Join us for a talk by Robert Boyd.

With unprecedented movie and TV success, Marvel Comics (The Avengers, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, etc.) and DC (Superman, Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman, etc.) are riding high in public esteem and financial success. Fans love it, from children cosplaying with their parents at Comicpalooza to basement dwelling superfans. But what many don’t realize is that these publishers have always been sleazy, exploitative businessmen—initially small-time schlockmeisters, now heartless dollar-driven MBAs. Their victims have always been the talent—the writers and artists who actually created the beloved characters for peanuts, and who have been stymied at almost every turn to get their due—including Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster and the creator of most of the Marvel Universe, Jack Kirby.

Robert Boyd studied art and art history at Rice University. A childhood fan of superhero comics, he lost interest in the artform until he encountered his first alternative comics in college. He subsequently worked for several comics publishers, including Fantagraphics, Dark Horse Comics and Kitchen Sink Press. He has written extensively about comics for The Comics Journal and other publications. Recently he was the publisher and primary writer of The Great God Pan Is Dead. An essay by Boyd recently appeared in Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, and he is in the process of assembly a print publication, Exu, which will include art, comics and prose by Texas artists.