It's official: the Watchmen groundswell has begun. I knew it would happen. Just take the Citizen Kane of comic books, add a dash graphic novel adapting wizard Zack Snyder, and a generous helping of a drooling and mostly supportive fan base, and what do you get? A media phenomenon just waiting to explode.
This month has seen Watchmen get some pretty amazing nods from some entertainment media heavies and Comic Con hasn’t even happened yet.
First, an article on MTV.com Movies Blog points out how Marvel has been consistently doing better with it’s film adaptations than DC. The author explains in detail how the comics publisher could start to get their adaptations on the right track. One of the points of his advice reads,
Observe Neil Gaiman’s “Law of Superhero Movies,” which is that “the closer the film is to the look and feel of what people like about the comic, the more successful it is.” This, Gaiman says, is “something that Warners tends singularly to miss, and Marvel tends singularly to get right.” Warners may prove Gaiman wrong here with the forthcoming “Watchmen.”
So in a field of harsh criticisms about Justice League, Preacher and Wonder Woman, just to name a few, Watchmen shines through as the one glimmer of hope in DC’s lineup.
Next, the June/July 2008 issue of Complex magazine ran an article entitled “Is Hollywood Killing Comics?” Now the focus of the article was not Watchmen by any means, in fact, the main article didn’t mention Watchmen at all.
What was interesting about the article was that in one of it’s many sidebars, they named Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach as one of the best casting moves of all of the upcoming comic comics adaptations. The caption under his photo read,
If you think someone who portrayed a child molester in Little Children isn’t the best choice to play a psychotic vigilante, then go spend your $10 on Richie Rich 2.
Then, in Entertainment Weekly’s 1000th issue, they countdown “The New Classics,” listing the best in movies, TV shows, music, albums and books of the past 25 years. Watchmen checked in very high on the list at #13. Their caption called the graphic novel,
The greatest superhero story ever told and proof that comics are capable of smart, emotionally resonant narrative worthy of the label “literature.”
Oddly enough, Watchmen wasn’t the only graphic novel to make their list. Art Spiegelman’s Maus beat Watchmen at #7, Persopolis ranked at #37 and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman clocked in at #46.
Even Time Magazine, in an article entitled “Graphic Novels are Hollywood’s Newest Gold Mine,” said Watchmen is “easily next year's most anticipated comic-book movie.”
So you heard it here first: the media blitz on Watchmen has officially begun. Let’s just hope I can keep up with it when the floodgates really open after this year’s San Diego Comic Con.
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