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Thursday March 5, 2009 3:29 am

WATCHMEN WEEK: Watchmen Links Galore! Hurm.




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials

WATCHMEN
Yes, it’s time to go all out and turn today into a linkfest in honor of Watchmen, both the graphic novel and the upcoming movie. Some of this stuff has been linked to from elsewhere and some of you may have already seen it and read it. But there’s good stuff here and it’s worth seeing again and again.

WATCHMEN TICKET SALES: Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily has the latest stats for the upcoming Watchmen movie, including this gem: “purchases for 124 IMAX screens now account for 1/3 of all Watchmen online ticket sales.” When you click over there, be sure to read the comments for the obvious geek haters and their funny prejudices.

BLOTCHMEN: Kevin Cannon created this as his 24-hour comic in 2008. Blortshack wakes up…hungry for plums. Not an actual Watchmen parody…that’s what makes it fun.

WATCHMEN = POPEYE + RORSHACH: Oh Scott Kurtz, you are The Genius Who Makes Me Laugh.

CHARLES SCHULZ’ WATCHMEN: The Peanuts characters as Watchmen characters, courtesy of Nerdcore. It’s drawn by cartoonist Evan Shaner who took it off his own blog to avoid typecasting after it got linked to by Boing Boing. You can read about his decision here. And you can see the drawing here.

TODD KLEIN, PART THE FIRST: Todd Klein is one of the most in-demand letterers and logo designers currently working. At his blog, he very often posts about the art of lettering, logos, tools and techniques…and birds. Here’s his dissection of the Watchmen logo. A money quote from Todd: “I can’t say for sure if this was the first time a comic logo had run along the side instead of at the top, but the reasoning is brilliant, and spot on. For decades all comics kept logos at the top for just the reason Dave gives, they were often in racks, with only the top third or so showing. Watchmen was one of the early direct-only titles intended mainly for comics specialty shops.”

TODD KLEIN, PART THE SECOND: In this post, Todd talks about one of his trips to England where he met Dave Gibbons. You’ll wish he’d brought you along in his luggage. Photos are included.

TODD KLEIN, PART THE THIRD: Last one, I promise, lest this become nothing more that a fansite devoted to Mr. Klein. Todd wrote some stories for DC’s Tales of the Green Lantern Corps. that were illustrated by Dave Gibbons. Here he talks about what it was like to work with Dave, illustrated with bits of their ongoing creative correspondence (pre-Internets) and even sample roughs by Dave.

WATCHMEN ARCADE: Want to see a Watchmen promotion designed as an old-school arcade game? Yes, you do. One of the best promotional items I’ve seen for anything.

WATCHMEN VIDEO GAME: Courtesy of Comics Critics, the first great webcomic about the Watchmen video game, from Sean Whitmore and Brandon Harvey.

BEN & JERRY’S WATCHMEN: Bully the stuffed little bull has the latest on Watchmen merchandising including the hilarious new Ben & Jerry’s flavors.

WATCHMEN MOVIE REVIEW?: Not really, but my friends over at Appy Entertainment, including Paul O’Connor and Chris Ulm, give it a shot without actually seeing the movie.

WATCHMEN MOVIE STILLS: Yeah, the movie stills are all over the internets and you’ve seen ‘em dozens of times. However…over at Comic Book Movie, blogger Crush has put them all together in the order they should appear in the movie (based on their place in the graphic novel). Graphics heavy, but good-looking stuff and nifty I-wish-I-had-that-much-time-on-my-hands viewing.

DAVE GIBBONS: Over at CBG Extra, Brent Frankenhoff has a post from Bernard Cormier featuring an interview with Dave Gibbons talking about Watchmen 20 years after the fact. Got all that? Here’s a fun quote from it. Dave: “Alan and I talked quite a lot about music when we were doing it. We had these well-rounded conversations and talked about everything from comics to, you know, vague childhood memories to pieces of music to what we were watching on TV or whatever, and sometimes a song would come up and seem absolutely appropriate as a chapter title. The pieces of music in Watchmen were really just used as the inspiration for chapter titles.”

WATCHMEN AND FILM TECHNIQUE: Over at John Jackson Miller’s blog, The Comics Chronicles, he’s got a great post by Neil Dorsett called Watchmen And Its Relationship To Film Technique. Don’t let the high-and-mighty title fool you – this is fascinating reading, especially useful for other comics artists and writers to think about.

WATCHMEN SALES FIGURES: Nope, not for the graphic novel, but for the original comic books. The aforementioned John Jackson Miller has the Capital City numbers for the original mini-series, complete with analysis and historical markers. His numbers represent only one of several distributors at the time and Capital City was the #2 distributor behind Diamond. What’s fascinating is that Watchmen’s Capital City numbers alone would have publishers today screaming “Yahoo!” and buying BMW’s off the lot. And, surprisingly, the monthly Watchmen comics were not the biggest sellers in their initial release.

WATCHMEN ACTION FIGURES: Diamond Galleries has the Scoop on the new Watchmen action figures. They’re officially called: Watchmen Movie Series 1 Action Figures, and are based on the characters as they appear in the film. The four figures are: Nite Owl (Modern Version), Ozymandias, Rorschach, and Silk Spectre (Modern Version). The link has photos!

WATCHMEN READING PART I: Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter has a great piece entitled “Reading The Watchmen: Ten Entrance Points Into The Esteemed Graphic Novel” with all the different ways you can think about the classic. Says Tom, “What I’d like to do instead is briefly mention some of the ways I’ve entered into the work and the way some people have told me they’ve engaged Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic book novel, in the hopes that this might spur you to some discovery of your own.”

WATCHMEN READING, PART II: Over at Progressive Ruin, Mike Sterling has an observation about how best to read the Watchmen graphic novel. Hint: not all in one sitting.

THE WATCHMEN OF CBG: In the recent issue of Comics Buyer’s Guide (#1652 April 2009), Maggie Thompson and Brent Frankenhoff talk about their early brush with Watchmen back in 1986.

MAGGIE THOMPSON: “The photocopies were terrible; the project was so captivating that we could hardly wait to see the next installment. The script by Alan Moore and the art by Dave Gibbons (whose book I hold here) came together to grab our attention from the first page to the last.”

Maggie’s piece contains quotes from her late husband DON THOMPSON who wrote his advice to retailers in the pages of CBG back in 1986: “In a year when DC has already had two ‘hot’ books (with John Byrne’s The Man of Steel waiting in the wings), can you still under-order Watchmen on the grounds that it’s not from Marvel and therefore can’t be a big seller?”

BRENT FRANKENHOFF: “When the trade paperback was released, I picked up a copy as quickly as I could…That copy has traveled with me for more than 20 years…I’ll never give up my well-read copy.”

There’s plenty more Watchmen stuff, including the rest of their editorials, at cbgxtra.

That’s all for today’s installment of Watchmen Week. If you’ve missed parts 1 and 2, you can check them out here:
WATCHMEN WEEK Part 1
WATCHMEN WEEK Part 2
WATCHMEN WEEK Part 4

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