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Here’s a winning twofer on the Watchmen front. Not only will I be previewing Rich Johnston’s satirical Watchmensch strip, I’ll also tell you how, if you’re in London on Monday, you can get yourself into the UK World Premiere of Zack Snyder’s movie.

First up, how to win your premiere passes. I was sent the details today by the PR company handling the film over here in the UK. What fans will need to do to be in with a chance – and it is only a chance, there’s not room for everybody by any means – is to text a special word to a special number at a certain time. That simple. Full instructions after the break, quoted directly from the source.

Attention Watchmen fans! Get down to the World Premiere of Watchmen in Leicester Square on Monday February 23 and text “Watchmen” to 61661 between 5.30pm and 6.00pm and you could win a entrance to see the film! For your chance of winning this once in a lifetime prize simply arrive at Leicester Square on Monday with your mobile phone!

So, basically it’s a crap shoot – but even if you lose, you’ll get to see folks strolling up the red carpet and you might even see me and my video camera dorking around in the press hutch. Bring rotten tomatoes.

Oh, and if you do win your way in, tell them where you heard about the promotion.

Now, part two. Timed to coincide with the launch of the film, Rich Johnston’s part-parody funny book Watchmensch is easily the most inventive and pointed strip he’s scripted so far. Dave Gibbons likes it too, and provided a pretty compelling quote:

I laughed out loud at Watchmensch. Several times, in fact — and the climactic scene is more awesome than any squid!

I laughed out loud too, as I expected to. What was better, I reckon, was the material that provoked unexpected reactions. I was surprised how intently Rich decided to address the dispute between Alan Moore and DC comics. It’s not really a perfectly substantiated argument – not in the comic at least, despite a page that reads like an excerpt from Rich’s Lying in the Gutters by way of Under the Hood – but it’s a compelling one and he takes it fairly head-on. Ultimately, there’s no doubt that Rich feels great sympathy for Moore and his complaints, though I doubt this allegiance is going to stop him enjoying the film.

Most “spoof” comics and novels are pretty much on a par with Disaster, Epic or Date Movie. Rich manages to combine a (fairly elevated) take on what essentially amounts to that kind of sludge with actual, honest to goodness satire.

Simon Rohrmuller’s art is nice, clean and hits the key details. Rich was lucky to get him (like Moore with Gibbons, in the first place). Rohrmuller also letters the book, aping the styles of the original to a tee. Here’s an exclusive preview page of this artwork, as selected for /Film by Rich. To be honest, I think just about any other page would have done the comic more favours, but there you go – Johnston moves in mysterious ways. Click the page to get a better look.

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The official Watchmensch site will hype you senseless but also tell you everywhere and anywhere you can pick up a copy. I’d recommend you to take a note and place your order because it’s definitely heartfelt, interesting and a little bit angry. That’s good stuff for what could have been just a ropy dumpload of clowning.

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