this got to decide how the property was handled in the future. But they don't, and I'm not sure exactly what makes this book an exception, if that was never part of the agreement in the first place. Because of its artistic merit? Because of Alan's well-known unhappiness with DC? Cases could be made in both situations, but that's not quite the complain Alan seemed to have in his response.

He said, there were no sequels to Moby Dick, which is just bizarre and ironic, considering Alan himself uses characters from Moby Dick, and dozens of other sources, without permission or credit, in his Extraordinary Gentlemen books. Is the idea that Watchmen is SO wonderful that no other creators can work on it, despite the fact that the characters themselves are pastiches of Charleton characters owned wholly by DC?

I may be looking at this wrong. I don't know that these books need to happen at all. But Watchmen is immensely popular, these creators are extremely talented. I suspect the books will actually be quite good. Again, I'm not so wild about the characters that I am dying to see them again.

Alan has taken a principled, if sometimes confusing, stance against almost all his former publishers and many of his co-creators. I don't doubt his sincerity for a moment. His work is a series of milestones in the industry. I have no doubt that many, most, or all of his complaints are valid.

But I'm not sure that the publisher is in the moral wrong, here. Alan himself had a Watchmen prequel planned at one point, so it's weird that he says, "Moby Dick didn't have a prequel," when he himself planned one.

Don't know the answers. The covers look nice, the creative teams are top-notch. I don't know the particulars of the Watchmen contract, so I won't speak about that.

What are your thoughts? What am I missing, here?

Gail Simone
02-01-2012, 09:34 AM
And I love Leah, she's a a wonderful writer herself. But "why not make a new Watchmen" is a little silly to say. "Why not make a new Batman?"

And again, a large part of her career so far is working on other people's characters; Sherlock Holmes, Alice In Wonderland, Albion. Why doesn't SHE make a new Sherlock Holmes?

sunbird
02-01-2012, 09:37 AM
I think the medium of comics has a strength in that the stories never finish - but that is also a weakness of sorts. And that the completeness of Watchmen was its strength. This is only going to dilute that. I have no doubt you could write some great stories in that world, but it isn' something I really want. Enough with the always harking back to the way things were - DC is doing its best stuff now with the stuff that is new, and they should be focusing on that.

Slewo.O
02-01-2012, 09:39 AM
I'll start off by saying, I don't have remarkably strong feelings either way. I'm excited to see some of those creative teams, simply because I'm a huge fan of Brian, Amanda, and Darwyn, among others. So, new work for them is always a thrill.

But I must admit, I've not nearly romanticized Watchmen to the degree that others have. There's nasty crap in there that is kind of inexplicable, that appears in a lot of Moore work of that period. And it really was a book, like Dark Knight, that unfortunately caused a lot of crappy imitators.

The art's magnificent, the craft is remarkable, but I can name ten Moore works I like better without hesitation.

I have mixed feelings about Alan's response about the books. On the one hand, it would be lovely if every creator who did a work like this got to decide how the property was handled in the future. But they don't, and I'm not sure exactly what makes this book an exception, if that was never part of the agreement in the first place. Because of its artistic merit? Because of Alan's well-known unhappiness with DC? Cases could be made in both situations, but that's not quite the complain Alan seemed to have in his response.

He said, there were no sequels to Moby Dick, which is just bizarre and ironic, considering Alan himself uses characters from Moby Dick, and dozens of other sources, without permission or credit, in his Extraordinary Gentlemen books. Is the idea that Watchmen is SO wonderful that no other creators can work on it, despite the fact that the characters themselves are pastiches of Charleton characters owned wholly by DC?

I may be looking at this wrong. I don't know that these books need to happen at all. But Watchmen is immensely popular, these creators are extremely talented. I suspect the books will actually be quite good. Again, I'm not so wild about the characters that I am dying to see them again.

Alan has taken a principled, if sometimes confusing, stance against almost all his former publishers and many of his co-creators. I don't doubt his sincerity for a moment. His work is a series of milestones in the industry. I have no doubt that many, most, or all of his complaints are valid.

But I'm not sure that the publisher is in the moral wrong, here. Alan himself had a Watchmen prequel planned at one point, so it's weird that he says, "Moby Dick didn't have a prequel," when he himself planned one.

Don't know the answers. The covers look nice, the creative teams are top-notch. I don't know the particulars of the Watchmen contract, so I won't speak about that.

What are your thoughts? What am I missing, here?

My thoughts exactly. A large part of Moore's career is focused on continuing the stories of other people's characters or pastiches. Watchmen isn't immune and that's true when you give consideration to it's origins.

Also didn't Moby Dick have a sequel?

RobStaeger
02-01-2012, 09:43 AM
Also didn't Moby Dick have a sequel?

There was definitely a Tom & Jerry cartoon where they were chasing down a big whale called Dickie Mo. I'm not sure if Alan Moore wrote it, though.

RobStaeger
02-01-2012, 09:47 AM
Hey, Phillip Jose Farmer wrote a sequel to Moby-Dick! The Wind-Whales of Ishmael. (http://fypa.net/philip-jose-farmers-moby-dick-sequel/)

Matt_Y
02-01-2012, 10:09 AM
*snicker* It looks like Nite Owl is shitting down someone's chimney.

Probably Alan Moore's.

Corrina
02-01-2012, 10:34 AM
Pretty much what Gail said. Watchmen has a lot of brilliance about it but I'm not sure why is so sacrosanct.

Take an example of ID Crisis that someone brought out about retconning stuff into the Bronze/Silver Age Justice League. My real complaint there is not that it's a lousy story--and I think it is--or that it retconned a bunch of stuff into stories I care about. No, my real problem is that this story was used as a jumping point going forward in the new stuff that I was reading.

Otherwise, I'd have been very, very happy to ignore what I consider a lousy book. But it was impossible to ignore.

Not so the Watchmen prequels. No one's going to take Watchmen forward and somehow rewrite the events inside to conform to new reality and then have a whole new series of books in the universe based on the new reality---thus reminding those who like the story that it's all different now and you can't read it the same way.

No, this is just characters pulled out and written about before the events that can be utterly and completely ignored if a reader so chooses. There's no ruination of properly or making Watchmen unreadable here.

Now, I think DC is mostly after $$$ but they did get top notch talent on this. If we can rewrite Denny O'Neil, Marv Wolfman, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka....(and so many others) why does Alan Moore get a pass?

Matt_Y
02-01-2012, 11:04 AM
I don't think he does get a pass. Marvel & DC have been rewriting Moore (and Miller) for much of the last 25 years. Removed from the context of when it was written Watchmen reads like a parody of superhero comics since 1985.

Corrina
02-01-2012, 11:07 AM
Yeah, DC and Marvel decided Miller & Moore were so great they should make all their comics like them.

Which totally *missed the point.* Especially with The Watchmen.

Chris Jones
02-01-2012, 11:12 AM
Pretty much what Gail said. Watchmen has a lot of brilliance about it but I'm not sure why is so sacrosanct.


It is literally among the ten most important and influential comics ever produced, in any genre and any format.

It's sort of like hiring the Coen Brothers and Ryan Gosling to make and star in a sequel to Apocalypse Now, in that no matter how interesting of a combination that sounds the very idea is so needless and places so much baggage on such an immaculately self-contained story that your gut reaction is still "What the fuck is the matter with you people?" My problem with it isn't that it's disrespectful to Alan Moore or even to the world and characters, it's that the idea of doing prequels to Watchmen laughs in the face of craft itself.

Corrina
02-01-2012, 11:59 AM
It's a money grab. It's disrespectful, of course.

But it doesn't do anything to ruin the original work in the least.

ETA: Hmm...considering Apocalypse Now was based on a book that's been made into a movie several times, I don't think your example holds. Next thing you know, someone will take childhood stories like Peter Pan and take the female characters from them and write an x-rated coming about sexual coming of age and ruin those stories...oh wait.

Chris Jones
02-01-2012, 12:10 PM
It's a money grab. It's disrespectful, of course.

But it doesn't do anything to ruin the original work in the least.

ETA: Hmm...considering Apocalypse Now was based on a book that's been made into a movie several times, I don't think your example holds. Next thing you know, someone will take childhood stories like Peter Pan and take the female characters from them and write an x-rated coming about sexual coming of age and ruin those stories...oh wait.

I considered that when I posted the example, but to say that Apocalypse Now is not a force unto itself, in the same way Watchmen is, is disingenuous. In fact, if anything I think it makes my point stronger, in that they're both works that were tangentially based on existing material that proved far more compelling and impactful than their sources and require no further augmentation. If you like we could keep the same director and lead and switch it to Raging Bull and we'll be set.

Of course, Raging Bull is also adapted from Jake LaMotta's autobiography. There is very little that does not subsist by taking pieces from something else, true, but I believe there is a difference between reinterpretation and extension. They're not mutually exclusive, of course, and these prequels may have some innovative reimaginings of the Watchmen universe and completely destroy my notions of what a superhero comic can achieve, but I won't hold my breath. Which is not to say I don't like a lot of the creators involved, but just because I love the Arctic Monkeys that doesn't mean I think they can make Abbey Road Part II.

michealdark
02-01-2012, 12:18 PM
I swore I never would read anything like this if it came out, but I don't know if my conviction is that strong, honestly. I still think it's a bad idea, but I have to see the product first before I completely condem it. Some people can alchemy bad ideas into gold.

Artful Angie
02-01-2012, 12:18 PM
If JMS is writing it, he should have it all wrapped up in seven or eight years, after he gives up halfway through to pursue something else and then comes back a few years later.

Corrina
02-01-2012, 12:44 PM
But I think you're also talking two different mediums, films which stand alone and a shared comic universe--and that said shared universe was absolutely influential in the creation of Watchmen.

On the one side, people are saying "no! the work is sacred!" on the other side, there's the fact that if that viewpoint held at all cost, Watchmen *itself* wouldn't exist at all. Did Steve Ditko object to Moore taking The Question and warping him? Would it matter if he had?

As Gail said, a huge bunch of Moore's work is taking stories considered sacred and putting his own spin on them, like Watchmen, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the collection I referenced above about sexual awakening. "I'm allowed to create my own spin but it stops with me!"

I think it's a money grab, as I said. But I don't see how it manages to diminish the original Watchmen any more than Watchmen ruined Steve Ditko's Question.

NickT
02-01-2012, 12:45 PM
I'm in the camp of people who aren't against this happening but not overly interested. It does feel like the world was explored enough.

I might go for the Darwyn Cooke one.

I'm suprised by how much they are putting out though, this feels a bit like something you'd do on a smaller scale over a longer time rather than a lot very quickly.

The Funketeer
02-01-2012, 12:52 PM
Alan Moore's daughter Leah reacts to the news on twitter: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/02/01/leah-moore-on-before-watchmen/

She pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. I'm not really offended by the idea of sequels or prequels, but I'd much rather see these incredibly talented people working on something more original or ongoing. It seems odd that they chose to tie up all this talent on a project like this at the same time they were launching 52 new titles.

What really gets me is that I'm going to have to spend money on a JMS book if I want to see Adam Hughes art.

The Funketeer
02-01-2012, 01:00 PM
The art's magnificent, the craft is remarkable, but I can name ten Moore works I like better without hesitation.


Amen. I think Watchmen is great but it's kind of like Jimi Hendrix or Citizen Kane. It's the book people are trained to say the love without really knowing why. I read it repeatedly but more out of nostalgia, not for a great story (which it is) but to remember a time when Miller and Moore were changing the way comics were created. It's great because it changed the industry, not because the story and characters were timeless and needed revisiting.

Tetsuo_man
02-01-2012, 01:10 PM
I considered that when I posted the example, but to say that Apocalypse Now is not a force unto itself, in the same way Watchmen is, is disingenuous. In fact, if anything I think it makes my point stronger, in that they're both works that were tangentially based on existing material that proved far more compelling and impactful than their sources and require no further augmentation. If you like we could keep the same director and lead and switch it to Raging Bull and we'll be set.

Of course, Raging Bull is also adapted from Jake LaMotta's autobiography. There is very little that does not subsist by taking pieces from something else, true, but I believe there is a difference between reinterpretation and extension. They're not mutually exclusive, of course, and these prequels may have some innovative reimaginings of the Watchmen universe and completely destroy my notions of what a superhero comic can achieve, but I won't hold my breath. Which is not to say I don't like a lot of the creators involved, but just because I love the Arctic Monkeys that doesn't mean I think they can make Abbey Road Part II.

Speaking of Raging Bull that reminds me that there have been talks of doing this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1148205/ for a couple of years. I personally hope nothing comes of it.

The Funketeer
02-01-2012, 01:13 PM
Speaking of Raging Bull that reminds me that there have been talks of doing this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1148205/ for a couple of years. I personally hope nothing comes of it.

But it's by the guy who direct this...http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0398839/ so it should be OK.

RobStaeger
02-01-2012, 01:26 PM
I'm suprised by how much they are putting out though, this feels a bit like something you'd do on a smaller scale over a longer time rather than a lot very quickly.

I think one of the lessons of the initial success of the New 52 is Go big or go home. They sold a lot of product all at once from a huge publicity splash.

Chris Jones
02-01-2012, 01:57 PM
But I think you're also talking two different mediums, films which stand alone and a shared comic universe--and that said shared universe was absolutely influential in the creation of Watchmen.

On the one side, people are saying "no! the work is sacred!" on the other side, there's the fact that if that viewpoint held at all cost, Watchmen *itself* wouldn't exist at all. Did Steve Ditko object to Moore taking The Question and warping him? Would it matter if he had?

As Gail said, a huge bunch of Moore's work is taking stories considered sacred and putting his own spin on them, like Watchmen, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the collection I referenced above about sexual awakening. "I'm allowed to create my own spin but it stops with me!"

I think it's a money grab, as I said. But I don't see how it manages to diminish the original Watchmen any more than Watchmen ruined Steve Ditko's Question.

I don't think Watchmen is part of a shared universe, is it?

There's also a problem I have with the whole "they were originally going to be Charlton characters," and that problem is that they're not Charlton characters. Rorschach isn't anything like the Question save for trenchcoat and face-mask. Nobody who wasn't extraordinarily well versed in comics minutiae would look at Nite-Owl and think "Say, this character is extremely similar to Blue Beetle." Their personalities, motivations, and the worlds that shape them are about as far apart from their sources as imaginable. None of these characters had to be based on anything originally from DC in order to exist.

Danimal
02-01-2012, 02:01 PM
I'm of the camp that doesn't really see a point in this. I'm not going to say it's terrible month's before it comes out, but to me, the characters were fascinating because of the story. For the most part, I'm not all that interested in reading about them outside of that story.

Corrina
02-01-2012, 02:04 PM
Watchmen is steeped in the shared universe of the DC and Charlton heroes.

Among other things, it's a commentary on superheroes and real life and people. How can it *not* reflect back to the original characters.

That's like saying League of Extraordinary Gentleman owes nothing to H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. They're not the same original characters of course, especially Quartermain, save in name. And they weren't together either but Moore still used them together.

Moore sounds like "well, I can use and alter other works for my work of genius but, hey, don't touch mine!" That's what it sounds like to me.

Now, if it was a consistent--"Create new characters and don't warp old ones," I'd see consistency. But that's not what Moore has done. He's consistency warped things in the public imagination. Now it's coming around to him.

Me, I think overall, DC should move forward, stop taking new characters off the board (Wally West) changing and squishing together other ones (Huntress) and just go forward with new people. Let Dick be Batman, move Damian to Robin, let Babs move forward, let Steph & Cass take the mantle....

New stuff, new stories. So, yeah, I'd rather Darwyn Cooke move on and create a new superhero character. But Moore's stance ignores what he did *himself.*

Personamanx
02-01-2012, 02:25 PM
Meh, can't say I'm terribly interested.

Matt_Y
02-01-2012, 02:46 PM
But I think you're also talking two different mediums, films which stand alone and a shared comic universe--and that said shared universe was absolutely influential in the creation of Watchmen.

On the one side, people are saying "no! the work is sacred!" on the other side, there's the fact that if that viewpoint held at all cost, Watchmen *itself* wouldn't exist at all. Did Steve Ditko object to Moore taking The Question and warping him? Would it matter if he had?

As Gail said, a huge bunch of Moore's work is taking stories considered sacred and putting his own spin on them, like Watchmen, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the collection I referenced above about sexual awakening. "I'm allowed to create my own spin but it stops with me!"

I think it's a money grab, as I said. But I don't see how it manages to diminish the original Watchmen any more than Watchmen ruined Steve Ditko's Question.

I do feel like it's diminishing DC in a way. Openly acknowledging that they don't think they can do better. It feels like an admission of defeat.

Infra-Man
02-01-2012, 02:47 PM
If this is a hit, we're soon going to have this on our hands:

http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo172/hvigilla/watchmen-babies_1235924139_crop_480x358.jpg

Though at least they'd probably get Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani on it.

Patrick Gerard
02-01-2012, 02:59 PM
Watchmen is steeped in the shared universe of the DC and Charlton heroes.

Among other things, it's a commentary on superheroes and real life and people. How can it *not* reflect back to the original characters.

That's like saying League of Extraordinary Gentleman owes nothing to H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. They're not the same original characters of course, especially Quartermain, save in name. And they weren't together either but Moore still used them together.

Moore sounds like "well, I can use and alter other works for my work of genius but, hey, don't touch mine!" That's what it sounds like to me.

Now, if it was a consistent--"Create new characters and don't warp old ones," I'd see consistency. But that's not what Moore has done. He's consistency warped things in the public imagination. Now it's coming around to him.

Me, I think overall, DC should move forward, stop taking new characters off the board (Wally West) changing and squishing together other ones (Huntress) and just go forward with new people. Let Dick be Batman, move Damian to Robin, let Babs move forward, let Steph & Cass take the mantle....

New stuff, new stories. So, yeah, I'd rather Darwyn Cooke move on and create a new superhero character. But Moore's stance ignores what he did *himself.*

Here's the difference.

DC doesn't outright own Watchmen. It's not a strict work for hire deal. Rather, they retain the rights as long they keep the material in print. Which nobody anticipated as being a long time.

Charles Dickens and his publisher knew the deal they were getting into with copyright when they did it. And Dickens had issues with pirates in his day, notably Mark Twain's publishers.

DC's ability to even do this hinges on a loophole they've been exploiting. Moore's ability to raid Dickens, Carroll, Wells, etc. hinges upon a social contract that they knew about when they wrote their books, that has been honored at least as well if not better than they were promised by society when they wrote it. The rules erred in those writers' favor.

EmarAndZeb
02-01-2012, 03:52 PM
It's not even that the original work is "sacred," that makes this irritating for me, so much as that this reveals an inherent weakness in the mainstream comics mindset... everything has got to be a fucking franchise. There can't be any stand-alone narratives... everything has to be a big shared universe, where every possible gap must be filled in (however unnecessary the addition), insular geeks can circle-jerk to retreaded stories featuring familiar characters for all eternity, and - by coincidence - large companies can safely profit off them doing so.

To hell with that.

I've seen a lot of juvenile tu quoque responses to Alan Moore's being upset by this which draw on the fact that the dude wrote League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Lost Girls. Two points:

A: It is entirely possible for a person to be both hypocritical and correct; even if Alan Moore's aforementioned latter-day works are in exactly the same boat as this endeavor, it doesn't prove he's wrong in his criticisms of this particular DC project.

B: I'm not so sure the situation is identical to Alan Moore writing his dumb, public-domain porn. Or people writing a million different re-inventions of Sherlock Holmes, or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which, let's be clear, is kind of funny, but completely idiotic), or whatever. This is DC desperately trying to wring some more money out of an old cash/credibility-cow's withered teat, while at the same time maintaining exclusive ownership of the property, and even trying to promote a bullshit idea of "official continuity" when really it's just fanfic with talented authors and a paycheck. If Watchmen fell into the public domain and it suddenly became a sequel/prequel/midquel/"re-interpretation" free-for-all, I'd have less of a problem overall* than with some third-party entity trying to claim sole right to add to "the canon", as it were. Yeah, sure, I don't have to accept their canon, but it's still pompous of them to claim it in the first place.

Say what you will about the borrowing (and masturbatory postmodern game-i-ness) of LXG, I don't think it pretends to be anything other than Moore and O'Neill's riff on Stevenson/Stoker/Verne/et. al.; it doesn't pretend to be a canonical addition to any of their universes. It flat out contradicts them, in several instances.





*Although I still might think individual derivative works were dumb, a la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Arion
02-01-2012, 04:24 PM
And before anyone freaks the fuck out, be honest with yourselves: You would give your left nut or ovary to be a part of these projects as writers or artists.


No, I wouldn't.
Clearly you don't value your nuts as much as I do.

KirbyKrackle
02-01-2012, 04:37 PM
If this is a hit, we're soon going to have this on our hands:

http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo172/hvigilla/watchmen-babies_1235924139_crop_480x358.jpg

Though at least they'd probably get Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani on it.

I'm not gonna lie, if they got the tiny titans creative team to do a wittle watchmen comic, I would so buy it.

Chris Jones
02-01-2012, 05:03 PM
It's not even that the original work is "sacred," that makes this irritating for me, so much as that this reveals an inherent weakness in the mainstream comics mindset... everything has got to be a fucking franchise. There can't be any stand-alone narratives... everything has to be a big shared universe, where every possible gap must be filled in (however unnecessary the addition), insular geeks can circle-jerk to retreaded stories featuring familiar characters for all eternity, and - by coincidence - large companies can safely profit off them doing so.

To hell with that.

I've seen a lot of juvenile tu quoque responses to Alan Moore's being upset by this which draw on the fact that the dude wrote League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Lost Girls. Two points:

A: It is entirely possible for a person to be both hypocritical and correct; even if Alan Moore's aforementioned latter-day works are in exactly the same boat as this endeavor, it doesn't prove he's wrong in his criticisms of this particular DC project.

B: I'm not so sure the situation is identical to Alan Moore writing his dumb, public-domain porn. Or people writing a million different re-inventions of Sherlock Holmes, or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which, let's be clear, is kind of funny, but completely idiotic), or whatever. This is DC desperately trying to wring some more money out of an old cash/credibility-cow's withered teat, while at the same time maintaining exclusive ownership of the property, and even trying to promote a bullshit idea of "official continuity" when really it's just fanfic with talented authors and a paycheck. If Watchmen fell into the public domain and it suddenly became a sequel/prequel/midquel/"re-interpretation" free-for-all, I'd have less of a problem overall* than with some third-party entity trying to claim sole right to add to "the canon", as it were. Yeah, sure, I don't have to accept their canon, but it's still pompous of them to claim it in the first place.

Say what you will about the borrowing (and masturbatory postmodern game-i-ness) of LXG, I don't think it pretends to be anything other than Moore and O'Neill's riff on Stevenson/Stoker/Verne/et. al.; it doesn't pretend to be a canonical addition to any of their universes. It flat out contradicts them, in several instances.





*Although I still might think individual derivative works were dumb, a la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

You put this hella well and I applaud you for it.

ZimMan2
02-01-2012, 07:24 PM
Personally, I'm really interested in the Minutemen one, because barring Moore, I don't see anyone doing the idea of the Minutemen better than Cooke.

I might check out some of the others, but mostly for the art.

And I don't really see how this affects the original unless you want it to.

stealthwise
02-01-2012, 07:54 PM
My reaction was more along the lines of surprise that they waited so long to do this. They've done sequels to just about everything, save maybe Neil Gaiman's Sandman writing.

That's my fear, that we'll see Sandman relaunched by much less talented writers.

There's a reason people hate the Star Wars prequels. There's a reason that Indiana Jones shouldn't have come back. A reason why Bill Murray is hesitant to do another Ghostbusters (although the second one kind of tainted that already).

Some things are great, but are a product of their time. I don't care who the talent is, you gotta move on.

As promising as having Darwyn Cooke working on something like this is, I'd rather see him work on something new. Even though he's been doing adaptations of Parker novels, those at least feel fresh. Having him work on a DC prequel project isn't something very enticing to me, at all.

stealthwise
02-01-2012, 07:56 PM
Pretty much what Gail said. Watchmen has a lot of brilliance about it but I'm not sure why is so sacrosanct.

Take an example of ID Crisis that someone brought out about retconning stuff into the Bronze/Silver Age Justice League. My real complaint there is not that it's a lousy story--and I think it is--or that it retconned a bunch of stuff into stories I care about. No, my real problem is that this story was used as a jumping point going forward in the new stuff that I was reading.

Otherwise, I'd have been very, very happy to ignore what I consider a lousy book. But it was impossible to ignore.

Not so the Watchmen prequels. No one's going to take Watchmen forward and somehow rewrite the events inside to conform to new reality and then have a whole new series of books in the universe based on the new reality---thus reminding those who like the story that it's all different now and you can't read it the same way.

No, this is just characters pulled out and written about before the events that can be utterly and completely ignored if a reader so chooses. There's no ruination of properly or making Watchmen unreadable here.

Now, I think DC is mostly after $$$ but they did get top notch talent on this. If we can rewrite Denny O'Neil, Marv Wolfman, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka....(and so many others) why does Alan Moore get a pass?

They made a comedy about the stupidity of making a sequel to such a great work that didn't need one. It's called Hamlet 2.

stealthwise
02-01-2012, 08:01 PM
And I don't really see how this affects the original unless you want it to.

Midichlorians.

Darth Vader as a whiny little bitch, who somehow invented C3P0.

Jar Jar Binks.

Those are reasons why I prefer shoddy sequels to potentially harmful prequels.

Comics work differently than other media, they thrive on determining what's "canon" and what's not, as the fandom/readership needs to be told what counts on an almost weekly basis. DC is promoting all of this heavily and saying that THIS counts.

The work needs to stand alone. I say this because it's very much a Moore and Gibbons joint, and neither are directly involved. Regardless of whether it originally started as a Charlton project or not, it's evolved into something so much larger than that. You don't have to treat it as sacred, but nothing I've seen so far, from the multi-part mini-series to the involvement of hacks like JMS, suggest that it's worth doing for anything other than money.

And I don't buy that commerce is a good reason to bastardize art.

RobStaeger
02-01-2012, 08:10 PM
Midichlorians.

Darth Vader as a whiny little bitch, who somehow invented C3P0.

Jar Jar Binks.

Those are reasons why I prefer shoddy sequels to potentially harmful prequels.



Those all sound like good reasons to be glad it's out of the original author's hands, no? When other people fuck up a property, fans can tell themselves it's not canon. But when Lucas does it himself, its holy writ. (And wholly shit.)

Tobias M
02-02-2012, 01:25 AM
I pretty much said everything I wanted to say on this topic here (http://podcasts.comicbooked.com/blue-jumper-13-watchmen-who-wants-seconds/) including this whole notion of Watchmen being a sacred cow (which no doubt it is to some, but that's not actually the issue).

The defensiveness of some of the creator statements on this is telling. In effect Watchmen is being relied upon as a sure thing, a guaranteed hit designed to bring some much needed cash into the coffers. That's what is so sad about today's announcement. The best idea they had was to revisit a story from twenty five years ago? Really? That's just tragic.

There are some amazing writers and artists on the market today. Someone should take a chance on them.

C.B. Nerdlinger
02-02-2012, 01:54 AM
Here's the difference.

DC doesn't outright own Watchmen. It's not a strict work for hire deal. Rather, they retain the rights as long they keep the material in print. Which nobody anticipated as being a long time.

Charles Dickens and his publisher knew the deal they were getting into with copyright when they did it. And Dickens had issues with pirates in his day, notably Mark Twain's publishers.

DC's ability to even do this hinges on a loophole they've been exploiting. Moore's ability to raid Dickens, Carroll, Wells, etc. hinges upon a social contract that they knew about when they wrote their books, that has been honored at least as well if not better than they were promised by society when they wrote it. The rules erred in those writers' favor.

It's not a loophole, it's a clause in a contract that the author knew about when he wrote the book.

Corrina
02-02-2012, 03:30 AM
They made a comedy about the stupidity of making a sequel to such a great work that didn't need one. It's called Hamlet 2.

There's also a brilliant piece of writing by Tom Stoppard called Rosencranz & Guildenstern are dead.

Patrick Gerard
02-02-2012, 04:03 AM
It's not a loophole, it's a clause in a contract that the author knew about when he wrote the book.

No one had ever exercised a clause like that when Moore agreed to it. That's like saying that signing a liability waiver at the carnival enables them to send a guy up to you and shank you with a rusty tin can because you waived them of any liability for harm you undergo.

Kevin T Brown
02-02-2012, 04:13 AM
It's not even that the original work is "sacred," that makes this irritating for me, so much as that this reveals an inherent weakness in the mainstream comics mindset... everything has got to be a fucking franchise. There can't be any stand-alone narratives... everything has to be a big shared universe, where every possible gap must be filled in (however unnecessary the addition), insular geeks can circle-jerk to retreaded stories featuring familiar characters for all eternity, and - by coincidence - large companies can safely profit off them doing so.

To hell with that.

I've seen a lot of juvenile tu quoque responses to Alan Moore's being upset by this which draw on the fact that the dude wrote League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Lost Girls. Two points:

A: It is entirely possible for a person to be both hypocritical and correct; even if Alan Moore's aforementioned latter-day works are in exactly the same boat as this endeavor, it doesn't prove he's wrong in his criticisms of this particular DC project.

B: I'm not so sure the situation is identical to Alan Moore writing his dumb, public-domain porn. Or people writing a million different re-inventions of Sherlock Holmes, or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which, let's be clear, is kind of funny, but completely idiotic), or whatever. This is DC desperately trying to wring some more money out of an old cash/credibility-cow's withered teat, while at the same time maintaining exclusive ownership of the property, and even trying to promote a bullshit idea of "official continuity" when really it's just fanfic with talented authors and a paycheck. If Watchmen fell into the public domain and it suddenly became a sequel/prequel/midquel/"re-interpretation" free-for-all, I'd have less of a problem overall* than with some third-party entity trying to claim sole right to add to "the canon", as it were. Yeah, sure, I don't have to accept their canon, but it's still pompous of them to claim it in the first place.

Say what you will about the borrowing (and masturbatory postmodern game-i-ness) of LXG, I don't think it pretends to be anything other than Moore and O'Neill's riff on Stevenson/Stoker/Verne/et. al.; it doesn't pretend to be a canonical addition to any of their universes. It flat out contradicts them, in several instances.





*Although I still might think individual derivative works were dumb, a la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

If DC stops publishing the characters for a year, the rights return to Moore and Gibbons. However, why would any company stop printing something that is basically like printing free money? That is not sound business sense. The Watchmen trade has been in the top 15 of the NY Times best seller list for graphic novels for years. It's currently #10 (Feb 5, 2012 listings). (Link. (http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/paperback-graphic-books/list.html))

One other thing, and this is according to Alan Moore, he was offered the characters back if only he'd be involved in this project. This was said by him in an interview more than 18 months ago... (LINK. (http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/07/alan-moore-watchmen)) He turned them down.

Let's face it though, he and Gibbons will make more money if DC keeps control of the characters and keeps them in print for years, rather than if they got them. They get their 8% royalty check from the trade printings from DC. I don't know how many copies need to be sold to hit #10 on the NYT best seller list, but I would suspect it's quite a lot. And at $19.99 a copy, they're doing all right for something they did 25 years ago.

Ziggy Stardust
02-02-2012, 04:16 AM
I loved the Watchmen in the 80s. I bought every issue as a first release, the day each one hit my LCS.

I tried to re-read it about 5 years ago and realized that while I enjoyed it in my teens since it fed into my gloom of those years, by today's standards I found it overly maudlin and depressing. I also find it funny that Moore and his supporters don't want someone to write about these characters of "his" when the only reason he created them was because he couldn't have the original characters to play around with.

That said, while some of the talent on these books is impressive, I can understand why those who loved the original series are not thrilled about others revisiting it so DC can make some bucks.

I feel the argument hurled at Lucas can also be hurled at DC: STOP revisiting and rehashing the past and come up with something NEW AND ORIGINAL!

C.B. Nerdlinger
02-02-2012, 04:28 AM
No one had ever exercised a clause like that when Moore agreed to it. That's like saying that signing a liability waiver at the carnival enables them to send a guy up to you and shank you with a rusty tin can because you waived them of any liability for harm you undergo.

No it's not. It's like saying there's a possibility you might not regain the rights to your work if the company keeps it in print.

Patrick Gerard
02-02-2012, 04:47 AM
Moore has gotten into financial trouble because he refuses to accept his royalty.

He's said that if he did get the rights back, he would try to end Watchmen from circulation.

One thing you have to consider with him is that he got into comics ONLY because he wanted to be in an incredibly disposable form of media. Heck, he was in a band for a long time that would rehearse music for a single performance and then retired it.

He never would have written comics if he expected them to stay in print. Alan Moore wants you to read his work and dispose of it. I think the world would be better if we did, honestly. See Spider Robinson's "Melancholy Elephants" for why we need our ideas and our art to get trashed at a certain point, not archived.

FanboyStranger
02-02-2012, 07:11 AM
As I said in my recent video about Identity Crisis, these prequels are essentially retcons, retcons written by people who had nothing to do with the original. And yes, it DOES have an impact on the original. As fans of superheroes, we're well aware of continuity in universes with continuing stories - as a result, these prequels, according to DC, are what officially happened to these characters before the events of Watchmen. They were part of the memories and experiences of the characters and they informed and shaped those characters during the events and decisions they made IN Watchmen. And now, if I read those prequels, any time I re-read Watchmen suddenly I'm aware of events that transpired that were never meant to be part of that story. They color my reading of the original book. It's one of the reasons why I hate prequels at all, quite frankly.

Watchmen does not NEED to have its universe expanded upon. It is a self-contained story about superheroes and all the details you might want or all there if you go looking for them. Some of it is ambiguous, but it's BETTER that way - it's better that there are some things we don't know about.

And bear in mind, normally I am not against telling more stories and I usually laugh at the implication of people who claim in some fictional universes that there are "no more stories to tell," but I make an exception in this case. Watchmen is too damned important a story in the medium for this kind of nonsense.

I'm not really up for the prequels myself, but Len Wein was the editor for Watchmen and did have a major role in getting it out in the first place. Wein isn't Alan Moore, but he has been an extremely imaginative and interesting writer in the past, so despite my reservations, I may check out his Ozymandias, as I've always thought that the story of Adrian Veidt before he goes into his plan had the most potential for expansion. (John Higgins is pencilling a story as well, so that's two of the original team, just not the two we immediately think of.)

I still think this is a bad idea and a blatant cash grab, but I can't argue with the talent that DC has thrown at it.

FanboyStranger
02-02-2012, 07:17 AM
That's my fear, that we'll see Sandman relaunched by much less talented writers.

I think as long as Karen Berger is there, she'll fight tooth and nail to prevent this from happening.

A lot of people get down on Paul Levitz towards the end of his run as Publisher because he often led his law degree get in the way of stories, but he always made sure that things like a Watchmen sequel/prequel/whatever and a Gaiman-less continuation of Sandman wouldn't happen.

EmarAndZeb
02-02-2012, 07:41 AM
There's also a brilliant piece of writing by Tom Stoppard called Rosencranz & Guildenstern are dead.


Rosencranz & Guildenstern Are Dead is great. It also isn't pretending to be some sort of official addition to/expansion of the Hamlet "backstory," or any sort of fannish nonsense like that. It's essentially its own work, but one that requires being "set in" a widely recognized play to achieve full artistic effect. After all, it's dealing with themes of free will and fate, among other things... so it really helps that the two protagonists are not only trapped in a story, but trapped in one that the audience already knows.

Comic/genre-fiction fans as a whole seem to have this real problem where they can't tell the difference between pointless franchising and spin-off-ing and backstory-filling (writing a Hamlet 2) vs. creating an original work that pilfers from or refers back to an existing one in order to make it's own, entirely separate point (writing a Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead). So you get this argument that all apparent expansions are the same kind of thing.

I'm sorry, but they aren't. One is done to slake your nerd-thirst and satisfy your curiosity about "What happened then? What happened before? What happened in the meanwhile?" in the original work's "universe." Which can be fine... hell, I'm really looking forward to the "Avatar: Legend of Korra" sequel in the spring. But then you have Stoppard-type works, which do not tell you any of that; I don't learn what was going on with Shakespeare's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Shakespeare's play when I watch/read Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. I learn what's going on with Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Stoppard's play. I mean, yeah, as a reader, I can interpret them as being "in the same universe" if I want, but I don't think there's much appeal to doing that. "Ooooh, so that's what was really happening in Hamlet! The world was literally a play, and these two dudes were trapped in an existential nightmare!"

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-02-2012, 08:13 AM
As Gail said, a huge bunch of Moore's work is taking stories considered sacred and putting his own spin on them, like Watchmen, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the collection I referenced above about sexual awakening. "I'm allowed to create my own spin but it stops with me!"

And yet, he handed Miracleman over to Neil Gaiman.

And pushed for Jaime Delano to write Hellblazer. And had some nice thing to say about Garth Ennis & Brian Azzarello's respective runs.

And he seems to be cool with Peter Hogan writing Tom Strong.

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-02-2012, 08:17 AM
Moore has gotten into financial trouble because he refuses to accept his royalty.

He's said that if he did get the rights back, he would try to end Watchmen from circulation.

Source, please?

Arion
02-02-2012, 09:03 AM
I loved the Watchmen in the 80s. I bought every issue as a first release, the day each one hit my LCS.

I tried to re-read it about 5 years ago and realized that while I enjoyed it in my teens since it fed into my gloom of those years, by today's standards I found it overly maudlin and depressing. I also find it funny that Moore and his supporters don't want someone to write about these characters of "his" when the only reason he created them was because he couldn't have the original characters to play around with.

That said, while some of the talent on these books is impressive, I can understand why those who loved the original series are not thrilled about others revisiting it so DC can make some bucks.

I feel the argument hurled at Lucas can also be hurled at DC: STOP revisiting and rehashing the past and come up with something NEW AND ORIGINAL!

Yes, with that amazing group of talented creators DC should have them doing something new and original.
If Moore doesn't want a prequel DC should respect that.

Corrina
02-02-2012, 10:34 AM
And yet, he handed Miracleman over to Neil Gaiman.

And pushed for Jaime Delano to write Hellblazer. And had some nice thing to say about Garth Ennis & Brian Azzarello's respective runs.

And he seems to be cool with Peter Hogan writing Tom Strong.

Yes, but he doesn't want anything done with Watchmen. It's not a consistent viewpoint.

Alan Moore is a genius but sometimes the path of his thoughts seem a bit...well, certainly not understandable to me. It doesn't always follow a logical pattern. If, as Patrick says, that Moore wants his story to disappear and thought that comics were disposable, it doesn't exactly follow that he took stories some thought were also disposable to create a great work. Possibly, he might conclude his work could inspire others if it stays out there along the same lines as he was inspired but he doesn't seem to in this case.

I was writing a piece for Wired and concluded one thing: this may be a money grab by DC but if these books are a success, what does that say about readers? If there's no market, the books will die and shrivel away.

But I'm guessing they will sell like crazy instead. So how much responsibility does the reader who buys them have in all this?

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-02-2012, 10:50 AM
Corrina- The reason I asked for a source was because as I recall, the most radical thing Moore has expressed re: him hypothetically getting the rights back would be just moving the trade to another publisher. Patrick's assertion about him wanting it to be outright unavailable has no basis in fact that I'm aware of.

Chris Jones
02-02-2012, 11:00 AM
Yes, but he doesn't want anything done with Watchmen. It's not a consistent viewpoint.

Alan Moore is a genius but sometimes the path of his thoughts seem a bit...well, certainly not understandable to me. It doesn't always follow a logical pattern. If, as Patrick says, that Moore wants his story to disappear and thought that comics were disposable, it doesn't exactly follow that he took stories some thought were also disposable to create a great work. Possibly, he might conclude his work could inspire others if it stays out there along the same lines as he was inspired but he doesn't seem to in this case.

I was writing a piece for Wired and concluded one thing: this may be a money grab by DC but if these books are a success, what does that say about readers? If there's no market, the books will die and shrivel away.

But I'm guessing they will sell like crazy instead. So how much responsibility does the reader who buys them have in all this?

Quite a bit, in my view. The fan culture is the only reason making these things would even be considered to begin with.

Corrina
02-02-2012, 11:14 AM
Patrick is usually spot on with his information, Beast, but this could be a situation where Moore has said both things, though at different times as he changes him mind, which people are wont to do over 25 years or so.

Corrina
02-02-2012, 11:16 AM
I'd be more interested in analyzing the use of Moore's "V" for Vendetta mask at some of the Occupy rallies over the last year. I wonder if that will be his more lasting contribution to human discussion.

Watchmen is really somewhat limited as a universal truth, because it's more a commentary on the superhero industry/mindset than it is about the human conditions.

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-02-2012, 01:23 PM
Patrick is usually spot on with his information, Beast, but this could be a situation where Moore has said both things, though at different times as he changes him mind, which people are wont to do over 25 years or so.

True enough.

Patrick Gerard
02-02-2012, 01:38 PM
Patrick is usually spot on with his information, Beast, but this could be a situation where Moore has said both things, though at different times as he changes him mind, which people are wont to do over 25 years or so.

I didn't know he'd said anything else. I just saw an interview, I think pertaining to the latest LoEG, where he kept reiterating that he has no interest in mainstream comics, he sees them as a bunch of politically center-right hucksters, and he said something to the effect that they offered him the Watchmen rights if he'd do a sequel and his approach was, basically, that the only reason he'd want the rights would be to pull it out of print. I don't know if that's to be taken as a direct threat or just venting bitterness.

I do know that his fascination with comics was always that they were disposable. He wanted to labor over these things that you throw away and have a half-remembered impression of. He's adapted somewhat but I think he's big on the disposable media thing with his music.

Anyway... I think my problem with these prequels is that the idea is both unoriginal AND gutless. I could love something that's one or the other but this is both. Something original that hues to a lot of standard tropes and is sure to please? Great. Something highly derivative that, I dunno, accuses post-9/11 Americans of being cowards or has Batman kill Robin? I don't think I could turn away.

I'd be a lot more interested if they'd let this be Morrison's rebuttal to Watchmen... Because Watchmen and DKR could use rebuttals. Or if they'd brought Mark Millar over and done a book called, "Fuck you, Alan Moore." Or if it'd been Garth Ennis writing about, I dunno, Zombie Hollis Mason chasing all the conspirators down who were aware of Ozymandias' plan and violating them with a broom... until it turns out Dr. Manhattan likes it and they get married.

This is respectful and safe and utterly trite. The best thing it could have going for it is the craft of the people working on it but it won't shock or offend (at least not in a way that conflicts people) or say anything new about humanity. And I doubt it will intentionally disagree with, contradict, or poke fun at the original.

Phantomskyler
02-02-2012, 01:42 PM
So, is Alan Moore pissed yet?

Kidding aside I think this is a good idea. I've always wanted to see the personal stories behind the characters and see more of what they did, especially Rorschach, the Comedian, and the Minute Men.

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-02-2012, 01:56 PM
This is respectful and safe and utterly trite. The best thing it could have going for it is the craft of the people working on it but it won't shock or offend (at least not in a way that conflicts people) or say anything new about humanity. And I doubt it will intentionally disagree with, contradict, or poke fun at the original.

Wholehearted agreement with this assessment.

As for the music (assuming you mean the performance pieces, like, say, The Birth Caul), I think those were tailored for very specific times and/or locations, so 'disposable' might be a less apt way of summing them up than 'no, seriously; you *really* had to be there.'


So, is Alan Moore pissed yet?

Kidding aside I think this is a good idea. I've always wanted to see the personal stories behind the characters and see more of what they did, especially Rorschach, the Comedian, and the Minute Men.

Well, that's kind of what we had the back-ups for...

Whip
02-02-2012, 07:00 PM
Not interested. :/

Tobias M
02-02-2012, 10:10 PM
Yes, but he doesn't want anything done with Watchmen. It's not a consistent viewpoint.

He doesn't want anything done with a product indelibly tied to his name. DC could have let him do his relaunched take on the Charlton heroes and this wouldn't be an issue. Instead the deal with Moore and Gibbons was struck and now we have this situation. His views here are quite consistent - see also his retreating from ABC once the line was acquired by DC.

Also it was telling that the pulping of the final issue of Top Ten shortly afterwards occurred - probably didn't help matters either.

Tobias M
02-02-2012, 10:11 PM
Well, that's kind of what we had the back-ups for...

And I believe he collaborated on a series of RPG guides for the characters during the publishing of the series too.

Lester C.
02-03-2012, 01:23 AM
http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo172/hvigilla/watchmen_2012_nite_cvr.jpghttp://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo172/hvigilla/beforewatchmen.jpg

And so Watchmen prequels are official:

http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2012/02/01/dc-entertainment-officially-announces-%E2%80%9Cbefore-watchmen%E2%80%9D/

RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner



And here's a Hollywood Reporter bit on this featuring an interview with JMS: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/dc-entertainment-watchmen-prequel-7-books-286302

Given the creative teams I'm having a hard time accusing DC of cashing in as each book has an Allstar dreamteam cast.

Ziggy Stardust
02-03-2012, 05:09 AM
I have a fear of today's comics getting a hold of something that was shocking and controversial in the 80s. The original Watchmen series had rape and a giant blue naked guy making people explode and nudity and violent beatings, etc, etc....

Given today's tendencies at DC, what're they gonna do with this? Will Nite Owl II have had a sexual relationship as an underage boy with the original Nite Owl? Will Comedian killed people by shoving his shotgun up their ass then shooting it?

Hell, my imagination is weak compared to some the of "genius" output of late....

Corrina
02-03-2012, 05:57 AM
So I was thinking about this and wondered how doing Watchmen prequels is any more creatively bankrupt than working on Superman or Batman or any other corporate characters that's so many years old?

One could make an argument that Cooke wasted him time on Catwoman or The Spirit, frex.

I guess I don't see a new Watchmen story as that much different from a new take on Superman. The difference, right now, is that this is the first time it's happened to Watchmen, whereas Superman has been reinvented over and over.

I could argue that I'd like to see all the talent on mainstream superhero stuff do their own, original work. But that would be a lie because I really liked Brubaker's Batman and Cooke's Catwoman, and Simone's Secret Six & Birds of Prey.....

If Adam Hughes was drawing Catwoman, frex, would we start wishing he'd spend his time better on something else? Or would we all love his Catwoman?

Just pondering.

DaveCummings
02-03-2012, 06:20 AM
She pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. I'm not really offended by the idea of sequels or prequels, but I'd much rather see these incredibly talented people working on something more original or ongoing. It seems odd that they chose to tie up all this talent on a project like this at the same time they were launching 52 new titles.

What really gets me is that I'm going to have to spend money on a JMS book if I want to see Adam Hughes art.


But the thing is alot of those creator have worked on many ongoing and original works. I'm wondering how many of the people wanting Azzarello to work on something original are actually reading Spaceman, or have read 100 Bullets.

Kevin T Brown
02-03-2012, 06:35 AM
Based on some of the comments I've seen from other creators, I wonder if there's going to be a backlash of some sort against the people working on these titles, despite their talent.

Grey Warden
02-03-2012, 07:10 AM
Alan Moore created a great, influential story with Watchmen that still has some mystique after 25 years, which is great. I see the appeal of DC Comics tapping into that mystique and bringing in potential sales. The creative teams for the prequels are very impressive and tantalizing, however I am not interested in seeing that mystique possibly ruined or explained.

FanboyStranger
02-03-2012, 07:29 AM
So I was thinking about this and wondered how doing Watchmen prequels is any more creatively bankrupt than working on Superman or Batman or any other corporate characters that's so many years old?

One could make an argument that Cooke wasted him time on Catwoman or The Spirit, frex.

I guess I don't see a new Watchmen story as that much different from a new take on Superman. The difference, right now, is that this is the first time it's happened to Watchmen, whereas Superman has been reinvented over and over.

I could argue that I'd like to see all the talent on mainstream superhero stuff do their own, original work. But that would be a lie because I really liked Brubaker's Batman and Cooke's Catwoman, and Simone's Secret Six & Birds of Prey.....

If Adam Hughes was drawing Catwoman, frex, would we start wishing he'd spend his time better on something else? Or would we all love his Catwoman?

Just pondering.

I think the difference is that Watchmen has always been percieved (rightly or wrongly) as a singular work. I've said before that it's not really the characters or the world of Watchmen that's the real draw, but the storytelling of Moore and Gibbons, which is perhaps the tightest synthesis of writing and illustration I've seen from a team (as opposed to a writer/artist) working in the superhero genre. In that sense, which, of course, is not the legal sense, these prequels are akin to Chris Staros assigning someone to write a sequel to Blankets without the involvement of Craig Thompson. (Not that Chris Staros would ever do something like that or that he even could.) Without Moore and Gibbons' storytelling, you're dealing with something that isn't really Watchmen, and that's why this is percieved as something that's exploitative and a cash-in, despite the fact that DC has lined up an impressive array of talent to work on the books.

Superman, The Spirit, etc were always intended for extended episodic production. They were meant to be enduring characters with continuing adventures. Beyond the opening motif of The Spirit's name appearing in the background architecture, there isn't a particular element of storytelling so ingrained in these characters' adventures that it's inconcievable to imagine the character's story without it. When you think about Superman or Batman, you might think of any number of Superman or Batman stories told in different manners by generations of creators each with their own style, but still immediately recognizable as Superman or Batman or whatver. When you think Watchmen, however, you immediately come to that nine panel grid, those flawless transtitions from scene to scene, and that layered narrative, etc. That's Moore and Gibbons, not Rorschach, Ozymandias, Dr, Manhattan, et al.

BClayMoore
02-03-2012, 07:58 AM
Not "rightly or wrongly." WATCHMEN was intended by Moore and Gibbons to be a singular work. One which they assumed they would regain the rights to.

What's interesting is that the success of WATCHMEN altered the entire market landscape in such a way so as to assure that they wouldn't get the rights back. Something I don't think anyone involved could have foreseen. But, you know...contracts are contracts.


As an aside, I think Amanda Conner is an inspired choice to draw SILK SPECTRE. And I'll read anything Darwyn does. Might give Azz's stuff a shot, too.

-BCM

Danimal
02-03-2012, 08:18 AM
I've said before that it's not really the characters or the world of Watchmen that's the real draw, but the storytelling of Moore and Gibbons, which is perhaps the tightest synthesis of writing and illustration I've seen from a team (as opposed to a writer/artist) working in the superhero genre.

This. I've often thought that when people call Watchmen overrated what they're reacting to is the characters themselves or the action of the book as opposed to what Moore and Gibbons do with the art form of comics in the novel. While I understand the connection people are making to artists taking over Batman or Superman as opposed to creating their own comics, it would probably be more accurate to compare it to if someone besides Frank Miller told Batman stories in the Dark Knight Returns setting, since what Moore and Gibbons did was not just tell a story with preexisting characters but created an artistic expression about comics themselves. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the characters in Watchmen, but they're not the main feature for me.

Ziggy Stardust
02-03-2012, 08:25 AM
I always saw Tony Stark in Civil War as a less successful version of Ozy.

Arion
02-03-2012, 09:49 AM
I always saw Tony Stark in Civil War as a less successful version of Ozy.

Ozymandias?

Ziggy Stardust
02-03-2012, 09:54 AM
In a twisted way, yes.

Patrick Gerard
02-03-2012, 10:25 AM
Ozymandias?

Well, there was that pulped issue of Amazing Spider-man where they had him take Peter to a Karaoke bar and Tony sang "Crazy Train" for a whole issue.

Patrick Gerard
02-03-2012, 10:36 AM
Get ready for when Max Lord shoots Night Owl in the head!

I got it! The Doctor Manhattan one could be called "Blue Streak" and be about Dr. Manhattan walking around the country au naturale. He teams up with the Dr. Manhattans of many nations, each of whom is a different color (no Muslim ones, though) and must set aside his differences with Russian Doctor Manhattan who is identical aside from being red and having a hammer and sickle on his forehead. They form the Doctor Manhattan Corps. Also, rape. Also, the writer gets fired after two issues and the artist takes over writing. Also, new leathery costume designs. Also, sexy female Doctor Manhattan with big guns.

Some of these vaguely intrigue me from a craft perspective but, seriously, why take a writer known for abusively, stupidly condescending speeches and give him Dr. Manhattan? On one hand, oh boy, I get it. On the other hand, jesus, if you thought JMS could be preachy before, wait until you see him writing the big blue guy. I can't wait for Dr. Manhattan to tell us his thoughts on illegal immigrants.

Actually, JMS is perfect to write Dr. Manhattan. My big problem is, that he'll empathize with Dr. M and expect us to as well. Ditto for Azzarello.

There are three characters in Watchmen who are genuinely designed to evoke empathy. Laurie, Dan, and Ozymandias. We're intended to pretty much actively loathe the others and Moore was horrified that people like Rorshach. Ozymandias was more or less Moore's point-of-view character and it requires really understanding how he felt in the 80s to see that, the temptation to become everything your enemies are, to save the world from itself.

Chris Jones
02-03-2012, 11:43 AM
corporate characters


I think this is what's keeping people from seeing eye to eye on this. If one party thinks of the Watchmen universe as being a collection of "corporate characters" and the other does not it creates an ironclad impasse.

Ziggy Stardust
02-03-2012, 11:55 AM
Wonder if Moore will ever try to sue DC.....

The Xenos
02-03-2012, 11:56 AM
My brain melted with this news. I swear it helped give me a headache.

You know what.. ignore that some fans think Watchmen is the Citizen Cane or Holy Bible of comics. Ignore that the original author Moore doesn't want this and his complexity and nuance was what made it so good and with such longevity.

Why the hell does DC need Watchmen? Sure there was a somewhat popular movie and the book still sells. Yet isn't that sad? One of the best selling books is an Alan Moore tome from 1986. I agree with what Leah Moore said (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/02/01/leah-moore-on-before-watchmen/). Instead of going back to Watchmen, DC should have this talent working on 'the next Watchmen'. Hell, I think most of these guys have done that and DC ignores it. Darwyn Cooke should be working on more New Fronteir or something similar on his own with DC characters instead of digging up the Minutemen. Azzerello could be working on more DC properties. Hell, they should be pushing his Wonder Woman more instead of wasting his time on this. (Though I have mixed feelings on yet another WW ground up reboot.) Amanda Connor should have been one a damn relaunch book, not wasting time on Silke Spectre. Same with Adam Hughes.

And don't give me people don't want to see new books or new characters. You do know, that brand of thinking is a bullshit self fulfilling prophecy. The reason why Cass Cain or Secret Six isn't more well known isn't because they're not well known. No shit they're not well known. It's DC's goddamn job to promote these characters done by good writers. And they have freaking failed. It's not the character or the book or the writer's fault the characters are obscure. It's DC's fault in not freaking pushing them.

Creative people and a creative company would figure out a way to sell new characters. Companies are doing that every day. Unless DC finds a way to do that with the main properties and other characters they have milked for seventy odd years, they will die. Digging up a singular book like Watchmen and trying to get blood from a stone on a title that was so nicely self contained as a singular novel / collected series is not the way to the future.

Tons of new characters are built all the time. Who even heard of Angry Birds four years ago? Shit. The whole comics industry in Japan is built on new manga characters catching on, not rebooting and dragging out 70 year old characters. They make a good series and they sell enough of that damn series that they don't need a shared universe or constant reboots. They sell enough series to a diverse enough audience, from ten year old boys to fourty year old women to fifty year old men to sixteen year old girls. Meanwhile, DC is continually focused on selling nostalgia to thirty plus year old guys. Now they're trying to sell nostalgia to kids that grew up in the 90s. My generation has turned or is nearing thirty and that's where DC is focusing their nostalgia bombardment. Even if it's targeted at me, I wish they would stop. We are not enough. DC need to reach a new audience. New characters or at least new ways of selling these old ones to new and wider audiences. They say they were trying new things and aiming at new audience , but they seem to be just aiming at aging fanboys of the 90s instead of aging fanboys of the 70s and 80s. That's not quite a new audience.

Going back to Watchmen is a goddamn waste of everyone's time, from the readers to the creators involved, just to fulfill some AOL Time Warner corporate mandate.

Yes, I know AOL is no longer part of time Warner. I just still love saying that. Just remember. There was a time when Time Warner thought AOL was indispensable to their company. Then they flicked them aside when they found everyone else in the industry had moved on and AOL was still stuck in 1996 mentality. AOL had ruined their brand name by sticking to the past way of doing business. So if DC devalues its brand so much by sticking to the mentality of 1996 as well, I don't think it's impossible for Warners to do away with them. Sure they may keep brands like Superman and Batman, of course, but they may just not want to deal with the money pit that is DC Comics if they don't get with the times and start producing media for the 21st century.


I don't care how good this looks, it's poisoned fruit. No matter how tempting the fruit Eve was given was, it was given to her from a snake in the grass with no good intentions. Don’t fall for it, no matter how delicious that fruit looks or how beautiful the person who was given the apple is. Just don't fall for it.

Slewo.O
02-03-2012, 12:04 PM
The same Leah Moore who's writing Sherlock Holmes vs Zombies? I'll just be enjoying my poisoned fruit courtesy of the Serpent. :shifty:

FanboyStranger
02-03-2012, 12:10 PM
Wonder if Moore will ever try to sue DC.....

I doubt it. My impression is that whenever lawyers get involved in his business, Moore just sort of checks out. He takes business very personally, and that's why he's had falling outs with former friends like Steve Bissette, Alan Davis, David Lloyd, and Dave Gibbons. He makes comments here and there when asked, but for the most part, he's interested in moving forward with his current projects rather than rehashing the past.

Plus, that contract is pretty tight. I'm not sure what kind of case they could bring against it.

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-03-2012, 12:13 PM
EDIT: A Coke to Fanboy Stranger.

Kedd
02-03-2012, 12:41 PM
Cooke should be doing more New Frontier; DC should not be digging up old properties. Gotchya.

Corrina
02-03-2012, 12:54 PM
I think this is what's keeping people from seeing eye to eye on this. If one party thinks of the Watchmen universe as being a collection of "corporate characters" and the other does not it creates an ironclad impasse.

I don't see it so much as the universe being a collection of corporate characters but a story using thinly disguised corporate characters to make a thematic point.

There are two issues here. One is the contract that Moore & Gibbons likely never expected to be held to the full length and for good reasons. I have much sympathy in that regard.

The second is more of a creative issue, on whether since the Watchmen creators were hugely inspired by shared universe characters--more than inspired and they were more than templates--if other creators can use that same universe as a jumping on point to also tell good stories. And, if they can, should they?

Danimal
02-03-2012, 01:10 PM
I don't see it so much as the universe being a collection of corporate characters but a story using thinly disguised corporate characters to make a thematic point.

There are two issues here. One is the contract that Moore & Gibbons likely never expected to be held to the full length and for good reasons. I have much sympathy in that regard.

The second is more of a creative issue, on whether since the Watchmen creators were hugely inspired by shared universe characters--more than inspired and they were more than templates--if other creators can use that same universe as a jumping on point to also tell good stories. And, if they can, should they?

This reminds me of the thread discussing whether or not we would want other writers to tell new Middle Earth stories. I'm not predicting this will be bad - there are great writers and artists attached - I'm just not interested in exploring the Watchmen world further.

Chris Jones
02-03-2012, 01:12 PM
I don't see it so much as the universe being a collection of corporate characters but a story using thinly disguised corporate characters to make a thematic point.

There are two issues here. One is the contract that Moore & Gibbons likely never expected to be held to the full length and for good reasons. I have much sympathy in that regard.

The second is more of a creative issue, on whether since the Watchmen creators were hugely inspired by shared universe characters--more than inspired and they were more than templates--if other creators can use that same universe as a jumping on point to also tell good stories. And, if they can, should they?

I really think that should have been something for Moore and Gibbons to decide.

Thequeerjock
02-03-2012, 01:43 PM
And don't give me people don't want to see new books or new characters. You do know, that brand of thinking is a bullshit self fulfilling prophecy. The reason why Cass Cain or Secret Six isn't more well known isn't because they're not well known. No shit they're not well known. It's DC's goddamn job to promote these characters done by good writers. And they have freaking failed. It's not the character or the book or the writer's fault the characters are obscure. It's DC's fault in not freaking pushing them.

The mistake you’re making is conflating the two issues. As much as I dislike the premise of a Watchmen prequel (amazing creative teams aside) that doesn’t somehow mean Watchmen is keeping lesser known heroes from being successes.

Part of it certainly is market-based. You cite things like Angry Birds and the manga industry but the difference is that video games and Manga (in Japan and I’d guess the US) both have larger audiences and are generally less convoluted and more cost effective. If you’ve noticed, some of the most successful new superheroes of the last decade or so were created for other mediums. You have the Ben 10 franchise and stuff like Generator Rex, both of which were created or worked on by comic writers like Dan Slott or Dwayne McDuffie or Joe Casey. And unsurprisingly a lot of the newer characters at DC who have displayed some longevity have been those pushed via things like television and video games.

And since DC doesn’t exactly have control over which properties get mass media treatment, I’d say that is more the problem with new characters like the Six not getting a broader foot hold than DC being nostalgic. They could easily be pushed but that would depend on the higher ups and networks being interested in such things to begin with. It goes well beyond DC and Marvel simply not wanting to push new characters.

zemo
02-03-2012, 01:56 PM
To me the question is mainly whether Moore and Gibbons actually ever could have the copyright to the characters unless DC simply gives it to them. Not because of the contract, but because of the whole Charleston business. Basically, the question is whether the newly-created characters by Moore are sufficiently different from the characters they originally were supposed to be, i.e. the Charleston-characters, which DC owns the copyright of.

As for the prequels themselves, I think people are running into the same old trap again. The original stories don't change. They don't get somehow tainted and cheapened, they are still here.

Corrina
02-03-2012, 02:04 PM
I don't think they're sufficiently different,myself. Which is likely why I see Watchmen as slightly different than LoTR.

But I can see why people would disagree.

Chris Jones
02-03-2012, 02:07 PM
To me the question is mainly whether Moore and Gibbons actually ever could have the copyright to the characters unless DC simply gives it to them. Not because of the contract, but because of the whole Charleston business. Basically, the question is whether the newly-created characters by Moore are sufficiently different from the characters they originally were supposed to be, i.e. the Charleston-characters, which DC owns the copyright of.

As for the prequels themselves, I think people are running into the same old trap again. The original stories don't change. They don't get somehow tainted and cheapened, they are still here.

I mean, look, does Roschach have anything at all to do with the Question besides the trenchcoat and hat and mask? Does he talk the same way? Does he have the same kinds of views? Dos he have the same motivations? Shit, does he even have the same posture? Are we really going to say that the character of Rorschach could never have existed without the Question, that Dave Gibbons couldn't have just come up with a whole new design for the character if Wein had walked by and said "he looks a little too much like the Question"(and it's worth noting that that design is far from Ditko's trademark-see the villain from Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace (http://mindlessones.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/blood_and_black_lace_3.jpg), or No-Face (http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/dick-tracy-1-last-panel-300.jpg) from Dick Tracy for that matter)? If he looked just a little bit different, would anyone have ever cited the Question as being a blueprint for the character?

zemo
02-03-2012, 02:28 PM
I mean, look, does Roschach have anything at all to do with the Question besides the trenchcoat and hat and mask? Does he talk the same way? Does he have the same kinds of views? Dos he have the same motivations? Shit, does he even have the same posture? Are we really going to say that the character of Rorschach could never have existed without the Question, that Dave Gibbons couldn't have just come up with a whole new design for the character if Wein had walked by and said "he looks a little too much like the Question"(and it's worth noting that that design is far from Ditko's trademark-see the villain from Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace (http://mindlessones.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/blood_and_black_lace_3.jpg), or No-Face (http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/dick-tracy-1-last-panel-300.jpg) from Dick Tracy for that matter)? If he looked just a little bit different, would anyone have ever cited the Question as being a blueprint for the character?

As the matteer of character background and motivation takes a step back in regards to the simple design, it seems that the hat, the coat, and especially the mask are actually very important. I have argued quite some times that the current Zemo, for example, is so entirely different from the original created by Kirby, except for the colour scheme, that it is a clompletely new character. And still there are people that say the Kirby estate still should have a copyright for him. I guess it's only fair to apply the same conditions, even when, for a change, the big company is benefiting.

That left aside, the Watchmen are a whole deal, so even if one character is too similar to another existing one, the authors' copyright stands on shaky ground. The Night Owl is, in my opinion, EXTREMELY similar to Blue Beetle, except for the animal, but including the kind of pathetic hero shtick. And I want to point out that the similarities aren't coincidental. Alan Moore explicitely stated that in the beginning he wanted to use known characters to increase the emotional effects in the readers, to see familiar characters act in such extreme ways. DC didn't okay that, but, seeing as he was writing for them, they allowed for extreme leeway in the final character design.

Tobias M
02-03-2012, 02:34 PM
I love that in an article on Comicsalliance titled J. Michael Strazynski: 'I would have absolutely zero right to complain' about unauthorised Babylon 5 prequels (http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/02/02/j-michael-straczynski-i-watchmen-babylon-5/)'

And then he appears in the comments -

"I wish to object strenuously to the headline on this article, which has prompted several emails from Warners because unless one reads down to the bottom, it looks as if I'm condoning unauthorized parties to make Babylon 5 episodes. Only Warner Bros. is authorized to make B5 episodes. I never said at any time that anyone other than WB can make B5 episodes, nor did I at any time go along with anyone or any studio not authorized to make B5 episodes to do so. Not everyone reads the articles, and the headline has gotten spread around as though this were actually fact.

I never at any time said what the headline states bluntly that I said. Please correct this.

jms"

Comedy!

Kedd
02-03-2012, 02:42 PM
I love that in an article on Comicsalliance titled J. Michael Strazynski: 'I would have absolutely zero right to complain' about unauthorised Babylon 5 prequels (http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/02/02/j-michael-straczynski-i-watchmen-babylon-5/)'

And then he appears in the comments -

"I wish to object strenuously to the headline on this article, which has prompted several emails from Warners because unless one reads down to the bottom, it looks as if I'm condoning unauthorized parties to make Babylon 5 episodes. Only Warner Bros. is authorized to make B5 episodes. I never said at any time that anyone other than WB can make B5 episodes, nor did I at any time go along with anyone or any studio not authorized to make B5 episodes to do so. Not everyone reads the articles, and the headline has gotten spread around as though this were actually fact.

I never at any time said what the headline states bluntly that I said. Please correct this.

jms"

Comedy!
How is that comedy? He says he is down for the owners of the property to make episodes of B5 but is not down with people who do not own the property to make B5.

Patrick Gerard
02-03-2012, 02:44 PM
I mean, look, does Roschach have anything at all to do with the Question besides the trenchcoat and hat and mask? Does he talk the same way? Does he have the same kinds of views? Dos he have the same motivations? Shit, does he even have the same posture? Are we really going to say that the character of Rorschach could never have existed without the Question, that Dave Gibbons couldn't have just come up with a whole new design for the character if Wein had walked by and said "he looks a little too much like the Question"(and it's worth noting that that design is far from Ditko's trademark-see the villain from Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace (http://mindlessones.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/blood_and_black_lace_3.jpg), or No-Face (http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/dick-tracy-1-last-panel-300.jpg) from Dick Tracy for that matter)? If he looked just a little bit different, would anyone have ever cited the Question as being a blueprint for the character?

Yes to the above. Rorschach is Ditko's Question crossed with Ditko himself.

Tobias M
02-03-2012, 03:02 PM
How is that comedy? He says he is down for the owners of the property to make episodes of B5 but is not down with people who do not own the property to make B5.

Because this just gets funnier by the day. The spiraling fanrage combined with the defensiveness of the creative teams and the desperation of DC's gamble to claw back market share of a - supposedly* - dying industry? Comedy!

Gallows humour, I grant you, but still.


*Whole other topic.

NickT
02-03-2012, 03:08 PM
That's my fear, that we'll see Sandman relaunched by much less talented writers.

I think one possible difference there is that Gaiman is on better terms with them. If Gaiman wanted them to entirely stay away they'd be keeping a man they could work with in the future happy, as opposed to this situation with a guy who badmouths them reguarly without (I believe) actually reading what he is criticising, who will never be made happy by something they do.

(Although also worth noting that Gaiman has been fine with some things from the book being used elsewhere, so maybe he'd have no problem with it)

Urgur the Gurgur
02-03-2012, 03:13 PM
He's right though. He said:

"If Warners offered me creative freedom, money and a budget to do the show the way I wanted, up to and including my completely owning the show, and I said no to that deal, and if after Warners waited TWENTY FIVE YEARS for me to change my mind they finally decided to go ahead and make B5 without me...then I would have absolutely zero right to complain about it. Because it was my choice to remove myself from the process, it wasn't something foisted upon me by anybody else."

Which is completely different than saying he would have no problem with unauthorized use of B5. Time Warner is the only entity actually authorized to produce Babylon 5 material. Just like DC Comics (also Time Warner) is the only company authorized to produce Watchmen material. The title makes it sound like he would have no problem with just anybody producing a B5 prequel. I'm sure that, since he himself is not authorized to produce a B5 product independently, he would probably have something to say about someone with no legal or creative claim using it.

Chris Jones
02-03-2012, 03:20 PM
Yes to the above. Rorschach is Ditko's Question crossed with Ditko himself.

Really? I've read some early Question comics and I couldn't find any similarities to speak of.

Corrina
02-03-2012, 03:26 PM
Cooke should be doing more New Frontier; DC should not be digging up old properties. Gotchya.

I see what you did there...

BClayMoore
02-03-2012, 04:20 PM
Really? I've read some early Question comics and I couldn't find any similarities to speak of.

Seriously?

-BCM

Chris Jones
02-03-2012, 04:35 PM
Seriously?

-BCM

Okay, if Corrina, Patrick Gerard AND B.Clay Moore are all against me on this particular issue I might have to admit I'm just flatly wrong :wink:

Patrick Gerard
02-03-2012, 05:19 PM
He's right though. He said:

"If Warners offered me creative freedom, money and a budget to do the show the way I wanted, up to and including my completely owning the show, and I said no to that deal, and if after Warners waited TWENTY FIVE YEARS for me to change my mind they finally decided to go ahead and make B5 without me...then I would have absolutely zero right to complain about it. Because it was my choice to remove myself from the process, it wasn't something foisted upon me by anybody else."

Which is completely different than saying he would have no problem with unauthorized use of B5. Time Warner is the only entity actually authorized to produce Babylon 5 material. Just like DC Comics (also Time Warner) is the only company authorized to produce Watchmen material. The title makes it sound like he would have no problem with just anybody producing a B5 prequel. I'm sure that, since he himself is not authorized to produce a B5 product independently, he would probably have something to say about someone with no legal or creative claim using it.


Y'Know, I do seem to recall Warner's being prepared to make B5 work without JMS. He cried foul, lashed out against their plans to reboot the franchise with a younger, sexier cast, and agreed to be involved in any B5 project they did if they would scrap the stuff planned without him.

That's not inconsistent, totally, with his present position but it does open the door for all kinds of creative blackmail.

And to the point, I think the "zero right to complain" line is a bit stupid. "Zero right to keep it from being made", sure. But everybody and anybody has the right to complain about the sky being blue if they so like and JMS has been no stranger to complaining about things that he technically would have "zero right to complain about" under his current definition.

I don't think anyone is saying DC doesn't have the right to make these books. I think, instead, some folks are saying that it's crass and desperate and that people who support the idea of companies that act purely as intellectual property farms deserve to be beaten senseless in a just world.

Patrick Gerard
02-03-2012, 05:22 PM
Specifically, I think the IP farm mentality encourages insane lobbying and tampering with copyright laws, which denigrates society as a whole and helps promote massive income inequality through what amounts to a massive corporate welfare system that pretends to protect artists but really just protects the loan sharks, publishers, and producers who prey on artists, using income inequality to create further income inequality.

Patrick Gerard
02-03-2012, 05:27 PM
Although, given Moore's disgust for Rorshach, he has evolved steadily in that direction to become the liberal counterpart to Ditko.


Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"... and I'll look down and whisper "No." They had a choice, all of them. They could have followed in the footsteps of good men like my father or President Truman. Decent men who believed in a day's work for a day's pay. Instead they followed the droppings of lechers and communists and didn't realize that the trail led over a precipice until it was too late. Don't tell me they didn't have a choice. Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into bloody Hell, all those liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers... and all of a sudden nobody can think of anything to say.

Tell me that doesn't seem like something that could be easily paraphrased into commentary on the Watchmen prequels.

BClayMoore
02-03-2012, 05:51 PM
Okay, if Corrina, Patrick Gerard AND B.Clay Moore are all against me on this particular issue I might have to admit I'm just flatly wrong :wink:

In fairness, it probably extends beyond the Question and extends to Ditko's Mr. A.

-BCM

Tobias M
02-03-2012, 07:30 PM
And it's up - Watchmen: Turning Back The Clock (http://podcasts.comicbooked.com/cbp-special-watchmen-turning-back-the-clock/)

I liberally adopted a devil's advocate take on this argument, and given that it was just Brien and I speaking, we tried to represent both sides as best we could.

Grey Warden
02-03-2012, 07:47 PM
And it's up - Watchmen: Turning Back The Clock (http://podcasts.comicbooked.com/cbp-special-watchmen-turning-back-the-clock/)

I liberally adopted a devil's advocate take on this argument, and given that it was just Brien and I speaking, we tried to represent both sides as best we could.


I like the point/counterpoint y'all have going.

Morrison_Lad
02-03-2012, 07:51 PM
I'll probably give these a look, though more than likely in trade format. Well, I might have to pick up that Cooke/Conner "Silk Specter" book as it comes out. That's just TOO tempting. Otherwise, though, I can wait for the collections.

I think it's an interesting idea, and it definitely has a great deal of potential given the creative teams involved.

As to it being a "cash grab" well, duh. DC Comics isn't a charity, they are a for-profit business. Everything they do, to one degree or another, is a cash grab. If it weren't they would have ceased to exist a long time ago.

Patrick Gerard
02-03-2012, 09:02 PM
I'll probably give these a look, though more than likely in trade format. Well, I might have to pick up that Cooke/Conner "Silk Specter" book as it comes out. That's just TOO tempting. Otherwise, though, I can wait for the collections.

I think it's an interesting idea, and it definitely has a great deal of potential given the creative teams involved.

As to it being a "cash grab" well, duh. DC Comics isn't a charity, they are a for-profit business. Everything they do, to one degree or another, is a cash grab. If it weren't they would have ceased to exist a long time ago.

This:Cash Grab::Condom:First Date Present

I get that they're a for profit company but there's no foreplay to a project like this.

Morrison_Lad
02-03-2012, 09:13 PM
This:Cash Grab::Condom:First Date Present

I get that they're a for profit company but there's no foreplay to a project like this.

LOL :)

I dunno. They are taking characters from one of the most famous stories ever, and having truly amazing creative teams write and draw some stuff that may have happened to these characters before we came to know them in "Watchmen." Is DC trying to sell comics by cashing in on the "Watchmen" name? Absolutely. Is that really *that* different from trying to cash in on the "Batman" name? I don't know.

I guess I see how it might irritate some people. But once these fictional characters are "out there" in the zeitgeist, stuff's likely to happen to them. Sure, this is official DC product, as opposed to fan-fic. But to me, anything that DC owns is fair game for them to use to increase that bottom line. And from the looks of it, they've put some of the best people they have available on these stories. So, at this point, we can hope that they will be as good as the creative talent attached to them.

Obviously, "Watchmen" has a stature in readers' minds that few, if any, other works occupy. People will always feel defensive about the work, about the characters, about what's done and whether something new is done. I understand that. And I adore "Watchmen." I read it once a year, every year. But hey, if this new stuff is interesting and is well-written and the art is excellent, then I don't care if it's a "prequel" to "Watchmen." I just will be happy to be reading something that I find interesting and engaging and compelling.

If, on the other hand, it's no good, then it won't matter that it's got the "Watchmen" name on it. A bad story is still a bad story.

Linkara
02-04-2012, 03:28 PM
Okay, if Corrina, Patrick Gerard AND B.Clay Moore are all against me on this particular issue I might have to admit I'm just flatly wrong :wink:

*Raises hand* I will, though. I disagree vehemently that Rorschach and Ditko's Question are alike other than very superficial aspects.

Come to think of it, the same goes for all the Charlton Heroes and their Watchmen counterparts.

KirbyKrackle
02-04-2012, 04:03 PM
The Question thinks Rorschach sucks.
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2011/10/20/meta-messages-the-question-thinks-rorschach-sucks/

zemo
02-04-2012, 04:16 PM
*Raises hand* I will, though. I disagree vehemently that Rorschach and Ditko's Question are alike other than very superficial aspects.

Come to think of it, the same goes for all the Charlton Heroes and their Watchmen counterparts.

But in trademark it's about superficialities first and foremost. I can't just use the famous Superman S, no matter what completely different type of character I put it on.

Patrick Gerard
02-04-2012, 08:37 PM
The Question thinks Rorschach sucks.
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2011/10/20/meta-messages-the-question-thinks-rorschach-sucks/

Denny O'Neil's Question has very little in common with Ditko's.

Chris Jones
02-04-2012, 09:55 PM
This is a pretty biting new Tumblr-"Darwyn Cooke: Before 'Before Watchmen.'" (http://watchmen2creatordarwyncooke.tumblr.com/)

Slewo.O
02-04-2012, 10:03 PM
This is a pretty biting new Tumblr-"Darwyn Cooke: Before 'Before Watchmen.'" (http://watchmen2creatordarwyncooke.tumblr.com/)

Wow, they're going for the maw huh?

zemo
02-05-2012, 12:05 AM
I got to be honest, I am not a friend of taking out old quotes from people in the eye of the public and flaunt them about when they go against what they sad there. Because I am fairly sure you could do that with most, if not all of us, if someone bothered to actually write the shit down we say. It should be allowed that people change their opinions. Yes, also if it's just because a wad of cash (which rarely is the only reaso).

FanboyStranger
02-05-2012, 12:21 AM
In fairness, it probably extends beyond the Question and extends to Ditko's Mr. A.

-BCM

And Moore's own intrepretation of it. He once wrote a song with the lyrics: "There's right/And there's wrong/That's what Mr. A says." I honestly think that Alan thought more about the implications of the viewpoints of Ditko's characters than Ditko ever did.

FanboyStranger
02-05-2012, 12:26 AM
Denny O'Neil's Question has very little in common with Ditko's.

And has a lot to do with Denny O'Neil writing without restrictions. When Denny's Vic Sage incounters Rorshach in a comic, it's both appreciation and loathing, something I could be and don't want to be.

stealthwise
02-05-2012, 06:30 AM
I got to be honest, I am not a friend of taking out old quotes from people in the eye of the public and flaunt them about when they go against what they sad there. Because I am fairly sure you could do that with most, if not all of us, if someone bothered to actually write the shit down we say. It should be allowed that people change their opinions. Yes, also if it's just because a wad of cash (which rarely is the only reaso).

Those quotations aren't very old at all. In fact, they were the first things I thought of when I heard that Cooke was involved in this project. A bit different than when people take Moore's words (or whoever) from 25 years ago and put them right alongside things being said and done now.

Cooke has a right to make money and create however he sees fit for himself, I just think that in this case he's taking a backwards step. He's talented enough to create something innovative and unique that could sell better and get him more recognition.

Thequeerjock
02-05-2012, 07:30 AM
Interesting editorial on the coverage:
http://4thletter.net/2012/02/newsarama-needs-to-do-better/

Chris Jones
02-05-2012, 10:42 AM
Interesting editorial on the coverage:
http://4thletter.net/2012/02/newsarama-needs-to-do-better/

David Brothers is one of my favorite comics journalists. Maybe top three.

Corrina
02-05-2012, 10:58 AM
This is a pretty biting new Tumblr-"Darwyn Cooke: Before 'Before Watchmen.'" (http://watchmen2creatordarwyncooke.tumblr.com/)

I'm not entirely sure how some of those quotes apply to the Watchmen prequels.

Many creators are sort of trapped in this cycle where they can't get great sales until they make their names with corporate properties. I'm sure Busiek's Avengers work sells better than Astro City, frex. The audience buys what they buy right now.

Leaving a creator who wants maybe to pull in an audience for original work to decide whether to stay outside or work on the corporate properties to make a name. Brubaker's has a nice deal going with Marvel for Criminal and his other noir while he works on Cap and some other things, which is nice to see but it doesn't seem to happen that often. (Snyder & his Vertigo work, perhaps.)

Cooke's done....Catwoman, the Spirit, The New Frontier, a Solo issue, the Watchmen prequels and his adaptations of the Hunter novels. (Which are v.v. good.)

I'm not exactly seeing a major sell-out. But maybe I'm missing some other work that I've forgotten.

And, yes, that's an excellent article by David Brothers.

Kevin T Brown
02-05-2012, 11:03 AM
This is a pretty biting new Tumblr-"Darwyn Cooke: Before 'Before Watchmen.'" (http://watchmen2creatordarwyncooke.tumblr.com/)

So whomever did that Tumblr.... They DO realize that they used JG Jones' cover, correct?

That's pretty much a fail there. :)

Tetsuo_man
02-05-2012, 11:10 AM
More from Moore this time on what he feels is the difference between what he does in LXG and Before Watchmen: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/02/05/that-two-half-hour-alan-moore-webchat-missed/


There is a tradition of discarded characters from the past – from literature – meeting-up together…

In literature, I would say that it’s different. I would say, and it might be splitting hairs, but I’m not adapting these characters. I’m not doing an adaptation of DRACULA or KING’S SOLOMON’S MINES. What I am doing is stealing them. There is a difference between doing an adaptation, which is evil, and actually stealing the characters, which, as long as everybody’s dead or you don’t mention the names, is perfectly alright by me. I’m not trying to be glib here, I genuinely do feel that in literature you’ve got a tradition that goes back to JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS of combining literary characters…

It’s just irresistible to do these fictional mash-ups. They’ve been going on for hundreds of years and I feel I’m a part of a proud literary tradition in doing that. With taking comic characters that have been created by cheated old men, I feel that that is different… and that’s my take on the subject.

The bolded part being bolded by me because it seemed to pop out at me.

Chris Jones
02-05-2012, 11:21 AM
So whomever did that Tumblr.... They DO realize that they used JG Jones' cover, correct?

That's pretty much a fail there. :)

Pretty sure that was intentional.

Tetsuo_man
02-05-2012, 11:22 AM
Pretty sure that was intentional.

That's what I thought too.

Patrick Gerard
02-05-2012, 11:34 AM
So whomever did that Tumblr.... They DO realize that they used JG Jones' cover, correct?

That's pretty much a fail there. :)

I think they do since the credits are on the cover but I suspect using The Comedian is to indicate that the quote is warped, mercenary, and humorous when viewed from an outside perspective. I honestly didn't see anything too damning in Cooke's quotes but think JMS' rebuttals regarding B5 actually contradict what he said a few years ago when he basically said that WB had the rights to B5, didn't need his involvement, but stuck to his guns in calling what they were doing without him crap. He's consistent in his view that Moore has no right to complain about the existence of the sequels but inconsistent in suggesting that Moore has no right to call out the work as creatively bankrupt.

Kevin T Brown
02-05-2012, 11:45 AM
Pretty sure that was intentional.

If they intended it to be intentional, it failed. I saw the covers and then ignored whatever point he (or she) was attempting to make.

Patrick Gerard
02-05-2012, 11:46 AM
David Brothers is one of my favorite comics journalists. Maybe top three.

There's a great reply in that article's feedback thread that sums up my thoughts. I'll repost:


I appreciate your nuanced approach (not that this issue requires much to move beyond the poles of “Team Alan” and “Team DC”).

A couple of things bother me about the “Before Watchmen” project, and neither of these concerns have anything to do with a supposed sacrality inherent to Moore’s work.

The first is a seeming misreading of the material. Much of “Watchmen” works as a critique of myopic nostalgia (see Veidt’s “Nostalgia”) for the good ol’ days, as well as expecting the accomplishments and prestige of the past to counteract stagnation, impotence, and irrelevance in the present (see Shelley’s “Ozymandias”). The cover art released by DC seems to glamorize and celebrate the very attributes of these characters that Moore meant for us to see as destructive, morally questionable, or ineffective (especially the cover to “The Comedian”– good heavens. Is that the Machine from “8mm”?). I think that Moore’s work is as open to criticism, re-vision, and re-assessment as anyone else’s– maybe even more considering the place his works tend to hold in the general esteem of the comics community. However, the apparent deliberate misunderstanding, or maybe misrepresentation, of the basic narrative and political themes of the work suggests to me that DC’s not interested so much in re-thinking “Watchmen” as they are in re-packaging it. Perhaps I’ll be proven wrong.

Second, as you pointed out above, both Lucas’s “editorial” and DC’s public statements reinforce this persecuted, us-against-the-world, Team Comics delusion. DiDio and Lee both call comics a “collaborative” art form, a statement with which I would generally agree. But collaboration, as I understand the term, connotes a congeniality and mutual transmission of respect, feedback, and ideas. “Before Watchmen” is anything but that. That language of DiDio and Lee’s is more than a bit disingenuous (a tactic Lucas appears to have borrowed) since what they really mean is “We have the copyright, so f**k you.” (This isn’t meant as a criticism of copyright or other intellectual property protections, but let’s call a spade a spade. This is about legal ownership, not forwarding conversation or narrative.) To not demand a relationship of open conversation– whether it’s between creators and fans, fans and publishers, creators and publishers– does the entire industry a disservice. Your blog is a must-read for me because of your investment in quality, honesty, and open dialogue– traits all too uncommon in the comics “press.” Honest criticism is a sign of respect and maturity within any community. Unfortunately, we still have a long ways to go.

Chris Jones
02-05-2012, 12:36 PM
If they intended it to be intentional, it failed. I saw the covers and then ignored whatever point he (or she) was attempting to make.

Okay. That's...cool. I guess.

Kevin T Brown
02-05-2012, 12:40 PM
Okay. That's...cool. I guess.

Well, if you're going to complain about DARWYN COOKE and comments he made. Use his artwork, not another's.

It's like complaining about JMS and then using a DS9 screen shot.

Chris Jones
02-05-2012, 01:09 PM
Well, if you're going to complain about DARWYN COOKE and comments he made. Use his artwork, not another's.

It's like complaining about JMS and then using a DS9 screen shot.

I think it's more that he wanted an image that would be a good representation of the sleaziness of the entire project. It's not meant to be taken so literally.

BClayMoore
02-06-2012, 11:36 PM
I asked Darwyn about this and he told me he had a "fucker of a story to tell."

Good enough for me.

-BCM

Kevin T Brown
02-07-2012, 02:01 AM
I think it's more that he wanted an image that would be a good representation of the sleaziness of the entire project. It's not meant to be taken so literally.

Well, that's where we differ in opinion: I do not think it's sleazy in the least. And I think the usage of a different artist's cover in order to "prove a point" is silly and proves nothing other than the creator of the tumblr account's feeling some sort of ownership, which they do not have. YMMV.

Kedd
02-07-2012, 05:35 AM
If they intended it to be intentional, it failed. I saw the covers and then ignored whatever point he (or she) was attempting to make.

There was no point.

CutterMike
02-07-2012, 09:13 AM
BWA-HA-HAAAAA!! (http://www.woot.com/)

EmarAndZeb
02-12-2012, 11:25 AM
Spurgeon nails it at the Comics Reporter. (http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/twelve_not_exactly_original_notes_about_there_soon _to_be_more_watchmen_writ/)

ThiefKiller
02-14-2012, 06:25 PM
I'm sure Busiek's Avengers work sells better than Astro City, frex.

Corrina, this is at least the third time I've seen you address some poster named "frex" but I can't find hide nor hair of him or her. What's up? Is it a nickname or something?

RobStaeger
02-14-2012, 06:28 PM
I believe it's short for "for example."

ThiefKiller
02-14-2012, 06:40 PM
I believe it's short for "for example."

Oh good grief. That sound you hear is me bashing my thick skull against my desk. Thanks!

As for the Watchmen prequels ... I have no interest. I'm with the "the original was self contained" crowd and I just see no need to find out what earlier days were like. Why would I care??

Even though there are obvious differences between the original source materials, if DC announced a prequel to Secret Six, I wouldn't buy that, either.

Azzarello and JMS simply don't rate with me, so that's another disincentive. I might buy the Cooke and Cooke/Connor issues, but I just can't imagine why they would interest me. I agree that the characters were not Watchmen's real draw, and the ending is pretty weak, and I don't think it's a sacred work, although it is an important one -- what was interesting to me was the playing with the form and the overall theme of the work. A prequel is not going to match that, no matter how well written, and especially by different writers. That's my take, anyway.

The Xenos
02-15-2012, 10:57 PM
Spurgeon nails it at the Comics Reporter. (http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/twelve_not_exactly_original_notes_about_there_soon _to_be_more_watchmen_writ/)


4. More Watchmen is something of a perfect Internet-era story, and as such serves as a reminder of how much we're driven by and limited to the nature and form of the way news stories develop now. You couldn't build a story like this in a laboratory. The More Watchmen story is about a product; people like products. It's about the hype for a product, which in many ways and for many fans has become the best part of any arts-product experience. Because the work itself doesn't exist yet, arguments can be made on its behalf positing an ideal outcome or a disastrous one -- your choice. More Watchmen isn't just about a superhero comic, it revolves around the s5uperhero comic. This makes it a story about all superhero comics. Watchmen a superhero comic that became a movie and so therefore has some currency in non-comics media that are routinely interested in that particular intersection of art forms. Watchmen was a project that many people hold dear for when it came out and what it said about the potential for the medium and the genre, so More Watchmen is a story about comics fans -- comics fans' favorite subject matter. Alan Moore is a compelling personality, and has made no secret of his wishes and desires about the project. The story has been simmering as a depressing eventuality for months now. More Watchmen brings to the fore a bunch of issues about which people have virtually no agreement, and it plugs right into culture-wide developments in terms of our attitudes towards money, the role of corporations versus individuals and the value of art.
Yeah. DC really is poking at a hornet nest with a stick bringing their control over Watchmen in a political climate where the rights of the corporation over individuals and creators is such a hot button political issue. They'd been smarter to let sleeping dogs.. and snake god worshiping bearded Brits.. lie. And even if they hired some damn fine artists, those artists could just as well worked their wonderful talent on a series of characters not as controversial as Watchmen. Yet the higher ups at DC want their dollar signs out of this stone, controversy be damned.

And A-freaking-men on that closing:

21. Ten days or so past the official announcement, I'm thinking More Watchmen may be best understood as a blow to comics' dignity. It's product, not art. It's a limited, small series of ideas derived from a bigger, grander one. It's sad. One thing that Watchmen did a quarter century ago was to underline certain values of craft and intent and creative freedom that have helped to yield enough equivalent expressions -- to my mind even grander expressions -- that we may now see this follow-up project for what it is: nothing special. Not Moore. More.

C.B. Nerdlinger
02-16-2012, 12:05 AM
How exactly does Before Watchmen being marketable preclude it from also being art? Watchmen itself was not made in a vacuum of artistic integrity without an eye towards profitability.

zemo
02-16-2012, 01:20 AM
How exactly does Before Watchmen being marketable preclude it from also being art? Watchmen itself was not made in a vacuum of artistic integrity without an eye towards profitability.

Yeah. The city of Paris makes millions a year with the Mona Lisa, but very few would argue it's not art.

Tobias M
02-16-2012, 01:39 AM
No one is saying art cannot be commercial.

C.B. Nerdlinger
02-16-2012, 01:46 AM
No one is saying art cannot be commercial.

This quote from The Xenos seems to disagree with you:


I'm thinking More Watchmen may be best understood as a blow to comics' dignity. It's product, not art.

Tobias M
02-16-2012, 03:23 AM
This quote from The Xenos seems to disagree with you:

No, he's stating it's 'solely' product. See the difference? Read Moore's proposal for Twilight of the Superheroes. He's giving DC idea for toylines. He worked with the RPG company on the Watchmen game. Of course it was intended to make money, it's ridiculous to say any different.

The argument is that the original work had a purpose beyond that though. Call it art if you want. It comes down to whether something is meaningful - or a cash in. And yes that term applies. It's tragic if in 20 years a publisher has the gall to point to this project and say that it is a new idea, or fresh. Very silly.

C.B. Nerdlinger
02-16-2012, 03:33 AM
No, he's stating it's 'solely' product. See the difference? Read Moore's proposal for Twilight of the Superheroes. He's giving DC idea for toylines. He worked with the RPG company on the Watchmen game. Of course it was intended to make money, it's ridiculous to say any different.

The argument is that the original work had a purpose beyond that though. Call it art if you want. It comes down to whether something is meaningful - or a cash in. And yes that term applies. It's tragic if in 20 years a publisher has the gall to point to this project and say that it is a new idea, or fresh. Very silly.

But why can't the minis be new and fresh? It doesn't make sense to dismiss them now, unread. There are real quality creators with a history of defining works doing these, why would you expect they'd give less than their best, that the quality and aspirations of each series won't be on par with top comics of the day?

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-16-2012, 07:07 AM
But why can't the minis be new and fresh? It doesn't make sense to dismiss them now, unread. There are real quality creators with a history of defining works doing these, why would you expect they'd give less than their best, that the quality and aspirations of each series won't be on par with top comics of the day?

How do you know they could be such, given that much of the various character's pertinent or significant developments and whatnot have already been covered? Plus, there's always the possibility of that evermore typical bane of modern comics writing: editorial.

Writers aren't Gods; they have to have something to work with.

Urgur the Gurgur
02-16-2012, 07:29 AM
How do you know they could be such, given that much of the various character's pertinent or significant developments and whatnot have already been covered? Plus, there's always the possibility of that evermore typical bane of modern comics writing: editorial.

Writers aren't Gods; they have to have something to work with.

He didn't claim to know that they could or will be. He just asked how anyone could know that they won't be. I don't think there's anything definite in that framework that Moore laid down that prohibits a creative and interesting story from being told.

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-16-2012, 07:46 AM
I refer you to the wise words of CBR's Pol Rua (on this very topic, no less)


You know, I woke up this morning, had a shower, and caught the bus to work. There's about half an hour in there that that summary doesn't cover, but I don't think the world needs all the details of me dumpin' a deuce.

Ziggy Stardust
02-16-2012, 08:51 AM
That is an AWESOME quote! LMAO! :D

Tyr
02-16-2012, 08:40 PM
The escapist's Movie Bob recently did a big picture on this, here's his take on the whole thing. (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/5360-There-Will-Never-Be-Another-Watchmen)

C.B. Nerdlinger
02-16-2012, 09:14 PM
I refer you to the wise words of CBR's Pol Rua (on this very topic, no less)

But if instead of taking a shit you did something interesting and excited, you would tell about that. I fail to see why you fail to see that these stories are going to be more interesting than what a character did on the toilet.

The Beast Of Yucca Flats
02-17-2012, 07:19 AM
[It's] always bothered me that someone as brilliant and precise as Jon [Osterman] could just blithely walk into the intrinsic field test chamber as the time lock closed. He'd know better than that. But since it did happen, now you have to say, 'Okay, that being the case, how did it happen? Is there something we don't know? Or, more to the point, something he didn't know?'
-J. Michael Straczynski, apparently feeling the need to take 4 issues explaining what a character did over the course of what was-- at the most-- a page or two

Yes, sounds fascinating. How could I have been so blind?

Danimal
02-17-2012, 07:23 AM
That's sort of my issue with this whole project. Doctor Manhattan is fascinating to me as a character because of what his perspective adds to the narrative of Watchmen, not because he has awesome powers or whatever. I feel like everything we need to know about him has already been explored in the original work.

Arion
02-17-2012, 12:25 PM
That's sort of my issue with this whole project. Doctor Manhattan is fascinating to me as a character because of what his perspective adds to the narrative of Watchmen, not because he has awesome powers or whatever. I feel like everything we need to know about him has already been explored in the original work.

Well said.
Which is why I'm against these prequels.

Tyr
02-17-2012, 05:06 PM
-J. Michael Straczynski, apparently feeling the need to take 4 issues explaining what a character did over the course of what was-- at the most-- a page or two

Yes, sounds fascinating. How could I have been so blind?

That's JMS for you, he feels the need to take 4 issues explaining anything really. One of the reasons his Thor moved at a snails pace most of the time, and I actually liked his Thor.

Also I feel this whole thing is a waste of Amanda Conner's talents, I totally think she should be working at Marvel on a She-Hulk mini right along side Dan Slott.

KirbyKrackle
02-17-2012, 06:03 PM
That's JMS for you, he feels the need to take 4 issues explaining anything really. One of the reasons his Thor moved at a snails pace most of the time, and I actually liked his Thor.

Also I feel this whole thing is a waste of Amanda Conner's talents, I totally think she should be working at Marvel on a She-Hulk mini right along side Dan Slott.

Amanda is going to be drawing an mini for image this year called Captain Brooklyn. Frank Tieri and Jimmy Palmiotti are writing it. Here is a an interview about it.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=35240

Tyr
02-17-2012, 06:09 PM
Amanda is going to be drawing an mini for image this year called Captain Brooklyn. Frank Tieri and Jimmy Palmiotti are writing it. Here is a an interview about it.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=35240

Cool, but I really would like to see her take on She-Hulk

Edit on: Just googled that, I wanna see more of Amanda Conners take on she-hulk, more more more!

VenomMelendez
02-18-2012, 12:08 AM
That's JMS for you, he feels the need to take 4 issues explaining anything really. One of the reasons his Thor moved at a snails pace most of the time, and I actually liked his Thor.

Also I feel this whole thing is a waste of Amanda Conner's talents, I totally think she should be working at Marvel on a She-Hulk mini right along side Dan Slott.

Slott has moved on and is busy with other books. Kat Immonen would be a better pick as a the writer(And she's wrting Jen in Avenging Spider-Man #7).Also, I disagree, it isn't a waste of her talents, you haven't even seen it yet. So jumping the gun there a bit

And she had worked on She-Hulk.

Tyr
02-18-2012, 09:58 AM
Also, I disagree, it isn't a waste of her talents, you haven't even seen it yet. So jumping the gun there a bit


Oh, I'm not saying that she wouldn't be good at it. Although grim, gritty, and violent isn't exactly in her wheelhouse, but I'm sure an artist of her talents can pull it off.

I'm saying the whole project seems to me like a waste of time. Because the characters from the Watchmen are all clone copies of characters that DC already owns, such as Blue Beetle and the Question. Alan Moore did that deliberately, because DC wouldn't let him use the characters he actually wanted to use for the story, cause at the time DC had only recently bought the rights to these characters and was planning on incorporating them in into the main universe. (and then turned around and killed them off years later)

In my opinion they're isn't really anything about the characters or their environment that really makes them stand out from the originals they are based off of. At least not now, though there might have been at the time. Watchmen in my opinion is a a good comic series because of Alan Moore's presentation, not because the characters have any long lasting market appeal.

See I just can't see myself getting excited about an Owlman story the same way I could about a Blue Beetle story, or see myself getting fired up about a story with Silk Specter in the same way I could get fired up about a story about Catwoman. Rorschach is cool, but hey so is the Question he is based off of. Fact I think I like the Question better.

I think DC is making a mistake banking on stories of these characters simply by how well the original series sold. When I think they should be focusing on telling interesting stories in their main universe.

Unless of course DC is banking on the nudity, in which case I fully support a decision that includes more glowing blue dong.

Chris Jones
02-18-2012, 11:17 AM
[It's] always bothered me that someone as brilliant and precise as Jon [Osterman] could just blithely walk into the intrinsic field test chamber as the time lock closed. He'd know better than that. But since it did happen, now you have to say, 'Okay, that being the case, how did it happen? Is there something we don't know? Or, more to the point, something he didn't know?'

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lrbbeqEctT1qe8okd.gif

This is just the sort of "but WHY did Roschach have toast for breakfast?" kind of thing that I was positive was going to happen.

Karen El
02-18-2012, 12:04 PM
No, he's stating it's 'solely' product. See the difference? Read Moore's proposal for Twilight of the Superheroes. He's giving DC idea for toylines. He worked with the RPG company on the Watchmen game. Of course it was intended to make money, it's ridiculous to say any different.

The argument is that the original work had a purpose beyond that though. Call it art if you want. It comes down to whether something is meaningful - or a cash in. And yes that term applies. It's tragic if in 20 years a publisher has the gall to point to this project and say that it is a new idea, or fresh. Very silly.

At this point in time we know that it is product. Whether it, or any part of it is art has yet to be determined. I think perhaps when people say it's product, not art, they actually mean that the whole project is product driven, rather than art driven, which is true. It doesn't matter how artistic the result is, that's a secondary concern to the publisher after creating new Watchman branded product to sell.

Tobias M
02-18-2012, 01:45 PM
At this point in time we know that it is product. Whether it, or any part of it is art has yet to be determined. I think perhaps when people say it's product, not art, they actually mean that the whole project is product driven, rather than art driven, which is true. It doesn't matter how artistic the result is, that's a secondary concern to the publisher after creating new Watchman branded product to sell.

You put it better than I did. The original was an unknown - this 'Before..' book is being banked on due to the critical and popular success of the original.

Tyr
02-19-2012, 06:26 AM
At this point in time we know that it is product. Whether it, or any part of it is art has yet to be determined. I think perhaps when people say it's product, not art, they actually mean that the whole project is product driven, rather than art driven, which is true. It doesn't matter how artistic the result is, that's a secondary concern to the publisher after creating new Watchman branded product to sell.


You put it better than I did. The original was an unknown - this 'Before..' book is being banked on due to the critical and popular success of the original.

And again, I think this is a mistake, While Watchmen was a great work of comic literature. I just don't see the Watchmen universe as having a lot of marketable appeal.

Danimal
02-19-2012, 07:18 AM
They should have gone with a sequel. I propose the following titles:
Watchmen 2: Electric Boogaloo
2Watch2Men
Watchmen 2: Armed and Fabulous

Chris Jones
02-19-2012, 10:47 AM
They should have gone with a sequel. I propose the following titles:
Watchmen 2: Electric Boogaloo
2Watch2Men
Watchmen 2: Armed and Fabulous

Watchmen 2: Watch Harder
Watchmen 2: The Watchening
Watchmen 2: Revenge of the Watchmen
Watchmen 2: This Time It's Personal!

Infra-Man
02-19-2012, 10:50 AM
Watchmen 2: The Search for More Money

Tyr
02-19-2012, 11:02 AM
Watchmen 2: The Search for More Money

Already? But they haven't made the Watchman Rorschach Flame Thrower yet! The kids love that stuff!

Infra-Man
02-19-2012, 11:03 AM
Already? But they haven't made the Watchman Rorschach Flame Thrower yet! The kids love that stuff!

Dink dink dink dink dink!

Chris Jones
02-19-2012, 11:05 AM
Watchmen 2: The Search for More Money

Watchmen 2: Listen, We Don't Like It Any More Than You Do

Tyr
02-19-2012, 11:05 AM
All joking aside, Infra, you've worked in the retail side of the comic biz right? What do you think of the marketability of Watchmen?

Danimal
02-19-2012, 11:09 AM
Watchmen 2: Watch Harder
Watchmen 2: The Watchening
Watchmen 2: Revenge of the Watchmen
Watchmen 2: This Time It's Personal!

Watchmen 2: The Legend of Moloch's Gold
Watchmen 2: The Squeakwel

Infra-Man
02-19-2012, 11:12 AM
All joking aside, Infra, you've worked in the retail side of the comic biz right? What do you think of the marketability of Watchmen?

Actually haven't worked in a comics shop. Only a few video stores many years ago.

So my uninformed opinion: it's going to move a lot of units based on audacity and name recognition alone. I just wonder about the quality of the stories; yeah, the move looks like a cynical cash grab, but maybe the creative teams can rise above that and do something that's more than just Watchmen-related merchandise. This is an interesting experiment, though it's too early for me to say if it's ill-advised or not.

Tyr
02-19-2012, 11:20 AM
Actually haven't worked in a comics shop. Only a few video stores many years ago.

So my uninformed opinion: it's going to move a lot of units based on audacity and name recognition alone. I just wonder about the quality of the stories; yeah, the move looks like a cynical cash grab, but maybe the creative teams can rise above that and do something that's more than just Watchmen-related merchandise. This is an interesting experiment, though it's too early for me to say if it's ill-advised or not.

Yeah, I'm just looking at things from a marketable appeal. I mean artistic integrity is nice, but really Comics are a big business, and like all big business its got investors it's got to deal with. I mean Star Wars still sells a ton of crap despite George Lucas' best efforts to fuck it up. Because the universe has marketable appeal to it. I'm just not seeing it with Watchmen, but your right, it maybe to early to tell. And I never really did get the box office numbers on the movie, or the numbers when it came to how well action figures and other merchandise is doing. I'm sure DC has a better grasp of those figures then I do. Though I dunno if that equals marketing success for future Watchmen related products.

Patrick Gerard
02-19-2012, 08:17 PM
I think it signifies a real problem for comic shops if most of their prime demo has read Watchmen.

I suspect most of them have. I don't see that as a good thing for the industry, however well executed Watchmen was.

Watchmen is a rather cynical subversion of one genre. If that represents a creative and marketing zenith for DC, worth emulating for marketing reasons, well...

Imagine an alternate universe where High Noon was the big success for the film business, where all subsequent westerns aped it, where westerns dominated cinema, and where MGM is trying to pull filmgoers back into watching movies by releasing a High Noon prequel.

That's effectively an industry with no True Grit or Tombstone, no Spaghetti Westerns, no Bonanza, no Star Trek. That's also an industry without a Star Wars or a Godfather. No BIG or Harry Potter or Sleepless in Seattle or Breakfast Club.

Imagine High Noon, the cynical genre subversion with artistic class, remains untopped. It's depressing.

High Noon absolutely belongs as an object of study in film classes, as a fine addition to any DVD collection. But the idea that High Noon would be seen as a brand that could revitalize DVD sales or even move significantly more copies than a Hunger Games movie is absurd and it's equally absurd to imagine Watchmen in that position for comics.

Tobias M
02-19-2012, 11:02 PM
Yup. Warren Ellis summed this up quite a few years ago and it's sad to note things haven't improved in the main.

Still there are some fantastic books out there. They just don't get the necessary support their quality deserves. That's why I agree with Leah Moore's point - why not invest all this time and effort in an up-and-coming project that could revolutionise things again.


I think it signifies a real problem for comic shops if most of their prime demo has read Watchmen.

I suspect most of them have. I don't see that as a good thing for the industry, however well executed Watchmen was.

Watchmen is a rather cynical subversion of one genre. If that represents a creative and marketing zenith for DC, worth emulating for marketing reasons, well...

Imagine an alternate universe where High Noon was the big success for the film business, where all subsequent westerns aped it, where westerns dominated cinema, and where MGM is trying to pull filmgoers back into watching movies by releasing a High Noon prequel.

That's effectively an industry with no True Grit or Tombstone, no Spaghetti Westerns, no Bonanza, no Star Trek. That's also an industry without a Star Wars or a Godfather. No BIG or Harry Potter or Sleepless in Seattle or Breakfast Club.

Imagine High Noon, the cynical genre subversion with artistic class, remains untopped. It's depressing.

High Noon absolutely belongs as an object of study in film classes, as a fine addition to any DVD collection. But the idea that High Noon would be seen as a brand that could revitalize DVD sales or even move significantly more copies than a Hunger Games movie is absurd and it's equally absurd to imagine Watchmen in that position for comics.

Tyr
02-19-2012, 11:33 PM
I think it signifies a real problem for comic shops if most of their prime demo has read Watchmen.

I suspect most of them have. I don't see that as a good thing for the industry, however well executed Watchmen was.

Watchmen is a rather cynical subversion of one genre. If that represents a creative and marketing zenith for DC, worth emulating for marketing reasons, well...

Imagine an alternate universe where High Noon was the big success for the film business, where all subsequent westerns aped it, where westerns dominated cinema, and where MGM is trying to pull filmgoers back into watching movies by releasing a High Noon prequel.

That's effectively an industry with no True Grit or Tombstone, no Spaghetti Westerns, no Bonanza, no Star Trek. That's also an industry without a Star Wars or a Godfather. No BIG or Harry Potter or Sleepless in Seattle or Breakfast Club.

Imagine High Noon, the cynical genre subversion with artistic class, remains untopped. It's depressing.

High Noon absolutely belongs as an object of study in film classes, as a fine addition to any DVD collection. But the idea that High Noon would be seen as a brand that could revitalize DVD sales or even move significantly more copies than a Hunger Games movie is absurd and it's equally absurd to imagine Watchmen in that position for comics.

Ok, a good point, but here's the thing, up until Star Wars there really wasn't a whole lot of mass merchandising for movies. Mass merchandising was more the realm of tv then big screen. Probably because studios could recoup movie investments on ticket sales, while TV got it's money threw advertising dollars. So it was only natural that TV ended up merchandising there stuff first given its proximity to that advertising revenue stream.

As I understand Lucas really wanted to be able to continue to make his movies his way without a whole lot of Studio interference. Merchandising was the means to that end. I also remember Mark Hamil respond to criticism about it and he basically said, "the reason it continues is because people eat, breath, and sleep Star Wars, they want it." Had there been no demand then all that stuff would have been collecting dust on a store shelf.

Nowadays the model seems to work backwards, that is studios create a movie in hopes that it will fuel demand.

As for Comicbooks, the market for are funny books has been tentative at best since the 94 crash. And the current economy hasn't helped. So exploring revenue streams is a must for these companies to survive. Now whether or not Watchmen is indeed a bankable platform for merchandising is up for debate. The question I do have to ask is was there a demand for more Watchmen stories, I don't recall there being one, but I haven't been keeping tabs on the market like I use to.


Yup. Warren Ellis summed this up quite a few years ago and it's sad to note things haven't improved in the main.

Still there are some fantastic books out there. They just don't get the necessary support their quality deserves. That's why I agree with Leah Moore's point - why not invest all this time and effort in an up-and-coming project that could revolutionise things again.

Cause its a gamble that companies aren't willing to take. Though that said, I think it would be more prudent for DC to try to expand its run on more memorable and marketable characters.

saintsaucey
02-20-2012, 06:09 AM
http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo172/hvigilla/watchmen_2012_nite_cvr.jpghttp://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo172/hvigilla/beforewatchmen.jpg

And so Watchmen prequels are official:

http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2012/02/01/dc-entertainment-officially-announces-%E2%80%9Cbefore-watchmen%E2%80%9D/

RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner



And here's a Hollywood Reporter bit on this featuring an interview with JMS: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/dc-entertainment-watchmen-prequel-7-books-286302

Is it gonna be a 2.99 book? I've decided to commit my self to the whole series. 30 issues isn't that bad.

Patrick Gerard
02-20-2012, 10:11 AM
Is it gonna be a 2.99 book? I've decided to commit my self to the whole series. 30 issues isn't that bad.

The weird thing about this for me is how the sheer bulk of the project exceeds Watchmen.

Accepting these books makes Watchmen itself less than a third of the story.

Gonna sound odd but I'd have a lot more faith in the idea of a sequel... and a sequel published under the Vertigo imprint so we could be assured it would be as political as the original.

I don't envision these prequels having any attacks on Ronald Reagan or Thatcher in them. And even if they did, it wouldn't be all that relevant.