- 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 (302 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,353 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
The 'Absolute Edition' collects the 12 issues that comprise this comic book series (originally released in 1986-7), and presents them as a deluxe graphic novel. This book is hardback, with a dust-jacket, and is 'oversized' (each page is larger than the standard comic book). This edition was published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of these comic books, and it comes with plenty of 'extra' features (including 48 pages of supplemental material). Additionally, this edition comes in an attractive slipcase (an outer box).
I have attached some photos of this particular edition - including an image which shows the size of this book compared to a standard comic book.
Moore’s 'Watchmen' is a seminal contribution to comic book writing. It is, perhaps, the most important and influential graphic novel of all time. The story is excellent - dark, serious, original, and thoroughly entertaining. And the artwork - by Gibbons - is also fantastic, serving to 'bring to life' the various adventures depicted in the story.
I won't provide a detailed review of the story itself ... Put briefly, it concerns an alternative world, from the late 1930's to the mid-1980's, that stands at the cusp of ruination. Crime is rampant, and gradually political divisions around the world are leading to nuclear annihilation. In this context, a group of costumed vigilantes seek to make a difference - to change things for the better - as 'heroes'.Read more ›
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 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 .
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Where do I start with this graphic novel?
Let’s just say yes, this is a masterpiece and yes, I loved and hated reading it. Watchmen is a master class in storytelling. Read more
A brilliant book, right up there in quality with Maus by Speigelman and Jimmy Corrigan by Ware: a superb graphic novel. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Simon Turner
An excellent graphic novel; a modern must read. Would make a great gift for any comic book enthusiast.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Wow, what a comic.
No wonder it on the top 500 books list.
A great read.