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1001 book reviews > Watchmen

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Valerie Brown | 566 comments I quite enjoyed this graphic novel. Even though I enjoyed comics when I was a kid (not necessarily the super hero type though), I haven't read any graphic novels as an adult. I suppose it is good to start with a seminal work in the genre. The story is interesting, complex and well told; and the graphics are amazing. Being a graphic novel it is a quick read even with a dense story line. Recommended. 4*

Kristel (kristelh) | 3967 comments Mod
read 2012; This graphic novel was published in 1986 and is more than a comic story, it an art form. The story is of the age past the need for superheroes. The Keene Act has outlawed superheroes as vigilantes. The superheroes have gone into retirement and some have not done so well in retirement, dying of alcoholism. A couple of superheroes are still employed as government agents, the Comedian and Dr. Manhattan. Rorschach who is more Nazi and sociopath is still active underground and states he will never retire. The story opens with the murder of one of these superheroes. The story is set in 1985, Nixon is president. It is an alternate history, a social commentary, a philosophical study, science fiction and a murder mystery. It is also a multiple layer story with the tale of the Tales of the Black Freighter told in the background of the comic.

The book is more than its story. It is a 9 panel grid layout with recurring symbols. The color and detail of the drawings of the characters and the details are unique in comics. The detail is fantastic and I kept trying to study the panes for all the detail. The color was done by John Higgins and an European flat style. The graphic novel is meant to be read many times in order to discover the numerous links and allusions. Moore admired William S. Burroughs use of repeated symbols. The blood spattered smiling face is the symbol most common to this novel. The circle itself is a reoccurring geometric shape. Moore said that the novel was about power and corruption and ends with the question “Quis custodiet ipsos custodies. Who watches the watchmen?” –Juvenal, Satires, VI, 347 Quoted as the epigraph of the Tower Commission Report, 1987.

Daisey | 228 comments I read this for my February 2019 TBR Takedown choice. It's been on my TBR since I first started actually reading and enjoying graphic novels a few years ago, but it took the 1001 list to give me the motivation to move it up the TBR.

This story is dark and more complex than I was expecting with layers of stories. I really enjoyed the complexity and depth of the interwoven stories. I know that I missed plenty in a first read of this and plan to read it again at some point. I also thought the art was phenomenal and really added to the characterization and my understanding of the stories.

George P. | 432 comments In the early part of reading this large graphic novel I didn't know if I would continue to finish it. The story and characters began to pique my interest after a while however, and I begin to appreciate Dave Gibbons' imaginative artwork. I don't expect to become a regular reader of graphic novels, but this was an interesting change of pace.
My rating: 3.5 stars

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