Wednesday, November 19, 2008


A show of hands, please, from all of the people who read this blog that don't already know I'm a total geek. a lot of you know this already. Great!!

Yes, I have and will always embrace the geeky side of life. It's in my nature. As far back as I can remember, I've been a superhero fiend. Growing up, my dad and I collected comic books together. Friday night would be our night to head over to the Cosmic Comics and Science Fiction in Harvey Oaks Plaza and pick up the latest Marvel, Darkhorse, DC and Image books [BLOGGER'S NOTE: On a personal note regarding Image Comics: FUCK YOU, ROB LIEFELD, YOU LITTLE TWERP!! Your art sucked and your professionalism in the comic book industry was a smear in the annals of the medium!! No man should wait 9 months between comic books!! Douchebag!! That is all.]

The comic book store was like my own little retreat, my fortress of solitude. Of course, since I couldn't drive at the time, it was a fortress of solitude for two. I used to love hunting through the boxed jungles of plastic bags and boards, each containing a binded, nail-biting story of heroes, villains and vigilantes. I wanted to be a superhero. Okay, I didn't even really care if I had superpowers. I just wanted to fight crime in a costume.

Is that weird? Yeah. It kind of is.

I mean, let's think about it for a second. It's pretty ridiculous, the whole concept of putting on some goofy-as-fuck costume and saying to yourself, "Tonight, I'm gonna go out and fight the forces of evil." It is. I mean, in the real world, if someone pulled that shit, we'd probably have them committed. I mean, what a wacko, right? I mean, tights? Really? Hello?!

And yet, in the world of comic books, it's widely accepted. Truth be told, I always wanted to live in that world. I always felt safer when I read comic books. Maybe it was because--even for just a little while--I was able to believe in a world where, even though danger lurked around every corner, masked heroes could swoop in and save the day...a world where justice would always be served.

Which is why I'm actually fairly shocked and slightly embarrassed that I'm finally getting around to reading Alan Moore's groundbreaking, Hugo Award-winning 1985 masterpiece, "Watchmen." It's considered to be the Greatest Graphic Novel of All Time. I mean, this baby has it all: Costumed avengers, pirates, action, flashbacks, sex and brutal intensity. It was truly made with the comic book geek in mind.

What makes it so special is that it doesn't just portray all of the costume crusaders as earnest do-gooders. These masked avengers are all-too-human. While the main storyline (i.e. former superheros brought out of retirement to solve the murder of one of their own, even as the country is on the brink of a third World War) is brilliantly realized by Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, it's the characters that, for me, are paramount to the whole "Watchmen" enterprise.

These aren't cuddly people. Many of them are "damaged goods" with emotional and/or mental problems. Others are rotten to the core (one hero was actually a Nazi sympathizer--and you just know how I feel about that--while another shoots the pregnant Vietnamese mother of his child during the War in Vietnam).

And yet, they are compelled to do what they do. Because it's right. Not only is the story and the characters bad-ass to the gazillionth degree, it's also sexy as hell. It makes wearing a costume almost fetishistic--and not even in a "Batman and Robin," rubber nipples kind of way. There are some pretty steamy things that go on in this graphic novel--especially for a "funny book": there's nudity galore: butts, breasts and penises are all bared.

In other words, this is not your friendly neighborhood "Spiderman."

This is popular fiction at its most adult and gritty. And I love every frame of it. Each new chapter--hell, each new page--reveals a new layer to the story that you'll never predict.

I'm sure that most of you fellow geeks reading this are probably saying to yourselves, "WELL, DUHHHH!!" But you have to realize, it's been a really long time since I cracked open a comic book. In a way, I'm sort of like one of the Watchmen: coming out of retirement.

The movie comes out next March and I'm sure that Zach Snyder, the dude who directed last year's "300" (also based on a popular graphic novel), will do as much justice as can be done for such a dense, rich book. At the same time, how can it live up to the brilliance of its pulp namesake?

It won't. It's can't. It shouldn't. It will be what it is and if Snyder gets it even half as fucking fantastic as the graphic novel, we should all be thankful.

The trailers have been awesome. Like, I think I'm having a boner awesome.

Goddamn, I can't wait 'til March 9.

In fact, like Dr. Manhattan, I already am there.

Oh, and before I leave, a question for you, dear readers...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

1 comment:

Liz said...

Hahaha I laughed out loud a lot while reading this.