Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cartoon inspired by Watchmen, it turns out

"No, I can't make it next Friday. How about a week Tuesday?"

I recently re-read the graphic novel Watchmen, partly to remind me of the story ahead of the release of the forthcoming film adaptation (particularly in case it turns out to be rubbish!) but mostly just because it's a brilliant book.

Watchmen is the superhero comic for people who don’t like superhero comics. I have never been a fan of the genre myself but in 1988 I was urged by a friend to read Watchmen, so I did. And I’ve read it several times since.

A key part of Watchmen's appeal is its humour. And as I read it this time, it occurred to me that I may have subconsciously pinched a joke from it, namely the one in the cartoon above, which was published in a, ahem, men's magazine four years ago. In the graphic novel there is a character who carries an "End is Nigh" sign who always thinks Armageddon is due today, yet makes a point of ensuring that a news vendor puts aside the following day's issue of his favourite newspaper.

It's certainly a similar joke. Still, if you are going to steal, subconsciously or otherwise, they do say that you should steal from the best.

Watchmen image © DC Comics 1987

Royston's portfolio website


  1. I have tickets for the IMAX tomorrow night. There's no way the film can outdo the book, but I can't help being excited.

    Have you sold many cartoons to 'men's' magazines?

  2. Hi Rob, I sold a few several years ago, when I first went full-time. But the fees were not great. I don't bother now. Other than the likes of Playboy, I don't imagine these mags have much of a future. If there's a sector that's been badly hit by the internet, it's this one!

  3. True - in fact I think there's a cartoon along those lines in the new Private Eye!

  4. Hah, just put a Watchmen themed post on my blog too. I've read it many times and still find new things in there. Introduced it to my wife and brother via the motion comic since there was no way I could get them to read the graphic novel, and they both really enjoyed it.

    Good gag too!

  5. well, maybe i should read it...
    i have never had any interest whatsoever in the superhero genre, but your line about it being the 'superhero comic for people who don't like superhero comics' may have persuaded me. i'll look out for it in the library.

    interesting *nicked* gag story too -- heh

  6. Thanks, Tim.

    Can't say I care for the idea of a "motion comic" version! Still, if it gets people reading Watchmen, or rather looking at it ...

  7. Will, you have a better library than us if you can find Watchmen in it! I suppose you could always order it. It definitely has appeal to non superhero fans, in some ways it's a send-up of the whole genre.

  8. I tried to read it a couple of years back, Royston. Didn't get passed page um four or was it five? Might give it another go.

  9. Chichi, maybe you need the motion comic ;-) Or maybe it's a "bloke thing" ...



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