It’s Saturday afternoon, Clare and the kids are back at the family campsite and I’m sitting in the Film & Music Arena at this year’s Latitude Festival watching a short film about sheep. That’s not what I’m really there to see, you understand; I’m actually waiting for the marvellous singer-songwriter and comic book artist Jeffery Lewis to deliver his lecture on the groundbreaking graphic novel Watchmen. It’s one of things I’ve really looked forward to seeing this weekend and – as something of a Latitude veteran – I’ve long since learned that the only way to guarantee a ringside seat at an event in the Film & Music Arena is to go and see whatever’s on before it.
Often, the tactic produces unforeseen results: you get to see something jaw-droppingly brilliant that turns out to be much better than whatever it was you’d originally planned to watch. Not this time, though. I guess I’m just the sort of person who’ll always prefer groundbreaking graphic novels to short films about sheep.
The film ends, the credits roll, there’s a polite round of applause and then someone announces that Jeff Lewis’ van has broken down en route to the festival and, as a result, the Watchmen event has had to be cancelled. There’s a loud, collective groan. It seems I wasn’t the only person sitting though a short film about a sheep in order to catch the Watchmen lecture.
As I leave the Film & Music Arena with the other Jeffrey Lewis and/or Watchmen fans (no doubt missing something that’ll turn out to be jaw-droppingly brilliant and better than what we’d originally planned to see), I notice one guy looking particularly dejected. I try to strike up a conversation with him and quip: “What a shame. It’s almost as big a disappointment as the Watchmen movie.”
“Don’t be so fucking ridiculous,” he replies.