Who Watches the Watchmen?

Well – me, for starters. If I can find a cinema showing it. And I’ll sit there with a smug secret. I wasn’t a cool teenager. My mum bought my jeans at M&S, so they would have looked good if I was acting in a revival of Oklahoma!, but in the northern market town of my youth they were simply a source of ridicule, as were my Claire Rayner spectacles (wings, lovey, wings) and my early fondness for Cliff Richard. But I did love my science fiction. I used to brave the dodgy newsagent by the bus station to buy Interzone, I got all the RPG jokes in The Colour of Magic, and in 1987 I took the train to Manchester’s foremost SF & Fantasy bookshop (the name of which utterly escapes me. It started near the Corn Exchange and moved to Oxford Road, and the bags had Rodney Matthews’ iconic presentation of Elric of Melnibone on them, if that jogs anyone else’s mind…) and spent my babysitting money on what must have been one of the first copies of Moore’s masterpiece.

I read it lots of times and didn’t understand it. Actually, I got the story about the pirate ship, but the rest of it rather passed me by. Which probably just goes to prove that I was unworthy to open it. But on 6th March when lots of people rush to Amazonto order their movie-tie-in-version, I’ll be sitting back reading my 21-year-old copy and, no doubt, still looking puzzled.

The 1987 Watchmen is probably the second coolest thing I own (I put the bikes in first place). I also prize my T-shirt that declares “I did it with Aerosmith at the Marquee.” Since spotting them on sale in HMV I took great joy in sidling up to other people wearing it and asking “did you really? No? Hahahahahahaha.”

Uncool *and* irritating. It’s a miracle I’m still here.



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2 responses to “Who Watches the Watchmen?

  1. Would it have been Forbidden Planet? That’s arguably the best one now, certainly for graphics.

  2. i’m thinking Forbidden Planet, but I’m not sure if I’m just getting confused by the London one.

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