I have never read Watchmen.
Okay, that's not entirely true. I never read all of Watchmen. When I first came across it, I was maybe 14 years old. I was a recent convert to DC Comics after years as a pure Marvel-head—Dark Knight Returns opened the door, and I walked right in. And I remember seeing the covers for the single issues on the racks and was totally intrigued. I bought them, read them, and completely didn't understand them. Later, when I picked up the collection—before we started calling them "trades"—I reread it...but skipped the prose/text supplements. At the time, it was not what I wanted in a comic book. Not that I minded reading, you know, typewritten words—I inhaled books at that age—but those textual interludes disrupted my flow.
So I skipped them.
I read the illustrated sections of Watchmen, dug it, and then proceeded to never read it again.
Yesterday, I decided to pick it back up and get the whole cover-to-cover Watchmen experience. (I did the same thing in advance of Fellowship of the Ring coming out—because when I was a kid, I never made it past the dreadfully boring Tom Bombadil stuff. 200 pages of walking and singing is tough for a kid to get through.)
I know I'm preaching to the choir, but...holy shit. No wonder.