• This essay explores the ecoGothic resonances of Tales of the Black Freighter, a dark
    pirate tale embedded within Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ 1986-87
    postmodern DC graphic novel. By providing a grim prism for themes such as nuclear
    paranoia, the monstrous transformation of the self, and the horrifying possibilities of
    scientific solutions to social ills, Black Freighter provides a vocabulary of horror that
    echoes the grim post-modern alternate 1980s of its host narrative. The Gothic gives a
    voice to the subsumed existential dread exuded by the escalating nuclear tension and
    apocalyptic imagination of Watchmen, and the environmental entanglement and
    degradation of the body at sea serves as an ecocritical lens through which to view a
    corresponding societal degeneration in the face of a moribund social and political
    ecology. It is the technique of metatextual commentary, separating and intertwining,
    that brings the ecoGothic themes of Watchmen to light.