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So, see: For good or ill, Watchmen is important. Only time will tell if the film affects regular moviegoers the same way it affected comic geeks (you know, like me). In the meantime, take my advice -- go watch Watchmen.
Other recommended reading
If you're excited about the idea of seeing (or reading) Watchmen, you may want to pick up these other comics by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons:
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Yes, the film version sucked, but the comics -- written by Moore -- were excellent. The League is actually a series of limited series that chronicle the adventures of some of literature's most famous characters. All the comics starring the League have been collected in several trade paperbacks. A new adventure is set to hit stores this year.
Swamp Thing: Moore "remixed" this struggling series, and in the process he created the blueprint for the modern horror comic. Swamp Thing tells the story of a man who gets turned into a muck monster and eventually finds out that he plays a role in the world's magical/environmental foundations. As a writer on the series, Moore created the magical anti-hero John Constantine -- who later stars in his own series and is adapted into a wack-ass movie starring Keanu Reeves. Moore's run on Swamp Thing is available in trade paperback.
V for Vendetta: In this limited series, another one of Moore's works that was later turned into a film, a masked revolutionary fights against a facist British empire in the future. It's also collected in book form.
From Hell: Moore wrote this massive tale of Jack the Ripper that was drawn by acclaimed artist Eddie Campbell -- and also eventually made the leap to the silver screen in a film starring Johnny Depp.
Lost Girls: Moore wrote this controversial and sexually charged tale, featuring Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, and Wendy Darling from Peter Pan. All of Moore's stuff is adult-oriented, but this one really ain't for the kiddies.
The Originals: A rare comic that was written and drawn by Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, The Originals is a graphic novel that stars battling gangs of youth who wear "Mod" clothes and ride hovering scooters in an alternate England.