Thursday, January 5, 2012

graphic novel review: Watchmen by Alan Moore

The backstory: Watchmen is on the list of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.

My thoughts: When I sat down to finally read Watchmen, I knew very little about the actual plot. In the first few pages, I had little idea what was going, but soon I began to understand how the characters and scenes fit together. I read a fair number of graphic novels, but Watchmen made me slow down my reading in a way no other graphic novel has. There is so much detail in each box, and the shifting of perspective is cinematic and intricately detailed.

I was also impressed with the character development. Between each chapter, there was a multimedia section to offer context. There were excerpts from an autobiography of one of the characters, news articles and other 'found objects.' I was fascinated by this unexpected mix of materials, and it brought a richness to the characters that continued into the graphic novel sections. As someone married to a comic book fan, I caught numerous funny and smart references to superheros, but I'm sure there were countless more I missed. Those who are familiar with superheros will find many inside jokes, but those who aren't will still be wowed by the story itself.

I expected to sit down and read Watchmen in a few hours, but instead it took me six hours. As I read, I was enchanted. My mind was engaged, and I was curious to see not only what would happen, but how the characters would end up. The last chapter was my least favorite, which lessened my enjoyment somewhat overall, but it's still a graphic novel I admire, enjoyed and recommend.

The verdict: Watchmen is a classic. As I read it, I was wowed by the complexity of the story, the detail of the art and the timelessness of both.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 436 pages
Publication date: September 1986-October 1987 (serial)
Source: I bought it

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  1. I lent this one to Sandy and have not yet read it. The rest of my family did though, and I saw the movie, which was pretty interesting, but very dark. Now that I have heard what you have to say about it I might try to get to it soon. It seems like something that I might like!

  2. I'm married to a comic book fan, too, but I'm not sure I would take on reading this one. Good for you for doing it!! I saw the movie and didn't care for it... Being that it's a classic though and you enjoyed it maybe I'll read it one day. Or give it to my hubby and then I'll sneak a peek, LOL.

  3. Another HAVE TO READ on my shelves. It's been there for ages. I'm horrible. lol

  4. I only saw parts of the movie, but was intrigued nonetheless. I'd love to incorporate some graphic novels into my reading, but have not done so yet. A new resolution, perhaps?

  5. Watchmen is one of my favorite books ever. There is so much detail in the dialogue, art, and extras that each time I read it, I feel like I'm reading a different story. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I'm so glad you liked this one. This was my very first graphic novel, I read it a few years ago. I was so impressed with it too!


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