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Showing posts from March, 2009

Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men: Superman Comics and Masculinity

Above, Micheal Goebel from George Mason University explore dual identity and question of gender in Superman comics at the 2009 Florida Conference of Historian meeting. One of the most interesting things about Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men is how the contributors have applied the latest academic theory to the comic medium. Mike's contribution asks us to consider the implication of the blending of Clark Kent and Superman's traits in comic publications over the last decade and how that decision reflects deeper questions of changing views about masculinity in the United States. It should come as no surprise that such an analysis is possible, but two few cultural studies text has examine Superman in this light. Yet, a quick survey of Superman's iconic history reveals the link between the character's depictions and evolution of United States' social, political, and economic fortunes. Superman and other mainstream characters receive serious consideration in the pages of…

Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men: A Question of Themes

One question that must be answered when considering a critical anthology like Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men is how, especially for the broader public, will you (editors) address crucial issues. The decision to focus on comics and comic book culture alone creates resistance, thus it is important to have a strong thematic framework to guide the construction of the volume. For Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men our aim is to examine the the superhero genre because it highlights the struggle between American ideas and shifting social, political, and economic realties. Without question some points touched on in this volume, such as Superman’s class and ethnic symbolism are the gist of academic debate. Yet, this volume differs because of its innovative examination of race, gender, and ideology in comics through a wider examination of comic characters and comic forms. If you question the importance of comics, the success of recent comic book movies and the perception that “comic book values” are p…

Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men: Contributor Claire Jenkins

"Nuff Said is gearing up for the Spring by changing its colors. Regardless, we are still focused on comic books and comics culture in all forms. This week's update, and I hope to keep the update coming on a weekly basis, is about Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men. As I mentioned, the 2009 Florida Conference of Historians conference was the first ever face to face with contributors to the volume. So, for those of you who made it, great to meet you:) For those you who did not, here are some of the people you missed.

Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men--FCH Contributor Interview: Claire Jenkins
Education: PhD Film Studies, Warwick University, UK
MA Film Studies, 2005, Reading University, UK
BA (hons) Media Arts, 2003, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK


How can I connect WATCHMEN to Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men, how much pointless self-promotion can I engage in and still look myself in the eye? Well, let see shall we:)

In the last two decades, comic books and comic book heroes have experience increased scholarly interest. This attention has approached comic books and characters as myth, sought context of the superhero archetype, and used comic books as cultural markers for postwar America. All of theses efforts share an acknowledgement that comic books and superheroes offer a distinct means to understand U. S. culture. If the mania over WATCHMEN explains anything, it that comic are our culture's mythology. American comics and comic culture provide a window into the way we understand our place in the postwar global experience. The WATCHMEN stands as testament to heighten Cold War tension in the 1980s. The recent success of comic inspired films reflect both the maturity of generation X and the power of visual media to effect t…

On the eve of this momentous occasion...

I wish that I could've referenced the Doomsday Clock and titled this post something awesome like "Five minutes to midnight" but at that very time I will, in fact, be only moments away from seeing Watchmen with so many other drooling fangirls and boys (and you kinda lose that cool double meaning when this wasn't actually published at 11:55, you know?)...

When we started reading the graphic novel in American Graphic Media, I'd heard of it but I really had no idea what I was getting myself into... A single-story comic series that you can study in depth for several weeks? Not possible, right? Needless to say, I was mistaken.

It's funny because the last issue of Watchmen came out a month after I was born. Yes, that's right - it's taken the lifetime of a college student for this groundbreaking graphic novel to finally be made into a film. And, like most epic cinematic productions, there was much squabbling, except this time it was for the very right of this …