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Fake ‘Watchmen’ Viral Sites Spur Movie-Blog Flame War

Logo from "Rorschachs Journal."Courtesy of rorschachsjournal.com

The long-anticipated movie of Watchmen, considered by many the definitive graphic novel of all time, by Zack Snyder, director of megahit 300, promises to be a nerd-culture event of the highest degree. So movie and comics blogs got pretty excited when two Websites popped up seemingly related to the Warner Brothers film. One, Rorschachs Journal, was unveiled via an e-mail to Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles from one of the comic's characters, mad vigilante Rorschach. The other, the Veidt Method, popped up a few days later and was couched as an online advertisement for another of the book's characters, Adrian Veidt.

But then people noticed that the sites were kind of crappy. Rorschachs Journal is a weird combination of blog posts in Rorschach's voice and overexcited casting rumors. The Veidt Method is riddled with grammatical errors and empty pages. And both domains are registered to Michael Regina, the man behind TheOneRing.net, the Lord of the Rings fan site that turned into New Line's most-favored outlet for leaks and photos from Peter Jackson's trilogy.

So what's going on here? Apparently these aren't "real" viral-marketing sites, made at Warner Brothers' behest. Is Regina, as CHUD.com accused, using the sites to try and convince Warner Brothers to hire him to create their viral-marketing campaign? Or are they, as Regina claimed in an angry rebuttal on Wednesday, simply sites he created on his own because he's a Watchmen fan?

Let's hope it's the last, because the sites are embarrassingly lousy. But the very idea of them has so inflamed the comics and movie worlds that the bar has been set pretty high for whatever marketing campaign Warner Brothers does create. What does it say about the movie world circa 2007 that we're just as excited about Watchmen's marketing campaign as we are about Watchmen itself?

Rorschachs Journal [Blog]
The Veidt Method [Official site]
The Viral Marketing is Mutating [CHUD]