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Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 08/29/2007

'Lost' Book Club: 'Watchmen'

By Liz Kelly

(DC Comics)

Entertainment Weekly "Lost" guru Jeff "Doc" Jensen totally called it back in February when he opined that Desmond was possessed of a set of qualities he'd seen somewhere before. And it's no surprise considering "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof called this graphic novel the "greatest piece of popular fiction ever produced."

We're talking about Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's "Watchmen," our next selection for the "Lost" Book Club.

"Watchmen" follows the lives of a handful of all-too-human decommissioned superheroes as they navigate the murky waters of post-glory day life. Each is motivated by a deeply personal struggle and faces different challenges in a world badly in need of saving. Hidden agendas, a bumbling shadowy government and sketches of a seedy, not-too-distant future make for an oppressive, yet addictive, read.

Why We Chose It: Because of the obvious "Lost" parallels:

  • Like "Lost's" Desmond, Dr. Manhattan experiences the past, present and future simultaneously. The Desmond-centric "Flashes Before Your Eyes" episode was one of the linchpins of last season and may help to decipher the next if, as expected, we're to start jumping forward through the "Lost" timeline in season four.
  • Many of "Watchmen's" stories are told through character flashbacks, a staple in the "Lost" arsenal.
  • Both stories feature an island populated by scientists working toward some unknown ultimate purpose.
  • Did we mention that Lindelof cites "Watchmen" as the greatest piece of popular fiction ever produced? That fact alone is good enough for us.

    Why You Should Read It:
    Because it's a richly told tale made all the better through the combination of text and images -- which earned it a slot on Time magazine's list of All-Time 100 Best Novels. If you're new to graphic novels, this is a great place to start. If not, "Watchmen" is definitely worth a reread.

    Also, the novel is en route to the silver screen; Zack Snyder ("300") is slated to direct, while Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (that's Denny from "Grey's Anatomy") and Jackie Earle Haley are all set to star. Read "Watchmen" now and you'll be super-prepared when the movie comes out in 2008.

    We'll reconvene on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Noon ET to discuss "Watchmen" with our very special guest Jeff Jensen. We're especially excited about having Doc Jensen join us, not only because he writes so brilliantly about "Lost," but also because we believe he may have a Batphone that links him directly to LindeCuse. Hopefully we can find out for sure during our September chat.

    -- Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly

  • By Liz Kelly  | August 29, 2007; 12:55 PM ET
    Categories:  Lost  
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    Comments

    Alan Moore is clearly one of the greatest living authors, and Hollywood feels the need to soil still more of his work!?!?!

    Having said that, after you read Watchmen the first time, wait a day or so and read it again, looking carefully at the art and layout. Moore and Gibbons telegraphed the whole thing so subtly and beautifully, and there are tons of tiny jokes or references hidden in the background. Nothing is drawn on written without a plan. Every single panel was done with the entire book in mind.

    Posted by: Captain Fanboy | August 29, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

    hmmm... the graphic novel was genius... but the movie?
    i ask... Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Posted by: Quintilus Varus | August 29, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

    Not only did the "Watchmen" inluenced "Lost", but also "The Incredibles".

    Posted by: lisa1 | August 29, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

    Ok I missed out on Watership Down, got the book but haven't read it yet.

    THIS is something I know I can read in a much shorter time. Now I just gotta get the husband to dig it out from his collection.

    Loved Moore's From Hell, loved V for Vendetta, loved League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, not sure how or why I missed Watchmen.

    As for the movie versions of the above mentioned, I really enjoyed From Hell the best of the 3, but then Johnny Depp makes unwatchable things fairly watchable so don't take my review of that one as gospel.

    Posted by: Bored @ home | August 29, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

    I love Doc Jensen..next months chat is going to rock...

    Posted by: PC | August 29, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

    300 was a pretty increadible cinematic feet. To do the same with "Watchmen" will take that kind of skill and a good bit of authorial input.

    Posted by: David S | August 29, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

    This is a great choice!

    I am horrified, however, to learn that a movie is planned. I don't believe that a movie can do justice to the complexity of the work. So many elements -- art, layout, dialogue, narrative -- weave together in this work. I don't trust Hollywood to reflect that in a motion picture. They've botched too many graphic novels in the past.

    Posted by: CMC | August 29, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

    Also, it's not a graphic novel, it's a comic book. Graphic novel is just what you call it when you don't want to admit to reading comic books, but that doesn't change what it is. Yay comic books!

    Posted by: Captain Fanboy | August 29, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

    Oh, man. I tried to read this several years ago and got bored about halfway through. But I'll give it another try...you people all seem to like it.

    Posted by: h3 | August 29, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

    so exactly how far is this "W" title thing going to go?

    Posted by: MGC | August 29, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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