My copy of Watching the Watchmen arrived today, it's a beautiful beast of a book that weighs as much as a concrete paving slab and is packed with Dave Gibbons goodness. If you love Watchmen (and given that you're a comic fan, I'm assuming you do) then this is essential, and can be picked up on Amazon for 50% of the RRP
I've ploughed through it already, and can't recommend it highly enough. It's a fantastic insight into the process of comic creation that sheds new light on a work about which I thought there was nothing left to say.
Gibbons laces the book with some interesting anecdotes, but with its glossy paper and oversized reproductions of previously unseen art, the book is primarily eye candy. There are a host of breakdowns and layouts for the individual issues and some brilliant and long overdue insights into the colouring, but the most interesting part of the book for me was the section on Gibbons' early concept art.
For example, prior to picking up this book I had no idea that the original designs for Rorshach included a full body suit. From the sketches for this initial design, it seems the idea was to have Rorshach periodically whip open his grubby mac to reveal his costume...
It's a terrible idea that makes the character look like a flasher and was mercifully dumped. But, how great is it as a fan to be able to see stuff like this?
What with these early ideas, the sketches for rejected covers, original designs for the Owl ship, colour guides and original page layouts, there are a wealth of goodies on show here.
Like Watchmen itself, Watching the Watchmen is a book that I'll be returning to again and again over the years. In my opinion it's a must have for everyone's bookshelf.