Friday, May 26, 2017

SS #050 - Watchmen, 30 Years Later

Shortbox Showcase #50 - We Did This 35 Minutes Ago

In this episode, Emily & Professor Alan talk for slightly over 3 hours about the classic graphic novel Watchmen, by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons. Does it live up to the hype? What do they think of the 9-panel grid? What do they think of the ending? What do they think of Alan Moore and his attitude? Are there any heroes at all in the story? Does Emily REALLY understand the pirate story as well as she thinks she does?

Listen to this super-sized episode ... and find out!

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Thanks to Andrew Leyland of Hey Kids! Comics, Listen to the Prophets, and The Fantasticast, for portraying the voice of Alan Moore.

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  1. A 3 hour podcast? Will this be like the 3 hour tour on Gilligan's Island?

    I am 10 minutes in and already I need to comment! You call Moore's style smug?? That may be true. But that is nothing compared to the pretentious, 'enlightened' smugness of Gaiman. Perhaps Anj to Gaiman: Middletons to Moore?

    More later. But as this is my only soap box to shake a fist at the universe, I needed to get that off my chest!

  2. Well, I just finished the podcast and I have to say you guys did a superior job reviewing the book. It is a dense, layered, complex read and deserved the time you spent on it. You can't review Watchmen in 45 minutes.

    I think Emily said it best when she called the book 'impregnable'. It is difficult to find a flaw in it. I'll just add a few thoughts.

    Most times when you read a comic or a book or watch a movie or play, there is a character that you identify with. This is the character you see yourself in or want to see succeed. I don't think there is one in Watchmen. I suppose Laurie is the closest we can get, someone who was almost warped by the environment around her. But I hope no one sees themselves in Veidt, The Comedian, or Jon. And Dan is so damn indecisive and ineffective that I don't think I want to be him either.

    The whole thing seems to be how all these characters are just moving away from humanity. Even Dan. He can't interact with people on a basic level and so collects dust around himself. But to see it unfold is the key. So Rorschach goes from effective strategist to psychopath. Jon watches the Comedian shoot the pregnant woman. The Comedian says burning people is the American Dream. Chilling.

    One last thing. I love when we see a particular flashback scene from different perspectives. How many times did we see the Comedian burn the map in the Crimebusters meeting. But to see that through all those different eyes. Brilliant.

    Thanks for covering!

  3. Ack .. one more thing ... or is it Moore thing.

    While Watchmen might be his best work, it isn't my favorite.

    V for Vendetta takes that prize. I reread V about once a year. Watchmen maybe once every couple of years. I also find myself rereading his Swamp Thing and Miracleman stuff more often than Watchmen. It isn't a chore. But it is a mind exercise and that might make me less likely to pick it up on a whim. I am more the 16hour read and cogitate person when it comes to this work.