Writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons are the creators of the “Watchmen” breakthrough series of graphic novels in the 80’s. Now Gibbons, along with Chip Kidd and Mike Essl, has written “Watching the Watchmen,” a book that tells the story of their collaboration. Wired magazine featured an interview with Gibbons in advance of the release of the Watchmen movie. A few tidbits:
“…people unacquainted with graphic novels, including journalists, tend to think of Watchmen as a book by Alan Moore that happens to have some illustrations. And that does a disservice to the entire form, because comics are stories in words and pictures. To marginalize either aspect shows a misunderstanding and under-appreciation of the form. And Alan is scrupulous about giving credit; there's never been a problem between us.”
“I think readers are always patient. Look at the Harry Potter series. Some have given up on this generation of kids as game and TV addicts, but lots of people spend lots of time patiently reading through hundreds of pages of dense prose. I think reading a comic by comparison is a lot more immediate. With the Watchmen comic, we attempted to tell it in an accessible way. I deliberately made the artwork very clear, deceptively so. You think you're sucking on a sweetie, but it turns out to be a sugar-coated chili.”
Writer Moore is not happy with movie versions of his work. In another interview he said, “I find film in its modern form to be quite bullying. It spoon-feeds us, which has the effect of watering down our collective cultural imagination.”
To hear him talk about Watchmen and what superheroes represent in our world, check out this 5 minute video on YouTube (I like his observation that Batman essentially is a vigilante psychopath).