Our Gods Wear Spandex  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
This page Our Gods Wear Spandex is part of the mysticism series. Illustration to the Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1618) by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens
Enlarge
This page Our Gods Wear Spandex is part of the mysticism series.
Illustration to the Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1618) by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes (2007) is a book by Christopher Knowles, the former editor of Comic Book Artist, with illustrations by Joe Linsner.

The book examines superheroes as a modern evolution of mythological archetypes as well as the mystical influences on comics. The spandex in the title refers to the common elastic dress of many superheroes.

Contents

Overview

The book looks at the evolution of the superhero through the early Egyptian, Greek and Roman myths to the modern era. In particular Knowles highlights the significance of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel The Coming Race and its concept of the Vril-ya, a super human race occupying the hollow earth. This was adopted and adapted by Theosophy into their concept of Ascended Masters which when mixed with Friedrich Nietzsche's Übermensch, became the template for the early superheroes.

It also examines the religious, mystical and occult influences on comics writers like Jack Kirby, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison.

Knowles has further expanded on his ideas, in particular looking at Action Comics #1 and its similarities with Hercules Clubs the Hydra by Antonio del Pollaiolo. He also runs The Sacred Sun blog which also returns to the theme, especially in connection with Jack Kirby and the influences of ideas like the Ancient Astronaut Theory on his work, even series seemingly unconnected to it such as Devil Dinosaur, a topic Knowles has written about before for The Jack Kirby Collector.

The themes the book raises have also been the focus of a number of panels at comics conventions. A. David Lewis, who has organised similar panels looking at religion and comics, organised one at New York Comic Con in 2008, with G. Willow Wilson, Douglas Rushkoff and Dennis O'Neil. Another was held on February 24, 2008 at WonderCon.

Reception

Sequential Tart was impressed by the amount of information saying that "after reading it I believe I could perform fairly well in a comic book history trivia contest." Despite that it remains accessible "book is written in a way that is understandable to almost anyone who has only a basic knowledge of comic books" and their "only problem with Knowles' writing is that it seemed to jump around a bit, especially the first half." Steve Bennett, at ICv2, said it was "the best book on the subject I've read since Gerard Jones' landmark Men of Tomorrow."

However, other reviewers were less impressed. Publishers Weekly said that "[n]ot only does Knowles fail to make a persuasive case for his theories about the genre’s occult origins, but he repeatedly shoots himself in the foot with wild overstatements." The Daily Telegraph said "[t]his kind of thinking, along with most of Knowles's book, is not news to academics or fans" and concludes that it is a "fun, fluent book, but not the breakthrough popular history that the subject deserves."

Awards

is a book published by Succubus Press published in 2007. It was a successor to Polyester, Or, A Survivors' Account of 70's Cinema Obscura (2004). Both books are by by Suzanne Donahue and Mikael Sovijarvi[1].

It features profiles on Teddy Page, Richard Harrison (actor), James Gaines, Mel Novak, Hy Pyke, Norman J. Warren, Bill Rebane, The Age of Insects (1990 film) and Pat Bishow.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Our Gods Wear Spandex" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools