Chris Murray reveals the largely unknown and rather surprising history of the British superhero. It is often thought that Britain did not have its own superheroes, yet Murray demonstrates that there were a great many in Britain and that they were often used as a way to comment on the relationship between Britain and America. Sometimes they emulated the style of American comics, but they also frequently became sites of resistance to perceived American political and cultural hegemony, drawing upon satire and parody as a means of critique. Murray illustrates that the superhero genre is a blend of several influences, and that in British comics these influences were quite different from those in America, resulting in some contrasting approaches to the figure of the superhero. He identifies the origins of the superhero and supervillain in nineteenth-century popular culture such as the penny dreadfuls and boys' weeklies and in science fiction writing of the 1920s and 1930s. He traces the emergence of British superheroes in the 1940s, the advent of "fake" American comics, and the reformatting of reprinted material. Murray then chronicles the British Invasion of the 1980s and the pivotal roles in American superhero comics and film production held by British artists today. This book will challenge views about British superheroes and the comics creators who fashioned them. Murray brings to light a gallery of such comics heroes as the Amazing Mr X, Powerman, Streamline, Captain Zenith, Electroman, Mr Apollo, Masterman, Captain Universe, Marvelman, Kelly's Eye, Steel Claw, the Purple Hood, Captain Britain, Supercats, Bananaman, Paradax, Jack Staff, and SuperBob. He reminds us of the significance of many such creators and artists as Len Fullerton, Jock McCail, Jack Glass, Denis Gifford, Bob Monkhouse, Dennis M. Reader, Mick Anglo, Brendan McCarthy, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons, and Mark Millar.
Covering genres from action/adventure and fantasy to horror, science fiction, and superheroes, this guide maps the vast and expanding terrain of graphic novels, describing and organizing titles as well as providing information that will help librarians to build and balance their graphic novel collections and direct patrons to read-alikes. • Introduces users to approximately 1,000 currently popular graphic novels and manga • Organizes titles by genre, subgenre, and theme to facilitate finding read-alikes • Helps librarians build and balance their graphic novel collections
Across generations and genres, comics have imagined different views of the future, from unattainable utopias to worrisome dystopias. These presaging narratives can be read as reflections of their authors’ (and readers’) hopes, fears and beliefs about the present. This collection of new essays explores the creative processes in comics production that bring plausible futures to the page. The contributors investigate portrayals in different stylistic traditions—manga, bande desinées—from a variety of theoretical perspectives. The picture that emerges documents the elaborate storylines and complex universes comics creators have been crafting for decades.