• I’m officially making March Love-Your-Small-Bookstore Month. It’s shitty out there right now and I know a lot of folks are hurting, but if you can spare a few bucks, pop into your local small bookstore and pick up a mass market paperback. A little support at this particular moment would go a long way.
• There’s a pleasant appreciation of the Alan Moore-Steve Bissette-Rick Veitch Swamp Things over on Salon. I’m always glad to read any commentary/consideration of the Moore Swamp Thing run; they are, for me, among my very favorite comics, and had a profound influence on how I think about character.
• I was gonna say something about the upcoming Watchmen movie, but first I have to make a point about Nate Silver. If you aren’t familiar with fivethirtyeight.com‘s Nate Silver, he’s a statistical gunslinger, a guy who used regressive statistical analysis to correctly call the election months in advance, and who also (with help from his buds at Baseball Prospectus) accurately fingered the Rays as the team most likely to win the ’08 World Series, before the season even started. Furthermore, he’s quite an entertaining writer (I want to establish I’m a fan here, before I say anything else).
In a recent piece for New York Magazine on the subject of the Academy Awards, however, Silver finally showed that he’s human too. He used his standard approach to try and pick who was going to win Oscar, and only went 4 for 6. I, uh, went 8 for 8 with my own predictions, using no statistical analysis whatsoever. I don’t say this to preen, but only to make a point (about Watchmen – wait, we’re getting there). See, I had an unfair advantage over Nate Silver. I actually saw the movies and based my vote on that.
I say all this because I have told several people that I’ll probably skip Watchmen, because the numbers are against it. Check it out. Here’s the ratio of good-to-bad movies made from Alan Moore comic books: 0 – 4. Not one good one in the bunch. 300: both the title of Zack Snyder’s last film, and the number of times I’d have to hit myself in the head with a hammer to forget how awful it was. 157: the running time on Watchmen, which is both way too fucking long, and way too fucking short. For me all these numbers add up to 0 interest in seeing the thing. But I realized just yesterday that it’s important not to prejudge the Watchmen movie; I don’t want to make the Nate Silver mistake of thinking the numbers are meaningful in this situation. Because in art, they aren’t. What matters is the film itself, and until you see it, you don’t know anything about it.
So will I see Watchmen? Probably at some point (although I managed to avoid ever seeing the League of Extraordinary Gentleman picture) Am I excited for it? No. But I hope when and if I finally do see it, I walk out excited to see it again.