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Comic Book Crime: Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Год выпуска: 2013
Автор: Nickie D. Phillips and Staci Strobl

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

Carrying ahead the project of cultural criminology, Phillips and Strobl dare to take seriously that which amuses and entertains usand to find in it the most significant of themes. Audiences, images, ideologies of justice and injusticeall populate the pages of Comic Book Crime. The result is an analysis as colorful as a good comic, and as sharp as the point on a superheros sword.Jeff Ferrell, author of Empire of Scrounge Superman, Batman, Daredevil, and Wonder Woman are iconic cultural figures that embody values of order, fairness, justice, and retribution. Comic Book Crime digs deep into these and other celebrated characters, providing a comprehensive understanding of crime and justice in contemporary American comic books. This is a world where justice is delivered, where heroes save ordinary citizens from certain doom, where evil is easily identified and thwarted by powers far greater than mere mortals could possess. Nickie Phillips and Staci Strobl explore these representations and show that comic books, as a historically important American cultural medium, participate in both reflecting and shaping an American ideological identity that is often focused on ideas of the apocalypse, utopia, retribution, and nationalism. Through an analysis of approximately 200 comic books sold from 2002 to 2010, as well as several years of immersion in comic book fan culture, Phillips and Strobl reveal the kinds of themes and plots popular comics feature in a post-9/11 context. They discuss heroes calculations of deathworthiness, or who should be killed in meting out justice, and how these judgments have as much to do with the heros character as they do with the actions of the villains. This fascinating volume also analyzes how class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation are used to construct difference for both the heroes and the villains in ways that are both conservative and progressive. Engaging, sharp, and insightful, Comic Book Crime is a fresh take on the very meaning of truth, justice, and the American way.Nickie D. Phillipsis Associate Professor in the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY.Staci Stroblis Associate Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.In theAlternative Criminologyseries

Review

"Carrying ahead the project of cultural criminology, Phillips and Strobl dare to take seriously that which amuses and entertains usand to find in it the most significant of themes. Audiences, images, ideologies of justice and injusticeall populate the pages of Comic Book Crime. The result is an analysis as colorful as a good comic, and as sharp as the point on a superheros sword."-Jeff Ferrell,author of Empire of Scrounge

Review

"Another important and original contribution to cultural criminology and the study of popular culture more generally. Phillips' and Strobl's work lays out the primacy of crime, violence, hegemony, and retribution to American conceptualizations of mythic justice."-Michelle Brown,co-author of Criminology Goes to the Movies: Crime Theory and Popular Culture

Review

"Comic Book Crime is an important book devoted to a medium that has long been dismissed."-Scott Elingburg,Popmatters

Review

...students and the public as well as academics should be interested in and entertained by this scholarly treatment of a popular culture form.-Jack David Eller,Anthropology Review Database

Synopsis

Superman, Batman, Daredevil, and Wonder Woman are iconic cultural figures that embody values of order, fairness, justice, and retribution. Comic Book Crime digs deep into these and other celebrated characters, providing a comprehensive understanding of crime and justice in contemporary American comic books. This is a world where justice is delivered, where heroes save ordinary citizens from certain doom, where evil is easily identified and thwarted by powers far greater than mere mortals could possess. Nickie Phillips and Staci Strobl explore these representations and show that comic books, as a historically important American cultural medium, participate in both reflecting and shaping an American ideological identity that is often focused on ideas of the apocalypse, utopia, retribution, and nationalism. Through an analysis of approximately 200 comic books sold from 2002 to 2010, as well as several years of immersion in comic book fan culture, Phillips and Strobl reveal the kinds of themes and plots popular comics feature in a post-9/11 context. They discuss heroes calculations of deathworthiness, or who should be killed in meting out justice, and how these judgments have as much to do with the hero s character as they do with the actions of the villains. This fascinating volume also analyzes how class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation are used to construct difference for both the heroes and the villains in ways that are both conservative and progressive. Engaging, sharp, and insightful, Comic Book Crime is a fresh take on the very meaning of truth, justice, and the American way.

Instructor's Guide"


About the Author

Nickie D. Phillips is Associate Professor in the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at St.Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. Staci Strobl is Associate Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Table of Contents

CONTENTSACKNOWLEDGMENTS vii1 Holy Criminology, Batman!Comics and Constructions of Crime and Justice 12 Crime Doesnt PayA Brief History of Crime and Justice Themes in Comic Books 203 The World Is ShiftingTerrorism, Xenophobia, and Comic Books after 9/11 404 A Better TomorrowApocalypse, Utopia, and the Crime Problem 625 Thats the Trouble with a Bad SeedVillains and the Embodiment of Evil 826 Arent We Supposed to Be the Good Guys?Heroes, Deathworthiness, and Paths to Justice 1077 Take Down the Bad Guys, Save the GirlGender, Sexual Orientation, and Comic Book Justice 1408 Arent There Any Brown People in This World?Race, Ethinicity, and Crime Fighting 1699 Apocalyptic IncapacitationThe Maximum-Maximum Response to Crime 19710 ConclusionUltimate Justice 218APPENDIX: SAMPLE AND METHODOLOGY 229NOTES 239BIBLIOGRAPHY 267INDEX 283ABOUT THE AUTHORS 289



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