No matter how nuanced current superhero comics may be, to the general public they are still fairly simple. Superheroes are the good guys, supervillians are the bad guys, and it’s easy to see who is who. That’s why kids like to dress up as superheroes on Halloween — and why should they have all the fun?
Yesterday the Occupy Wall Street folks staged an event called “Superheroes versus Economic Supervillains,” featuring Gan Golan, creator of The Adventures of Unemployed Man, playing his own superhero. Golan orchestrated the event and created the other characters as well, including working-mom superhero Wonder Mother (at last!), a huge slot machine that stands in for the New York Stock Exchange, and my favorite, Krug Man, a superhero version of Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. It’s all in good fun, but it’s also publicity for the book. Indeed, Golan’s rich imagination seems to be his most valuable asset; he is working on another book and a possible animated version of The Adventures of Unemployed Man.
One of the more interesting (at least to me) aspect of Occupy Wall Street is that it has its own library, tended to by professional librarians and providing a variety of literature, from serious works of social and economic theory to picture books to keep the kiddies happy. Check the blog for news of authors who have been stopping by and donating their books; the New Yorker even wrote a nice little piece. Libraries are springing up in the other Occupy sites as well, including Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Providence.
This sparked a lively discussion on a librarians’ graphic novel discussion group where I lurk. Gan Golan, creator of The Adventures of Unemployed Man, started the discussion:
I visited the libraries at both the Occupy Baltimore (which was tiny) and Occupy Wall St. at Zucotti park in NYC (which was huge) and the good librarians at both places lamented the lack of a strong graphic novels section that showcased comic that were relevant or socially engaged. (The libraries there are very popular, btw).