I can’t tell a lie. It felt strange putting the twenty or so dollars down to essentially watch a Flash animation. The guy behind the counter asked “What is that?” and I answered him as best I could: “It’s a Flash animation of The Watchmen”. I had loaded it onto my iPhone the night before. The whole process took about a minute and a half.
“Why don’t you just go and see the movie?” he said. I didn’t really have an answer. Because I heard the movie wasn’t that good, I guess.
You see, I had a flight from Los Angeles to New York the next day – the perfect time to spend roughly 6 hours with this brand new thing. It consisted of twelve half hour episodes, and I’d never read the original comic; maybe glanced at the plot line on the Internet once before I left for the airport, I started watching as we took off from LAX and when the wheels hit the tarmac I was hooked: this is the future of comic books.
Let me elaborate: this is no ordinary Flash animation. There’s a full score – an AMAZING score – and narration that blows most any audio book out of the water. The animation is taken directly from the original comic books and every frame is meticulously reproduced; the animation, while stiff in a few places, matches the old school feel so much more than I thought it would.
However, the animation lends its hands very well to the more dramatic encounters. When Dr Manhattan is vaporized, the score and the animation and the voiceover were all in perfect harmony with each other. It was brilliant. This whole Motion Comics idea is brilliant. This is what the future looks like.
This is truly a work of art. I don’t know what the fuck DC Motion Comics (a brand new division) have planned next, but as far as I’m concerned this is genuinely the way comic books will be viewed in the future. With the prevalence of higher powered cell phones like the iPhone (and the PSP, which this will also work on) it seems that – and I’m no comic book purist so I hope you don’t mind me treading on a few toes – it seems that paper comic books as we know them, if we continue to see work as good as this, will be going the way of most print media.
Admittedly, the source material of the original graphic novel The Watchmen is on Time’s Best Literature Of The 20th Century, so it goes without saying that as much as I enjoyed the Motion Comic, who’s to say that it wasn’t just the comic itself? Would this work with all comics? In short: No. I couldn’t see someone being as I was watching something like, I don’t know, Aquaman or Archie Comics. But DC Motion Comics have really hit upon something here. This is nothing short of groundbreaking. Pretty soon, I’d imagine that kids will have all their favorite comic books in their pocket.
This breathes new life into a pretty stale arena. And while it might not be as satisfying as ripping open the Mylar and flipping through the pages, this is without a doubt one of the greatest things I’ve read and seen in a very, very long time.