Moore & Gibbons, Watchmen
I'm still learning about graphic novels, but gosh I did enjoy Watchmen! It reminded me how much I loved raiding my elementary school friend Matt's shelves, which were just stuffed with comics. Matt's family wasn't well off, but he had his priorities straight: comics, with just about every nickel of allowance, and specifically requested for every birthday and Christmas. It's been a long time since I read about superheroes, though ever since I delighted in the Mystery Men movie I've been meaning to get back to them.
(Uh oh, I'm going to lose my green and sensitive rep....)
Watchmen is the only graphic novel on Time's "Best 100 Novels" list, so obviously it's on the "10 Best Graphic Novels" list. Not that Time is somewhere I look for advice, not on books, at least -- actually, not on anything at all -- but these are pretty good lists. Too American, but that's to be expected, but it does say something about this book's canonical status.
The book alternates chapters between comics and sections of text, like newspaper articles, psych reports, that sort of thing. On one hand the text lends legitimacy to the graphics, but it's not that simple. This is a layered, textured story, and the graphics have great atmosphere. It'd be well worth the read just in comic form, but the current form draws on every element of the reading experience.
Oddly, though, I can't really figure out how to talk about it. Plot summary always seems so obvious, but there's no prose style as such, and I don't have the language for graphics. Guess I get to read Scott McCloud's fascinating Understanding Comics after all, which I browsed through AGAIN at the bookstore today....
Even though I keep hearing that Watchmen is one of the best, I'm totally jumping into more of these!