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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lets talk about the book - not just the contents
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...
Published on 15 Nov 2007 by Yossarian

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars University Book List Item
This was on my book list for next term. I'm not a fan of graphic novels but this one is considered a classic. I've read about half and if you like this sort of thing you'll enjoy it. I found it distracting (not used to reading books with pictures). It's OK but wouldn't encourage me to read another graphic novel.
Published 13 months ago by Jane Stevenson


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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
This review is from: Absolute Watchmen (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
This review is from: Watchmen (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
This review is from: Watchmen (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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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
This review is from: Watchmen (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unparalleled achievement., 6 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Watchmen (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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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trend Setter, 12 July 2005
By 
DocBhoy (Invercargill , New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Watchmen (Paperback)
At the time of it's release , Alan Moore ( author of 2000 AD stories such as Skizz , Halo Jones and D.R. & Quinch , not to mention DC stalwarts such as Swamp Thing ( he invented John Constantine in this series ) , and several short Superman stories ) had grown tired of the spandex brigade in mainstream comics , and decided to re-invent superheroes as if they had come to life in our own world . This tale is a classic tragedy about the trials and tribulations of a former group of vigilantes , who find themselves thrown together when one of their number dies .
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 .
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply stunning, 20 Jan 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Watchmen (Paperback)
The word on the street is that Watchmen is finally going to be made into a movie. Although I'm likely to be queueing to get a ticket, in many ways it's a shame, because Watchmen is quite simply one of the most complex, awesome and complete novels of the twentieth century, delivered in a form that is perfect for the tale. Anything that can be re-read time and time again and still unlock new surprises refunds its cover price ten times over, and this is certainly one of the few books that delivers on all levels. Forget the "SOCK POW" of the 60's Batman series, and even the original Superman film - instead examine the minds of masked vigilantes and how the existence of a real superhero would affect the planet. Those thoughts, and many, many more are explored here in a cracking yarn that remains tense, thrilling, consistent and amazing throughout - and all from two tiny brains that dared to challenge convention when the Superhero was believed to be dead.

Buy this now, before Holywood makes it hot property or buries it just as it did The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential For Fans, 7 Aug 2006
This review is from: Absolute Watchmen (Hardcover)
So, you've read Watchmen, you loved it, you obsessed over it, you've been kicked out of civilized gatherings when you refused to stop waving it in front of people's faces, telling them it was "The Most Important Comic Ever Written EVER!!!", and you've come to blows with those that insist that that title in fact belongs to Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" (they're wrong). Where else is there to go?

This edition, not only comes in an imposing hardback cover, but is also packed with extras, including samples of promotional art for the comic, preliminary character design sketches by Dave Gibbons, and excerpts from Alan Moore's insanely detailed scripts. And if that's not enough to satisfy you, then the new print of the comic will. Each panel has now been enlarged so the obsessive fan can now pick out every single embedded smiley face in the book, and see every speck of filth and street detritus on Rorschach's trenchcoat.

If you're debating whether this is worth 50, then I'm afraid you'll just never understand...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best works of literature ever!, 9 Jun 2007
By 
This review is from: Watchmen (Paperback)
This graphic novel is a work of genius, it is EXTREMELY rare that i come across such staggeringly intelligent writing. The story follows a group of aged super heroes (for want of a better word) called the crimebusters. In their time they were highly respected but now, years on, they are being killed and discredited one by one. Moore investigates the issues of power, nuclear threat and arms control, all while maintaining an array of characters which each have their own individual personalities and backgrounds. He also manages to give an accurate political and social outlook on the psyche of both characters and readers, giving him a true understanding of the human mind. Reading this 'adult' comic was fascinating and i'd recommend it to anyone who had a true interest in modern literature. Plus it's got a hell of a plotline!

Dave Gibbons' artwork also complements Moore's writing beautifully and helps to create the atmosphere of paranoia and severity with ease. A wonderful book that will deffinately stand the test of time.

(I would also DEEPLY recommend 'v for vendetta' as it is my favourite Moore book along with watchmen)
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go on - try it - you'll be rewarded!, 23 Jan 2009
By 
This review is from: Watchmen (Paperback)
Okay, I confess it... this is the first graphic novel that I have ever read, and one I picked up only on account of the hype surrounding the film. The regard with which the book so I thought I'd give it a go - and I have to confess that I loved it!

What is special about Watchmen is the range of themes included. The book begins with the murder of former masked vigilante The Comedian, and the writers quickly introduce us to a range of former masked vigilantes (they are specifically prohibited by the law following a police strike, unless expressly allowed by the government) including the second Nite Owl, Ozymandias, the second Silk Spectre, Rorsarch and the one person with genuine superpowers, Dr Manhattan. As the book and plot progresses the writers generously fill in their back-stories, as their motivation for becoming masked vigilantes and reactions to their forced retirement are revealed.

The masked vigilantes are required again to try and save the world and act outside of the law again. In doing this, the writers raise questions around the effects vigilantes can have on society, and is summed up by the slogan that is constantly inserted in panels as graffiti, "Who Watches The Watchmen?" The book explores many themes around contemporary society but hasn't dated since the end of the Cold War.

The well-drawn and entertaining comic strips are supported by exerts from written texts that further serve to flesh out the history of the characters and the situation in which they find themselves, and the comic within the comic works well in supporting the main thrust of the story.

This is not a book to be undervalued on the grounds that it is a graphic novel - it is a serious and enjoyable piece of work and if you have never read a graphic novel, you should definitely give it a go.
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