Monday, 11 November 2013

Monday Memories #45 - Watchmen Trade Paperback

Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.

The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!

WATCHMEN Trade Paperback 1987

When Watchmen appeared in my randomly generated list of titles to look through each Monday of this year, my first thought was simply "Oh, crap - what's the point?"

Don't get me wrong, I love Watchmen; even after all these years, I usually read it once a year, my battered old paperback (the cover scanned above) being one of my favourite books regardless of medium or genre. It's just that so, so much stuff has been written about Watchmen since it was published and most everything done by a better quality of writer than myself.

So, what was I to do? Particularly, as regular readers will have noticed, when these Monday Memories posts consist of a quick summary, three images from the story and then a quick wrap up of my thoughts on the issue. How could I do that with Watchmen? How could I try and distil almost 400 pages into a couple of quick paragraphs and three scanned images? Even if I allowed myself three entire pages, there's just too much going on for the book to work in such a way.

For this Monday Memories post, I considered doing something different: I would go through my paperback and find a single image from each issue, something that summed up what each of the original twelve issues covered, and present them as a sort of film-strip. They would be a microcosm of the book, the essence - nay, the very quintessence - of Watchmen! This single post on this humble blog would become the cornerstone of Watchmen retrospectives: I would do what no other blogger had ever done and get to the very heart of the book. Gone would be the extraneous detail; thrown out would be the overblown post-modern examination of the metaphors; discarded would be the critical analysis of the original colour scheme!

My post, my single Monday Memory would become the place on the internet where scholars of Watchmen would gather and read my words in awe. Such would be the post's impact that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons themselves would be directed to it. Humbled by my new, pared down approach, they would contact me and allow me to act as mediator between them, healing the wounds caused by the movie money mayhem.

My post would be the one that ultimately led to a reconciliation between DC and Moore. With Dan Didio torn asunder on an altar to Glycon and every copy of Before Watchmen pulped, Moore would deign to grace the world with a sequel to his masterwork. Drawn once more by Gibbons it would be heralded as a new pinnacle in what the comic book was capable of. DC would gladly give the rights to Moore and Gibbons, allowing them to do with it what they pleased, sparking a revolution in creator rights as each comic company followed suit and treated their writers and artists with utmost respect.

My post . . . my single Watchmen post in a quiet corner of the internet . . . it would earn me a simple "Special thanks to" mention on the frontispiece of the collected edition of the sequel . . . and I would be happy.

Yeah, just a bit.


  1. Ha ha, nice overselling there gary:)
    BTW, I have that same cover to my trade, so we ours must be cousins;)

    1. I try my best, man!

      Mine's a first printing, too - completely battered and well read so worth next to nothing, not that I'd sell it anyway, but it's nice to have.


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