I received an email from a publisher today, and I was tempted to quickly skim it and move on. Like many of you, I get far more email than I can reasonably deal with. This e-mail, however, was apropos of a blog post I wrote over the summer of 2011 about the Captain America film. As you may recall, during the summer lull the superhero movie caught my eye and as it seemed to reflect a certain nostalgic view of the U.S. role in the world, I devoted a blog post to it. The e-mail I received today invited me to share news about a new book focused on the all-American hero. According to the publisher:
In his engaging book Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero, geographer Jason Dittmer traces the evolution of the comic book genre as it adapted to new national audiences. He argues that these iconic superheroes contribute to our contemporary understandings of national identity, the righteous use of power, and the role of the United States, Canada, and Britain in the world. Tracing the nationalist superhero genre from its World War II origins to contemporary manifestations throughout the world, Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero analyzes nearly one thousand comic books and audience responses to those books. Dittmer also interviews key comic book writers from Stan Lee and J. M. DeMatteis to Steve Englehart and Paul Cornell.
If you are interested in depictions of nationalism in pop culture you may want to take a look at this offering from Temple University Press. This is not an endorsement at all, I’ve not read the book, but it certainly looks interesting. I have to admit that after writing that earlier blog post I had a moment of regret about it, worried that Captain America was not a subject befitting an FPA blog post. I took comfort from that fact that the post was well-received (it received the most comments of any post I’ve ever written) even if it wasn’t the standard FPA fare. I feel even better about it now, after all, entire books have been written about the star-spangled hero.