by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, published in 1986-1987.
I have not read any comic per se in perhaps twenty or more years, but when I saw that Absoluteby Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, published in 1986-1987.
I have not read any comic per se in perhaps twenty or more years, but when I saw that Absolute Sandman Vol. 1 was out - I couldn’t resist the temptation of graphic novels any longer.
So I went out hunting for “good” graphic novels, and all lists, ravings and word of mouth pointed me towards “Watchmen”, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.
And I can safely say, this is one great graphic novel. It’s not for kids and there are a lot of adult situations explored as well as some pretty weighty issues kicked around.
And just one of the central themes - Who watches the Watchmen . . .
The story is one of retired Superheros, but unlike Superman or The Flash, theses Superheros were simply people which put on masks to try and do good. Well, most of them anyhow. The two world Superpowers (USSR and USA) are escalating in arms and the world looks like it is going to end in a series of multiple flashes followed by a lot of dead people.
It begins with one of the retired Superheros getting murdered, and we don’t know why this is or who did it. The twelve volumes of this graphic novel are a huge mystery in the solving for the surviving Superheros, and the ending is well worth the 400 + pages it takes to get there.
I was actually surprised that I got so sucked up in the story as much as I did and had a hard time putting it down, wanting to know what was going on, who did it and what would happen next. I resisted flipping ahead though it was a struggle not to do so. Any great writing, no matter the medium, should engage the reader and Watchmen certainly did.
And the ending was a surprise for me which was a bonus even though I had figured out who was behind the murders about half way through. No punches are pulled. As for the illustrations themselves - they are pretty well done and convey exactly what the story is. I am not a comic book afficionado, so can’t really compare it to others, but never once did I look at the images on the page and think they weren’t well done.
So what is next for me? I’m most of the way through “Kingdom Come” another highly recommended series. And then, on order, is Sandman Vol. 1. Wow, I am excited to get that.
If you pocket book allows, give graphic novels a go - you may be surprised....more
This is my second attempt at reading through a graphic novel. Kingdom Come is an Elseworlds tale set tenby Mark Waid and Alex Ross, published in 1996.
This is my second attempt at reading through a graphic novel. Kingdom Come is an Elseworlds tale set ten years after Superman has decided to buy the farm (literally) and hang up his cape.
New Metahumans rule the day and dish out their new style of justice which often includes harming innocents and causing a lot of wholesale destruction. A lot of Supervillians have been killed also, including the Joker, and Wonder Woman comes to Superman to convince him to leave retirement and do something as the situation has obviously gotten completely out of control.
Which he does, but the fight will not be an easy one and the new upstart Superheros do not go along with Superman’s code of ethics. This of course leads to a massive confrontation which could actually lead to the end of the world.
And the regular humans are not going to take it lying down either. Lex Luther has a trick up his sleeve and gets Captain Marvel to take up the side of the new Superheros.
We see Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman in a light I hadn’t seen them in before and it is pretty interesting. I found it a pretty short tale though, perhaps after finishing “Watchmen” which was much longer, Kingdom Come just felt short and rushed.
But the battle to end all battles is worth getting to, and we actually see Superman getting royally pissed - not his usual self for sure.
And bearing witness to all this mayhem is Norman McKay, a pastor and regular guy. He is lead by the Spectre a dark angel, and must make the ultimate decision of mankind’s future.
I rather liked this story, even though I found it short. It’s worth the small cover price which has the four volumes combined. The artwork by Alex Ross is outstanding and easy on the eyes.
Overall I would say it was worth reading, but I’ve been out of the comic world a long time now. And what is with Power Woman? Was she DC’s answer to Emma Frost from Marvel?
I have much to learn in the comic universe.
But, my next little while will be spent reading Absolute Sandman Vol. 1.
A graphic novel published in 2006 and written for the screen by Richard Linklater and based on the novel by Philip K. Dick.
This graphic novel is a bitA graphic novel published in 2006 and written for the screen by Richard Linklater and based on the novel by Philip K. Dick.
This graphic novel is a bit different. And not just because it is based on Philip K. Dick, which by default automatically makes it “different”, but because it captures the film pictures and puts bubbles in for the dialogue and descriptions.
Pretty slick looking actually with nice clear graphics and sharp images, but even so you may not know what the heck is actually going on.
Now, on to the story itself. The world populace is being subjected to a massive addiction. No, not TV, but substance D. Pick any D word you want like Delirium, Delusions, Death, Duck . . . They all fit pretty well.
You see, with substance D you have either never tried it, or you are addicted. There is no in between. Scary stuff to be sure. But just what does this substance D do, besides make you want more? Well, it slowly, but surely, separates the two halves of your brain.
And that leads to massively strange perceptual things. Those who oppose this drug are trying to get its distribution stopped and make the world a less “split” place to hang out. So far those trying to find out where it is grown and who controls it have met with little success.
Until the main character, unknowingly because he is not to know, is set up to find out for those who want it stopped. Arctor, the main character, is having strange problems most likely caused by his substance D addiction, but he only uses a little bit, doesn’t he?
This graphic novel is a trip (like in the sixties) but you will find out by the end what is really going on. I don’t read a lot of Philip K. Dick so can’t compare this graphic novel with the actual novel it was based on, but after having read “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” and “Martian Time-Slip” I can tell you this fits right in alongside those mind benders.
Not a long read, it has a compelling though confusing story, but seems to be worth the hour or so it takes to get through it. It reminded me of The Matrix on drugs and no kung fu. Odd, very odd.
I’ve always found Philip K. Dick to be somewhat phase-shifted from the rest of humanity, and this graphic novel based on his work confirms my opinion. If you like Dick you will like this. If you are like me, a little Dick goes a long way . . .
. . . and reading Dick once every decade or so is quite enough for me....more