Who Watches The Watchers?
A Comic Book As Political Commentary

An Essay by Warner Todd Huston



Why do contemporary artists all seem to think the end of the world is nigh? Why has art become a thing of ugliness, instead of light? With all the beautiful things we see every day, the delicacy of a flower, the turn of a woman's arm, the grace of a bird in flight, we are treated only to the bizarre and horrid by our artists. These days we see sculptures that look like molecular mistakes writ large. We live in architecture that appears like a jumble of blocks thrown to the ground in the midst of a temper tantrum by a gigantic, petulant child. We view paintings that appear more accidental than planned. We have movies full of violence and anti-social behavior. On the radio we hear music that celebrates all the worst in man. We even have comic books that belittle heroism, that deconstruct the good and exceptional turning their heroes as cartoonishly flawed as the most obscene head case on the Jerry Springer Show.

When did entertainment turn so dark?

In the field of comic books, a 12 part series called Watchmen, created as a political commentary of its time, was hailed as having "transcended its origins," becoming a watershed in comics entertainment. This series was at the front edge of a wave of comics in the early and mid 1980s that attempted to demolish the heroes of the past and replace them with a post-hero world of darkness and pessimism.

Watchmen was a reflection of the contemporary political positions held by an influential minority, sure enough. But in the final analysis, it fails to wholly represent a true understanding of what was really going on in the world or what, in retrospect, we really had to worry about......


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The title Watchmen, and all art from the series contained on this site are property of DC Comics. Similarly, all other images are the property of their copyright holders. No attempt is made to make money from this site. All art, photos, and related Watchmen images are used solely for the review of the Watchmen series.



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