Popular Culture Psychology – Review Highlights

About the series

“What’s great about the books in the Psych Geeks series, however, is that they are amenable for both casual reading and deeper study alike.” – Pop Mythology

Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth 
edited  by Travis Langley & Mara Wood
foreword by Trina Robbins

 “Absolutely fantastic!” – Retroist

“No question whatsoever – this book is hands down the best Wonder Woman book I’ve ever read!!” – Christie Marston, Wonder Woman Museum/Wonder Woman Family Network

Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman with a Box 
edited by Travis Langley
foreword by Katy Manning

“A cracking read. They know their Who inside out and the science is impeccable. Much of it concerns subjects close to my heart and they hit the bullseye every time…. This is an exceptional example of what must now be regarded as a legitimate genre.” – The Psychologist (British Psychological Society)

“This book is a must-read for every Whovian!” – Night Owl Reviews

Game of Thrones Psychology: The Mind is Dark and Full of Terrors 
edited by Travis Langley
foreword by Kyle Maddock

“It’s super interesting and inspired me….” – 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

Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology myths

“A thought-provoking collection…” – Comics Grinder

“This book is wonderfully fascinating and helps shine a whole new light on comics, and the critical implications of these stories. You are even treated to a forward written by Stan Lee and his view on the deeper meanings of comic book characters. If you’re looking to delve deeper into the mythos, crack this open immediately.” – Geek Chic Elite

“Travis Langley has pulled together an entertaining collection of essays in Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology to discuss these great responsibilities. It is the perfect companion for the philosophical fan who wants to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a hero or for the casual fan who just left the theater wanting to slip into their hero’s shoes.” – Amazing Stories

Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind
edited by Travis Langley
foreword by Carrie Goldman

“There’s something for everyone in this fun and fascinating volume, a good addition to any Star Wars fan’s bookshelf.” – The BiblioSanctum

“Thought-provoking.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The book is awesome.” – Sci-Fi & Fantasy Buzz

The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead
edited by Travis Langley
foreword by John Russo

The Walking Dead Psychology is the perfect blend of insightful scholarship, pop-culture savvy and bloody good fun. Highly recommended!” – Jonathan Maberry, best-selling author

“One of the most fascinating books I read this year…. Required reading for zombies with brains.” – Brian Keene, best-selling author

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

Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight
by Travis Langley
foreword by Michael Uslan, introduction by Dennis O’Neil

“A fantastic look into the inner workings of one of comic book’s most compelling, dynamic characters; a masterfully written analysis/love note to the Dark Knight.” – FindYourGeek.com


Batman and Psychology Review Excerpts


“…this book deserves the attention of both first time viewers, and long time Bat-fans who may have perused it in its initial offering. In this 75th anniversary year of the Batman character’s birth, comic fans can enjoy a thought provoking analysis of one of the most enduring superheroes in history.” – Art in Mad Lines

“Simply speaking, this is my pick for the best book of [the year]. A fantastic look into the inner workings of one of comic book’s most compelling, dynamic characters; a masterfully written analysis/love note to the Dark Knight.” – Stephen Harvey, FindYourGeek.com

“…scholarly and insightful…His professional credentials, mixed with his love for comic books and the character of Batman, create a fascinating, entertaining, and educational read.” – Michael Uslan, Bat-Films executive producer (Batman, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, etc.)

“It is a terrific book.” – Dennis O’Neil, Batman comic book writer/editor.

“This book is not only an ode to one of pop culture’s most famous mythical figures but an analytical look at an intriguing character… An intriguing read and a fascinating book.” – Robert Richardson, eXpert Comics

“If you ever wanted to really know if Bruce Wayne is nuts, then this is the book for you. Perhaps some incarnations of Batman are more crazy than others! Great read and tremendously insightful into the psyche of The Dark Knight. Also features a forward by Michael Uslan and an introduction by Denny O’Neil.” – Bill “Jett” Ramey, Batman-on-Film.com

“Love Batman? Love psychology? You’ll love this book. Author Travis Langley psychoanalyzes both the troubled superhero and his many enemies, asking questions like why Batman fights crime.” – Sasha Graffagna, SuperheroYou

“If you love Batman you will love this book. If you love psychology you will love this book! Do not worry about getting lost though, as Langley does an excellent job explaining everything he discusses so those who have never taken a psychology course will understand. Not only will you get one of the most thorough run downs of Batman’s history in all its mediums, you will walk away feeling like you’ve learned a thing or two about the human mind.” – Crabacca, International House of Geek

This is definitely a book you shouldn’t pass up, as once you start reading it you simply will not be able to put it down!” – Sub-cultured.com

“…more entertaining than many of the others which populate the ever-growing field of texts about pop culture and the sciences. Rather than just telling us what we should know or think about Batman, the book supplements our own interest in the hero, and provokes us to think more about what’s going on in his head.” Brittany Frederick, StarPulse.com

“…Langley is extraordinarily well-versed in the lore and characters, and scrupulous about the questions he chooses to address… I got the feeling it would be fun to take one of Langley’s classes.” – Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

“Dr. Langley puts this masked vigilante and his admirers on the analyst couch to examine what makes him—and us tick. A revealing look at Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego.” – Barnes & Noble

This book — diagnosing or debunking Batman‘s various alleged mental disorders — is the jam.” – Craig Calcaterra of HardballTalk at NBC.

“It’s pretty interesting, because if you love the Batman Universe then it’s kinda fun. Also, if you have an interest in learning about real psychological analysis then those things are explained in great detail. I found the book to be both very entertaining AND educational.” – Tom Sheridan, Bat-Blog

“Langley is heavily in depth with his exploration of Bruce/Batman. The book gives new Batman recruits a jest of who Batman is, his motivation, his foes, and allies… I find the book highly interesting because it explores the regions of Bruce/Batman that may explain unanswered questions. Also, it is nice ice breaker to leave on your coffee table or to show off during lunch time with colleagues or friends.” –Dark Knight News

Langley cleverly combines his two loves –as evinced by the title—to create a work that will draw the most disinterested psychology students in by using the seemingly universally loved Byronic hero of Batman.  Using concrete examples from the Batman universe(s), Langley explores Freud, Jung, Erikson, as well as Kubler-Ross’ Stages of Grief and many other classic theories psychology principles, making it a helpful read for any struggling student of psychology.” – Geekscape.net

“This is a serious book done by a true Batman Fan who also understands the real-life theories of Psychology…. It’s pretty interesting, because if you love the Batman Universe then it’s kinda fun. Also, if you have an interest in learning about real psychological analysis then those things are explained in great detail. I found the book to be both very entertaining AND educational.” – Cool Cosplay

“What I found myself noticing most of all was the seamless blend of information and entertainment in this book, which was really nice to see because it almost turns into two separate books, depending on what you choose to focus on.” – Corbin Twa’s Bargain Basement Nerd Emporium

“What makes the book really shine, aside from its great content, is the way that content is presented. Langley’s writing style is very natural and relaxed, and not stiff or stuffy. This allows for the various complex ideas to be expressed clearly and understandably…10/10”  – The Stuff of Legend

“Love Batman and Psychology.” – Book Nerd Reviews

“Absolutely fascinating and fantastically geektastic.” – Book Haul

“#4…This book perfectly balances fiction and non-fiction by using eighty years of Batman’s postindustrial mythology as case studies for various psychological conditions.” – IPN Top Ten Books

“this is good” – Craig Calcaterra of NBC

“Every angle of Batman/Bruce Wayne’s life and psyche are covered in great detail in order for us to have a deeper understanding of who he is, why he does what he does, and whether or not he’s crazy for doing it. I particularly enjoyed the case studies of the villains. This book adds a lot of depth to an already complex group of characters.” Dustin Gaughran, GoodReads

“Love love love this book. So fascinating.” – Allie, GoodReads

“Great information passed along in the form of Batman and his foes.” – Alecia Gardner, GoodReads

“Grounded in solid psychology concepts but eminently readable…” – Interact Catalog.

“Whether you’re interested in psychology or Batman, the book is marvelously informative and entertaining.” – Dev Richards, NerdBastards.com

“A decently thorough and clearly written examination of Batman and the world he lives in. Well supported by many examples, hitting all the highlights of Batman’s universe and his complex nature. Maintains a good balance between clinical and everyday language, keeping the material engaging while still completely accurate.” (5/5 stars)  – Avi S, Shelfari.com

“Highly recommend checking that out!” – Christine, A Smattering of Intelligence

“This is one book also recommended for anyone who wants to bask in the afterglow of the movie, but also for anyone who is interested in the description of the psychology course.” (translated from Japanese) – Akihito, ITMedia

“The author impresses in terms of how much work he clearly must have in each of the analyzes. He is obviously equally familiar with the Batman universe and with psychology, and it all becomes a riveting and interesting experience.” (translated from Norwegian) – Julie Didriksen, Julie’s Bokbabbel

“Seriously, it’s like an awesome college course on something you already adore…. Don’t you deserve a book like that?” – Jason Levin, Arousing Grammar

“For fans of superhero always eager to know behind the scenes, here is an original.” (translated from French) – Coop Zone

“I wish that when I took my Film classes and a few Psych classes in college that they would have made us read this or even something similar as I feel it would have definitely lead to a lively discussion and would have caught the interest of most if not all the students. I do look forward to reading more books like this.” – Rose Has Read That

So if you want a primer on abnormal psychology that is not dry as dust, pick up Batman and Psychology. ” – Suburban Fantasy

“This is probably the best academic analysis book on superheroes I’ve read and that’s pretty high praise. Pick this up if you’re interested in taking a deep and dark look into the mysteries of the Batman universe.” – United Federation of Charles

“For a different look at forensic psychology, you can read Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, a psychological profiling of the classic superhero. This book, written by forensic psychology professor Travis Langley, a well-known expert on the psychology of superheroes, demonstrates how a psychological profile can be built for anyone real or fictional.” – ForensicPsychology.net

“I’ve always loved the Batman, but before reading this book I never considered the fact that dressing up like a bat every night was strange. But then again, normal people never really make a difference in the world.” – R. Schultz, 10-Second Book Reviews

“If you love Batman, I really recommended this book.” – Pannita

“If you’re interested in Batman, psychology, or even inspirational books, I recommend this book. It’s entertaining as well.” – Knight Light

“Wow. This was…incredible…. Very well done! If I could give it more than 5 stars I would! Out of the little over 150 books I have read so far this year, this is hands-down my favorite read BY FAR.” – Sunshine Rising Books 

“100%…. The book is great and I recommend it for anyone who is a little bit like Batman.” – Kritiky


“A modern classic…” Mark D. White, Batman and Philosophy

“Awesome book, and it’s helping me psychologically prepare myself to wear the cowl.” – Batcave Chronicles

“…fabulously interesting – and fun!” – A Minister’s Musings

“…a fascinating book…which I warmly recommend.” – Change is Constant

“…possibly the most fascinating book I’ve ever read.”
Chelsea Campbell (Renegade X)

“I love that book!” and “Thank you for writing it. Such a great way  to bring these concepts together. Brilliant!” – Chris Gore during WonderCon.

Star Wars Psychology Review Excerpts

“…a collection of thought-provoking essays and psychological analyses of the films, including themes of villainy and heroism, gender and family. (Spoiler: the Skywalker family has some serious issues.)” — Kirkus Reviews

“What’s great about the books in the Psych Geeks series, however, is that they are amenable for both casual reading and deeper study alike… A fan of Star Wars, you are? Then check out Star Wars Psychology, you should. And if you’re a psychology buff, especially, this is most certainly the Star Wars book you’re looking for.” – Pop Mythology

“…an absorbing read, examining the ideas and core values of why we love Star Wars, encouraging us think about the movies and characters in new and unpredictable ways. There’s something for everyone in this fun and fascinating volume, a good addition to any Star Wars fan’s bookshelf.” — The BiblioSanctum

“That’s the beauty of this book and Star Wars, it makes you think. I highly recommend this to any Star Wars fan that wants to dig a little deeper into why the characters we’ve come to know and love act as they do.” — The Cantina Cast

“So, if you like to understand a bit more about the human mind in a more entertaining way this book is for you. While I enjoyed the interplay of Star Wars and psychological theories, I also found myself arguing various points with the authors. Yes, there are various authors but the way it was edited it flows like it had one author.” — Books and Things

“The research done for this book is impressive. That said, Star Wars Psychology was designed to be a fun foray into examining the Saga we love so much — it’s very approachable, not pretentious at all, and, on that level, it succeeds.” — The Bearded Trio

“First of all, this book was amazing. I loved it every inch of the way.” — Constant Collectible

“I recommend it for anyone who has interest in both Star Wars and psychology.” – Kaleidoscope49

“Part of the reason why this took me so long to finish was because I needed to stop and reflect on what I’d read—it’s a psychology book, after all. That being said, I absolutely loved it…. It’s a belief-challenging wild ride from beginning to end that I cannot recommend enough, especially for Star Wars fans.” – From Blushes to Blasters

“Such a fun book. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” — John Fugelsang, “Tell Me Everything,” Insight Radio on Sirius XM 121.



Wonder Woman Psychology Table of Contents

Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth
Table of Contents
(minus the page numbers)

Acknowledgments: Our Sensations
Travis Langley and Mara Wood

Foreword: The Lasso and the Pendulum
Trina Robbins

Introduction: Truth
Travis Langley


1. Psychology on Trial: The Other Legacy of William Moulton Marston
Martin Lloyd

2. Dominance, Inducement, Submission, Compliance: Throwing the DISC in Fact and Fiction
Mara Wood

3. Marston, Wertham, and the Psychological Potential of Comic Books
Tim Hanley & Travis Langley
including Susan Eisenberg interview

4. The Tale of a Manx Cat (A Memoir from the Woman Who Gave Us Wonder)
Elizabeth Marston Holloway

Virtue File I. Justice
Travis Langley


5. A Perfect Place: Paradise Island and Utopian Communities
Mara Wood

6. Individuation and the Psychology of Rebirth
Chris Yogerst & Caitlin Yogerst

7. The Heroine and the Hero’s Journey
Laura Vecchiolla

Virtue File II. Wisdom and Knowledge
Mara Wood


8. A Mother’s Magic: Parenting Issues in Paradise
Mike Madrid & Rebecca M. Langley

9. Multiple Identities, Multiple Selves? Diana’s Actual, Ideal, and Ought Selves
Wind Goodfriend & Annamaria Formichella-Elsden

10. Growing a Goddess: Child Development and Wonder Woman
Mara Wood

11. Compassion is My Superpower
Jenna Busch & Janina Scarlet

12. Feminist Psychology: Teaching How to be Wonderful
Mara Wood

Virtue File III. Temperance
Travis Langley


13. An Amazon in a World of Men
Lara Taylor Kester & Nina Taylor Kester

14. It’s a Man’s World: Wonder Woman and Attitudes Toward Gender Roles
Erin Currie

15. From Wing Chun to Wonder Woman: Empowerment through Martial Skill
E. Paul Zehr & Jeff Pisciotta


16. Snapping Necks and Wearing Pants: Symbols, Schemas and Stress over Change
Travis Langley
including Dennis O’Neil interview

17. First of Her Name: Wonder Woman, the Role Model
Mara Wood

18. Balancing the Warrior and the Peace Ambassador: Self-Concepts and Moral Complexity
Eric D. Wesselmann, Emilio J. C. Lobato, & J. Scott Jordan

19. Coffee with Your Hero: The Benefits of Parasocial Relationships
Janina Scarlet & Alan Kistler

20. Truth in Treatment: Who Wields the Magic?
Travis Langley & Mara Wood

Virtue File V. Transcendence
Travis Langley

Final Word: Humanity
Mara Wood

About the Editors

About the Contributors

Special Contributors


Schedule at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con 2016



Signing and selling books at GeekFest booth 228 when I’m not doing panels.


12:30-1:20 room 301A
“The Evolution of Geek Culture”

2:00-2:50 room 406AB
“Comics Psychology from Wonder Woman and Wertham to the Worldwide Web”

3:00-3:50 room 404A
“Psychology of Cult TV Shows: Episode 3”

4:00-4:50 room 404A
“Game of Thrones Psychology: The Mind is Dark and Full of Terrors”

5:00-5:50 room 404A
“Superhero Therapy”


12:00-12:50 room 404A
“Geeks Gets Published – and Paid!”

1:00-1:50 room 404A
“Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology”

Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con Schedule



Travis Langley


Travis Langley, Danny Fingeroth, Genese Davis, Eric Bailey



Billy Boyd, moderated by Travis Langley

Evanna Lynch, moderated by Travis Langley


Travis Langley, Alex Langley, Renee Witterstaetter, Victor Dandridge, Danny Fingeroth

Travis Langley, Victor Dandridge, Katrina Hill, Alex Langley

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.


2:00-2:45 PM
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
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.]

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.


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.

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?

[Travis moderates.]

Captain America vs. Iron Man Review Excerpts


“These titles are very telling and readers can either delve into the specific subjects they are most interested in or start at the beginning and methodically follow Langley’s thought process as he examines the never ending debate of origins, missions, and ideals. Regardless of your views, there is a lot of thought provoking information in this book.
“The embattled heroes of our favorite comics have a lot more to deal with than just the bad guys. Stan Lee has made a living pointing out that “with great powers, comes great responsibility.” Travis Langley has pulled together an entertaining collection of essays in Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology to discuss these great responsibilities. It is the perfect companion for the philosophical fan who wants to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a hero or for the casual fan who just left the theater wanting to slip into their hero’s shoes.” – Ricky L. Brown, Amazing Stories

“… a thought-provoking collection…
“concise insight…steadily building from one idea to the next.” – Henry Chamberlain, Comics Grinder

“While some elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are cited in the essay topics…the unauthorized book actually focuses more on the characters we’ve come to love through the years of Marvel Comics….

“…varied and educated looks at not just Steve Rogers and Tony Stark but ourselves.” – Retroist

“Recommending reading.” – Billy Steele, Engadget

“…a fascinating array of interpretive angles grounded in psychology…” – The Pop Mythologist

“This book is wonderfully fascinating and helps shine a whole new light on comics, and the critical implications of these stories. You are even treated to a forward written by Stan Lee and his view on the deeper meanings of comic book characters. If you’re looking to delve deeper into the mythos, crack this open immediately.” – Laura Cerrone, Geek Chic Elite

“Brilliantly written. The writing style’s great. It’s not over your head, so you don’t have to take Psychology 101 to understand…. It’s just a really great book. I definitely recommend you check it.” – Otakus & Geeks

“Awesome book.” – Fandomania

Good Reads for Great Dads selection – Tampa Bay Times

“They know their subject matter, and they’ve got true geek cred. While each essay is concise, a wealth of analysis can be found within…. 5/5” – Lisa Dullard, The Bearded Trio

HSU SDCC 2016 Schedule


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.




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.




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.




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?




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.