British Comics Creators module (EN41024)

Learn about British Comics and Graphic Novels

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Module code


This module explores British culture and society through the lens of comics from the late 19th century to the present.

It examines the rise of the British comics industry and its connections to other comics cultures (notably American comics), and the changing role of comics creators (primarily writers and artists).

There is a focus on themes such as genre, politics, satire, metafiction and changing modes of publishing and distribution, from newspaper strips and comics books to graphic novels and digital comics.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • learn about British comics history and a range of British comic creators
  • develop a literary appreciation of comics
  • explore a range of cultural and critical theories focused on the nature and significance of comics
  • examine the place of comics in relation to other mediums

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate the ability to write informed and independent critical analysis of relevant texts
  • show knowledge of the range of theoretical approaches to the comics studied on the module
  • show an awareness of key aspects of history and critical debate in relation to the texts and theories studied

Assignments / assessment

  • close analysis exercise - 1,500 words (40%)
  • research essay - 4,000 words (60%)

Teaching methods / timetable

The primary modes of teaching employed in this module are the lecture presentation followed by class discussion (in the seminar, through discussions boards, and other forms of engagement).

You are expected to read the primary material and secondary material (scholarly work, interviews) each week to provide context and a critical framework for analysis.

Learning comes from analysis of both primary and secondary material and discussion in class and through online tasks. You will engage in close analysis of the texts and test their ideas through discussion.

Week Topic
13 Introduction to British Comics / How Comics Work

Comicsopolis – A History of Comics in Dundee

  • A selection of comics produced in Dundee

The British Superhero

  • Marvelman (Mick Anglo)
  • Miracleman (Alan Moore and Garry Leach)
  • Zenith (Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell)

Satire and Politics

  • V for Vendetta (Alan Moore and David Lloyd)
  • When the Wind Blows (Raymond Briggs)
  • Judge Dredd (John Wagner et al)

The British Invasion

  • Watchmen (Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)
  • The Killing Joke (Alan Moore and Brian Bolland)
  • Arkham Asylum (Grant Morrison and Dave McKean)


  • Violent Cases and Signal to Noise (Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean)
  • A Small Killing (Alan Moore and Oscar Zarate)

The Lit Invasion

  • The Sandman (Neil Gaiman et al)
  • Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader (Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert)
  • Gemma Bovery and Tamara Drewe (Posy Simmonds)

Psychogeography and History

  • From Hell and A Disease of Language (Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)
  • Dottor of Her Father’s Eyes (Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot)

Magical Metafiction

  • Animal Man (Grant Morrison and Chas Truog)
  • The Invisibles (Grant Morrison et al)
  • Flex Mentallo (Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely)

Contemporary British Comics

  • Livestock (Hannah Berry)
  • Nelson (edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix)
  • Freedom Bound (Warren Pleece)
  • Sally Heathcote: Suffragette (Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot)
23 Revision



This module is available on following courses: