"Rejoice, my son, for thou hast chosen the Amulet of Right o'er the Sword of Might! Therefore, let there be beauty and strength--power and compassion--honour and humility, mirth and reverence--within you... Be one with thy brothers of the Round Table--with Arthur and Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, with them all... Be thou what they were--a hero! Strive forever to maintain the rule of right--of law and justice--against those who live and rule by might."

Chris Claremont, "From the Holocaust--A Hero!" Captain Britain No. 2 (20 Oct. 1976)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Arthurian/Medieval Papers at PCA/ACA 2010

The following three papers represent the medieval-themed comics-related papers at the upcoming Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association Annual Meeting to be held next week in St. Louis. The complete program (and addendum) can be accessed at: http://pcaaca.org/conference/national.php.

The Society will be sponsoring a session on medieval-themed comics at next year's conference in San Antonio, and a call for papers will be posted soon.

WEDNESDAY, 2:00-4:30 PM

Room 105 Am Ctr (1st Floor)
1062 Gothic in Literature, Film, & Culture: Contemporary Film
Session Chair: Matthew English, Idaho State University
PAPER 1 OF 4: “Darkly Dreaming Dexter and the Incredible Hulk: Modern Gothic Mutations of Stevenson’s Iconic Doppelganger”
Matthew English

FRIDAY, 8:00-9:30 AM

Lucas (21st Floor)
3036 Arthurian Legends: Arthur's “Afterlife” and the Dialectics of Adaptation
Session Chair: Amy S. Kaufman, Wesleyan College
PAPER 3 OF 3: “'The Past and Future King!': Camelot 3000, Context, and the Limits of Adaptation”
Dion Cautrell, University of Nebraska at Kearney

SATURDAY, 2:30-4:00 PM

Room 240 Am Ctr (2nd Floor)
4104 Comic Art & Comics: Ideologies and Philosophies
Session Chair: Paul Malone, University of Waterloo
PAPER 2 OF 4: “Her Guardiner: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing as the Green Man”
Colin Beineke, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Monday, March 22, 2010

Return of the Sword

During World War Two, American publisher Ace Magazine produced a series of stories, beginning with Captain Courageous Comics No. 6 (March 1942), devoted to the ongoing adventures of the Sword, the alter ego of young Arthur Lake, an American boy/teen empowered by Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur. Having discovered Excalibur while visiting England, Lake brought the blade home to the States and used its power to transform (like Fawcett Comics' Billy Batson) into his superheroic identity. As the Sword, Lake shared adventures with two other heroes--Lancelot (the alter ego of young Lance Larter) and Merlin (old Moe Lyn)--and fought a number of home front threats, including the Arthurian-inspired Faye Morgan. (see Public Domain Super Heroes for more details)

Following his final appearance, the Sword has languished in relative obscurity until a recent revival by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross in Project Superpowers from Dynamite Entertainment (back issues can be ordered direct from the publisher). The Sword, along with other heroes from Ace, is reintroduced to twenty-first century readers in Project Superpowers: Chapter Two No. 6 (2010), though there is, as yet, no mention of his origins or former companions.

Return of King Arthur Curry

Arthur Curry, the king of Atlantis best know by his superhero name Aquaman, appears poised to take center stage in the upcoming Brightest Day series--26 biweekly issues--from DC. Curry has been through a number of changes in recent years, but, if the promotional art to Brightest Night No. 2 is any indication, he will soon return to his roots, though it is too early to know if writer Geoff Jones will make any use of Curry's association with the Matter of Britain.