The first time I read Watchmen was back in 2006. I had to go through a whacked PDF copy of it because back then Amazon wasn't there to make life easy for us. It was such an excellent read that I had to get myself a copy and being in India, that's easier said than done. So, I did what I guess most people would have done during the pre-ecommerce boom, buy a second hand paperback copy from ebay and have it shipped to India. Fast forward to 2015, I chose this edition to replace and upgrade my original paperback copy. If you are planning on buying this edition, here are a few things you should know:
1. The paperback edition is available at half the price of this edition and if you are not intending to make this a permanent addition to your library which can stand the test of time, my humble suggestion is to go for the paperback instead of the hardcover.
2. The hardcover edition has a hybrid glued-sewn binding like most DC hardcovers which makes it a little tight. Mind you, there is no gutter loss but you will need to use some ungainly force to make the book lie flat on the table.
3. Given the binding and if you handle your books properly, this edition will last for a long, long time without pages coming loose.
4. If you are a collector like me, there are two options when it comes to a hardcover copy of Watchmen - this 2013 DC Deluxe Edition and the Absolute Edition.
The Absolute Edition is the Holy Grail - A pure sewn binding, tons of bonus content, oversized, excellent build quality and comes in a slipcase. However, it costs roughly 4 times as much as the Deluxe HC.
The 2013 Deluxe HC compromises slightly on build quality front but not enough to qualify as a deal breaker. Its a little larger than the original TPB print size and contains almost 85% of the bonus content you find in the Absolute edition. The pages inside are beautiful heavy glossy stock paper. The book has a matte finish dust jacket with Issue #1's cover on the inside.
To sum up, if you are a collector on a budget, this edition is for you. Go for the Absolute edition if you have cash you can drop.
I have been a fan of Moore since V for Vendetta and Watchmen was at par (maybe even above the bar set by V) with his other works but the sheer scale of the narrative was way beyond what I can describe in words. What I loved about the series was how deeply the plot was driven not just by the characters but also by the setting itself which had been fully realized in Dave Gibbons' art. Every one of the central characters, superheros and antiheroes, are unlike your standard DC or Marvel cardboard cutouts, deeply flawed and therefore human. Watchmen is prose presented in the guise of a comic book which makes it better than either medium.