[repost from my facebook] “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.” -- Alan Moore
In other news: major publishers are writing plays exploring the childhoods of Romeo and Juliet, and a playwright has been hired to write a 3rd act for Waiting for Godot, titled: "Godot shows up."
I don't know why DC is doing this. Or, rather, I do, because I understand that they're a profit driven company, and the 2-major-publishers thing in mainstream comics damages the ability of innovative artists to build careers in non-mainstream ways, which furthermore hobbles comics as a medium toward the goal of achieving widespread acknowledgement and legitimacy.
I think the biggest thing that bothers me about this project is that DC is treating it like Watchmen is just like any of their other titles. They're just expanding on the setting and storyline, like they do with Batman and Superman. But where the other characters contain culturally iconic characters, even iconic narratives with highly regarded manifestations, "Watchmen" is, more than most other comics, a work unto itself.
It just doesn't make sense to do further exploration of the "Watchmen" narrative. It's the sort of thing that really does belong to the specific artists who created it, and if anyone were to expand on it, it should be them, and they should have the call not to. Alan Moore has made it very clear that he doesn't want this to happen, and I think that should be what goes down.
Granted, though, I understand DC's desire to profit on this property. And I would understand if they wanted to do tribute work, in admiration of "Watchmen" but without a claim to the position of canon.
This isn't like George Lucas making the Star Wars prequels. This is like if some major company acquired Star Wars, then, against George Lucas's very public wishes, made 3 new Star Wars movies set before the original trilogy, and tried to insist that they were canonical.