Comic books have provided plenty of entertainment through the years, but they also have been a reflection of society’s problems and preoccupations.
Everett Community College journalism teacher Andrew Wahl plans to talk about the place of comic books in American history at 2 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Everett Public Library Auditorium, 2702 Hoyt Ave., Everett.
The economic and social problems of the 1930s and ‘40s gave rise to comic book heroes such as Superman and Batman. The 1950s and ‘60s brought forth heroes with human problems and weaknesses, as with Spider Man’s typical teen angst, Wahl said. This was the heyday of the American Comics Code, which forbade graphic violence, sex and criticism of authority.
The so-called Bronze Age of Comics, published between 1970 and 1985, is Wahl’s primary focus. This era is darker, with socially relevant themes such as drug addiction and eco-terrorism.
Current comic authors and artists are producing crossover media works, such as Frank Miller’s “Sin City,” derived from a graphic novel of the same title.
Along with his teaching gig at the college, Wahl has experience as an editor and editorial cartoonist at newspapers on both sides of the Cascades. He is a lifelong comic-book aficionado and is editor and publisher of the online magazine ComicsBronzeAge.com. He studied the Bronze Age as part of his master’s studies in the humanities at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Wahl lives in Everett.
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