Calmgrove and I have spent nearly 3 weeks tag-team reviewing Alan Moore’s Watchmen (1986, 1987) via Twitter. No easy task. I think we both chewed metaphorical pencils to shreds as we worked to squeeze our reviews into Twitter’s 140-character message limit. As Calmgrove put it in a tweet to me, “Watchmen unexpectedly rich, complex/reviewing hard”.
If you’ve been reading my tweets in the sidebar, you’ve gotten only one side of the conversation. As a special treat for our fans and followers, here are our tweets, in order, first to last. If you haven’t read Watchmen, I suspect these won’t make sense to you, but perhaps they’ll make you curious enough to pick up the book. Definitely worth it.
Lizzie Ross 15 Aug #tagteamreview starts today. inspirational photo. #watchmen nothing like these guys.
Chris Lovegrove 15 Aug Ch 1 Time running out for ex-vigilantes. Will they abandon lethargy to seek out threat in concert?
Lizzie Ross 15 Aug Ch 1 #watchmen retired & unhappy. the comedian defenestrated. rorschach searches for killer. what nyc is this? desolate dylan
Chris Lovegrove 16 Aug Hollow laughter, melancholy, rage at criminal acts: all permeate Nite Owl’s autobiog and this tale.
Chris Lovegrove 16 Aug Absent Friends: Comedian’s funeral occasions memories from friend and enemy. Deeds return to haunt.
Lizzie Ross 16 Aug night owl diaries his backstory. masked adventurers arise to fight crime. countdown clock at eleven.
Lizzie Ross 17 Aug tho old&failing, moloch gets his sacrifice. nite owl: minutemen last a decade. new generation steps in.
Chris Lovegrove 17 Aug Under the Hood 3+4 Ever wondered about vigilante costumes, relationships, foibles? It’s all here.
Lizzie Ross 17 Aug ch 3 black freighter & asian land war menace. u.s. strategic superiority heads to mars. laurie’s fault?
Chris Lovegrove 18 Aug Ch 3 storylines in counterpoint: pirate threat / heroes fend off attack / Manhattan self-exiles
Lizzie Ross 19 Aug UnderTheHood 5: 40s: superheroes a fad? 50s: few masked villains. 60s: new breed of superheroes rises.
Chris Lovegrove 20 Aug Nite Owl 1 recalls Minutemen adapting (or not) to changing times and appearance of new generation.
Chris Lovegrove 20 Aug Sad case of Jon, affected by as well as affecting Time. A not so blind watchmaker, who watches him?
Lizzie Ross 20 Aug keene act bans nonstrategic masked avengers. dr m hounded out, comedian killed. rorschach won’t retire
Lizzie Ross 20 Aug dr m = man to end worlds & wars. yet countdown clock at 8 to midnight. world & wars persist. hopeless?
Lizzie Ross 21 Aug ch 5 dan & laurie = leftovers. veidt attacked. collateral damage high. moloch out. rorschach in custody.
Chris Lovegrove 23 Aug Symmetry: Rorschach/raw shark; Moloch’s apartment above bar / skull + crossbones; fins, triangles.
Chris Lovegrove 23 Aug Treasury of Comics details BLACK FREIGHTER history; gives writers + artists heroic roles: symmetry.
Lizzie Ross 24 Aug inkblot memories: source of rorschach’s anomie. no compromise, no concessions, no quitting. erase evil.
Chris Lovegrove 24 Aug Dr Malcolm Long gazes long into Rorschach abyss, risks accepting Kovacs’ nihilistic ‘End Is Nigh’.
Lizzie Ross 25 Aug allusions so far: agent,comedian,judge,watchmaker,tyger,abyss. see the pattern? ch 7 = dragon.
Lizzie Ross 25 Aug dan&laurie hook up, take wing, commit rescue. tvnews:afghan border tensions rise. ozymandias performs.
Chris Lovegrove 25 Aug Dr Long’s files reveal Kovacs’ belief that ends justify means and origin of his symmetry obsession.
Chris Lovegrove 25 Aug What do you see when you turn out the light? I get by with a little help from my friends. Friends?
Chris Lovegrove 26 Aug Nite Owl flies again. With Silk Spectre. Heroic deeds, fights fire with fire: Dan a new man.
Lizzie Ross 26 Aug birder dan’s views on ornithology/poetry, science/imagery. both needed for true understanding of species
Lizzie Ross 26 Aug countdown clock at 5 to midnight. 5 chapters left. cue ominous music. dan & laurie commit 2nd rescue.
Chris Lovegrove 27 Aug Bird of prey sits on warrior goddess’ shoulder. Metaphor: Rorschach hunts victims with Laurie+Dan.
Chris Lovegrove 27 Aug Athena sprang fully armed from Zeus’ head so Walter’s sprung from jail, vigilantes evade captors
Chris Lovegrove 27 Aug Hector by name hectoring by nature: New Frontiersman ed attacks Reds, Jews, blacks, Italians, kids
Lizzie Ross 27 Aug dr manhattan takes laurie to mars. hollis mason victim of halloween prank. dumb ghosts curse masked men.
Lizzie Ross 27 Aug laurie kindles light of meaning in dr manhattan’s darkness of mere being. he already knew she’d do this.
Lizzie Ross 27 Aug reveal: laurie’s real father, but too late for reconciliation with him. dr m takes laurie home.
Chris Lovegrove 30 Aug After Laurie’s Martian trip Sally Jupiter’s scrapbook reveals more’f Silk Spectre’s weird backstory
Lizzie Ross 30 Aug POTUS nixon enters bunker w/ football, sits and waits. rorschach retrieves costume, chooses to let live.
Chris Lovegrove 30 Aug POTUS hand on button Kovacs stays hand Veidt shows his hand Death’s hand in Davidstown Cold(er) War
Lizzie Ross 30 Aug all saints day but not all vigilantes=saints. ozymandias behind masked deaths, but why? to the owlship!
Chris Lovegrove 31 Aug Veidt plays games with figurines, self-improvement, Millennium cosmetics. A ‘bright new world’?
Lizzie Ross 02 Sep setting: veidt’s oasis in desert of antarctica. deathly deeds in vivarium. nite owl+rorschach approach.
Chris Lovegrove 02 Sep Eleventh hour: tangled plot threads? a Gordian knot; south of Oz Ozymandias plans end to fighting.
Lizzie Ross 02 Sep violence erupts in nyc. earth stands still. vigilantes despair in face of ozymandias’ mighty works.
Chris Lovegrove 03 Sep Veidt plays god with hoax ET invasion in bid to end all wars. Who watches Watchmen: the free press?
Lizzie Ross 03 Sep mag interview: viedt explains why he dropped vigilante mask to go into business: for a better world.
Chris Lovegrove 03 Sep All Souls: God have mercy. Xmas: Peace on Earth. Smiley face: full circle. The truth will out. 🙂
Lizzie Ross 03 Sep end of #watchmen & #tagteamreview. stronger loving world, but new vigilantes born daily. we still ask, who watches the watchmen?
Reblogged this on calmgrove and commented:
Watchmen is one of the most acclaimed graphic novels ever. To whet your appetite for a forthcoming review, here is a chronicle of the exercise Lizzie Ross and I indulged in on Twitter: a tag-team commentary in chunks of 140 words or less (including the hashtags #Watchmen and #tagteamreview).
I’m not a great comic or graphic novel reader but Watchmen (along with V for Vendetta) is a classic. A complex mix of alternate history, political satire and philosophy, I’ve read it a few times and never failed to find something new in the reading. I loved your commentary and bravo for managing each chunk in under 140 characters. My question is, did you both enjoy it?
Thanks for the comment, Dylan. I know I enjoyed the book, and I assume Calmgrove did. He has reblogged this at his WP blog, so you can ask him there.
I will probably reread this at some point, because I know I’ve missed a lot. But not soon. Other unread works beckon.
I’ve asked. As always with Calmgrove, I look forward to his reply.
Yes, I noticed your comment there.
And the answer is, Yes! I did enjoy it, more than I expected to, and huge thanks to Lizzie for suggesting this novel (to me at least) method of tag-team reviewing — I did enjoy that too, even if it took me a little while to get the hang of it! Certainly different from the solo tweeting I did for Austen’s Lady Susan.
Anyway, I’ll certainly be expanding more fully on Watchmen in a blog review soon, and you’ll be able to see how much I enjoyed it.
I agree about the process of the tag-team review being a challenge to figure out, especially as we’re 5 hours apart. We both had a steep learning curve, I think. But great fun, and each terse tweet a new puzzle to unravel. Just like the novel.
It coming to the end of October now, and I’m finally getting to grips with my Watchmen review — hopefully I’ll be posting a little before All Soul’s Day. Are you up for one by then too, Lizzie?
I’ll see what I can come up with. Thanks for the nudge!
I’ve just posted mine! I’d taken a snapshot of an old wristwatch of mine which had happened to stop just before twelve, and the date on the watchface calendar was the 27th, so I couldn’t resist using it before it was too late!
I’m reading it right now! Synergy!