Watchmen was something rarely seen when it hit the shelves in 1986: superheroes dealing with the struggles and conflicts of real life. It’s critical acclaim has earned it a spot on many “best of” lists, including Time magazine’s list of 100 Best Novels. It was comics like Watchmen that helped the industry turn the corner from kids’ books to serious literature and art.
Some additional reading material if you want to know more about why 1986 was such a pivotal year for the comic book industry:
“1986, The Year That Changed Comic Books” — This is an amazing multi-part essay on the impact of the events of 1986 in comics on the future of the industry.
“1986: The Year Comic Books Became Literature” — Blog post discussing how comic books “grew up” in 1986 and demanded to be taken seriously as an art form and literature.
“The Year Comics Grew Up” by IGN: