Document Type

Senior Award Winner

Award Date

Fall 2009

Course Name

Graphic Novels


Dr. Michael Hancock


Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, a graphic novel depicting a superhero-inhabited, Cold War-era world on the verge of mutually assured destruction, presents an alternate-universe story that examines the ethics of justice underlying humanity. Through the skillful synergy of image and text, the author and illustrator have created a vibrant novel offering an aesthetic, intellectual experience that traditional literature and visual art independently fail to achieve. Of significance are the quotations that Moore cites to complete each chapter of the book. While taken from disparate sources, they share a commonality in their remarkable relevance to the story. Moore concludes each chapter with an epigraph that not only summarizes a thematic concept and draws upon visual cues from the preceding panels, but also stands alone as a provocative quote that encourages the reader to contemplate the issues presented in the text.