Each time I consumed it, there remained the completist’s vague sense of unease that every nuance, every reference hidden in every panel had not been fully appreciated. The niggling* feeling was exacerbated by the sheer pageturnness driving me to tear through it in double-quick time. Reading Watchmen for me was like watching Chinatown played at 1.5x speed after four beers. Good, but you weren’t joining all the dots.
So with the film coming out the day after my birthday and the release of the Absolute edition, it’s time to get back on it. This time, the pages are big enough that you can read every headline and graffiti clue hidden away in the panels. This time I’m taking notes.
The artifact itself is huge and weighty and gloriously shiny. Reading it this time is odd for a different reason; the book itself (at least my copy) is toxic. There’s a strong chemical smell coming off the zingy amazingness pinsharp pages of glory, a solvent of some kind that fucks with your head like you’ve left the gas on. I was excited to read Watchmen again, but I didn’t expect to be buzzing off my tits.
My notes now contain insightful observations like, Rorschach is anti-heroic in the sense that the reader identifies mostly with the face the blobs pretty flowers never the sunshine pale horse the eyes owlish and flying skintight…
Let’s hope the film doesn’t spoil it.
* use this word with caution in NYC if you don’t want a David Howard-ing