I would like to explore the way in which Watchmen, Jimmy Corrigan, Fun Home, and possibly other graphic novels we will be reading are influenced by post-modernist literature; irony, the "simulacra," varying states of reality and time, non-linear narrative, humor, meta-fiction, fragmentation (the list goes on) are themes and techniques that theauthors/illustrators utilize in their respective graphic novels. Through comparison and contrast, I will describe how these components of postmodernism are used through out each, while also considering the author's intent and the effect it has on the reader.
I want to include some Watchmen-esque mania in the paper as well. Specifically, there are two videos on youtube set in the 1970's. One is a 'news report' about Dr. Manhatten, another is entitled "The Keane act and YOU"- both create a fake reality within our actual reality, and although we are aware of this, the videos consciously direct (and manipulate?) the viewer into believing it is part of our reality. Another example of this beyond the graphic novel (although perhaps irrelevant) is how the Lost series uses this type of technique as well. There are websites that revolve around parts of the show to make it appear as though these fictional places/events/businesses actually exist.
Since graphic novels are the combination of both words and pictures, I would also like to discuss the similarities and differences between post-modernist literature and the graphic novel, and the possible advantages or limitations that each genre presents. A few questions I've thought of: are graphic novels able to represent these post-modern ideas in a unique way because of the addition of visuals (keeping in mind novels like Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions). Can fragmentation be represented in panels without words? Even though a graphic novel is non-linear in certain ways, are they ultimately bound to chronology/sequence of events? Novels such as Naked Lunch by Burroughs and Alan Moore's Voice of the Fire, invite/ encourage readers to read non-linearly, to open up the book at any spot and move from there. Is this only possible with the written word? I obviously need to do research on whether or not this has been attempted/achieved in the graphic novel genre...which could be difficult considering the immense amount of graphic novels out there in the world.