V for Vendetta and Resisting Fascism

In the thirty-ninth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I present a special episode as they compare and contrast the graphic novel V for Vendetta and its film adaptation. In this episode, we discussed how the two versions of the story reflected on the social, cultural, and historical periods in which…

Convergent Wrestling: The Nature of Professional Wrestling

Professional wrestling has been criticized for its emphasis on the fiction of its entertainment rather than the reality of its sport. My partner, Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me), and I argue that professional wrestling functions as a convergent media product, representing a vital text for examining the media landscape of the 21st century. The…

The Pop Culture Lens on The Dark Knight Returns

In the thirteenth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast, and unofficial third co-host, Joe Belfeuil to discuss the lasting impact of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. We were all fans of the comic book / graphic novel at some point in the past, but…

The Pop Culture Lens Episode 11: Captain Midnight

In the eleventh episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast Blair Davis of DePaul University to discuss a pulp hero from the radio era, Captain Midnight. Captain Midnight began as a radio serial in 1938 (which you can listen to here), at the dawn of the…

Pop Culture Lens Episode 8: The Last Temptation of Christ

In the eighth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I celebrate the Easter Sunday holiday by discussing the Martin Scorsese film The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). Not being religious scholars, we focus our discuss on the usefulness and even necessity for artists and audiences to engage in artistic and critical…

Genre Mashing in Professional Wrestling

After the event of this weekend, where normally we are only needing to remember our veterans but must now also remember those young men and women who died at the whim of a terrorist — of a misogynist extremist — I need to take a break from discussing fractured fandom and the sexist, and misogynist,…

Making Sense of Superheroes: Awareness of superhero genre conventions around the world

Report by CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Roskilde University (March 6, 2009) of the Quantitative Results (This paper was presented at the Danish scifi convention Fantasticon to discuss the nature of superheroes.) A series of quantitative and qualitative questions were asked of individuals around the world on: whether or not certain characteristics defined superheroes; creating their own…

Superheroes Around the World Examples

As part of a project I am working on, I’m looking for examples of people outside of the United States appropriating and/or incorporating some aspect of the American superhero genre into their pop culture and everyday lives. Here we have an example of a man in Cairo exploring what a superhero, in this case Spider-Man,…

The Oddness of Old Comic Books

(This post originally appeared on Clearance Bin Review.  I am reposting it here given my interest in studying the morality of superheroes as well as my interest in understanding how people make sense of texts as they engage with them.  I also believe there is something to be said about the importance of the nature of the…

The Morality of Superheroes

Previously I have discussed the definition of superheroes, the international nature of superheroes, and the ability to consider superheroes from different legends and religions.  In this post I share my thoughts on the ethical and moral nature of superheroes, on how we could consider them to be role models for our modern lives.  The further…