Comics and Popular Culture: a Conversation with Abraham Riesman and Michael Tisserand

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Join us Wednesday, March 24th, as BISR’s Suzanne Schneider, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, and Rebecca Ariel Porte welcome Abraham Riesman, author of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee, and Michael Tisserand, author of Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White, for a wide-ranging discussion of comic books and comic strips—what they are, how they work, what they’ve meant, and what they mean. Examining the lives and work of George Herriman, the maker of Krazy Kat, and Stan Lee, the Marvel entrepreneur, we’ll consider the comic artist in their multiple guises: artist, wordsmith, worker, owner, and (in Lee’s case particularly) celebrity. And, we’ll explore the close, perhaps integral, connection of comics to popular culture.

We will ask: In what ways did comics help create popular culture—and in so doing, help forge and structure modern popular consciousness? How have comics shaped modern visuality and aesthetic sensibility, in media, art, and politics? How do comics relate to other art forms, both “high” and “low,” from novels (a subgenre of which we now call “graphic”) to painting to film? How can we understand the respective modes of Herriman and Lee in an era in which Marvel comics is now an ubiquitous, unavoidable presence, via Disney’s multimedia economic empire, in global cultural production? What are the historical and contemporary aesthetics and economics of comics? What is its future?

The event is free to attend and will stream live to the BISR Facebook page. To receive any updates and a reminder, please RSVP below.

Event Schedule

Wednesday, 7:00pm EST
March 24, 2021


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