Ha, ha, he said “number two”

31Jul08

Last week, my girlfriend voluntarily did two comic book-related things that, surprisingly, were her idea: accompanied me to see The Dark Knight and read Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. Since your favorite internet humourist Jay Pinkerton is likely reading this and realizing that this is his copy of Jimmy Corrigan, which I’ve been keeping in storage for him with some other comics, I’ll assure him that I made her clean most of the peanut butter off her fingers. She liked Jimmy Corrigan, although she keeps accidentally referring to it as Billy Corgan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. It makes sense: They’re both bald and self-pitying.

But that reminds me of the Billy Corgan-related tie-in to my Dark Knight experience:1 I finally got to see a trailer for the upcoming Watchmen film, which excited me a great deal. I’m not sure if Jay left his copy of the graphic novel here, but one way or another, I’m making my girlfriend read it. (She draws the line at Frank Miller’s the Dark Knight Returns, though, which makes no sense; she liked The Dark Knight, and the Miller comic is easily the equal of the Christopher Nolan film. I may lie and say Heath Ledger inked the comic before he died.) But what I found odd about the Watchmen trailer is the inclusion of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “The End Is the Beginning Is the End”,2 which appeared in and naturally evokes the specter of the worst superhero movie of all time, Batman and Robin. This is not a good omen.

The song I’d have picked? Belle and Sebastian’s “Dirty Dream Number Two”. Admittedly, it doesn’t fit the mood at all. Yet, I have never once listened to the lyric “Dream one, you had a whole lot of fun with a comedian” without taking it as a direct reference to Edward “The Comedian” Blake, the cigar-chomping anti-hero whose murder is central to the plot of Watchmen.3 I know Stuart Murdoch probably didn’t intend this, but if you imagine Dan “Nite Owl II” Dreiberg singing the song to Laurie “Silk Spectre II” Juspeczyk, the lyrics actually work pretty well.

1. Speaking of my Dark Knight experience, my only gripe is the tightly shot, shaky, confusing editing of the fight scenes, part of a trend that needs to go. Otherwise, it’s perfect. Having seen him in nothing else other than 10 Things I Hate About You, I didn’t really mourn Ledger until seeing him as the Joker. He’s leagues beyond Jack Nicholson, who, as always, simply played Jack Nicholson in his outing. I’m just glad the part calls for heavy makeup so they can focus on getting someone who can match Ledger’s performance, rather than just a lookalike; I’ll accept Johnny Depp. And as for Aaron Eckhart, I believed in Harvey Dent. The Dark Knight did everything for the character that Batman Forever screwed up unforgivably, and I’d love to see him written into a sequel. Who’s the villain for the next one? I’ve read Nolan’s not keen on the Penguin. I’d like to see Bane rehabilitated for a future film, considering how awfully he was squandered in Batman and Robin. Throw in Azrael, and the whole Knightfall arc could make a great movie.
2. Or “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning”. Whatever.
3. This isn’t a spoiler, so shut it.



12 Responses to “Ha, ha, he said “number two””

  1. 1 Matt

    What’s wrong with “Boneyard Tree”? Too on the nose?

  2. 2 hilly

    You have “Dark Knight” spelled as “Dark Night” in the middle of the second paragraph. Just sayin’.

    “The Dark Knight” is a movie that is hard as hell to get your head around. I came out of the theater very aware that I had forgotten half of what happened, but certainly not from boredom. The fantastic things I was shown in the first half of the film had been bodily shoved from my mind, finding themselves crowded out by the even more fantastic things that took place in the latter half.

    I have little confidence, however, that “Watchmen” will be watchable. Who will watch “Watchmen”?

  3. 3 Peter Lynn

    Matt: I simply forgot it existed. I think I might have even seen that band live, at Riverfest in Brockville or something.

    Hilly: So I did. Fixed!

    The Dark Knight was a long movie. I was beginning to think they were saving the real Harvey Dent stuff for the next movie, but then it just kept on going. I think I missed some details at the end because I had to piss so badly that it was hard to concentrate.

    According to the Republic, Plato’s answer was that the Watchmen will watch themselves. Alan Moore won’t see the movie, though, or at least won’t ever admit to it. So it may be up to me. I’m expecting the worst but hoping for the best, the only thing you can really do with a Watchmen adaptation. I like that Zach Snyder’s filming the Tales of the Black Freighter bit for the DVD. That’s a good sign that he wants to do right by the material.

  4. 4 hilly

    I probably will see it myself — I just felt the need to get that semi-retarded play on words out of my system. My prediction is that we’ll see it in many Life, Style or Arts columns of various periodicals as March 2009 gets closer.

  5. 5 Joe Red

    I’m really expecting Watchmen to be awful. At the same time though, I won’t let that stop me from enjoying it. It’ll be fun to abandon any hope, kick my feet up, and see how badly they fucked it up.

  6. I snagged the scans of the comic off Bittorrent today, loaded it up on a USB key, and have been rereading it at work. God, it really is terrific. Anyone out there who hasn’t read it certainly should, and I’m definitely making my girlfriend read it. Here’s the question, though: Do I make her read it before the movie, which might make the movie a disappointment to her as well as spoil the ending (assuming they’ve left it intact). Or do I let her see the movie first, at which point she’ll probably think reading the comic is redundant and, if the movie stinks, not worth her while?

  7. 7 Joe Red

    Definitely read the comic first. Whichever you do first will ruin the second, it’s better you ruin a movie that probably won’t be too good than ruin what is often argued to be the best graphic novel of all time.

  8. 8 Ken

    I am embarrassed to admit that I understood everything in that last paragraph. Goodness, I’m such a nerd.

  9. 9 Peter Lynn

    She has officially given in and agreed to read Watchmen. “I guess this is my summer of comics,” she says glumly.

  10. 10 Candace

    Not that your readers care, but I read that other one of Jay’s too. What was it called? It’s a Nice Life if You Don’t Weaken? God, my memory is terrible. I really like this post. I miss you!

  11. 11 Peter Lynn

    Holy cow, hon, how did you get on the Internet? Did Cape Bretoners finally invent a lobster-powered computer?

  12. 12 Teaflax

    My wife relented and read Watchmen about two years ago – so that only took eight years. Not being a comics reader, she couldn’t stand the almost constant use of boldface in the text. To her it was distracting enough to kill her enjoyment of the whole and I doubt I’ll ever get her to read a comic again. Feh.


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