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maryann johanson, free spinster

Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic (review)

The concept sounded potentially intriguing to me, but, well, it turns out to be quite bizarre. The original Watchmen comic — all 12 issues — have been just barely animated by adding a bit of motion to the existing art, overlaying some music, and having a “narrator,” Tom Stechschulte, read the text (which is also onscreen). The transfer from page to screen was overseen the original artist, Dave Gibbons, and it does indeed look very much like the graphic novel, but I don’t see any reason to watch this on a TV when it’s a much more pleasurable and rewarding experience to read it for myself. To be fair, I’m no fan of audiobooks, either, and this is probably the closest a graphic novel could come to audiobook-hood… but there’s a factor here that does not come up with purely aural audiobooks: Stechschulte provides the voices of all the characters, male and female, and while that might not be jarring when you’re only listening to a book being read to you, it’s deeply jarring to be seeing an illustration of a women and yet hearing a gruff male voice. These 12 30-minute episodes — about five and a half hours of pseudo animation in all — were first available on iTunes, and they’re still available at $1.99 a pop. With no extras to speak of on the disc (a preview of another cartoon is an ad, not a bonus), you might want to try out a sample episode online before you buy this DVD, to see if it’s right for you.

MPAA: not rated

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