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Watchmen by Alan Moore
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Watchmen (original 1986; edition 2005)

by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
13,888377150 (4.33)399
Member:infiniteletters
Title:Watchmen
Authors:Alan Moore
Other authors:Dave Gibbons
Info:New York : DC Comics, [2005]
Collections:Gainful, Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:science fiction, graphic novel, from Bookmooch, unread, large paperback

Work details

Watchmen by Alan Moore (Writer) (1986)

  1. 210
    V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (FFortuna, monktv)
    monktv: These books have the epic storytelling and interesting meaning in common.
  2. 191
    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller (McMinty)
  3. 100
    The Absolute Sandman Volume One by Neil Gaiman (JapaG)
    JapaG: After the Watchmen, Sandman is probably the graphic novel that has most influenced the adult comic scene today. It has similarly deep storyline about humanity from the perspective of one outside of it. Also the magnificent art contributes to the great collection.
  4. 80
    From Hell by Alan Moore (sturlington)
  5. 80
    DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore by Alan Moore (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Includes two earlier Moore/Gibbons collaborations.
  6. 50
    Supreme: The Story of the Year by Alan Moore (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: Like Watchmen, this is a superhero story. But it is the complete polar opposite of Watchmen; this is Alan Moore's love letter to the silver age superhero.
  7. 40
    Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: I enjoyed the back stories in both, seeing how regular people end up as costumed vigilantes.
  8. 40
    The Authority: Relentless by Warren Ellis (MyriadBooks)
  9. 40
    Supreme: The Return by Alan Moore (TomWaitsTables)
  10. 40
    Astro City: Life in the Big City by Kurt Busiek (FFortuna)
  11. 52
    Kingdom Come by Mark Waid (jpers36)
  12. 20
    Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Which is another superhero deconstruction along these same lines.
  13. 20
    Miracleman Book Three: Olympus by Alan Moore (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Both deconstructionist superhero tales by Alan Moore. WATCHMEN is the more formally masterful work; MIRACLEMAN, the more emotionally devastating one.
  14. 20
    Wild Cards by George R. R. Martin (LamontCranston)
  15. 20
    Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset (Greyshirt, 1) by Rick Veitch (kxlly)
  16. 31
    American Flagg!: Definitive Collection Volume 1 by Howard Chaykin (LKAYC)
  17. 20
    Icon: A Hero's Welcome (Milestone Comics Library) by Dwayne McDuffie (FFortuna)
  18. 21
    The Satires of Juvenal by Juvenal (bertilak)
  19. 10
    Atomika Vol 1: God Is Red by Sal Abbinanti (IamAleem)
  20. 10
    The Winter Men by Brett Lewis (IamAleem)

(see all 23 recommendations)

1980s (84)
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» See also 399 mentions

English (369)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All (376)
Showing 1-5 of 369 (next | show all)
Different. ( )
  ramon4 | Dec 7, 2016 |
This is one of my favorite graphic novels. It is a super hero story but with so much depth and intense breakdowns of what it means to be human, to die, to lose importance, and how time works when we play god. It is a wonderful book that leaves those who read it shocked and hollow. ( )
  ceciliachard | Oct 31, 2016 |
The graphic novel "Watchmen" is one of the more popular graphic novels to be published. I thought this book was a fun read, partly because it does include cartoon style pages and illustrations in between chapters and sections of the book that help guide your imagination through some of the moments and scenes of the book. This book does include very adult and graphic language and subject material, so it wouldn't be a book for anyone under the age of 15-16 years old. The subject material of this novel is placed in the past as far back as the years of World War II and Vietnam. It is about a group of vigilante heroes that take fighting crime and helping people as a personal preference and priority in a time when the local city police and law enforcement was overwhelmed and could have used a helping hand. To say that all of these individuals are "heroes" would not exactly be a correct statement. Each individual has their own story and unique characteristics, not all of them being good or admirable qualities. The comedian who is one of the main characters that is vital and a large part of the novel, is a very seriously damaged person whose past actions and general outlook on life and the world around him is one of disgust and pity for the dark and greedy nature of mankind. His outlook in general almost lines up with what I believe the novel is trying to express in displaying the selfish nature of mankind as well as the general need for most all people needing to be saved, yet nobody wants to put any effort into saving anyone else but themselves. Dr. Manhattan, another vital character is the one member of the Watchmen who actually qualifies as a superhero. An accident dealing with nuclear reactivity as part of the Manhattan project, which was the name of the blueprint and plan to build nuclear bombs and weapons of mass destruction, seperated his body particles and somehow rejoined making him an expression of nuclear fission with powers so great he holds the fate of the entire world in his hands, because he actually has the ability to destroy earth if he desired it to be. He can break the laws of physics, space, and time. In this novel, individuals who were members of the Watchmen are starting to be picked off one by one and murdered. As a result of the murders starting, the investigation leads us into the past lives of all the members of the group of Watchmen. This book is a fun read and really captivates your attention, ( )
  kek264 | Oct 30, 2016 |
When we first started dating, one of the first questions Andrew asked me was whether or not I’d read Watchmen, which I hadn’t. He was so appalled, we went to a used bookstore the next day and bought the book. It took a while for Andrew’s recommendations to make a regular appearance on my currently-reading cycle, so one year later, here I am, having finally read this amazing novel.

I had mixed feelings about having already seen the movie when going into this. Generally, I refuse to watch any movie based on a book before reading the book, just because I don’t want my experience to be tainted by the director’s or cinematographer’s idea of how things should look. In this case, it was a little better, because the images are supplied through drawings and not just my brain, so there is still someone giving me a guide for how the characters and places are supposed to look. I also appreciated that I was given the benefits of a second read-through without first having read it — I was able to pick up on some foreshadowing that I wouldn’t have caught onto had I not experienced the story before, so I enjoyed that a lot.

What is there to say about this novel? It’s amazing. It’s one of the few five-star books I’ve read this year, and it’s because Alan Moore just doesn’t hold back. Watchmen gives a stark look at life and human nature. Yes, it’s set in a fantasy world, but this book tells a lot of truths about how the world works and how people work. I love how there are no true “super” heroes, just people trying to get through life however they feel like they can. Some want glory or fame or really just want to do good, but they’re all incredibly realistic people with a lot of emotional baggage that they bring into their work and their lives.

There are so many literary things to appreciate as well. Parallelism between stories-within-stories (which was probably my favorite thing that the graphic/comic aspect did so much better than words ever could, a wonderful stream-of-consciousness chapter with Dr. Manhattan (again, beautifully drawn), and just so much more. It’s hard to describe the complexity and magnificence of this book, but it’s definitely a must-read for any graphic novel, science fiction, super hero, or literature lovers. The drawings are beautiful, the writing is wonderful, and the story is simply smart. Easily one of my favorite works of fiction.

Originally posted on Going on to the Next. ( )
1 vote sedelia | Aug 24, 2016 |
I saw the film before I read this and liked them both about equally. The comic is probably better but I got more out of the film (loved the soundtrack). Also, though neither ending makes much sense, the one in the film is more satisfying. I just couldn't take the space squid seriously. I'm sorry, I think that ending actually is more LOGICAL, just... why'd it have to be a squid-thing? ( )
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 369 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Moore, AlanWriterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, DaveIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Higgins, JohnColoristmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlando, JoeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bárány, FerencTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wein, LenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. Who watches the watchmen? Juvenal Satires, VI, 347, quoted as the epigraph of the Tower commission report, 1987
Dedication
With special thanks to Neil Gaiman, Mike Lake, Pat Mills, and Joe Orlando.
First words
Rorschach's Journal. October 12th, 1985:
Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.
Quotations
[spraypainted on wall] "Who watches the Watchmen?"
"Looked at the sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children hell-bound as ourselves; go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It's us. Only us." (Ch. VI, pg26)
"All this, it could be gone: people, cars, T.V. shows, magazines...even the word 'gone' would be gone." (Ch. V, pg12)
"Why do we argue? Life's so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing." (Ch. VI, pg28)
"We're all puppets, Laurie. I'm just a puppet that can see the strings." (Ch. IX, pg5)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Some consider Absolute Watchmen to be a notably different work from Watchmen. There is currently a discussion in Combiners! discussing whether or not this separation is needed. Please join the discussion. Please do not combine the two works until this is resolved.
Before separating check ISBN because there are bad titles
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0930289234, Paperback)

Has any comic been as acclaimed as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen? Possibly only Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, but Watchmen remains the critics' favorite. Why? Because Moore is a better writer, and Watchmen a more complex and dark and literate creation than Miller's fantastic, subversive take on the Batman myth. Moore, renowned for many other of the genre's finest creations (Saga of the Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, and From Hell, with Eddie Campbell) first put out Watchmen in 12 issues for DC in 1986-87. It won a comic award at the time (the 1987 Jack Kirby Comics Industry Awards for Best Writer/Artist combination) and has continued to gather praise since.

The story concerns a group called the Crimebusters and a plot to kill and discredit them. Moore's characterization is as sophisticated as any novel's. Importantly the costumes do not get in the way of the storytelling; rather they allow Moore to investigate issues of power and control--indeed it was Watchmen, and to a lesser extent Dark Knight, that propelled the comic genre forward, making "adult" comics a reality. The artwork of Gibbons (best known for 2000AD's Rogue Trooper and DC's Green Lantern) is very fine too, echoing Moore's paranoid mood perfectly throughout. Packed with symbolism, some of the overlying themes (arms control, nuclear threat, vigilantes) have dated but the intelligent social and political commentary, the structure of the story itself, its intertextuality (chapters appended with excerpts from other "works" and "studies" on Moore's characters, or with excerpts from another comic book being read by a child within the story), the finepace of the writing and its humanity mean that Watchmen more than stands up--it keeps its crown as the best the genre has yet produced. --Mark Thwaite

A Q&A with Dave Gibbons on the Making of Watchmen

Question: You were tasked with drawing new illustrations of key shots from the new Watchmen film. Was it a difficult challenge to re-imagine your work in this movie format?

Dave Gibbons: I don’t think that I actually did many key shots from the film. I had to actually imagine them rather than exactly recreate what was going to be in the movie. But as far as the drawings I did for the licensing purposes, accuracy was the real key so that they looked exactly like the movie. Whereas doing the graphic novel was creating stuff afresh and being very creative, this was more the case of interpreting something that already existed. So it was rather more a commercial art job than a creative thing.

Q: How many scenes from the original graphic novel did you redraw in the new "movie" format?

DG: I kind of did them piecemeal, these licensing drawings. I did do a section of storyboarding for Zack Snyder. There is a part of the movie that isn’t in the graphic novel and he wanted to see how I would have drawn it, if it had been in the graphic novel. So I redid the storyboards as three pages of comic on the nine-panel grid, also getting it coloured by John Higgins so it looked authentic. But I think there were probably only 3 or 4 scenes that I drew, which were from the movie.

Q: What was your working method for producing these new illustrations from the film? And how has it changed from when you originally illustrated Watchmen?

DG: When you’re producing things from existing material, you have to look at and assemble the references... you know, keep looking backwards and forwards to make sure what you’re drawing is accurate to what’s in the photos. I did have lots of photos from the movie and in some cases I had more or less the illustration I was going to do in photo form, which made it a lot easier. On others I had to construct it from various references: really just the usual illustrator’s job of drawing something to reference. And on the original illustrations of Watchmen, I was free to come up with exactly the angles and exactly the costumes and everything that I wanted to. When you’ve designed a costume and drawn it a few times, you actually internalize it and you find you can draw it without having to refer to reference at all. So in some ways it’s more creative and in some ways it’s easier!

Q: In Watchmen: The Art of the Film, there are concept designs by other artists of their visions of your iconic characters. What do you think of their versions and did you offer any guidance while they were working on these?

DG: It’s always really interesting to see versions of your characters drawn by other artists. You tend to see things in them that you hadn’t noticed before. So I really enjoyed looking at those. I certainly didn’t offer them any guidance. The purpose of getting those kinds of drawings done is to get a fresh perspective on what exists. I noticed actually that they really stuck more closely to my original designs than those, but I really enjoyed seeing them.

Q: Watchmen: Portraits is Clay Enos’s stunning black and white collection of photos of each character from the Watchmen movie. What was it like looking through this book at all the characters you had conceived years ago now being brought to life by actors?

DG: It’s rather interesting; you know if you look at the Watching the Watchmen book you can see these characters as fairly sketchy rough conceptual versions. Then when you look at Clay’s book you can actually see them right down to counting the number of pores on the skin on the end of their noses! It’s incredible high focus! It’s like zooming in through space and time to look at the surface of some moon of Saturn or something. I thoroughly enjoyed his book... it had a real artistic quality to it that was really so good. And of course to see these actors who so much are the embodiment of what I drew, that it’s a tremendous thrill to see them made flesh!

Q: Watchmen: The Film Companion features some stills from the animated version of The Black Freighter. What do you think of the look and design of this animated feature?

DG: It looks really interesting! Although I drew my version in the comic book in a kind of horror-comic style, these are very much in a savage manga style. I think they work really well... they’ve got the kind of manic intensity, which I think that work should have and I really can’t wait to see the whole feature. I’ve seen the trailer for it and that looks great and again they’ve used a lot of the compositions that I came up with but just translated them to this kind of very modern drawn animation.

Q: How much time did you spend on the set of Watchmen? Was it a surreal experience to see your work recreated like this?

DG: I was on the set of Watchmen for a couple of days and it really was surreal to walk through a door and then suddenly be in the presence of all these people in living breathing flesh! I was there for what you would call the Crimebusters meeting where they were all there in costume in the same room, which was incredible. They had obviously planned that so I would get to see everyone. It was surreal though quite a wonderful experience to see it come to life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:45 -0400)

This stunning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all too human failings. The concept of the super hero is dissected and inverted as strangely realistic characters are stalked by an unknown assassin. Originally published as a 12 issue series in 1986 and 1987, WATCHMEN remains one of DC Comics' most popular graphic novels.… (more)

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