Chronscast Season 1 Episode 5 - Watchmen with Tade Thompson

Feb 13, 2011
In your bedroom wardrobe...
On this episode of Chronscast we're joined by award-winning SF author Tade Thompson to talk about WATCHMEN, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's comic-book masterpiece that skewers the superhero genre using its own architecture. Tade is the author of numerous novels, including the critically acclaimed sci-fi novel Rosewater, the first in his award winning WORMWOOD TRILOGY, Making Wolf, and most recently Far From the Heaven, and the Molly Southbourne series. He has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nommo Award, the Kitschies Golden Tentacle award, and the Julia Verlange award, and been shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, and the Shirley Jackson Prize.

We talk about how WATCHMEN reflects contemporary 1980s existential anxieties around the Cold War nuclear annihilation, and how it skewers the absurd braggadocio of the superhero genre. We dig down into the weeds of the book, picking apart the characters, their differing pathologies, and whether salvation lies in a masked figure. We ask how the genre can innovate from here, and why WATCHMEN endures. We also touch on the free spiritedness of Manga, writing fractured timelines as seen in Rosewater, and how the creation of narratives builds a psychological bridge between art and clinical practice.

The Judge gives us the second part of her talk on defamation, reminding us that usually the only winners of such altercations are the lawyers - so watch out! Elsewhere we hear Starship, Christine Wheelwright's excellent winning entry to the April 75-word writing challenge, and Superman has an axe to grind with Pine Marten Man... or is he just jealous?

Further Reading
You Better Watch Yourself
The Kryptonite Kid
Quack This Way
Where Are You Now, Batman?

Next Month
Join us next time when we'll be joined by Ed Wilson, literary agent and director of the Johnson & Alcock literary agency. Ed will walk with us through the labyrinth that is Mark Danielewski's mad millennial monster story House Of Leaves.

[00:00:00] Tade Thompson Interview Part 1 [1:04:03] Voicemail 1 [1:05:10] The Judge's Corner [1:18:03] Voicemail 2 [1:19:00] Writing Challenge Winner [1:21:02] Voicemail 3 [1:22:00] Tade Thompson Interview Part 2

How To Listen
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This was a brilliant episode, lots of fun to do. Tade is a real comics guy and had a great deep knowledge of the genre.

We may well do a follow up to this episode in the future to discuss the HBO series of Watchmen, which is a sort of sequel to the graphic novel (though not the film adaptation).

@The Judge when you sticky this thread could you change the thread title to Episode 5 please? Ta x
I really enjoyed this, especially the discussion with Tade about writing towards the end, and the talk about defamation. Good work everyone!
Very good episode, thanks! It's a testament to the richness of "Watchmen" that Tade pointed out aspects of the comic that even the hosts hadn't previously noticed... so much is there that only comes out with repeated readings
I'm not sure why, but i started with this episode rather than episode 1. I've not heard of Tade Thompson, but i was impressed by what he had to say. He clearly knows his stuff when it comes to comics. I especially enjoyed listening to what each of you got out of the subtext in the Watchmen series as I've only ever seen the Zack Snyder movie.

Rosewater sounds like a quite interesting read and i bought the trilogy on the basis of this chat. I don't know when i'll get around to reading it.

The talk on defamation of character was quite interesting for me. As a non-writer, i never really consider this side of things.

The voicemail messages were hilarious.