How I imagine Rorschach's voice when I read WATCHMEN

link to original posting:  http://moderatedamage.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-i-imagine-rorschachs-voice-when-i.html


******************Edit for extra clarity:

THIS IS NOT A RAGE POST ABOUT THE FILM VERSION! I only put the movie in at the start and end to give my interpretation of his voice some kind of reference. This thread is about going into the ideas behind WATCHMEN (the comic) and forming an opinion based on a complete and thorough understanding of the comic. The film has nothing to do with any of the actual intellectual ideas expressed within this post.

*******************


This is an extremely long post for anyone who is genuinely interested in WATCHMEN so if you are going to complain about its length or harass me for writing this, please just leave now. We don’t want your kind here. This also isn’t a rage post about the movie; it’s about the comic and deconstructing Rorschach’s character in order to come up with a voice that makes sense for his personality.


Also, SPOILERS!


I want to start by saying that even though I despise WATCHMEN as a film in its current non-director's cut state, I thought Jackie Earle Haley brought an interesting take on Rorschach. While it was a good voice, it's not exactly the way I envisioned Rorschach speaking. It is extremely difficult to put to words what something you imagine actually sounds like, which is why only the best authors can vocalize what they mean and most people just allow something an actor brought to life to be their definitive version because they can’t describe what they imagined. I am going to try my best to describe what my interpretation of Rorschach's voice is, and I'd appreciate comments on my take as well as your own ideas.


Rorschach's voice to me represents much more than a raspy “Christian Bale Batman” when I read WATCHMEN. It describes his entire character, summing up his world view, personality and physical state. Let’s take into account all of the traits of his voice in the comic.


Rorschach
First off, Rorschach’s spoken voice never changes tone until the end when he is killed, indicated by the fact that his speech bubbles are the only in the comic not to include bold text for emphasis. (Even Dr. Manhattan has bold text, stressing the fact that Dr. Manhattan transforms into less and less of a human being toward the end of the comic, eventually culminating in someone who suggests he may ‘create life’ like a normal person says he might draw a picture. Conversely, Rorschach ends as slightly more human than he was in the beginning of the comic, shown by his extreme burst of emotion in his last seconds when faced with a situation that breaks his “black or white” never compromise rule.) This monotone voice, coolly going through the motions of what he’s saying without ever deeming one word or phrase more important than another, is kind of the framework that holds Rorschach together as a character. In keeping with his overall creed of “black or white, no gray,” Rorschach is either speaking or he isn’t. He doesn’t have different volume levels in his voice, and he doesn’t have different emotional levels in his sentences. Everything is stated as fact; everything is direct, even leaving out words that aren’t essential to getting his point across. He is a light switch; there is off and there is on.


Another of Rorschach’s qualities which most people don’t pick up on is the fact that when talking to other people he speaks in sentence fragments, but when writing in his journal he uses more complete and well-constructed sentences. He is trying to speak like he’s jotting down notes in a journal but he writes in his actual journal like he’s producing an essay. Granted, his journal writings aren’t perfect either but they’re definitely more complex than his speech. This habit suggests two things, the first being that he is obsessed enough to intentionally go out of his way to speak like he’s writing in a journal. This kind of dedication to literally change your speech into something you know is socially unacceptable is only demonstrated by people who are mentally unstable enough to follow through with it. The other thing this habit does is reinforce Rorschach’s detachment from society. He feels more comfortable in his journal than he does when speaking to real people . The only people he deems worthy of seeing his true thoughts are, as we later find out, the staff of The New Frontiersman. This is curious, as they would no doubt publish it in their newspaper where everybody can see it anyway, which makes this aspect of his character much more complex.


Rorschach's Journal. Notice the more fleshed out sentences than in...
One reason it may be this way is to support the “It never ends” theory. (This theory stems from Adrian’s final conversation with Jon where he asks if he did right in the end. Jon responds with “It never ends,” pointing out that nothing is permanent and when Adrian is gone, who will take his place and save the world again? He killed all those who were close to him, meaning all of NYC, his faithful servants, and even Bubastis so even though he was planning for his financial future, like Alexander before him, there was no way for his grand scheme to survive longer than his own lifetime.) This relates to Rorschach because perhaps he wasn’t thinking of what would happen after his life was over, or didn’t care. Or maybe he simply believed that the world would end and nobody other than the New Frontiersman would read his journal. At any rate, this entire theme of the comic fits into the overall “obscured vision” idea, which I believe the smiley face with the blood stain over its eye to represent (besides being the doomsday clock that is). Nobody in the comic (not even the reader) can see everything that happened, which is why everything is told from someone (besides the Comedian’s) point of view. It’s a kind of ‘in the trenches’ approach that truly helps to capture not only the Cold War paranoia from the New Yorkers’ stories but the idea that none of these “heroes” really know what’s right for everybody, or ever could.


Another quality to Rorschach’s voice is the jagged nature of his speech bubbles when he is in costume. When his costume is removed however, his speech reverts back to being in normal speech bubbles. This is another strong indicator about Rorschach’s character, because he gets all his confidence when he dons his costume (a theme that spans the entire comic with all of the characters) but it also serves as the groundwork for later in the comic when he is in prison. He finds out when forced to deal with dangerous prisoners that he can be just as resourceful without the costume, which may have been the first step in his progression to humanity. Ironically, his change to relative sanity began in the prison, but no thanks to the Dr. Malcolm Long, who began descending into Rorschach’s state of mind by the end of his issue (if you pay attention to the way he writes in his journal his sentences at the end of the chapter are much more disjointed and to the point than they were when the chapter started).


Rorschach's speech. The last panels aren't his journal, either. Notice the fragmented sentences.
Finally (or at least as far as I’ll get into this), I get the impression from the comic as a whole that Rorschach isn’t intense at all times and ready to fight, but is merely tired. He lives so far down the rabbit hole of cynicism with nobody to care about and nobody to care about him that he struggles to find a reason to continue in this world. He constantly says that he is trying to save the world, but what does he have to save? He hates everything about New York City, so why would he want it to continue to exist? One would assume that he wants to save it so he can try to clean up its streets, but he seems to have already realized that no one person can help when he truly ‘became’ Rorschach. He is a man struggling to find a purpose and refusing to accept the only one that fits: he is insane and enjoys the breadth of crime because it gives him more prey to hunt down. Without New York City being this abattoir of retarded children he would have to be Kovacs again, and perhaps in the snow outside of Karnac he realized what Rorschach’s true colors were.


All of these traits should be expressed in Rorschach’s voice, but not only passively. His character should be actively understood to its fullest in order to be truly represented on film. That’s why I got into all the themes behind his voice’s traits and kind of got off topic by going into general themes of the comic, because any great actor should ‘exist’ as his character, and not just take things at face value.


To contrast the film version of Rorschach with the one I’ve fleshed out here, he constantly flares his voice (they seemed to have switched Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach in the film because Rorschach shows a lot of emotion while Dr. Manhattan shows hardly any). He also speaks like Rorschach when he is out of costume in the prison, which also goes against the comic version. A curious addition to the film was the ‘ink bleed’ effect on Rorschach’s mask, which actually did add gray to his mask, pretty much going against everything Rorschach stood for. (Also “it never ends” wasn’t even in the film, changing the entire meaning of everything, in addition to the other horrible change of making Dr. Manhattan kiss Laurie at the end instead of forgiving Dan. Another change in the film was having the first fight with Comedian and Veidt actually be told by Blake’s point of view and zooming out to a wide shot of the city with the detectives, killing the ‘in the trenches’ idea expressed in the comic.) They also turned his voice into an intense- at-all-times and always ready to fight kind of “superhero” instead of tired, unloved, unwanted “retired costumed adventurer.” Just to clarify here, I think Haley did a great job with the new Rorschach the film created, but it’s really the fault of the filmmakers’ for failing to catch onto these themes and turning Rorschach into a thematically inconsistent character.


This isn’t really a post about why I hate the film though, the real point was to explain how I imagine my Rorschach and get across some points from the comic that may have been overlooked to anybody interested in furthering their knowledge. I hope you enjoyed my little analysis of Rorschach and I will continue to put these out for anyone who wants a different perspective on WATCHMEN.




P.S. to everybody who points out that cutting the prisoner’s arms off was a better idea than cutting his throat, he didn’t have a saw in the comic! In the comic the guy was trying to use a blowtorch to cut the door down and the guy with his arms in the door was screaming. They were in a secluded part of the prison where guards may have heard them (since there was no riot in the solitary section and they didn’t know the guards were incapacitated by the screechers on Archie) so the guy took out a box cutter and killed the screaming prisoner so they could continue their work in peace and without getting caught. You can’t cut someone’s arms off with a blowtorch or box cutter! Stop saying it didn’t make sense in the comic please!



Just to clarify, inb4 why did you write so much about this, I just scrolled down to see how long it was, it’s not that important it’s just a comic, the movie was fine stop complaining, why do you have the movie icon as your GB picture if you hate it, nobody cares, or any such variations on these.

25 Comments
26 Comments
Edited by SpikeDelight

link to original posting:  http://moderatedamage.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-i-imagine-rorschachs-voice-when-i.html


******************Edit for extra clarity:

THIS IS NOT A RAGE POST ABOUT THE FILM VERSION! I only put the movie in at the start and end to give my interpretation of his voice some kind of reference. This thread is about going into the ideas behind WATCHMEN (the comic) and forming an opinion based on a complete and thorough understanding of the comic. The film has nothing to do with any of the actual intellectual ideas expressed within this post.

*******************


This is an extremely long post for anyone who is genuinely interested in WATCHMEN so if you are going to complain about its length or harass me for writing this, please just leave now. We don’t want your kind here. This also isn’t a rage post about the movie; it’s about the comic and deconstructing Rorschach’s character in order to come up with a voice that makes sense for his personality.


Also, SPOILERS!


I want to start by saying that even though I despise WATCHMEN as a film in its current non-director's cut state, I thought Jackie Earle Haley brought an interesting take on Rorschach. While it was a good voice, it's not exactly the way I envisioned Rorschach speaking. It is extremely difficult to put to words what something you imagine actually sounds like, which is why only the best authors can vocalize what they mean and most people just allow something an actor brought to life to be their definitive version because they can’t describe what they imagined. I am going to try my best to describe what my interpretation of Rorschach's voice is, and I'd appreciate comments on my take as well as your own ideas.


Rorschach's voice to me represents much more than a raspy “Christian Bale Batman” when I read WATCHMEN. It describes his entire character, summing up his world view, personality and physical state. Let’s take into account all of the traits of his voice in the comic.


Rorschach
First off, Rorschach’s spoken voice never changes tone until the end when he is killed, indicated by the fact that his speech bubbles are the only in the comic not to include bold text for emphasis. (Even Dr. Manhattan has bold text, stressing the fact that Dr. Manhattan transforms into less and less of a human being toward the end of the comic, eventually culminating in someone who suggests he may ‘create life’ like a normal person says he might draw a picture. Conversely, Rorschach ends as slightly more human than he was in the beginning of the comic, shown by his extreme burst of emotion in his last seconds when faced with a situation that breaks his “black or white” never compromise rule.) This monotone voice, coolly going through the motions of what he’s saying without ever deeming one word or phrase more important than another, is kind of the framework that holds Rorschach together as a character. In keeping with his overall creed of “black or white, no gray,” Rorschach is either speaking or he isn’t. He doesn’t have different volume levels in his voice, and he doesn’t have different emotional levels in his sentences. Everything is stated as fact; everything is direct, even leaving out words that aren’t essential to getting his point across. He is a light switch; there is off and there is on.


Another of Rorschach’s qualities which most people don’t pick up on is the fact that when talking to other people he speaks in sentence fragments, but when writing in his journal he uses more complete and well-constructed sentences. He is trying to speak like he’s jotting down notes in a journal but he writes in his actual journal like he’s producing an essay. Granted, his journal writings aren’t perfect either but they’re definitely more complex than his speech. This habit suggests two things, the first being that he is obsessed enough to intentionally go out of his way to speak like he’s writing in a journal. This kind of dedication to literally change your speech into something you know is socially unacceptable is only demonstrated by people who are mentally unstable enough to follow through with it. The other thing this habit does is reinforce Rorschach’s detachment from society. He feels more comfortable in his journal than he does when speaking to real people . The only people he deems worthy of seeing his true thoughts are, as we later find out, the staff of The New Frontiersman. This is curious, as they would no doubt publish it in their newspaper where everybody can see it anyway, which makes this aspect of his character much more complex.


Rorschach's Journal. Notice the more fleshed out sentences than in...
One reason it may be this way is to support the “It never ends” theory. (This theory stems from Adrian’s final conversation with Jon where he asks if he did right in the end. Jon responds with “It never ends,” pointing out that nothing is permanent and when Adrian is gone, who will take his place and save the world again? He killed all those who were close to him, meaning all of NYC, his faithful servants, and even Bubastis so even though he was planning for his financial future, like Alexander before him, there was no way for his grand scheme to survive longer than his own lifetime.) This relates to Rorschach because perhaps he wasn’t thinking of what would happen after his life was over, or didn’t care. Or maybe he simply believed that the world would end and nobody other than the New Frontiersman would read his journal. At any rate, this entire theme of the comic fits into the overall “obscured vision” idea, which I believe the smiley face with the blood stain over its eye to represent (besides being the doomsday clock that is). Nobody in the comic (not even the reader) can see everything that happened, which is why everything is told from someone (besides the Comedian’s) point of view. It’s a kind of ‘in the trenches’ approach that truly helps to capture not only the Cold War paranoia from the New Yorkers’ stories but the idea that none of these “heroes” really know what’s right for everybody, or ever could.


Another quality to Rorschach’s voice is the jagged nature of his speech bubbles when he is in costume. When his costume is removed however, his speech reverts back to being in normal speech bubbles. This is another strong indicator about Rorschach’s character, because he gets all his confidence when he dons his costume (a theme that spans the entire comic with all of the characters) but it also serves as the groundwork for later in the comic when he is in prison. He finds out when forced to deal with dangerous prisoners that he can be just as resourceful without the costume, which may have been the first step in his progression to humanity. Ironically, his change to relative sanity began in the prison, but no thanks to the Dr. Malcolm Long, who began descending into Rorschach’s state of mind by the end of his issue (if you pay attention to the way he writes in his journal his sentences at the end of the chapter are much more disjointed and to the point than they were when the chapter started).


Rorschach's speech. The last panels aren't his journal, either. Notice the fragmented sentences.
Finally (or at least as far as I’ll get into this), I get the impression from the comic as a whole that Rorschach isn’t intense at all times and ready to fight, but is merely tired. He lives so far down the rabbit hole of cynicism with nobody to care about and nobody to care about him that he struggles to find a reason to continue in this world. He constantly says that he is trying to save the world, but what does he have to save? He hates everything about New York City, so why would he want it to continue to exist? One would assume that he wants to save it so he can try to clean up its streets, but he seems to have already realized that no one person can help when he truly ‘became’ Rorschach. He is a man struggling to find a purpose and refusing to accept the only one that fits: he is insane and enjoys the breadth of crime because it gives him more prey to hunt down. Without New York City being this abattoir of retarded children he would have to be Kovacs again, and perhaps in the snow outside of Karnac he realized what Rorschach’s true colors were.


All of these traits should be expressed in Rorschach’s voice, but not only passively. His character should be actively understood to its fullest in order to be truly represented on film. That’s why I got into all the themes behind his voice’s traits and kind of got off topic by going into general themes of the comic, because any great actor should ‘exist’ as his character, and not just take things at face value.


To contrast the film version of Rorschach with the one I’ve fleshed out here, he constantly flares his voice (they seemed to have switched Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach in the film because Rorschach shows a lot of emotion while Dr. Manhattan shows hardly any). He also speaks like Rorschach when he is out of costume in the prison, which also goes against the comic version. A curious addition to the film was the ‘ink bleed’ effect on Rorschach’s mask, which actually did add gray to his mask, pretty much going against everything Rorschach stood for. (Also “it never ends” wasn’t even in the film, changing the entire meaning of everything, in addition to the other horrible change of making Dr. Manhattan kiss Laurie at the end instead of forgiving Dan. Another change in the film was having the first fight with Comedian and Veidt actually be told by Blake’s point of view and zooming out to a wide shot of the city with the detectives, killing the ‘in the trenches’ idea expressed in the comic.) They also turned his voice into an intense- at-all-times and always ready to fight kind of “superhero” instead of tired, unloved, unwanted “retired costumed adventurer.” Just to clarify here, I think Haley did a great job with the new Rorschach the film created, but it’s really the fault of the filmmakers’ for failing to catch onto these themes and turning Rorschach into a thematically inconsistent character.


This isn’t really a post about why I hate the film though, the real point was to explain how I imagine my Rorschach and get across some points from the comic that may have been overlooked to anybody interested in furthering their knowledge. I hope you enjoyed my little analysis of Rorschach and I will continue to put these out for anyone who wants a different perspective on WATCHMEN.




P.S. to everybody who points out that cutting the prisoner’s arms off was a better idea than cutting his throat, he didn’t have a saw in the comic! In the comic the guy was trying to use a blowtorch to cut the door down and the guy with his arms in the door was screaming. They were in a secluded part of the prison where guards may have heard them (since there was no riot in the solitary section and they didn’t know the guards were incapacitated by the screechers on Archie) so the guy took out a box cutter and killed the screaming prisoner so they could continue their work in peace and without getting caught. You can’t cut someone’s arms off with a blowtorch or box cutter! Stop saying it didn’t make sense in the comic please!



Just to clarify, inb4 why did you write so much about this, I just scrolled down to see how long it was, it’s not that important it’s just a comic, the movie was fine stop complaining, why do you have the movie icon as your GB picture if you hate it, nobody cares, or any such variations on these.

Posted by BoG

Ok, I skimmed over it, but all I really have to say is that your example of Rorscach's speech could have been much better than that particular page. When he's with Nite Owl, he speaks a lot more, and it is a much better example of what you are saying. Also, you say that they swapped Manhattan and Rorschach regarding emotion, but neither one was all that emotional. I didn't see the film, but in the comic, I only recall Dr.Manhattan getting emotional one time, just before he left for Mars. I do agree, however, that Rorscach is more of a tired cynic than someone always looking for a fight. He's simply doing what he thinks he must do, he's not necessarily an overly aggressive kind of guy. 

Moderator
Posted by SpikeDelight
BoG said:
"Ok, I skimmed over it, but all I really have to say is that your example of Rorscach's speech could have been much better than that particular page. When he's with Nite Owl, he speaks a lot more, and it is a much better example of what you are saying. Also, you say that they swapped Manhattan and Rorschach regarding emotion, but neither one was all that emotional. I didn't see the film, but in the comic, I only recall Dr.Manhattan getting emotional one time, just before he left for Mars. I do agree, however, that Rorscach is more of a tired cynic than someone always looking for a fight. He's simply doing what he thinks he must do, he's not necessarily an overly aggressive kind of guy. "
About the pages, I chose that one because it's a severe example, which makes it easier to contrast. Also it was the only one I found on Google Images page 1 :P. Something of note that I didn't mention in this because it would kind of muddy my argument was the fact that in the Crimebusters meeting when Rorschach speaks (before he became the cynical Rorschach of 1985) he does so in very complete sentences. It goes to show that he definitely had a different way of speaking before his transformation.

As for the emotion thing, the fact that Dr. Manhattan uses bold text at all shows that he puts some kind of emphasis on his words. It's not emotion in the sense of an emotional outburst but it shows that he has some kind of humanity, which the comic doesn't do for Rorschach. Also, nothing in the comic is really something that's so black and white that you could say that Dr. Manhattan is one extreme and Rorschach is another. Everything is a shade of gray because it represents something punishingly realistic.
Posted by iAmJohn

The movie was fine stop complaining.


Also, I thought Jackie Earle Haley's portrayal of Rorschach was perfect, and easily the best part of the movie.
Posted by SpikeDelight
iAmJohn said:
"The movie was fine stop complaining.

Also, I thought Jackie Earle Haley's portrayal of Rorschach was perfect, and easily the best part of the movie."
Having a hard time telling if you're taking what I twice said not to say and are jokingly putting it in your comment or if you just wrote that with a straight face. Just so we're clear, 

THIS IS NOT A RAGE POST ABOUT THE MOVIE!


I merely contrasted it with the film version at the start and end to give my description something to relate to.
Posted by iAmJohn
SpikeDelight said:
"iAmJohn said:
"The movie was fine stop complaining.

Also, I thought Jackie Earle Haley's portrayal of Rorschach was perfect, and easily the best part of the movie."
Having a hard time telling if you're taking what I twice said not to say and are jokingly putting it in your comment
"
Yes.  Though I am serious about how awesome Haley was.
Edited by SpikeDelight
iAmJohn said:
Yes.  Though I am serious about how awesome Haley was."
I agree that Haley did a great Snyder Rorschach, but his interpretation didn't exactly fit with the comic's character, only the one the movie wrote for him, where he can jump out of Moloch's apartment and fight off police before being taken down or jump straight up onto a 6-foot tall pole when breaking into Jon and Laurie's place at the start. Haley's version certainly isn't perfect if it's pertaining to the comic, because certain facts aren't there that aren't even exclusive to my analysis. It can't be argued that he drops the Rorschach voice when he's in prison in the comic or that he doesn't fight off the cops.
Posted by SpikeDelight

If anyone is interested I will continue to write these posts delving into the greater details of WATCHMEN, but if nobody's going to read/respond then I'll hold off on it. Pretty much this is a bump, but only to gauge GB's interest in this subject.

Posted by jakob187

When it comes down to it, you have to realize that the movie of Watchmen is not the end-all, be-all of Watchmen.  It is merely an interpretation.  That's all.  It's a supplement.  Snyder has never once said that the movie would be a complete replacement for the book.  He's always stated that it would be an interpretation.


If you didn't dig Rorschach's voice...record yourself doing the voice and then play THAT over the movie when it comes out on DVD.  lol
Posted by SpikeDelight
jakob187 said:
"When it comes down to it, you have to realize that the movie of Watchmen is not the end-all, be-all of Watchmen.  It is merely an interpretation.  That's all.  It's a supplement.  Snyder has never once said that the movie would be a complete replacement for the book.  He's always stated that it would be an interpretation.

If you didn't dig Rorschach's voice...record yourself doing the voice and then play THAT over the movie when it comes out on DVD.  lol
"
Damn, I forgot to edit this into the original post: THIS IS NOT A RAGE POST ABOUT THE FILM VERSION! I only put the movie in at the start and end to give my interpretation of his voice some kind of reference. This thread is about going into the ideas behind WATCHMEN and forming an opinion based on true and complete understanding of the comic. If you had read anything in the post but the title... ah what's the use? Editing into Original Post for clarity...
Posted by addictedtopinescent

Great blog Spike

But I have to agree with some that the movie isn't bad, it might be for some hardcore fans who break down everything from the comic, but as a movie adaption it was pretty good, and Jackey Earl Haley was the best part of that movie.
Posted by wefwefasdf

Great post Spike! It was a very interesting read.

Posted by jakob187
SpikeDelight said:
"jakob187 said:
"When it comes down to it, you have to realize that the movie of Watchmen is not the end-all, be-all of Watchmen.  It is merely an interpretation.  That's all.  It's a supplement.  Snyder has never once said that the movie would be a complete replacement for the book.  He's always stated that it would be an interpretation.

If you didn't dig Rorschach's voice...record yourself doing the voice and then play THAT over the movie when it comes out on DVD.  lol"
Damn, I forgot to edit this into the original post: THIS IS NOT A RAGE POST ABOUT THE FILM VERSION! I only put the movie in at the start and end to give my interpretation of his voice some kind of reference. This thread is about going into the ideas behind WATCHMEN and forming an opinion based on true and complete understanding of the comic. If you had read anything in the post but the title... ah what's the use? Editing into Original Post for clarity...
"
I absolutely understood that, but at the same time, you have to expect that people are going to mention the movie.  I thought your blog was great and really gave a good deal of insight on the inner workings on a mind when reading a piece of literature, where the world is YOUR playground.

I commented strictly on the fact that your topic of choice...Rorschach's voice...is something that no single person can ever get "correct" or "proper".  It is something that the reader's mind will create in whatever way it wishes.  When Snyder read Watchmen, when Jackie Earle Haley read it...they both got something different from it.  That shows up in the movie.

Personally, Rorschach's voice didn't match up with what I heard in my head either.  That's the great thing about Watchmen.  So I'm just saying...while you may not have agreed completely with Rorschach's voice in the movie compared to what you heard in your head while reading the graphic novel...it doesn't mean that anyone is right.  = D
Posted by SpikeDelight
jakob187 said:
I absolutely understood that, but at the same time, you have to expect that people are going to mention the movie.  I thought your blog was great and really gave a good deal of insight on the inner workings on a mind when reading a piece of literature, where the world is YOUR playground.

I commented strictly on the fact that your topic of choice...Rorschach's voice...is something that no single person can ever get "correct" or "proper".  It is something that the reader's mind will create in whatever way it wishes.  When Snyder read Watchmen, when Jackie Earle Haley read it...they both got something different from it.  That shows up in the movie.

Personally, Rorschach's voice didn't match up with what I heard in my head either.  That's the great thing about Watchmen.  So I'm just saying...while you may not have agreed completely with Rorschach's voice in the movie compared to what you heard in your head while reading the graphic novel...it doesn't mean that anyone is right.  = D"
Oh yes I totally agree with you about the fact that it's different for everyone. I even suggested that anyone who wants to gives their own description of the voice they infer from the comic. My version is definitely not the definitive one (although it is for me since this is the one I imagine), I'm just giving the background for why each piece of my Rorschach voice comes together. Sorry I got a little pissed there, but I thought you were trying to invalidate my argument. Turns out though, that you understood perfectly the point of my blog posts, whether it be about WATCHMEN or really in-depth analyses on video games, subjectivity. 

Everything I post that's analyzing something is always from my interpretation of the work specfically. For this reason it really annoys me when someone posts in a thread I wrote about how, for example, the way Battlefield: Bad Company's sprint represents a 1:1 ratio of player to game character as opposed to CoD4, and says that the developers didn't intend to put that in the game and if it is in the game it's only there by accident. The point isn't whether or not they meant to put it in the game; the point is that it CAN be interpreted in that way, therefore it exists if backed up by an intelligent argument.

I thought that was what you were saying, that I was complaining about the movie's Rorschach voice and that my entire argument was worthless. Now that I've read your post again with the added perspective of your reply I realize that wasn't what you meant, but you could imagine how it could annoy me when I spend so much time writing a whole post about something and then somebody tries to unjustly debunk my argument. When one or two people do that it tends to catch on, and then just like that I lost almost all of my readers of that particular post. So again, sorry about that and thanks for the comment!
Posted by nabaroo

I do think that your analysis is actually quite informative and interesting. I like how you spoke of Rorschach's voice being more than just "a voice".

But, I kinda want to add in one thing, and though I'm not sure it's fact or not, I'd like you to consider it: Alan Moore made the speech bubbles warped (probably) because he's wearing a mask. He did the same thing for V in V for Vandetta. So, Haley's "Rorschach vs Walter" voice interpretation was a little shaky as far as that information goes.

And personally, I like the gravelly voice being there 100% of the time. And JEH did do a marvelous job with Rorschach, and not just as your perception on "movie" Rorschach vs "comic" Rorschach. I understand that the characters have been slightly meddled with, but nobody's perfect, and it's hard to make a masterpiece of graphic literature into a 3-hour movie.

Posted by TwoOneFive

i thought haley performed better than ledger 

Posted by SpikeDelight
nabaroo said:
"I do think that your analysis is actually quite informative and interesting. I like how you spoke of Rorschach's voice being more than just "a voice".But, I kinda want to add in one thing, and though I'm not sure it's fact or not, I'd like you to consider it: Alan Moore made the speech bubbles warped (probably) because he's wearing a mask. He did the same thing for V in V for Vandetta. So, Haley's "Rorschach vs Walter" voice interpretation was a little shaky as far as that information goes.And personally, I like the gravelly voice being there 100% of the time. And JEH did do a marvelous job with Rorschach, and not just as your perception on "movie" Rorschach vs "comic" Rorschach. I understand that the characters have been slightly meddled with, but nobody's perfect, and it's hard to make a masterpiece of graphic literature into a 3-hour movie."
It's definitely true that it's extremely hard to adapt such an amazing comic into so small a timeframe and when the Director's Cut comes out I'm optimistic it will make the film better. The first impression I got from the reason the speech bubbles were jagged was also because he has his face on to muffle his voice (like the explanation they give for people not recognizing Spider-Man's voice in the comics), but then when he partially takes it off to eat sugar cubes or beans, he still talks like that. This led me to believe that it is his custume that provokes him to do the voice transformation, which also goes with the theme of all the characters feeling more at home when they become their larger-than-life counterparts. 

Also, yes Haley did do an amazing job acting as Rorschach, and again, I really hope we get a lot more content from him in the Director's Cut because that performance, along with the opening montage and Jon's narration of his past life, was my favorite part of the film. 
Posted by TwoOneFive

i didn't think he had that voice all the time. i thought when he was writing his journal he was merely talking very angry. and then in the prison scene with the psychiatrist. he is plain spoken almost like Hannibal Lecter. 

Edited by SpikeDelight
TwoOneFive said:
"i didn't think he had that voice all the time. i thought when he was writing his journal he was merely talking very angry. and then in the prison scene with the psychiatrist. he is plain spoken almost like Hannibal Lecter. "
Exactly. When he is in costume (he writes his journal while in costume) he speaks with his "Rorschach voice" but when the costume is off he has a more timid, monotone, unfeeling voice in my interpretation. Not exactly Hannibal Lecter but definitely not the same vioce as Rorschach.
Posted by TwoOneFive
SpikeDelight said:
"TwoOneFive said:
"i didn't think he had that voice all the time. i thought when he was writing his journal he was merely talking very angry. and then in the prison scene with the psychiatrist. he is plain spoken almost like Hannibal Lecter. "
Exactly. When he is in costume (he writes his journal while in costume) he speaks with his "Rorschach voice" but when the costume is off he has a more timid, monotone, unfeeling voice in my interpretation. Not exactly Hannibal Lecter but definitely not the same vioce as Rorschach.
"
yea i know what you mean, i didnt mean literally lecter, but ya know, more calm and calculating
Edited by SpikeDelight
TwoOneFive said:
yea i know what you mean, i didnt mean literally lecter, but ya know, more calm and calculating"
Yeah, I feel like when he's in prison he practically sleepwalks everywhere and does exactly what they tell him because he's nervous that he won't survive. When Dan asks him how he's been keeping he says "out of prison," which you could imagine would be quite a priority if he's made so may enemies. When he's at the psychiatrist's desk he sits perfectly straight, his hands politely resting on the tabletop, staring straight into the abyss. When faced with the imminent threat of the prisoner about to shank him at the lunch line, he uses his intellect to get the first strike on him, saving him from a horrible fate and getting himself a comfy solitary cell. It wasn't really a crime of passion or even self defense (at least not self-defense for the immediate moment, but his whole stay in prison). I think he had calculated that, knowing that nobody could reach him where he'd go if he did such a thing to another prisoner. Then, when facing Big Figure's entourage he realizes what he can do without his face, although eventually preferring the comfort of his costume up until the very end. The point in this whole description is yeah, he should have a calmer and more calculating voice, but in my Rorschach there is a deeper reason he is calculating: for the first time in decades, he is geniunely afraid for his life.
Posted by Systech

When I read Watchmen, that's pretty much how I imagined it.

Posted by nabaroo
 SpikeDelight said:
"nabaroo said:
"I do think that your analysis is actually quite informative and interesting. I like how you spoke of Rorschach's voice being more than just "a voice".But, I kinda want to add in one thing, and though I'm not sure it's fact or not, I'd like you to consider it: Alan Moore made the speech bubbles warped (probably) because he's wearing a mask. He did the same thing for V in V for Vandetta. So, Haley's "Rorschach vs Walter" voice interpretation was a little shaky as far as that information goes.And personally, I like the gravelly voice being there 100% of the time. And JEH did do a marvelous job with Rorschach, and not just as your perception on "movie" Rorschach vs "comic" Rorschach. I understand that the characters have been slightly meddled with, but nobody's perfect, and it's hard to make a masterpiece of graphic literature into a 3-hour movie."
It's definitely true that it's extremely hard to adapt such an amazing comic into so small a timeframe and when the Director's Cut comes out I'm optimistic it will make the film better. The first impression I got from the reason the speech bubbles were jagged was also because he has his face on to muffle his voice (like the explanation they give for people not recognizing Spider-Man's voice in the comics), but then when he partially takes it off to eat sugar cubes or beans, he still talks like that. This led me to believe that it is his custume that provokes him to do the voice transformation, which also goes with the theme of all the characters feeling more at home when they become their larger-than-life counterparts. 

Also, yes Haley did do an amazing job acting as Rorschach, and again, I really hope we get a lot more content from him in the Director's Cut because that performance, along with the opening montage and Jon's narration of his past life, was my favorite part of the film. 
"
Oh, drat, I don't have my GN with me, so I can't check. I'll take your word for it, but I thought that when his mask was half-off the speech bubbles changed. I could be wrong.
I'm very much looking forward to the Director's Cut because it'll mean most of the bits he had to take out, that everyone complained about wanting to be in the movie, will now actually be in the movie! I also believe that his voice would have changed a bit, but still be low/gravelly. And I also agree with that theme (I mean, poor Nite Owl II can't even have sex without his costume!).
I'm glad you agree with me. Yes, I did also like Jon's look back into his past, it had been something I was looking forward to as I read. Of course, Rorschach is the one I'll be paying attention to the most, but that's only because of my silly fangirlishness. 
Posted by SpikeDelight
@nabaroo

Awesome icon by the way! :D
Posted by nabaroo

Hey, thanks~!

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

I never imagined a voice, but I did figure it would be growly since he was a psychopath & that was 12-14 years ago when I read it, before anyone even knew who Christian Bale was, except for maybe American Psycho.