Legendary “Watchmen” Artist on the Power of Dystopia

"Dystopias make for conflicts… something for the human spirit to push against.” "Watchmen" artist Dave Gibbons explains our obsession with imagined states.

What’s next for the iconic visionary?

The superhero dystopia Watchmen is widely considered one of the greatest graphic novels of all time -- and will debut as a new HBO show with a new contemporary setting. Watchmen’s legendary artist Dave Gibbons spoke about why the genre of dystopian fiction is still so compelling today. Dystopian fiction explores the social and political structures of an imagined world with problems or obstacles that mirror our own. Gibbons say such media lives on because of how universal the stories are.

“Dystopias make for conflicts, make for unhappiness, dissatisfaction -- something for the human spirit to push against. They're very fertile ground for imagination. As a vehicle for satire or social commentary, because they basically extrapolate the way the worst things in society are going, I think they're very fertile ground for imagination and for humor or in fact for conflict. Not to say too much about the HBO TV series, but what they're dealing with that are very contemporary problems that whilst they are contemporary do you actually have an eternal appeal and have always been problems have always been issues for society. I think that certain stories do have an appeal beyond the time that they're setting. "Watchmen" is that it is in a sense a timeless story. It's about uniting against a common threat. It's about how we view people who take the law into their own hands, lots of things that have always obsessed society. So that's about that's a very eternal question,” the graphic novelist tells Brut.

In his new project, Beyond A Steel Sky, Gibbons explores the themes of happiness and purpose in a post-apocalyptic setting. A 3D game with a comic-book style overlay, fusing Gibbons' aesthetic with the gaming world.