Friday, October 24, 2008

My Greatest Sin

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.


Gus said...

You're not alone. I was aware of WATCHMEN about the time it was coming out, but it was way beyond where I was in comics at that time (SUPERMAN was everything to my eleven-year old self then). I didn't read it until at least ten years after the fact, either...

I agree that getting it all in that one blast when you're able to really read and fully appreciate what Moore and Gibbons were doing is AMAZING. I felt the same way, blowing through Gaiman's entire SANDMAN run one summer about eight or nine years ago. The hell of it is, as much as you can re-read and continue to appreciate those things later on, you never quite get that same HOLY SHIT feeling after that first time through...

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing last year when I bought Watchmen, this post makes me want to go and pick it up and re-read it. Also, Congrats on your Pilot Season win- T.E

Blog Trotter said...

You're so right about Tom Bombadil too.

Ian Mayor said...

You're not alone, I know a few guys who have done exactly the same thing.

I mainlined Watchmen with all the trimmings aged thirteen and it broke my brain, it's probably the reason I still read comics, twenty years later.

As for Fellowship of the Rings... I think everyone gets a pass on skipping the songs.