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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Comic World Abuzz Over Bin Laden’s Death


An old comic book cover that shows President Obama punching Osama bin Laden in the nose has skyrocketed in value since the al-Qaida leader’s death. Comics expert A. David Lewis says the bin Laden buzz is just the latest chapter in the complicated history of Muslims in comics.

Some of the new Muslim superheroes ready to take on bad guys include Excalibur, a Pakistani-British doctor who wears a knight’s armor and a head scarf. And Nightrunner, Batman’s deputy in Paris and the son of Muslim immigrants, who has some conservative comic book fans up in arms.

We speak with Lewis, a theology student and co-editor of “Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books & Graphic Novels.”


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  • Anonymous

    Will I listened to the entire interview and kept waiting for any non Muslim character to be mentioned. Where is Nightcrawler who almost became a priest. Or the many many superhero’s who are Jewish? No Elder Gods or Wicca. From looking at the cover of the book it appears to be a book only about Muslim super heroes. I am going to read the book before I make any decisions, but if it is as one sided as this interview I will not be very happy.

    • CS

      The book is a collection of essays by a variety of authors on a variety of topics. Typically a radio segment cannot focus on every aspect of a book — especially when it’s a collection of essays of disparate topics — so Here and New focused on one aspect that relates to recent events.

      There’s no question of “one-sidedness,” and there’s no reason to imply that there is.

      • Anonymous

        @9403832041f7d6ae4c712dcc4c3f8b5f:disqus

        I have already called my local book store and requested they order the book for me. I understand the interview can not cover the entire book in one 5 minute interview, but this article could have and should have spoken more about the remainder of the book. I am keeping an open mind until I read the book.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=935842 A. David Lewis

          I apologize if it’s in poor taste for me to reply to my own interview. I merely wanted to reassure @jan_dumas:disqus that I think she will be pleasantly surprised by what she finds in Graven Images itself. In fact, I believe Amazon has a “Look Inside” option for the Table of Contents; and, Continuum International Publishing has a select preview of the chapters on its site, too (
          http://www.continuumbooks.com/books/detail.aspx?BookId=134277&SubjectId=997&Subject2Id=1451
          ). I was delighted to discuss Islam and comics with Robin but, yes, there’s many more avenues to pursue in the book itself.

  • Jp

    @jan_dumas:disqus To be fair, the story was about Muslims in comics, not about Lewis’ book. Lewis was brought on to comment about the story.

  • http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com comicbookandmoviereviews

    Titans in Review - http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com/2011/07/titans-36.html

  • عثمان موسى

    هذي حقوق الانسان التمسخر على الاعراق والديانات
    شوف يوسف استس ثم قولي شو الاسلام يا جهل الاسلام
    وانتم تقولون حرية الديانة وحرية الرئي!

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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