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Watchmen by Alan Moore

The graphic novel, Watchmen, by Alan Moore is currently being adapted into a big screen version in Hollywood. If you're a big comic book movie fan, you might want to read or re-read the graphic novel before the movie version comes out.

Watchmen takes place in 1985 in an alternate universe where "masked adventurers" a.k.a. superheroes once roamed the streets fighting crime. Then a 1977 federal law banned masked adventurers, and they disappeared from the streets. Most adventureres hung up their masks and assumed normal lives. Now people who used to wear the mask to fight crime are being mysteriously targeted for elimination. The central mystery concerns the person who is eliminating these former masked adventurers and the motive behind their elimination.

I don't normally read graphic novels or comic books though I have read about a handful, such as V for Vendetta (saw the movie too) and Maus I & II by Art Spiegelman. One of the complaints that I usually have when I read a comic book is the unnaturalness of some of the dialogue. I had the same issue with some of the character dialogue in Watchmen. The artwork is colorful and in many ways this is an unusual graphic novel in that the chapters alternate between comic panels and prose. The prose is often relevant to backstory of the events and characters in the comic panels and range from excerpts of one character's memoir to another character's nature journal article. However, I often found these prose sections long, boring and tedious and looked forward to returning to the comic panels.

Any comic book fan or graphic novel fan will love this one. And if you're interested in branching out in your reading genres, you might try this graphic novel or any of the others mentioned in this post. This title is available upon request from Lebanon Community Library.

--reviewed by Ms. Angie

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