Studying Watchmen in school

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Sep 7, 2009, 6:04:08 AM9/7/09
to Graphic Novels in Libraries UK
Hi all,

I'm curious as to your opinions of a senior high school pupil choosing
'Watchmen' as their Higher English Personal Study text.

It is likely that the pupil would have a tougher job than his peers as
he would be investigating visuals as well as text, but I think
'Watchmen' is has so much to recommend it.

Any thoughts?


Mel and David Gibson

Sep 7, 2009, 1:31:08 PM9/7/09
If they pick up on the Comic Studies Reader, Understanding Comics and
Eisner, they should be ok. There is probably enough out there to help
them 'get' the grammar of the comic bits nailed... It is working at a
high level, I have to say. The whole book is worth a number of books
worth of work, so they may want (if wordage etc allow) to focus down
on one section in particular as a case study... can they do that? I
vaguely recall that Pullman's essay for 'Graphic Account' YLG 1993,
Keith Barker editing, does some work on a single page which might give
you and the student some ideas of the scope and scale...

Hoping that helps

All best


Some of the titles regarding form


Sep 8, 2009, 7:10:34 AM9/8/09
to Graphic Novels in Libraries UK
Thanks Mel!

It's looking like this may be a moot point now. Would seem that he
won't be allowed to study Watchmen as it isn't classed as "continuous
prose", though I would have thought that the depth, scope, themes and
characterisation would have compensated for this!

My general impression is that graphic novels are not deemed to be of
sufficient literary merit. Whereas I think the larger concern should
really be, as you say Mel, whether the student is capable/mature
enough to be able to take a decent stab at 'Watchmen's' complex,
rather adult themes!

I'll invest in copies of your suggested reading in the meantime. Even
if it can't be applied now, perhaps in the future!
> > Lynne- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

Mel and David Gibson

Sep 8, 2009, 12:46:54 PM9/8/09
Hi there,

Oh, what a shame! In terms of the validation of comics for study, you
might find this bit of my website useful...

This website I wrote for lts scotland may also be useful...
the pdf at the foot of the page has some pieces on why the UK has
problems with comics...

Hopefully another time!

All the best

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