Why Batman?

| May 29, 2012

“Why Batman?” Most people who interview me ask that question, meaning either “Why is Batman so popular?” or “Why did you write a book about the psychology of Batman?”

Nature, Nurture, and the Kryptonite Bomb

| May 23, 2011

(continued) Across media and throughout alternate histories, be they parallel universes, divergent timelines, or “imaginary stories,” one story after another suggests that Kal-El grows up to be the hero Superman because of how his adoptive parents raised him on Earth. Raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent in heartland, U.S.A., he becomes Superman. If raised instead […]

Before Tragedy, What Prepares the Future Heroes and Villains?

| May 22, 2011

During our WonderCon panel (“Trauma and Superheroes – To Become a Hero or a Villain?”), my colleagues Robin Rosenberg and Andrea Letamendi discussed how repeated trauma and stress will affect people like police officers, war veterans, and crime victims, including what role those play in nudging people into post-traumatic stress disorder or post-traumatic growth. Will […]

Front and Center: The Psyche of Superheroes

| February 20, 2011

Wayne Bryant interviewed me about the psyche of superheroes: What does Batman tell us about ourselves? Perhaps an even better question is, what do our thoughts about him and the fact that so many people think about Batman say about our society? Travis Langley, Ph.D., a professor at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, researches those […]

Academics Assemble! Comics Arts Conference Programming at San Diego Comic-Con International 2010

| July 19, 2010

Thursday, July 22 Fri, Jul 09, 07:35PM 10:30-12:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #1: Comics in the Classroom— Lisa Vizcarra (Carquinez Middle School) explores the pedagogy for creating a middle school biology curriculum based on the book Becoming Batman by E. Paul Zehr, who will join the discussion. Kathy Hall (El Camino College) gives an overview […]

Spider-Man 2 and Abnormal Psychology

| December 3, 2009

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Spider-man 2. On the surface, it may seem like a film about Spidey doing battle with Doc Ock, and struggling with the responsibility that comes with being Spider-Man. But when you dig deeper, it’s actually about something far more sinister… abnormal psychology. Dum dum DUMMMM! You see, a bulk of the film is about ol’ […]

Comic-Con Joker Panel Was Wild: Recap and Reflections

| September 6, 2009

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It’s amazing how much information a single experience might yield. A few months ago, Peter Coogan – who, with my colleague Dr. Randy Duncan, co-founded the Comics Arts Conference, the academic conference-within-the-convention held in conjunction with both WonderCon and San Diego Comic-Con International – asked if I’d like to help moderate a CAC panel on […]

Comic-Con: Jerry Robinson, Michael Uslan, and Adam West on the Joker’s Origins

| August 31, 2009

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Continued from “Comic-Con Excerpts: The Joker’s Relationship with Batman.” Concluding our report on the San Diego Comic-Con International panel “Is the Joker a Psychopath? You Decide!”  which our own Papa Llama, in his secret identity as psychology professor Dr. Travis Langley, moderated and co-organized. Other panelists: Dr. Robin Rosenberg (therapist and editor – The Psychology […]

Comic-Con Excerpts: The Joker’s Relationship with Batman

| August 29, 2009

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 Continuing Papa Llama’s report of his San Diego Comic-Con International panel with fellow psychologist Dr. Robin Rosenberg, comic book writer Steve Englehart, The Dark Knight producer Michael Uslan, and Batman himself, Adam West: After Steve Englehart discussed via telephone why he felt that the Joker is insane, I asked my fellow panelists for quick thoughts […]

Comic-Con International Joker Panel: Actors Playing the Card

| August 11, 2009

Cesar Romero as the Joker (1966-1968).

One topic I wanted to introduce during our San Diego Comic-Con International panel on the psychopathy of the Joker was how the role affected the actors. We’d lined up the Joker’s creator Jerry Robinson and “The Laughing Fish” author Steve Englehart to discuss the comic books and producer Michael Uslan to discuss filmmaking, but didn’t […]