Know Heroes – From 4-Color to 3D: History of the American Superhero

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Wednesday, December 12, 6pm, Downtown Bend Public Library

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Over the past 80 years, superheroes have flown free of the pulpy pages of their origins to become international pop culture phenomena. The simplicity of their cowls and capes hides an intricate blend of meaning and psychology, of myth, history and shared social perceptions. In this intriguing presentation—part of Deschutes Public Library’s “Know Heroes” series of December programs—local writer and comics connoisseur William Akin pulls back the masks in attempt to reveal how a uniquely American art form gave birth to earth’s mightiest memes.

How did the Great Depression help create a just man of steel and a vengeful caped crusader? How did a swinging ’60s wall-crawler became a postmillennial star of stage and screen? And, really, what is the deal with that Golden Lasso? These and a multitude of astonishing other questions will be answered in Akin’s presentation on December 12 at 6pm at the Downtown Bend Public Library.

At age five, William Akin discovered his first comic book. Like any good Midwestern boy, he politely begged his mother to buy it for him. Later that same day he pledged to devote the rest of his life to becoming a superhero. Three decades later he admitted the futility of that endeavor and decided he might rather enjoy being writer instead. His prose and poetry have appeared in the journals Storylandia, This Mutant Life, and The Wayfarer among others. He resides in Bend with his wife, daughter and a shape-shifting trickster in the guise of a disobedient dog.

www.deschuteslibrary.org.

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