DC Co-Publishers Talk BEFORE WATCHMEN at Festival of Books

DC Entertainment held a panel and Q&A session on Saturday afternoon at the University of Southern California’s LA Times Festival of Books focusing on Before Watchmen, the set of prequel mini-series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ celebrated 1986 series Watchmen. These titles are meant to built on the mythology of the original, providing new depth and insight to the characters by showing events in their lives before the big story.


At the Q&A session after the panel both Dan DiDio and Jim Lee discussed the summer and fall 2012 releases, offering some teases, some reasoning, and a dash of hyperbole.

"I guarantee you that every one of these creators that is working on these books will outdo or match the original," said Lee.  "They are true artists and everyone will be pleasantly surprised."

DiDio talked about how he wanted this to be a weekly event because it is something he prefers and thinks the retailers prefer as well.

"The idea to drive people to a store, a destination; every week you have an expectation to go in and a certain book is going to be there that you want to follow," said DiDio.

He goes on to say how it is a challenge to make these different books, the individuals of the Watchmen “team,” into one cohesive story, one team.

"Since we are doing a prequel we have a challenge of featuring characters before they all met," DiDio said.

One journalist asked if the tone of the Before Watchmen prequels would be the same with a gritty/violent theme running throughout.


"It really is much more of a character base," DiDio said. "What we are really exploring are the individuals and how they are growing."

He continued by saying how each character will have their own story, but will still revolve around the same world.

"Silk Spectre's story is really a coming of age story, the Comedian's story is about him just working his way through the government and ultimately becoming who he is...there are a lot of interesting stories in there," DiDio said.

Lee joined in by comparing these new prequels to a "triptych." "It is three pieces of art that are meant to be viewed separately but form a creative satisfying whole," Lee said. Overall it will be one continuing story, but told through each of the characters' lives.

The conversation briefly changed to how well the New 52, DC’s relaunched shared universe, is selling, and both of them think they have a very strong fan base and hope to have enough comics in stock since they have been having such a healthy start to the year.

Another journalist was wondering if the comic books do pretty well if there would be a sequel of sorts to the Watchmen movie.

"It's not an idea we want to visit until we get through this process completely," DiDio said.  "We really have to sit down and do a full evaluation on what happens on these books, because how you start and how you end might be two completely different things."

Lee said it also depends on the content and how it goes over with their fan base and if the series will be a great thing or a wash.

Before Watchmen begins June 2012 with Minutemen, Silk Spectre, Comedian, and Nite Owl.

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