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Essay: Watchmen and film techniques

Thursday, February 19, 2009

With the Watchmen movie coming up, the number of public inquiries involving it has increased — many asking the simple question of why it's such an important comics work. The simple answer, "read it," works for some; others look for a little more context — particularly students working on term papers!

The Comics Chronicles is styled as a resource for academic research — though most of what's been done here to date relates to circulation history. There is, however, an essay I've referred people to frequently by my old friend and small press cohort, Neil Dorsett — a guy who's forgotten more about film than I ever knew — about the relationship between film techniques and what's on the printed page in Watchmen. That originally appeared in Comics Buyer's Guide in 1999, but it has been unavailable since, and Neil has provided the essay here.

Look also to Watching the Watchmen, the official companion book to the series, in building out a Watchmen bibliography. I'm certain there are many, many more.

I do not expect that many pieces will appear here about what's in comics — writing about the history of the business is a full-time hobby — but it did seem to be of immediate interest to many. I do have some circulation info on the title and how it performed in its initial run — before its many, many reprints; that's to come in the days ahead.


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