Date of Award

4-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English (M.A.)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Rozema

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Blumreich

Third Advisor

Dr. Brian Deyo

Academic Year

2018/2019

Abstract

Neil Gaiman’s Vertigo Series The Sandman is an exceptional artistic endeavor. From “Preludes and Nocturnes”(1988) to “The Wake” (1996), Gaiman worked alongside a team of talented artists and graphic designers to produce an indelible work of revisionist mythology. This thesis will attempt to establish the framework by which our modern literary canon has celebrated classical Western myths while relegating graphic or visual forms of literature or outright neglecting comic myths altogether. Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics will frame the discourse for pictographic analysis of Neil Gaiman’s mythological revisionism of Milton’s Paradise Lost in Season of Mists, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and The Travels of Marco Polo in “Soft Places.” The Sandman is a playful modern myth that revives classical mythology within the comics medium, calling for a new kind of literary discourse that seeks to reverse decades of literary bias resulting from the 1950s Comics Code that has relegated the medium as juvenile. I will argue that given the comics flexibility, it is the only medium in which a transtextual myth of this nature can be fully realized.

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