New York Comic Con Preview: Comics Studies Conference Panels Schedule | Geeky Friday

Although New York Comic Con is oodles of fun, it’s not all celebs and cosplay. There’s a serious side, too, highlighted by a subconference dubbed the Comics Studies Conference (CSC), which is organized by the Institute for Comics Studies. The Missouri-based nonprofit group’s goal is “to promote the study, understanding, recognition, and cultural legitimacy of comics and support the discussion and dissemination of this study and understanding.” Here’s the schedule:

Comics Studies Conference NYCC 2012:
Thursday, October 11, Rm 1A07
4:00-5:00 pm: The Origins of Leaping Tall Buildings: Finding New Ways to Document the Creators Behind the Comics. Hannah Means-Shannon (Georgian Court Univ.) leads a discussion with artist Christopher Irving, photographer Seth Kushner, and designer Eric Skillman, the creators of Leaping Tall Buildings: the Origins of American Comics (PowerHouse. ISBN 9781576875919. $35), on the strategies they developed to create this unique and significant book on American comics for scholars and fans. Moderator: Stanford Carpenter.

5:15-6:15 pm: Power and Sexuality in Comics. Cameron McKee (UC-Berkeley) argues that Tom of Finland’s subversion of heterosexual spaces in Kake constructs an iconic gay identity. Sam Cannon (UT-Austin) shows how the sequential artistry in Los Penitentes intersects with (homo) sexuality and political power. Evan Johnson (UT-Dallas) explores the sublimation of female power in the Marvel Universe. Moderator: Stanford Carpenter.

6:30-7:30 pm: Constructing and Reconstructing the Superhero. Forrest Helvie (Norwalk CC) discusses how the conventional hero of transcendentalists and Gothic writers contributed to superheroes like Batman. David Lewis (Boston Univ.) explains why superheroes never really die and the “superhero afterlife subgenre.” Rachelanne Smith (CSU-Sacramento) discusses how South Park’s Coon character clarifies society’s need for the altruistic hero. Moderator: Travis Langley.

CSC co-organizer Travis Langley, “superherologist” and author of Batman And Psychology: A Dark And Stormy Knight (Wiley. ISBN 9781118167656. pap. $17.95), also is appearing as a Special Guest in the literary category shared by Spotlight Guests Anne Rice and Kim Harrison. “It is a terrific book,” legendary comics writer Denny O’Neil says of Batman and Psychology. Bat-Films executive producer Michael Uslan calls it, “scholarly and insightful… a fascinating, entertaining, and educational read.”

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Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.