I wish I were more excited about this production. Zack Snyder is directing, which bodes well. But this is still THE WATCHMEN we are talking about. It's the book that comic snobs use to praise themselves for being fans of an "art form." Here's a sample of dialog with one of these bozos:
ME: "Hey fellow comic fan, what books are you currently reading?"
COMIC SNOB: "Warren Ellis' new book, that new thing by Neil Gaiman, something edgy by Garth Ennis, the latest Grant Morrison, a bunch of indies, and I just picked up the ABSOLUTE WATCHMEN."
ME: "That's cool. How is the new Grant Morrison book, I find him to be hit or miss. ANIMAL MAN was great, but his JUSTICE LEAGUE left me flat -- as did his DOOM PATROL. He just seems to have no feel for straight books, or how to do camp without it being parody."
COMIC SNOB: "WTF?! How dare you question the great Grant Morrison. Next thing you'll be trashing on WATCHMEN, which is indisputably the best piece of writing in the latter 20th century and one of the best works of political philosophy to date."
ME: "I thought it was okay, but I think that Steve Ditko would take issue with the fact that Moore made Mr.A/The Question into an insane person. I still prefer the old Charlton tales that Moore based the Watchmen characters on. As for the political philosophy...you're kidding right? I mean taking a stereotypical 60s doomsday clock vs. the aliens story isn't exactly deep analysis, and his twisting of Objectivism is laughable."
COMIC SNOB: "You obviously don't know what you are talking about. You can keep your Keith Giffen written JUSTICE LEAGUE, I'll read literature."
WATCHMEN is the cool book to like and the sentiments that many of the snobs who like it have result in things like JT LeRoy and other manipulators of the "cool." The comic book literati, and the real literati who like WATCHMEN, are just too much for me. There's some rebellious part of my soul that wants to tell these pretentious boobs, who likely prefer Lichtenstein to Russ Heath, where they can stick their "graphic novel." I'll just open my long box, pull out the 12 issues and read the comic book.
As a comic book, WATCHMEN is great. As a "piece of literature," I'll stick to Chesterton and Faulkner. As a work of "political philosophy," I'll stick to Hegel, Marx, Strauss, Plato, and Rand.
All that said, I really do like WATCHMEN. I even actually believe it is of artistic and literary merit. I think it is genuinely great...though that ending is a little to John W. Campbell formulaic. As long as things like AVENGERS FOREVER, or better yet INVINCIBLE, are being overlooked in favor of something ideologically trapped in the Cold War cynicism of the 80s, I'll keep my own pretentious rejection of pretense.
It's the same reason I like Michael Chabon, but don't like most of his fans. They seem to want to be hip by liking "the best," but they lack the genuine desire for fun of a "real" fan.
I sincerely hope, and think, that WATCHMEN will be a good comic book movie. Peter Cannon -- Thunderbolt's costume, I mean Ozymandias's, looks great, but why is the OWL so thin?
My credo? "Down with Graphic Novels! Up with Comic Books!"