Building the corpus for this project was not easy. In this episode I talk about the process and call attention to an interesting case that doesn’t make the list.
Christopher Priest is perhaps the most important comic book writer in the history of Black Panther after Jack Kirby. I say perhaps because it is not fair to ignore Don McGregor when talking about Black Panther in any circumstances. By his own admission, Priest built on the great premises created by McGregor. Still, as much as we laud him, he left comics for a time because he was dissatisfied with the racism in the industry. It is great to see his work recognized and him writing new comics. It does leap out at me that he is writing for DC at a moment when the character he help define has reached a cultural benchmark. #Interesting.
I was invited to Story in the Public Square to talk about history and culture around the Confederate Flag and comics. Check it out online this weekend.
This Adventure of Superman radio show features a classic story of Superman facing down the KKK. This is a story with deep roots to Florida. Stetson Kennedy, a native of Jacksonville and writer and human rights activists is credited for inspiring the Superman radio show to produce this serial in 1946. There is some debate about how much undercover work he did to write I Rode With the Klan (later republished as The Klan Unmasked). You can find out more about that here. What is clear is that Kennedy was a lifelong opponent to racism and promoted social justice. Whatever the origins of the investigative work here, the effect of the Superman radio program to undermine the KKK in these years is clear.