If your name is Alan Moore, turn back now and save yourself the heartache! Otherwise, read on for highlights from DC's Before Watchmen panel at San Diego Comic Con!
[Editor's Note: Jude and ThanosCopter are trying incredibly hard to contain their snark during this weekend's uber-serious SDCC coverage. Unfortunately, sometimes these companies make it too damn easy for us. Be assured that besides one major announcement unrelated to Before Watchmen, nothing of importance was actually discussed. If you hate snark, puppies or America, please go to CBR for their excellent (albeit slightly slower than ours) coverage of SDCC.]
Panel Coverage at Comic Conventions is a difficult task. Everything moves very quickly, and it is sometimes difficult to make out what the creators are saying. As a result, while this reporter has done his absolute best to accurately describe the events, there are some cases where I may have needed to slightly embellish the quotes in order to acheive flow and continuity.
DC's glorious leader Dan Didio headed up a panel of creators including J. Michael Straczynski, Amanda Connor, Darwyn Cook, and Len Wein, along with editors/handlers Mark Chiarelo and Will Dennis.
Didio started out by expressing his happiness with the success of Before Watchmen so far. "We're really happy about the quality, the sales, and most importantly, the devastating effect on the psyche of Alan Moore," is basically what he said. "We're just getting started in fucking with Moore."
JMS talked about his Nite Owl work, saying that he really wanted to get Nite Owl and Rorsharch together in the comic, an idea he thought of all by himself with no influence from Alan Moore. He promises to show more of young Dan in issue #2prompting whistles and cat-calls from the audience. He will look into more Twilight Lady as well.
JMS talks about how Joe Kubert keeps correcting Andy Kubert's artwork, as Joe is inking Andy's work. "Andy will draw something one way then Joe being the father will ink it another way," said JMS. It must be very frustrating for Andy.
Wein talked about Ozymandias. "I never could have imagined there'd be a Before Watchmen," said Wein. Didio's hand seemed to fiddle with a control panel underneath the table, and Wein stiffened, as if he had been subjected to an electric shock. "...But I'm thrilled that there is and I'm thrilled to be a part of it," he hastily added, glancing nervously at Didio. "...I wanted to tell the story of this character. It essentially begins with his birth and takes you right up to the first moment you see him in the actual... I mean... other Watchmen book. You're getting the story out of [Ozymandias'] own mouth, but he's a liar." Wein seemed relieved when Didio smiled in approval.
After showing some Jae Lee artwork, Wein continued to gush. "It's beyond comic book art. I'm not worthy. This is fine art, the stuff you see in museums. Please don't shock me again."
Jim Lee joined the panel to introduce a special guest: Quentin Fucking Tarantino. Tarantino announced a Django Unchained comic to tie into the film. "One of the things I'm really excited about is that Django Unchained is a big epic, and when I write these epics there's a lot of stuff that doesn't make the movies," said Tarantino. Since comic books have such lower standards and lazy editors, Tarantino can get the whole, unedited script published as a comic. "All the material that didn't make the movie will be a part of the piece," he said, before leaving to do something more befitting a man of his stature and importance.
JMS talked about his Dr. Manhattan comic, saying that he had a lot of fun exploring quantum physics and especially Manhattan's view of all time simultaneously. "He'll get to see another path of his life. It's a great chance to do some quantum storytelling," said JMS. "For instance, I could see an alternate timeline where I finished my runs on The Twelve and Superman like a responsible adult who fulfills his obligations."
Cooke talked about Minutemen, one of the most fan-acclaimed books in the Before Watchmen series. "With the first issue of the project, I wanted to give the readers a wonderful, glorious sense of what the good ole days must have been like," referring to a time in comics publishing when Watchmen was treated with respect and not treated as a meaty carcass to be picked clean for the financial benefit of Warner Bros. shareholders. "The challenge is really driving me. It's fun dealing with this type of material."
Connor talked about Silk Spectre, which she co-writes with Cooke. She talked about the research she had done on sixties rock n' roll in order to make the book feel authentic. Cooke commented on how Connor has been neglecting her womanly duties of cooking and housekeeping due to her hard work on the book, noting that her husband, Jimmy Palmiotti, won't speak to him. "He's eating alone, sleeping alone, showering alone... it's all my fault," said Connor, ashamed.
Dennis talked about the Comedian, saying "Is there a chance for a person like that to change their life? Can Eddie do things differently or will he keep doing the same kind of things?" It will be interesting to see how this plot point works out, since it's impossible for us to open Watchmen and find out how the Comedian's story ends.
The panel addressed the rumor that the fan at C2E2 who was brought up on stage as a skeptic of the concept of Before Watchmen and its disrespect toward the property and creator Alan Moore but was converted to a fan because of the pretty artwork was a plant. They denied the rumor.
Fan Q&A commenced.
One fan, who must have been trolling, asked "I don't know a lot about comic books, but I really respected Alan Moore and Watchmen. Is there any chance you could consult with Alan and do a sequel?" Wein commented that there was a better chance of seeing the 30th of February before a stern look from Didio quieted him.
Didio then responded, "We did ask Alan, and he declined to be involved, so we assembled an incredibly talented team of creators with questionable morals to do it instead, and then promptly licensed Watchmen toasters just to spite him."
Another fan stated that he was skeptical of the books, but ended up liking them. Didio thanked him with a handshake, palming him a hundred dollar bill.
A fan asked if there would be an "After Watchmen." Didio responded that would depend on several factors, including fan response, the willingness of creators, and whether or not Alan Moore has learned his lesson.
Finally, a fan asked if any of the creators were hesitant to sign onto the project, to which Cooke responded, "It took me two years to commit to it. None of us underplayed the magnitude of this undertaking. Everyone had to consider if they had the game to bring to this thing. But when we finally had the meeting, we had a bunch of people who were willing to challenge themselves, and that's really the gift from Alan and Dave."
Now, for the first time ever, The Outhouse has obtained EXCLUSIVE footage of the meeting Cooke speaks of, which we have embedded below.
Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror