Comic Book Crime: Truth Justice and the American Way
Associate Professor Nickie Phillips, Director of the Centre for Crime & Popular Culture at St. Francis College in America, and Staci Strobl, Associate Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also in the US, will be speaking at the free, public event from 5pm-6.30pm on Wednesday 26 March. Held in room A103 at Leeds Met's Broadcasting Place building, the session is part of the University's Centre for Applied Social Research guest lecture series. Places must be booked online.
Comic Book Crime: Truth, Justice and the American Way, analyses more than 200 contemporary American comic books sold between 2002 and 2010, and looks at how those comics reflect and provoke feelings on crime and punishment in modern day society.
Associate Professor Phillips commented: "Superman, Batman, Daredevil, and Wonder Woman are iconic cultural figures that embody values of order, fairness, justice, and retribution. Our book digs deep into these and other celebrated characters, providing a comprehensive understanding of crime and justice in contemporary American comic books.
"We noticed that comic books have long been bypassed as a legitimate avenue for criminological inquiry. It's our hope to show how stories in comic books frequently explore ideas of authority and power post-9/11 as well as how cultural notions of retributive justice resonate in the books.
"Our study examines how fans make meaning from the powerful ideological messages about what motivates crime. We also consider how race, gender, and sexual orientation are used to construct difference, and conclude that comic books should be taken seriously as important cultural artefacts that contribute to American ideological identity. We hope fans appreciate our attempt to validate the act of reading the books as an avenue for experiencing and expressing sentiments about threats to the social order and public safety."