These certainly aren’t the superheroes our parents grew up watching. The critical and box-office smash The Dark Knight is Exhibit A of how superhero films are now free to aim squarely at adult audiences — further proof that their graphic-novel counterparts have cemented their place as a respected literary genre. Not to be outdone, the much-anticipated Watchmen film, based on Alan Moore’s landmark comic series of the 1980s, will hit screens next year… along with a slew of other movies based on iconic comic-book characters.
Interestingly enough, however, comics outside of America typically deal with a much wider range of stories than our mostly-crimefighting fare. Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical series Persepolis , about her experiences growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, achieved global acclaim, while in contrast, similarly-themed comics here in the States like American Splendor and Ghost World are largely considered underground press.
Returning as my guest is freelance writer and pop-culture critic Leonard Pierce, a contributor to Nerve.com’s ScreenGrab; information about Leonard’s writing and various projects can be found at his blog. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in September 2008.]