I’ll start off by saying, I don’t have remarkably strong feelings either way. I’m excited to see some of those creative teams, simply because I’m a huge fan of Brian, Amanda, and Darwyn, among others. So, new work for them is always a thrill.
But I must admit, I’ve not nearly romanticized Watchmen to the degree that others have. There’s nasty crap in there that is kind of inexplicable, that appears in a lot of Moore work of that period. And it really was a book, like Dark Knight, that unfortunately caused a lot of crappy imitators.
The art’s magnificent, the craft is remarkable, but I can name ten Moore works I like better without hesitation.
I have mixed feelings about Alan’s response about the books. On the one hand, it would be lovely if every creator who did a work like this got to decide how the property was handled in the future. But they don’t, and I’m not sure exactly what makes this book an exception, if that was never part of the agreement in the first place. Because of its artistic merit? Because of Alan’s well-known unhappiness with DC? Cases could be made in both situations, but that’s not quite the complaint Alan seemed to have in his response.
He said, there were no sequels to Moby Dick, which is just bizarre and ironic, considering Alan himself uses characters from Moby Dick, and dozens of other sources, without permission or credit, in his Extraordinary Gentlemen books. Is the idea that Watchmen is SO wonderful that no other creators can work on it, despite the fact that the characters themselves are pastiches of Charleton characters owned wholly by DC?
I may be looking at this wrong. I don’t know that these books need to happen at all. But Watchmen is immensely popular, these creators are extremely talented. I suspect the books will actually be quite good. Again, I’m not so wild about the characters that I am dying to see them again.
Alan has taken a principled, if sometimes confusing, stance against almost all his former publishers and many of his co-creators. I don’t doubt his sincerity for a moment. His work is a series of milestones in the industry. I have no doubt that many, most, or all of his complaints are valid.
But I’m not sure that the publisher is in the moral wrong, here. Alan himself had a Watchmen prequel planned at one point, so it’s weird that he says, “Moby Dick didn’t have a prequel,” when he himself planned one.
Don’t know the answers. The covers look nice, the creative teams are top-notch. I don’t know the particulars of the Watchmen contract, so I won’t speak about that.
What are your thoughts? What am I missing, here?