What Is a Superhero? (book review) Robin S. Rosenberg (Editor) et al.

Michael E. Uslan (Foreword)


021119: popular culture fascinates me, perhaps because i do not experience it originally as popular culture, that is, only as critically informed some years (decades...) later. so i do not know if this is five for anyone else... maybe it is too intellectual, or too familiar...


friend comics illustrator riley rossmo has read/looked at tens of thousands of graphics, mostly of superhero genre, ever since kid, but when my brother and i were able to read word books our mother would not let us read graphics of any sort. so i missed years (decades...) of boy-culture. my knowledge of superman, spider-man, iron man etc is primarily through much recent hollywood movies, tv history, reading comics now as adult... and talking with riley. before i met him, i had read maybe ten, now i have read about 360 graphics, but not many superhero ones...


as always, it is the art i find most interesting in graphics, but as this is critical nonfiction work there is none. collection of essays, some very good some less, from various perspectives, critical and practical. reminds me of lit criticism read at u, but fun in that way, it helps me to understand nostalgia some male friends have for these modern myths though it might not convince me of transcendent values. but then, finding references to this or that other story in given story seems somewhat parlor game, rather than affirming truths intended for readers. what art i think of in superhero work is often generic, but there are some remarkable images i like, and it is intriguing to have essentially ‘sequential’ nature to tell stories...


there are some inspirations to try works i do not know: particularly x-men with philosophical conflict between separatism/suprematism and more tolerant relationships between humans and mutants... yes there are sff books about this, but do they have extensive and exciting pictorial representations? other than the movies, at least...




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if you like this review, i now have website: www.michaelkamakana.com 220611: this is probably the most academically accurate of the translations I have read of this book, but still prefer commentary o