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Remembering Watchmen

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By Heidi Haynes

Around the Sideshow office, Watchmen is causing an incredible stir. For a while there, it was rare that you wouldn’t find some Sideshow staffer around the lounge or kitchen table at lunch with that unmistakable bright yellow cover open, reading intently—some for the second or third time. This is an actual conversation on Watchmen I overheard today at the office between my cubicle neighbors (and for the record, I heard it begin and made them stop and repeat themselves):

Dennis: Before Watchmen, and you could also say before Dark Knight Returns, comics were always considered to be kids books. Moms would have no trouble picking up comics for their kids in the grocery store, but after Watchmen came out, it kind of made all the other comic books grow up and by doing that they kind of made it to where that group, the readers in the early 80’s, all of a sudden comics began catering to that audience and not to new readers. 

Rorschach from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' ground breaking comic book  mini-series Watchmen. Courtesy of DC Comics

Alexandra: Yeah, I’d say Watchmen is the springboard or the catalyst to where comic books are today.

Dennis: Today, they have a really hard time capturing new, younger readers. Other things have contributed too, like video games and stuff, but Watchmen is kind of when it all started.

Alexandra: I think it changed superheroes, essentially. It changed the mentality of super heroes the way they’re seen now, their actions. I think it changed the direction of superheroes within the comic-verse, and also caused us (the readers) to see/wonder about the other ‘faces’ of our beloved men and women in costume.  Watchmen gave us flawed, tarnished…more human heroes, and essentially that new take on superheroes molded them into very different characters then we were used to at the time.

Huh?! As a newcomer to the whole world of comics, I’m totally out of touch. I mean, I literally read my first comic book about two weeks ago, NYX X-23: Innocence Lost, and admittedly, that was because of the X-23 Comiquette we were releasing. But once I opened the cover just to see what was up, it hooked me, and I was pulled to finish it and left wanting there to be more.  After that experience, naturally, I’m a little intrigued by the whole Watchmen hullabaloo and now feel as though I should play catch-up and read the book before seeing the movie. We all know that books are better than their movie counterparts. Looks like I’ll have to “borrow” that copy from my husband’s bedside table…

Heidi Haynes works for Sideshow Collectibles.

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About the Author
Joseph Szadkowski

Joseph Szadkowski

A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology. 

 

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