April 15, 2007

Stephen Frug reminds me

that I need to reread Watchmen.

The central technique of Watchmen -- one that Moore and Gibbons use over and over, in a plethora of ways -- is the ironic juxtaposition. They will interweave two scenes so that each comments upon the other, so that the text of one is given new meaning by the images of the other. They will cut from one moment to another which entirely rewrites its significance. And so on. A lot of this is the sort of thing that only comics can do -- a switching back and forth that would be so quick as to be sea-sickening in film, say. This is particularly true when Moore and Gibbons will interweave two scenes, which we don't see here; but we do see the first usage of the technique of the ironic juxtaposition, which allows to elements -- in this case, the opening visuals and the unrelated (at least in any overt sense) text that are put over them -- to comment upon each other, adding and changing the meaning we see in both.

Those of you who are more comic-literate might enjoy the rest of his series.

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