Posts Tagged ‘Comics’
(Originally published in Vector, Nov 2001)
“The War And Piece of comic books” — Terry Gilliam
Close-up of a red splattered yellow smiley badge. Zoom out. The badge lies in a red river — blood flowing in the gutter (1) of a New York street. Caption: “Rorschach’s Journal October 12th 1985: Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.”
And so begins Watchmen.
For a brief period of time, during the middle of the eighties, it was not only perfectly acceptable to be seen reading a graphic novel on public transport but actually quite trendy. Works such as Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Bryan Talbot’s The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright were at the forefront of this boom in comics targeted at a more adult audience. But leading them all was Watchmen, the first graphic novel to win a Hugo (in the ‘Other Forms’ category). So influential, that its version of the classic smiley became the badge of choice on many a lapel. Why? Because it told a gripping story using brilliant characters, was packed full of social commentary revolving around power and control, plus, and most crucially, it also examined and deconstructed its own genre. Read the rest of this entry »