Day 229

While talking with a friend at the coffee shop on Saturday night, he mentioned that he suggested new material for the third Humanities course at Geneva. He gave the book to Dr. Meek--one of the professors on the board that selects the material--and hoped to hear back from her after she glanced through it. I asked him what book he was suggesting.

"Oh, Watchmen."

I could've passed out.

Here goes trying to say this as succinctly as possible: Watchmen is a comic book (graphic novel, if you want to use the oft-abused term). It is very literate. It is moving. It is a better read than almost anything else I've ever read, and I'm not exaggerating.

Read more about it here. Yes, it uses illustrations, which tends to turn away some people. It's a mature work, both because it deals with some serious issues, but also because it's gritty. It also has three overlapping narratives and deals heavily with metafiction. TIME magazine named it one of the 100 best works of fiction since 1923.

It may not get picked. It probably won't, in fact! But just the fact that it's being considered fills me with joy. Comics are often dismissed simply for existing, and many--most--are pretty wretched. But that doesn't mean we can reject the medium outright, and if students get exposure to a well-done comics like Watchmen...well, that just makes me feel all tingly and happy.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 4/22/2007 11:47:00 PM,

2 Comments:

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Thats great to hear! We actually have a course here at Seton Hill called "Media Aesthetics" and it's centered around graphic novel literature. They core books for the class include Watchmen, Maus, Ghost World, etc... and then for the final project, students can pick a graphic novel out of a list of 100 or so and do a literary term paper on it.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Locum tenens said...

We already discussed the possibility of using watchman... we will see. If not we are strongly considering a graphic novel.

 

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