Every writer on this project should be ashamed of themselves. Especially those who don't need the money. I love most of them, JMS in particular, but this is a misstep.
Every once in a while you get an "I am Spartacus" moment and, if you choose not to stand up, well, that's on you. This is one of those moments.
All these amazing talents, at least one of whom said, multiple times that this was a crap idea and he wouldn't participate (Darwyn Cooke), should have simply told DC, "Nope. Not me. Not this one."
That would have been showing true respect for who is, hands down, the most influential single writer in comics alive today. (And I'm not even that big a fan of the original work. I like it a lot. Very, very much, actually, but I prefer Gaiman and Morrison as their works are hopeful and Moore's is mostly fairly bleak. However, that changes nothing.)
This project bears zero resemblance to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and only the use of Wendy Darling in Lost Girls is potentially on point vis a vis Moore's "hypocrisy."
Watchmen is not about the Charlton characters "thinly disguised." It began as an idea for the Charlton stable but was, by no means, where it ended up. Watchmen is not, in point of fact, a basis for anything.
It's is not only a self-contained work, needing no further "enhancement;" it is a self-contained work about a very specific time in Western politics. And it is, in its way, a pastiche of what comics had been up until that moment as well as being a criticism of the dead-end moralistic viewpoint that was largely expressed in American comics.
Part of the reason Moore, Morrison and Ennis took US comics by storm, aside from their fantastic skills as writers, is that they brought the basic dystopian cynicism to their work that was the rule in Britain under Thatcher but which Americans under Reagan (at least the majority of Americans) didn't do. It raised the bar and created a massive emotional response in its readers that, really, hasn't been matched since except by, ironically, the hopeful Brit, Neil Gaiman and the angry-hopeful Brit, Warren Ellis.
Part of the reason the movie didn't work for a wide audience is that it asked too much be accepted and one of the things that was too much was that we were looking not into an alternate future but into an alternate past. That works for comics, sort of, but it doesn'treally work.
Also, and this is primarily why the [redacted] at DC couldn't possibly understand this, the central them of the series (one of) is that NOSTALGIA KILLS. In every case, the character's attempt to hold onto their pasts got them either killed or so fundamentally altered that they were effectively killed. The only forward-looking characters are Jon and Adrian and they both "win." Everybody else dies either physically or figuratively.
As DC is a nostalgia machine, there's no way they could possibly understand this aspect of the work and, not understanding that, are incapable of creating authentic spinoffs of that work. It was never designed to be a serial. it was never designed to have sequels. It was designed, much like a clockwork (another central theme) to work in twelve components and to take advantage of Time both in the real world and in the fictional world it presents. Even the PAGE LAYOUTS are about time.
It was designed to be precisely what it is: a stand-alone novel set in and about a particular time and place in history. Adding prequels might be a sound business decision (we'll find out) but it will diminish the importance of that earlier work and undercut its intent and meaning to the point where it will become "just another comic book." yes. It will.
Why? Because, once these books are out they will be someone's FIRST sight of the Watchmen story. Meaning the original will be compared to them or thought of as simply the end of the story. That, alone, should have prevented this. Sometimes commercial art is actually Art.
When it reaches that level it's to be protected, marveled at, learned from, enjoyed, all that, but never gilded like the proverbial flower. Unless you don't get it.
No one has done a sequel to the Mona Lisa. There are no Further Adventures of Holden Caulfield. No one has added lines to he Road Not Taken. There's a reason and it's not copyright. Well, maybe it is copyright, now that I think of it. At least in Caulfield's case.
And, btw, Moore already told us hat happened BEFORE THE WATCHMEN. About half of the series was about just that. So, again, no need to do this.
Except if you're out of ideas, fear risk and think your audience is a bunch of suckers.
We're talking about DC.
Posted by Geoff Thorne on 7.1.12 , under prometheus rules, science fiction, steam punk | comments (0)
WHAT IS THIS?
This is something I've wanted to do for some
time and, as usual, don't have enough cash to
pay anyone to do for me. I don't like waiting
for other people to come around and I really
don't like begging people for favors so....
THE ABOVE IS TWO THINGS.
1) it's the first segment of the first episode
of the DREAMNASIUM web series which
will be debuting this year. Each episode will
be done in different formats so, while this is
the first look, it's not representative of
everything that will come. Not hardly.
THINGS ARE HAPPENING, IS THE POINT.
2) it's the animated adaptation of an existing
comic I did some years ago so, if you want to
know the rest of the story and don't want to wait,
I'm not kidding this year.
I'm really, really not.
I'm really, really not.
BOTH my parents taught me this, without ever mentioning this speech.
I live this every single day.
Well. Here we are again. We made it.
This year, for me, was less of a struggle in some ways than most of what came before. In other ways it was crazy.
Most the good stuff came in the professional realm. Lots of things that I'd worked hard to see happen did. A few fell apart. The BIG CARTOON NETWORK PROJECT got sent down which was a blow. You guys would have LOVED this thing. Ah, well.
Two big things were negative.
A friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and is, currently, kicking back at that monster with everything she's got.
Another friend of mine, Dwayne McDuffie, left us. It was awful and sudden and I've said a bit about it elsewhere so there's no need to say much more.
Dwayne was one of the best people I ever met. Gifted. Gracious. Funny. Everything a mentor should be except not old enough to actually be mine.
I feel cheated that I wasted so much time being polite, not pushing the friendship for fear of making him think I was one more Hollywood social climber. I envy those who were his friends for longer. NOTE TO SELF: Do Not Waste Time.
I will miss him and, whether you know it or not, so will you.
I wrote a LOT last year, much of it won't even be seen until later THIS year. Short stories, the blog, comics, a novel, the TV show, the OTHER TV show, even some poetry (thanks to my wife insisting I flex those old muscles again).
Oh. We got a couch.
Normally I use this opportunity to remind people who are struggling that things can work out. It's easy, when things start turning your way, to forget the bleak times when you're sitting alone at three a.m. wondering where the hell your life is going or where you're getting that last 60 bucks to cover your rent.
Readers of this blog will know that, despite my economic circumstances, I've always been a big believer in the turning wheel. No matter what's going on in life, good or bad, the wheel will turn. When things are crappy it's the knowledge of the wheel that you use to get you through.
When they're good that same knowledge is good reminder not to get a swelled head or stop working hard.
People in my business forget that. They forget it a lot which is why you see so much bad behavior coming from the backstage of this industry.
But I won't. My life has been Interesting in the proverbial Chinese way for a long time now but it hasn't always been fun. Fun, it seems, is not the point.
2011 was awesome. I very much hope 2012 will at least be the same. I'm going to work hard to make it better. This time next year, I hope to have a lot more to say. That's the plan anyway. We'll see what the wheel says.