Friday, May 08, 2009

Form and function

Okay, I'm pretty much your average blogger these days in that, I don't really blog at all. Sorry, not actually reading all that many comics because of other life things - I'm about 50% a home owner depending on how the inspection goes tomorrow (please no major foundation problems!). But I have been contemplating the Watchmen a heck of a lot and the more I look into the book the more I find I can't separate the form from the content.

I'm finding myself more and more in Moore's camp that this really works best as a comic since most of the meaning is derived in the same way that words and image create the comic book medium. Now, I actually liked the movie, but the more I look into the comic the more I'm finding it a bit staggering how it all ties together - then again, look too long at anything and you can see connections that don't exist.

Things I never really figured before:
  1. For the most cited and offered graphic novel for new readers to use as a gateway, you kind of need to have a lot of preknowledge to make sense of the whole thing. Sure it's a solid Whodunit? but the book isn't really about who killed the Comedian.
  2. It lays a lot of the groundwork for the symmetrical structure of Moore's later work Promethea.
  3. You're forced to deal with linearity and chonology as separate aspects.

The other thing I noticed is that while the comic used a cinematic approach to a lot of its presentation, these were dropped for the actual cinematic release. I can't say if this is for the best or detriment of the work, but it's funny how we use this word to denote a certain approach but when it's most appropriate the actual approach doesn't work as well. I don't want to get too much into this since it'll be explored a bit more somewhere else.

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