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Watchmen co-creator calls HBO's adaptation of Watchmen 'refreshing and exciting and unexpected'

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Sep 8, 2018, 3:53 PM EDT

If you were worried about Damon Lindelof's "remix" of Watchmen for HBO, then the comic's co-creator, artist Dave Gibbons, has some words of assurance for you. 

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gibbons revealed that he's read the pilot script for the upcoming series. While Alan Moore (the writer of Watchmen) has disowned every movie or TV show attempting to adapt his comics, Gibbons has been actively involved in the crusade to bring Watchmen to the screen over the years.

"I don’t think it’s my place to say too much about it, other than I found Damon’s approach to be really refreshing and exciting and unexpected," he said. "I don’t think it’s gonna be what people think it’s going to be. It certainly wasn’t what I imagined it to be. I think it’s extremely fresh. I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the screen."

This makes sense, as the 2009 film version from director Zack Snyder (which Gibbons described as "flawed") basically took the panels of the original comic and turned them into live-action sequences. Giving us the same shot-for-shot interpretation would be redundant and unecessary. 

"While it’s very reverential and true to the source material (by which I mean the Watchmen graphic novel that Alan and I did), it’s not retreading the same ground, it’s not a reinterpretation of it. It approaches it in a completely unexpected way," Gibbons said. 

Lindelof's take on the iconic and influential graphic novel was recently picked up to series by HBO. As for Gibbons, he's just happy that Watchmen has endured for so long, and is surprised at the influence it had on other comic books in the years after its initial release. 

"It is amazing to me that after all this time there is still interest in it ... Alan and I thought we’d have a mildly successful series that would have its end and go into the remainder bin and that would be the end of it ... If it worked to the detriment of comics at all, it might be the 'grim and gritty' approach was taken by other people in the business to mean “ah this is how you must make comics.” So there was a decade of grim, gritty, and nihilistic comics, which wasn’t what we intended at all."

In fact, he said that if he and Moore had teamed up for a comic right after Watchmen it would have been something like Shazam, "something with a lighter, more humorous fable feeling to it rather than something dark and grim. I do apologize to the comic-reading public for all that misery."