The art of coherence: an interview with Dave Gibbons, part3.
Last part of our interview and Dave Gibbons talks a little bit more about Watchmen, tells us about his new book, says what he thinks of the movie adaptation and also which are his new and future projects.
Wellington Srbek: I use the analogy of Watchmen being similar to a Swiss watch: a construct of hundreds and hundreds of tiny pieces that come together to form a working machinery. There’s also the analogy of Watchmen being similar to a symphony: a complex structure, composed by various movements with lots of echoes and symmetries. Both analogies give the idea of “a whole that is more than the sum of its parts”. But for you, Mr. Gibbons, what Watchmen represents?
Dave Gibbons: Yeah, I think, you know, even within the book we have made analogies to clockwork -- the form of Doctor Manhattan’s palace is like the internal works of a clock. That said, I’ve always considered Alan’s approach to writing to be a little bit like kind of Mozart’s approach to music, you know, he sees the whole thing in his head, he has the whole symphony in his head with all the parts, he writes down in great detail. And then, as an artist, you essentially interpret that, you essentially are the orchestra, you are the conductor. And so… Yeah, I think that’s a very good analogy, and I think I kind go along with that been what Watchmen represents to me, you know, any writing thing, any joint thing, always happens piece by piece, and it’s not really until be done the whole thing that you can sit back and see, see the landscape. So, ahn… Yeah! Is a symphony, is a clockwork.
WS: You’ve just released Watching the Watchmen: The Definitive Companion to the Ultimate Graphic Novel. Please, tell us about this book.
DG: Well, as I said it is published by Titan Books, it is 257 pages, it’s got loads of sketches, the real thumbnails for the whole series, it’s got pages of Alan’s script, it’s got letters between us, it’s got letters for DC, it’s got pictures of the merchandize, it’s got unpublished pages, it’s got designs that we never used, it’s got schematics and plans, and it’s also got a commentary by me -- ah, my story of how Watchmen came to be, from its very, very beginning. Ahn, it’s also got a very interesting essay by John Higgins about how he colored it. And it is solely about the comic book, it doesn’t make any mention of… ah… the movie or anything to do with that. I wanted it to be a celebration of, you know, the creative experience Alan and I had, which was a very positive and enjoyable creative experience. It doesn’t strands in the areas of the… ah… contention or disputes between Alan and DC Comics, because it is not that kind of book -- you know, that might well appear in the future, it is another book. Really, it is a very detailed, very dense celebration of what it was like to create Watchmen.
WS: A friend brought me from the USA your promotional poster to the Watchmen movie. So, I believe that you are happy with this adaptation of the book. What are your expectations about the movie?
DG: Yeah, I’m happy with the adaptation. From the very beginning, from my very first conversation with Zack Snyder I had a good felling about it. And certainly every additional thing that I’ve seen has only made me feel better. I saw half-cut of the movie back in August, which I totally enjoyed -- wasn’t finished, a lot of the CGI wasn’t done but it was absolutely engrossing and fascinating. Since then I’ve seen… ah… both the trailers, and I’ve seen the 25 minutes or so of scenes that Zack has shown to journalists, and I’m taking part in the Watchmen road show, and… Yeah, I feel that it’s been done properly, it’s been done as well as anybody could reasonably expect. Ahn, and… I’m very much looking forward to seeing it out there in the cinemas, and gain everybody’s reaction to it. I have a feeling that the fans are gonna be very happy with it. Of course there are those absolute diehard heart fans -- I understand that -- for whom nothing but actually word for word, picture for picture, line for line adaptation would ever do. I think you have to be a little bit more realistic about it. In the end of the day, I think you have to have something which is a good film, something that the average movie goer will consider worth going to see.
WS: Recently you have finished the Martha Washington saga written by Frank Miller, besides written and drawn some Green Lantern Corps issues. What are your plans for 2009 and the near future?
DG: Well, on the section of Martha Washington we are gonna collect all together into one big oversized book, it will be 500 pages plus, and it will be absolute size, and it will have new introductions by Frank and by me, and it will have hopefully every possible appearance of Martha. Because her appearances have been relevant scatterly, we wanna bring it all together so that readers could read it all in one place. I’ve recently done a little Hellblazer story for DC, which I wrote -- character that I strangely enjoy. Ahn… Really now my time is taken on the Watchmen promotion, and licensing, consultancy. Ahn, I hope to be working on a creator owned project next year with a writer that I haven’t worked with before -- can’t really say any more than that, because obviously it is not just up to me how this is announced. But, yeah, I’m very much enjoying the Watchmen road show circus, and looking forward to the movie coming out, and sometime after that going back to do some honest work.
WS: Thanks a lot for this interview, Mr. Gibbons!
DG: Thanks very much for your interest, and greetings to my fans and friends out there in South-America!