How does Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons really feel about DC's Before Watchmen franchise? A newly-released interview with the creator doesn't quite answer the question directly, but gives a fairly strong hint as to where his true feelings may lie.
During a conversation with Jonathan Smith, head of production for LEGO Batman's TT Games Publishing, at the GameCity video game festival last month in the UK, Gibbons was asked about his involvement with the Watchmen video game that accompanied the movie's release. After talking about his work as a "distant consultant" on the project -- for which he earned an amount of money he described as "I'd be embarrassed to tell you how many thousands of dollars" -- he went on to say that, for him, Watchmen is really just the work he co-created with Alan Moore:
As far as I'm concerned, what Alan and I did was the Watchmen graphic novel and a couple of illustrations that came out at the same time. Everything else – the movie, the game, the prequels – are really not canon. They're, they're... subsidiary. They're not really Watchmen. They're just something different.
What's particularly interesting is the way in which he says the above. Watch the video for what I mean (The quote starts at 1:07:54); the pause, smirk and dismissive laugh before he says "prequels" is fascinating, as is the exchange between Smith and Gibbons while he's trying to find his words: "We don't want to talk about the prequels," Smith says, and Gibbons immediately agrees: "No."
Again, the nuance may be too misleading; maybe Gibbons just finds the controversy over the prequels amusing, and not the concept or comics themselves. But considering the half-hearted quote Gibbons provided to DC's initial announcement of the project ("I appreciate DC's reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work," he was quoted as saying, ending with "May these new additions have the success they desire"), the evidence does seem to point towards his having a rather dim view of the entire enterprise, but having resigned himself to it happening no matter what.
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