Saturday, December 06, 2008

Watching the Watchmen

I told Magi that I wanted only one thing for my birthday (yesterday; I'll blog about it someday), and it was this book.

It is everything I hoped it would be. Watching the Watchmen includes character studies, notes, breakdowns, color roughs, original script pages, and colorist notes for the greatest graphic story of all time. You can literally see how Dave Gibbons worked out the visuals for every character, major and minor; how he laid out scenery so that it was consistent not only from page to page, but from issue to issue. He even includes the original graphic schedule he made for himself to keep himself on task. As I pored over every detail, I gained a new respect for comic book artists. The good ones really don't just sit down at the table and knock stuff out. They think about everything, and the speed at which they actually draw is secondary compared to the process of even getting to the point where they are ready to draw the page. Dave Gibbons goes through several steps between thumbnail breakdowns and the inked page. I had no idea how laborious it actually is and I admire him for his efforts, especially on this wonderful work.

5 comments:

Michael O'Connell said...

Sweet! Thanks for the heads-up...especially since I'm currently (bit by bit when there's a free moment...and my free moments vanished a couple of weeks ago...) re-reading the graphic novel to get prepped for hot movie action. Can't quite justify a purchase for myself this close to the holidays, but I've added it to my Amazon wish list to remind myself later. It'll get grabbed, now that I know it has the oMaM seal of approval.

Theresa said...

So I'm guessing that if I, say, walked into my local Borders one day and went, "Hey, look! The Watchmen collected edition!" It would be worth it to bring it to the cashier and then take it home with me?

I may or may not have spotted it on the shelves and wondered about it...

Jim McClain said...

Yes. In fact, wait until your finals are over, buy it, and read it in one sitting. Take a few days off, and then read it again, looking in the backgrounds. Read the newspapers being sold in vending machines and thrown away in wastebaskets. Look at every piece of graphitti written on walls. I've read it at least 50 times and still find new stuff. It's amazing!

KC Ryan said...

Oh, yes, it would be worht it. The book will only get more and more popular air-play as the movie gets closer, but the book is spectacular in and of itself. Set aside a few hours and read it through - you won't want to stop.

KC

Bob Andelman said...

You might enjoy this Mr. Media podcast interview with Dave Gibbons, co-creator and artist of Watchmen, as he discusses the Warner Bros./Fox dispute, being on the set during production, and what he thinks of the trailer and the rough cut he saw of Watchmen. He also talks about the possibility of working with Frank Miller and the message he took to Alan Moore from Will Eisner. Here's the link!