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Dave Gibbons Exclusive

The co-creator of WATCHMEN says it can never be "just a movie"

By Edward Goodsmith     February 18, 2009
Source: Mania

Dave Gibbons Exclusive Interview (slideshow)
© Mania

'Watchmen', created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons is rightly regarded as one of the greatest graphic novels of our time. Moore and Gibbons stretched the storytelling format of comics in groundbreaking ways and changed the way super heroes were portrayed for years to come.

Now their incredible vision has been turned in to what is shaping up to be this year’s biggest movie. While Moore has severed any ties he has to the film (and Hollywood in general) Gibbons actively watching and discussing the process of his incredible vision adapted in to a movie by director Zack Snyder.

Mania.com had a chance to sit down with him and talk about the movie, his upcoming projects, and even a little bit about Moore.


Edward Goodsmith for Mania: Have you seen the completed movie?

Dave Gibbons: I saw a rough cut of the movie back in August. The CGI wasn’t resolved, and there was no soundtrack, but it was just great. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Mania: Was there anything in it that you didn’t like?

Dave Gibbons at New York Comic-Con 2009

Gibbons: They really wanted me to see it in a rough cut so that I could give them feedback. I did give them a few notes, mainly to do with the character of the story, which they were addressing anyway. In fact, the clip we saw today [18 Minutes of Watchmen], with the final soundtrack really blew me away. I think if the rest of the movie is like that then we’re in for a real treat.


Mania: When you and Alan were creating 'Watchmen', did you ever think it would be this big?

Gibbons: No, we had worked together before, on '2000 A.D.', I thought there was some chemistry. We just wanted to do something that was longer, and we got the chance to do 'Watchmen', and we just wanted to do the best book that we could.

We could never have imagined that it would’ve been collected into a graphic novel. We thought the 12 comics would go in to the back issue bin and that would be the end of it. So even the fact that it’s a graphic novel is amazing. I think if we ‘d known we were doing something that was going to live forever it wouldn’t have been as good. We would’ve been too worried.


Mania: Is 'Watchmen' ever going to be "just a movie" to you or will it always be something more?

Gibbons: I shouldn’t think it could ever be just a movie for me, it’s been such a big part of my life for so long. But, the most important thing to me is the graphic novel. I’m thrilled about the movie, there are some very creative people working on it. I can’t imagine it being done better. I’m really happy that the movie is turning people to the graphic novel. I hope it draws new people in to Alan’s wonderful story telling, and they read some of his other works. And I also hope it turns more people to graphic novels and comic books in general.


Mania: What’s next for you?

Gibbons: Well this has taken up almost a year of my time, but it will pass, it’s like the circus is in town.

So, the thing I have got coming up is the definitive collection of Martha Washington, which is a series I did with Frank Miller. We’re putting together a 600-page book called 'The Life and Times of Martha Washington in The 21st Century'.

I’m also doing a little bit of writing for D.C., I can’t really talk about it but I’m sure you’ll hear about it. I’m also looking forward to working a create-your-own series. I can’t really say more then that, but once the 'Watchmen' circus has passed I’m going to go back to writing and drawing some new stuff.

Mania: Has Alan seen any of the movie, if so what does he think of it?

Gibbons: Well, Alan specifically didn’t want his name on the movie, and didn’t want to talk to anyone about it.

Alan’s had a rough ride with Hollywood, he made his mind up that he didn’t want to play ball anymore. You know I would’ve thought "well you can leave my name on it in case it’s good" and, of course, I’ll take the money. But it has nothing to do with this production specifically, he’s just sick of Hollywood.

He’s asked me not to talk to him about it, and I’m respecting that wish.



A bit thanks to Dave Gibbons for spending time with us at New York Comic-Con.

'Watchmen' hits theaters on March 6. Make sure to keep it tuned to Mania.com for more coverage.


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spiderhero 2/18/2009 12:31:11 PM

I just finished reading Watchmen for the first time.Watchmen works well as a comic only if you "get" superhero comics. It requires a certain familiarity with comics to really work. I have to say there is no way this movie will do good in theatres. It will not have mass appeal. People will not get it. Especially if it is faithful to the comic. If it isn't, then fanboys won't see it and it will lose the only real source of revenue it might have. NO ONE outside comics knows who these Watchmen characters are. Kids don't wear Comedian pajamas (there's a scary thought) or have toys of Nite Owl's flying machine.  It isn't a story for kids anyway. So there goes THAT potential audience. It isn't a date movie like 300 was...I think you get my drift. Prediction: 35-40 million is my generous prediction. It will probably be more like 25-30. But hey, Warner had an additional 1 million copies of the graphic produced so at least they won't lose completely.

goatartist 2/18/2009 11:15:32 PM

This movie will do at least 50 opening weekend spiderhero. Also, I've turned many non-comic fans onto Watchmen and most of them loved it. I truly believe that Watchmen will be a huge hit as much as I feel that calling 300 a "date movie" is more than a stretch. Snyder was the perfect man for the job and is going to rock out with this film. I'd also like to recommend Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand to anyone who hasn't read it. After a friend of mine read Watchmen, he turned me onto Shrugged. It deals with alot of the same themes and is equally epic in scope. The movie is also in pre-production, which I found out about halfway in.



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