Icons of the American Comic Book: From Captain America to Wonder Woman [2 volumes]: From Captain America to Wonder Woman

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Randy Duncan, Matthew J. Smith
ABC-CLIO, Jan 29, 2013 - Social Science - 920 pages
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Multiple generations have thrilled to the exploits of the heroes and villains of American comic books. These imaginary characters permeate our culture—even Americans who have never read a comic book grasp what the most well-known examples represent. But these comic book characters, and their creators, do more than simply thrill: they make us consider who we are and who we aspire to be.

Icons of the American Comic Book: From Captain America to Wonder Woman contains 100 entries that provide historical background, explore the impact of the comic-book character on American culture, and summarize what is iconic about the subject of the entry. Each entry also lists essential works, suggests further readings, and contains at least one sidebar that provides entertaining and often quirky insight not covered in the main entry. This two-volume work examines fascinating subjects, such as how the superhero concept embodied the essence of American culture in the 1930s; and the ways in which comic book icons have evolved to reflect changing circumstances, values, and attitudes regarding cultural diversity. The book's coverage extends beyond just characters, as it also includes entries devoted to creators, publishers, titles, and even comic book related phenomena that have had enduring significance.


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Icons of the American Comic Book: From Captain America to Wonder Woman

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"Do Spider-Man's adventures consistently reaffirm a belief in the inherent goodness of humanity?" asks this reference, which highlights icons "worshipped and cursed. Obsessed the world over." The ... Read full review


Volume One
Volume Two
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About the author (2013)

Randy Duncan, PhD, is professor of communication at Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR.

Matthew J. Smith, PhD, is a professor of communication at Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH, where he teaches courses in media studies, including one in graphic storytelling.

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