While the fires started by DC Comics making the news about prequels to The Watchmen still rage all over the internet, the website that first tossed the match into the gasoline still churns out the news. Bleeding Cool‘s Rich Johnston was the comic worlds Billy Joel, since he started this fire… and… um… the crap, why did I just write that? Fridays. Let’s move on.
So, Johnston caught up with one of the heavy hitters that was rumored part of this controversial plan. Movie maker and comic geek Kevin Smith. You didn’t see his name linked to any of the prequel books since he gave DC a big fat ‘NO’ when asked.
“Talked to Jim [Lee] and Dan [DiDio] about it two years ago. Only passed because I’m not Alan Moore, sadly. If I was Alan Moore, I’d be all over it. As Kevin Smith, I’d likely just make Bubastis “big pussy” jokes and have Rorschach wet himself. Hurm.”
As you can see, Smith is towing the fanboy line on this one (and poking a little fun at his own controversial writing choices). You really have to give him credit too, DC would have backed a truck load of money on to his doorstep to be part of the dream team of writers and artists that are on the projects. Having his name blazoned on the cover might have helped add some creditably in nerd culture but he turned it down.
As the comic world polarizes over this issue, we know where Smith stands.
Oh, you maybe right, he maybe crazy….
Source: Bleeding Cool
Wow, the internet is not going to be happy today. They did it, those damn maniacs did it. They blew it… I mean they officially announced the Watchmen prequels. They being DC Comics and Watchmen prequels being a soul shattering money grab. Officially called Before Watchmen, seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original and have a back-up story called Curse of the Crimson Corsair, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, Before Watchmen: Epilogue, featuring the work of various writers and artists.
“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”
It’s also going to polarize the comic book community into those that think its a bad idea and those that think its a terrible idea. Wait, maybe I am being to harsh… Maybe this will lead to some great story telling by some fantastic creative teams that expands on the already classic book. DC Comics is betting one pretty damn big maybe here because the nerdrage is already flaming up various parts of the internet.
Seven comics that will follow the same pattern as Seven Soldiers did with new issue out every week of its run. Here’s the rundown:
Rorschach by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo
Comedian by Azzarello and artist J.G. Jones
Minutemen by writer/artist Darwyn Cooke
Silk Spectre by Cooke and artist Amanda Conner
Nite Owl by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artists Joe and Andy Kubert
Dr. Manhattan by Straczynski and artist J.G. Jones
Ozymandias by writer and original Watchmen editor Len Wein with art by Jae Lee
You have to admit, that is a rather impressive line-up DC has set up to pull this off. Clearly they know they are in an uphill battle so they brought out some big guns and I do wish nothing but good luck for them, they are going to need it.
The artist from the original classic Dave Gibbons gave a rather diplomatic response, “The original series of ‘Watchmen’ is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire.”
Alan Moore is yet to comment on this announcement, but he has previously said that it is “completely shameless” and “I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago”, (oooh BURN!) that the series is a reminder of “draconian contracts” he signed with DC and that “I don’t want money. What I want is for this not to happen… As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’” Ouch, caps with a literary classic burn, Well done Mr. Moore.
You can hit the jump to see the released images for Before Watchmen and sound off/vent/rage in the comments.
Over the holiday break the rumors of a possible prequel to The Watchmen flared up again. The ever reliable Bleeding Cool had posted some artwork from a project code named Panic Room. A Night Owl image by Joe Kubert and Andy Kubert, the Comedian by JG Jones and that Amanda Conner was working on Silk Spectre. Those pictures didn’t last long, DC had the rabid lawyers on the attack and Christmas was saved!
It has come to our attention that you have impermissibly and without authorization posted assets containing unpublished intellectual property owned by DC Entertainment. We do not need to belabor the unlawful nature of this action (which could not have taken place without the breach of a confidentiality obligation), and demand that those assets be immediately taken down and no further postings of this nature transpire. This demand is made without limitation of DC Entertainment’s rights or remedies, all of which are expressly reserved.
Now, it’s safe to say we are probably days away from the official announcement (personally I am surprised it hasn’t happened already.) A quick survey of the internet will show that vast majority of comic nerds are against this idea for various reasons, but how could this be stopped? Should it be stopped? Comic blogger Alan David Doane has an answer. Yes it must not happen, and that will be achieved by the ever effective online petition!
Writer Alan Moore co-created Watchmen and signed a contract with DC Comics that under normal industry practices of the time would have seen control of the work revert to Moore and artist Dave Gibbons after the work had gone out of print for a period of time, as was the case with every DC graphic novel created under a similar contract up until Watchmen. Because of the unprecedented quality and success of Watchmen, DC has never allowed the work to go out of print, and therefore has retained legal control of Watchmen for decades longer than anyone at the time could have imagined they would have. We recognize that DC has the legal right to act as they have, but believe that their ongoing stewardship of Watchmen has been ethically dubious at best, and morally reprehensible at worst.
The preamble continues on touting this as a fight for the rights of the creators, including artist Dave Gibbons. An interesting tactic to say the least. At the time of this writing, the list of signatures and just topped over 100, rather low numbers really if it is to get the attention of DC Comics and halt production on something that has probably been in motion for awhile and would also make them a lot of money. What do you think? Should the characters of The Watchmen never be revisited? Who should decided, the creator or the publisher? The reader maybe?
If you want to sign the petition, you can find it here, DC Comics: End plans for sequels to Watchmen.
If you have twitter, you might have noticed that Watchmen 2 was trending globally today. Yes, they are talking about it again. No matter how hard I wish they weren’t, they are. The ‘they’ here is Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool and the spark that started this blaze is his unconfirmed unofficial, unsubstantiated, and, unwanted information that Andy Kubert is drawing one of four Watchmen prequel miniseries. He calls his source reliable and to be honest when you read something on Bleeding Cool, it’s usually bang on. This adds to the list of other alleged people involved, including Darwyn Cooke, J. Michael Straczynski, John Higgins, JG Jones and yes, even Dave Gibbons.
Ok, get out the giant ass grain of salt for a second, since Johnston had reported Watchmen news before and as far as I can tell, he is still the only one with this inside line. DC has made no comments on this, and really, would you? The nerd rage this causes is mountainous and dangerous.
That being said, with DC’s reinventing itself and doing anything and everything to bring in new readers, I will not be surprised if they are planning this. Maybe it becoming a trending topic will force their hand on saying if there is any truth to this?
Oh, and about the twitter deal. Comic Alliance’s “totally true Watchmen 2 facts” is a great crash course some of the funnier ones (heh. Rorschach 2) and one chilling discovery. Rob Liefeld almost makes sense.
Could Watchmen 2 maybe work? If it’s done well with high caliber talent and respect for the original? Have I just incited more nerd rage and fueled the geek fires of anger?
Before you run me out of town with pitchforks and torches, I still think a prequel/sequel to the Watchmen is a bad idea.
So, the rumors of a Watchmen prequel/sequel are back. It is officially the comic rumor equivalent of herpes.
Back in 2010 is when word of a possible expansion on the Watchmen story and that DC/Warner Bros. was salivating over the thought of squeezing some more cash out of what is often touted as the industries greatest work. Well, it wasn’t so much a rumor as a bitter truth, Alan Moore came out and said he had been approached, even offered the rights of his DC work back if he did it. He didn’t. Good crazy Englishman, good.