Monday, July 16, 2018

WATCHMENUTIA: SPOTTING RORSCHACH


SPOTTING RORSCHACH



            Here are some of my observations while traversing Watchmen for an extended period.  These particular notes refer to that squidgy-faced guy, Walter Kovacs, later known as Rorschach.



1:7:3 – In Annotated Watchmen, Leslie Klinger says that Rorschach’s jagged word balloons are reflections of the distortions in his voice caused by the mask.  However, in 1.10 and 1.11, his speech balloons are just as jagged when his mask is up.



03 - Swollen Teats Watchmen 02 - 26.jpg

2:26:6 – Note that while R’s journal talks about “heads between teats,” in the panel Blake hits the wall “art” with his head between the teats of the nekkid girl on the wall.


 5:11:1 – Even the food stain on the plate in Kovacs’s counter is mirror-equal!


 As you can see in 6:6-7, at least in 1951, JDs were smoking regular cigarettes, not ball-pipes.  Probably the ball-pipes are a more expensive habit!


Somebody tell me! What the heck is that hanging-balls mobile which dangles at top of panels 3-4-5 on page 8 of Chapter Six?  It’s also seen 13:6.




07 - Kitty G - Watchmen 06 - 10.jpg

Please read all of page 10.  How did Kitty Genovese, a bar manager with some clerical skills, have the money for a special-order dress?



Look at the chalk outline of Genovese’s body in the New York Gazette in panel 6, then read the bottom row of panels, as Kovacs says that this world’s Kitty Genovese died outside – Kovacs says, “outside her own apartment building.”  On our Earth, the attack commenced outside, but the actual rape-murder took place inside her building, in the rear hallway.


 6:12 – It’s an interesting story point, but it’s unbelievable that in any prison, anywhere, the prisoners are within reach of “hot cooking fat.”


In Kovacs’s “My Parents” story, he applauds the A-bomb’s use, with the same rationale that Veidt proclaims for his mass murder.  Perhaps the moral difference to Rorschach is that Ozzy’s act was a secret one, in an undeclared war.  It was also an action chosen by a single man who is evidently blind to his own egomaniacal side.


“My Dream” is dated 5/27/63, but this must be a typo – Kovacs was in the Charlton Home in 1953 – in 1963 he was 23 years old.



This is how panel 3 on page 25 of Chapter 10 appears in the original comic.  Notice the out-of-place quotation marks in the lowest speech balloon.  Everybody knows you don’t use quotation marks in comic-book speech balloons!


Well, Annotated Watchmen reports that the words in question aren’t in Alan Moore’s submitted version of the script – they were added after the fact.  This is the reason for the funny pasted-on appearance & quotation marks in original comic – Just like Mr. Spock’s famous airbrushed eyebrows, it’s a change added when the thing was supposedly already done.



On the other hand, we have this explanation from Dave Gibbons, in Watching the Watchmen (Titan Books, 2008): “I missed the third word balloon and it was added by DC Editorial” (page 265).


This panel also jarred me in the original – it’s in 10:27:6.  This about it ... what does “all the rats running of you” even mean?  This was a plain boo-boo by Dave Gibbons, who also lettered this beast.


You can see the black lines between the lettered words ... to me this looks like ol’ fashioned white correction tape.



The oversight was corrected in bound printings.



Gibbons’s comments about this one, also from Watching the Watchmen: “DC had rearranged the words in the second balloon and then, realizing Alan’s original order was, unsurprisingly, better, had swapped them back again” (page 265).



Well, that’s my somewhat blemished take on some aspects of Rorschach in Watchmen.  See you next Monday!



Thanks for spotting stopping by!


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