, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 461–474 | Cite as

Traveling possible words in graphic narratives: The example of Watchmen (Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

  • Clotilde Thouret


This article tries out the literary theory of possible worlds in graphic narratives through the example of Watchmen. It shows that it is a powerful tool to explain how the basic form of the comic, articulating a diegetic sequence with coexisting panels, can build reference to different worlds and give the reader access to worlds that are symbolically, logically or ontologically different from the actual world. Joining together different fictional worlds, intertwining many narratives, and actualizing a passage of the superhero from fiction to reality, Watchmen is at the same time an alternative history, a parody and a metafiction. Far from being a cerebral experience, the intense circulation between worlds builds immersion in fiction and, in the case of this particular comic book, leads pragmatically to a critique of the superhero figure and the political order it is attached to.


Watchmen Graphic narratives Superhero Utopia/dystopia Alternative history Literary theory of possible worlds Transfictionality 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ParisFrance

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