Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Making of Watchmen, Part Two

Comic Buyers Guide (CBG) in their issue #1652, just did a wonderful job of spotlighting Watchmen, the original series and the upcoming movie, by Warner Bros. As part of their treatment, Andrew Smith (contributing editor) does a very informative Q & A about Watchmen the making of the original comic series (yes, it was a 12 issue comic before it became a graphic novel phenomena).

For the benefit of those of you who may not have access to the periodical, I'll share some of the more interesting information in the form of multiple choice questions/ which I'll then answer...leading up to the movie's release.


Why has the Watchmen creator/writer and industry icon, Alan Moore, requested his name not be included in the movies credits, nor is he doing anything to promote it?

A. Because he wanted to also write the screenplay

B. Because of ownership rights disputes with DC-Time/Warner

C. Because he insisted that Guy Richie be the director

D. Because he basically refuses to have anything to do with Hollywood.


B. Moore has a long and well documented history of disputes with both Marvel and DC, over his properties, ownership rights, censorship and licensing of his stories to Hollywood...and Watchmen is no exception. In fact, Moore has gone as far as to say in interviews that Watchmen was stolen from him!
The original contact he and artist Dave Gibbons had signed with DC stated, that the rights to the story would revert to them when the graphic novel went out of print (the series was published in 1986, with the original collected trade paperback edition coming in 1987). The problem lies with the fact, that Watchemen has NEVER went out of print...and at this point it would appear they will never allow it to go out of print (since it's won a Hugo Award and named as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century by Time Magazine). According to a New York Times article cited by the CBG article, Moore stated, "You have managed to successfully swindle me, so I will never work for you again."
This situation has resulted in Moore standing in the way of several product licensing deals DC has tried to develop on ancillary products and Moore basically declaring he wants his name taken off any and all books we worked on which he does not own.
This situation is basically why you will also not find Moore's name in the credits for some of his other stories turned into movies (V for Vendetta and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).

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