This month’s “Worlds in Panels” posted at PopMatters yesterday. I speculate on why people who don’t read comics get deeply committed to TV and film adaptations of comics characters, particularly superheroes.
Comic books, more particularly comic book characters, especially superheroes, are woven into the warp and weft of American popular culture. People can and do become fans of characters like Batman and Spider-Man without reading comics. More importantly, I can start conversations about iconic characters with all kinds of people in all kinds of places in the United States, and most likely, I will get responses that show a clear idea or image of those characters. Those ideas or images maybe positive or negative, or something else, but that flash of recognition is a sign of comics’ familiarity and meaning for readers and non-readers alike.