‘Sparks of Meaning’: Comics, Music and Alan Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

635 Downloads (Pure)


Comics have become a significant part of modern popular culture. This article examines the ways in which music is involved with comics, and develops methods for analysing musical moments in comic books. The output of the writer Alan Moore (b. 1953) is used as the domain for examining music and comics. This popular author's works are notable for their sophisticated use of music and their interaction with wider musical culture. Using case studies from the comic books V for Vendetta (1982–9), Watchmen (1986–7) and the second and third volumes of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2002–12), the article demonstrates that the comic can be a musically significant medium (even to the point of becoming a piece of virtual musical theatre), and argues that music in comics serves to encourage readers to engage in hermeneutic criticism of musical and musical-literary texts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-162
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of the Royal Musical Association
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Apr 2015


  • comic
  • Alan Moore
  • V for Vendetta
  • Watchmen
  • Kurt Weill
  • graphic novel
  • David J
  • Die Dreigroschenoper
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • Threepenny Opera
  • Bertolt Brecht

Cite this