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Comic Connections

Analyzing Hero and Identity

Edited by Sandra Eckard

Comics are all around campuses everyday, and with students arriving less prepared to tackle basics like reading, writing, and analyzing, this text helps connect what students enjoy to the classroom. Comic Connections: Analyzing Hero and Identity is designed to help teachers from middle school through college find a new strategy that they can use right away as part of their curricular goals.

Each chapter has three pieces: comic relevance, classroom connections, and concluding thoughts; this format allows a reader to pick-and-choose where to start. Some readers might want to delve into the history of a comic to better understand characters and their usefulness, while other readers might want to pick up an activity, presentation, or project that they can fold into that day’s lesson.

This book focuses on defining heroic traits in popular characters such as Superman, Batman, or Daredevil, while offering a scholarly perspective on how to analyze character and identity in ways that would complement any literary classroom.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 154Size: 6 1/4 x 10
978-1-4758-2801-6 • Hardback • January 2017 • $50.00 • (£32.95)
978-1-4758-2802-3 • Paperback • January 2017 • $25.00 • (£15.95)
978-1-4758-2803-0 • eBook • January 2017 • $24.99 • (£15.95)
Sandra Eckard is an associate professor of English at East Stroudsburg University, where she teaches writing, works with English Education students, and directs the Writing Studio, a tutoring spot for students. She specializes in teaching writing, tutoring writing, and using popular culture in the classroom.
Chapter 1: Superman Made “Real”: Teaching the Hero Cycle with Kingdom Come

Carissa Pokorny-Golden and Karen Sahaydak

Chapter 2: The Man With Identities: Utilizing Daredevil as an Artifact for Literary Analysis

Alex Romagnoli

Chapter 3: Who is the Greatest Superhero? Using Comics to Explore the Concept of Heroism

Gian S. Pagnucci

Chapter 4: Truth, Justice, and the American Way: Exploring American Identity Throughout

History in Superman Narratives

J. Eric Hasty

Chapter 5: Who We Are vs. Who We Wish To Be: Examining Heroism through Comics and Canonical Literature
Eric Federspiel and Luke Rodesiler

Chapter 6: Visualizing the Hero Complex: Using Batman Year One for Visual and Character Analysis
Michael Cook and Jeffrey S. J. Kirchoff

Chapter 7: Teaching the Body of the Nation: Captain America and Masculinity
Lee Easton

About the Author
In a creative and complex endeavor, Sandra Eckard has once again crafted a text that not only enhances the educator’s arsenal of tools but intrigues the lay reader. Bridging popular artifacts and intellectual space, she had aptly brings the superhero into the classroom as a purveyor of knowledge, source of encouragement, and venue of creative cross-disciplinary discussion. Battles of Batman and Superman are not just conflicts, instead they illustrate to the student benefits and values of literature, morals, principles of deduction, and most importantly they teach the value of critical thought in determining outcomes and connectivity of knowledge to surrounding events, locales, and concepts.
Annessa Ann Babic, PhD, author, "Comics as History, Comics as Literature: Roles of the Comic Book in Scholarship, Society, and Entertainment"

Comic Connections offers educators a meaningful way of navigating the complexity of the American comic book tradition through the paths of greatness and heroism, of identity and self-awareness, and the place of canon in academic and everyday lives. Thoughtfully constructed, Comic Connections, offers teachers concrete examples from works Daredevil, Captain America, and Batman and with themes like heroism, to help students navigate their own realities within the nestled confines of human history. These seamless examinations in Comic Connections offer not only examples that can be explored in the classroom, but guidelines that can be manipulated for other themes and texts as well.
Maryanne Rhett, PhD, associate professor of History, Monmouth University