Posts Tagged ‘it bothers me that they are referred to as “The Watchmen”’

Ten Years of Hate

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Wary of the fact that I always seem to write about the same sort of subject matter (Star Wars, The Watchmen movie… uh Star Wars) I suppose I should write about something other than nerd stuff. So this one, like this one, is for the ladies…

This month sees the tenth anniversary of Heat Magazine, although, as TV Cream‘s weekly mailout reminds us, it’s much changed from its initial incarnation as a sort of Time Out Junior which was aimed, we recall, at people “who move house and set up the CD player before they put up the curtains”. I remember my flat mate getting it, purely for the TV listings, although fairly early on we noticed a move towards coverage of who’s going out with who, and why you should care type bollocks.

I can’t find any evidence for this but I swear an early issue was adorned with the face of Darth Maul. Not surprising, seeing as every single magazine in the world was jumping on the Episode One bandwagon that year, but it certainly wouldn’t happen with today’s Heat. Well, not unless Jordan claimed to be fucking the Dark Lord of The Sith, anyway.

Heat coincided with the appearance of Big Brother, unsurprisingly and the two have been feeding off eachother ever since. I remember being in that same flat and being horrified when my flatmate announced that he would be watching the BB final and not the latest episode of Buffy. Now of course I have given in to its all pervasive influence and it’s regularly on in our house. I even sat rapt while watching Rachel (I bet you’d forgotten her already, hadn’t you?) win last year’s, using a combination of being nice but a bit thick, not saying anything remotely inflammatory and being viciously hated by everyone else in the house for no good reason.

Ho hum. Happy birthday Heat. May you never tire of rooting through the detritus of celebrity “culture” and making women feel bad about themselves. As a special treat, here’s some unpublished covers.



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The Seldom Seen Squid

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I am conflicted about this whole Watchmen movie thing.

A lot of adaptations of comics seem to miss the best elements of the originals. One of the most notable things (if you were going to be unkind, the only notable thing) about Frank Miller’s Sin City was the histrionic chiaroscuro of the artwork, which is of course the one thing you don’t get carried over into the film version. It just ends up as a bunch of actors shot in grey tones. The characters and stories weren’t much cop to begin with, which is why I never bothered watching it. Similarly The Spirit was all about Will Eisner’s quirky and inventive approach to storytelling, page layouts and generally mucking about with the form, whereas the film version just redoes Sin City.

The best thing about Watchmen is its structure, and the canny tricks Moore and Gibbons used in their storytelling. Luckily enough it has good characters, some fairly complex themes and a good story (even though one of the main plot threads is half inched from an old Outer Limits episode, which Moore directly alludes to in one chapter), so a film version should at least be watchable and might even be great.

That pirate comic will never work as a cartoon though. The point is?the kid is reading the comic and then you’re reading the comic in the comic, and then you’re reading them both at the same time. That’s metatextual… or something.?Should have just left it out. It’s like Tom Bombadil!

Some of the appeal of Watchmen for comics fans are the explicit references it makes to superhero comics (and American adventure comics in general).?Of course, to a mainstream audience who don’t know their Charltons from their Gold Keys, that stuff is meaningless, and the superhero genre is a fairly recent cinematic thing. However, it looks like director Zack Snyder is creating associations with past superhero movies. The redesign of the Nite Owl costume makes its links with Batman even more apparent (who cares about The Blue Beetle, right?), and Ozymandias seems to have been reborn in the mould of Joel Schumacher’s rubber nippled greek god fantasies.

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