The New York Times reports today that DC Comics is planning a follow-up to the critically acclaimed and wildly popular graphic novel Watchmen:
On Wednesday DC Entertainment is expected to announce that its DC Comics imprint intends to publish seven comic-book mini-series that will continue the stories of the adventurers introduced in Watchmen, which was written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.
The new mini-series, collectively called Before Watchmen and scheduled to start in the summer, will not be direct sequels to the original, which has been widely praised for its sophisticated storytelling and for its emphatic (if deliberately ambiguous) ending. Instead a new group of writers and illustrators will expand on the back stories of the costumed vigilantes like Rorschach and Nite Owl.
DC Comics seemed to understand how this announcement would most likely be received by Watchmen devotees; in a news release the publisher said the Before Watchmen installments were “as highly anticipated as they are controversial.”
Writer Alan Moore, who will have no involvement with the new series, is understandably dismissive:
This is…a travesty. Watchmen is, first and foremost, the work of a true auteur, and arguably the greatest graphic novel ever created. Making any kind of follow-up to Watchmen without the involvement — or even the blessing — of Alan Moore is like making another Godfather movie without Francis Ford Coppola. It’s just not something you do. This is disappointing, because I’ve been enjoying reading DC’s rebooted titles and this puts a bad taste in my mouth.
Mr. Moore, who has disassociated himself from DC Comics and the industry at large, called the new venture “completely shameless.”
Speaking by telephone from his home in Northampton, England, Mr. Moore said, “I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago.”