Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2016

From Chicago Comic Con, 2015.

From Chicago Comic Con, 2015.

We’ll have more panelists than are named in these descriptions. Jen Golbeck will join “From Star Trek to Star Wars,” Martin Lloyd will be in the “Who’s the Most Neurotic Superhero?” panel, and then we’ll fill however many seats each panel gets.

Travis, Alex, and Katrina will be signing at Artist’s Alley table B46 the rest of the time, joined at times by fellow PsychGeeks.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 19

2:00-2:45 PM
GAME OF THRONES PSYCHOLOGY: THE MIND IS DARK AND FULL OF TERRORS (ROOM 4)
In George R. R. Martin’s fantasy world, where almost everyone fights for power over the realm or simply over their own lives, how do love and hate, good and evil, need and greed, altruism and narcissism drive the very best and the very worst human behavior? Join the knights of the psych table as they diagnose characters, explore all these questions, and more: psychologists Travis Langley (Game of Thrones Psychology; Batman and Psychology), Colt Blunt (The Walking Dead Psychology), Jennifer Golbeck (Star Wars Psychology), Martin Lloyd (Doctor Who Psychology), and Patrick O’Connor (Comicspedia; Star Trek Psychology). What kind of person can even survive the game of thrones, much less hope to win?

5:00–5:45 PM
FROM STAR TREK TO STAR WARS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE SCRUFFY (ROOM 6)
Which shapes science fiction more -Star Trek or Star Wars? Where would Firefly, Babylon 5, Stargate, Farscape, or Battlestar Galactica be without either of them? Join us in a celebration and exploration of all things sci-fi as Dr. Travis Langley (editor of both Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind and Star Trek Psychology: The Mental Frontier) brings together experts for a lively discussion: Michael Witwer (Empire of Imagination), Colt Blunt (Game of Thrones Psychology), Scott Jordan (Captain America vs. Iron Man; Star Trek Psychology), and more. Live long may the Force be with you! [Travis has to leave this one early to get to his next panel.]

5:30-6:15PM
WHO’S THE MOST NEUROTIC SUPERHERO? INSIDE THE MINDS OF BATMAN, SPIDER-MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, JESSICA JONES AND MORE with BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY’S TRAVIS LANGLEY, SNL’S J.J. SEDELMAIER, 100 GREATEST GRAPHIC NOVELS’ ALEX LANGLEY & SPIDER-MAN’S DANNY FINGEROTH (ROOM 2)
Ever since the dawn of Marvel’s “superheroes with real problems,” costumed adventurers have been letting their psychological damage show. Spider-Man’s guilt and insecurity, Batman’s tango with trauma, Captain America’s survivor’s guilt and Jessica Jones’ smorgasbord of symptoms are just a few of the most well-known mental challenges that modern superheroes deal with. Today, experts including psychologist Travis Langley (Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology),animator/satirist J.J. Sedelmaier (SNL’s Ambiguously Gay Duo), pop culture expert Alex Langley (100 Greatest Graphic Novels), and comics writer and historian Danny Fingeroth (Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society) discuss what issues a variety of heroes (and some villains) live with, and how those challenges help and/or hinder them.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20

3:30-4:15PM
HORROR ENTERTAINMENT: VAMPIRES AND ZOMBIES AND WERES, OH MY! (ROOM 6)
What really scares you? Movies, comic books, novels, and other modern forms of entertainment all play on the same fears that grabbed the earliest people telling scary stories by the campfire, but why? Travis Langley (The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead), Katrina Hill (100 Greatest Graphic Novels), Martin Lloyd (Game of Thrones Psychology: The Mind is Dark and Full of Terrors), Eric Wesselmann (Captain America vs. Iron Man), Michael Witwer (Empire of Imagination), and Jay Bonansinga (The Walking Dead novels), look at how horror storytellers send chills up our spines and why we love it when they do.

5:30-6:15PM
CAPTAIN AMERICA VS IRON MAN: FREEDOM, SECURITY, PSYCHOLOGY (ROOM 1)
Team Cap looks out for superhero liberties to keep heroes free to do what’s right while Team Iron Man defends national and international security. Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight) brings together a super team to marvel at the history and heroism of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark: Victor Dandridge (Vantage: Inhouse), Alex Langley (Star Wars Psychology), Martin Lloyd (The Walking Dead Psychology), Scott Jordan (Star Trek Psychology), and Eric Wesselmann (Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology). When the road to Civil War is paved with good intentions, are any of them truly right?

11:00-11:45PM
LIVING BY HIS OWN RULES: CHRISTIAN KANE (ROOM 4)
[Travis moderates.]

HSU SDCC 2016 Schedule

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Faculty, students, and alumni from Henderson State University will be on 9 panels at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Drs. Langley and Duncan are also some of the organizers of Comic-Con’s scholarly Comics Arts Conference, which Duncan co-founded.

HSU names appear in ALL CAPS in the panel descriptions below.

 

THURSDAY, JULY 21

 

10:30am – 11:30am, 26AB
Comics Arts Conference #1
The Joker: Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime

The Joker has menaced Batman for nearly 77 years. Since the Joker’s first appearance in Batman #1 in 1940, he has appeared thousands of times in comics, films, video games, television series, toy aisles, and other arenas of mediated and material culture. While a powerful antagonist, the character is nevertheless fascinating to children and adults alike. Join the contributors to the first book-length scholarly study of the Joker as they ask why the Joker has become the most important and interesting supervillain in popular culture and what it is about the Joker that makes the character so iconic. Rob Weiner (Texas Tech University), Robert Peaslee (Texas Tech University), TRAVIS LANGLEY (Henderson State University), Hannah Means-Shannon (Dark Horse Comics), and Ryan Litsey (Texas Tech University) discuss the nature of the Joker, his history, and why Batman refuses to kill a character that causes so much misery to the citizens of Gotham.

 

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, 24ABC
The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con: To Bechdel, or Not to Bechdel
You might be seeing more popular media starring women, but are there more that are actually about women? With so many stories failing the Bechdel Test (a test that measures whether a story has two women in it who talk about something other than a man), it leaves many wondering if pop culture is making any progress at all. Here to discuss the Bechdel test as well as diversity in media (and the lack thereof), are Action Flick Chick, KATRINA HILL (100 Greatest Graphic Novels), Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy, Star Wars Psychology), Jennifer Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazons, GeekGirlCon), Patricia Tallman (Babylon 5, Quest Retreats), Jessica Tseang (Little Geek Girls, Girl on Geek), Tony B. Kim (Hero Within, Crazy4ComicCon), ASHLEY BLES (Henderson State University), and moderator Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia, Most Craved).

 

8:00pm – 9:00 pm, 25ABC
Psychology of Cult TV Shows: Episode 3
Back by popular request, this panel focuses on the psychology behind the most recent seasons of your favorite TV shows, including Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sherlock, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Castle, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and others. Psychologists Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy, Star Wars Psychology) and TRAVIS LANGLEY (Doctor Who Psychology, Star Trek Psychology), TV writer Christine Boylan (Castle, Once Upon a Time), actors Maurice La Marche (Pinky and the Brain, Futurama) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek, Flash), host Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia, Star Wars Psychology), and surprise guests discuss your favorite TV shows. Alan Kistler (Doctor Who: A History, Walking Dead Psychology) moderates.

 

FRIDAY, JULY 22

 

10:00 am – 11:00 am, 7AB
Star Wars: The Science Awakens
Could Lightsabers ever be a reality? How would Starkiller Base work in the real world? Which droid would NASA select for a real mission? Fon Davis (production designer, Star Wars Movies), Kim Steadman (NASA engineer, Mars Science Lab), Kieran Dickson (editor, Outerplaces), TRAVIS LANGLEY (editor, Star Wars Psychology), Steve Huff (fight choreographer), and moderator Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia) break down the science behind a galaxy far far away, field your burning questions and give away a prize or two.

 

SATURDAY, JULY 23

 

2:00pm – 3:30 pm, 26AB
Comics Arts Conference #12
The Poster Session
Includes these by HSU students and recent graduates.

ASHLEY BLES (Henderson State University) presents an empirical test for analyzing the representation and role of women in superhero comics.

DYLAN WEAVER, KATHERINE RUSSELL, and TAYLOR MCSWAIN of Henderson State University look at three characters from The Walking Dead and their reaction to death, through the lens of the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief and other coping mechanisms such as dissociation, avoidance, repression, and post-traumatic growth.

EMILY BLANTON (Henderson State University) compares the communities of The Walking Dead and Wasteland to crime organizations to better understand the group dynamic of common crime.

 

4:00pm – 5:00pm, San Diego Central Library
The Nerd in the Classroom: Comics as an Educational Tool

Education’s all-things nerd networking resource returns to Comic-Con. This year’s edition will have a focus on student-generated comics, with an emphasis on autobiographical and memoir narratives. Learn from experts Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics), RANDAY DUNCAN (The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture), MICHAEL RAY TAYLOR (Creating Comics as Journalism, Memoir and Nonfiction), and Patrick Murphy (Fremont High/Weber State University).

 

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Pacific 24 Marriott North Tower
The Geek Shall Inherit: The Evolution of Geek Culture
Dr. Billy San Juan (Star Wars Psychology, Star Trek Psychology) hosts a discussion on the past, present, and future of geek culture. Experts include Brian Kibler (professional gamer and content creator), TRAVIS LANGLEY (Batman and Psychology, Doctor Who Psychology), Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy, Star Wars Psychology), Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia, Most Craved), Alan Kistler (Doctor Who: A History, The Walking Dead Psychology), and Cary Kazmaier (manager, Artifex, U.S. Navy ret.).

 

8:30 pm – 9:30 pm, 26AB
Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology

DR. TRAVIS LANGLEY (Captain America vs. Iron Man, Batman and Psychology) and legendary Golden Age artist Allen Bellman (Captain America Comics) invite you to the ultimate analysis of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark throughout their histories. Team Cap looks out for superhero liberties: Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia, Star Wars Psychology), Martin Lloyd (Doctor Who Psychology), Lara Taylor Kester (Geek Psych, Game of Thrones Psychology), and Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy, The Walking Dead Psychology). Team Tony defends national and international security: Alan Kistler (Doctor Who: A History, Spider-Man Trivia Challenge), Billy San Juan (Star Trek Psychology), Janey Tracey (Outer Places) and Paul Zehr (Inventing Iron Man, Becoming Batman). When the road to the Marvel Comics superheroes’ Civil War is paved with good intentions, are any of them truly in the right?

 

SUNDAY, JULY 24

 

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Comics Arts Conference #14
The Caped Crusader in the Classroom: Batman Goes to College

The same qualities that make Batman one of the most famous characters in the world also make him an excellent vehicle for teaching a variety of topics and reaching students. Batman is the superhero with no superpowers, with a tragic origin that evokes feelings and understanding from anyone who reads it, and a character that occupies an environment that, while a bit bizarre at times, usually feels like it could be real. This session provides an exploration of using Batman to teach arts and science at the university level. Panelists discuss the relevance of Batman and the Bat-family in conveying concepts of psychology, kinesiology and neuroscience to undergraduates. E. Paul Zehr (Becoming Batman), TRAVIS LANGLEY (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight), Chris Yogerst (University of Wisconsin), Hannah Means-Shannon (Dark Horse Comics), Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight trilogy), and Paul Levitz (DC Comics) discuss and dissect the role of the Caped Crusader on campus.

Game of Thrones Psychology Review Excepts

“Check out Game of Thrones Psychology from Travis Langley. It’s super interesting and inspired me….” – Vanessa Hill, PBS BrainCraft

“Look, there’s going to be at least one person in your life who doesn’t connect to great literature or nonfiction that doesn’t have a fantasy/​sci-fi element to it. Give that person a copy of this book. It gathers essays about George R.R. Martin’s texts and the HBO series that are actually literate, well written and informative. Dwarves and dragons have never been more relevant.” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

The Walking Dead Psychology Review Excepts

The Walking Dead Psychology is the perfect blend of insightful scholarship, pop-culture savvy and bloody good fun. Highly recommended!” – Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Patient Zero and Rot & Ruin.

“One of the most fascinating books I read this year: @Superherologist’s THE WALKING DEAD PSYCHOLOGY. Required read for zombies with brains.” – Brian Keene (@BrianKeene), New York Times bestselling author of The Rising, Ghoul, and The Last Zombie.

“Anyone who’s a fan of the show or comic and who’s at least slightly interested in psychology would find much to take away from this book. Not only will it enrich your appreciation of The Walking Dead, but the way it uses entertainment to explain the importance of psychological concepts…is quite simply good for your braaaains!” – The Pop Mythologist.

“‘Walking Dead’ fans, this one’s for you. Travis Langley examines what living in a post-apocalyptic world actually does to one’s psyche. As a fan, it’s easy to just get caught up in the drama of the show without really thinking about what living in such a stressful, violent environment can do to a person. But Langley really gets into it, which helps you understand the characters even better…. You’ll be even more pumped to watch the show after reading.” – Metro.

“It gave me a completely new understanding for the series and made me really appreciate the work the writers put into truly developing these characters… Don’t stress out thinking that you need to know a good bit about psychology before picking up this book… Thankfully, each contributor is great at breaking down their topic in understandable terms… this book should be next in your to To-Read list. It’s an enjoyable and informative read. And once your finished reading the book, you can go back to your zombie survival plans.” – All Geek to Me.

“I absolutely loved this book. It takes a serious look at the psychological aspects of the show, both why viewers watch and the toll the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other type of apocalypse) takes on survivors and affects their behaviors…. Highly recommended for anyone who is a fan of the show, comics, or novels.” – Nutwood Junction.

“Those interested in #TWD and/or psychology, check it out.” – actor Andrew J. West (@AndJWest), Gareth on The Walking Dead.

AndJ

 

“Beyond Heroes and Villains” at Psychology Today First 50

Since August 1, 2012, I’ve posted 50 articles at PsychologyToday.com in my ongoing “Beyond Heroes and Villains” column. (I know it’s called a blog, but look up the word’s origin. It’s still not a log of my life, so online column is more accurate.) Some of these have the advantage of time, having accumulated views for two years. Some of the newer ones are rapidly changing ranks, like the most recent post (“Singing Those Comic-Con Blues: How Do We Return to ‘Normal’?”) but here’s where things stand today.

1 A Dark and Stormy Knight: Why Batman?
2 Does Iron Man 3’s Hero Suffer Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
3 The Dark Knight Rises: What Motivates Bane?
4 The Avengers Teach Psychology: Class Assemble!
5 A Clinical Perspective on Panic and PTSD in Iron Man 3
6 Twitter Takes on Iron Man 3: Why Can’t Tony Stark Sleep?
7 Are Batman’s Enemies Insane? Sounder Minds—Part 1
8 Batman at 75: The Psychology of Why the Dark Knight Endures
9 Doctor Who: The Man Who Regrets and the Man Who Forgets
10 Are Batman’s Enemies Insane? Unsound Minds—Part 2
11 Doctor Who: Fear the Weeping Angels and Don’t Blink
12 Super Sex Theorists: “Hung up on Superheroes’ Sex Organs”
13 Are Olympic Athletes Heroes?
14 Why Stick to a PTSD Diagnosis Based on Lies by Jodi Arias?
15 Superman’s True Disguise: The Power of Social Invisibility
16 Star Trek: The Mental Frontier
17 Batman’s Case Files: Bane, the Man Who Broke the Bat
18 Batman’s Case Files: Immortality versus Extinction
19 What Is Superhero Therapy?
20 Ye Olde Masters of Sex: Sexology Before Masters and Johnson
21 Heroes of Cosplay, Part 1: Can We All Play Together?
22 Necessary Evil Documentary: Exploring Super-Villainy
23 Aurora Judge Rules “Truth Serum” Can Test Suspect’s Insanity
24 Who Are Your Heroes?
25 Superheroine Recovery: An Interview With Batgirl’s Therapist
26 Misremembering Batman
27 The Bat of the Shadow: Batman’s Role Models
28 Superheroes, Supervillains, and Ourselves upon the OCEAN
29 Psychology of Cult TV: Better Living by “Geeking Out”
30 Joking Matter: Adam West and Colleagues Analyze the Joker
31 Weddings, Funerals, Reboots–Capes and Cognitive Dissonance
32 Comics Arts Conference Brings Psychology to Comic-Con 2013
33 Westboro Baptist Church: Modeling Empathy on the High Road
34 Haunted by Sigmund Freud: Adaptation or Defense Mechanisms?
35 Freud: The Secret Casebook, Tell Me About Your Profiler
36 Orange Is the New Black: The Prisoner’s Dilemma Compounded?
37 Spectacular Tragedy in a Just World: The Power of “Why?”
38 Legends of the Knight Documentary Explores Power of Stories
39 The Arkham Sessions: Batman, Man-Bat, and that Killer Clown
40 Sole Survivor Finds Hope in a Hogwarts Wizard’s Words
41 “Legends of the Knight” Video Chat on Batman and Psychology
42 The Arkham Sessions Delve Deeper Into the Animated Batman
43 Risky Sessions: Superheroes on the (Steel-Reinforced) Couch
44 WonderCon Psych 2013: Comics and Zombies and Sith! Oh, My!
45 San Diego Comic-Con Program 2014: The Comics Arts Conference
46 WonderCon: Batman vs. Jason! Kirk vs. Vader! Who vs. Holmes!
47 Heroism Conference: The Hero Round Table with Phil Zimbardo
48 Cortex Crusaders Put Comic-Con on the Convention Couch
49 Singing Those Comic-Con Blues: How Do We Return to “Normal”?
50 Super Skinners or Fantastic Freuds? Psych at Comic-Con ’14

“Beyond Heroes and Villains” at Psychology Today 1-33

Since August 1, 2012, I’ve posted 33 articles at PsychologyToday.com in my ongoing “Beyond Heroes and Villains” column. (I know it’s called a blog, but look up the word’s origin. It’s not a log of my life. Online column is more accurate.) Some of these have the advantage of time, having accumulated views for a year and a half. Some of the newer ones are rapidly changing ranks, like the most recent post “Superman’s True Disguise: The Power of Social Invisibility,” but here’s where things stand today.

1 A Dark and Stormy Knight: Why Batman?
2 Does Iron Man 3’s Hero Suffer Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
3 The Avengers Teach Psychology: Class Assemble!
4 The Dark Knight Rises: What Motivates Bane?
5 Twitter Takes on Iron Man 3: Why Can’t Tony Stark Sleep?
6 A Clinical Perspective on Panic and PTSD in Iron Man 3
7 Are Batman’s Enemies Insane? Sounder Minds—Part 1
8 Doctor Who: Fear the Weeping Angels and Don’t Blink
9 Are Batman’s Enemies Insane? Unsound Minds—Part 2
10 Are Olympic Athletes Heroes?
11 Why Stick to a PTSD Diagnosis Based on Lies by Jodi Arias?
12 Batman’s Case Files: Bane, the Man Who Broke the Bat
13 Star Trek: The Mental Frontier
14 Doctor Who: The Man Who Regrets and the Man Who Forgets
15 Batman’s Case Files: Immortality versus Extinction
16 Aurora Judge Rules “Truth Serum” Can Test Suspect’s Insanity
17 Who Are Your Heroes?
18 Necessary Evil Documentary: Exploring Super-Villainy
19 Misremembering Batman
20 Superheroine Recovery: An Interview With Batgirl’s Therapist
21 Superman’s True Disguise: The Power of Social Invisibility
22 The Bat of the Shadow: Batman’s Role Models
23 Superheroes, Supervillains, and Ourselves upon the OCEAN
24 Weddings, Funerals, Reboots – Capes and Cognitive Dissonance
25 Comics Arts Conference Brings Psychology to Comic-Con 2013
26 Westboro Baptist Church: Modeling Empathy on the High Road
27 Spectacular Tragedy in a Just World: The Power of “Why?”
28 “Legends of the Knight” Video Chat on Batman and Psychology
29 The Arkham Sessions: Batman, Man-Bat, and that Killer Clown
30 WonderCon Psych 2013: Comics and Zombies and Sith! Oh, My!
31 Legends of the Knight Documentary Explores Power of Stories
32 Risky Sessions: Superheroes on the (Steel-Reinforced) Couch
33 Cortex Crusaders Put Comic-Con on the Convention Couch

Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con 2014

At Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, visit Athena Finger and me at the explosive C4 table next to current Batman artist Greg Capulllo.

My panel schedule:

FRIDAY, APRIL 4

5:30 – 6:15PM GETTING RESPECT: COMICS GO TO COLLEGE
Comics and graphic novels have come into their own as subjects worthy of—indeed, demanding—attention from academia. Historians and cultural theorists teach courses, hold conferences, and publish books on various aspects of sequential art colleges and universities teach courses in comics as literature and social history as well as how to make them. Here, to give an overview of various ideas about and approaches to comics studies are a cross-section of comics scholars and teachers, including: Dr. Travis Langley (Henderson State University; Batman and Psychology), Eric Bailey (Henderson State University), Peter Coogan (Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre,) Rob O’Nale(Comics Through Time) and David Schuman (Washington University St. Louis). The panel is moderated by Danny Fingeroth (The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels) (ROOM 144)

SATURDAY, APRIL 5

11:30 – 12:15PM 1939: THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
75 years ago, as fateful events that would lead to the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 were coming together in Europe, the U.S.A. was experiencing, in the same year, an explosion of popular culture. In 1939, Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27; Timely (later Marvel) Comics released Marvel Comics #1, showcasing the first Marvel superheroes, Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch; and Hollywood produced classic films including The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Stagecoach. Discussing historical and cultural factors that made that year so important is a panel including Athena Finger (granddaughter of Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman,) Dr. Travis Langley (author of Batman and Psychology,) Eric Bailey (Henderson State university,) Peter Coogan (Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre) and Danny Fingeroth (Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero.) (ROOM 151)

12:30 – 1:15PM BILL FINGER AT 100: WHO REALLY CREATED BATMAN?
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Batman co-creator Bill Finger’s birth, 75th anniversary of Batman’s debut, and 25th anniversary of the Tim Burton motion picture that proved audiences could take Batman seriously. Who really created Batman? How much of the Dark Knight’s design and defining qualities came from the character’s uncredited co-creator, Bill Finger? How many of his enemies thrill us thanks to Finger, and how many of Batman’s adventures, supporting characters, and wonderful toys as well? Not only did he enrich the Dark Knight mythos, but Bill Finger also co-created Wildcat, came up with Superman’s other girlfriend Lana Lang, and wrote the very first Green Lantern tale. To discuss the Cape Creator’s life and work, Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight) has assembled a truly super team: Danny Fingeroth (Superman on the Couch,) Robert O’Nale (@The The Cape Creator: A Tribute to Bill Finger, the Secret Co-Creator of Batman) and – making her very first convention appearance anywhere – Bill’s only heir, Athena Finger. (ROOM 144)

1:30 – 2:15PM BATMAN AT 75
While other creators scrambled to cash in on Superman’s sudden popularity by creating more bright, impossible heroes, Bob Kane and Bill Finger gave us Gotham City’s dark and improbably possible Batman. Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (1939) and has gone on to become one of the most recognizable figures in the world. 2014 also marks the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman motion picture, the 50th anniversary of Batman’s “New Look,” and the 100th birthday of uncredited Batman co-creator Finger. We’ve assembled an all-star anniversary panel to discuss the Dark Knight’s history and legacy: Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight,) Athena Finger (granddaughter of Bill,) Gregory Capullo (Batman; Spawn,) Rob O’Nale (working on an upcoming Bill Finger documentary) and Danny Fingeroth (Superman on the Couch.) (ROOM 144)

6:00 – 8:00PM LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT SCREENING
LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT weaves together the uplifting true stories of individuals who have overcome devastating obstacles, unselfishly given to the community, and embraced their inner superhero because of their love of Batman. Through the deeply personal tales of Batman fans, writers, and filmmakers, this feature-length documentary explores the power of heroic stories and encourages viewers to find their own path to heroism. Funded by over 1,100 contributors from around the world, Legends of the Knight is a return to our childhood dreams of being a hero. Put on your cape, and be inspired! (ROOM 160) [I introduce it, then rush to my next panel.]

6:30 – 7:15PM SEX, LOVE AND SUPERHEROES
Would a superhero’s love life be like that of a real world soldier, firefighter, undercover detective, or rock star? Frankly, who wants to date a superhero? They show up late for dates, they run out on you at random times just to go save the world, and they bring danger into your life simply by knowing you. Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight (Wiley & Sons, June, 2012)) explores superheroes’ relationships, the human and superhuman nature of sex and love in capes and tights. (ROOM 144)

SUNDAY, APRIL 6

3:00 – 3:45PM: SUPERVILLAINS AND PSYCHOLOGY
Every great superhero faces a rogues gallery full of colorful supervillains. What makes a great supervillain? How evil do they have to be? Do they resemble real criminals in any way? Are they truly insane or just having fun? Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight) assembles of super-team of experts to explore what it means to be a supervillain and what kind of person could become one: Danny Fingeroth (@Superman Superman on the Couch), Eric Bailey (Henderson State University,) Peter Coogan (Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre) and maybe a villain or two. You’ve been warned! (ROOM 142)

Join us as we and great folks like Adam WestBurt Ward, and Neal Adams as we all celebrate the 75th anniversary of Batman’s debut way back in April, 1939 (cover date May, 1939), and the 100th anniversary of Batman co-creator Bill Finger’s birth.

Demazette Book Review

Here are a couple of excerpts from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette book review by Philip Martin. The complete article is online if you’re subscribed to their website, the third review in this article:  http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2012/jul/29/jacobs-breathes-life-zombies-20120729/

Martin did not know I was a regional author when he started reading. “I didn’t figure that out until halfway through this exceedingly readable (and fun) discussion of the psychological landscape of the Batman universe. Langley is extraordinarily well-versed in the lore and characters, and scrupulous about the questions he chooses to address.”

Final sentence: “I got the feeling it would be fun to take one of Langley’s classes.”