Jan. 31, 2012 -- The Associated Press released a photo today of the cover to the WatchmenTPB with the following information:

 

"In this image released by DC Entertainment, the cover of "Watchmen," a graphic novel, is shown. DC Entertainment is launching seven miniseries this summer that will focus on the characters made famous by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in their 1986-987 12-issue maxi-series "Watchmen," which has gone on to become one of DC's best-selling graphic novels. (AP Photo/DC Entertainment)"

 

The Associated Press wire service has no stories attached to this photo as of 5:15 EST. I'll post more when I know more.

 

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Without getting into the merits of doing this at all, the decisions on which books merit 6 issues and which merit 4 just strikes me as odd.  It surely can't be based on perceived popularity of the characters -- I mean, surely DC expects a Rorschach mini to sell more copies than an Ozymandias mini.  Perhaps (we can hope) the length of the mini reflects the author's proposed story and his estimation of the page count he needs to tell it?

I have little sympathy for self-righteous cranks.

Yeah, I get that all the time.

I don't think anyone believes Moore will work with DC again.  These books won't change things one way or another.

I agree -- for one thing, that ship sailed long ago. For another, it's not like, considering what Moore writes, it matters one bit who publishes it. He'll never lack a publisher, and I can read and enjoy it from Top Shelf or whoever. Even if he were published at DC, how likely is it he'd ever write another issue of Green Lantern?

Granted all that is true but then again, he is one of the greatest writers in this field of the last thirty years and perhaps its best known, so why antagonize him? Why not let them come to some compromise so that he's part of this project?

I know, I know, I'm naive about these things but it's sad to see him left out of it, even with my misgivings about him.

Still, it would be a kick to see Moore dig through the DC toybox again. I mean, what if he DOES want to write Green Lantern story again?

 

You've read recent interviews with him, right?  He's done with comics, not just big company comics.

 

For me, given that Watchmen was about the medium of comics as much as anything, a new series of comics about these characters feels right whereas the film was just wrong.

They've reached out to him several times to get his blessing on this or that, Phillip, and I'm sure there were financial and other incentives involved with that outreach. But Moore isn't motivated by anything anyone at DC has in their power to give him. There's no compromise possible. He's a stubborn dude.

Philip Portelli said:

Granted all that is true but then again, he is one of the greatest writers in this field of the last thirty years and perhaps its best known, so why antagonize him? Why not let them come to some compromise so that he's part of this project?

I know, I know, I'm naive about these things but it's sad to see him left out of it, even with my misgivings about him.

Still, it would be a kick to see Moore dig through the DC toybox again. I mean, what if he DOES want to write Green Lantern story again?

 

As somebody (I forget who) once said about the Beatles: It is entirely possible to be the best in your field and still be overrated.

As for "Why not let them come to some compromise so that he's part of this project?", this is what Alan Moore told The New York Times: “I don’t want money,” he said. “What I want is for this not to happen.”

Moore's relationship with DC is thoroughly soured, for reasons well-documented elsewhere; there is no compromise to be had.

The Beatles cannot be overrated by definition.

The Beatles were overrated. As good as they were, no one could be as good as people have made them out to be.

The Watchmen doesn't need a sequel (or a prequel). It stands alone. Having said that, The Rocketeer didn't "need" a sequel, either, yet Rocketeer Adventures was one of the best mini-series of last year (one of my favorites, anyway). I'll definitely give the new Watchmen stuff a look.

Here's the official press release:

 

DC Entertainment

Feb. 1, 2012

 

DC ENTERTAINMENT OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES “BEFORE WATCHMEN”
 
This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.
 
“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”
 
Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).
 
BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:
 
  • RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
  • MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
  • COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
  • DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist:  Adam Hughes
  • NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
  • OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
  • SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
 
Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.
 
“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC's reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire,” said Dave Gibbons, WATCHMEN co-creator and original series artist.
 
“Comic books are perhaps the largest and longest running form of collaborative fiction,” said DiDio and Lee. “Collaborative storytelling is what keeps these fictional universes current and relevant.”

 

I'm interested in the Azzarello and Cooke books. I have some trepidation with the JMS and Wein series.

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