- Full Description
A professor of comic studies in Scotland, Chris Murray reveals the largely unknown and rather surprising history of the British superhero. The superhero genre is a blend of several influences, and in British comics these influences were quite different from those in America. He identifies the origins of the superhero and supervillain in 19th century penny dreadfuls and boys’ weeklies and in science fiction of the 1920s and 1930s. Read about the emergence of British superheroes in the 1940s, and the advent of “fake” American comics when imports were stopped during WWII, as they also did in Canada in the WECA era. Then there's the reformatting of reprinted material, including quite amazingly, the very first appearances of Superman, reformatted with its own Brit cover art!
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.
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 influence.
Well illustrated, with fascinating samples of the changes made in the very first Superman comics, circa 1939, including original covers and added splash page art (see our scan). Marvelman remains the best known of the early Brit heroes, and gets full coverage here, from his first appearances in the 1950s on. I've only read part of this so far, but I'm finding it rewarding--I'd become a fan of Marvelman but not most other Brit heroes. But this pulls the cover off an entire history new to me, heroes I'd never heard of before, for instance. I'm captivated. Like in Canada, Brits did not import U.S. comics during and for many years AFTER World War II, so they were forced to emulate or come up with entirely original heroes, from robots and armored warriors on. -Bud
- Additional Information
Item Code BRITSU Publisher University of Mississippi Press Publish Date 2017 ISBN 9781496820266 Binding Soft Cover Dimensions 6x9 # Pages 304pg Color Text/b&w
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