And by that, I mean one of those people who fully expect that the upcoming Watchmen film will be the Best Movie Ever Made.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, go ahead and check out the trailer. I watch this trailer about once a week. Just to see it. Because it’s that good. Unfortunately, if you’ve never read the graphic novel, you probably won’t understand much of what’s going on or be in a position to appreciate it.
So go read the graphic novel. Buy it. Steal it. Download it. I don’t care. You don’t read comic books? I still don’t care.
You see, if you go to the bookstore and look at all the typical “marketing hype” on the back cover, you’ll see it praised as one of the best modern novels ever written. Notice those words: Best Novel. Not best COMIC BOOK. Not best GRAPHIC NOVEL. No, one of the best NOVELS. Period. I agree.
I’m re-reading the graphic novel right now…. or, rather, I was. I’m at the last chapter, and I’m not reading any more because
1) I know how the story ends, and
If you’ve read the book, you probably get what I’m saying here. If you do, please don’t post comments about the ending here and spoil it for people. My wife, who’s read maybe one comic book in her entire life, is now adding this one to the list (although at an incredibly slow pace. She’s watching the iTunes version), so we’ll probably see the ending together, if she makes it that far.
If Watchmen had been written with just words instead of words and pictures, it would probably be described as an alternate-world scifi murder mystery. Honestly, as a detective story it’s not a very good one, but the world this story takes place in and, more importantly, its characters are some of the best and deepest work in fiction of any genre. This is the kind of stuff that other writers aspire to. This is the kind of stuff that makes people like me say:
“Screw it; I can’t beat that.” “I won’t rest until I get in the same area code as that. I’d better get busy.”
As for the movie, no, it probably WON’T be the best movie ever. It looks like it sticks to the general theme, tone, and visual look of the book, but the original story was so long with so many subtexts and flashbacks that a lot of it must be left out out of necessity. Unfortunately, THAT is the stuff that makes the book great. The pirate story alone adds a lot of depth (and horror) to the work, and I can’t see how they’d put that in the movie. The original creators realize this, and aren’t really supporting the movie. I fully understand that. But even so, the trailer looks awesome and assuming the rest of the movie is just as good (and they don’t change the ending) it will be one of my favorites, at least.
Now I gotta go find that song by the Smashing Pumpkins.