Artistic decisions in the “Watchmen” comic book


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Readers who enjoy science fiction will find “Watchmen” to be in line with their interests.

Spencer Wright, Herald Reporter

The “Watchmen” comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons reads as a tribute piece to the golden age of Marvel comics. Now adapted into an HBO series, it is a longer comic book that draws readers in from beginning to end.

Starting as a murder mystery, “Watchmen” soon transforms into a multi-planet event, following superheroes from the end of WWII to the Cold War. Readers who enjoy science fiction will find this comic book to be in line with their interests. While there are many fascinating elements to the storyline, the authors’ decisions on how to depict colors and dialogue in the cartoon add to why the content is so popular.


The comic is drawn in color and has a similar color palette to the 1960s Marvel comics. If someone were to read this comic without knowing the date it was published, it could easily pass as a comic written during the 1960s, with bright exaggerated colors.

This comic, however, would not be as powerful if it were in black and white, or even using a more modern color palette because the sharp, bright colors create an engaging atmosphere for readers and gives the feel of a traditional superhero comic.


The dialogue in “Watchmen” is placed in traditional speech bubbles, but also in thought and narration boxes that are pasted onto pictures. In some cases within the comic book, there were whole pages that had no dialogue and relied solely on the pictures to tell the story. Lacking dialogue can be just as powerful as a full page of dialogue since it adds an interesting element to the story. Silence becomes as powerful as words in communicating what is going on.

“Watchmen” guides the reader in closely analyzing the pictures and leaves the reader uncertain as to what is going to happen. Since the characters are unaware of what the future holds, readers are put on the same level of suspense.

For those interested in the classic Marvel comics or a comic different from most of the others, “Watchmen” will definitely interest you. It is at times rather graphic in nature, so it should not be read by a younger audience. This comic will provide a great foundation to understanding the HBO show.