2 Days for Free Watchmen Books!

March 30th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Remember this? You’ve got today, tomorrow, and maybe early Wednesday morning before time’s up! If you’re thinking of trying to get some free books, now’s the time.

I’ll likely post the winners after lunch on Wednesday, along with my review of the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book!

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Who Wants Free Watchmen Books?

March 27th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

These three books are sitting on my desk right now:


For reference, they are Watchmen: Portraits, Watchmen: The Film Companion, and Watchmen: The Art of the Film.

They’re part of the Watchmen merch that came out prior to or at the same time as the film. I can attest to the fact that they’re awesome, particularly the portraits book. They’re enormous single page portraits of the cast and crew, and even a few props.

Anyway, I have these books, sent to me courtesy of Katherine at Titan Books, and I thought to myself… I should give these away. In fact, I can double it. I have two of each book. That’s six books total. I’m going to give away all six.

Here’s what you have to do. In the comments below, I want you to tell me what your favorite Alan Moore story is. Preferably, it will be a book that we can all pick up on Amazon or at our local book store. If it’s a single issue, tell us what collection it’s in. Here’s the rub, however: you need to tell me, over the course of around a paragraph, two if you’re really into it, why you love it so much.

Just for clarification, we’re talking books here. “Tom Strong” isn’t an answer, but “Tom Strong volume 1” is, as long as you back it up. “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1” isn’t an answer, but “LoEG v1, which includes #1,” is. Make sense?

I’m going to close off submissions on Wednesday, unless the thread dies off before then, and then I’m going to go through with my crack team of comics criticism scientists (read: me, myself, and I) and pick out the six best. Those six will get an email from me so that I can get their addresses and then I’m going to mail them a book. I get to pick the book, but all three are about equally awesome.

How’s that sound? Have at it.

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Last Week, Rorschach Left the Band…

March 16th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

I had been thinking about writing a review of the Watchmen movie, but if you’re anything like me, you’re sick of reading reviews. Everyone hits the same notes, pretty much. The guy playing Rorschach was great. The lady playing the first Silk Spectre was not so great. The music wasn’t incorporated very well. The sex scene went on way too long. After that, it’s just the writer’s opinion on how well it did in relation to the original material. Was it too close to the material to be good? Too far away to be good? Was it just right?

So rather than doing a full review (I liked the movie enough to see it twice. There.), I made this.

Anyway. Right now I’m in a creative tug-of-war between articles. I’ve been working on the next We Care a Lot and a review of the SNK vs. Capcom Chaos comics. It’s kind of led to a case of writer’s block, so right now I’m in the middle of working on an update for the Contents page. You know it’s been about a year to the day since I last updated that? That was when Hoatzin was still writing.

Hoatzin, what happened to you? Are you injured? Talk to meeeee!

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Brief Watchmen Post

March 8th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Saw it.  Liked it.  Was rather surprised at that.

At first I thought the style would knock me out of the picture.  I was wrong.  There were some sequences, especially at the beginning of the film, that made me roll my eyes when they started but turned out to be strangely affecting.

Also, I think that my earlier concern that the overall darkening tone of comic book movies would take the edge off of this one was incorrect.  Obviously, this would be more of a shock if it were compared to the early Superman movies instead of The Dark Knight.  But Watchmen isn’t so much about shocking us as it is showing us these wacky people with certain power levels and certain senses of responsibility, and never quite the right balance between the two.

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The Watchmen That Almost Was

March 5th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

First off, check out the animated short Saturday Morning Watchmen if you haven’t already. Yes, yes, it’s Newgrounds. I don’t care. It’s quality. Check it out.

The new Watchmen movie is about to be released. I got my midnight IMAX tickets ready. Good or bad, it’s probably realistically the best we would ever get. Lord knows they’ve been trying to make it into a movie for years. It started back in the 80’s with a ridiculous script by Sam Hamm, the guy who gave us the Michael Keaton Batman movie. I haven’t read the whole thing, but I have read enough. The ending in the screenplay puts you in a facepalm frenzy by having Dr. Manhattan save the world by going back in time and negating his own origin. This causes the present to be undone so that Nite Owl, Silk Spectre and Rorschach end up in the real world.

That sounds painful. The movie had remained in limbo for years after. There seemed to be some movement in the mid-00’s, with David “Solid Snake” Hayter’s screenplay. Darren Aronofsky was set to direct. Alan Moore, though disagreeing with the concept of a Watchmen movie, still said that Hayter’s vision was the best and most faithful version he had read. Things were moving forward a bit, even with a Watchmen movie teaser site up for a little while. Then it just went away and the whole thing was scrapped for a couple years until being greenlit with another creative team and another screenplay.

But what of the David Hayter script? Was it any good? I’ve actually read it. A few years back, back when the wheels were still in motion, I got my hands on the script and read through it. Totally legit. I had written a list of all the differences between the book and Hayter’s stuff. With the movie coming out, I figured I’d just dust it off and repost it for you guys.

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Times of crisis really do teach you something about yourself.

January 17th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I was planning to see Watchmen when it came out in theaters, but I wasn’t particularly excited about it.  As I’ve said before, it follows the extra dark trend of superhero movies.  For me, an extra dark superhero movie is like extra dark chocolate.  Yes, it’s trendy these days, and everyone agrees that it’s classier, but most of the fun has gone out of it. 

However, then I learned that Fox started legal proceedings against Warner Brothers and the movie would be delayed, or perhaps even, (gasp), never released.

So of course then, I wanted to see it, needed to see it, started concocting I Love Lucy type schemes in order to get to see it, like unearthing one of those suits that I bought when I thought going to work meant wearing suits when in actuality going to work means advancing far enough that you don’t need to wear suits anymore, and pretending to be a lawyer (I would also probably need a briefcase) and saying that I represented one side or the other in order to get to see it.  Or perhaps I would find someone on the internet to whom it had been leaked, and beg it off of them, and transfer it to others using the netname Rorschach/Owlman4evah.

And now, the legal issues have been settled, and the movie is out in March, and I’m thinking, ‘Okay.  I’ll see it.  If it’s playing at that theater where they let you pump your own butter on to the popcorn.’

It’s sad when you’re a grown woman and you realize that you would be easily tricked into helping Tom Sawyer whitewash a fence.

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Who Will Be Shocked By The Watchmen?

August 27th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Watchmen will be coming out in March and, no doubt, the first few screenings will be almost entirely packed with comic book fans. The book, to comics fans, has a status somewhere between The Catcher in the Rye and the moon landing. It not only changed their lives, it marked a turning point for comics in general, taking a more critical and nuanced look not only at superhero characters, but at the concept of superheroes in general. Alan Moore presented a deeply cynical vision at the way the world would look if it had to interact with a group of dangerously powerful people with big egos and flexible morals. The book made every fan who ever fantasized about the fourth wall dissolving consider that it might turn the world darker and more dangerous rather than more exciting and fun. Watchmen wasn’t a book, it was an event, and so I’m guessing that the first few screenings will alternate between awed silence and wild cheering.

What about the screening after that? If the movie had come out a year or two after the novel’s publication, it would have knocked the socks off of people whose standard for superhero movies was Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, but will today’s audiences be aware of it as anything more than another film that is ‘based on a graphic novel?’

The color scheme is from The Dark Knight and 300. The sense of the alienation of powerful beings from everyday people is from Superman Returns. The idea of a superhero as something the public is afraid of is in movies from Hancock to The Hulk.

As for the public being right to fear superheroes, even Peter Parker turned to the dark side for a while, and he was played by Tobey Maguire. From outright immoral supers, like the ones in Wanted, to the heroes of Sin City, who had the welfare of the downtrodden at heart, but whose skills tended towards being able to quickly dispose of bodies, to the neurotics of superheroes being milked for comedic value in My Super Ex-Girlfriend, to Batman, one of the most straight laced of superheroes, being tangentially involved in the deaths of super villains, it’s more difficult to find a superhero movie in which the superheroes are unquestionably good than it is to find one that looks at them through more jaundiced eyes.

I’m not saying that Watchmen shouldn’t be made or that it has nothing to contribute. That would be like arguing against the filming of an Elmore Leonard story because the world already has enough heist movies. If anything Watchmen deserves more acclaim for originality, since it was one of the books that pioneered the more skeptical view of superheroes that has become the standard.

However, there is no denying that that view has become the standard. It’s odd that the innovation and influence of Watchmen in the medium of comics will probably lessen its impact when it becomes a film. Success has a price.

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And You May Tell Yourself: My God! What Have I Done?!

July 17th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Right now I’m getting ready to go see The Dark Knight. As I type this, it’s near 2 am.

Unfortunately, my work schedule this week doesn’t give me many liberties in terms of checking this movie out at a reasonable time. Hell, it’s also the reason I’ve been a bit dry on updates lately. So the other day I went to the nearby IMAX, a one minute walk from work, and asked what the earliest showing was of the movie. The answer? 3 am. Eh, good enough.

Around this time it’s proper to discuss favorite Batman comics and stuff like that. For me, I look towards the Diniverse and the timeless Batman: The Animated Series. When people think of great moments in the Diniverse cartoons, they’re quick to mention the Flash tearing apart the Luthor/Brainiac hybrid or Tim Drake murdering the Joker. All great moments, but still somewhat fresh in the fans’ minds because of being the most recent.

For me, one of my all-time favorite moments is the latter minutes of His Silicon Soul, an episode of Batman’s cartoon that acted as a sequel to a story arc where he fought the evil computer HARDAC. In this episode, despite HARDAC’s destruction, a robot copy of Bruce Wayne/Batman exists. He wakes up and gets shot at by some thugs, quickly revealing that he’s a machine due to all the exposed wires hanging out of his stomach. Even though he truly believes that he’s Batman, it’s explained to him that he only has basic memories.

Luckily, someone made a YouTube video that condenses the episode into about 7 minutes. The final moments is some powerful, chilling shit.

On another note relating to the movie, there’s a Watchmen trailer attached to it. It’s online all over and it rocked my socks off. Shortly after its release to the internet, Entertainment Weekly revealed its Watchmen-oriented cover. I don’t know about you, but something seems a bit familiar about Ozymandias…

We danced on Sprockets 35 minutes ago.

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Who Dooms the Doomsmen?

May 12th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

I was in the middle of writing an article about this character in question and I couldn’t help myself.

I will tell you that this guy is as Silver Age as you can get and is really well overdue for a revival.

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Gavok’s New Years Resolutions for 2008

January 1st, 2008 Posted by Gavok

As if you didn’t know, 2007 is over and done with. It’s a new year and a time to access the future. It’s time to come up with goals and hopes for 2008 and to plan for the next 365 days. Here are my New Years Resolutions:

– I resolve to finally write that series of articles about Venom’s bizarre history as a comic character, featuring such things as Venom and Carnage fighting inside the internet and the guest appearance of cyber-ninja Mace, the most forgettable shoe-horned superhero I’ve ever seen. Okay, I remember him, but that’s not my point.

– I resolve to lose about 20 more pounds. Funny thing, back before I decided to go on a diet months ago, I was going to start a ridiculous internet campaign for me to play the part of Seymour from the very end of Watchmen. So when you do watch that movie in theaters and you see that chubby guy reaching for a journal, remember to reflect on what could have been. I know I will…

– I resolve to continue to get on Wanderer’s case for never writing anything for the site. Then I’ll get depressed when I remember that he has about 29 legitimate writing jobs and I just work retail.

– I resolve to read and review every single comic starring Mr. T.

– I resolve to set aside at least a minute every day to roll my eyes at this Spider-Man: Brand New Day crap.

– I resolve to finally get going on my own comic book concept so that in a couple years, I can read it and make fun of it on this very site.

– I resolve to not fight the Monarch because I hear from a good source that he is badass.

– I resolve to lead my team to victory in the 8th Annual 4th Letter vs. Funnybook Babylon Charity Volleyball Game.

– I resolve to receive a restraining order from one Matt Fraction.

– I resolve to discover the storage freezer where writer Len Kaminski is kept. Really, that guy was totally awesome back in the day and he’s completely vanished from the face of the Earth. What the hell happened to him?!

– I resolve to make more jokes about how much Wyatt Wingfoot sucks. More like “WyamIreadingabout Wingfoot?” am I right?

– I resolve to get around to reading Sentences by MF Grimm so I can show hermanos that I’m, uh, down.

– I resolve to finally review what I consider to be the all-time worst comic book issue of all time. It may kill me, but I’ll do it.

Have a happy new year, people.

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