Comedy and Comics: Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives (Abstract Deadline 9/30/14)

full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (Toronto, 4/30-5/3/2015)
contact email: 
derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com

Stan Lee bristles at calling them "comic books," lest readers think they are only "funny books." This panel identifies how humor operates in works centered around superheroes—as parody, satire, and comedy. Potential topics include comedic twists on the superhero archetype; "campy" TV and film adaptations of "serious" characters; webcomics and humorous children's books; teaching satire through comics; and cross-cultural appropriation of the superhero motif.

Submit abstracts (300 words maximum) to Session ID#15447 at http://NeMLA.org/convention/2015/cfp.html. A free account at http://NeMLA.org/users/?operation=register is required to submit abstracts. Submit questions to websupport@nema.org or derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com.

This session welcomes submissions on a range of topics. This session may draw together studies of comics and the superhero motif as captured in works published by mainstream and independent outlets, including the works of Mark Millar, Frank Miller, and Alan Moore, and in works including El Chapulín Colorado, Dr. Horrible, Robocop, El Santos, The Tick, and Tiger and Bunny. This session also can include presentations focused around children's literature, based on how often texts directed at younger readers—Bone, Captain Underpants, and The Powerpuff Girls—eschew the conceits of superhero narratives to appeal to audiences across multiple age groups. In addition, camp in comics motivates considerable discussion in gender and sexuality studies, as many scholars develop their scholarship out of the shadow of the Adam West Batman television series (itself continuing in new comic books released by publisher DC Comics). Additional topics can focus on the use of satire built around superheroes in fan communities online, such as The Hawkeye Initiative and Escher Girls.

cfp categories: 
childrens_literature
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
film_and_television
interdisciplinary
popular_culture