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Though not as cavernous (or as intimidating) as HallH, the line for the the Watching the Watchmen panel — featuring Watchmen artist DaveGibbons, along with designers Chip Kidd and Mike Essl (and moderated by EW’stireless own Jeff Jensen) — was still pretty intimidating. That so many fans were interested in this book — a yet-to-be-published companion to the groundbreaking graphic novel — was testament that the original work has not been forgotten even as the buzz surrounding the upcomingWatchmen movie has reached a fever pitch.

Ostensibly there to talk about what went into making this book — including notes, drafts and ephemera from the original run of the series — Gibbons treated the audience to stories that won’t be found between the covers, touching on everything fromhis first experiences working in the American comics industry to his firstmeeting with Alan Moore. One of the more interesting anecdotes, or atleast the runner-up for the Best Mental Image of the Comic-Con — the steampunkGhostbusters pretty much always wins, sorry guys — came from Gibbonsexplaining that much of the “grammar and aesthetic” of Watchmen(including the nine panel grid, and the muted color scheme)was worked out during a time-honored teenage-girl ritual: thesleepover!

The conversation eventually came back to the genesisof the book, with Gibbons explaining that he hadalways been a hoarder and had prety much kept everything he had that was related to the creation of Watchmen, including some of Moore’s unused scripts. Responsible for organizing and putting everything together were Kidd and Essl. We can’t wait — with talent like this, the book should provide anengrossing making-of sage for fans and newbies alike.

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