Monday, August 27, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter VIII - page 26


Panel 1: The pirate caption, “…the water’s surface seemed as stone beneath my [feet]…” once more is a commentary on the contemporary scene, as we see a close-up view of the Knot-Tops’ feet racing through puddles on the paved streets.

Panel 2:  Dave Gibbons’s imagery here – of a man standing upon the water, haloed by the sun – emphasizes the voice-over dialogue from this marooned sailor, specifically “…a charnel messiah…”

Panel 3:  The caption box text, specifically “…had [death’s] terrible shadow passed me by…” is accentuated by the shadows of the Knot-Tops passing across the old fence, which is sprayed with graffiti for, among other things seen in earlier chapters, the band Krystalnacht, which is a variation on the term Kristallnacht, known as the night of broken glass, which refers to a rash of violent anti-Jewish pogroms that occurred on November 9-10, 1938.

Panel 3-4:  The captions from the pirate comic that carry across these two panels – “…I lifted my uncomprehending eyes to the heavens and saw instead the Earth…” – symbolizes this protagonist’s descent into Hell, metaphorically.  By looking up and seeing the Earth, it signifies that he is below the Earth, or in Hell.  Which he is.

Panel 5:  Even as we see the destination of these Knot-Tops – the home of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl, whom they have come to mistakenly believe was responsible for Rorschach’s jailbreak – the pirate comic’s text, again, does double duty as we learn the marooned sailor has “…reached [his] destination…” at the same time these gang members have reached theirs.

Panel 7:  Again, we see bits, but never the entirety, of the “Who Watches the Watchmen?” graffiti.

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