Watchmen the Complete Motion Comic
I should begin this by pointing out where I’m coming from
because Watchmen has a very loyal fanbase. I had never heard of Watchmen
before the movie was released last year but what I did hear gave it very
high praise. I was really looking forward to it thinking that I would be
delighted in a fresh-faced naive way, experiencing that which the old
hands had not experienced since they first read the comic. However, the
movie left me very confused. I could follow it, but the style and the
pacing and the story I found extremely odd. I was never asked to review
it and that is fortunate because I thought about it (it’s kind of a
habit nowadays) and the only thing I could think to give it was “weird
out of 10.”
Now Warner Bros. have released the oddly named “Complete Motion Comic.”
It is a strange title, but it is actually completely accurate. What they
have here is a comic of Watchmen which has some minor animations (think
Flash animations) and a narrator reading all the text.
Personally, I loved it. I can now see why Watchmen had such a strong
following. Watchmen actually is incredibly unique and it comes across
much, much better in comic form. Since I didn’t read the original comic
I can’t draw a comparison, but this has new graphics that parallels the
movie perfectly. I am to understand the movie likewise paralleled the
original comic so what we have now is a comic about a movie about a
comic. Weird (like everything Watchmen) but it works.
The greater understanding comes from being able to read what is being
said as it is said, and greater exposition. Not a word is wasted and
when you have a movie like that if anything that is even remotely
unintelligible (say because Rorschach has a gravelly voice) you will
miss something important. These compound over time until by the end of
the movie you are thoroughly confused. I found I could follow along, but
compared to Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic, I was watching it with
my eyes shut.
The animations are very simplistic – think “flash movie” – and there is
one guy (Tom Stechschulte) narrating the whole thing so the women’s
voices in particular are quite grating. Still, it all works together and
to me a nice augmentation over just comic stills. I have to wonder why
one would buy this and not just the original comic, but then, I didn’t
buy the original comic and I did watch this quite happily and felt all
the more enlightened for it, so go figure.
The scores I gave it I have judged very high in comparison to
contemporary animation, but that’s a lot of “style” bonus because it is
an entirely different thing that it is going for.
If you can pick it up cheap or rent it, I would, it works well.