Thursday, May 13, 2010

Existential Crisis of the Week

I haven't contributed anything since the weekend becuase this time of year is pretty busy, and after the whole Blackest Night thing wrapped up, I haven't found much in comics to be excited about.

Anyway, a friend of mine lent me a copy of Watchmen, so I started reading it.  Considering that it's one of "Time's Greatest 100 Novels" or whatever, I feel obligated to read it.  I mean, not 100 Greatest Graphic Novels.  Novels.  Period.  So I guess it's gotta be good, right?

Way back before Batman Begins, wayy wayyy back before I even considered the notion of picking up a comic or a graphic novel, I happened upon a copy of Watchmen in the then-measly Graphic Novel section of the local Boarders.  (Just one shelf!)  I read the synopsis and it sounded pretty interesting.  If superheroes are in charge of protecting the world, what's to keep them from corrupting?  Or, at least, that's what I thought the book was about at the time.  (Or, at least, that's what the blurb on the back made it seem like it was about.  I'm about three chapters in and I still don't know exactly what it's about.)  The blurb made a huge deal, if I remember correctly, about it being an alternate timeline.  Anyway, I distinctly remember flipping through it and putting it back on the shelf.  Why, I don't know, but for some reason I decided against reading it.  I wish I knew why, because maybe if I had read it, I would've started reading comics a lot sooner.

When the Watchmen movie came out last spring, I finally had the chance to figure out a little more about it.  I'm getting a strong deconstructive vibe from it already, and I'm not exactly crazy about deconstructive-type works.  I'm less crazy about post-modernism, so at least it's something.  So, right off the bat I figured I'd hate it, but that I should read it anyway, kind of like any book that becomes a "classic."  I'm also not a fan of the gritty, realistic, violent, etc., so it's probably not my cup of tea, but every now and then I surprise myself in that regard.  (Case in point: L.A. Confidential.  One of my favorite movies.)

Anyway, literary guilt won out and I decided to read it.  (Plus the curiosity to see how The Question and Blue Beetle and Captain Atom were reimagined tipped the scales.)  Well, so far, I actually think it's pretty good and somewhat enjoyable, even though I don't quote know where it's going yet.  Rorschach I find amusing.  So far I'm just trying to guess the ending, which my friend told me would be impossible to see coming.  Right now it's just reading as a whodunit with a little social commentary thrown in and some mildly unorthodox storytelling techniques, so I'm hoping the ending will blow me away.  If it doesn't, I'll be disappointed.

That, my friends, is the problem with high expectations.

Okay, enough rambling for tonight.


Diabolu Frank said...

The ending will not blow you away. In fact, they altered it in the movie because it rather infamously choked in the original comic. Does your taste in old movies extend to television?

Sea-of-Green said...

First time I read Watchmen (which wasn't long after it first came out), I thought it was okay. It didn't exactly blow me away, but I thought it was interesting enough to keep on my bookshelf.

mathematicscore said...

I wouldn't use the phrase blow you away, as I don't use it lightly, but I rather like the ending, and your friend is correct that you're not going to figure it out ahead of the characters. Dave Gibbons' art is fantastic, and I really enjoy Alan Moore's characterizations, so Watchmen, hype aside, is on my good list. I'm interested to hear what you think.