Nov. 22nd, 2008

heiligekuh: (Default)
I tried to just keep a running log of thoughts as I read, but that never works....

My copy of Watchmen is worn, deeply second hand and ancient. I think I inherited it from. . Andre? Was that a real person or some dream figure of mine in Santa Cruz. I distinctly remember reading it in Seton, my weird sublet from Tiven, Holden, and the Bentley apartment. Sometime in the midst of that, I started paying attention to mechanics of comics. My second or third reading through I paid attention to panels. The entire series works in the 9-grid. In the first issue there's only four 3x2 panels - Rorschach entering the window, Driberg collapsed by the NiteOwl suit, Ozymandias staring out the window, and the only vertical panel of Manhattan working on whatever Trek-gizmo. I love how the 9-grid forces the space around those splash panels to carry so much more time for the page. It makes these splashes feel more like establishing shots, rather than big title cards.

I often start rereads looking for something that Watchmen does as a comic that would be difficult to replicate in film/prose/etc. And the first target is narrative overlay on unrelated panels. While that is actually a bit interesting come the Black Freighter issues, here it always seems really fucking cheesy to me. You kill the Comedian and all you can do is squeeze more "fall off the building" puns onto the page? Weak sauce. I normally flake out on this sort of close reading a few issues in, as I start to get caught up in the plot and forget to stop and look at each panel individually.

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heiligekuh

June 2010

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