Watchmen as Literature

A Critical Study of the Graphic Novel


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About the Book

Watchmen has been hailed as the quintessential graphic novel and has spawned a body of literary criticism since its 1986 initial appearance in installments. This work explores the graphic novel’s reception in both popular and scholarly arenas and how the conceptual relationship between images and words affects the reading experience. Other topics include heroism as a stereotype, the hero’s journey, the role of the narrator, and the way in which the graphic layout manipulates the reader’s perception of time and space. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Sara J. Van Ness is a contributor to The Lost Art of Ah Pook is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel (Fantagraphics, 2012). She currently lives in New Jersey, where she teaches English and a course on graphic novels and visual literacy.

Bibliographic Details

Sara J. Van Ness

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4475-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9007-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface      1

1. Invading the Ivory Tower      5
2. I^^@ge$ & Wo(r)d$      23
3. A Language All Its Own      46
4. The Watchmen      61
5. Parallel Histories      77
6. Hooded Honor      101
7. Not So Black and White      120
8. Faceless Heroes      145
9. Measuring Up: Zack Snyder’s Watchmen      171

Closing Remarks      190
Chapter Notes      191
Works Cited      197
Selected Annotated Bibliography of Watchmen Scholarship and Related Resources      203
Index      209

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Meticulous…recommended”—Midwest Book Review
  • “Valuable”—Science Fiction Studies
  • “A valuable tool as a comprehensive overview of Watchmen and the graphic novel genre”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts