By Matthew Perpetua
April 9, 2012 10:00 AM ET
DC Comics will launch a line of prequels to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic 1986 graphic novel Watchmen on June 6th with Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 by acclaimed writer/artist Darwyn Cooke. The Before Watchmen project – which also includes comics by well-known creators such as Joe Kubert, Brian Azzarello and J. Michael Straczynski – has been a lightning rod in the comics world, drawing responses ranging from curious enthusiasm to outright disdain, as many fans and creators believe that continuing Moore and Gibbons’ highly influential and pointedly self-contained masterpiece is akin to sacrilege.
Rolling Stone caught up with Cooke – a cartoonist best known for his work on DC: The New Frontier and his revival of Will Eisner’s The Spirit – to discuss how he got involved with Before Watchmen, what inspired him to write new stories featuring Moore and Gibbons’ characters and what he would say to fans who are outraged by the very existence of the project.