In the midst of the economic turmoil of the 1930s and 40s, which we increasingly seem to be looking towards as a parallel to our present day, American heroes emerged from the pages of comic books to shape the values of an entire generation. The Skirball Cultural Center has two new exhibits, ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950, and Lights, Camera, Action: Comic Book Heroes of Film and Television, that explore cultural icons like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman came to be. Could we be due for another round, or resurgence, of superheroes?
* Erin Clancey, co-curator of Lights, Camera, Action: Comic Book Heroes of Film and Television
* Mark Evanier, comic book writer and historian. His latest book is Kirby: King of Comics about Jack Kirby, considered one of the greatest comic book illustrators.