Sunday, September 25, 2011

Watchmen - The sequel is in the book?

Watchmen is the absolute definition of a graphic novel that crosses over into the mainstream. It is one of Time magazine's 100 best novels of the 20th century. Over on a podcast called Major Spoilers Dr Peter Coogan, who teaches Watchmen as part of a literature course, has been discussing an interesting theory. He addresses the question of whether a sequel to the book could ever work and postulates that Watchmen is, in fact, its own sequel.

The start of the theory is the text pieces that were included at the back of each issue. The first one is an extract from the autobiography of a retired super-hero from within the Watchmen universe. The extract is presented with image of a paper-clipped note that reads "We present here excerpts from Hollis Mason's autobiography ..."

The theory about the sequel arises when you try to answer the question of who is that "We". Dr Coogan goes on to discuss who within the world of Watchmen might have access to all of the back matter and might have gone on to publish their version of the events that led up to the squid-pocalypse that provides the dramatic conclusion to the book.

I won't go in to any further details, if you want to know the rest you can find it over at Major Spoilers. But it just goes to prove that every aspect of the complex multiple layers of Watchmen can be examined and new facets brought to light. One of my birthday presents was a book of critical essays about the book called Minutes to Midnight. I'm looking forward to exploring more new aspects of one of my favourite comics.

No comments:

Post a Comment