We’re all bursting with excitement, in anticipation of the WATCHMEN movie. I was thrilled to read Ann Kim’s editors’ pick in the September 1st issue of LIBRARY JOURNAL! She highlighted a few titles from our client publisher, Titan Books. Major reserve alert!
Watching the Watchmen (978-1-84856-041-3)
Watchmen: The Official Film Companion (978-1-84856-067-3)
Watchmen: The Art of the Film (978-1-84856-068-0)
Watchmen: The Film Portraits (978-1-84856-069-7)
A Library Journal 3/6/09 Roundup –
Aperlo, Peter. Watchmen: The Art of the Film. Titan. 2009. 254p. illus. ISBN 978-1-8485-6068-0. $40. FILM
Broken into lucky seven parts, Aperlo’s book offers a quick introduction before moving on to the good stuff: concept art, sets, props, Owlship design, costumes, and posters. Each section is an amalgam of Gibbons’s original drawings juxtaposed against studio concept art, storyboards, set pix, models, screen grabs, you name it. Watchmen in print has a very distinct look, and the studio boys nailed it! The film features smokin’ hot props and costumes, and there are sweet, detailed pix of everything. Superb.
Aperlo, Peter. Watchmen: The Film Companion. Titan. 2009. 176p. ISBN 978-1-8485-6067-3. pap. $19.95. FILM
As if Art of wasn’t orgasm-inducing enough, Aperlo offers this companion volume of dossiers on the major characters, plus extra info on costumes, stunts, etc., all on pages dripping with even more yummy pix. In a less design-oriented layout than what’s featured in Art of, director Zack Snyder, who previously scored a huge hit with the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300, reveals his approach to bringing the Moore/Gibbons masterpiece loyally to the screen. Several of the actors also discuss filling their characters’ shoes. It’s a coin toss, but if you can’t afford this and Art of, opt for this one (and be prepared to replace it a few times because it’ll either be swiped or the die-hard fanboys will be drooling all over it).
Enos, Clay. Watchmen: Portraits. Titan. 2009. 240p. photogs. ISBN 978-1-8485-6069-7. $50. FILM
There are movie books, and there are movie books, but this one truly rocks the casbah! Portrait photographer Enos was hired as the film’s official photographer and took extensive advantage of his proximity to the cast and crew by photographing each of them individually. All characters great and small, plus some of the production hands, went before the lens. The result is a stunning gallery of toned monochrome portraits that are absolutely killer! Trust me, there are countless Star Wars/Indy fans out there who’d die for books like this. Not only are the pix top-shelf, but the book is roughly 10.5″ x 14,” so they’re big (and juicy, baby!). Beside the cast and crew, there also are select shots of top props like Rorschach’s neato grappling gun and the Comedian’s pistols and bloody smiley pin (woohoo—thanks, Clay!). Though drop-dead gorgeous, there’s no info here besides the pix, but buy it if your budget allows.
Behind the Scenes
Watchmen and Philosophy: A Rorschach Test. Wiley. 2009. 227p. ed. by Mark D. White. index. ISBN 978-0-470-39685-8. pap. $17.95. PHIL
Though comics generally are viewed as lightweight, Watchmen sports some pretty heavy moral and philosophical themes that become more apparent through multiple readings. This volume, part of the “Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture” series, tackles the issues that Moore/Gibbons present in plot and characters. Watchmen is far more than a case of the good guys being good and the baddies bad. Here the lines blur, and some of the good guys are bad—don’t ask the Comedian what he was doing in Dallas when JFK was shot—and others are downright whackos (Rorschach). Those characters’ behavior, along with the godlike Dr. Manhattan’s emotional indifference and Oxymandias’s megalomania, are dissected in essays presented in a very hip style. Along with the weighty issues, fun stuff like the significance of the aging Nite Owl’s expanding gut also gets some talk. There’s great chatroom/term paper fodder here for those who are waayyy too into it (give it a few years and this will be a college course). For public and academic collections.
Gibbons, Dave & others. Watching the Watchmen. Titan. 2008. 272p. illus. ISBN 978-1-8485-6041-3. $39.95. FINE ART
Related to the graphic novel only, artist Gibbons provides a thorough behind-the-scenes account of Watchmen’s genesis, generously including a ton of concept art ranging from rough pencil sketches to full color panels showing the characters’ evolutions. There also are notes between him and writer Moore allowing an inside look at how the series developed. An LJ Editors’ Pick for 2008, Watching the Watchmen is another fan’s dream come true. How many books on Degas do you need? Buy this instead.