If Watchmen were one of the Beatles, which one would it be?

Kevin Church to super-hero fans: When I slap you, you’ll take it and like it.

Right-thinking types should agree with most of what he says, but what really struck my eye was this description of Watchmen:

“Superhero comics have their very own Finnegans Wake and The Crying of Lot 49 rolled into one, beautiful piece of work”

Finnegans Wake? Uh, yeah, except that Watchmen is actually, you know, readable. If we’re going to compare Watchmen to literature, surely the comparison should be that other Joyce book, Ulysses.

But this is a moot point, since everyone knows that Watchmen is the Citizen Kane of comics. Come on, Church, didn’t you get the memo? Comics nerds aren’t going to get your highfaultin book-learning, but we sure like them moving pictures.

Now, if Watchmen is the Citizen Kane of comics, then Citizen Kane must be the Watchmen of cinema. Which explains why there were all those grim and gritty copycat films in the 40s and 50s about media magnates and sleds called “Rosebud”…

…hmmm. Maybe Watchmen is just the Watchmen of comics.

BTW, it would definitely be Ringo.


4 Responses to “If Watchmen were one of the Beatles, which one would it be?”

  1. Dick Hyacinth Says:

    Watchmen would be Ray Davies to DKR’s Dave Davies, or perhaps Ian Hunter to American Flag’s Marc Bolan. Or maybe Helios Creed to Crisis on Infite Earths’ Bruce Dickinson.

    Someone might school my ass here, but didn’t Citizen Kane inspire the directors who later made noir films? If so, then its legacy is more like what Alan Moore wanted Watchmen’s legacy to be: form and technique rather than plot and nine panel grid. Orson Wells hated the nine panel grid.

  2. isaac Says:

    Pulp Fiction is the Watchmen of comics, right down to reinventing old genres and inspiring dozens of blatently derivitive copies.

  3. Jones, one of the Jones boys Says:

    Dick, that was the (implicit) point in my gag about media magnates and sleds–that’s what Kane’s influence would have been, had things gone as they did with Watchmen. But I’m not enough of a cineaste to know the specifics of Kane’s actual legacy (sound design? camera angles? montage?). If I had to, I’d guess its greatest contribution to cinema might have been its wild, quintessentially American ambition, which inspired folks like Coppola, Scorsese, et al.

    Isaac: yeah, that comparison has occurred to me, too. Three salient points of difference: (1) Watchmen is more than just surface. (2) Moore hasn’t descended into self-parody with every project afterwards. (3) Tarantino didn’t decide to become an elvish sorcerer on his 40th birthday (shame, though).

    (Which is not to say they’re not similar. Everything is similar to everything else in indefinitely many ways. That’s why we can play this game all night long!)

  4. Isaac Says:

    Well, Moore’s not Tarantino, that would be, I dunno, Frank Miller? But yeah, it’s a pointless game, albeit one I like to play.

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