Monday, October 17, 2005


TIME Magazine's "All-Time 100 Novels"

I note with interest that Time Magazine's list of the "All-Time 100 Novels" included not only a fair number of genre titles (science fiction, fantasy, mystery, even some YA stuff), but also Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen, without apology. Interesting, too, to see that it ranked top in the "Reader's Choice" list. I just last week picked up the "Absolute Watchmen" edition, which is essentially an oversized reprint of the Grafitti limited edition that I (foolishly!) passed up the chance to buy when it was published fifteen years ago. Having the full text of Moore's original series proposal, to say nothing of Gibbon's original character designs, was well worth the hefty price-tag on its own. Maybe when I finish with this damned alternate history novel I'll sit down and reread the thing (though I think I memorized the book sometime around the tenth time I read it, back in college), and then dive into supplemental material with the text fresh in mind, as it were.

That's really cool to know. Watchmen's been a huge influence on me, too. I remember reading the TPB in one sitting the summer before I went to college. Blew my frickin' mind. I luckily found the Grafitti edition at the San Diego Con a few years ago, but I'm glad DC did this edition.
Yeah, I found a copy of the Grafitti hard copy from a book dealer a couple of years back, who wanted $300 or thereabouts for it, and I was mightily tempted to pick it up. Now, I'm thoroughly pleased that I didn't!

I think, as far as pure enjoyment goes, that I rank Watchmen just behind Miracleman, somewhere just neck in neck with V for Vendetta, but in terms of technical merit and craftsmanship, it's really unrivaled (at least in comics; its only rivals are things in other media, like Peter Greenaway's films--The Draughtsman's Contract comes to mind).
300 bucks? Oh yeah, you were way better off with the new edition. Agreed about Watchmen being unrivalled in terms of craftsmanship. Not familiar with Greenaway's films though; is "The Draughtman's Contract" a good intro to his work?
I think that's as good a place to start as any. The first of his films I saw was The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, which I loved, but which I readily admit is not to everyone's tastes. I thought that A Zed & Two Noughts made for a better screenplay than a film, and there was a lot that I really adored about Prospero's Books. I've not seen a lot of his more recent work, but I remember Pillow Book being well received when it came out (Jesus, was it really almost ten years ago?!).

After all this pointless rambling, the short answer is that Draughtsman or The Cook... are probably the best places to start.
*smacks head* I do remember this guy, after all! I remember when "The Cook..." and "Prospero's Books" came out. Cool, thanks for the recs.
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