Every Saturday we have some of our favorite writers from around the web fill in for us. Today, we have one-time Cracked writer G. Xavier Robillard, whose first novel Captain Freedom - A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves" (Harper Collins), comes out next week.
Today he takes you through a few years in the life of a fanboy ...
#1. The Rumors
A friend forwards an email from a temp in the legal department of DC Comics: "They're making a movie of Watchmen. Nothing confirmed." He pulled it off one of those fanfic forums with animated GIFs of flaming swords in the header, a site that boasts of the Web's largest collection of scanned renderings of Wonder Woman naked.
Your heart flutters but you can't believe the rumor. No way that's happening. The narrative structure's too complicated for a two hour movie. It covers a 40 year time span. How would they include the story of the Black Frigate, the comic book within the comic book? Still, you're curious.
It was like that rumor that Betsy Anderson, the prettiest girl in high school, was going to ask you to the senior prom. You were in 10th grade, and she wasn't asking to repay you for helping her rewire her circuit board in shop or because she needed a college letter of recommendation from your father, who taught her AP chem class. She asked you because she was prone to experimentation, which she would later express by dating women, eating LSD and dabbling in Buddhism while at Oberlin. But in high school the wild streak was limited to dating younger men in the chess club.
These rumors crop up all the time. But Betsy did ask you to the prom.
#2. Gut Check with Friends
You can't believe the rumor might be true but it continues to grow every day. A bike messenger claims to have seen a script. You need to check in with your peeps, so you post a message on your favorite #IRC channel.
"You hear they're making a Watchmen movie?"
Positive responses trickle in. Maybe this is a good thing.
#3. The Crush
The movie studio leaks images from the movie; storyboards first, then stills. There are rumors of a trailer at ComicCon. Storyboards look exactly like the book. This is the way to make a movie.
#4. The Obsession
Your crush has unfurled into a full-blown obsession. You promised yourself you wouldn't get this excited. Remember what happened when Blair Witch came out? You read every article and every website. You followed the entire thing and saw the movie the night it came out and it was worse than a cold shit and pickle sandwich. You swore you'd never get that worked up again. These people break your heart, just like Betsy Anderson did when she went off to college, leaving you on your own for two more miserable years of high school. You taped up the framed portrait you'd stolen from her parents living room to your locker and left it there for the rest of high school, a reminder as pathetic as the Daredevil skin you still have on Firefox.
But you're back in love. Watchmen will be the single best fucking comic book movie ever. Better than Spider-Man, better than Iron Man; it'll be so good you'll forget the embarrassment of the two Fantastic Four movies and the dismal plotless massacre that was X-Men III. You read blogs, you write your own blog posts in response to those blogs and then Google your blog titles to look for copycats. Your new Twitter account is @WatchmanWatcher. How did nobody else think of that?
#5. Cold Feet
The movie is about to come out. You scored tickets for the midnight screening using a Fandango query string hack you pulled off a little-read Slashdot board. It feels like you have waited for this day forever, even though a short 27 months ago you were complaining about how this movie was going to suck. You read a blog post by someone on the inside who said they changed the ending. Is it true? A typical Hollywood ending? Do you even want to know? Was it true that Betsy Anderson was like Jamie Lee Curtis, who your science teacher claimed had male chromosomes but, phenotypically, was a woman?
You calm down. You take a break from the comix blogs and go directly to the first teaser trailer, the one from ComicCon--not the one with the crapulous My Chemical Romance song--the Smashing Pumpkins one. That song is all about alienation and so is Watchmen! Your faith is restored. It will be awesome.
#6. The Consummation
The movie is everything you could have imagined. They've left out only the unnecessary scenes, adjusted the ending just a little bit in a way you think Alan Moore himself would like. You cannot believe the FX. It's exactly like prom night, when you picked up Betsy Anderson in your used Hyundai. Her dress, the shimmering fabric was like something so mysterious you were convinced it was made by elves. And her curly blond hair, worn up with so many flowers. How did all those flowers get there? Did she have a Hollywood stylist or is this some sort of girl magic that you can look forward to for the rest of your life? Betsy kissed you on the lips. While her parents are taking photos.
You cannot look away from the screen, not for a second to Twitter your friends about what you've just seen. You'll let down your 14 followers but they'll understand.
Before Betsy went to college she slept over one night while your parents were in Maine. That night she slept in her plain white panties and your Watchmen tee-shirt, the one with the yellow smiley face and the single drop of blood that everyone thinks is a bullet wound but really isn't. Your life has come full circle.
The next morning you feel spent. You wonder what you had been so excited about. You think about going again, and you see it once. Just one matinée. A few weeks later you've forgotten who was even in the movie.
A couple of months later you'll clean up your email inbox. You'll delete all the messages about the movie, all the plans. You'll cancel your membership to the Watchmen forums. You'll delete the limited edition desktop wallpaper image. You'll feel a little bit embarrassed. Annoyed with how much time you wasted.
Then ComicCon comes again. They leak a teaser trailer to Hawk Girl. There's no way you're going to see that. If Joss Whedon were writing and directing, maybe. Still. Do they have a website yet?
Read more from Mr. Robillard at All Day Coffee and find out more about his novel by clicking on the cover below.
Images courtesy of one man Photoshop powerhouse Randall S. Maynard.