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Series premiere — Watchmen: The Motion Comic

In series debut, summer 2009, television, tv on 06/08/2009 at 9:08 pm

Series name
Watchmen: The Motion Comic

Debuts
Tuesday, June 9 at 10 p.m. ET on Space (two back-to-back half-hour episodes)

Regularly airs
Tuesdays at from 10-11 p.m. ET on Space

Premise
Low-tech animation and voice are added in this nearly panel-by-panel adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ celebrated graphic novel Watchmen, the big-screen live-action adaptation of which was only recently released in cinemas.

Primary cast and crew
Dave Gibbons, co-creator and illustrator of the Watchmen original graphic novel, is credited as overseeing this production.

Buzz buzz
According to a Watchmaniac of my acquaintance, who also advised against seeing the film adaption, the “motion comic” adaptation (available on DVD and Blu-ray since March) would not be worth checking out.

But what do I know anyway? After having seen the first of the 12 half-hour episodes, I declare…
The graphic novel is chilling and spectacular, an odd retro story about a super hero killer and super heroes who’ve been legislated into powerlessness, some of them good, some bad. All vivid. The language is startling. The story is gripping. My Watchman friend described the film was “An empty attempt at a ‘faithful’ carbon copy. What works on page does not work on screen.” Does the small-screen “motion comic” fare any better? I haven’t seen the film so can’t compare. I can say this: If you haven’t read the graphic novel, do it. In case this tips the balance for you, I will repeat the oft-quoted statistic that Time magazine named Watchmen one of the top 100 novels of all time. If you will never read it, check out at least the first episode of Watchmen: The Motion Comic. It’s not great. The voices, as foretold, are featureless and cover too many characters to stand out. But you could do worse this summer than to experience the story and seeing Gibbons’ starkly beautiful illustrations (marred only slightly by the very low-tech animation). I’ve read the novel and I was hooked again, despite the voice and “motion”.

Official website
Basic broadcast info, but lovely interview with Gibbons. Listen to Part 1 here and it will automatically send you along to Parts 2 and 3 from the page. Gibbons says he was initially skeptical, until his two daughters flipped for the idea. He’s also eager to see if this motion comic can be a good match with iPhones and other mobile devices.

Can’t wait for the next new-series preview?
I’ll be back by the weekend for the return of True Blood.

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for my select list of summer premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

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