Chapter 6: "The Abyss Gazes Also"

     Watchmen is a trademark of DC Comics Inc., copyright 1995.  
These annotations copyright 1995 by Doug Atkinson.  They may be freely 
copied and distributed, provided the text is not altered.

     Certain notes are true for each issue.  Each one is written by 
Alan Moore, drawn and lettered by Dave Gibbons, and colored by John 
     Moreover, each issue has a continuing motif, a reoccuring object 
or pattern that is seen on the cover, the first and last page (usually), 
and throughout the issue.  This issue's motif is the images brought on by 
the Rorschach blots.
     Another trend is the title, which is always an excerpt from an 
apropos quote shown in its entirety in the last panel.  This issue's title is 
     The clock appearing on the covers counts the minutes to 
midnight, similar to the clock in the _Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists_, 
which is an estimate of the world's closeness to nuclear war.  The clock 
stands at 6 minutes to midnight.

Cover: A Rorschach blot.  The blots used here are not actually the 
classic blots created by Dr. Rorschach; they follow the same principle but 
are smoother.  Also, not all of the original blots were black-and-white, 
and they were usually more complex.

Page 1, panel 1: Dr. Long is Rorschach's therapist in prison.

Panel 6: The Band-aid and bruise on his face come from the beating 
the cops gave him last issue.  The bruise is from the kick on 5:28:4.

Panel 7: Obviously this is what Rorschach sees.  It is explained 
later this issue.

Panel 8: Rorschach's been through this before and knows how to fake 
out the examiner.  (It's not hard to feed expected answers on this sort of 
test, epecially if the examiner wants to see improvement like Mal does.  If
you're interested in learning how to give answers on the real 
Rorschach tests, read the book _Big Secrets_ by William Poundstone.)

Page 3, panels 1-2: Note the similarity between this blot, the 
silhouette, and the "Hiroshima Lovers" graffiti.

Panel 8: On page 11 of issue 5 he said his landlady reminded him of 
his mother.  The resemblance is clear.

Page 4, panels 8-9: Back into the blot from the flashback.  (This 
issue uses this type of transition heavily.)

Page 7, panel 1: Compare the fruit on his face to the blot on page 1.

Page 8, panel 2: The speaker is Mal's wife, Gloria.

Panel 6: Their shadows, particularly here, echo the "Hiroshima 

Panel 8: Notice that the fountain pen is making an inkblot.  (A white
inkblot?  Gibbons seems to have missed inking it.) Although the 
coffee cup reads "Dad," we never see their children.

Panel 9: The note reads, "Mal: One for you? G." The notepad is his 
notes: the words "murder" and "'Good.'" are recognizable, from panels 2-3.

Page 9, panel 7: Walter sees Rorschach as something more than an 
identity he takes on.  (Remember, he refers to his mask as his "face.") See 
page 15. This is not an uncommon theme among costumed heroes; Batman, in 
particular, has frequently been shown as having a slight split personality 
between the Batman and Wayne identities.  For more on the idea of an identity 
taking on a life of its own, and in fact becomes a world-view, read Matt 
Wagner's GRENDEL series, especially issues 1-15 and 25-34.

Page 10, panel 1: Rorschach has never shown much of an interest in 
women; he seems to be fairly asexual, in fact.  (Or he may be homosexual and 
in deep denial about it.)

Panel 6: "Woman Killed While Neighbors Look On."

Panel 7: This event happened in the real world.

Page 11, panels 7-9: The card from page 1 again.  Mal is beginning to 
get the point, but is denying it to himself.

Page 13, panels 1-3: The coffeemaker is another foreshadowing of the 
motif from issue #9.  In panel 2, the "Gopain" is a Veidt product.

Panel 4: The coffee drip is producing a shape similar to the 
"butterfly" card.

Panel 5: Notice the time on the clock.

Page 14, panels 1-2: The notepad reads "face that I could bear to 
look at in the mirror" (from page 10).

Panel 4: Compare the way he talked at the Crimebusters meeting in #2; 
he actually used articles and complete sentences.  He's changed a lot, 
like he says.

Page 15, panel 6: The headline reads, "Keene Act Passed: Vigilantes
Illegal."  The sign reads, "Badges Not Masks." Most of "Who Watches 
the Watchmen" is on the wall.  A Gunga Diner is just to Rorschach's left.

Page 16, panel 1: Mal is working on a Sunday.  Clearly he's really 
into this case.

Panel 5: We see this from the other point of view on page 3 of issue 

Panel 6: More of the lovers graffiti.

Pages 17-18: The card reappears.

Page 18: This is the kidnapping referred to in issue #2, page 18.

Page 19: Could the dressmaker's dummies remind him of Kitty Genovese?

Page 22, panel 1: The street address is symmetrical.  The dogs are 
named after the male main characters of the "Flintstones" TV series.

Panel 5: Notice the time on the clock.

Page 26, panels 4-6: Once again, the card.

Page 27, panel 1: The watch salesman is a minor continuing character; 
this is his first appearance.

Panel 2: "Nixon Promises Maximum Force." No President in our world 
would be this belligerent, this quickly; he evidently doesn't want to show any
reaction to Jon's disappearance.  Backing down would be a show of 
weakness.  (Understanding this is key to understanding the series' ending.) The
radiation symbol is in the background.

Panel 3: The graffiti again.  Note the Mmeltdowns wrapper Bernie is
throwing away.

Pages 29-32: Rorschach's file.

Page 29, paragraph 3: The "Sweet Chariot" sugar is from Dreiberg's
apartment (issue #1); the rose is from the end of issue #2; the 
notebook is later explained to be the rough draft of his journal; the cologne was
swiped from Dan's apartment in #3; and the pepper is from the end of 
issue #5.  We saw him using the flashlight in the beginning of #1.

Pages 30-31: The "Charlton Home" name may be a tribute to the 
inspirations for the main characters, published by Charlton Comics.

Page 31, "Charlton Home" section, paragraphs 3-4: Compare this to his
comments on good men in #1.

Page 32: The symbolism of the dream should be obvious.  This sheet 
must bemisdated; '63 was seven years after he left the Home.             Doug Atkinson