- Paperback: 424 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1852860243
- ISBN-13: 978-1852860240
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 1.7 x 25.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Watchmen Paperback – 1987
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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
This is the Daddy. -- BookMunch Online Book Reviews June 2002See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
(This review is for the Watchmen, International Edition – this is a nicely bound soft cover version the title)
If anything, Watchman is an examination of the history of the genre and purpose of the superhero: how readers connect to it, and what it means rationally. Moore stretches from fond parody to outright sedition, wrapping the once-simple genre in layers of meaning. This is a tale where he also constantly pushes its boundaries. Watchmen is unrepentant and unwavering in it delivery.
There are no real heroes here - for most Superhero narratives, up until the publication of this title, these Superhero comics were all usually built around wholly compassionate, venerable characters. They represent what people wish they were, and they do the things normal people wish they could do. It doesn't deliver on every level, it isn't perfect, but it contains so much that succeeds, and comes so close to fulfilling its promises that it would be almost crass to mention any failings.
Alan Moore is a great writer. He is not a great writer for comics; he is a great writer period, who happens to have made the graphic novel his medium. Watchmen is at times legendary, funny, scholarly, sad, exciting and intriguing. It is written for intelligent readers. The plot, at times, does sprawl - it is convoluted, and it spans generations with a large ensemble cast. What kept it together are the deeply personal narratives on various scales. This is a fun read. It is exciting. The artwork is truly sumptuous and coveys so much of the unwritten tale.
Read it. If someone sneers at you for reading, a comic book just ignore them.
The Watchmen were a group of vigilantes who disbanded shortly after an Act was passed making them illegal. Most of the group retired - some, like Ozymandias, went public with their identities, others, like Nite Owl II, just quietly disappeared. The brutal Comedian went to work for the government, as did Dr Manhattan - the only member of the group with superhuman abilities after a nuclear experiment went wrong. Rorschach kept going despite the Act and it is he who drives this novel forward when he begins investigating who killed the Comedian by pushing him out of a high-rise building - and why they did it. Rorschach's investigation causes him to seek out his former colleagues as he becomes concerned that someone is deliberately hunting them down. Through him, each vigilante's backstory is slowly revealed, their fractured psyches, flaws and fears all gradually unravelled for the reader.
Despite the murder mystery, this is really a character piece as Moore investigates what drives people to put on costumes and try to fight crime. Some of the characters are more fascinating than others - Rorschach, the Comedian and Dr Manhattan were the real standouts for me. Each is psychologically bruised in their own way and each battling to either rediscover or push away their humanity. Particularly poignant is Dr Manhattan's story, with Moore and Gibbons doing excellent work in showing how his intellectual strength has come at the expense of his ability to emotionally connect with Laurie Jupiter.Read more ›
This is no short 5 minute read , like those who are uninitiated with graphic novels may expect . Instead , this is a story that will take time to read ( and should be relished ) , with intermissions between chapters that help to flesh out the protaganists characters and give us insight into their world .
The story has been rightly decribed as one of the main influences on modern comic story-telling , and the superlatives have been deserved .
Without doubt , a story deserving of anyone's attention , whether a graphic novel enthusiast , or new to the genre .
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best graphic novel ever written. (Apart from the outstanding Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman, different genres though). Read morePublished 12 days ago by Kyle
Watchmen is a masterwork; Deep and dark and full of hope and despair, joy and loss. Perhaps the best comic book ever.Published 20 days ago by William Donelson
Far more detailed and layered than most external viewers (and those who saw the film) would give it credit for. Read morePublished 2 months ago
A Classic that never gets old with some of the most resonant art in the comic genre.Published 4 months ago by Simeon Georgiev
So interesting and fun to read. The illustrations are amazing. Be sure to watch the film straight after reading the novel!Published 5 months ago by Luke