Who Uses the Watchmen?

Is anyone else sick of these Watchmen question headlines? Well I came up with one more, so you can burn me in effigy.

watchmenstorefront1Here’s a shot of the Silver Snail’s elaborate window display promoting the arrival of the Watchmen movie. Toronto’s Silver Snail has always been very pro-Watchmen. When he was in Toronto last November for a book signing, Dave Gibbons talked briefly at the after party about how the store was one of the first major supporters of the project back in 1986, when Mark Askwith used to manage the store. Current manager George Zotti, as well as the Beguiling’s manager Chris Butcher, were recently interviewed about the comic for the National Post’s Neophyte’s Guide to Watchmen.

I saw the film last Friday night and while I thought the film had some problems with some pretty off-putting, overly-cartoony/gory violence that wasn’t in the original graphic novel, it was still very faithful to the source material and I would go so far as to recommend reading the graphic novel before seeing the film.

As Watchmania continues to sweep the Entertainment newsworld, comics-folk would be wise to use the publicity and (hopefully) increased interest in comics and graphic novels to actually promote the positive aspects of comics and our community (communities?).

The promise of Watchmen and Dark Knight in 1986 was that “comics had grown up”. While that statement might have been a bit premature, as mature reader labels didn’t necessarily equate to mature narratives, I think that 23 years later we can safely say that there are comics for everyone out there. Now would be a great time for Canadian comics retailers to refer incoming fans of the movie towards the other graphic novels on the shelves… and why not ones by Canadians? Push some of the home team!

As far as great comics by Canadian creators, there are many to choose from – the obvious choices being the canon of creators like Darwyn Cooke (DC The New Frontier, The Spirit), Dave Sim (Cerebus – especially the first half dozen collections), Seth (various works, however I’m quite fond of Wimbledon Green), Chester Brown (Louis Riel and others), Bryan Lee O’Malley (the Scott Pilgrim series), Mariko Tamaki (with Jillian Tamaki – Skim, with Steve Rolston – Emiko Superstar), Stuart Immonen (Superman: Secret Identity), Cecil Castellucci (Plain Janes, Janes in Love), Kaare Andrews (Spider-Man: Reign), Cary Nord (Conan), Steve McNiven (Civil War, Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day, Wolverine: Old Man Logan), John Byrne (various, especially Man of Steel, Fantastic Four Visionaries, X-Men, Alpha Flight),  Pia Guerra (Y The Last Man), Faith Erin Hicks (Zombies Calling, War at Ellsmere), Scott Chantler (Northwest Passage), Svetlana Chmakova (Dramacon series) and Dale Eaglesham (Justice Society of America) – just to name 17!


The alley beside the Snail was also used as part of the display.
The alley beside the Snail was also used as part of the display.

For more pictures of the elaborate Silver Snail Watchmen displays: check this site out.