Imagination Connoisseur, Daniel Vacura, writes in with his thoughts on how Alan Moore’s work is best adapted for film and television. Spoiler alert: a producer telling Moore “Fuck you” didn’t make Dan’s list.
After listening to your thoughts on Watchmen and Damon Lindelof’s comments about the upcoming show, it made me think of what I would consider to be an essential question. Who is the audience for the show? Lindelof isn’t my favorite creator by any stretch of the imagination, but he comes across as disrespectful of Alan Moore.
It doesn’t seem like much thought has been put into who the show is supposed to appeal to at this point. Saying it’s a sequel to the comic isn’t helpful since that isn’t appealing to a general audience. Most people will assume it is a sequel to Zack Snyder’s film which came out 10 years ago.
One of my good friends refuses to read any of the Watchmen material that has been put out since the original series and has his issue 8 signed by Dave Gibbons. He won’t watch the show either since he has the comic on such a high pedestal, but liked the movie more than he expected where it still doesn’t hold a candle to the comic.
The marketing has not done a great job on selling the concept where it is relying on the name and certain imagery to entice people. Those names and imagery don’t matter to anyone who already doesn’t have an idea of what Watchmen is so I find it problematic.
I think a much better idea for an adaptation would have been Darwyn Cooke’s Minutemen or just Lindelof’s interpretation of the Minute Men. You aren’t attempting to do Watchmen and can tell interesting stories that are set in the universe.
Cooke’s Before Watchmen comics are the only ones that I would consider to be very good and Darwyn never considered Watchmen the be-all end-all of comics. He also only did it since DC gave into his demands which included getting Amanda Conner as an artist on one of them where she was one of his best friends. He never thought would happen. I think that actually helped where he focused on trying to tell great stories and collaborating well with others when given the opportunity.
The only adaptation of Alan Moore’s work that he ever approved of was For The Man Who Has Everything which was a great Superman story. As Bruce Timm said before the episode aired for Justice League Unlimited, “I wasn’t going to do the show if he wasn’t comfortable with us doing it. And he said, ‘Oh yes, I would be honored if you would adapt that for your show.’
“So that was great. And hopefully, he’ll still feel that way once the show’s done. I think he’ll like it.”
Bruce Timm paid Alan Moore the proper respects where he would even refer to him as Mr. Moore in interviews. Timm later said that Moore asked for a copy of the episode before it aired which clearly showed interest. However, Alan Moore never contacted him afterwards and said whether he liked the episode or not where “we may never know.” Dave Gibbons “sent a nice email” and said he found it very enjoyable while also being a “successful adaptation.”
Damon Lindelof does not come off well to me with these comments especially compared to Bruce Timm. Clearly DC and WB as an entity can do whatever it wants with Watchmen. At this point with the reorganizing of the DC leadership and Geoff Johns’ position, Doomsday Clock will have no relevance on the current DC comics for the future so capitalizing on that is unnecessary too. I just don’t understand what is the point of the show and who is the audience supposed to be for the show. I will give it a shot, but do not have high expectations.
– Dan V.