So, it looks as if the legal bru-ha-ha between Fox and Warner Brothers is finally over, and the long awaitedÂ WatchmenÂ movie will make it to the big screen on time (March 6th) with Fox much the richer for it. But this is not the first time the Watchmen will have been brought to life in motion. Â In conjunction with the Movie, DC comics is releasing “Motion Comics” of the 12 issues ofÂ Watchmen, taking the original panel art and adding simple animation, a music score and a single narrator reading all of the parts.Â
AlthoughÂ I’m sure the author, Alan Moore, Â would disagree, the overall effect is quite good, and makes for a great way to enjoy the story on the go. The art is well preserved and the animation is smooth, although not nearly as complex as it might be if it had been fully animated. Still, it’s miles better the Clutch Cargo.
The single narration voice is notÂ completelyÂ to my liking, they could have at least splurged and gotten a female narrator for femaleÂ characters. SilkÂ SpecterÂ may smoke, but the narratorsÂ gravelyÂ voice is about as sexy as a lime greenÂ polyesterÂ pants suite.
What intrigues me most about the WatchmenÂ MotionÂ Comic, though, was how seemingly easy it was to take the static images of the comic page, which require a more active role for the reader to animate the action in their minds, and turn it into the more passive video format. Although this is far from the atrocity that colorizing old black and white movies was in the 1980’s, it does give me some pause for thought.
Moore commented in a recent interview with the LA Times that, “There are three or four companies now that exist for the sole purpose of creating not comics, but storyboards for films.” In fact, It looks as if they don’t even need to make the film, butÂ simplyÂ take the storyboards and animate them. But why is this a problem? It does take a dimension out of the hands of the reader, placing it back into the creator (or a creator’s) control, but is thatÂ necessarilyÂ a bad thing?
This is one of the important questions I’m hoping that my panel at SXSW will be addressing next month in Austin. If you have any thoughts or will be at the panel and have suggestions, leave a comment her or email me.