Feb 9, 2014

Neil Gaiman and that Watchmen original art page

Watchmen #7, Page 16: the page that Gibbons and Moore gave to Gaiman.
From Neil Gaiman's Journal post dated 7th of February 2014.
"I ran into Dave Gibbons in Las Vegas in early December [2013], and he told me about a book they were putting together showcasing Watchmen original art. I reminded Dave that he and Alan had given me a page as a thank you when we were all much younger, and he suggested I might put it in the book.

As Dave says on this interview page...
I was talking to Neil Gaiman a couple of weeks ago - managed to have a catch-up with him over a cup of tea, which was great - and I mentioned this project [IDW’s forthcoming “Watchmen Artifact Edition”] to him and he’s got one particularly prime page that Alan (Moore) and I gave him back in the day when he used to help us with sourcing quotations and so on. He’s got the dream sequence - the Nite Owl dream sequence where there are, I think, like 20 panels on the page. So that’s a real iconic and favorite page.
[The complete Gibbons interview can be read here.]"

Reading the following lines you can better understand the reason why Moore and Gibbons gave a Watchmen page to Gaiman.

Excerpt from an interview with Neil Gaiman conducted in 1989 by Brian Hibbs, owner of San Francisco’s Comix Experience. 

Comix Experience: You’re listed in the credits of the Watchmen and Elektra paperbacks as “Special thanks to…” What gives? Have you been secretly plotting the course of western civilization’s comics these last few years?

Neil Gaiman: Yeah. I’m actually one of the secret masters. It’s the Gnomes of Zurich and me.
No, no… I remember Alan ringing me up when he was writing Watchmen #3, and said, “Neil, you’re an educated bloke. Where does the quote `Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?’ come from? I think someone said it when they were dying, but I don’t know when.” I went out, and found it for him, rang him back, and said, “No. It’s Genesis. God threatening to nuke Sodom and Gommorah.” He said, “Thanks”, then went off.
He rang me back a few months later and said, “Neil, I haven’t any quotes for the titles of #7 and #8. This is what happens in them, go find me a quote.” So I went off and got him “Brother to dragons, and companion to owls…” from Job for #7, and the poem for #8, Eleanor Farjeon’s “Hallowe’en”. “On Hallowe’en the old ghosts come.”
Also, while I was researching the Old Testament stuff, I was working my way through a huge Biblical concordance, getting various details. It fell open to a page on obscure history, and the name Rameses jumped out at me. I discovered this quote that said, roughly, “I’ve killed all these places, and left the widows weeping there. Everything is at peace, and everything is great in the world.” So I rang up Alan, and said, “What do you think of this?” He said “Great! I’ll stick it in #12″ So you’ve got Ozymandius quoting Rameses in Watchmen. (ED: #12, Pg. 20)
[The complete interview can be read here.]

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