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Author Topic: The Greatest Graphic Novel of All Time: Watchmen  (Read 27109 times)
mouser
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« on: March 03, 2009, 09:24:52 PM »

Growing up i was, like many kids, a comic book reader.  My friend zack and I used to walk up broadway to "Forbidden Planet" a great comic book store in new york, and hunt for comics for hours.  My tastes were pretty mainstream, I collected the X-men mainly, but i also loved Cerebus the Aardvark with its unbelievable background art, and the strange Tales of the Beanworld.  And my father had a very old Superman compendium and some shazaam comics that were magical.

But sometime in high school i lost all interest in comics.  I would still go into a comic book store occasionally to see if i could rekindle some interest, but it never happened.

Then a few years ago zack suggested a graphic novel (basically a long book-sized comic book) to me, I *think* it was Kingdom Come, which revisited some of the comic book heroes i had read growing up.  That was a huge eye opener -- it tapped into all of the deep seated memories and emotional attachment i had to the comic universe, but somehow made it interesting and accessible again.

Now we come to Watchmen, which completely blew my mind.  This is a tale of comic book heros from an adult perspective.. Just a remarkable achievement.

I don't know if someone who never read comic books as a kid will get much out of these high quality graphic novels, but if you used to read comic books as a kid, but lost interest in them, I cannot recommend Watchmen more strongly.

As you might guess, what's motivated me to make this post is the impending release this week of the Watchmen movie.  I have no idea if it will be good or not but you can get the graphic novel on amazon for $11.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 09:31:44 PM by mouser » Logged
40hz
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2009, 10:57:50 PM »

Better than Sandman and Cerebus?

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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 11:10:50 PM »

I didn't like sandman.. I would say this is miles above.
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Shades
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2009, 11:37:07 PM »

Personally I was always fond of: Black Moon Chronicles, Franka (move over Lara Croft!!), ElfQuest, Slaine and some others that are way of the grid.

What can I say, Paris and London were close by from where I spent my youth, so the French and English comics were easier to get than the US ones.  
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 06:04:44 AM »

I haven't read Watchmen yet, but do want to do so before I go to see the film. Speaking of graphic novels another truly excellent one is The Filth.
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 07:10:41 AM »

I don't know how many of you are into Manga. But some interesting ones are :

- Bleach
- DeathNote

Looking forward to Watchmen Movie. By the way, any idea about movie "The Spirit"?
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wraith808
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 08:45:01 AM »

While I will agree that Watchmen was very revolutionary in its day, and has held up well, and am looking forward to the movie, I would say that it has been surpassed since then by a few efforts.  My favorite recently was Black Summer.
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2009, 08:59:12 AM »

Keep the recommendations coming! Great new discoveries to go look for.
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wraith808
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2009, 09:56:02 AM »

A few off the top of my head include Transmetropolitan, Planetary, Nextwave, Hard Boiled, and Shaolin Cowboy.
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2009, 11:07:23 AM »

I read the Watchment comics yeeeeears ago when I was a young teenager, and quite liked them - perhaps it's worth picking up again and giving a read smiley
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2009, 01:38:42 PM »

I like most of the comics by Enki Bilal. Also, the ones by Moebius are literally fantastic.

But my all-time favorite has been Blame! by Tsutomu Nihei.

I would consider all these adult material, for the brutality (Bilal), drug use (Moebius), and violence (Tsutomu Nihei). Very good stuff!!  Thmbsup
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2009, 02:40:00 PM »

Some more Animation World:

- D-Grey Man
- Hige Jigoku Shuojo (Hell Girl)
- Hellsing
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- Kaiji
- Darker than Black
- Trinity Blood
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2009, 02:51:50 PM »

I liked "Preacher".
I was unimpressed by Watchmen, and prefer the Dark night (that choice between the two is kind of a test between comic readers).

Modern stuff, I liked Daredevil in the run that Malev had.
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40hz
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2009, 03:46:22 PM »

I didn't like sandman.. I would say this is miles above.

No surprise there. Sandman is another one of those "test" graphic novels. You like it, or you don't.

Gaiman and Vertigo wanted to do something that broke new ground with Sandman. Considering how most people who go in for traditional comic/superhero universes don't like it, I'd say they succeeded.

What I find interesting is that a remarkably large number of women do like Sandman.

Go figure.

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superboyac
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2009, 04:06:51 PM »

I had the same exact experience as mouser.  I occasionally read the occasional comic book as a child, was never too into them.  Superman, Batman, etc.  When Kingdom Come came out, I was mesmerized.  Comic books tend to have stupid stories normally (they're for kids, right?) but Kingdom Come was a good, adult story with that painted art, which was cool and different.  Then I got back into graphic novels for a while.  Then, the stories started getting really ridiculous and unnecessarily complex like Universe X, PAradise X, all that stuff.  But I still enjoy them once in a while.  I love the art and the stories are good enough.  Some of the more interesting ones that I can remember:
--Kingdom Come
--Marvels (similar to Kingdom Come)
--Paradise X, Earth X, Universe X
--Batman:  The Long Halloween, Dark Victory (one of my favorites of all time)
--Dark Night
--Wolverine Beginnings (or something like that)
--Any of the Ultimate stuff is kind of cool

Of course, Watchmen was one of the best I've read also.  They actually used it in literary courses at Berkeley.

The thing that gets to me about comic books is that they try to explain all the fantastic stuff that is happening, and it ends up becoming just a little too much.  THings like parallel universes, gods, superheros, genetic stuff...it can all go crazy quickly.  Usually, I like an easy to understand story with some good action and good art.  Not to kiddie, but not too geeky or quirky either.  I view comic books like action movies...I want a nice, rated R story, but I want to have some fun, not think too much.
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2009, 07:49:32 PM »

Any fans of Heavy Metal magazine?
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ak_
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2009, 08:21:11 PM »

To anybody inclined to read stuff different from classic superheroes comic books, i strongly recommand the work from those guys :

- Daniel Clowes


- Robert Crumb


- Peter Bagge


- Dave Cooper
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2009, 09:47:42 PM »

following on from what ak_ said, it was jimmy corrigan by chris ware that got me into graphic novels. also joe sacco's stuff.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2009, 01:41:42 AM »

I never read any comic books, but now that I think of it, there was one I kind of did read. It's an interactive graphic novel done in Flash with music and sound effects.

It even came out on DVD with voice acting by some famous voice actors (I recognized 2 of the voices from Inuyasha).

It's called Broken Saints. Unfortunately their website has fallen into disrepair since the apex of their popularity. None of the links work, except the blog.

But when the site was up and running, they allowed you to download the chapters, and I still have them in my downloads folder. It's an 12-hour epic, broken into chapters (some of which are broken into acts) and in my opinion it's a very powerful story. It's definitely an adult novel (language, violence, nudity) not meant for kids or the workplace, but I think if you enjoy graphic novels (or even if you don't know you do) you ought to watch it.

I have never been into comic books/graphic novels but I thoroughly enjoyed Broken Saints. I'll even admit that near the end this one had me in tears. embarassed I wholeheartedly recommend it! Thmbsup thumbs up

Link: Broken Saints.rar (186 MB)
MD5: bd2d5ce0151034456db99c7522206a0b

Just click the chapter HTM files from the root directory, they will attempt to popup a new browser window fit to the optimum viewing dimensions and you can start enjoying an awesome graphic novel!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 04:27:07 PM by Deozaan » Logged

40hz
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2009, 06:47:51 AM »

I have never been into comic books/graphic novels but I thoroughly enjoyed Broken Saints. I'll even admit that near the end this one had me in tears. embarassed I wholeheartedly recommend it! Thmbsup thumbs up

Link: Broken Saints.rar (186 MB)

Excellent, excellent, excellent recommendation DeoThmbsup Thmbsup

That is still one of my absolute favorites. Solid storyline, good characters, a poetic narrative style, and a moral of sorts. It doesn't get much better than that.

I even went so far as to buy the 'enhanced' edition on DVD thru Amazon, although I must admit I liked the the original 'classic' version better.

I used to loan it out constantly until last year when it didn't come back.

I keep telling people how great Broken Saints is - and they keep telling me they can't find it.

Thanks for so generously hosting the archive for download. Looks like I'll be burning and passing out some CDs to friends in the near future. smiley

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nudone
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2009, 01:25:40 PM »

Preacher was more fun to read than Watchmen.

Sandman lost its way through the middle.

Dr. Manhattan is the best superhero evaaar.

We3 has more heart than any of the above.

i like Daniel Clowes and Dave Cooper. some of their stuff is a bit weak though.


just finished reading Watchmen again; in preparation for the new film. the ending seemed less disappointing this time around.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2009, 04:15:30 PM »

Excellent, excellent, excellent recommendation DeoThmbsup Thmbsup

That is still one of my absolute favorites. Solid storyline, good characters, a poetic narrative style, and a moral of sorts. It doesn't get much better than that.

I even went so far as to buy the 'enhanced' edition on DVD thru Amazon, although I must admit I liked the the original 'classic' version better.

I own the DVD set as well!

I used to loan it out constantly until last year when it didn't come back.

And that's why I don't loan out CDs or DVDs. mad
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Edvard
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« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2009, 05:28:07 PM »

Although I haven't read comics for almost 20 years, there are many that are stuck in my memory forever... The afore-mentioned Cerebus and ElfQuest I remember fondly but my favorite must be the trade paperbacks of the Mage series.

I read them in a strange order as I was able to acquire them: 2nd book first, then the 1st one, then the last one (the TB's came out in 3 issues).

« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 06:12:45 PM by Edvard » Logged

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superboyac
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2009, 05:39:01 PM »

Thanks for spoiling it, Ed!
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Edvard
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2009, 06:12:20 PM »

Oops.
Sorry.
Fixed.
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