By Sam Hurcom
What exactly is an autobiography? Traditionally it's an anecdotal, nostalgic reflection of one’s own life and career. Okay, these days most athletes and celebrities knock out several autobiographies before they are thirty, riding the crest of popularity that befalls those who will almost certainly be confined to the archives of wash-outs and pub quiz tie-breakers. But for simplicity, we’ll stick to the traditional definition – an autobiography is written towards the end of life, reflecting on one’s achievements and personal triumphs.
So, what exactly is Hollis Mason’s autobiography in Watchmen reflecting on? Dressing up as an owl and battling thugs with the Minutemen? That’s certainly a big part of it. But, as with any of the master works produced by Alan Moore, there is a hell of a lot more going on below the surface. As Iain Thomson notes "...upon rereading Watchmen it becomes painfully obvious that the meanings of almost every word, image, panel, and page are multiple – obviously multiple."*