Professor Ben Saunders believes that reading comics makes you smarter. He founded and directs the Undergraduate Minor in Comics Studies at the University of Oregon – the first undergraduate minor of its kind in the world. His is the author of Do the Gods Wear Capes: Spirituality, Fantasy, and Superheroes (Continuum, 2011) – described by Greg Rucka as “the best critical work on the meaning and impact of super-heroes that … has ever been written” — and Donne: Poetry, Sexuality, Interpretation (Harvard University Press, 2006). He also co-edited Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby (IDW, 2015) with Charles Hatfield. He regularly lectures on comic-related topics at universities, conferences and conventions across the United States, and recently appeared as an academic expert in the well-received History Channel documentary, Superheroes Decoded. He has also curated several museum exhibitions of comic art.
Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts is one of the most successful pop-culture franchises ever created. But nowadays few fans are aware of just how clever, moving, cruel, and even subversive Schulz’s original newspaper comics could be. Join Professor Ben Saunders for a deep dive into the Peanuts archive, and rediscover the themes of existential philosophy, religious […]