Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Indulge me

So, some time back around 2011 I wrote a piece for a Minutes to Midnight, a collection of essays about Watchmen, the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel (actually a set of serialized comics), which ranks up there with Maus and The Dark Knight Returns as one of The Important Works of modern comics history from the 1980s. That's me up there discussing the project on YouTube a couple of years later with our editor and my interwebs pal Richard Bensam, Julian Darius from Sequart, the publisher, and contributor Geoff Klock.

This experience came back to me recently when I was notified by an academic papers website to which I subscribe that I had been cited in some papers. I knew it must be this essay that was cited. I didn't want to pay the premium to see the citations on the papers site, so I just Googled and found three academic papers that used my essay as source.

Only because I had mentioned to a friend at work today how, as a technical college dean, I do so little pedagogical work - most of my time is spent in administrivia, problem-solving, and negotiation - am I going to indulge myself here by going though the citations. It'll remind me that I once was a scholar, and may actually wind up being instructive and/or fun.

First up: a thesis for an M.A. in History of all things.

Here's the only citation from that paper:
Pretty straightforward. Next up is a dissertation for a doctorate in English - from Switzerland:

There were three citations in the text of this paper:

and one more acknowledgement in a footnote:

"All detais" - yeah, I'm comprehensive. And finally, there's this:

According to Google translate, this is another master's thesis, this time in Literature:

Oskari Rantala
Reddish-red copies of the brushes
Repeated boxes  in the cartoon novel Watchmen
Master's thesis  
University of Jyväskylä  
Department of Arts and Culture  
March 2014

There are three citations in the paper, but I am only going to show one, since Finnish is so wildly different from English:
  Once again Google translate helps with the text:

Walter Hudsick (2011, pp. 14-16) mentions the MAD magazine parody strip Superduperman! (1953), science fiction book Larry Niven's "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" (1971) and Robert Mayer's novel Super-Folks (1977). Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, however, brought this revisionist attitude to the first superhero mainstream.

But what I think is even cooler than being cited is having the paragraph in which you are cited interrupted by a footnote citing Umberto Eco! That footnote reads

Umberto Eco (1979, p. 114) has rightly pointed out that Story Men are surrounded by a dreamlike state in which both the earlier and subsequent adventures - the existence of which are known at some level - are very ambiguous, and the contradictions of the stories are not paid attention.

That's it - my academic glory, such as it is. Makes me want to get my own thesis out, and just hold it, like a high school hero holding the game ball from years before.


Anyway, if you want to read my essay in its entirety along with a bunch of other good writing, just clock the image below to purchase a copy or look wherever fine, citeable, scholarly works on funnybooks are sold.


Richard said...

Well! I'm at a loss for words here, except to say I'm extremely chuffed by the whole thing.

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Oskari Rantala said...

Hi, Walter! Apparently I don't google myself often enough, so I'm a bit late to this, but nice to see you found my thesis nonetheless. I have to say that Google translate made a couple of odd choices there, but no matter.

I'm now working on my PhD on Alan Moore's work, so let's see if I can snuck in another Hudsick reference. :D

Walaka of Earth 2 said...

Hey, Oskari, so nice to hear from you. Good luck with your dissertation - and I am sure you'll have much brighter lights to shine than mine! Be well.