Everyone's talking about Watchmen so much these days that the world has started to feel like a comic book shop circa 1986. (There's even rumors of someone on The A.V. Club staff doing a "Better Late Than Never" feature on the comic at some point.) The source of the excitement comes fro Zack Snyder's forthcoming movie adaptation, as advertised in this trailer:
I remain skeptical. Yeah, that trailer looks, well, amazing. But I have mixed feelings about Snyder's other two films (300 and the Dawn Of The Dead remake) and I have my doubts as to whether any feature-length film can squeeze in enough of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic. Also, I don't like that Smashing Pumpkins song and I tend to be a glass-half-empty type about any movie prior to seeing it. Basically, I'm a grump.
At any rate, we won't know anything until next March, but in the meantime, there are a few Watchmen-related items for those who want to dig in ahead of the movie.
— Read the book. No, seriously. It's great. And even if Snyder's movie is a Dark Knight level achievement, Moore and Gibbons' book is just about perfect on the page. There are visual rhymes and overlapping transitions here that use the comics medium to brilliant effect and in ways no one had really tried before.
— For Watchmen vets, check out this annotation site featuring notes from fan Doug Atkinson. The entries range from the obvious to the obsessive. (On an image of a tape recorder: "The layout of the buttons on the tape recorder is interesting. In our world, the two leftmost buttons would be depressed to record; the third button would be 'rewind.'"
— "Watch" the comic. DC is currently experimenting called "motion comics," which are kind of like the half-animated comic book equivalent of books on tape. The first chapter of the Watchmen adaptation is up for free at iTunes. (Here's a button:
) It's odd to watch but well-read.
— Listen to what the man said. Here's Alan Moore, interviewed for series called Comics Brittania, explaining his thoughts on the series. He won't be seeing the movie, but he might enhance your viewing. Also, Moore reads from Rorschach's journal himself, adopting a voice that sounds a bit like a British twist on Christian Bale's Batman. (Warning: Spoilers!)