Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic graphic novel Watchmen has come to iTunes in as an animated, narrated, “motion comic.” Episode 1 is available now as a free download and it’s a very faithful reproduction of the first book of the 12-book series. The animation is minimal, preserving the look and feel of the comic book (complete with the text balloons) and Moore’s writing is narrated word for word. There are a few places where the animation is a bit awkward, and the producers could have sprung for an actress to voice the female characters, but overall it’s a great way to familiarize (or re-familiarize) yourself with the original post-modern superhero story.
The live action Watchmen Movie is scheduled for a March 2009 release. Despite a very cool trailer, I’m not getting my hopes up. Hollywood has a way of butchering Alan Moore’s work (see League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell). It’s interesting to note that Moore’s name does not appear in the credits of the “motion comic” version.