This past weekend I was privileged to participate in two different panels at the first Wizard World comics con held in Pittsburgh.
One was listed in the program as follows:
1940: WORLD WAR II AND COMICS: THE JOKER, ROBIN, THE FLASH, CAPTAIN AMERICA, CAPTAIN MARVEL, AND THE SPIRIT! With FINGEROTH, WISE, HASTINGS, GAVALIER & MAVERICK
75 years ago, in 1940, as the Nazi conquest of Europe continued and the Battle of Britain raged, the United States watched from the sidelines while instituting the first peacetime draft. At the same time, the world of comics was experiencing an incredible sustained period of invention, as The Joker, Robin, Green Lantern, the Flash, Hawkman, the Spirit, Catwoman, and Captains America and Marvel all debuted! (Not to mention the debuts of pop culture icons Bugs Bunny, and Brenda Starr, and classic movies Fantasia and The Great Dictator!) Showing and discussing historical and cultural factors that made that year so important is a panel including moderator Danny Fingeroth (Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero) as well as an array of history and pop culture experts including Wayne Wise (Chatham University), Waller Hastings (West Liberty University), Chris Gavlier (Washington & Lee University) and Chris Maverick (Duquesne University of Pennsylvania).
Given the topic I was surprised at how well attended this panel was. The conversation went really well. I was pleased to join these other academic professionals.
The other panel was about the Independent Comic Book Scene in Pittsburgh. The panel was moderated by Dan Greenwald from the Comic Book Pitt Podcast. I was joined by Scott Hedlund, Jim Rugg, and Marcel Walker.
You can watch it here.