University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Comic Books, Captain Marvel, and the Art of Nostalgia

Thursday, March 30, 2017
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Waterbury Campus
Room 333

Comic books have an origin as strange and colorful as any of their popular heroes. Unlike Superman, whose parents sent him to earth from the doomed planet Krypton, or Captain Marvel—a kid named Billy Batson who meets an ancient wizard named Shazam in a subway tunnel—comic books can trace their starting point to Waterbury’s Eastern Color Printing, which began producing these four-color books of wonder in the 1930s. In this lecture, Brian Cremins will discuss those origins in the context of his new book, Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia (University Press of Mississippi, 2016), which tells the story of artist C. C. Beck and writer Otto Binder, the creators who made Billy Batson one of the best-selling heroes of the 1940s. Why was the character so popular with kids and with young soldiers? What is the relationship between family narratives, American history, and contemporary theories of memory and nostalgia? Join us for a discussion of comic books, their Waterbury origins, and the 1940s America that dreamed up Captain Marvel’s adventures in the first place.


Angel Katiewicz, 2032369924,

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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