It is often said thatWatchmenis the most influential comic ever to be released. That comics wouldn’t be where they are without it, for good and for ill. But how did we get here, exactly? More to the point, just what influence did Watchmen provide to the larger world of comics? What, ultimately, is the legacy of Watchmen? Who watched the Watchmen?
“Poo-tee-weet?” one bird says to Billy Pilgrim. There is a fire. A man is in a box. A man is a giant. A man’s hand is smashing a window. Billy Pilgrim is in a box. A man is in a slaughterhouse. There is a war. The man is torn apart. A man discovers a conspiracy. A man is shot. A man is shaking hands with a friend. A man refuses to save the President. A man is screaming. A man is rebuilding himself. Jon Osterman is in a box. A woman is shot. A man kills the woman he loves. A man does nothing. Mars smiles. A box is glowing. A box is burning. A man swears revenge upon a stranger. A man shoots Billy Pilgrim. Jon Osterman does nothing. A bomb is dropping.
一切都变得可怕起来。太阳烧电。外星人在绑架比利·皮尔格林。乔恩·奥斯特曼被烧得四分五裂。比利·皮尔格林走出灌木丛。乔恩·奥斯特曼在读报纸。比利·皮尔格林上广播节目。乔恩·奥斯特曼上了脱口秀。比利·皮尔格林死了。乔恩·奥斯特曼树叶。 A man is told that the world will end for reasons that could be prevented, but won’t. It has already happened. It is already done. A man claims nothing ever ends.
Yon Yonson来自威斯康星州。比利·皮尔格林支持轰炸越南。乔恩·奥斯特曼烧掉了越南。战争胜利了。战争失败了。一个女人被枪杀了。一个女人被绑架了。Yon Yonson在一家木材厂工作。比利·皮尔格林不爱他的妻子。乔恩·奥斯特曼不爱他的女朋友了。 Jon Osterman cheats on his girlfriend. Billy Pilgrim cheats on his wife. People ask him what his name is. The sun shines on the just and unjust alike.
A man watches a fictional blue woman fuck his best friend. He reacts in horror. A man becomes a magus. A man is abducted by aliens. A man has the universe explained to him by aliens. A man shudders in horror. A man becomes a prophet. A man is ripped asunder. A man returns, understanding the fundamental nature of the universe. All horror is excised. A man becomes a god. A being shaped like a man realizes they are not a man. A being shaped like a man uses the wrong word. A being shaped like a man learns of a word that fits them better than others. An enby is abducted by aliens. An enby has the universe explained to them by aliens. An enby shudders in horror. An enby continues their magic. A man becomes a magus. An enby stumbles into war. An enby is introduced to magic as a child. A man decides to become a magus at the age of 40. There is a war.
A child sees two towers fall. A child fails to read a book. A child reads a book. A child sees a rabbit dead on the street while reading a book. A child rejects first person when applicable. A child writes a book. A child writes an article. A child hurts a man. A child runs away. A child is alone. A child considers cleverness. A child decides they are not a child. A writer puts himself into this article. A writer stops at page 112 to write this article.
A passage reads:
…each clump of symbols is a brief, urgent message—describing a situation, a scene. We Tralfamaorians read them all at once, not one after the other. There isn’t any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.
A comic uses a nine panel grid. A man is ripped asunder by the grid. A man murders his friends. A man travels through time. A man remains in one singular moment. A man sees himself for what he truly is. A man sees a better version of himself. A man hurts a man he loves. A man considers existence. A man sees the potential of nuclear Armageddon. A woman is hurt. A woman is pushed out of her own story. A woman ascends.
魔术师形成一个邪教。魔术师表达一种思想。魔术师唱歌。鸟群歌唱。The flock sings:
Always is always forever.
Inside yourself is your father.
All is none all is none all is one.
It’s time we put our love behind you
Now is when on a sunshine beam.
So bring all the young perfection,
For there us shall surely be.
No clothing, tears or hunger.
You can see you can see you can be.
羊群杀人。人们说六十年代的人在那天去世了。在人民公园里，有五十个人被雄鹿和飞鸟击中。詹姆斯校长死亡。A fascist justifies his actions:
So it goes.
A man is trapped. A man sees the whole of existence. A man discovers a conspiracy. A man betrays his friend. A man kills the woman he loves. A president is assassinated. A man is imprisoned. A man is abducted by aliens. A man sits at his father’s grave. A man has the universe explained to him. A black hole is made. Time moves backwards. An algorithm is written. A child kills his father. A man kills himself. A man sees his death in the future.
一个人决定写一本书。一个女人对一本书提出异议。一个人决定把书扔了。一个男人回到屠宰场。一个男人坐在拥挤的火车上。一个男人打错了电话。一个人写了一本书。一个男人加了一个副标题。女人很高兴。弗兰克·辛纳屈没有出现在电影里。 A baby goes to war.
一个人把一本书改编成漫画。这部漫画相当不错。这部漫画少了点什么。一个法师教一个班。法师谈论适应性。A magus remarks:
Sometimes, adaptations work fine. But not very often. I really don’t see the logic of taking something which is perfectly realized as… a… comic book, as a novel, even as a film, and then realizing it in another medium. The only advantage to that is surely a financial one. This is nothing to do with the aesthetics, it’s nothing to do with art anymore. It’s trying to see if you can squeeze a last few drops of money out of this idea by realizing it as a computer game. No. Different media are not interchangeable.
Superman shares a panel with Dr. Manhattan’s cock. This comic does not contain Dr. Manhattan’s penis. Yon Yonson does not have a penis. Billy Pilgrim has a penis. A man is having sex in space. A man is having sex with a woman and two other versions of himself while working on an experiment. A man writes a prequel. A man makes a cock of himself in interviews.
一个男人上了战场。有人说这是一场正义的战争。一个人写道，不是的。一个人可以为自己辩护。一个人不能为自己辩护。一个人写了一部喜剧。达摩克利斯之剑刺人。一个人写了一部喜剧。侦探揭露了一个阴谋。一个女孩相信宇宙的正义。 A girl teaches a man the just nature of the universe. A man kills people. A girl teaches a man the just nature of the universe. A man fails to kill a fascist. A fascist goes to Vietnam to kill people. A fascist is proud of what he’s done. A detective sees ghosts. A detective is unstuck in time. A detective is hollow. A detective kills a fascist.
A writer has murky audio. A writer makes a shitpost about a podcast. A shitpost is taken seriously. A writer contacts people for a podcast. A writer is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. A writer collapses in on himself. A podcast collapses. A writer tries to fix the ruins with a gag. A writer sends a pitch. An editor responds positively. An editor condenses the pitch. A writer contacts people for an article series. A writer is tired.
A cat wanders the halls of an ice castle. A girl wanders the halls of her childhood home. A cat wanders in the kitchen. A girl is at the gym. A cat watches TV. A girl goes to an audition. A cat wanders into a lab. A girl gets drunk. A cat sees a naked man. A girl is on Mars. A cat is burned alive. A girl sees herself and despairs. A man finds hope. The sun shines on the just and unjust alike.
一个男孩被外星人绑架了。一个女孩被外星人绑架了。一个男孩回到了地球。一个女孩留在了外星人身边。一个男孩上了战场。一个女孩演电影。一个男孩成为了验光师。一个女孩成了色情明星。一个男孩在他的办公室里有一块牌子。一个女孩在两乳间戴着一条项链。 A boy is shot in the face. A girl remains in space.
A writer reads a book. A writer comes to a revelation. A writer sees no one else has made the connection. A writer talks about the connection with other writers. A video essayist remarks the surprising obviousness of the connection. A writer writes an article. A writer considers images. A writer goes to the library. A writer returns a book. A writer finishes a book. A writer expresses an idea.
Jon Osterman has come unstuck in time.