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Watchmen: The Film Companion by Peter Aperlo

01/05/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Watchmen: The Film Companion in the USA - or Buy Watchmen: The Film Companion in the UK

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pub: Titan Books. 174 page horizontal illustrated softcover. Price: £17.99 (UK), $19.95 (US), $22.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-84856-067-3.

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First off, I should say I'm reading the 'Watchmen: The Film Companion' without seeing the film. Health conditions means I'll have to wait for the DVD release. Even just browsing the photographs in this book looks like a real-life depiction of the art from the original twelve part mini-series or for those who were too young to get those, the graphic novel.

No wonder artist Dave Gibbons had a big grin on his face. Then again, I wonder if he thought he'd be autographing the Comedian's copy of the book. If that doesn't sound surreal then that's worth the price of admission alone.

'Watchmen' has always been regarded as being the comicbook being impossible to turn into a film, largely because all that have been given the Hollywood treatment have always been changed in some way. With 'Watchmen', you're already starting with near perfection. Wisely, it appears that director Zack Snyder doesn't appear to be fixing something that doesn't need fixing.

Reading Peter Aperlo's text, a few very minor things turn up that make me think that's not quite as I read it but I'll pass judgement on that when I see the film. Certainly, I'd never considered Adrian Veidt as being from German stock even in light of his 'master plan' at the end. Although his appearance of blonde haired blue-eyed would no doubt make him a ‹bermensc. Then again, I've never discriminated against appearances.

Something comicbook adaptations into movies have always had a problem with is texture combined with realism. I did wonder why where things such as Rorschach wasn't done with latex layers with ink between like the book but I suspect the contrasting brighter white might have been a problem with the grim reality he walked in. Whether Rorschach's platform shoes would have made him a little taller is a thought for another time or I'm getting too picky when seeing how short he is.

Certainly, if you look at the cover of the book, the contrast between comicbook and what was achieved in the film is still close. Considering they also went to the trouble of having real-life counter-parts to the original comicbook posters should illustrate the attention that was given to the source.

Any minor tweaks have been done to make things glide along based on what I've read here. The depth of portrayal makes me wonder how everything was squeezed in. I don't think anyone would be disappointed with owning this book. Well, maybe Bubastis might be, as there's only a brief photo of her. This Companion book is a must have already and the year is still young. 'Who watches the watchmen?' With this book in your hands, you would certainly want to.

GF Willmetts

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