Talk:Watchmen

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Publication history[edit]

I've reinstated the PH, since it's not protocol to use a non-standard format without discussion — only one uses a non-standard format because it's better than using the standard format, and that's a high bar when consensus was reached on a certain format for a reason. WPC MOS places the PH at top so that it gives an overview and sets the foundation: If you're new to a comics subject, you want to know right off where and when it appeared. Without that, nothing that follows has context. I didn't remove the more expansive and background-oriented publication history that was buried in the article — I simply gave a quick — five-sentence? — overview that set the stage. One would actually need a rationale to bury the stuff rather than presenting it up top as per standard MOS, but I tried to respect that others were doing and didn't ask for that. I hope you'll respect my reasoning as well, for following MOS. --Tenebrae (talk) 17:28, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

And I've just seen Indopug again restored dead links and non-standard formatting. No, we're not mandated to use templated link format. But one of the criteria for Good Article or Featured Article status is that cite formation and indeed date format is supposed to be consistent. Templated links are the easiest way to make the citations consistent. Do we really have to do an RfC to show our versions side by side and ask editors if they prefer the one with adheres to WPC MOS, has consistent link formatting and has live links rather than dead ones? Because right now, there's an argument to be made for removing GA status, because of those concerns..
Two active editors disagree with Indopug's versions. I'm not sure Indopug can say he's absolutely right and TWO other editors are both absolutely wrong, especially given the reasoning I stated above. And wholesale reversion to a format before these two other editors contributed IS his insisting that he's right and two other editors both are wrong. I'd like to address his points one by one: A rationale for going against WPC MOS. A rationale for having a hodgepodge of citation styles. A rational for having dead links. And on a minor point, a misuse of the word "seminal." --Tenebrae (talk) 17:37, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

Two editors have sought to 1) incorporate the WikiProject's MOS standard opening section of Publication history, which should only not be used because of a compelling, overriding reason otherwise; 2) standardize the hodgepodge of different citation formats; 3) correct some grammar / definitions; 4) and replace a plethora of dead links with live links. One editor consistently reverts to an older version not incorporating the above changes. Editors are asked to comment on which is the more appropriate version: the first or the second. (Diffs here.) --Tenebrae (talk) 18:07, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

FWIW, the edit war that has arisen between the above user and myself is regrettable and entirely avoidable. Note that I have repeatedly tried to start a discussion with him/her (on his talk, on this page above and the revision history), but he has repeatedly sought to enforce his undiscussed, wholesale changes to a stable featured article. The Wikipedia:OWN#Featured articles policy exists to expressly prevent edit-wars and such to arise: "Editors are asked to take particular care when editing a Featured article; it is considerate to discuss significant changes of text or images on the talk page first." Now, although the editor has commented on his changes here and on my talk, he has almost-instantaneously also restores his version of the article; in other words, he has given no time for discussion. As for the specific changes made to the article (mostly repeating what I wrote above):
  • Addition of a Publication history section: this is the most strange to me, because it is already discussed thoroughly in 'Publication and reception'. The Before Watchmen stuff is in 'Prequel projects'. If the intention of the section is to give the reader an idea of the publication history before he reads the rest of the article, that's already taken care of by the lead. The editor has asked for "compelling, overriding reasons otherwise"; I'd say the fact that it has already been discussed twice is a compelling-enough reason. Finally, to quote Wikipedia:CMOS#STRUCTURE, "The structures suggested in this section are intended to serve as a starting point for writing a good article; they are not meant to enforce a single, binding structure on all articles, nor to limit the topics a fully developed article will discuss"
    • Then remove the completely buried PH and put it up top where it belong. Hy make users hunt for it when we've got a perfectly good MOS that addresses this?--Tenebrae (talk) 20:42, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
      • I think it would be better to remove the technical aspects of the book's publication history and put them in the "Publication history" section. No need for duplication, and no need to mix it up with the rest of the background information. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:14, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure what you mean? Do you feel the article should start with Background (i.e. how it has all these years) or with a Publication history (Tenebrae's version)? Also, does the CMOS actually mandate that articles must start with a Publication history at all (I couldn't find that when I read it)? And (even if it does) doesn't it allow for variations in style and structure (as I've quoted above)?—indopug (talk) 21:33, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Or from the "Publication and reception" section or whatever. I think there should be a "Publication history" section, and I don't care where it goes. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:04, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't see it in WP:CMOS either, but I do think the info should be separated—I think the publication details are a seprate concern from the rest of the background, and it seems strange to me that they are mixed. Personally, as a reader, I'd like to see an overview and plot synopsis first, but I do understand that within the fandom subculture publication histories are something that is fetishized over. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:41, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • If it isn't even in CMOS, then isn't it unfair to impose what are exactly somebody's preferences to the article? Also, I'm not what sure about "publication details are a seprate concern from the rest of the background"; isn't this article already like that? Background is about the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons came to create the comic-book. There's no publication stuff there.—indopug (talk) 21:49, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Or the "Publication and reception" section or whatever. I think there should be a "Publication history" section separate from the rest, and I don't care what order it appears in. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:28, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Comics#Section titles. You'll see precisely the phrases that have become the standard throughout probably hundreds of Wikipedia comics articles. Why reinvent the wheel for no good reason? PH is first because these details are the quantitative real-world facts about a comic book. How it began, what the plot is, what the critics think, etc. is fine. But the most basic, baseline tenets of research dictate you begin with "Here's is what it is" before you jump to "Here is how ti came to be." --Tenebrae (talk) 22:08, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Publication history doesn't come first in, say, The Sun Also Rises (an FA). Personally, I think Publication histroy is unlikely to be what most readers would expect (or want) first thing. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:28, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I think you and I are in agreement to remove Tenebrae's duplicate PH section (all of which is repeated in Pub and rec) at the start. It looks like reception is merged with Publcn because there were very few contemporary reviews for a fleshed-out reception section.—indopug (talk) 22:31, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • No, we're not in agreement. I think the article should have a Publication history section, and that the duplicated information should be removed from the other sections and put into the "Publication history" section.
    • "there were very few contemporary reviews" for Watchmen? That beggars belief! Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:40, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • How is that different from how the publication stuff is treated now? (which is all in P&R)
  • Reception: in the article right now, is all I'm saying. :)—indopug (talk) 22:59, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Publication and reception are two very different things; they should be treated in separate sections. If there is a paucity of contempary reviews, then all the more reason this article needs more work. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:37, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Changes to citation style: Per the WP:CITEVAR guideline, "[Avoid] Adding citation templates to an article that already uses a consistent system without templates". The wholesale change in citation style was thus unwarranted. There's absolutely nothing wrong with not using the templates. And no, there's no reason that you need to use cite templates to maintain a regular date format or fix dead links.
    • There wasn't any one style of citation. It was a hodgepodge of styles. Sometimes authors were first name last, sometimes last name first, among other contradictions. That's just one example.--Tenebrae (talk) 20:42, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
      • I think CITEVAR would carry more weight here if it had ben Indopug who had cited this article and decided to settle on one particular style. As it is, Tat least as far as I can tell, Tenebrae's just been converting the info in the <ref>s to templates, which doesn't seem particularly disruptive (it's not like converting {{rp}}-style refs to {{sfn}}s, for example). Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:06, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think CITEVAR discriminates with who cited the initial article. For the record, the user who did cite this is article is User:WesleyDodds at its FAR, who abstains from using templates. And I wouldn't call it "disruptive", the CITEVAR guideline exists precisely to prevent edit-wars like this. BTW, there are still several untemplated sources in the article; so the "hodge-podge" hasn't exactly been cleared.—indopug (talk) 21:33, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't know WesleyDodds well enough, but does he consciously abstain from using templates, or did he just not happen to use them when the article was made FA way back in 1986?
    • If there are still untemplated cites, I imagine the reason is that their templatification was interrrupted by this spat. The article was still being edited very actively when you reverted, remember. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:08, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Having worked with Wesley regularly, I can assure you that he doesn't use citation templates.—indopug (talk) 22:31, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Meaning, he consciously avoids them, or just doesn't happen to use them? Hopefully he'll speak up—he was invited to this shootup as well. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:42, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Dead links and date formats: (as I said above, when I first commented) no issues here, they definitely need to be fixed. As a show of good faith, I indicated that I was even willing to reinstate the archived links myself (in the existing cite format), if we could have had a reasonable discussion.
  • "seminal": not sure what's wrong with the usage of this word. Of course a 1987 comic book can't be an influence for all comic-books ever. However, as the text explains, ever since Watchmen, comics have taken on an increasingly dark and gritty tone, and also became evermore sophisticated. By only calling it a "critical and commercial success", you're underplaying its influence on future works.—indopug (talk) 19:20, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • What's wrong with using it? Ask a dictionary. --Tenebrae (talk) 20:42, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
      • When I was editing the article recently, this is one I wanted to get rid of myself. It sounds like it's puffing up the piece. If "seminal" is going to be a synonym for "influential", then we're going to end up with an awful lot of "seminal" books out there ... Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Except it's not used like that here. If you read the Legacy section, it backs the claim of it being "seminal" ("containing or contributing the seeds of later development : creative, original <a seminal book>" according to Merriam Webster) to a specific kind of comic book, and not merely "influential". Any number of reliable sources (Slate, IGN, Forbes) use that very word too.—indopug (talk) 21:33, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Any number of reliable sources will use any amount of bombast—they are not encyclopædias. "containing or contributing the seeds of later development" sure sounds like "influential" to me. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:31, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - I don't have a horse in this race, but I'd like to point out that the opening comment for an RfC is supposed to worded neutrally. The above opening comment is very non-neutral and strongly supportive of one side of this issue. I'd like for someone who is knowledgeable about this subject to reword it. Cresix (talk) 19:59, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Which part? I'm assuming you don't find "correct some grammar / definitions" and "replace a plethora of dead links with live links." non-neutral. "Incorporate the WikiProject's MOS standard opening section of Publication history" is neutral. So is the phrase after it. That leaves "standardize the hodgepodge of different citation formats." Is "hodgepodge" the issue? How about then "standardize the varying citation formats"? --Tenebrae (talk) 20:50, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
      • You conveniently left out the most biased part: "which should only not be used because of a compelling, overriding reason otherwise". That clearly supports one side of this issue. And again, I emphasize that that I'm not taking sides, just pointing out the biased opening statement of the RfC. Cresix (talk) 21:49, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
          • I didn't leave anything out: I said, "So is the phrase after it." All that phrase is, is a definition of what "manual of style consensus" means, since Indopug didn't seem to be getting it. You're right: No one should have to explain that, obviously, we don't go counter to manual of style consensus unless we have a compelling, overriding reason. But if he'd understood that basic fact, this wouldn't have been an issue, and so it needed to be explained. --Tenebrae (talk) 22:02, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, the only person here who doesn't understand the MoS is you. Not only does the CMoS not say "Publication history should come first no matter what!" (as Curly Turkey confirmed), it also describes itself as providing only basic guidelines, allowing different articles to be structured differently.—indopug (talk) 22:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Okay, this is just short of namecalling on the parts of both of you. Tenebrae believed it was in the MoS, and, who knows? maybe it was once. Who cares? Let's talk about the issues, and not about who said what about whom. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:19, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
[e/c; this was intended to follow 22:10, 24 March 2013] See my comment above at 22:08, 24 March 2013. And very little in WIkipedia is defined in terms of "you must do this." Wikipedia consensus seldom lays down rules that must be followed in every instance; it lays down guidelines that should be followed barring any compelling reason not to. The whole purpose of an MOS is to have consistency through the Project. And as I said, it beggars common sense to say, "Here's how something came to be" without saying first "Here's what it is." There's a reason there's a phrase in professional journalism that says, "Don't bury the lead." --Tenebrae (talk) 22:21, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment — unless it can be shown that the edits Tenebrae and WrathX have been making are actually degrading the article, I think Indopug has stepped over the line here. If there are problems with specific edits, then those edits and only those edits should be fixed. Wholesale reverting of the edits is insupportable, and "stability of the article" is no excuse for that. Honestly, I can see a lot of problems with the article, and I was glad when my watchlist showed a coupe of editors tackling it. Yeah, it's an FA, but if it were put up fresh for FAC today, I'm pretty confident it wouldn't pass—not just for style issues, but I think the research that went into it isn't comprehensive enough, and it feels to me that too much time is spent trying to convince the reader how awesome the book is, rather than just reporting the facts. This could be a much better article than it is, and I hope to see some editors make it so. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:24, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
You really don't think that Tenebrae was unfair in locking his version of the article for the RfC, as opposed to one that's existed for a while? (as I've outlined above)
Coming to the content: I don't debate that this article could be improved. But what in Tenebrae's edits is addressing that "research that went into it isn't comprehensive enough"? And why am I not correct in reverting a whole new "Publication history" when that stuff has been amply dealt with.—indopug (talk) 21:43, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say Tenebrae was right to do that. The both of you are edit warring, and it's ugly to watch. What I was saying was that Tenebrae and WrathX's edits prior to the edit war were to the net benefit of the article, and reverting them en masse was crossing the line.
Nobody here (including you and me) have added anything whatsoever on the research. That's only one thing wrong with the article that I've pointed out, and fixing other parts of the article shouldn't be contingent on having done more research.
If you have a problem with the ref reformatting, then you should talk about ref reformatting, not revert all the edits these editors have spent the last couple of days on. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:15, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
About WrathX's edits: I haven't at all blanket reverted him. I think he's added a lot of good stuff to the article (scroll down to legacy). I only reverted him when he started adding big blocks of cites like "[1][2]...[6]" to improve a topic sentence (that was already backed up by the rest of the paragraph). You can see my discussion with him about this above in the talk page.—indopug (talk) 22:39, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - I was invited to this RfC by the RfC bot. There have been no comments in this RfC for 9 days; and quite a bit of "post RfC" discussion in the Talk page below. If the RfC is obsolete, the RfC tag at the top of this section should be removed. If the RfC is still active, could the editors so indicate here (below) so I (and other editors) know that our input is still desired? --Noleander (talk) 01:39, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
The RfC is active; we are just continuing it in another thread as this one got too heated (latest subsection is "Arbitrary break").—indopug (talk) 14:32, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Post-RFC edit[edit]

An editor has gone in and removed archival links, for some reason calling them "duplicate." Since an article is supposed to be stable during an RfC, and since I and —indopug don't want to violate 3RR, might some other editor restore the article to its RfC state? --Tenebrae (talk) 20:44, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

  • the edit comment says "remove duplicate references", but it looks like the editor actually restored the WebCite links. Curly Turkey (gobble) 20:59, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Tenebrae asked me to intervene on this. Were the edits in question related to the matter or portion of the article that is under dispute? If not, then does it matter? My understanding was that during conflicts, the disputed portion of the article must not be touched, but other parts may be tweaked. Was I in error? Is there a policy or guideline page that specifies this? Nightscream (talk) 00:50, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
It's a non-issue. In this edit, User:Werieth restored a bunch of archive links, but wrote "Remove duplicate references" in the edit summary. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:30, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it appears to have been newly added by the user. All the same, it's definitely a positive addition to the article.—indopug (talk) 03:35, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, the "removed duplicates" thing confused me and I didn't realize additional archive links were added. What an odd edit summary. --Tenebrae (talk) 05:03, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Recent edits discussion REBOOT[edit]

I've got an idea. Let's all shut up for a couple of days, and then start the discussion over from scratch here. I propose:

  1. Nobody posts anything to this discussion, or makes any edits to the article, until 27 March (UTC), in order to allow heads to cool.
  2. Nobody makes accusations about anyone else: we'll all assume good faith, in that we are all trying to make this article the best it can be.
  3. Nobody will bring anything up from the last discussion: we'll start here with a clean slate.

If you're up for this, please sig below:

  • Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:42, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
  • On the condition that two-day edit hiatus do not make Tenebrae's version the status-quo/stable version of the article.—indopug (talk) 03:21, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I was going to sign on, but indopug's demand goes against both RfC protocol and good faith. Insisting on going back to a version with a plethora of dead links? That's not the sign of someone who wants to improve the article, because dead links don't. That's just someone who wants to have his own way, even if it hurts the article, as dead links do. --Tenebrae (talk) 05:02, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
  • that's not what I'm saying at all; don't obfuscate my comments. I meant that each of your edits are still up for debate, and you can't use this edit hiatus to say that a silent consensus has been achieved for your version.—indopug (talk) 05:46, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Ah, what the hell. If indopug doesn't comment and respects RfC, I won't comment. --Tenebrae (talk) 05:05, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
    There's no debate that dead links don't belong in the article. Also, some of that non-standard citation was inserted by a bot and not a human editor: DASHBot at 10:48, 13 June 2010. There's no reason we have to use a bot's syntax that appears virtually nowhere else — particularly that of a bot that's been indefinitely blocked. (See here). --Tenebrae (talk) 06:14, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

The discussion[edit]

From what I can tell, the argument for a PH section is "it will bring the article in line with most other comic articles, and is suggested by the MoS." The arguement against is "the article became a FA without it, so it's not needed." Since separating the section isn't harming the article, I see no reason to oppose reorganizing it to fit with others in the project.

I also see no reason to oppose making the references consistant. Unless I missed something, the argument against that seemed to be "It was done at the same time as a change I didn't like." Argento Surfer (talk) 15:42, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

  • With regards to the references, it appears references have perhaps been added since the article was FAed back in 2006; some of the references were filled in by a bot. The formatting that the bot (and maybe others, too) used was not consistent with the refs that were originally there. Tenebrae went in to clean them up, and decided to template them as part of the clean up. Indopug objected to the templating, as WesleyDodds (the primary editor of the page) doesn't use them (and may be opposed to their use; hopefully he'll pop up and clarify that). The guideline is that whoever refs an article first gets to choose the citation style; so, basically, it comes down to how strongly WesleyDodds cares about his citation style. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:43, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Actually there always was a Publication history section in the article, just like modern FAs and the comics MoS recommends. It is called Publication and reception, because there's a small paragraph about W's reception. The problem with Tenebrae's new section is that it duplicates info already in the article and is located in an highly inappropriate location (even Curly Turkey as indicated so above).
  • I don't hink it was a "highly inappropriate location", just not the location I'd have put it. I do think the PH and reception sections should be separated, as they are totally separate things; the fact that the reception portion is so short just goes to show how much work the article really needs. The media loved the book, and it's garnered a lot of press every year since its release. And what about academia? It hasn't gotten the flood of academic attention Maus did, but it has gotten some, none of which is covered in the article. I also don't see any of the negative critcism it received; I've seen more than one review that was disappointed with the ending, and I don't see any criticism of the excessive violence (in fact, the word "violent" appears only once in the article, and "violence" never). Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Excellent points about Reception, I agree we should split that into a separate section once we have more research about it. But what exactly are the advantages of Tenebrae's section, as it stands now (which is the relevant question in this RfC)?—indopug (talk) 01:31, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • They both could use work. The advantage of Tenebrae's (all-too-short) PH is that:
    1. it ditches lines like "When Moore and Gibbons turned in the first issue of Watchmen to DC, their peers were stunned.", which is not what one would expect from the "Publication" section of an encyclopedia article (it reads more like a magazine fluff piece).
    2. it separates the publication from the reception
  • The publication stuff should be moved right out of the P&R section and merged into the PH section, and then someone (not me) should figure out what to do with it. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:20, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Can we at least agree to move Tenebrae's PH section to before P&R? I don't think it's smart to start the body of the article with "Watchmen, created by by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons" when we just read that twice—in the lead and in the infobox.
Hmmm, wouldn't your separation proposal sacrifice the strictly-chronological narrative of the article? While fluffy wording can easily be excised from P&R, sections like PH make for extremely dull reading as there would just be details about formats and publication dates.
Also, do you think we should have Before Watchmen stuff in the PH of the original Watchmen? That is a completely different series of comic books, best summarised in its own section later.—indopug (talk) 03:23, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Personally, I don't really care where the PH section goes, but I think right before Reception would be a good idea. If it happens to be dry reading, all the better—as a separate section it's easier for the reader to skip, and easier to find if the dry details are exactly what you're looking for. Ideally, the editor would be so brilliant that they could turn those dry details into "brilliant prose". Ideally.
    I don't see why the article has to be "strictly chronological", and in fact I think it's often a terrible idea. For instance, I think it's often good to start with an overview and synopsis, and then get into the background history and publishing details; when you're completely new to the subject, you're likely going to want to find out what the subject is about before reading about how it came to be.
    I don't know nearly enough about the prequel projects to comment on whether they should have a separate section or not. My heart shrank two sizes just knowing they existed. Curly Turkey (gobble) 07:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Er, no, I didn't object to the citation templates because Wesley objects to them, but because there's a content guideline that objects to adding templates to articles with an established style. Yes citations should be made consistent, but within the existing untemplated style. —indopug (talk) 00:19, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • That depends on the interpretation of plain <ref>s being an "established style" or not. With plain plain <ref>s, it's not always clear whether it was intentional, or whether the editor just didn't know there were other styles out there. In my own case, I used to use plain <ref>s exclusively, but only because I didn't know or understand the alternatives. Now I use templates extensively.
    Given that the article was FAed in 2006, the chances are higher that the editor simply wasn't aware of other styles—the plain <ref>s may not have been an actual choice. Only WesleyDodds can answer this question. Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:01, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • No, not everybody likes using citation templates, even if they know how to. And you know what, that's perfectly okay. Since you're insistent about Wesley's preferences, here's him consistently restoring untemplated cites: [1], [2], [3].—indopug (talk) 01:42, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I think you're reading much more into what I wrote than what I actually put there. I never once disputed that plain <ref>s were a legitimate citation style. I only disputed that the mere existence of plain <ref>s in and of itself was evidence of a style preference. I gave myself as an example—my earlier articles were all plain <ref>fed, but that in no way was evidence that I reffed that way as a preference; I reffed that way because I didn't know or understand other style. The links you've provided are the first evidence we have that the citation style is WesleyDodds's actual preference. Of course, a word from the editor himself would solve this beyond argument. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

During the FAR the article underwent a few years back, one of the many tasks I undertook was standardizing the references. So yes, the omission of the cite templates in this article is a deliberate decision. WesleyDodds (talk) 05:23, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Wesley. Always good to see you. Question: What was the deliberation behind not using the cite templates?
To address an Indopug point earlier: The WP:LEAD is supposed to be a summary of the article. By definition, "summary" repeats things in the article. That's normal.
I have to agree with those saying Indopug's arguments boil down to I don't like it and "FAs are sacrosanct and can't be changed." There's no reason to conjoin Publication history and Reception — that doesn't follow WPC MOS and, as an analogy, WP:FILM separates Release and Reception. If there's no reason not to follow guidelines except "I like it the non-guideline way it is," I can't say that's a compelling rationale. As to the point of FAs, incremental changes over time can make an article less than FA; so can enhanced standards over time. I don't believe that with the WP:PUFFERY in this article, the dead links, the inconsistent cite formatting (which became inconsistent over the years after FA) and other issues that this article would stand as an FA. Maybe we need to consider that idea as well. --Tenebrae (talk) 14:43, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
the point of the break was to cool tempers down, so why bring so much animosity with your first comment itself?—indopug (talk) 14:58, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
"Hi, Wesley" shows animosity? We've known each other for years. --Tenebrae (talk) 15:01, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Not the first sentence of your first comment, but your entire first comment. :) Specifically, "I have to agree with those saying Indopug's arguments boil down to I don't like it and 'FAs are sacrosanct and can't be changed'." Insulting your opponent is no way begin a rational debate.—indopug (talk) 15:11, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the fact that you take politely, calmly written disagreement as a personal attack suggests that you may be taking this discussion personally. You seem emotionally involved rather than dispassionate, and having been there myself in my early days with Wikipedia, trust me, it's better to step back, take the long view and use raise rational, non-emotional points. In any event, I was simply summarizing what other editors have said. --Tenebrae (talk) 15:16, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

(←) Except, "raise rational, non-emotional points" is exactly what I've done all day. The discussion with Curly Turkey has been quite fruitful and constructive; although there are still disagreements, we seem to be converging on some points. For eg: on where to locate the PH section, and that we should defer to the system of citations WesleyDodds used (which he has clarified was a deliberate decision to not use cite templates).

"There's no reason to conjoin Publication history and Reception — that doesn't follow WPC MOS"—could you quote me the bit in the MoS that says this? Because all I can find is "Section titles can include Publication history, Fictional character biography, Creation and concept, Legacy, Characterization, Powers and abilities, Other versions, In other media, Reception, Development and description, Depiction, In the comics, or Character overview", which is immediately followed by "Please feel free to create your own section headings". Also in the MoS is "The structures suggested in this section are intended to serve as a starting point for writing a good article; they are not meant to enforce a single, binding structure on all articles, nor to limit the topics a fully developed article will discuss." (all bolds mine). So I don't really understand where you're getting the idea that the Comics MoS imposes a strict framework for the article.—indopug (talk) 15:49, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

As I said already at 22:21, 24 March 2013 , very little in WIkipedia is defined in terms of "you must do this." Wikipedia consensus seldom lays down rules that must be followed in every instance; it lays down guidelines that should be followed barring any compelling reason not to. The whole purpose of an MOS is to have consistency through the Project. Your argument is, "Well, it's only suggested, so we can do whatever we want." You haven't actually given a reason to conjoin the two sections when WPC Comics and WPC Film, for example, separate them per guidelines, nor why it's not more sensible to begin with "Here's what it is" before jumping ahead to "Here's how something came to be". --Tenebrae (talk) 16:19, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Tenebrae, but these guidelines don't even say what you think they say. Where does Comics MoS say (or suggest or in your words "lay down the guideline") publication history and reception should be separate? (it just gives a list of section headers) So my argument isn't "it's only suggested, so we can do whatever we want", but that it isn't even suggested.
Now, Curly Turkey has given several arguments why it should be so (I disagree with some of them, but see merit in all of them) above, and that's what you should be doing as well: bringing up points why this particular article is better served by having separate P & R sections.
"Here's what it is" is addressed by the lead. The lay reader knows what Watchmen is, who it is by and all that basic stuff from the first sentences of the article. So when the article-proper begins, there's no need to state all this stuff all over again. Instead, why not start at the chronological beginning--the story of how the work was conceived? There may be a case for beginning with the plot itself (TV episodes do this) or a synopsis (as Curly Turkey prefers), but I've yet to see an article body (either film, television, album, book or comic) begin with the publication/release section.—indopug (talk) 16:49, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Once again: The lead is a summary of the article — please read WP:LEAD. It's not a replacement for the article. The article is supposed to make sense even without the lead. One needs to start at the beginning: "Here is what it is. Now we'll say how it got there." That's basic writing. Not describing what the thing is that we're talking about is bad, disorganized writing. I'm sorry to be blunt, but this has reached an absurd point.
And I'm afraid I'm tired of your apparently deliberate misreading and attempts to smokescreen what WPC MOS says, which is, quote:

"The opening paragraph (or lead section in a longer article) should concisely convey:

  1. The name of the publication (including alternate names).
  2. When was it first published?
  3. Where was it first published?
  4. Which company does it belong to?
  5. Who were the creators?
  6. What was its significance?
  7. Is it still in publication? Has it won any awards?"
"Section titles can include Publication history, Fictional character biography, Creation and concept, Legacy, Characterization, Powers and abilities, Other versions, In other media, Reception...." This is about what's best for the article. And what's best for this or any article is describing at the beginning the thing that the article is about, for goodness' sakes. --Tenebrae (talk) 18:22, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
The numbered points you've quoted pertain to the lead—"The opening paragraph (or lead section in a longer article) should concisely convey"—not the body of article. Also, you've misunderstood WP:LEAD, which says "The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview." This is does not mean the opposite, "The article is supposed to make sense even without the lead", is also correct. There are any number of FAs that do not begin without a Publication history, The Sun Also Rises for instance, or Curly Turkey's Maus. In fact, even a brief glance at the excellent FAs at Wikipedia:Featured_articles#Literature_and_theatre will reveal a wide variety of ways to structure articles.—indopug (talk) 19:04, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
"Curly Turkey's Maus" ;) Does this mean I get a Pulitzer? Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:58, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, other stuff exists. That doesn't mean because other articles are inconsistent or don't adhere to guidelines that this one should not adhere. And frankly, why anyone should object to giving readers the basic publication details at the start is beyond me. Not doing so is bad writing and bad organization, period.
And if I may ask, how does a lead stand alone without the article being able to alone? If the lead, theoretically, stands alone, that means it theoretically could be separated from the article. If it's theoretically separate then the article is theoretically without it. So, yes, the article should stand on its own. And even if you don't agree with my logic (based on your own theory of whether a particular corollary may or may not be true), any article should be able to stand on its own! What kind of encyclopedia article or any other kind of well-written article doesn't stand on its own, for heaven's sake?
Indopug and I are going round and round. Might other editors weigh in?--Tenebrae (talk) 20:05, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, I weighed in above on this, but I'll reiterate: from the viewpoint of a reader, I think it's unlikely that publication details are the first thing one would expect or want to see. I think this is reinforced by the fact that so many articles that don't start with publication details have become FAsTemplate:Susbt:emdashremember, that happens after a number of disinterested editors have gone over the article with a fine-toothed comb, so I don't think Wikipedia:Other stuff exists applies in this context.
Tenebrae's correct that the lead and main body should be able to stand independent of each other; the lead is a summary of the main body, and shouldn't normally contain any information that isn't in the body. I don't think the structure of the lead should necessarily follow that of the body, though. The lead serves a different purpose from the body, and should be structured to reflect its purpose. For example, someone reading only the lead will almost certainly want to know the publication year right away; if they want to read the article in-depth, however, they probably are interested in something like a plot summary first; at least, it seems unlikely to me that they would scroll down to find out the publication year and name of publisher.
Also, I don't think Indopug was saying that PH and Reception should be conjoined. I think he (a) objected to the duplication of information (I agree), and (b) thought the Reception section would be too short, so they should be split after Reception was expanded. Personally, I have no problem leaving a short section, in the hopes that it would draw attention so that it would get expanded. I wouldn't mind having an {{Expand section}} slapped on it, either, but I know others don't love those ugly templates the way I do. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:58, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Curly Turkey, I'm glad we are approaching convergence on the issue of the location of the newly added PH section and the fact that its duplicates information.
P&R: yes, (a) and (b) are accurate summaries of my concerns. While I don't have an in-principle stand either for leaving them joined or separation, adding more stuff about its reception will make the P&R section too unwieldy and necessitate its splitting. A further concern (c): the way P&R is currently written, it's not as though reception info neatly follows publication info; they together form a intertwined whole. For example: does that first paragraph constitute Publication history (it is about the publisher and how they release games to promote the book) or Reception (it quotes the creators on how DC responded to it). There is no easy way to split the section into two; it will require a lot of thought and should not be decided-about lightly.
For that reason, I'm also not for splitting the R section first and then sticking a template. The whole thing--splitting P&R, expanding the resulting R and rewriting the resulting PH--is one, seamless process; it shouldn't be done piecewise.—indopug (talk) 02:00, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Ideally, it would be done with the utmost eloquence, but eloquent or not, it really should be done.
If the publishers released games to promote it, I could see that going under PH (definitely not R); if there's enough stuff like that that is worth mentioning, a merchandising section might be called for (there were smiley-face buttons and stuff, too, weren't there?). Or perhaps a more creative section title such as "Publication and promotion" would be appropriate? Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:57, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Considering that the primary editor of this article WesleyDodds has clarified that the decision to not use cite templates is a deliberate one, can we agree that this article should consistently use untemplated references? Of course, that is not to say that formatting-inconsistencies and deadlinks should remain; those must be fixed too, throughout the article.—indopug (talk) 02:00, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Right, the refs should retain WesleyDodds's preferred style, and the refs added by bots and other editors should be reformatted to conform to that style. Any other obvious problems, like dead links, should be dealt with appropriately. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:52, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Under WP:OWN, there is no primary editor. For all I admire Wesley's work, he doesn't get to decide what the citation format will be in perpetuity. We do what's best for the article, and if templated citations are what have evolved as Wikipedia's dominant and most consistent style — and by definition using templates creates consistency — then we should move with the times. Ideally, Wikipedia should have a single consistent style, the way the Encyclopedia Britannica or any other serious reference work does.
Games don't go under PH. They go under "In other media." I don't know why we're reinventing the wheel here: Beginning at the beginning and laying a foundation is basic good writing and good organization. Just because well-meaning amateur editors created something that buries such basic information in the middle of the article doesn't mean we turn our back on how it's properly done in the real world and in any other academic source. As a professional editor, I can't believe were arguing over whether to say what something is before saying how something came to be. If there were 40, 50 years of titles, we do a separate list article, as done at Hulk (comics) or Batman or Wonder Woman — which we should also make consistent, judging from the three formats here:
Further information: List of Hulk titles
When there are much fewer series, the PH structure is more typically like that of Nick Fury or Black Panther (comics). And when it's only one miniseries, a graphic novel and a spinoff line, it's a small section like at Black Knight (comics) or, optimally, this article.
Why anyone would want to make this basic information harder for a reader to find is beyond me. There's no good argument that can say, "It's better to bury this and make it more difficult for people to find out where this things was published in the first place." Why else do we think the general MOS consensus for years has been to put publication history first> --Tenebrae (talk) 13:28, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I gotta say that I'm pretty astonished an article passed FA without citation templates, and if Tenebrae or anyone else is willing to not only add but complete said templates with all of the appropriate information, I'm not sure what or why anyone would argue against that. Reading references embedded in prose is hard enough without them just being essentially plain text. A good chunk of the refs are also not-archived, I'm not sure if this has been dealt with since the initially problem raised by Tenebrae about dead links, but again, if they're dead and not archived, the argument against teh change becomes even weaker. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 14:34, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Citation templates are not required by FA; only consistency of citation style. There is no lack of articles with plain <ref> citations. I totally agree with what you say about them, as I use templates extensively myself (probably more than most), but that's the way it is. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:48, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
As an editor who's written one Featured Article, two Featured Lists (and another at FLC) and two Good Articles, all without citation templates—not to mention contributing to countless FAC reviews for over five years now—I assure you there's no need to use citation templates to achieve consistency in an article. There are several arguments against their use—editors may find them cumbersome and they also increase the page size. If you've figured out how to properly format references without them, you often don't need to use them. As for fixing dead links by adding archived links, that can be even without adding citation templates or changing the existing untemplated style.
Tenebrae, "if templated citations are what have evolved as Wikipedia's dominant and most consistent style" and "Wikipedia should have a single consistent style" is just unsupported opinion and assumption on your part. You had indicated several times above that it is essential to follow Wikipedia guidelines and policies; I hope you can be consistent in your stance as we look at the relevant guideline, Wikipedia:Citing sources, which explicitly says:
  • To be avoided: Adding citation templates to an article that already uses a consistent system without templates, or removing citation templates from an article that uses them consistently
  • if there is disagreement about which [citation] style is best, defer to the style used by the first major contributor
  • The use of citation templates is neither encouraged nor discouraged: an article should not be switched between templated and non-templated citations without good reason and consensus—indopug (talk) 17:21, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Tenebrae, when I linked to a treasure trove of literary-works FAs that used widely different structures, you dismissed them as "other stuff exists". Yet, now you point to comic-book character articles (obviously a character's article will be different from that of a work); why shouldn't "other stuff exists" apply now?
As for "Beginning at the beginning and laying a foundation is basic good writing and good organization", ok, but what kind of beginning? I prefer a chronological beginning ("Background" or "Writing"), Curly Turkey prefers to start with a synopsis, and you by discussing the publication first.
Of course, all this is mostly moot because your comments stem from a misdirected belief that there exists a "general MOS consensus for years has been to put publication history first" and I have proven you wrong about this several times above already. (My most recent rebuttal most recent being 'The numbered points you've quoted pertain to the lead—"The opening paragraph (or lead section in a longer article) should concisely convey"—not the body of article', which you have conveniently not replied to).—indopug (talk) 17:21, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
What's there to reply to? I posted both what WPC MOS says for the lead and what WPC MOS says the subheads. That's all self-explanatory.
Your suggestion that we should throw out MOS guidelines simply because they're guidelines and not direct orders is anarchic. Normal people follow guidelines unless there is a rationale reason to make an exception. And there's a big difference between citing examples of the consensus MOS being used and examples of anything-goes inconsistency.
Oh, you've written a Featured Article? Good for you. I've written over a half-dozen books and thousands of magazine and newspaper articles, and have taught writing and editing. After more than 30 years as a professional, I know bad writing and bad organization when I see it. Oh, and I, too, have contributed to Featured Articles, though I'm not WP:OWNy enough to claim I wrote them. --Tenebrae (talk) 17:52, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
As for "if there is disagreement about which [citation] style is best", what possible disagreement do you personally have over using templated citations that contribute to consistency throughout Wikipedia. Seriously, what rationale argument can you make? "We have to keep the old style forever because that's what somebody used in 2007 before templating became widely and commonly used?" What is the point of that? That it's better to be calcified for its own sake that to make something consistent with what's the norm today? --Tenebrae (talk) 17:59, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Regarding both article-structure and cite templates: different people have different ways of doing things, and the nature of Wikipedia is to accommodate as many different styles and preferences as possible. In this way Wikipedia is probably very different from where you've professionally served.
Regarding your use of fake quotations to grossly misrepresent my position (first "FAs are sacrosanct and can't be changed" and now "We have to keep the old style forever because that's what somebody used in 2007 before templating became widely and commonly used?" among others): please stop with the straw man arguments.—indopug (talk) 18:40, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Tenebrae: WP:CITEVAR is very clear on this—in fact, it's in bold: "if there is disagreement about which style is best, defer to the style used by the first major contributor". WesleyDodds is clearly the majority contributor, and the one who brought the article through FAC and FAR. If you look at the articles I've brought up to FA, you can see that I'm a big fan of templates—perhaps more than most—but I do recognize the policy, and leave alone the citation styles of those articles that clearly have established one.

I don't think that Indopug is trying to make himself look superior by claiming to have written Featured Articles—I think he brought that up to establish himself as not ignorant of what's expected in an FA. Anyway, it's not OWNy to claim to have written an article—WP:OWN is a behaviour; there's nothing wrong with claiming credit for what you've written, as long as you're not using it to block others' contributions.

I don't understand how "Publication history" is "beginning at the beginning". What about Maus, which has a long prehistory? Do we give the boring details of publication history first, and then jump back in time to talk about the long road that led Spiegelman to tackling Maus? That would be both less interesting to the reader, and "beginning in the middle". "Who are we writing for?" I think is an important question when writing an article. Moving "Publication history" down further in the article is not "burying" it; it's right there in the table of contents for those who are looking for it (a minority of readers).

Indopug: I think I was the asshole who misrepresented your position as "FAs are sacrosanct and can't be changed", though your edit comment at the time sure made it look that way. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:48, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

As I've been saying, let's hear from other editors. I respectfully disagree that having Publication history conjoined with Reception isn't burying it and making it more confusing and harder for the reader to find, particularly the vast majority of readers who skim past the table of contents.
I disagree that we have to be absolutely wedded to a citation format that for no good reason must link to the less-than-scholarly sounding "Wayback Machine" artocle rather than simply linking to the archived link. I don't believe there's any actual reason to be stuck to a citation format that six years old, eons in Wikipedia time, just because a standardized templated format wasn't well-known enough at the time. What compelling reason is there to give Watchmen a different citation format? The only rationale is, 'Oh, we have to for the rest of Wikipedia's life even though the rest of Wikipedia is moving toward a standard format." If something hurts Wikipedia, such as cite formatting that makes this article stand out like a sore thumb, then we're supposed to not follow a rule blindly — particularty one that's clearly meant to apply when two editors are fighting over current citing, and not meant to keep an older article covered with cobwebs.
And this is to say nothing of about what kind of person would disrupt Wikipedia to make a point by blindly reverting to retore dead, useless links. What kind of an editor does that?
I'm appalled at the idea of not starting at the beginning. That is bad organization, and it we wouldn't be accepted it in a high-school paper or a college thesis, so why would we accept it here? Before you can go on to describe how something came to be, one must describe what it is is. I said high school? That is what a grade-school teacher would expect. I can't believe there's an argument about such a basic tenet of organized writing.
The only arguments I'm hearing contrary to the points I bring up are: "The rules say if it's done an old-fashioned, six-year-old way inconsistent with the rest of Wikipedia then it has to stay that way forever. And, "The guidelines suggest Publication history go first, but we're going to put it in the middle for no good reason that I can articulate that helps the reader but only because I feel it, despite that standard organizational principles say." The only argument for burying it in the middle and making readers search for it is "I just like it." --Tenebrae (talk) 15:00, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
I also support Tenebrae's views as well. We should archive all dead citations as well. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 15:04, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "I respectfully disagree that having Publication history conjoined with Reception ..." Tenebrae, I'm surprised you're saying this. I could've sworn my position from Day One was that these sections be split. Was I not paying attention to myself? I could've sworn Indopug had agreed as well. Who is it you think you're arguing with?
  • I could've sworn that nobody was insisting on leaving the deadlinks there, either. Who is it that you believe is making this argument?
  • WP:CITEVAR is an official guideline. WesleyDodds has an issue with templated citations. I know others do, too, and it's not just a matter of preserving an ancient style—there are FAs being passed even today in that style. There are editors out there who are opposed to using templates, just as there are editors who insist on using diferent templating styles. Wikipedia has no referencing house style. If you disagree, you have two options: (a) convince WesleyDodds of the merits of templating; (b) convince the greater community to mandate templating of references. I'm already convinced of their merits (as you can see from my own articles), but it's not my call or yours—the guideline is very clear on that.
  • Finally, and I've already asked you this, why do you think that "Publication history" is "beginning at the beginning"? It seems like "beginning in the middle" to me, as I've already explained.
———Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:20, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

As this discussion is pretty long, I only skimmed through it and didn't read every comment so forgive me if I hit on some issues that have already been made. WP:CMOS is a guideline that doesn't have to be followed, but it has its reasoning. Readers who come to this article from other project articles or have read other comic-book related articles in the past are probably looking for the publication information up front. As well, the use of citation templates is highly recommended not only for consistency but they help familiarize new or inexperienced editors with writing proper citations. Also if the PH section is to be kept as it is, I suggest renaming the Publication and reception section to Reception and ownership as those are the topics being discussed. Thank you.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 13:43, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

It makes sense for the Publication history to come first for comic-book characters, as they often have complex publication histories. Having said that, the Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman articles (which have a PH section up-front) begin with the story of how their creators conceived those characters, rather than the publications/series in which they have appeared in. In that sense, the Watchmen article is very similar, it begins with what lead Moore to write the book. It's just that the name of the first section wasn't Publication history.
For an example more similar to this article, check out the recently promoted Maus FA. (Also, it isn't entirely clear that CMoS recommends starting with PH; it just happens to be the first mentioned in a list of recommended section-titles
As for citation templates, WP:CITEVAR and WP:CITECONSENSUS is clear on the matter. I have yet to come across an official guideline that recommends the use of templates.—indopug (talk) 16:58, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
To respond to Curly Turkey: If Indopug has agreed to separate Publication history and Reception, I don't see it in this huge, long discussion. If we separate the PH information from the "Release and reception" section, then where would it go? In a Publication history section, which normally goes at top. I don't see Indopug agreeing to that.
Also to respond to Curly Turkey: Indopug with his every reversion restored dead links. He could have redone the live links in whatever format he wanted. But, no: He'd rather revert to dead links. There is no excuse for that whatsoever.
RE: "[Wonder Woman]], Superman and Batman articles (which have a PH section up-front)" — Yes ... and they begin with a main-article link to their publications' publishing data. That's what you do when a character stars in dozens to titles. That's not what you do when you have one miniseries, a graphic-novel collection, and one spinoff line, as per the other examples I gave.
And, my final point, I'm seeing a number of veteran WikiProject Comics editors who agree with part or all of my position: Argento Surfer, Darkwarriorblake, Lord Sjones23 and TriiipleThreat. So it looks as if Indopug is simply digging his heels in the face of consensus going against him. Are all five of us inexperienced idiots and only you, who reverts to dead links, are correct? --Tenebrae (talk) 21:26, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I have been focused mostly on one article while noticing the predicament going on here. I did though try to help other editors to weigh in.I am not sure I understood everything going on here. One thing I can tell you that you're arguments both seem valid to the point of neither one of you is wrong. That's why it's necessary for a consensus for such disagreements. I do prefer to have live links in the page while I still don't have problem with the dead link being on there definitely if they are a original source. But still I think live links improve the reliability of the subject.I encourage more than one source for a sentence whether live or dead. I feel that citation are better off not bare. It may not always be a issue for FA's or GA's and if it isn't on a particular article that is ok. It all depends on the majority's opinion in this case. The publication history is not much different than the background and creation I noticed. I do feel that the information should stay. The problem is most of it is either summarizing what the background and creation section section is already saying or it's talking about something that really belongs in a different section topic IMO. Perhaps maybe the background and creation section could be a subsection of publication history. Jhenderson 777 19:40, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Brought here by RFC Bot - Looking over the discussion, I must agree that live links are generally preferable. If the same information is verified by a live source, why not use it? Additionally, though I cannot give an informed opinion as to the contents of Watchmen's publication history, I agree that the publication history should be present and in its current position at the beginning of the article. Eidolonic (talk) 20:28, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

"If Indopug has agreed to separate Publication history and Reception, I don't see it in this huge, long discussion.": Indopug agreed here that his objection was not to a PH section, but to having the information in both the PH and the P&R sections.
"He'd rather revert to dead links": It's disheartening to see you Assuming Bad Faith here, Tenebrae, when it's plain as day that the dead links were not the target of Indopug's mass revert, they were the innocent bystanders. I see no place in this entire discussion where Indopug has insisted on retaining the dead links, but now we have other editors cluttering up the discussion with reasonable talk about the badness of dead links. Yes, they're bad. Nobody's disagreed. Please stop beating that dead horse; this discussion's so long that new editor's joining it are admitting right off that they're making comments without having read it through—they're cherrypicking the seemingly "easy" issues to respond to, even though they are not even the actual "issues".
So what are the issues? As far as I can tell
  1. Citation style, which shouldn't be an issue; WP:CITEVAR is crystal clear here. If it is your opinion that plain refs should not be considered a "citation style", then the Watchmen page is not the place to get it overturned. Or do you intend to fight this out on every one of WesleyDodds's pages? Like, say, Featured articleBatman as well?
  2. Placement of "Publication history". You believe it shoud be first. Indopug and I disagree. There is no guideline here. I think it's about the most boring way to start most articles, while at the same time breaks your own idea to "begin at the beginning". I see it as "beginning in the middle". Please explain how the middle is actually the beginning.
  3. How to separate PH from Reception. I think it should be done right away, to put pressure on people to fix it. Indopug thinks we should be more careful, as the publication and reception aspects are intertwined in the P&R section as it is now; he believes the new sections ("Publication history" and "Reception", or whatever they end up being called) should be carefully rewritten first, and only then placed in the article, replacing the P&R section which would then be removed.
Let me stress that deadlinks are not an issue, and any editor now chiming in to support archive links will only be causing headaches.
Let me also stress that having a "Publication history" section is also not an issue, only its placement and the manner in which it separated from the "Publication and reception" section—unnecessary duplication of information is not desirable. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:14, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
With all respect to Curly Turkey, a good and knowledgable colleague, I don't believe I'm confusing issues. Indopug chose to mass revert multiple times, and at any one of those reverts, he could have kept the live links I found and simply cited them in his preferred way. No one was stopping him from doing that. He chose to continue reinserting dead links.
Yet another editor in addition to the previous, Eidolonic, appears to agree that Publication history "should be present and in its current position at the beginning of the article." I understand when Curly Turkey says "unnecessary duplication of information is not desirable," yet per WP:LEAD, everything in the lead is supposed to be duplicated in the main body of the article. It does seems as if Curly Turkey, Indopug and I, among others, agree that details of the actual publication — the miniseries and the graphic-novel collection — should be separate from Reception; I'm not suggesting that those details appear both in the PH and in a Reception section.
What I'm suggesting is that we begin at the beginning with a PH -- which means explaining what something is before going on to how something came to be. To use an analogy: Film articles don't start with the development of a movie and how the movie came to be — they start with the plot and the cast of the movie.
I understand Curly Turkey and Indopug would prefer not to have publication details at the beginning. Yet given the number of editors here who agree that the publication details belong there, perhaps these two editors — who, like the rest of us, sincerely want to make the article the best it can be — might consider the merits of all these other editors' views and perhaps reassess.
I myself have reassessed on the citation-format issue. I no longer have any issue with anyone converting my cites to the older format. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:10, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
So, what are you saying, Tenebrae? That Indopug really likes dead links, and is insisting on keeping them? If that's what you believe, then please come out and say it. I don't believe it for a second, and I don't expect anything to be accomplished by browbeating Indopug over a stupid mistake. Otherwise, I sincerely believe you need to apologize to him for repeatedly derailing the discussion over this issue.
With regards to duplication of information: Indopug was arguing at first (a long, long time ago) that he was opposed to duplication in the lead. He has long since dropped that, and since then we've been talking about the duplication between the "Publication history" section and the "Publication and reception as they stand right now as we're talking. In fact, I believe we'd already sorted that out before we took that three-day break. I can't see anywhere in this discussion (the one labeled "The discussion") where Indopug says the lead and body shouldn't repeat each other. Do you?
"they start with the plot and the cast of the movie"Template:Susbt:emdashI could've sworn that's what I said a comics article should start with. My Maus article stars exactly that way (well, no cast, obviously). Why start Watchmen with the publication history? After all, isn't that starting with how something came to be before talking about what it is? As in, the opposite of what you've just stated an article should do?
I don't doubt that the other editors who've chimed in would like to see this article be "the best it can be". I also doubt dubt that they haven't actually read the arguments given (a couple of them have said so up front), which largely invalidates their opinions; that is not what building consensus is all about—it's about talking things over and weighing the different arguments, not about skimming a long discussion and posting a drive-by comment that is tangential to the discussion. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:37, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry you're getting upset, and I tried to word my point about the links in a gentler way than this, but since I can't seem to communicate this otherwise: No, I don't think Indopub likes dead links. I think he was being lazy and mass-reverting, rather than keeping the new links and simply rendering them in his preferred way.
I really must take exception to your claim that editors who disagree with you have "invalid" opinions and are posting "drive-by comments." That really seems insulting to colleagues whom I know are good and dedicated editors. Do you really believe people like Argento Surfer, Darkwarriorblake, TriiipleThreat and others are not acting in good faith? If you really, truly believe that, then go to their talk pages and tell them. I'd be interested in their responses.
In any event: I've agreed to drop my objections to using what, to me, is an outdated citation format inconsistent with the future of Wikipedia. I wish you'd have acknowledged that gesture of reassessment, compromise and good will on my part. Now then: Are you saying you and Indopug have dropped your objections to the PH as it presently appears in the article, since I think we've all agreed to remove that material from the "Release and Reception" section? --Tenebrae (talk) 23:58, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
On a related note, I don't believe you should refer to the Maus article as "yours," for obvious reasons. It lends a disconcerting tone to a discussion when an editor feels proprietary about an article. --Tenebrae (talk) 00:01, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I am definitely sorry if what I said was actually not the full issue. Yes I am one of the editors who admitted to not reading everything and I did come here due to request of a colleague of same topics. I do assume good faith on all that were discussing. Definitely since we were involved with making articles GA/FA. We are all experienced editors and I really wish we could get along with the issue. Perhaps a compromise that will suit the differences once we actually figure out the nagging issue here. Jhenderson 777 00:11, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Also Tenebrae is right on his last paragraph but I do assume good faith and I think you're interpretation of what you said is you're style on how you edited a article that you are a major contributor to. ;) Jhenderson 777

Indopug was "being lazy and mass-reverting"; that was established ages ago, which is what upsets me about you continually bringing it up. In fact, you brought it up so many times that some of these drive-by commentators assumed that was the issue at the heart of this discussion—it buried the other actually important issues.

"drive-by comments": Anyone who takes issue with the way I've respresented their comments can take issue with it here. These kinds of comments do nothing to help resolve the issues; they demonstrate clearly that the editors don't even know the issues. I have no doubt they were acting in good faith; nevertheless, uninformed drive-by opinions about tangential issues are invalid, and have nothing to do with consensus building.

I've said already that I don't care (strongly, at least) where the PH section goes, but that I disagree that first section is the best place for it (and have given my reasons for it more than once). I won't hold a hard line on it, but it does need to be expanded, and the P&R section needs to be dealt with.

Calling an article "my" article is totally unrelated to both the spirit and the letter of WP:OWN. WP:OWN is a guideline about behaviour, as I've pointed out already in this discussion. Calling an article "my" article is no more a claim of ownership than when I talk about "my" school, "my" country, "my" sister, or "my" boss (wouldn't many of us like to own that motherfucker!). It indicates nothing more than the relationship I have with the article: I'm the one who researched and wrote it from scratch, structured it and reffed it, brought it through PR, GAN, and FAC. I have a strong relation to the article, therefore it's "my" article—this has nothing to do with ownership. Displaying OWNership would be enforcing the version of the article that I prefer over that of other editors. As you can see from the talk page, other editors (User:MarchOrDie WRT racial labels; User:Mathew5000 WRT MetaMaus) have made edits to the article that I've disgreed with. The WP:OWNy thing to do would be to revert them and demand that they take it to the talk page, where I would dig in my heels and totally oppose it, thus leaving the issue with "no consensus" which would mean the status quo ("my" version) would remain. Instead, we're discussing it on the talk page and soliciting feedback in order to achieve real consensus. Please try to understand the motivations behind the WP:OWN guideline, and the real problems it is trying to solve. Curly Turkey (gobble) 04:18, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

After reading the other replies and getting a better idea of Indopug's arguements, I thought I'd weigh in again. Re: Citation style - If only a handful of the citations are inconsistant, then maintaining the old style would be the easiest way to go. If WesleyDodd's style isn't a clear majority anymore, I think the style should be up to the editor who's actually putting in the effort to fix them. If that's against a larger Wiki consensus, then ignore me. Re: Placement of PH - For most articles, I put it first because it is first. Any kind of creation details are usually sparse and easily included with the printing details. When that's not the case, like here, then the PH should come after the creation section. RE: How to separate PH from Reception - Why the fuss over if should be rewritten and then moved or moved and rewritten? Both can and should be done at the same time. Argento Surfer (talk) 13:32, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
@Carly Turkey. I personally figured that what is what you mean. I never had any issues with it. I can't speak for Tenebrae though. Thanks for explaining that but I feel we should not get sidetracked and get the topic back on this article as much as we can more than any other article. ;) Jhenderson 777 13:39, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
I disagree philosophically about the proprietary of any editor ever calling anything on Wikipedia "my article." But I won't bring it up again if CT doesn't.
So where are we? I've agreed to go with the older citation style if that's consensus (even though it seems ridiculous to bring up the Wayback Machine at every archive link, rather than just embedding the archive link). Aside from Argento, most of the other editors commenting other than the original three seem to back PH at the beginning. I don't think there's any organizational issue other than that, and the rest is just line editing. RfCs usually last 30 days unless consensus is reached earlier. Indopug, Curly Turkey and I have made our views known. What do other editors think? --Tenebrae (talk) 17:35, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
couldn't we just use the format used by Werieth? Yes, his new archive links are in a template, but they don't modify the rest of the original untemplated ref (this IMO is not against the spirit of CITEVAR). This saves time in rework to "fix" his work.—indopug (talk) 00:42, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
As I just said, "I've agreed to go with the older citation style if that's consensus (even though it seems ridiculous to bring up the Wayback Machine at every archive link, rather than just embedding the archive link)," which is the style you indicate. That said, for the record, I don't think CITEVAR intends that we stick with the very first citation format ever used in any article no matter how old and that they're irrevocable in perpetuity. --Tenebrae (talk) 18:07, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. CITEVAR states that, in case of a lack of consensus, the citation style of the first major contributor remains the status quo. Further, plain refs aren't "ancient"—in fact, the templates all end up emitting plain ref code in the end. Templates have advantages and disadvantages, and it is the opinion of many editors that templates are not always a good thing. I'm not one of them, but part of being a Wikpedian is recognizing these differences of opinion. Curly Turkey (gobble) 20:40, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
As always, I value Curly Turkey as a knowledgable and hardworking editor, even when we disagree. And as I said, I've long dropped objections to using a cite format that I don't favor, so I'd like to think I do recognize difference of opinion on templating. All good on that front. Now let's work out the rest. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:12, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Although I do have to say, I'm not sure I see the difference between "remains the status quo" and " irrevocable in perpetuity"!   : )   --Tenebrae (talk) 23:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
The difference is that Consensus Can Change. "remains the status quo" only means for now while there is a lack of consensus. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:19, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

OK. rfcbot invited me here, but it looks like the discussion is finally winding down. As far as I can tell, consensus has been reached with regards to citations (though I agree with Tenebrae that templates are preferable), but there's still debate over the Publication History section. Personally, I think it's a bit messy to have both Publication History and Publication. Can't we just have a single Publication category? As for placement, I think people care most about seeing a plot synopsis, when they start reading the article, though I recognize acceptable arguments for placing Publication first. Thus, I'm a bit apathetic. In my opinion, Reception should be put into its own section and filled out with modern reviews, if necessary. I agree that this article is a bit iffy for Featured Article status, and I think maybe someone should put it up for review. It would mitigate some of the resistance against change, if the article lost its FA class. It's a very good article, but there are some minor issues that should be solved, which seem to be causing unnecessary controversy. I guess, in essence, I agree with most of what Curly Turkey has been saying. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 19:08, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

I've been thinking that myself, that the article might best be served by putting it up for FA review. Some of the fluffy, gushy prose is embarrassing.
I think we've reached consensus on having a "Publication history" section at the opening, but the question remains how to structure it. Some want to jump in chronologically, some want to open with a "what" before the "how," as many if not most WikiProject Comics articles do. --Tenebrae (talk) 19:15, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeah. I think it was Curly who said that the article seems oriented toward convincing readers that Watchmen is the best thing ever written, rather than simply reporting what it is. We can gush about it in the Reception and Legacy sections (assuming we have appropriate citations), but the main article should be more neutral and dispassionate. If necessary, we can move some of the gushy quotations into Reception, such as the "Fuckin' A!" line, if people want to keep that.
Are you saying that we should combine Publication and Publication History, place them at the beginning, and spin off the Reception section? I'd agree to that. I don't really care what comes first, as long as it flows logically and reduces the redundancy currently existent. As long as it ends the debate, I would support any of these: Creation, Publication, Story; Publication, Creation, Story; Story, Publication, Creation; Story, Creation, Publication. If people want to put Publication back in the end of the article, that's fine, too. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 20:32, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Nitpick: no, we shouldn't "gush" about it in the Reception section, either; we should (must) report on those who did gush, as well as those who criticised it, and any other interesting angle that comes up in the research. As it is now, I think the Reception section's lack of comprehensiveness is an much bigger problem than gushing prose, which is easily fixed by clicking the "edit" button. The comprehensiveness will require actual time-consuming research. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:34, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
CT speaks true. I don't mind doing research and I'd be happy to contribute to a proper Reception section — I've done it often for movie articles. My only real concern is that someone who wants to know what this Watchmen thing is can find the basic facts of how it was published, quickly and simply, by looking at a PH at the head of the article and seeing that in a quick, simple paragraph. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:43, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I propose we end this RfC. We've apparently reached consensus – or as much consensus as we're ever going to reach. The citations will remain bare and Internet Archive links will be added. There is no consensus on the section headings or their order. We need a new RfC for that. This one is too long, too intimidating to newcomers, and too full of heated rhetoric. Let's just agree that we solved the main issues here and move on. The new RfC should address the lack of consensus in these issues:
  • Are there too many section headings? Can some of them be combined?
    • Should Reception and Legacy be combined?
    • Should Publication and Publication History be combined?
    • Should Prequels and Adaptations be combined, into Related Media?
  • Which section comes first? Story, Creation, or Publication History?
Honestly, these issues seem pretty common sense to me, but the infighting and resistance to change make an RfC seem like the diplomatic solution. It also brings in fresh views, which this RfC will not do, due to its length. No offense to Tenebrae, but I'd prefer that someone more neutral (like Curly) write the RfC. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 16:37, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
My understanding is that:
  • We'd agreed to leave the bare refs, per WP:CITEVAR and User:WesleyDodds's express wishes, though most of us are not fans of them.
  • There would be archive URLs, and there was nobody who was going to stand in the way of using templates for them.
  • "Publication and reception" was to be split into "Publication history" and "Reception", and someone (not me) was going to fix them.
  • "Publication history" would come first, though some of us were unhappy about it.
The rest, I'd assumed, would cleaned up by whoever volunteered to do it—I assumed it would be Tenebrae, since he was the one editing the page when this happened; he was the one who felt strongly where the prequels, adaptations, and merchandising should go; and he's also volunteered to do some research. I'd just leave things in Tenebrae's hands for now, and save the RfC for the next edit war. Curly Turkey (gobble) 20:40, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. That's very helpful. I've read the entire talk page twice now, but this summary helps to clear up a few things for me. If there's really this much consensus, then I agree that we're probably done here, for now. I'd like to offer a few opinions about how to proceed from here, and I'll do that in a new section. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 21:25, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Sections[edit]

Does anyone have problems with these suggestions?

  • Combine Publication and Publication History
  • Combine Reception and Legacy (or, alternatively, spin off Reception)
  • Move prequels and adaptations into Media

If we combine Reception and Legacy, the section won't be so short. We could do this as a temporary measure, until the Reception section can be filled out with more content, if people dislike the idea of a permanent mash-up. I think that the Legacy section is a bit heavy on modern reviews, which could quite reasonably be moved into Reception. Also, if we combined the two sections, it wouldn't be much of a problem any more. If we keep Reception as its own section, it might spur people to do some more research, filling it out. I have some more ideas, but I'll get around to them later. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 21:44, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Following Curly Turkey's suggestion, I will volunteer to de-template the update links, and I agree to his suggestions RE

*"Publication and reception" was to be split into "Publication history" and "Reception", and someone (not me) was going to fix them.

*"Publication history" would come first, though some of us were unhappy about it.

I'm in accord with NinjaRobotPirate about combining Reception and Legacy into Reception for now until Reception can be further populated; I've also volunteered to look for contemporaneous 1980s reviews.
We wouldn't really need "Related media" for the prequels and spinoffs, since they're already covered in PH.
Does this sound right? It appears as if each side is attempting compromise , and I certainly know CT as an editor of good faith. I also appreciate NRP adding a perspective and offering suggestions. Are we close here? --Tenebrae (talk) 23:42, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Given that the sequels are separate works created decades after the original work by an unrelated creative team without the blessing of one of the original creators, "Publication history" seems to me like a strange place to put them. "Related media" would aslo be wrong, as they're in the same medium. I think "Legacy" or something similar would be be better. Curly Turkey (gobble) 11:34, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree, Publication History seems a bit strained, but I could still see putting it there. Watchmen has, for better or worse, become a franchise, despite the wishes of Alan Moore. In fact, I think we've even got a few characteristically acerbic comments with respect to that. From the POV of "Watchmen as franchise", one could make a credible argument toward putting the prequel series in Publication History, as much as Alan Moore purists may dislike it. As an Alan Moore purist, I admit that it does bother me somewhat, but I'm willing to overlook this, in favor of WP:NPOV. As far as Legacy goes, I think that's a good suggestion—perhaps better than my own, though I still retain an affinity for Related Media.
As far as other ideas I had, I don't remember any more. I ate dinner, watched a movie, went to sleep, and now I think the article looks just fine. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 17:31, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with Alan Moore's wishes; it's about semantics. The sequels/prequels are not this book, so they are not a part of this book‍ '​s publishing history. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:53, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
A one- or two-paragraph "Spinoffs" section might work; I've seen that used elsewhere. Or perhaps simply a "See also" link to the Before Watchmen article. --Tenebrae (talk) 16:01, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
Much as my indignation would love to see it relegated to the "See also" section, I think a pargraph or two are in order. I don't know if it needs to be in a section by itself. I think the section as it it is fine, as it deals primarily with the prequels' relation to the original. Renaming it "Spinoffs" might be best—who knows what DC will do with it next? Curly Turkey (gobble) 20:59, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
I could certainly go for renaming the section "Spinoffs," which is more expansive that "Prequel projects" (and how that's different from "Prequels" I'll never know!) --Tenebrae (talk) 23:10, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well . . . it's been a week. Have we decided anything? What I think we're doing is leaving PH in place, adding a Spinoffs section further down, doing some minor rewriting on Release and reception to make them two sections (the latter containing contemporaneous reviews, which I said I'd look for) and removing PH redundancies from Release. As well, we're reverting the templated footnotes to non-templated. Is this correct? --Tenebrae (talk) 20:36, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

I do believe that's what we've agreed on, yes. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:12, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, CT. I'll get started tomorrow. --Tenebrae (talk) 00:44, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Working on the to-be-revamped Reception section[edit]

Starting to collect contemporaneous reviews. I guess I could put these in a sandbox, but placing them here until I can incorporate them in the article shows I'm working on it, and allows other editors to pitch in. This is from "Drawing on the DARK SIDE" by Joe Queenan, The New York Times, April 30, 1989

THE VINDICTIVE, SADISTIC TONE OF comics of the 1980's is best exemplified by the work of Alan Moore, author of Watchmen, which appeared in 1986. This is a well-written and elegantly drawn series that opens with a retired superhero named The Comedian being tossed out of his high-rise apartment building.

The Comedian doesn't elicit much sympathy, however, for we learn in flashbacks that he had previously gunned down his pregnant Vietnamese girlfriend and attemped to rape a superheroine. Watchmen also features a boy who laughs when he finds out that his mother committed suicide by drinking Drano, a heroine forced into early retirement because of lesbianism, and a child hacked to pieces and fed to German shepherds. This is all in the service of a sophisticated literary technique called foreshadowing that prepares the reader for the riveting climax, in which half of New York City's population gets annihilated.

--Tenebrae (talk) 02:43, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm ordering a copy of Amazing Heroes #97, from 1986. Watchmen is on the cover. There might be a review or relevant coverage inside. I've also found this July 1987 Comics Journal panel discussion with Moore, Gibbons and Neil Gaiman, which might contain useful contemporaneous information: http://www.tcj.com/a-portal-to-another-dimension-alan-moore-dave-gibbons-and-neil-gaiman/ (and an archive link.) --Tenebrae (talk) 02:34, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if you access to them, but it seems unlikely that CBG wouldn't have had coverage---probably lots. Extremely likely that Comics Scene did, too. Also, Rolling Stone and Spin seem likely candidates for reviews, if there's a library near you that has a collection. Curly Turkey (gobble) 03:54, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, I've just ordered Comics Scene vol. 3 #12! Couldn't pinpoint the date, but there's a Moore interview and possibly other Watchmen coverage.
CBG is a good idea. I'm in NY, and I've no idea if the NY Public Library system would have that, but I'm sure it'll have RS and Spin. What have I gotten myself into!  : ) --Tenebrae (talk) 18:37, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Amazing Herroes #97 (June 15, 1986) has finally arrived. It's a Watchmen preview story rather than a review — useful overall but not for the Reception section.
Entertainment Weekly, though it has an extensive online database, was founded in 1990, so no contemporaneous reviews there. Nearest I could find is "Video Reviews: Superhero Films" A look at 'Judge Dredd,' 'Tank Girl,' and other comic book films By Frank Lovece | Nov 22, 1996, which only mentions it in passing: "But power corrupts, and authority can become fascism. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' mid-'80s DC Comics miniseries Watchmen made that point like an eloquent earthquake...."
If anyone with more time can try Rolling Stone and Spin in a library, I'd be glad to incorporate whatever relevant review material you can find. --Tenebrae (talk) 21:36, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and I've gone ahead reverted the cite templates back to the old style, as was indicated I should do. I was going to do everything all at once, but I can see the Reception section is going to take longer than I thought. --Tenebrae (talk) 21:49, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I stumbled across an announcement on page 41 of The Comics Journal #100, cover-dated July 1985. It seems to me to suggest that Watchmen was a big deal long before the first issue hit the stands. It calls Moore and Gibbons "Two of DC Comics' biggest Brtish stars" and notes that this wasn't the pair's first collaboration, as they'd done the Superman Annual for Summer 1985 together. It says the book was scheduled to debut in "early 1986". Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:41, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm really surprised at how little TCJ covered Watchmen at the time. They have tons on Dark Knight, but all I've found on Watchmen in 1986–88 is:
  • A one-paragraph review by R. Fiore in #114 (page 43)
  • A news item on the French translation in #119 (page 17)
  • Moore on the Watchmen merchandising dispute, and his jump into self-publishing, in #121 (page 20)
  • A news item titled "Watchmen Sweeps the Harveys" in #123 (page 13)
There's also a three-part "Moore on writing for comics" in issues #119—121, and a Moore interview by Neil Gaiman in #116. Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:38, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
That is surprising. The Amazing Heroes #97 preview treats the upcoming series as a big deal. The Comics Scene with some Watchmen coverage was mailed to me on April 29 and got "missent" while in the Post Office's hands, according to the USPS, but it's expected to arrive today.
I don't have these particular issues of TCJ, I don't think. Sometimes particular pages happen to be archived at Archive.org — it's kind of catch as catch can — But very cool to have some issues and page numbers now so I can nose around! Excellent! --Tenebrae (talk) 15:29, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
The Comics Scene 1987 special has arrived, and it's mostly Moore talking about a projected movie for which producer Joel Silver held the rights. I'm sure there's useable material there (and in the AH above), but little that could go in a Reception section. Regardless, I'll have some time over the weekend, I think, to make at least a preliminary stab at it. I'll also look through my own back issues and see what I can find. --Tenebrae (talk) 00:02, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, I've been through my extensive but not-extensive-enough collection of fanzines and prozines (as we called that next-step-up back then), looking for reviews of both Watchmen and (as Curly and I have talked about) Sabre. There are holes in my runs for the specific months where reviews would appear. I'm going to go to eBay and see if I can fill those gaps (which reminds me, Ive just received an original 1968 His Name Is... Savage, which I am over the moon about). In the meantime, I suppose I can use the Comics Scene and Amazing Heroes I bought and see if there's anything usable and citable. Thanks for your patience. --Tenebrae (talk) 22:32, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm really surprised at how hard it is to find contemporary info on Watchmen; I've been trying Google News archives and Questia and turning up nothing. My impression was that Watchmen was hyped to the hilt, and that, like Maus, it was written up a lot in the mainstream media. I wouldn't trust my memory further than I could throw it, but still... Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:59, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I remember when I worked for places that had access to Lexis/Nexis. Love to give that a whirl now! --Tenebrae (talk) 02:25, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi, Curley. I had some time today (Saturday), so I worked on some of the things discussed on this page outside the contemporaneous review we're still looking for. A lot of it is just nip/tuck and c/e, although I trimmed the PH and merged duplicate content, added a sole Gibbons' quote along with the multiple Moore quotes in the section about the political content, and toned down two instances of gushing. I used the Amazing Heroes #97 I bought. Take a look, see what you think. With regards as usual, --Tenebrae (talk) 22:48, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

I think they're improvements. I'd like to see something done about "frequently considered by several critics and reviewers as comics' greatest series and graphic novel.", which is a bit clumsy and vague. It may also help to show what it's up against—"greatest series" is certianly broad, and while "greatest graphic novel" is less so (fewer GNs out there), there are certainly some major contenders (Maus is probably the biggest one).
A couple of other things I'd like to see in the article
  • Something about the WatchmenDark KnightMaus Trinity—one of the most frequent memes I read in histories of the graphic novel.
  • Something about the aftermath of the wave of hype surrounding the above-mentioned Trinity—how the foretold Age of Graphic Novels didn't immediately appear in their wake, and how it took until the 21st century for graphic novels to become a Thing. I've read more than one source talking abou this—of course, there were great graphic novel happening the whole time, but somehow they kept passing under the public's radar.
  • This one's a tall order: I'd like to see more context, especially historical context. More than most comics articles, Watchemn will likely be read by a large number of people from outside the comics subculture. Something along the lines of a (very brief!) history of comic books and superheroes, and what the status quo was at the time of Watchmen‍ '​s release. What's obvious to insiders is opaque to the rest of teh world—meaning, "the rest of the world" outside the comics subculture, but also "the rest of the world" literally: non-Americans, and quite likely large numbers of non-native speakers. If this were about X-Force, it'd be a wasted effort; but this is Watchmen, which has sold millions, has been heavily merchandised, has been adapted to movies and vidoe games, and is frequently people's first exposure to comics, as a "gatewy GN", as it were. A lot of what is taken for granted in the article will be gibberish to most people.
    • Further, it's been nearly thirty years now since Watchmen appeared, and the socio-economic landscape has changed quite a bit since then. There are graphic novel sections in every bookstore today. Back then, comic books/GNs were rarely seen outside the Direct market ghetto, and were looked down on by the majority of the public—a huge part of Watchmen‍ '​s impact had to do with breaking the old stereotype that comics were for basement-dwelling juvenile illiterates. Its quality has arguably played an small part in its success; I think the article really needs to explain this well.
I suppose the last one's maybe not all "Reception", but it's related in a way, I suppose. Curly Turkey (gobble) 06:24, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Really, really good points. I agree about phrase being clunky and awkward — the trick will be saying what we mean in way that doesn't sound like over-the-top hype. We need to work on that wording.
Context about those three high-profile graphic novels seems a good idea. I'm thinking, though, it might be a sentence of two here with a link to discussion of this at [{Graphic novel]]. ('Course, we'd have to add that discussion there, but it's sensible and, to avoid OR synthesis, certainly something discussed by a third-party author / historian /critic.)
The historical context may actually be pretty easy — Moore, Gibbons and article author Frank Plowright talk about that at fair length in the Amazing Heroes story.
Onward ... though probably not tonight. I work Sundays.... --Tenebrae (talk) 21:34, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
What are you, a priest?!
Sources on the Trinity are pretty easy to find—no OR necessary. It's a pretty persistent meme.
As for wording, how about something like: "Critics and reviewers frequently place Watchmen at or near the top of lists best graphic novels", followed by some prominent examples (e.g. Time). It might be interesting to throw in its placing on TCJ‍ '​s list, which placed it at #91—*behind* From Hell (#41) and V for Vendetta (#83) (I personally agree with Watchmen‍ '​s relatively low overall placement, but I can't fathom it placing behind V4V myself).
Oh, I stumbled across a write-up in Spin from 1988. And here's a criticism of the ending, though it doesn't really spell out what the writer thought was wrong. R. C. Harvey didn't like the ending, either. Curly Turkey (gobble) 04:15, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Journalist, not priest. But LOL, by the way....!
"Critics and reviewers frequently place Watchmen at or near the top of lists of best graphic novels" — perfect. I should have phrased it that way myself. Yes to examples in the article body; examples might be too much for the lead. Given the prominence of The Comics Journal in this area, I agree its ranking does need to be included for context. (On a personal note: The ending of the movie did make more sense to me.)
R.C. Harvey is certainly someone who knows his stuff. And I'll definitely take a look at the Spin stuff tonight. As for the trilogy theme, since you're better versed in that than I, do you think you might have time to write a detailed paragraph on that for Graphic novel and a shorter version here?
Some good work happening! --Tenebrae (talk) 17:07, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
*groan* I was hoping to leave everything to you so I wouldn't have to fiddle with the refs Face-smile.svg (I'm a bit addicted to {{sfn}}s). I'll see if I can whip something up, and I'll post it here and let you massage it into the text as you see fit.
Personally, I had no problem with the ending. I only brought it up because I have heard a lot of people were disappointed with it. I don't know what they were really expecting—something more "realistic"? Once you introduce Doctor Manhattan as a central character, I don't think "realistic" is a realistic expectation.
I can't bring myself to watch the movie. From Hell was a traumatic experience. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:12, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I did find the movie From Hell to be turgid and uninvolving. And it was Citizen Kane compared to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen! --Tenebrae (talk) 02:27, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
No need to tell fibs. There's no possible way a movie could be botched more badly than From Hell. Curly Turkey (gobble) 03:36, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Are you sure of that? Chaheel Riens (talk) 10:20, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Ugh...well, at least you have some idea of what you're getting into there. From Hell, I think, could've made for a really good movie—it didn't set out to "show what the comics medium could do" the way Watchmen did. The disappointment wasn't just in the movie not living up to expectations (I expected Hollywood to screw up), but in how bad a movie it was from pretty much any angle you looked at it—never mind its gratuitous infidelity to either the book or historical facts ("infidelity" is too weak a term—they ditched the entire story). Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:58, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

WatchmenDark KnightMaus[edit]

Okay, here's a first draft of the 1986 Trinity meme, and the graphic novel vacuum that followed it. The refs will have to be cleaned up some way, possibly by bundling—I haven't bothered here because I haven't looked closely enough at the article's ref style to know what would be appropriate. I put Dark Knight first even though Maus (both serialization and collection) appeared before DK did; I don't know if that's inappropriate. Feel free to fiddle with it. A pre-history will come later, probably not soon.

Along with Frank Miller's series The Dark Knight Returns and the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus, Watchmen was one of 1986's "big three" breakthrough works that drew greater exposure for comics aimed at mature audiences. These three books attracted unexpected attention from the mainstream media and brought comics greater cultural legitimacy in North America.[1][2][3][4][5] Expectations of a graphic novel boom were initially disappointed;[6][7][8] while these three books opened shelf space for comics in mainstream bookstores,[9][10][8] it took another generation until the number of graphic novels was sufficient to fill those shelves.[10][8]


Refdump
  1. ^ Grišakova, Marina; Ryan, Marie-Laure. Intermediality and Storytelling. Walter de Gruyter; 2010. ISBN 978-3-11-023773-3. p. 50.
  2. ^ Jesse Karp. Graphic Novels in Your School Library. American Library Association; 2011. ISBN 978-0-8389-1089-4. p. 49.
  3. ^ Ndalianis, Angel. Contemporary Comic Book Superhero. Taylor & Francis; 2009 [cited 2013]. ISBN 978-0-415-99176-6. p. 221.
  4. ^ Kaplan, Arie. From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books. Jewish Publication Society; 2010. ISBN 978-0-8276-1043-9. p. 172.
  5. ^ Darowski, Joseph. The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times. McFarland; 2012 [cited 22 May 2013]. ISBN 978-0-7864-6308-4. p. 118.
  6. ^ Sabin, Roger. Adult comics: an introduction. Taylor & Francis; 1993. ISBN 978-0-415-04419-6. p. 110–115.
  7. ^ Hatfield, Charles. Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature. University Press of Mississippi; 2005. ISBN 978-1-60473-587-1. p. 29–30.
  8. ^ a b c Petersen, Robert S.. Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels: A History of Graphic Narratives. ABC-CLIO; 2011. ISBN 978-0-313-36330-6. p. 223.
  9. ^ Wolk, Douglas. Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean. Da Capo Press; 2008. ISBN 978-0-7867-2157-3. p. 44.
  10. ^ a b Kaplan, Arie. Masters of the comic book universe revealed!. Chicago Review Press; 2006. ISBN 978-1-55652-633-6. pp. 117–118
This is great. I might say "breakthrough trilogy" rather than " 'big three' breakthrough," and I'd use the full title The Dark Knight Returns, but otherwise: really, really nice writing. Crisp, concise, touches all the major points in an organic way.
You're right about the overlarge number of references, though I have to say, those are great references. I know how you feel; I'd hate to lose them, even though five to support one point seems a bit excessive. Maybe max them out at three?
Kudos, my man.
I haven't been on Wikipedia much except for a few moments here and there over the past few days — I've got minor surgery next week and have been trying to get ahead on work. In the next day or two I'll help contribute to the historical-context points of which we've spoken. It's terrific to be working with such a good, scholarly writer as you. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:58, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Also — and I've put in a long day of writing and editing so I'm a bit burned out a the moment — we might want to add a phrase to the effect of graphic novels having appeared sporadically in bookstores prior to this. (I'm thinking Lee/Kirby's Silver Surfer, Jules Feiffer's Tantrum and a few others, though we don't need to mention them here by name). We also might want to add a phrase along the lines of "...bookstores, in addition to comics shops, where most were sold until then." I know I should probably integrate these phrases myself rather than ask you, but I ask your indulgence of seriously tired older gent....! --Tenebrae (talk) 00:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I tweaked the DK bit, but I left "big three"—its a direct quote from at least one of the sources (I know it's used in more, I just can't remember how many of them I used), and "trilogy" implies they are somehow related. I'll figure out what to do with the refs some other time. Curly Turkey (gobble) 06:09, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Is watchmen not influential enough that the 6 main characters can't all have a page?[edit]

Rorschach has his own page; I'm not denying he is the main character. However the side characters in one piece and naruto have pages. I understand those series are much longer so those characters have more time but still. Doctor Manhattan has just as much time spent on him; I haven't counted specifically but I'm pretty sure each of the six main characters has about the same amount of time spent on them. CensoredScribe (talk) 22:10, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

That would depend on if there is enough source material to warrant it, and how significant the characters are outside of the work. We wouldn't make pages for each of the six characters simply because Watchmen was very popular—we would do it as a solution the article was getting too long. The anime/manga otaku crew are famous in Wikipedia for creating armies of fluff pages, so I wouldn't follow their example. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:15, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

What power does Doctor Manhattan actually have? He isn't a DC comics cosmic identity but he is basically omnipotent. CensoredScribe (talk) 22:21, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Limited series[edit]

I find it odd that the first sentence doesnt actually identify it as a comic book series, only a limited series. i am a comic fan, and ive never thought that phrase is so ubiquitous that a non-fan would recognize it as comics related. ive changed it, but since this is a featured article, and i dont edit comics that much, i am stating my reasoning here as well as the edit summary. Mercurywoodrose (talk) 16:47, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I think there's a problem with defining the story by its initial publishing format in the first place. After all, we call A Tale of Two Cities a novel even though it originally appeared weekly for seven months in All the Year Round, and we call Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band an album rather than an LP. Can we please define this work by its content and not by its ultimately irrelevant publishing history? Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:45, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree with User:Curly Turkey. The very second sentence made clear "It was serialized as a limited series." It was specifically written to be a single story, a comics novel. That's not the same as Marvel Comics Secret Wars 12-issue miniseries. --Tenebrae (talk) 01:53, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Just anticipating a response to this: it was conceived as a self-contained series rather than a "graphic novel" per se, but I don't think that bit of trivia is definitional. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:23, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Spoiler in the opening paragraph[edit]

Is it really necessary to spoil the novel's main plot twist right in the opening paragraph? I think the paragraph works just fine with "The story focuses on the personal development and struggles of the protagonists as an investigation into the murder of a government sponsored superhero pulls them out of retirement", which is the basic premise of the story anyway. There's no need to reveal Ozymandias plan right in the beginning of the article. Maybe we could add something about a nuclear conflict taking place in the background. But revealing what the plan is about IS a spoiler, and a big one at that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 177.130.195.173 (talk) 14:46, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

First Wikipedia does not consider what information is spoiler-ish or not; we aim to be comprehensive coverage of a topic and that includes all facets of it. Second, a major impact of this story is the result of Ozymandias' plan that makes this a critically-acclaimed work, and its nearly impossible to talk comprehensively without mentioning any facet of this plan. --MASEM (t) 14:55, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Surely there's some kind of expriation date on spoiler material anyway, right? Argento Surfer (talk) 20:58, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
C'mon, that information is not "spoilerish". It's the main twist of the entire plot! It's something that's only revealed at the tail end of the graphic novel (in the final two issues!), and the fact that the reader doesn't see it coming is part of the appeal of the story, which initially seems like a mere whodunit. I'm not asking for you guys to remove any mention of it in the article, you can and should talk about it at lenght in further sections. I'm just asking you to consider removing this particular sentence from the opening paragraph, which is often read by people who just want to have a basic idea of what the plot is about, without having the twists and turns of the story spoiled. Surely there is a compromise between veterans and new readers of the work we can arrive at? I'm asking as someone who deeply loves this novel and would like people to experience it the way the author intended. I fully understand the need to discuss this twist in the article, I just think it shouldn't be revealed in the opening paragraph. Georgepedrosa (talk) 05:51, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't (and shouldn't) protect its readers from "spoilers", but I do agree that "and eventually leads them to confront a plot that would stave off nuclear war by killing millions of people" is totally unnecessary for the purposes of the lead, and nothing would be harmed by its removal (it would still be in the body). Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 05:59, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

I can see replacing: "eventually leads them to confront a plot that would stave off nuclear war by killing millions of people" with "eventually leads them to confront a plot that would stave off nuclear war with profound consequences.", but I don't think we should eliminate the mention of the basic idea of Ozy's plot here given that the coldness of the plot is a critical part of why this is so well recieved (The fact you don't see this coming even with all the hints dropped in place is why the work is highly praised). --MASEM (t) 06:34, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the replacement is an improvement, and honestly I don't see how it's necessary to the scope of the lead. The book is praised for an awful lot more reasons than the climax—all the subplots, etc. I think it's fat that could easily be trimmed. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 06:42, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Exactly, as I said, the plot twist is still discussed in other sections of the article, but it could easily be removed from the lead, which is often read by people who just want to have a basic idea of the work in question. You don't see plot twists being revealed in the lead of The Sixth Sense page, or Soylent Green, or The Prestige, or basically any other work with a plot twist, why should this page be different? It's unecessary and hurtful to people who haven't experienced the work yet. Georgepedrosa (talk) 17:30, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Alan Moore removed from the article by someone[edit]

I came to the article to check up on some things, and noticed that some comedian has apparently removed all mention (except one) of Alan Moore, and replaced his name in all instances with Grant Morrison. I don't know if there's been some other changes as well. Vakie81 (talk) 18:28, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Well spotted. I have reverted back to the version prior to the changes. The editor made so many huge changes that it's hard to assess the validity of them - so it's back to square one instead. Chaheel Riens (talk) 21:15, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Obscenity controversies category[edit]

Why is this in the category with absolutely no mention on the page, anywhere? In fact, nearly all critical and public reception mentioned is overwhelmingly positive.

I don't disagree that it could have had an obscenity controversy (though I don't specifically recall one... it was mostly correctly marketed as an unrated/adult standalone series, from what I've read), just that if there was one it's sure missing entirely from the article c: 96.226.222.111 (talk) 04:04, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't have time to review or add any material at the moment, but here are a few links I found that talk about the book being banned or challenged: [4] [5] [6] Argento Surfer (talk) 12:39, 21 May 2015 (UTC)