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Watchmen [Paperback]

Alan Moore , Dave Gibbons
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1987 --  

Book Description

1987
"Watchmen" redefined superhero conventions and re-introduced comics to an adult audience with a gripping, labyrinthine piece of comic art. Rorschach, a half-psychotic vigilante must convince his ex team-mates, now middle-aged and retired, that he has uncovered a plot to murder the remaining superheroes - along with millions of innocent civilians...Even reunited, will the remnants of the 'Watchmen' be enough to avert a global apocalypse? With a powerful storyline masterfully told by comics supremo Alan Moore and beautifully rendered artwork by the talented Dave Gibbons - this is the one that started the graphic novel revolution and is definitely not one to miss!

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Product details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852860243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852860240
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Has any comic been as lauded as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen? Possibly only Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns but Watchmen remains the critics' favourite. Why? Because Moore is a better writer, and Watchmen a more complex and dark and literate creation than Miller's fantastic, subversive take on the Batman myth. Moore, renowned for many other of the genre's finest creations (Saga of the Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, and recently From Hell, with Eddie Campbell) first put out Watchmen in 12 issues for DC in 1986-87. It won a comic award at the time (the 1987 Jack Kirby Comics Industry Awards for Best Writer/Artist combination) and has continued to garner praise since.

The story concerns a group called the Crimebusters and a plot to kill and discredit them. Moore's characterisation is as sophisticated as any novel's. Importantly the costumes do not get in the way of the storytelling, rather they allow Moore to investigate issues of power and control--indeed it was Watchmen, and to a lesser extent Dark Knight, that propelled the comic genre forward, making "adult" comics a reality. The artwork of Gibbons (best known for 2000AD's Rogue Trooper and DC's Green Lantern) is very fine too, echoing Moore's paranoid mood perfectly throughout. Packed with symbolism, some of the overlying themes (arms control, nuclear threat, vigilantes) have dated but the intelligent social and political commentary, the structure of the story itself, its intertextuality (chapters appended with excerpts from other "works" and "studies" on Moore's characters, or with excerpts from another comic book being read by a child within the story), the fine pace of the writing and its humanity mean that Watchmen more than stands up--it retains its crown as the best the genre has yet produced. --Mark Thwaite

Review

This is the Daddy. -- BookMunch Online Book Reviews June 2002

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lets talk about the book - not just the contents 15 Nov 2007
Format:Hardcover
I'm going to give my opinion on the actual book itself. I would imagine most people reading reviews of the Absolute Edition have already read Watchmen. It is probably Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons finest hour - `nuff said.

So, for starters, the absolute edition is much bigger than the original trade paperback. It is hardback, has a paper cover wrap and comes in a well-made, sturdy slipcase to protect it. The slipcase fits perfectly and has very bold text down the spine (looks nice on the shelf!).

The paper is very good quality, bright white and heavy stock. The printing is the key to this edition. It is flawless in every way. The colours jump off the page and the ink saturation is perfect. All the details are extremely clear (which is also helped by the larger format) it makes the first colour job look very murky and dark in comparison. The original colourist has made a return to tweak and improve his work (rather than completely change it) and he has done a grand job.

There is quite a bit of supplemental material thrown in at the back of the book (interviews, original script / concept drawing highlights etc.) which adds alot of insight into this classic of the graphic novel form.

So my final word? If you love Alan Moore, and you re-read Watchmen alot, this absolute edition is an absolute MUST.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest. Bar none. 3 May 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The best works of fiction are generally untranslatable into different media. It is impossible to make a film that encompasses all the great things about Catch-22. Citizen Kane and Vertigo would make lousy novels. Watchmen is comparable. Many people I know refuse to read it, just because it's a comic. But it couldn't work any other way. I'm trying not to spoil too much of the plot, but Alan Moore's writing, the pacing of the story - he somehow manages to overlay multiple plot lines on just one page. The dialogue is realistic: people talk over each other, conversations are drowned out by TV, the characters stutter and repeat themselves. The characters are real, flawed. the plot manages to mix high-concept science fiction, hard-boiled crime, philosophy, conspiracies, action, drama. Alan Moore isn't just one of the greatest comic writers ever, he's one of the greatest writers ever. His work stands comparison with anyone - Harper Lee, Joseph Conrad, Heller, Orwell.
But Watchmen isn't just about the writing: Dave Gibbons' art isn't flashy, but no other artist could've drawn the story. Gibbons' work is realistic, insanely detailed. Again, I don't want to spoil the plot for you, but analyse every panel. Every detail, no matter how minor, has purpose.
This book is flawless. It will never be surpassed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moore remains the king 6 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have tried to work out why this has the quality almost everything else lacks and I think it's that Alan Moore doesn't refer to the field when he writes, he refers to his own complicated obsessions. Like Michael Moorcock, who admires Moore as much as Moore admires Moorcock, he is one of the wellsprings. He doesn't take his bucket to the common pool. He takes it to some very strange pools indeed and his dark imagination, which again reflects the work of the New Worlds writers like Harrison and Moorcock, with whom he's associated, is questing not for thrills or fresh wrinkles in an old security blanket but for something altogether his own. That is why he remains the king and why Watchmen remains a standard of graphic novels just as the Cornelius novels remain a standard for cyberpunk. This is nothing less than a classic in a field it made interesting. I had long since lost interest in comics until I came on Moore's work. He didn't just revive my interest in comics -- he revived the whole comics field! He deserves to be made a Knight Spiritual if not a new Lord! Buy two. One to read and one to throw at people who say comics are just for kids.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unparalleled achievement. 6 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most affecting and thought-provoking books around, and it cannot be overstated how much it suffers through being grouped in with the comic book / graphic novel category of literature. That said, some of the interplay between words and pictures took my breath away - it makes you wonder what JD Salinger or Hunter Thompson could have achieved if they had been working in this field - and the observations and conclusions that Alan Moore makes are frighteningly real.
The characterisations, particularly Daniel Dreiberg, are carefully drawn out and well handled, and the artwork is good enough to carry the story without overwhelming it (as it did in Dark Knight Returns). There is an element of 'The Usual Suspects/The Sixth Sense' to the writing too, so that as soon as you have finished the book once you immediately want to start it again to look for the clues that you missed the first time around.
If you have already read this book, then you already spend much of your time telling others to read it; if you haven't read it, I would put it up there with 'On The Road' and 'Catcher In The Rye' as an example of a writer who can perfectly illustrate the mood of America, albeit during a fictional time in its history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 years on and it's still fantastic 27 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Most of what can be said about Watchmen already has been, but there's nothing wrong with emphasising the fact. Not only does it have an exciting, intriguing plot, but the novel also features truly fantastic characterisation and is loaded with political satire and social commentary.
The art is also deserving of great praise; not a panel is wasted, and there is a truly insane amount of detail that you won't pick up on first reading (or even until somebody else points it out). A little static? Not really, it's intended to be ultra-realistic, and Dave Gibbons has a extraordinary talent for defining the human anatomy.
Moore is sometimes criticised of being a little paranoid, and that perhaps shines through, but he certainly seems to be aware of this (a lot of Rorschach's narration is deliberately OTT), and the story does have something roughly equating a happy ending.
If you want to change somebody's views about comic books, give them this, Maus and The Dark Knight Returns. You'll have a convert on your hands in no time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb
Published 1 day ago by Waasley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read!
Published 8 days ago by Ciaran Barron
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read... one of the best books ever written.
A must read and a must buy. Only the greatest comic book ever written. Buy it now! You can always find a fan you can sell or give it too if you don't like it. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Jurij Fedorov
5.0 out of 5 stars Best graphic novel written
Written in 1987, the artwork is not great compared to today's work but is still impressive considering the context. The story is brilliant and much better than the film. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
I read this on ymy kindle keyboard in black and white during a flight to Jamaica. The depth of each character is pretty amazing! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
Bought this for my brother after reading a library copy myself. Wonderful large format, excellent print quality. And obviously, a beautifully crafted graphic novel.
Published 4 months ago by T. Ibrahim
4.0 out of 5 stars First graphic novel
I don't want too say too much, as others have already done a good job of reviewing the story.

This is the first graphic novel I have read and it is brilliant, as... Read more
Published 5 months ago by WangDaNiu
5.0 out of 5 stars Watchmen graphic novel
This is a superb graphic novel by Alan Moore. Joint top position for books in this genre with V for Vendetta. Arrived on time, and was all that was hoped for and more. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Astraea
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to live up to the hype
I really enjoyed this, but I'd had this built up as a life changing read, by a number of good friends, and it just didn't resonate with me. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jez
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the film
If you're thinking of buying this, DO IT! I enjoyed the film and didn't realise how much of the dialog and scenes in the film are taken directly from the comic, definitely... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Morris.av
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