The Hidden S in Phone Booth

Who watches the Watchmen books? The Hidden S of Course... The drumbeats for the release of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen are at a zenith now as evidenced by an ever increasing flood of promotional merchandise and materials concerning this long awaited film. Among the items are a number of books which officially tie into the release of the film. Books such as Watching the Watchmen (Titan), which came out early in the fall of 2008, helped begin the process of educating and/or refreshing the public with regard to the Watchmen comic history and mythology. More recently, a series of books have been released in quick succession which chronicle the creation of the film. Two of these books, Watchmen: The Art of the Film and Watchmen: The Official Film Companion (both Titan Books releases) have just been released and are authored by Peter Aperlo. These works are visually striking with enough insider information to make the film’s creation seem a fascinating thing even to a very casual comic fan. A third release called Watchman Portraits is something else entirely and may be destined to be one of the more memorable photo books of this year. Watchmen Portraits (Titan) is a stunning work of art that transcends the comic genre (and even transcends its film connections for that matter). Photographer Clay Enos has managed to incorporate a fine art photographer’s eye to transform the idea of a comic character into something both grand and poignant; operatic and silly; weird and uplifting. Enos’ portraits evoke the work of 20th century masters such as Avedon and Walker Evans. In some ways, the portraits seem like New Yorker photos that might accompany a fictional article in this venerable magazine. Mainly, the photos are revealing psychologically as you can see the Comedian's mental pathology, Ozymandius' elitism, the original Nite Owl's wariness, etc. The realistic photos also are thematically true to the Moore/Gibbons materials which depict a basically real world milieu where superheros are fallen, even pathetic figures. These photos reflect some of these ideas by bringing these characters into recognizably human form. Enos has photographed much of the promotional material on the Watchmen site that you have probably seen over the last few months. With this set of photos, Enos could move from being a very good professional photographer into a very well-known sought after stylist. It is exciting to think what Enos could do on the upcoming Iron Man sequel, the third Christian Bale Batman film, etc. The Hidden S