Weeklies

Comic: "Watchmensch"
Published by: Other
Written by: Rich Johnston
Artist: Simon Rohrmuller

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 3/22/2009

Plot: The story of Alan Moore's long running conflict with DC Comics is told in parody using the plot of Watchmen as a framework.

Review: The cover of this book jumped out at me when I was in the comic shop last week browsing the new releases, and it compelled me to pick it up and give it a closer look. I probably wouldn't have been terribly interested, except that I quickly noticed that the whole thing was very meta, being about the comic industry and retelling the story of Alan Moore's well-deserved grudge against DC Comics.

I'll tell you right now--if you're expecting a wonderful plot, you're not going to find it here. It uses the gigantic story of Watchmen as a framework only, and condensing that dense work into 24 pages of parody is nearly impossible to do without coming across as a bit disjointed. Plot is not vital, however, as this is a straight up gag book--but in addition to being hilarious, it also educates the reader on the real-life situation of Alan Moore. For those of you interested in learning more about why he hates DC Comics so much, this is definitely a book worth checking out. But if you haven't read Watchmen (if you've only seen the movie this won't make sense) and don't care about Alan Moore, there is absolutely nothing for you here.

The characters from Watchmen have been altered--Rorschach is now an Orthodox Jew named Spottyman. Dr. Manhattan is now 1700 Broadway (his name is a gag on the address of DC Comics). Nite Owl is Nite Nurse. The Comedian is the Clown, and (my favorite) Ozymandias is Ozyosbourne. A couple of the changes are just straight up gags with no purpose behind them, but some of them actually do have a meaning in context of the whole meta-story.

I can't discuss too much without giving away some of the best jokes, but to me the two funniest moments in the book were "Rorschach's" new hiding place when he went to go visit the Moloch character (it had me laughing out loud for several minutes) and the horrible accident that created 1700 Broadway. The replacement for the squid at the end is pretty amusing as well.

Though I enjoyed the book immensely, I couldn't recommend it to most people, as it's really meant for hardcore comic geeks who follow the industry itself rather than simply the fictional universes and characters. But if you are that kind of geek and you didn't know about this book (it was unknown to me until I just luckily stumbled across it), it was written just for you, and you should absolutely seek it out. Don't download it--buy a copy. This is a small time publisher (Brain Scan Studios) and they need your support. And for this, they have definitely earned it.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Kwisatz Haderach
Mar 25th, 2009, 05:00 PM
Sounds really good, I'll probably pick it up tomorrow.
pickled
Mar 25th, 2009, 05:34 PM
It sounds like something I would enjoy. I'll have to track down a copy.

Too bad they don't sell it in my state.
Bustin makes me feel good
Mar 25th, 2009, 11:39 PM
Rich Johnston, the writer, also does the Lying in the Gutter column over at Comic Book Resources.
Amicable Herculean
Mar 26th, 2009, 12:14 AM
I thought this was going to be a Watchmen parody with Jewish stereotypes. Boy, was I sadly mistaken.
The Magnificent Bastard
Mar 26th, 2009, 12:56 PM
Sounds hilarious. I'll look for it next time I'm at the comic store.
The Magnificent Bastard
Mar 26th, 2009, 08:52 PM
Okay, been to the comic store today. Picked it right up.

It's a pretty good spoof, but I think the commentary on how the comics industry treats it's creators (in particular how DC treats Alan Moore) is what really takes center stage. In fact, I had no idea Moore's situation was that complicated.

Also, loved all the Simpsons references. Especially, "Comic Book Guy"'s appearances. And, his conversion from Manga hater to Manga fan (I honestly never understood mangaphobic comic fans. To me a Comic is a Comic).

By the way, IMO Broadway's origin was the funniest part of the whole comic.

My only complaint, is that it was a little too short. But, I guess it got it's point across.