Sunday, September 14, 2008
It keeps coming up in conversation. This little chunk of apocalypse that made it into my head before I could drive. Within a very short span time an old movie theater friend (former manager of the Capri Twin at Harding Mall...Can I get a witness?) wrote me to say that he'd finally acquired his own copy of The Watchmen and persuaded his wife to read it (i'd foisted it upon him...I dunno...Twenty-two years ago) AND a younger friend I'll refer to as Porkpie said, "Dave, you've GOT to read this." I enjoyed telling Porkpie that I'd read The Watchmen, issue by issue, as it was coming out. As Porkpie articulated his enthusiasm, I became reacquainted with the depth of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons vision and remembered, as I do every few years, how its witness colored my views on all sorts of things even as I wandered away from "comic books." The Watchmen raised the bar so high that I couldn't quite put my money down on anything that followed it. I think there was talk of Terry Gilliam (Walter Hill too) doing a film version even before Tim Burton tackled Batman. I hope the film-to-come is good enough to get people giving the comic some time. I suppose the purpose of this post is to urge everyone who means to see the film to go acquire or borrow a copy (any decent library....that friend you strongly suspect has one) and read it beforehand. It's gritty and graphic and all that, but also devastatingly truthful. Come to think of it, I imagine it might've been my first experience with something I knew to be "objectionable" content-wise, as the saying goes, but illuminatingly grim like Shakespeare or Melville or Ralph Ellison. Maybe it prepared my heart for Dostoevsky or something. Anyway, I thank God for it.