Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore

Critical Essays on the Graphic Novels

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About the Book

Alan Moore, the idiosyncratic, controversial and often shocking writer of such works as Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and V for Vendetta, remains a benchmark for readers of comics and graphic novels. This collection investigates the political, social, cultural, and sexual ideologies that emerge from his seminal work, Lost Girls, and demonstrates how these ideologies relate to his larger body of work. Framed by Moore’s insistence upon deconstructing the myth of the superhero, each essay attends to the form and content of Moore’s comics under the rubric of his pervasive metaphor of the “politics of sexuality/the sexing of politics.”

About the Author(s)

Todd A. Comer is an associate professor of English at Defiance College in Ohio and has published in such journals as SubStance, the Journal of Narrative Theory, and the Journal of Modern Literature.

Joseph Michael Sommers is an assistant professor of English at Central Michigan University. He is the coauthor of two McFarland books and has published essays on such topics as Judy Blume, Spider-Man, and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Todd A. Comer and Joseph Michael Sommers

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6453-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8950-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments      1

Introduction: The Polarizing of Alan Moore’s Sexual Politics (TODD A. COMER and JOSEPH MICHAEL SOMMERS)      5


Part I: The “Low Form”: Moore and the Complex Relationships of the Comic Book Superhero

1. Libidinal Ecologies: Eroticism and Environmentalism in Swamp Thing (BRIAN JOHNSON)      16

2. Green Love, Red Sex: The Conflation of the Flora and the Flesh in Swamp Thing (MATTHEW CANDELARIA)      28

3. When “One Bad Day” Becomes One Dark Knight: Love, Madness, and Obsession in the Adaptation of The Killing Joke into Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (JOSEPH MICHAEL SOMMERS)      40

4. “Don’t laugh, Daddy, we’re in love”: Mockery, Fulfillment, and Subversion of Popular Romance Conventions in The Ballad of Halo Jones (KATE FLYNN)      52

5. The Love of Nationalism, Internationalism and Sacred Space in Watchmen (KARL MARTIN)      65


Part II: The Vicious Cabaret of Love, Sexual Desire … and Torture

6. Theorizing Sexual Domination in From Hell and Lost Girls Jack the Ripper versus Wonderlands of Desire (ZOË BRIGLEY-THOMPSON)      76

7. “Do you understand how I have loved you?” Terrible Loves and Divine Visions in From Hell (MERVI MIETTINEN)      88

8. Body Politics: Unearthing an Embodied Ethics in V for Vendetta (TODD A. COMER)      100

9. The Poles of Wantonness: Male Asexuality in Alan Moore’s Film Adaptations (EVAN TORNER)      111

10. Reflections on the Looking Glass: Adaptation as Sex and Psychosis in Lost Girls (NICO DICECCO)      124


Part III: Victorian Sexualities and the Écriture Féminine: Women Writing and the Women of Writing

11. “Avast, Land-Lubbers!” Reading Lost Girls as a Post-Sadeian Text (K. A. LAITY)      138

12. The Undying Fire: Erotic Love as Divine Grace in Promethea (CHRISTINE HOFF KRAEMER)      150

13. “It came out of nothing except our love”: Queer Desire and Transcendental Love in Promethea (PAUL PETROVIC)      163

14. Self-Conscious Sexuality in Promethea (ORION USSNER KIDDER)      177

15. I Remain Your Own: Epistolamory in “The New Adventures of Fanny Hill” (LLOYD ISAAC VAYO)      189


Afterword: Disgust with the Revolution (ANNALISA DI LIDDO)      201

Selected Bibliography      207

About the Contributors      217

Index      219