A short essay on “Watchmen” and platform studies at “ebr”

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I wrote a riposte to Stuart Moulthrop’s essay, “See the Strings: Watchmen and the Under-Language of Media,” in the electronic book review.


Halfway through “Fearful Symmetry,” the fifth issue of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s classic graphic narrative Watchmen, an assassin tries to kill the world’s smartest man. Adrian Veidt, the Watchman formerly known as Ozymandias, is walking through the lobby of the headquarters of Veidt Enterprises with his assistant, discussing Egyptian views of death. On the thirteenth page of the issue, in the seventh panel, a man in a green trench coat appears. In the last panel, he draws a gun. “Oh, God!” Veidt’s assistant screams. “Oh, God. Look out, he’s …” (V.13.9). We anxiously flip the page and confront a dramatic scene: one of the few double-page spreads in Watchmen. On these two pages, there are seven panels: a huge vertical panel that crosses the crease and a series of three roughly square panels on each side of the central tableau. In a violent, wordless sequence, the assassin kills the assistant and is finally subdued by Veidt; the Veidt Method of body training, it turns out, works remarkably well.

If you’re hungry for more, click here (warning: it’s a bit academicish).