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 Post subject: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm 
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I have heard in a few posts that Moore and Gibbons put some filler in to flush out the plot. I was wondering what you all think of the whole subplot with the Indian painter and the author. I think all of that was well done up to the point on the party boat when they all get blown smithereens. Does anyone here kind of think that was filler or is it important to the story?


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:58 pm 
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Since both Hira Manish and Max Shea were instrumental in the creation of Veidt's creature and thus (unwittingly) helped to engineer the carnage to come, I'd say they were pretty important plot-wise. Oh, and Shea used to write a certain pirate comic title as well...


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:00 pm 
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Yeah I can see that. But did we really need to see them die. that is what I was getting at. I don't think they needed the death scene. That is what I was referring to as filler.


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:09 pm 
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UCONNgirl wrote:
Yeah I can see that. But did we really need to see them die. that is what I was getting at. I don't think they needed the death scene. That is what I was referring to as filler.

I think it helps to illustrate how Veidt felt he needed to tie up loose ends (just like he did with The Comedian) and to show how cold he could be. I say, yes, we needed to see that.

And as for the filler - I think all the back story and origin issues were the filler. I'm glad they were written. Those stand out as some of my favorite issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:21 pm 
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Lethal pyramid, baby. As the man said, Those involved are all dead.

And those mere two pages cram in a lotta sly references: clues in the way of Pyramid logos = Veidt a plenty (you gotta love the one prominently displayed above the legend Life Saver!), talk of the Black Freighter, two sketched glimpses of the horror to come, yet another doomsday (bomb) clock face showing mere minutes to midnight, a further embracing couple and their silhouetted shadow motif, and a spot of foreshadowing with an altogether alien tentacle-esque tree branch protruding from the beach.

That's all some pretty detailed 'filler'.


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:02 pm 
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If you're going to talk about filler in Watchmen, you've got to start with Black Freighter. It's thematically rich, but totally unimportant to the plot. In other words, it's pure filler.

There's also the death of Hollis Mason. I'm not 100% sure that was necessary. And more time was given to the lesbian couple than I think was needed.

And here's something interesting: When Moore and Gibbons first sat down to do Watchmen, they had no idea who Rorschach was or what would happen to him. So the first few appearances of the homeless man could be considered filler.

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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:45 am 
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Can we talk about the definition of "filler"? I had an irritated discussion twenty years ago with someone who called the Black Freighter sections filler; my position was that the Freighter comic reaffirms the themes of the book and is necessary as another way to see Veidt. In the intervening twenty years I've come to think of it as an essential part of the book, partly as it relates to the parody of genre in the book as a whole, and partly as it relates to the dissolution of generic and textual boundaries as the book progresses: Max Shea's fictions-within-the-fiction jump a discursive level and become calamarically "real" at the end of the book thanks to Veidt's plot.

If by "filler" we're talking the textual equivalent of a dude at the Academy Awards paid to sit in a starlet's seat while she goes for a pee - merely filling space for the cameras - then I don't see much in Watchmen as filler.


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:52 am 
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RLS wrote:
I don't see much in Watchmen as filler.
Is it just me, or did anyone else doubt that the excerpt from the Journal of the American Ornithological
Society just wouldn't have passed peer-reviewed muster?

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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:47 pm 
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Mannie Bothans wrote:
RLS wrote:
I don't see much in Watchmen as filler.
Is it just me, or did anyone else doubt that the excerpt from the Journal of the American Ornithological
Society just wouldn't have passed peer-reviewed muster?


Ha! Someone should write the peer reviewers' assessments.


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:54 pm 
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RLS wrote:
Can we talk about the definition of "filler"?

I assume when we talk about "filler" we're talking abot material added after Moore and Gibbons found out from DC they were going to need 12 issues instead of 6. So when I say "filler" I'm not implying that the material has any less value.

Pretty much all of the "Watchmaker" issue came after the creators found out they needed 12 issues, and that chapter, in my opinion, is one of the standout issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:25 pm 
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DoomsdayClock wrote:
RLS wrote:
Can we talk about the definition of "filler"?

I assume when we talk about "filler" we're talking abot material added after Moore and Gibbons found out from DC they were going to need 12 issues instead of 6. So when I say "filler" I'm not implying that the material has any less value.

Pretty much all of the "Watchmaker" issue came after the creators found out they needed 12 issues, and that chapter, in my opinion, is one of the standout issues.


RLS hates that issue.

Just in case you were wondering.

I believe DoomsdayClock answered the original poster's question, anyway, both truthfully and accurately, leaving the definition of what is and what is not "filler" purely academic.

Not that anyone appears to care, as this thread has been lying dormant for days.


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:41 pm 
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Well, I think that the definition of "filler" is a key issue. It merits debate and discussion.

In my mind, "filler" means anything that isn't directly involved with the plot. By "plot," I mean a sequence of set-ups and payoffs that lead to a single conclusion.

As I said before, the Black Freighter is pure filler. Malcolm's arc -- including his meetings with Rorschach -- are filler. About 90% of Jon's flashbacks on Mars is filler.

The newsvendor arc is not filler, because he is used to convey important information, such as the invasion of Afghanistan. The Dan-Laurie-Jon love triangle is not filler because it affects how the three characters act in ways that are essential to the plot. The prisoner killed by Rorschach is not filler, because it helps to set up the jailbreak scene.

Does all that make sense?

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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:27 pm 
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Quote:
Well, I think that the definition of "filler" is a key issue. It merits debate and discussion.


That's fine, I'm all for debate and discussion, but as far as UCONNgirl's original question goes, DoomsdayClock answered it. Both origin issues turned out to be fantastic, but they are the "filler" she was referring to.


Eh, never mind. I just went back and read her original post. Got confused somewhere. Hurm.


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:28 pm 
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Regardless of how we define it, I can see how some people may see certain subplots or multiple page backstories as "filler." Whether they were origianlly intended to be included by Moore before or after DC told him he needed 12 issues.

I have a good friend who had read Watchmen, and when I told him about the movie the first thing he said was "Oh God, I hope they don't have that Black Freighter in the film. What a waste of time."

So, this seems like a good thread to discuss what you think doesn't belong in the graphic novel,if anything, and to tell us why.

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 Post subject: Full of it
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:52 am 
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I tend to define "filler" as the stuff that doesn't engage or interest me. I know that it means the stuff that was added to achieve a certain length, but I found the character/origin issues the most engaging. I found some of the metatext at the ends of the chapters especially interesting. I wouldn't call it filler, but I can understand why it might be seen that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:11 pm 
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Mannie Bothans wrote:
RLS wrote:
I don't see much in Watchmen as filler.
Is it just me, or did anyone else doubt that the excerpt from the Journal of the American Ornithological
Society just wouldn't have passed peer-reviewed muster?


Totally and absolutely. It was more of a mildly amusing popular press essay for some general-topic magazine than anything that would appear in a professional journal.

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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:16 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
And here's something interesting: When Moore and Gibbons first sat down to do Watchmen, they had no idea who Rorschach was or what would happen to him. So the first few appearances of the homeless man could be considered filler.


I'm curious about this. It certainly seems plausible, but there a bit in the "Absolute Edition" reprint of the original character proposals that specifically says about Rorschach, "He poses as a placard-toting religious fanatic and lives in a seedy one-room apartment...." This part of the text is about the character after he was altered from being The Question, but is it still from the story proposal before the series was written?

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 Post subject: Re: Killer of Filler
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:32 pm 
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I would define "filler" as material written just to make a project reach a certain size. But that in no way means it's bad or less than desirable to include. The word probably has a bad rep because in the case of many authors, it could easily be removed without hurting the project one bit. In Alan Moore's case, I think it's hard to realize that some of this stuff wasn't ALWAYS intended to be included from the start.


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