BOOM! co-founder and creator of the TV series EUREKA (comics on sale monthly from BOOM!) points out to me that there were no fewer than eight (!) EUREKA actors in WATCHMEN. Three were non-speaking roles (Mike Carpenter and Clint Carlton, both stunt doubles on EUREKA, played Nite Owl I and Young Moloch and Chris (Buzz) Burns played a thug. But five alumni were more prominent–four had speaking roles and a fifth had a prominent but non-speaking role. First one to ID all five in the Mark Waid forums–actor’s name, EUREKA role and WATCHMEN role–can watch his or her mailbox for a Cosby-signed set of BOOM!’s EUREKA comics! Go!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the least fearsome criminals in all of Gotham City: the Yellow Sweater Gang.
On the whole, I’m very pleased with WATCHMEN the movie. It reminded me a lot of BRAZIL–not because of the 1985 connection or because it was just as long, but because WATCHMEN was a wholly immersive experience. We made a BOOM! outing of it and everyone went, so if you weren’t at our offices today between 11:30 and 3:30, you missed your big chance to loot the place.
(We were also joined, quite accidentally but quite pleasantly, by Marvel writer Christos Gage, who we could barely make out behind his new mustache.)
None of us came out of the theater walking on air or beaming, but I think we were all glad we saw it. Ross summed it up best when he said, “That’s the WATCHMEN movie,” meaning “If you’re gonna film WATCHMEN, that’s the movie you’re gonna make.” Not an effervescent endorsement, but a good one. I think that, of all of us, I liked it most of all; maybe that’s because I’ve seen more of this stuff than anyone else in our crew and am more appreciative of when filmmakers, succeed or fail, really swing for the fences on comics stuff.
Some brief, spoiler-free observations:
I think the biggest favor the script could have done for the property would have been to be less reverent to the dialogue. Particularly in act one, there are lots of lines that read great on the comics page that were never meant to be spoken aloud–particularly in the first scene between Rorschach and Dan Dreiberg–and I wouldn’t have been offended if they’d been tweaked. (I know from my own experience that when a KINGDOM COME audiobook was done years ago, I cringed at their fidelity to my dialogue, which was fine in the comic but overblown when recited, and in the unlikely event KC ever becomes a film, I’ll beg them to rewrite for the ear all they like.)
I think the “squid fix” was elegant, and for those of you who miss the squid, there are at least two nods–Veidt’s big project is called S.Q.U.I.D. (though I forget what the acronym stands for), and during Dr. Manhattan’s origin the squid’s also visible as a design on Jon Osterman’s necktie a split-second before he gets Manhattanized.
Casting Dr. Loveless as Rorschach’s prison enemy was brilliant.
The psychiatrist looked so jaw-droppingly like a Dave Gibbons drawing, right down to the slickness of his face and the lighting on him, that it was almost distracting.
There were two moments of Fan Service that set my teeth on edge because neither now belong in the story: Bubastis and the “Outer Limits” reference. Man, I hate Fan Service. But I’m nitpicking because, overall, I liked the film a lot. I think it does the original source material as much justice as any adaptation could.
And like most everyone else in comics, I couldn’t think of a nicer, more deserving man to be receiving all this attention and royalty money than Dave Gibbons.
Attended a talk last night with Ross Richie and Chip Mosher at L.A.’s Skirball Center to hear the legendary Jerry Robinson speak about his career. It was great to hear the creator of the Joker talk about Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Siegel and Shuster, and a host of other comics legends. Kudos to interviewer Mark Evanier for keeping things moving. Robinson’s almost twice my age and is still more articulate than I am. Bah.
MegaCon in Orlando was awesome and stunningly well-attended. Organizer Beth Widera and her crew always put together a fine show, and this year was no exception. Highlight: meeting Phil Morris, the actor who plays J’Onn J’Onzz on SMALLVILLE and voices a variety of DC’s animated characters, including Vandal Savage and Jonah Hex. I say “highlight” because it turns out he knew who I was because he’s a huge comics fan with a collection that dwarfs mine.
Wrote a scene yesterday for an upcoming issue of IRREDEEMABLE that–after a long, dry week of having no ideas–really made me happy. I can’t say anything about it without spoiling stuff, but I can say that it’s probably the darkest and most disturbing five pages I’ve ever written, and that includes all the stuff that Golgoth did in EMPIRE. Part of my goal for IRREDEEMABLE is to simultaneously entertain you and make you feel the need to take a hot, cleansing shower. Judging by the reactions of the friends who’ve read the work in progress, so far, so good. I’m really excited about this one. Artist Krause totally gets it and improves upon it, future Eisner-Award-winning colorist Andrew Dalhouse takes it a step further, and now Gene Ha’s just turned in three cover sketches and we can’t decide which one to use because they’re all lovely. Once we choose one, I’ll see if I can’t get Gene’s permission to run all three so I can talk about the selection process.
Off to join the BOOM! crew at the 11:30 screening of some comic book movie.
When I was working at a company called Crossgen back in 2001, I was stuck writing a book called Sigil. I didn’t start it; it was inherited. It was about a two-fisted, ex-military, blue-collar guy named Sam who traveled the galaxy and fought aliens. I forget why. I do remember it wasn’t a very compelling or convincing reason. I specifically remember that the alien empire he was up against had conquered interstellar travel but still had not invented the wheel, which is probably the single stupidest science-fiction conceit I’ve ever heard.
There was nothing about this setup that was particularly easy for me to wrap my head around. Sam was the kind of guy I couldn’t in real life relate to on any level, and he was fighting an eons-old humanoid empire that had somehow never seen a rock roll downhill. So finding my “in” was extra-challenging–but that’s the job. If you’re going to write a character convincingly, you have to find something in him, however small, that resonates with you.