Graphic Novel Reading Group discussion

This topic is about Watchmen
Group Monthly Discussions > 1st revamped Superhero Graphic Novel Discussion: Watchmen by Alan Moore (July 2020)

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Richard Kenneth Conde | 283 comments Mod
1st revamped Superhero Graphic Novel Discussion: Watchmen by Alan Moore.

This is our first revamped Superhero Graphic Novel discussion for July 2020. Please post your thoughts, opinions, questions, etc. on this book discussion thread about this book here.

Posted below are discussion questions for this graphic novel. Please feel free to answer any of the questions below. Thank you.

Happy reading everyone.

Richard Kenneth Conde | 283 comments Mod
Here are some sample reading guide questions for those who want to answer them. Thank you.

Discussion Questions

- How did you experience this book? Was it exciting? Funny? Scary? Weird? Thought-provoking?

- Did you find the characters convincing? Are they believable?

- Which characters do you especially like or dislike? What are their primary characteristics?

- What motivates the character's actions? Do you agree with their choices?

- Do the characters grow or change? How so?

- Who in the book would you like to meet? What would you ask or say?

- If you were a character in this story, what would your role be?

- Is the plot well-developed? Does the story make sense? Did anything surprise you?

- Is the story plot or character drive? Is there a lot of action or more focus on the lives and feelings of characters?

- The ending: was it predictable or surprising? Was everything wrapped up or was the ending ambiguous?

- Can you pick out one part that you found especially interesting or profound?

- Does the book remind you of your own life? An event? A person - like a friend, family member, or teacher?

- If you could talk to the creator what would you want to know?

- Have you read other books by this creator? Are they similar or totally different?

- Do the words and pictures work together to tell the story? Or is the story more in either the words or pictures?

- Does the artist use traditional rectangular panels? Or are there stylized panels or none at all? How does this impact the story or mood?

- What do artistic or visual details tell you about the characters or setting?

- How are the panels framed? What is included? What is left out?

- Is the subject shown up close? Far away? Why do you think the artist made these choices?

- How does the artist depict time? Does lots of action happen panel-to-panel or are moments drawn out? How does this impact your reading experience?

- Are speech balloons, lettering, or sound effects used in a creative way? How does this impact the story?

Richard Kenneth Conde | 283 comments Mod
Ah. Revisiting one of the works that shifted the comic book medium from "red-headed-stepchild" to "mainstream respectability." Thus graphic novel eventually sprouting into existence as a genre and respected medium in the sequential arts growth into acceptance by the mainstream public.

Getting back to Watchmen.

Would any of you agree with Veidt/Ozymandias's view of the theme, "the ends justify the means" ? He knew that nuclear war was inevitable. And that the only way to avert it, was to unify the people of the world to prevent it... no matter the cost?

Richard Kenneth Conde | 283 comments Mod
Okay, so chapter one finished and showed the essence of Hollis Mason's memoir or autobiography. He described his personal history, and his decision to be a superhero in costume. he also shared other details from his his life. He is a minor character in the Watchmen comic books/graphic novel which made his autobiography very interesting for the information it provided about other more commanding characters and developmental events in the novel's timeline. More information on Hollis' autobiography appeared at the ends of chapters two and three.

Richard Kenneth Conde | 283 comments Mod
And now chapter 2 concluded with a few pages, which are presented as extracts from Hollis Mason's tell-all autobiography. Hollis described his personal history and involvement with the Minutemen. Hollis remained, however, a minor character in the graphic novel and thus his autobiography is primarily interesting for the information it provided about other more dominant characters and developmental events in the novel's timeline. Additional chapters of Hollis' autobiography appeared at the ends of Chapters two and three.

message 6: by Richard Kenneth (last edited Aug 01, 2020 06:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Richard Kenneth Conde | 283 comments Mod
Chapter 3 takes place on October 19 and 20, 1985, and introduces the comic-within-the-comic named Tales of the Black Freighter. The comic tells the story of a sailor, who is pursued by a cursed pirate ship. He is driven ashore on a deserted island where all of his shipmates perish. The ghastly pirates aboard the Black Freighter invite him to join their cause of plunder and mayhem. When he declines the offer, they set sail for his distant homeland to bring ruin upon his family. The Black Freighter story parallels the main story and intersects with it at points, and is an interesting literary element of the graphic novel.

Bernhard the newsman is an interesting character that appears repeatedly throughout the graphic novel, while remaining a fairly minor character. He is only tangentially involved in plot development but does serve to add texture to the graphic novel. He reads but fails to fully understand a great deal of news, which, he feels, makes him particularly prescient about current events. His role in the graphic novel is to supply the street-level conglomerate opinion of New York citizens. His newspaper sales stand is located directly in front of the Institute for Interspatial Studies. It's a humorous coincidence that will become significant in the final chapters of the graphic novel, unfortunately for Bernhard. Bernhard spends a great deal of time in the company of a young black man, who is also named Bernhard, or Bernie. Bernie 'looks through' several issues of Tales of the Black Freighter comic books without purchasing them because, as he says, the story does not have an ending. Bernie's reading of the comic book is presented intermingled with the main story line, set apart by being contained in a 'manuscript' type text balloon.

Richard Kenneth Conde | 283 comments Mod
Chapter 4 takes place on October 20, 1985. The chapter's chronological construction is particularly interesting as events separated sometimes by years are presented as happening simultaneously within a single illustrated panel. Thus, the graphic novel's complex and intricate timeline is presented in even more complicated and disparate fragments than usual.

The chapter presents a prolonged series of Jon's memories. Many of the detail panels are primarily reddish-pink in color, excepting Dr. Manhattan's light blue body, and the visual impact is notable. Jon's clockwork mechanism is reminiscent of his early boyhood days studying to be a watchmaker. In later chapters, the mechanism is used as a transportation device. At the time that Jon and Laurie's relationship begins, she is 17, and he is in his mid 30s. However, of course, he no longer ages. Laurie's costume is little more than lingerie while Jon, throughout the graphic novel, wears smaller and smaller costumes as the years go by until, by the 1980s, he is normally entirely nude.

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