Sunday, August 26, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter VIII - page 25


Panel 1: with the pirate comic’s caption box:  “our damnation…”

The latter text in this caption box – remarking how their damnation dominated “their bubbling dialogues” – is, again, a commentary on the contemporary dialogue where the Knot-Tops at the newsstand are talking over one another, each one hoping his/her remark will “bubble” to the top.

Panel 2:  Moore continues to juxtapose the pirate comic’s caption boxes against the contemporary scene, as the formerly marooned sailor considers that we were banished from Heaven for our sins and sentenced to “this pandemonium … call[ed] the world.”  This remark is a direct commentary upon the tensions rising at the newsstand, as the girl who wants to “get crazy” is mumbling frantically about the end of the world to the newsvendor, while more Knot-Tops show up with news that will incite these gang members to murder in a few pages.

Panel 3:  The pirate caption:  “…death’s rough hand [is] our only deliverance…” is not only metaphorical, in the context of the pirate comic, but also literal, as we see the bearded and broken sailor pulling on the hand of one of his deceased comrades whose gas-bloated bodies are keeping his raft afloat. 
And again, it is a commentary on the contemporary dialogue, where the newer Knot-Top is recounting how Rorschach was delivered from prison by his friends, which will result in the death of a superhero not involved in the jailbreak.

Panel 5:  the female Knot-Top’s remark, “… the sky, burning …” is realized by the coloring of John Higgins in the pirate comic panel, where the sky is a mix of reds and oranges, as if it were truly burning.

Panel 6:  The caption box:  “…feet first into cold and dank mortality…” foreshadows the climax of this chapter, as the Knot-Tops rush off in order to find and “deal” with Nite Owl.

The newsvendor’s final remark here, “Just like old times,” transitions directly to

Panel 7: where the Nostalgia (a sentimental yearning for “old times”) advertisement is prominently displayed.

Also note, the New York Gazette headline is more easily read here, as seen in the newspaper vending machine.

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