'Watchmen' Graffiti Appearing Around Cities As Movie's Release Date Approaches

The familiar "Who Watches The Watchmen?” graffiti from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' celebrated graphic novel -- and Zack Snyder's upcoming "Watchmen" movie -- has been popping up all over lower Manhattan lately. But is it a viral marketing campaign, or fans excited about the film's looming arrival in theaters?

'Watchmen' graffiti

Sure, graffiti is nothing new in New York City, but the fact that this kind of graffiti is showing up around the city has become a common topic of conversation among New York City comics fans -- and everywhere else the familiar tag is popping up.

From personal blogs to Twitter feeds and Flickr photo sets, "Watchmen" graffiti has found its way online, with the photo above snapped in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, and the "Watchmen" photo below snapped in the SoHo area.

'Watchmen' graffiti

If viral marketing was indeed involved, the company would have to go great lengths to get permission from the city to tag a telephone booth near Union Square, while the tag found in Chelsea was on the side of a restaurant. I'd assume it would be difficult to get the restaurant owner to agree to that one.

Better yet, is the graffiti a product of something more like the controversial “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” viral marketing campaign that hit Boston back in 2007?

One kind of hopes, though, that it's the work of one -- or more -- comics fans who just like "Watchmen" that much.

While we probably won't get any answers about the graffiti's origins, any chance to show off a comics in-joke posted in a public forum is worth mentioning. Keep it locked to Splash Page for more "Watchmen" coverage as March 6 approaches.

Any NYC readers see some of this graffiti? What about elsewhere? What do you think of it?